María Digna Montero was a beloved and respected teacher at a kindergarten in the Garifuna community of Iriona, Colón. She was also a member of the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a group created to defend the culture and land of the Garifuna people*.
In the afternoon of October 12, unknown assailants broke into her house, located in the Garifuna community of Cuzuna, and shot Maria Montero several times in her backyard, before fleeing on a motorcycle.
According to OFRANEH, between September and October 2019, six Garifuna women have been killed by outsiders in their community, without a conclusive investigation by the authorities.
María Digna was part of the OFRANEH Intercultural Bilingual Education working group. Her murder took place on the iconic indigenous resistance day.
These crimes occur in the context of an upsurge in extractive industries resulting in the plunder of the natural resources of these territories and the militarization of this region.
* The Garifuna are an ethnic minority descendants of Africans and Carib natives located mainly in Honduras.