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1 Sep 2022

Al Jazeera

Honduras: Defending their lands from tourism and palm oil, Garifuna people protest urging the government to ensure their rights

"Persecuted Afro-Hondurans push for state protection", 01 September 2022

...President Xiomara Castro promised to usher in policies to support historically persecuted groups, including the Afro-Honduran Garifuna people.

Now, protesters are pressuring Castro to keep her promises, which include facilitating “binding dialogues with all Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples” and ensuring “the protection of their territories, languages and cultures”.

The country’s Afro-Honduran population has long had to fend off intrusive tourism developers, palm oil plantations, and organised crime syndicates vying for a piece of their pristine land along the Caribbean coast. This has made them a constant target of violence, state surveillance and criminalisation.

During two major protests in Tegucigalpa last month, Garifuna leaders urged the government to investigate serious crimes, respect...

OFRANEH is also urging the attorney general’s office to create a special unit to investigate enforced disappearances..

Meanwhile, tensions have been continuing to build between the state and Garifuna activists.

After a protest on August 9, Honduran authorities accused protesters of entering the building housing the attorney general’s office by force – an allegation protesters deny. OFRANEH has denounced the state’s subsequent decision to open an investigation into several of its members, including Miranda...