For the Indigenous Lenca people in Honduras, the land is their life. But huge hydroelectric, mining and other interests are out to exploit that land. MILPAH, the Independent Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, is at the forefront of the struggle against them. They brave smear campaigns, death threats and physical assault to protect their environment, yet their attackers are rarely brought to justice.
Their experience is typical for activists in Honduras, one of the most dangerous places on Earth to be an Indigenous and environmental defender. Some are lucky enough to survive. Others are not: Berta Cáceres, from a partner organization, campaigned against a hydroelectric dam and was murdered in 2016.
In October 2015, MILPAH’s Ana Miriam Romero was 24 weeks pregnant when armed men stormed her house looking for her husband and beat her up. The following January, her house was torched. In July 2016, two men threatened to kill her colleague, Martín Gómez. Still, MILPAH vow to keep up their struggle.
“We have no weapons, we have no money,” says Martín. “But we do have a voice and ...that has enabled us to make real progress.” Lend your voice to these courageous women and men.
Tell Honduras to protect MILPAH now.
I call on you to publicly acknowledge the vital work of MILPAH, the Independent Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, and give them the protection they demand. This protection is what is required of your government by the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
MILPAH is at the forefront of the struggle against huge hydroelectric, mining and other interests that are out to exploit their land. They brave smear campaigns, death threats and physical assault to protect their environment, yet their attackers continue to walk free. This is not acceptable.