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Honduras: Land defenders at risk 

    Friday, May 10, 2019 - 16:35

    Rosalina Domínguez of COPINH in Rio Blanco © Sean Hawkey for Amnesty International

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 64/19 HERE

    Rosalina Domínguez, her four sons and two members of the community of Río Blanco, Intibucá, in Honduras were threatened last 30 April and 1 May 2019. The community members are afraid that this might be the beginning of a new wave of attacks against them. They received threats previously for protesting the Agua Zarca Dam alongside the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The Minister of Human Rights must immediately guarantee the safety of Rosalina Domínguez, her family, members of Río Blanco and COPINH and investigate any attacks against them.

    Amnesty International has serious concerns about these recent threats against Rosalina Domínguez, finance coordinator for the Indigenous Council of Río Blanco, her four sons (aged between 16 and 30), and two other members of her community. They faced verbal death threats on 30 April and 1 May 2019 on their way to work by a group of at least seven people, one of them armed. Given the history of attacks against this community that led to the murder of Berta Cáceres, Rosalina, the Indigenous Council, and COPINH are calling on the Honduran government to investigate these threats and guarantee their safety.

    Please send a letter or email to the Minister of Human Rights.

    • Express alarm about the threats on 30 April and 1 May 2019 against Rosalina Domínguez, finance coordinator for the Indigenous Council of Río Blanco, her four sons, and two other members of her community. 
    • Urge her to launch an immediate investigation on these attacks in order to bring those responsible to justice.
    • Call on her to guarantee the safety of Rosalina Domínguez, her four children, and the two other members of the community of Río Blanco, in consultation and agreement with them.

    Write to

    Karla Eugenia Cueva Aguilar 
    Ministerio de Derechos Humanos 
    Contiguo Edificio Rojo y Complejo 
    Hotelero Plaza San Martín
    Avenida República de Panamá
    Tegucigalpa, Honduras 
    Email:         karlacueva144@gmail.com 
    Salutation:    Dear Minister Cueva

    Please copy

    Her Excellency Sofía Lastenia Cerrato Rodríguez
    Ambassador for Honduras
    130 Albert Street, Suite 805
    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
    Fax:         613 232 0193
    E-mail:     ambassador@embassyhonduras.hn  

    The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    111 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
    Postage:    None required
    Phone:        613 992 5234
    Fax:         613 996 9607
    E-mail:     chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca

    Additional information

    The Lenca Indigenous communities of Rio Blanco, Santa Barbara, western Honduras, have been demonstrating against a hydro-electric power project on the land they have been living on for centuries, alleging lack of free, prior and informed consultation. The communities belong to the Civic Council of the Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – COPINH).

    COPINH has been fighting for over 20 years for better standards of living of its community in Río Blanco, north-western Honduras. Since 2011, COPINH members have been campaigning for their right to free, prior and informed consent in relation to a proposal for a hydroelectric plant that might force them out of their ancestral lands. Its members have been targeted with threats and harassment for years in connection with their work.

    Berta Cáceres, leader and co-founder of COPINH, was shot dead on 3 March in her home in the town of La Esperanza, in the province of Intibucá, west Honduras. On 7 March 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a new precautionary measure of protection in favour of all COPINH members and Berta Caceres' family on the grounds of the risks posed by their work defending human rights, environment and natural resources and their increased vulnerability situation after Berta Caceres' killing.

    Over the last three years Amnesty International has alerted on numerous death and other types of threats, intimidation, harassment and the killings of activists in Honduras which is one of the deadliest countries in the world to be a human rights defender.

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    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email urgentaction@amnesty.ca. In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 64 Honduras”.
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