From April 11 to 15, OMCT, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and with the support of ProtectDefenders.eu, carried out a fact-finding mission in Honduras, aimed at analysing the situation of human rights defenders in the Central American country, with a special emphasis on land rights defenders and defenders of the LGBTI community.
The mission held interviews with officials from a number of public institutions, including the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) in Honduras, embassies of the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Spain, as well as human rights defenders and civil society representatives in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, the Zacate Grande peninsula and the department of Santa Bárbara. A press release was issued by the Observatory shortly after the end of the mission with preliminary conclusions and recommendations. In particular, it highlighted that the murder of Berta Caceres is emblematic of the high levels of violence faced by human rights defenders in Honduras. Moreover, other structural problems such as the misuse of criminal law against human rights defenders, the impunity for attacks against them, the absence of effective protective measures and the increasing militarisation make Honduras one of the most difficult countries in the region for the defence of human rights. The Observatory’s international mission concluded that the Honduran State should urgently take effective and comprehensive measures to tackle this climate of violence and attacks against those who defend human rights.