Honduras: When Commitment Means Life Danger
This page is not available in English. Below is the Norwegian page translated by Google.
Norwegian People's Aid is visited by Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres and Padre Melo, two of Honduras' most recognized environmental and human rights defenders. They will talk about how they work to promote justice in Honduras while being attacked and threatened with silence. What are they doing to continue the fight? What can Norway do to contribute to inclusive development in Honduras and support the popular organizations in the country?
Honduras is one of the world's most dangerous countries for human rights defenders. Activists and social leaders are threatened with life, many are killed. Protests and demonstrations are being hard hit. Freedom of speech is severely limited - if you are too critical, you end up in life.
At the same time, inequality and injustice are growing. A small elite controls power and natural resources. Rivers are piped, agriculture is contaminated by mining and the forest is cut down. For people in the local communities there is no alternative to just stand and watch. They organize and protest, with life as an effort.
Berta Cáceres, leader of the indigenous peoples' organization COPINH, was killed in 2016 after leading a series of protests against a steam project on the river Gualcarque. Honduran law believes the murder was ordered by the chiefs of the steam project, and seven men associated with the company have been convicted of the murder.
We will be visited by Cáceres' daughter Berta Zúñiga Cáceres, who will give her testimony on how the local community continues the fight for freedom and self-determination. With her is the profiled human rights advocate Padre Melo, who won the Rafto Prize in 2015.
Norwegian People's Aid has worked in Honduras since 1985, and for several years has been a partner with COPINH and the organization ERIC, which runs Radio Progreso. We see with great concern how the organizations in Honduras are being criminalized and gagged. This is part of a global trend that causes great concern.
The event takes place in Norwegian and Spanish which is interpreted as Norwegian.
- Henriette Killi Westhrin, Secretary General of Norwegian People's Aid.
- Berta Zúñiga Cáceres from the Indigenous Peoples Organization COPINH, daughter of the slain human rights defender Berta Cáceres. COPINH is a Honduran organization dedicated to the protection of the environment and the rights of the people of the Left.
- Padre Melo, head of the human rights organization ERIC and winner of the Rafto Prize 2015. ERIC runs Radio Progreso, a news source from grassroots with almost national coverage. The organization regularly experiences threats and harassment and is prevented from accessing public information and meeting activities.
- Jan Olav Andersen, associate leader in the EL & IT Association, who supports Norwegian People's Aid work in Honduras.