Seán Crowe TD, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, met the Honduran human rights defender Donald Hernández today.
Donald is a member of the Latin American Lawyers’ Network, a network that works against the negative impacts of transnational extractive mining companies in Latin America, working to legally represent people adversely affected by open cast mining in the Siria Valley in Honduras.
Deputy Crowe said:
“I want to thank Peace Brigades Ireland for facilitating Donald Hernández’s timely visit to Ireland.
“Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America and one of the most unequal countries in Latin America.
“Since the coup there continues to be a swathe of land disputes across the country and Donald’s legal and human rights work, along with the work of others, is extremely important
“Donald informed us that the human rights situation has continued to deteriorated in his country, especially for indigenous people, workers, environmentalists, and human rights activists.
“There is mounting international concern that the Honduran Government is using state security forces to support mining companies and attack rural protesters over land rights, and turning a blind eye to their murders.
“Due to the nature of Donald’s work he, and his colleagues, are regularly subjected to harassment and viable death threats.
“In his meeting today Donald has alerted us to many issues concerning human rights and land rights in Honduras which I will be raising with the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Ireland needs to use all avenues to highlight and call a halt to the blatant undermining of Honduran democracy, and the environmental catastrophe that is happening to communities’ right across the country.”