For many years, Garífuna communities along the Atlantic coast have suffered violence, killings, disappearances, and forced displacement due to powerful economic interests. This includes Honduran elites, international tourism, charter cities (aka ZEDEs), drug traffickers, industrial scale agriculture (e.g., African palm oil plantations), and more. The government of Honduras has enabled the stealing of Garifuna land because of its failure to ensure Garifuna communities the right to their ancestral territories, even when ordered to do so by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
On May 1, unknown persons shot community leader Alonso Salgado Caballero to death while he was sitting in a hammock outside the home of his cousin in Río Tinto, a Garífuna community in Tela municipality, Atlántida Department. The assailants then entered the home and attacked two of his relatives. They seriously injured the wife of his cousin, Zury Quintanilla, a school teacher and the current secretary of the board of trustees of the community. His sister-in-law, Sury Mariela Quintana, was also hospitalized with two gunshots to the head. Alonso Salgado Caballero, age 51, was the former treasurer of the board of trustees.
We are urging that the government of Honduras create and implement legal instruments to eradicate all types of violence against those who lawfully work to protect the land, natural resources and territorial rights of Garífuna communities.