PBI-Honduras laments murder of Lenca leader and Radio Tenàn director Pablo Hernández

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On January 10, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “From PBI we regret the murder of the indigenous leader and human rights defender Pablo Hernández. We express our concern about the risky conditions experienced by people who work on issues of freedom of expression and community development.”

PBI-Honduras also shared the tweet from @MovAmplioHn (the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice/MADJ) that says: “PABLO HERNÁNDEZ, INDIGENOUS LEADER, KILLED IN LEMPIRA, HONDURAS. There is another Lenca indigenous leader assassinated in the JOH government, it is Pablo Hernandez, from San Marcos, Caiquín in Lempira. From @MovAmplioHn we condemn this crime and demand justice.”

El Mundo reports: “The leader of the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (Cofadeh), Bertha Oliva, confirmed that the indigenous leader had filed complaints about threats, also with the Prosecutor’s Office, since his environmental struggle and the rights of his people had caused him problems with the municipal authorities.”

Oliva says: “Pablo had said that he had been threatened by the municipal authorities for his environmental struggle.”

Criterio also notes: “According to complaints from his relatives and colleagues, Hernández had been threatened for some time because he was a community leader and defender of the rights of the Lenca indigenous peoples and because of the strong denunciations he made on Radio Tenàn.”

Deutsche Welle further notes Hernández chaired the Network of Agroecologists of the Biosphere, promoted and integrated the Network of Human Rights Defenders of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras, and was currently part of the National Network of the NGO of relatives of disappeared Hondurans.

And the Associated Press reports: “A local leader of Honduras’ Indigenous Lenca group was shot to death Sunday, police said.”

“Hernández served as director of a radio station known as ‘Radio Tenan, the Indigenous Voice of the Lencas.’ He was also active in Indigenous education and environmental projects.”

“The Association of Honduran Community Media said in a statement that it ‘considered the killing yet another attack on freedom of expression and the defense of human rights.’”

“Hernández was the second Lenca leader killed in less than a year. In March 2020, Lenca activist Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante was shot to death in the town of Nueva Granada, in the Caribbean coast province of Cortés. He had helped lead a fight against construction of a dam.”

The AP report adds: “Both Hernández and Cerros Escalante belonged to the same Indigenous community as Berta Cáceres, a prize-winning environmental and Indigenous rights defender who was murdered in 2016.”

Front Line Defenders has reported that 20 human rights defenders were killed in Honduras in 2020, another 31 defenders in 2019.

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