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Take Action! - Two Human Rights Defenders Murdered (Honduras: UA 241/16)

Urgent Action
October 19, 2016
 
On 18 October, José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio George of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán were murdered. Both human rights defenders were shot dead after attending a meeting with several campesino (peasant farmer) people in La Confianza settlement, Bajo Aguán region, north-eastern Honduras.
 
In the afternoon of 18 October, unidentified armed men shot at José Ángel Flores, the president of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán (Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán, MUCA), and Silmer Dionisio George, a member of the same movement, multiple times as they left a meeting with several campesino people in La Confianza settlement. José Ángel Flores died immediately. Campesino activists took Silmer Dionisio George to the hospital, where he died as a result of the gunshots. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to both human rights defenders in 2014, along with another 121 leaders of the campesino movements in the region. The IACHR requested that Honduras take appropriate measures in order to protect their lives and personal integrity, given the high risk they were facing.
 
A campesino leader of the Agrarian and Regional Platform of the Aguán Valley (Plataforma Agraria Regional del Valle del Aguán) also covered by precautionary measures told Amnesty International that José Ángel Flores had constantly received threatening calls in the past year. Earlier this year Silmer Dionisio George had to leave the Bajo Aguán region because of repeated threats against him. The Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH) confirmed that both leaders faced constant threats because of their work as human rights defenders.
 
According to the Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations of the Aguán (Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan, COPA) there have now been 116 murdered campesino leaders in the Bajo Aguán region since 2010.
 
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Urging the authorities to take prompt, appropriate and effective measures to protect the lives and personal integrity of all the campesino human rights defenders covered by the IACHR precautionary measures 50/14 - Campesino Leaders of Bajo Aguán, Honduras;
  • Calling on them to initiate a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the murders of José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio George, to identify both the material and intellectual perpetrators and bring those to justice;
  • Calling on them to protect MUCA members as well as other campesino movements in accordance with their specific needs and adopted and implemented in consultation with them.
 
Contact form: http://www.hondurasemb.org/site/index.php/2015-08-31-08-04-49
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
 
 
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