In October 2013 PBI established a field presence in Honduras following exploratory missions to the country in 2011 and 2012. Since then, the project has provided international accompaniment to over 10 at-risk human rights organisations and defenders in Honduras.
Over these past five years, we have been present alongside human rights defenders (HRDs) on nearly 1,000 occasions to give visibility to the international support they receive and to prevent attacks against them. We have held more than 340 meetings with Honduran authorities and representatives of the international community to advocate for the right to defend human rights in Honduras without reprisals, threats, harassment or criminalisation. We have also organized over 40 workshops in order to share self-protection tools and methods with HRDs so they could mitigate the risks they face.
All this work has been possible thanks to the commitment of PBI’s international volunteers. During these five years, 26 volunteers from 11 countries have dedicated at least one year of their lives to be alongside at-risk human rights defenders, demonstrating the significance of international solidarity. The indispensable support of our donors has been equally important. It has allowed PBI to maintain a field team in Tegucigalpa and to gradually expand and consolidate its activities in Honduras.
This expansion has been vital to guarantee PBI’s support for a growing number of human rights defenders and organisations. Starting with two accompaniments in 2014 – Dina Meza and CEHPRODEC – today PBI Honduras provides international accompaniment to seven organisations in the country – including COPINH, Arcoíris, CNTC, ASODEBICOQ and C-Libre – directly benefiting more than 50 human rights defenders.
The opening of the Honduras project marked an important moment in PBI’s global history, expanding the organisation’s presence in Latin America – as it added to our projects in Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico – and contributing to bringing the important work carried out by HRDs in Honduras to international attention.
The true protagonists of these five years of PBI’s work in Honduras have been human rights defenders themselves. Their dedication has inspired us to carry on with our efforts in the pursuit of a more just, equitable and peaceful world.