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Bertha Oliva

HRD, Founder

Bertha Oliva set up COFADEH in 1982, along with other women who had lost loved ones. Their aim was to obtain justice and compensation for the families of 184 dissidents who disappeared without a trace between 1979 and 1989. COFADEH has been dedicated to research, denounce and litigation in defense of the rights of prisoners and the disappeared and also on the issue of land rights in Honduras. COFADEH members have been objects of intimidation and harassment through out the years in an attempt to curtail the work of the organisation.


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.