At age 16 Luis Fernando Ayala, was already a prominent environmentalist in the municipality of Guala, Santa Bárbara, in north-eastern Honduras.
His age didn’t save him from a terrible crime. He was kidnapped, tortured and then murdered.
He was found without hands and with signs of torture one day after his relatives reported him as missing.
According to the Guatemalan newspaper Plaza Pública, a witness who worked at the coffee plantation where Luis Fernando used to work, saw three hooded men taking the teenager away at night fall.
Luis Fernando, like others in his family, was a member of the MAS (Movimiento Ambientalista Santabarbarense), which had opposed to mining activity and hydroelectric projects in the area for three years, mainly to the concession for plaster extraction, which was granted indefinitely and holds a threat to the locals.
However, his family links the homicide to his participation in the protests against President Juan Orlando Hernández, after the disputed elections of November 26, 2017, which were strongly repressed by the Public Order Military Police (PMOP). The persecution was such that several young leaders were subjected to protective measures by the State.