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Rosalio Vasquez Pineda

Movimiento Indígena Lenca de la Paz, Honduras (MILPAH), Consejo Indígena San Isidro Labrador

Rosalio Vasquez Pineda and his wife Ana Mirian Romero are human rights defenders from the municipality of Santa Elena, in the department of La Paz. They are members of Movimiento Indígena Lenca de la Paz, Honduras – MILPAH (Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, Honduras) and the Consejo Indígena San Isidro Labrador (San Isidro Labrador Indigenous Council). They have been fighting for the recognition of the land rights of indigenous communities since 2010, when MILPAH and the Consejo Indígena San Isidro Labrador filed an adjudication lawsuit for the recognition of their ancestral lands in the municipality.

The human rights defenders have also been active in opposing the installation of the Los Encinos hydro-electric dam (Hidroelétrica Los Encinos), owned by the Los Encinos S. de R.L., on the Chinacla river. A concession was issued by the municipality for the construction of the dam in the absence of consultation with the local indigenous community, who have expresses serious concerns for the negative impact of the project on their access to water.

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.