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Honduras: Women defenders of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras arrested and charged with damages, land usurpation and forced displacement

Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras)

“[URGENT ALERT] HONDURAS / Arrested Garifuna rights defenders will have hearing this Sunday, March 7th: The international community demands their release”, 07 March 2021

...Marianela Solórzano and Jennifer Solórzano, women defenders belonging to the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)...were arrested by the Public Security Force (FUSEP) on March 3rd, and charged with damages, threats, robbery and usurpation of lands....Private businesses and governments alike have participated in the illegal appropriation of the ancestral territory of the Garifuna people, particularly the ownership of more than seven thousand hectares of land in the Cristales and Rio Negro communities confirmed by ancestral property deeds...Marianela is a defender of the rights of the LGBTI Garifuna community, and Jennifer, a defender of the ancestral Garifuna territories. Their arrests took place in the context of the continuous persecution and attacks against the Garifuna people organized in OFRANEH. Historically, the communities belonging to OFRANEH have been the target of harassment, threats by armed groups, assassinations, and the disappearance of community leaders, among other highly serious rights violations. During the last ten years, these have only worsened due to the authoritarian criminal government model headed by Juan Orlando Hernández. Eight months ago, five Garifuna comrades were disappeared by armed men wearing uniforms of the Office of Police Investigations (DPI) of Honduras. As of now, their whereabouts are unknown...

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