Two Human Rights Defenders have been killed in Honduras.
José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio George of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán were murdered on 18 October. They were shot dead after attending a meeting with several campesino (peasant farmer) people in La Confianza settlement, Honduras.
As they were leaving the meeting, unidentified armed men shot at them multiple times.
José Ángel Flores was the president of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán and Silmer Dionisio George was a member. José Ángel Flores died immediately. Campesino activists took Silmer Dionisio George to the hospital, where he died as a result of the gunshots.
Honduras has turned into a ‘no-go zone’ for anyone daring to campaign for the protection of the environment.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to both human rights defenders in 2014, along with another 121 leaders of the campesino movements in the region. The IACHR requested that Honduras take appropriate measures in order to protect their lives and personal integrity, given the high risk they were facing.
Another campesino leader told Amnesty International that José Ángel Flores had constantly received threatening calls in the past year. Earlier this year Silmer Dionisio George had to leave the Bajo Aguán region because of repeated threats against him. The Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras confirmed that both leaders faced constant threats because of their work as human rights defenders.
116 campesino leaders have been reportedly murdered in the Bajo Aguán region since 2010.
The campesinos are working on issues of access to land in an area that is increasingly militarised and surrounded by miles of African palm plantations.
Honduras must protect the lives of these human rights defenders. Call on the President Juan Orlando Hernández and Attorney General Óscar Fernando Chinchilla to protect Human Rights Defenders in Honduras.