Iris Argentina Álvarez

Human rights defender Iris Argentina Álvarez was killed on 2 April, 2020, by private security agents from the company CRAE´S, employed by the La Grecia Sugar Mill.

Her murder took place during a violent, illegal eviction of more than 60 families from state land in the Los Chanchos section of Marcovia, Choluteca in the South of Honduras.

Iris Álvarez and the evicted families belong to the Cerro Escondido campesina cooperative, which recovered 20 blocks of state property in order to grow basic food products. The families took over the land in 2017 and the legal process to grant them title was still ongoing.

Community members say that the assault began around 4:00 am when people were still asleep. Individuals identified as sugar mill personnel, with machetes in hand, threatened people and set fire to several houses. Around 2:00 pm, the assailants openly attacked the townspeople, firing indiscriminately against those who were defending themselves with sticks and stones.

Community witnesses report that National Police officers were in the area when the aggressors opened fire against several families with many children. They affirm that the police did absolutely nothing to stop the violence that ended the life of the defender and left two other people wounded, including an underage child.

The eviction was illegal because the security company had not applied for a court order to authorise it.

The UN and other national and international organisations have condemned the killing and other violent attacks by the private security company and have called on the government to take immediate action to ensure that this type of violence does not happen again.

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Date of Killing:02/04/2020

Type of Work:Social protester

Organisation:Cerro Escondido

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Land Rights, Peasant Communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).

URLs (links) of Interest
Fotografía.- Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos, “#AlertaDefensoras Honduras / Defensora es asesinad por agentes de seguridad en violento e ilegal desalojo en Marcovia, Choluteca”, Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos, 3 abril 2020.
Business & Human Rights
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