Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Annie Castro I

Puerto Lempira (Honduras), September 23 (EFE) – Divers who suffered bodily harm while fishing deep in the Caribbean off Honduras without the necessary protection are demanding help not to put their lives at risk, ignored for years by some states, which 42 did not fully comply with the 2021 judgment in favor of tribals.

“There is no support,” Erasmo Granuel, president of the Association of Disabled Divers of the Mosquitia (Ambly), told Ife, sitting in a wheelchair at the entrance to his wooden house.

Trying to speak, Granuel said there are “more than 3,000 divers” who are disabled while fishing for lobsters, snails and sea cucumbers at depths greater than 40 meters, when the maximum allowed to avoid damage is 30.

“The 3,000 divers (crippled) have nothing, not a penny,” insisted the Miskito leader, who regrets that authorities are forgetting that Mosquitia, a region located in the east, facing the Caribbean bordering Nicaragua.

Emsley Imus Rivas, a diver from the Miskita ethnic group with a work-related health condition, poses for photos during a visit to Ife. EFE / Gustavo Amador

More than 100,000 residents of the six municipalities of Gracias a Dios department, where the mosque is located, work fishing for private companies that pay 95 lempiras ($3.85) per pound (464 grams) of lobster and snails, according to their complaint.

Granuel, who was partially paralyzed after twelve years of diving, asked the government for “help” with health, education, and housing for divers who suffered, in some cases brains and others limbs.

One of these is Emsley Imus Rivas, a 78-year-old Miskito who in 1984 was confined to a wheelchair and permanently in diapers due to decompression injuries, which he was unable to seek treatment for due to a lack of resources. In a hyperbaric chamber.

Rivas relies on his wife, Sebera Perez, and their daughter, Saira Rivas, to eat and move from his bed in an old wheelchair, where he spends the day sitting in the doorway of one of his other daughters’ homes, which also houses six. Other people.

Financial compensation has been partially met

Ral Balderramos, a diver from the Misquita ethnic group whose health condition derives from his trade. EFE / Gustavo Amador

Another disabled diver is Ivelito Londres, who lost almost complete hearing in his ears due to decompression syndrome caused by diving deep into the ocean without the necessary protection.

London was one of the Honduran Miskitos who denounced various human rights violations before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2003, a case for which Honduras was sentenced by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) on October 14, 2021. . CorteIDH), which ordered a series of economic compensations, which have so far been partially met.

The Inter-American Court ordered the state of Honduras to produce educational scholarships, housing, economic projects and a documentary about Miskito divers, actions that, according to Granuel, only partially benefit the 42 plaintiffs, 32 of whom are already dead. .

London and Ral Balderamos, another diver who has difficulty walking, are two of the Miskito indigenous people who received housing and financial compensation from the government as part of the IACtHR ruling, which upheld an amicable settlement agreement between the state and the victims.

Amhabali also asks for assistance in training people who are dedicated to diver fishing, most of whom dive deep into the ocean without proper protection, which in many cases causes decompression and requires treatment in hyperbaric chambers.

However, the boat owner does not have the support to pay for the treatment of all injured divers, which range from 3,500 to 7,500 lempiras (between $142 and $304) for each session in the hyperbaric chamber at the Puerto Lempira Hospital.

More hyperbaric chambers

The president of the Association of Disabled Divers of the Mosquitia (Ambly), Erasmo Granu (C), receives help from his relatives for his mobility. EFE / Gustavo Amador

Given the high number of disabled divers, the deputy of Gracias a Dios, Erica Urteco, asked the government to provide more hyperbaric chambers for mosquitoes.

“The government is obliged, after the sentence of the Inter-American Court, to provide hyperbaric chambers,” said Urteko.

He regretted that the state “has not progressed” as it should in complying with the IACTHR ruling, although it “hopes and believes” that the government led by Xiomara Castro will “comply with everything.”

“The men who were affected at that time are leaving children and wives without support because they cannot go back to work (…), but we don’t just have to think about those 42 (plaintiffs), the number of disabled divers is much higher and continues. . To add.”, he added.

The deputy advocated for “more political will” and “significant efforts” to develop a regulatory policy, to oversee fishing boats in Moskia.

“Forgetting and marginalization is historic in the department of Gracias a Dios and we continue to see it,” stressed Urteco, who called on the government and the international community to “work as a team” to “move forward” the population of Mosquitia. .

The rights of Honduran indigenous people are “constantly violated,” insisted Urteco, who is promoting the creation of a diving school to train divers, a comprehensive rehabilitation center and reform of fishing laws.

Web version: Juanque Ochoa

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