Back to top

Asunción Martínez

HRD & Member
Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Indígenas Populares – COPINH

Asunción Martínez is a human rights defender and member of the coordination of COPINH. The organization’s members have been campaigning for their right to free, prior and informed consent in relation to mega-projects that threaten the environmental and social rights of the Lenca people, forcing them out of their ancestral lands. COPINH members have  constantly been targeted in reprisal for their work, and as a result several of its members have been killed.


Human rights defenders suffer extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment as well as judicial harassment, threats and stigmatisation. Journalists, lawyers, prosecutors, those defending the rights of women, children, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities, and those working on environmental and land rights issues are particularly at risk.

LGBTI defenders in Honduras are doubly discriminated against. They are discriminated firstly because they are human rights defenders and secondly because they defend LGBTI rights. Journalists continue to face increased risks as they report on human rights violations. Constant threats, harassment and killings of journalists have led many to self-censor. Since the 2009 military coup, the number of killings, threats and acts of intimidation against campesinos and environmental rights defenders has increased. The perpetrators of violations against many defenders of environmental, land and indigenous rights, are often influential landowners or logging companies.