Human rights defender and indigenous leader Justo Sorto killed in Honduras

January 24, 2014

On 21 January 2014, the indigenous Lenca leader and human rights defender, Mr Justo Sorto, was found dead in Jesús de Otoro, Western Honduras. Justo Sorto was an active member for twenty years of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Indígenas Populares – COPINH (Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organisations). The human rights defender was killed by several gunshots from a high-calibre weapon. [ COPINH is an organisation that works for the defence of the land and the environment, and for improving the living conditions of communities and indigenous peoples in Honduras.] The indigenous Lenca community works for the defence of its forests and against the execution of mining projects in the region. Justo Sorto had been detained by police on various occasions for his participation in the taking of roads while campaigning for the expulsion of lumber dealers who were destroying the forests in which the Lenca community lives. He also spearheaded many projects, amongst them the struggle against the Tigre dam which was to be constructed on the border between Honduras and El Salvador.

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped roundly condemns the killing of Justo Sorto as well as that of all other human rights defenders working in Honduras.

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