In Honduras, nine humanitarian organizations announced this week that they will seek to “secure” “independent” investigations into the murder of two environmentalists, which occurred on January 12 in the northeast of the country. Family members ask for justice.
Defending the environment in Honduras from activities that put the ecosystem at risk and consequently the subsistence of the peoples, has become a cause that can cost lives and freedom. Since 2012, more than 100 environmentalists have died in the country.
Official hypothesis rejected
Various humanitarian organizations raised their voices in protest this week, after the death on January 12 of two environmental defenders, Aly Domínguez and Jairo Bonilla, which according to the police hypothesis was due to an attempted robbery.
Reynaldo Domínguez, brother of one of the victims and a member of the Guapinol community water defense board, does not believe the police version and calls for justice and a fair investigation: “We do not share that hypothesis because when it is an assault , the victims bend them while they are stripped. Some manage to survive, but they were finished off with a headshot each. So this hypothesis is very advanced, very hasty, on the part of the police and the Public Ministry. The Public Prosecutor’s Office has imprisoned eight compañeros and has accused us of crimes that we have not committed”.
“Complicity with the Honduran government”
Liliana Caballero, advocacy officer of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), points out that the development of mining activities that do not respect the minimum standards of environmental protection are part of the problem that, added to the little supervision of public organizations , causes that the rights of populations whose quality of life is diminished are not respected.
“We are facing a context that has already been recognized by multiple organizations, also by many studies on the matter, which are mining and hydroelectric companies that maintain an operation in the country without being attached to international standards and going over any quality control, without transparency, with a lot of opacity in their operations, which show that there is a dynamic of complicity with the Honduran government and that this has not been remedied in any way by the current administration”, denounces Caballero.
While the investigations are being carried out, Reynaldo Domínguez points out that environmental defenders and anyone who dares to stand in front of these large mining companies run a great risk, but fear will not stop them from defending their right to a quality life.