Honduras Indigenous Denounce Human Rights Abuses by Drug Traffickers

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A group of indigenous women in Honduras has reported human abuses by drug traffickers to a visiting Interamerican Commission of Human Rights’s (IACHR) representative, in an unsual appeal to a human rights body for protection from organized crime.

Leaders from indigenous women’s rights groups told the IACHR’s rapporteur for women’s rights, Tracy Robinson, how drug traffickers are “abusing indigenous and black women” in Honduras, reported AFP. The women described to Robinson how young indigenous women are being forced into prostitution by drug traffickers in many parts of the country.

The group also denounced “state persecution” in their meeting with Robinson, who is in Honduras to participate in the meeting of the Assembly of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy. 

InSight Crime Analysis

In recent years indigenous organizations have denounced both the violence their communities have suffered at the hands of drug traffickers and the government’s frequently heavy-handed response.

As the women reported, sex trafficking and forced prostitution of Honduran women by criminal organizations remain a huge problem, with Honduras serving as a key source country for Central America’s sex trade. Last year a UN official who met with indigenous women’s organizations in Honduras reported that residents of communities from which girls as young as ten are trafficked often fail to alert authorities, fearing violent reprisals from organized crime.

The IACHR more commonly deals with complaints made against human rights abuses committed by the state or other legal actors, who can be more readily influenced by international pressure.

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