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Member of Sakharov-nominated group murdered in Honduras

Arnold Joaquín Morazan has been killed in a shooting at his home in Tocoa, Honduras. He was one of the Guapinol community leaders, shortlisted for the European Parliament’s 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, together with Berta Cáceres, herself murdered in similar circumstances, back in 2016.

The Left in the European Parliament condemns this heinous act and calls for a strong EU reaction demanding justice for the Guapinol defenders, including through an impartial and international investigation. We also demand that the EU, through its delegation in Honduras and the embassies of its Member States, organize an observation mission on human rights to immediately visit and ensure the safety of the Guapinol community.

“After months of harassment by the government and private corporations against these environmental activists, the hitmen came to pull the trigger. The Honduran state bears full responsibility for this murder which, paradoxically, has taken place in the middle of military and police deployment in the area. We demand justice for Joaquín and for the Guapinol leaders. We demand justice!” said Miguel Urban MEP (Anticapitalistas, Spain).

Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries for environmental and human rights defenders. Many are threatened, imprisoned, and killed for defending their land and natural resources. The Guapinol leaders have been facing these threats for representing the community’s resistance to mining projects that threaten the Guapinol river. The community continues to endure harassment from state military and police forces as well as agents from the mining company. Last night, once again, this violent harassment lead to murder.

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