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Honduras: Indigenous Leader José Santos Sevilla Assassinated

HeadlineFeb 21, 2017

In Honduras, indigenous leader José Santos Sevilla has been assassinated by armed gunmen in his home in Montaña de la Flor, north of the capital. Santos Sevilla was the leader of the indigenous Tolupan people, who are fighting to protect their ancestral lands from industrial mining and logging projects. In 2015, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples warned of rampant violence against Tolupan organizers, including assassinations, as well as state impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. Santos Sevilla’s assassination comes only weeks before the anniversary of the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental organizer Berta Cáceres, who was killed by armed gunmen in her home on March 2, as she was leading a struggle against hydroelectric dams threatening the ancestral land of the Lenca people.

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