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Defenders of natural resources fear for their safety in Honduras

Relatives of José María Pineda, who works to defend and protect natural resources in the indigenous town of Tolupán in San Francisco de Locomapa, Yoro department, have reported that they are receiving intimidating threats.

The family members say they have been victims of intimidation and harassment by people who often come by their homes. On 3 September 2013 a note was left outside the home of Pineda's mother:

"A message for Chepito & Family: Get ready because today the fire has been kindled ... we know where you are but we will give it to you where it hurts, you don't know who you've been messing with, so you better get ready...you rats are only good to fuck with. Sincerely, your enemies ".

Community leaders in the area and human rights defenders quickly spread the news and contents of the anonymous message, activating an urgent campaign to safeguard the lives of the indigenous leaders and their relatives in Tolupán.

Pineda, along with Ramón Santiago Matute and Consuelo Soto, are in extreme danger after the triple murder on 25 August 2013 of their colleagues and fellow activists María Enriqueta Matute, Armando Fúnez Medina and Ricardo Soto Fúnez. They were killed while conducting a sit-in protest against mining in the area.

Witnesses say Matute, Medina and Fúnez were killed because they were mistaken for Pineda, Santiago and Soto, which is why they are now being protected by international humanitarian organisations. There are suspicions that instructions to kill the indigenous leaders came from powerful mining and timber companies.

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