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ATALC (Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean) 

Recently we learned, of the criminalization of at least four members of OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras)from Honduran social justice organizations, as described by  Movimiento Madre Tierra – Friends of the Earth Honduras on 19 June 2017.

As a regional organization working to build environmental justice, we are deeply concerned by this situation, all the more so in view of the human rights situation and the systematic violations of the collective rights of the peoples in Honduras.

We have been alerted by the denunciations of the processes driving the forced dispossession of the Garifuna people’s land in Guadalupe, to the benefit of foreign capital, processes based on which the allegations against the members of OFRANEH were fabricated, charging them as usurpers of land that, as is a known fact, is part of the territories covered by the title deed granted to the community of Guadalupe.

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean respectfully and emphatically calls for the government of Honduras to resolve this situation and to guarantee land rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Honduran Constitution and with the collective rights of the Garifuna communities, as expressed in their community deeds and in the other points set out in ILO Convention No. 169, along with other mechanisms.

Furthermore, we consider that land rights are a prerequisite to a decent life for all peoples and to guaranteeing the associated rights, such as the rights to water and to a healthy, safe environment.

In the past few hours, we have also learned of the denunciations issued by the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), concerning the defenselessness of the Lenca people of Río Blanco, who are faced with armed men and constant threats made against the territory’s defenders, facts that we condemn and denounce, once again.

In addition to expressing our solidarity with OFRANEH and with all of the Honduran organizations that have been the victims of these injustices, some of whose members have even paid with their lives to defend their land, we ask the international community, organizations and movements to unite and broadcast this terrible situation of the criminalization and violation of land rights that is happening in Honduras.