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9 Mar 2017

Karen Hudlet, BHRRC at Equal Times

How many more deaths? Companies and human rights defenders: some thoughts from Latin America

How many more deaths? Companies and human rights defenders: some thoughts from Latin America

The anniversary of the tragic murder of indigenous rights defender Berta Cáceres was commemorated last week. The highly-regarded, awarded-winning human rights activist from Honduras was working to defend the rights of the Lenca people, who are opposed to the hydroelectric project being developed by the Honduran company DESA (financed by FMO and Finnfund), given the negative impact it would have on their way of life and the failure to respect their right to consultation.In a recent interview, Laura Zúñiga, Cáceres’ daughter, stressed the need for those financing such projects to follow ethical principles by refusing to “finance a project or a company that has a history of human rights violations…listening to the people, always, understanding the contexts, understanding the states in which they are investing…” Our new database documents over 400 attacks perpetrated against human rights defenders working on corporate accountability around the world. Over 52 per cent of these attacks took place in Latin America…