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Honduras is among the deadliest countries for human rights defenders 

"The situation of violence against human rights defenders is alarming," said IACHR Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay

Honduras | Shutterstock

May 1, 2023 8:43am

Updated: May 1, 2023 8:43am

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said on Friday that Honduras is one of the deadliest countries in the world for human rights defenders. 

report published by the IACHR after the entity conducted a visit to the Central American country claims that eight human rights leaders were killed during the first four months of the year alone. This year's figure is set to surpass last year's when 17 human rights defenders were killed, the organization added. 

"The situation of violence against human rights defenders is alarming," said IACHR Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay.

Most of the violence towards human rights defenders stems from land disputes, the report said. Large-scale agriculture, mining, and hydroelectric projects have caused conflicts with activists and nearby residents. Similarly, ethnic groups in the Caribbean coastal region of the country have conflicted with commercial and tourism projects. 

"Those who defend the land and territory face the greatest dangers," the report concluded.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) that serves to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere, according to its website. Members of the organization visited Honduras between April 24 and 28 to assess the human rights situation in the Central American country. 

“The IACHR held 87 meetings with authorities from all three branches of government; autonomous bodies, civil society organizations, human rights defenders, indigenous communities, people deprived of liberty, international organizations, academics, journalists, and representatives from the private sector. It also gathered testimonies from victims of human rights violations and their families,” the report says. 

“To hold these meetings, the delegation traveled to the cities of La Esperanza, Tegucigalpa, Tela, San Juan, and San Pedro Sula and visited four prisons,” it added.