Milgen Idán Soto Ávila,

Milgen Soto, who was found dead on Saturday 28 September 2019, was an indigenous Tolupán leader from Honduras, the same country where Berta Cáceres was murdered for defending her land from a hydroelectric plant. Soto had already been threatened by a logging company, against which he was fighting to prevent it from continuing to exploit the forests in his territory.

Local police confirmed that the body found in the Locomapa jurisdiction belonged to Milgen Idán Soto Ávila, 29, who had been fighting for many years to protect the forest from logging companies in the mountains of Yoro.

International news agency Deutsche Welle ( DW) confirmed that the young member of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) had received threats from the timber company Inmare. These occurred because Soto was leading a movement against commercial logging in the San Francisco Locomapa tribal area. The community was totally opposed to the company’s activities.

Soto had to take on this leadership role after eight other environmentalists, who led the fight against the sawmills, were criminalized by the courts, to ensure that they could not continue their protests.

In February of this year, two other Tolupanes who were related to Soto were killed for defending their land DW says. Honduras is listed as one of the most dangerous countries for environmental leaders and activists, as threats and deaths are a daily occurrence as has been reported by various international human rights organisations.

If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at:






Date of Killing:28/09/2019

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (MADJ)

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

Sector Detail:Extractive industries/Mega projects, Indigenous Peoples' Rights

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).