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20 Sep 2023

IM Defensoras

Honduras: Garifuna defender Miriam Miranda is threatened by heavily armed men

"[WHRD Alert] HONDURAS / Siege and threats against the life of Miriam Miranda, OFRANEH coordinator and Garifuna defender", 20 September 2023

...In the early morning of September 19, at least four unknown and heavily armed men entered the community of Vallecito, Colón, surrounding the house of Miriam Miranda, Garífuna defender and OFRANEH Coordinator.

Members of Miriam’s security team demanded the strangers to identify themselves, but they fled the scene. However, the security forces were able to determine that the men were carrying assault rifles and that they did not belong to the Garifuna community. They also heard the men say that next time they would come to “finish the deal”.

It should be noted that this incident occurred during the visit to this territory by the Technical Committee of the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders members...

In August 2022, after demonstrating for the defense and recovery of their territories and demanding the alive appearance of the four young Garifunas forcibly disappeared more than three years ago, Miriam Miranda was prosecuted for the crimes of illegal deprivation of liberty and disturbing the public order. In February of that same year, the Garífuna defender received text messages with threats against her life and that of her family. “You have been warned” they said, from an unknown telephone number.

Aggressions and violent incidents against the Garífuna community, as well as persecution and threats against the lives of their leaders for defending their territory, common goods and ancestral cultures, are on the rise...