On 9 January, 2020, the body of Vicente Saavedra was found in an advanced state of decomposition, several days after his disappearance, in the municipality of Morazán, department of Yoro in north east Honduras. He had been shot several times.
Don Vicente, as he was known, was a lay celebrant in the catholic church and was a well-respected leader of the indigenous Tulupán people.
Don Vicente worked to protect the forests and water sources on which his people depend and which is threatened by illegal logging. He was also a member of human rights organisation the Movimiento Amplia por la Dignidad y la Justicia, (Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice), MADJ.
His community has been the target of extreme violence because of their defence of their territory and more than 70 violent incidents were reported in 2019 alone.
In a statement a community spokesperson said:” It is sad and unfortunate what we peasants are experiencing, completely unprotected by the “laws” of this Honduras. Only God is with us, because we are not white collar. We have all our rights violated to the extent that they can take our lives as if it is nothing.”.