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A new report from the Organization of American States (OAS) highlights the severe human rights crisis in Honduras, focusing on violence against environmental defenders, particularly in agrarian land disputes affecting Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. The report underscores that many human rights abuses, including threats, murders, and violence, are disproportionately targeted at those defending the environment, land, and territory. The OAS recommends that the Honduran government improve land titling and strengthen institutions to hold perpetrators accountable. Long-standing agrarian conflicts, inadequate land titles, and large-scale industrial projects have exacerbated violence and social unrest. The report calls for better legislation to protect collective territories and ensure prior consultation processes for affected communities.

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San Pedro Sula, Honduras, currently has the worst air quality in the Americas due to forest fires exacerbated by El Niño and climate change. IQAir reported PM2.5 levels at 249.1 mcg/m³, far above the WHO's safe limit of 5 mcg/m³. Authorities have issued high-level health warnings, closed schools, and advised residents to stay indoors. The health sector has seen a 20% rise in respiratory infections, with increased emergencies among children and seniors.

Thick smog has disrupted air travel, forcing flight diversions and airport closures. The El Niño phenomenon has intensified droughts and wildfires, particularly affecting Central America's "dry corridor." Over 2,500 fires have burned 211,292 hectares in Honduras this year. La Tigra national park near Tegucigalpa was nearly destroyed, harming the ecosystem.

Officials warn that without policy changes, such environmental crises could become more frequent, threatening millions. The International Federation of the Red Cross anticipates more climate-related disasters across Central America, highlighting the need for enhanced response preparations.

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Amnesty International's new report, "The entire system against us," highlights the abuse of Guatemala's criminal justice system by officials from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Judiciary to suppress efforts against corruption and impunity. This pattern of harassment includes gender-based violence and discrimination, severely impacting women justice operators and human rights defenders. The report details how these women face unfounded criminal charges, unfair trials, and multiple rights violations, such as prolonged pre-trial detention and public and online harassment.

Key cases include former judge Erika Aifán, former prosecutor Virginia Laparra, assistant prosecutors Paola Escobar and Aliss Morán, and lawyer Claudia González. These women were targeted for their legitimate work against corruption and faced additional punishment for challenging traditional gender roles.

Amnesty International documents systemic issues, such as strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), improper pre-trial detention, and harassment. The organization calls for urgent reforms to protect justice operators and human rights defenders, emphasizing the need to address gender-based violence, ensure fair legal proceedings, and uphold the independence of the judiciary to restore justice in Guatemala.

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On May 21, 2024, 85 organizations from the Americas and Europe issued a statement condemning state surveillance, harassment, and intimidation against human rights attorneys and advocates in El Salvador. Since the implementation of the State of Exception, an emergency measure suspending basic rights, there has been a marked increase in police harassment and surveillance of those representing victims of arbitrary arrest and political persecution.

Attorney Ivania Cruz from COFAPPES presented evidence of state surveillance, while attorneys from Socorro Jurídico Humanitario reported defamation campaigns and police intrusions. Members of MOVIR, representing families of those arbitrarily arrested, also faced harassment and threats. Community leaders in the rural Bajo Lempa region reported youth arrests and beatings in retaliation for criticizing the militarized repression.

The coalition, including groups like the American Association of Jurists and WOLA, called for a thorough investigation by the Attorney General and protective measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. They also urged the U.S. to halt security assistance to El Salvador due to the government's actions against human rights defenders and the erosion of democracy.

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In "Flights: Radicals on the Run," Joel Whitney discusses Rigoberta Menchú's harrowing experiences as an indigenous activist in Guatemala. Menchú's life was marked by tragedy, including the loss of her family to military regimes and her own involvement in the struggle for indigenous rights. Despite enduring unimaginable suffering, Menchú's resilience led her to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 and establish Guatemala's first indigenous political party. Through her activism and memoir, Menchú shed light on the atrocities committed against the Maya population, including massacres, forced labor, and cultural suppression. Whitney's article highlights Menchú's journey from victim to advocate, emphasizing her enduring impact on Guatemala's political landscape.