Erasio Vieda Ponce, indigenous leader of the Tolupán Tribe of the community of San Francisco in Brisas de Locomapa, Yoro, and known opponent of mining companies exploiting the local land, was shot dead at five in the morning on Thursday, June 18, 2015.
Tolupan communities oppose deforestation and the installation of mining companies and Erasio Vieda, was an indigenous leader and an active militant in the fight against the depredation of the forests by businessmen and local politicians who for years have benefited from nature’s assets, using all kinds of criminal methods against the Tolupán people and their indigenous leaders and defenders.
There seems to be strong evidence indicating that the murders who killed Erasio are sicarios very close to particular landowners and businessmen, and that in 2013 they allegedly murdered María Enriqueta Matute, Ricardo Soto and Armando Fúnez for defending the forest. However, all these crimes, including the killing of Erasio Vieda, remain unpunished.
As a result of these murders, the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) requested the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) to require the State of Honduras to protect life through a precautionary measure.