Honduras: Indigenous Leader Assassinated
Tegucigalpa, Feb 17 feb (Prensa Latina) Armed individuals assassinated today Honduran Tolupán indigenous ethnia leader José de los Santos Sevilla, official sources said here Friday.
The crime occurred in the early hours of Friday, when five unknown persons raided the house of the teacher and indigenous leader in the municipality of Orica, Honduran department of Francisco Morazán, and shot him repeatedly while he was sleeping, to take away his life.
The Mayor of Orica, Alexander Rodríguez, mourned the death of Jose de los Santos, whom he described as a good friend, and asked support to President Juan Orlando Hernández so that an exhaustive investigation of the crime, is rightfully carried out.
Although Honduran Security Minister, Julián Pacheco, gave instructions to mobilize immediately a mobile laboratory team, and another special homicide unit to initiate investigations and catch the culprits, the motive for this bloody fact, is still unknown.
The murder of Jose de los Santos is added to others on Tolupan ethnia leaders in the last years, such as the ones on Maria Enriqueta Matute, Armando Funez Medina and Ricardo Soto Funez, who died by shots while participating in a peaceful protest against the step of mining trucks and logging by their territory.
According to a recent report by non-governmental organization Global Witness, Honduras is the most lethal country for environmental activists in the world, including the leaders of indigenous communities, with more than 80 murders just in the last three years.
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