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Afro-Descendant & Indigenous: News & Updates

News Article

On behalf of IRTF's Rapid Response Network (RRN) members, we wrote six letters this month to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, (3) bring human rights criminals to justice.

IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

News Article

This document systematizes the experiences and stories of women from various communities in Honduras, who gathered at the Maya-Chortí Women's Meeting, organized by the Environmental Coalition of Copán and the Center for the Study of Democracy (CESPAD), with the financial support of Civil Rights Defenders. This space was promoted with the aim of organizing and positioning women defenders in the community of El Florido, department of Copán, Honduras. The systematization of experiences is a process that seeks to understand the events in order to problematize them, extract their lessons and communicate them. It is an appropriation of knowledge and a logical and coherent ordering of what happened, in order to provide answers as to why it happened the way it did.

News Article

Rights Action has been very involved in funding and supporting Indigenous land and environmental defenders, and their human rights and justice struggles in the Q’eqchi’ territories of eastern Guatemala since 2004. With the immediacy of this recent trip in mind, Rights Action sends this special appeal for their work and struggles. For a number of complex and very unfortunate reasons, the human rights/ repression/ corruption/ impunity situation is even harder in this region, and has been going on longer, than in other regions of Guatemala – Honduras, as well - where people and communities that Rights Action supports are involved in their own community defense struggles.

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Alonso Salgado, Donaldo Rosales, and Marco Tulio Paredes Molina; Ricardo Avila and Carlos Peralta. Three defenders and two social communicators were murdered this month in Honduras. The death toll since the beginning of the year has rise to over 10. And while the case of 19 MILPAH defenders whose criminalizing charges were dropped can be celebrated, it is concerning that May also brought about new cases of criminalized defenders. Looking at the extractive industries, we see a similar mixed picture. Open pit mining has been prohibited, but mining operations continue to expand in Honduras bringing about environmental damage, repression and criminalization. Some hope comes from the visit by a UN exploratory mission on the possible installation of a UN-backed anti-corruption mission as well as from the strengthening of the Honduran anti-corruption body UFERCO. JOH, meanwhile, pleaded not guilty in New York. His trial will continue in September. Welcome to another month in Honduras.

News Article

Please see a summary of the letters we sent to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, and (3) bring human rights criminals to justice…..IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

News Article

In July it will be two years since four residents of the El Triunfo de la Cruz community, Tela, Atlántida, were kidnapped by men in military and police clothing. Families in the community continue to wait for news and to be reunited with their loved ones. Garifuna fighter and leader Clara Flores told Radio Progreso that the long wait is extremely painful. She says that every morning when she passes by the community selling bullets, she remembers how Snyder Centeno, one of the disappeared, would buy and they would talk about the community reality. “Remembering that is still painful because we live in constant anxiety, waiting to find out where they are, what has happened to their lives. It doesn't matter what government is, if our rights continue to be violated, we will continue to fight. We demand that the government be able to strengthen our autonomy,” she says.

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