Photo by Inti Martínez Alemán, Flickr CC

Since the 2009 removal of left-wing president Manuel Zelaya, Honduras has seen allegations of violating human rights of journalists, LGBT individuals, and environmental activists. Those who defend their land against corporate interests are often killed; other murders go unaddressed for a lack of police investigations or judicial prosecutions. A recent article in The Progressive by sociologist Meghan Krausch documents how — in a vacuum of state protection — corporate and elite interests can prevail over ordinary Honduran plights for security and justice.

Krausch details the case of a Honduran father and his son who rallied against a logging business to protect their group’s Indigenous lands, a scenario that ended in their double-murder. The victims are not alone; a number of others have been killed in recent years while defending their community and the forest against logging industries — businesses that are funded in part by the Honduran government.

Instead of answers, community members receive little attention from the police and prosecutors for these murders. In turn, those defending their communities and forests look inwards to their own spirituality for protection.

As Krausch states, community members come together to mourn and “make a commitment to make this struggle beautiful and to reclaim happiness.”

Unfortunately, violence has become chillingly routine and this struggle in Honduras will likely remain unresolved. As one person once told Krausch, “We don’t have the chance to leave one funeral before walking into another.”