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Suyapa Martínez

HRD & Co-director
Women Research Centre – Honduras

Suyapa Martínez is the co-director of CEM-H, a civil society organization that aims to promote social change through the elimination of violence and discrimination against women. The organization has promoted campaigns for women’s rights in Honduras and advocated for changes to several laws in the country, such as Ley Contra la Violencia Doméstica (Law Against Domestic Violence) and for the passing of other laws such as Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujeres (Law on Equal Opportunities for Women).

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.