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HONDURAS: THE DEADLIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
More than 120 people have died since 2010, according to Global Witness research. The victims were ordinary people who took a stand against dams, mines, logging or agriculture on their land –murdered by state forces, security guards or hired assassins. Countless others have been threatened, attacked or imprisoned.
“We have documented countless chilling attacks and threats, including the savage beating by soldiers of pregnant women, children held at gunpoint by police, arson attacks on villagers’ homes, whilst hired assassins still wander free among their victims’ communities.”- Billy Kyte, Global Witness campaign leader
These crimes are being met with chronic levels of impunity. On rare occasions the triggermen are arrested, but the people who contract them are almost never punished.
Meanwhile, the US continues to pump money into Honduran industry, despite concerns raised in Congress about the country’s dubious human rights record. In 2016, it contributed US$100 million in bilateral aid, which could be a huge boost to fighting poverty in a country which suffers the highest levels of inequality in the whole of Latin America. But tens of millions of aid dollars were directed to the police and military, both of which are heavily implicated in violence against land and environmental activists.