The Special Rapporteur observed during her visit to Honduras in 2015 that criminalization frequently occurs in the context of peaceful protests against logging, mining, or hydroelectric projects. Indigenous leaders have been tried for offences such as “appropriation of land” and “damage to private property.” While in Honduras, the Special Rapporteur met with Berta Cáceres, who was subsequently killed due to her opposition to the Agua Zarca dam. Other indigenous Lenca defenders have also been attacked and killed.
The Special Rapporteur has, together with other special procedures, sent several communications on the situation both to the government of Honduras and to financial investors supporting the Agua Zarca dam project. Several financial investors—including the Netherlands Development Finance Company-FMO, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and Finnfund—suspended funding for the project. After a year-long probe, an investigative panel known as the International Advisory Group of Experts (GAIPE) concluded in November 2017 that Honduran state agents and senior executives of hydroelectric company Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA) colluded in the planning, execution, and cover-up of the assassination of Berta Cáceres.