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Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort Project, Honduras


For decades an increasing number of tourist and real estate mega-projects have been planned for Tela Bay in the Atlantida region (in the Jeannette Kawas National Park). In 2003, the Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort project was launched with an investment of US$ 4 billion for the construction of a tourist mega-complex extending 500 hectares along 3 km of coastline. The Desarrollo Turistico Bahia de Tela S.A. company was awarded the construction concession, despite opposition from local communities, including Afro-descendent indigenous residents (around 400 inhabitant from Río Tinto, Miami, Tornabé, San Juan, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz (Garífuna communities).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort Project, Honduras
State or province:Bahía Tela, Atlantida.
Location of conflict:Río Tinto, Miami, Tornabé, San Juan, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

It is a complex of 7 tourist hotels, which will have 168 villas, 2,000 apartments, 6 multi residences, 1 shopping plaza, themed amusement parks, 1 equestrian center, 1 port for cruise lines and a golf club.

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Project area:500
Level of Investment for the conflictive project4,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:500 -700
Start of the conflict:2003
Company names or state enterprises:Desarrollo Turistico Baha de Tela S.A from Honduras
Troon Golf
Astaldi Columbus from Italy
Relevant government actors:The government of Honduras; The government of Italy, Honduran Tourism Institute (IHT)
International and Finance InstitutionsCentral American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE)
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Honduran Tourism Investment Fund (HTIF) from Honduras
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Garifuna community, CODETS - Lands and Territory Defense Committee, OFRANEH Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondurena (The Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans), PROLASATE The Foundation for the Protection of Lancetilla, Punta Sal and Texiguat - AFE-COHDEFOR Honduran Corporation of Forest Development, Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Garifuna communities
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Global warming, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsInvasive species and increased of hurricanes and tropical storms due to the destruction of wetlands and mangroves
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Deaths
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:To stop the touristic project and respect the already existing demarcations of the natural parks and the costal line, respecting the population already existing there.
Most residents of the Garifuna communities have opted for ecotourism at small scale that does not degrade the environment and provides direct income. The fishermen offer their boats and canoes to take tourists to Punta Sal or around the Laguna Los Micos.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite all the strong mobilization, there has been a severe abuse of the population of the Tela Bay, supported by the government of Honduras including the violation of human, constitutional, environmental rights and international treaties. Corruption has become established to stop the mobilization, as the project is seen as a priority for the national government and the foreign investors.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

RAMSAR Convetion on Wetlands;

Convention fro the Coservation of Biodiversity and the Protection of Natural Areas in Central America;

Constitution of Honduras;

Decree no. 183/94;

Labour Law

Environmental regulations of Honduras;

Convention of Biodiversity;

National Foresty Law of Honduras;

Internal National Park regulations (Lacentilla National Park, Punta Sal National Park and Texiguat National Park);

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Nature for sale. The impacts of privatizing water and biodiversity. -Friends of the earth. 2005

Indigenous peoples. Their forests, struggles and rights. World Rainforest Movement. 2005

Avoided deforestation and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Forest people programme. 2007

Resistencia fecunda en los bosques. Friends of the earth. 2002

La apropiacion corporativa de la biodiversidad. Redes; Accion Ecologica. 2002

Trucchi Giorgio. Desarrollo turístico en la Bahía de Tela: Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort, un proyecto polémico
[click to view]

Bahía de Tela: Come si costruisce un disastro in un paradiso naturale
[click to view]

2011 Honduras, il reality show e la dittatura
[click to view]

Resistance in Tela Bay, Honduras
[click to view]

Desalojo de la comunidad de Barra Vieja
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

de telaandtipo=testo
[click to view]

Barra Vieja Resiste: Cámara y edición: Luis Méndez
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl y Grettel Navas
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:516
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