Honduras is the deadliest place for environmental activists, with scores of Hondurans killed defending land rights and the environment from mining, dam projects and logging, according to a report published Monday by Global Witness.
"They follow me. They threaten to kill me, to kidnap me, they threaten my family. That is what we face," said Berta Cáceres, a Honduran activist and winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize.
In efforts to combat violence, the Honduran government approved a law in 2014 which permits military involvement in policing duties, a measure that has been widely criticized.
“The Honduran police and army themselves have also committed human rights violations against activists,” the report noted.
The Global Witness investigation also proposed several policy recommendations to curb the growing violence against activists calling on the Honduran government and the international community to monitor, investigate and punish these crimes.
“If violence against environmental and land activists is to be reduced, the increasing militarization of the state security apparatus, which has been involved in abuses, must be rolled back,” the report recommended.
These worries were confirmed last July by a high-impact panel organized with the support of the United Nations, Switzerland and the European Union, which denounced the Honduran police as the main culprits in acts of torture in the Central American country.
The release of the Global Witness report takes place as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) prepares to install a permanent mission in Honduras in the second half of 2015 to interact more close with the country's national prosecutor to help facilitate accountability and transparency.