PBI-Honduras accompanies the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization at trial of Garifuna land defender Leonard Brown
On February 11, PBI-Honduras posted:
“PBI accompanies Ofraneh [the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization] Garifuna in observing the trial of Leonard Edy Brown, defender of the territory of the Garífuna people, criminalized along with 34 other people for the recovery of land with ancestral title. On January 28, Leonard was acquitted with precautionary measures.
The legal defence remembers that at the hearing the MP [Public Ministry] presented evidence that had no truth to convict Leonard.
We express concern about the treatment received by the defender, the questioning of the origin of the Afro-descendant people, and the reference by prosecution witnesses to Garífuna people as “violent savages.”
We also express concern about the police presence and private guards in the Wabato community, who are patrolling the area at night with the intention of evicting families from the community.”
On January 28, PBI-Honduras had also tweeted: “From PBI we are very attentive to the hearing of the Garífuna and human rights defender Leonard Brown. @OFRANEH warns of rumors of eviction in the recovery of Wabato, territory that is part of the ancestral title granted to the Garífuna people since 1901.”
That same day, Honduras Now tweeted: “OFRANEH: Trujillo judge conditionally released Garifuna land defender Leonard Brown after his initial hearing today. Brown is falsely accused of several counts of illegal possession of land, threats & forced displacement for reclaiming ancestral land stolen by foreigners.”
And for additional context, on January 14, the Justice for the Peoples Law Firm had tweeted: “GOOD NEWS. Today, we accompany Leonard Edy Brown Cruz of OFRANEH in his hearing of the accused. He is charged with EIGHT fabricated charges for being a Garífuna Indigenous defender. We welcome his parole, but the charge must be dropped entirely.”