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Honduras 2022

Human rights defenders faced high levels of violence. Authorities failed to provide sufficient funding for public health. Illegal logging continued to threaten the environment. Authorities failed to bring to justice members of the security forces suspected of criminal responsibility for excessive use of force against protesters in 2017.


Thousands left the country due to violence, impunity, climate change, poverty and inequality. Former president Juan Orlando Hernández was extradited to the USA on drug trafficking charges in April.

Congress derogated the law on Employment and Economic Development Zones (ZEDE), which had caused concerns over possible risks to human rights in such zones.

Human rights defenders

Human rights defenders faced high levels of violence and most attacks against them remained unpunished.

In June, a tribunal sentenced David Castillo to 22 years’ imprisonment for his role in the 2016 killing of Indigenous Lenca and environmental defender Berta Cáceres. However, no progress was made in bringing to justice those who planned the killing.

Following a Supreme Court ruling citing violations of the right to due process, eight defenders of the Guapinol River case were released in February.1 They had been arbitrarily detained for more than two years. In a separate decision, this court annulled similarly unfounded criminal proceedings against another five Guapinol defenders.

Members of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) and its coordinator, Miriam Miranda, reported that they were subjected to attacks and several new unfounded criminal prosecutions during the year.

By the end of the year, Honduras had not signed the Escazú Agreement.

Environmental degradation

There was concern at the failure to ensure the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples to the implementation of proposed projects in line with the EUs Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative to address the country’s extensive problem of illegal logging.

Freedom of assembly and impunity

No member of security forces who used excessive force against protesters during the 2017 crackdown was brought to justice during 2022.

In February, Congress passed a law providing for a broad amnesty, including for people criminalized for participating in protests since the 2009 coup and for defending territories and the environment. However, there were concerns that the amnesty also covered people accused of corruption.

Right to health

Health services remained under serious strain. Honduras continued to invest far less in public health than the 6% of GDP recommended by the WHO.2

Abortion remained banned in all circumstances. In December, authorities authorized the use of emergency contraception for survivors of sexual violence.

Sexual and gender-based discrimination and violence

Same-sex marriage was not allowed by law and levels of violence against LGBTI people remained high.

In May, in line with a 2021 ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, authorities recognized their responsibility for human rights violations against trans sex worker and rights defender Vicky Hernández, who was killed in 2009.

  1. “Honduras: Further information: Prisoners of conscience released”, 10 March
  2. Americas: Unequal and Lethal, 27 April