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Environmental HRD protest - Honduras CIPRODEH

Gilberto Vásquez

HRD, President
Consejo Indígena de la Comunidad de Gualinga

Gilberto Vásquez is the president of Consejo Indígena de la Comunidad de Gualinga (Indigenous Council of Gualinga). The Council works for the defence of indigenous peoples' rights in the department of La Paz defending and promoting the indigenous communities' rights to their ancestral lands. The human rights defender has actively opposed the construction of the Los Encinos Dam (Hidroelétrica Los Encinos), owned by the company Los Encinos S. de R.L, through participating in many marches and demonstrations, sometimes accompanied by his son. The Los Encinos Dam has been constructed and it is operating in the region despite the fact that no consultations were held among the local indigenous communities. Gilberto Vásquez has received threats because of his work and on 20 December 2015 the body of his son, Mr Javier Vásquez Benítez, was found in a ravine in the municipality of Santa Elena, department of La Paz.


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.