Since the coup d’état took place in Honduras on June 28, 2009, Peace Brigades International (PBI) has followed with growing concern the serious deterioration of space for the defense of human rights faced by organizations, communities and human rights defenders in the country.
In response to a request for international accompaniment from the National Human Rights Platform of Honduras (Plataforma de Derechos Humanos de Honduras), PBI made a first visit to the country in May 2011 to verify the human rights situation. Subsequently, after a period of intensive analysis within the organisation, PBI decided to evaluate the feasibility of opening an international accompaniment project in the country and, during the months of September and October 2012, carried out a second visit with this objective. We met with journalists, judges, workers from human rights organizations, indigenous and small-farmers movements, women’s organizations and trade unions about the grave dangers they face.
Many defenders and others we spoke to such as embassy staff, felt that the presence of PBI volunteers on the ground, and the activation of our extensive international support networks, could have a tangible impact and enable human rights defenders to continue with their work.
We published a report on the situation for human rights defenders in Honduras based on our work in 2012, and in January 2013, a new project of PBI in Honduras was officially approved. The first volunteers arrived in October 2013 in order to investigate the situation of Honduran human rights defenders in the context of the general elections on the 24th of November, 2013.
In January 2014, a small team of international volunteers started accompaniment and observation activities in Honduras.