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Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, Honduras - MILPAH

MILPAH

Peacefully defends and promotes the rights of Lenca indigenous communities in the context of their ancestral lands in honduRAS.
MILPAH at risk: MILPAH has been regularly targeted by the authorities and associated private actors. Numerous members of MILPAH have been threatened, assaulted, and even killed.

LIFE

In 2015 alone, 5 EHRDS IN SANTA ELENA WERE KILLED BECAUSE OF THEIR WORK.

SECURITY

VARIOUS MILPAH MEMBERS HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO REPEATED ACTS OF HARASSMENT AND THREATS - INCLUDING DEATH - AND ATTACKS AGAINST THEIr HOMES AND PROPERTY.

PERSONAL INTEGRITY

Torture and physical attacks are commonly perpetrated against MILPAH MEMBERS.
Enforced disappearances, arbitrary executions, and judicial harassment are among the most common human rights violations suffered by MILPAH members.

Martin Gómez Vásquez - Leader of MILPAH

'The problems of persecution, criminalization, accusations, imprisonment, repression, and torture, are all very severe for our people' (February 2016)

LEGAL PROTECTION

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures to Martín Gómez Vásquez and his colleagues, including Ana Mirian Romero, and called on the Honduran authorities to prevent 'irreparable harm'.

Gómez Vásquez and his fellow defenders, however, continue to be repeatedly targeted.

Victory increases risk

In mid-July 2016, MILPAH secured an important victory when the people of Santa Elena, through a prior consultation, decided to reject a hydroelectric project (92,9% against and only 4,7% in favor)

However, almost simultaneously, Martín Gómez Vásquez was violently attacked and death-threatened.

The attackers were identified as Hernan Ventura and Tito Ventura, known associates of Mayor Victor Ventura (a staunch supporter of the hydroelectric projects that have been challenged by indigenous groups)
IMPUNITY - Despite the extreme nature of the attack none of the culprits have been arrested or charged.

DESPITE THE RISKS AND THREATS, MILPAH HAS FIERCELY CONTINUED TO FIGHT HYDROPOWER AND HONDURAN AUTHORITIES. THEY HAVE MANAGED TO RESIST AND CREATE A SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT AROUND THEIR CAUSE. IN 2016, ANA MIRIAM ROMERO WON THE FRONT LINE DEFENDERS AWARD FOR HER INCREDIBLE WORK AND RESILIENCE.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE MILPAH'S FIGHT VISIT: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/w4r-honduras-milpah/ https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/milpah

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Credits:

1. Daniel Mennerich; Honduras HN-Highland; November 4, 2012; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2. United Nations Photo; Member of indigenous community, Honduras; January 15, 2015; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 3. Wikipedia 4. Der Berzerker; 114-1487; May 18, 2004; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 5. Claudius Prober; Lenca; September 6, 2007; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 6. Hondurasdelegation; DSCO6391; April 9, 2013; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).