Lenca indigenous leader Félix Vásquez was assassinated on Saturday night at his home in the village of Ocotal, in Santiago de Puringla, in the southern department of La Paz, Honduras.
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The raid on his home took place at around 8:30pm with family members at home, most of whom were young people and children who reportedly depended on Vasquez since the passing of his wife last year. Four men in balaclavas entered the home armed with a 9mm pistol and machetes, shooting Vasquez and terrorizing the family.
A few months back, Vasquez reported to authorities that he and his family were victim to death threats.
Vasquez was the Secretary General of the Union of Rural Workers (UTC) in the department of La Paz and was a pre-candidate for Congress for the left-leaning Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE) party, the party of former President Manuel Zelaya. He had decided to enter electoral politics as a way to defend rights, particularly against the encroachment of big landowners in natural reserve areas.
On December 16, comrade Félix Vásquez, was among those who supported the demonstration demanding the release of the indigenous leader of Simpinula, Víctor Vásquez, who was jailed for accompanying other indigenous leaders in defense of their territory.
He had just participated in what would be his final meeting on Saturday afternoon, with the Fondo Cafetero. Felix Vasquez is remembered as a man committed to social struggle, specifically for the defense of the common goods of nature, forest and rivers, land and territory.
The targeted killing is being condemned around Honduras. “We condemn the murder of Felix Vasquez, indigenous leader, defender of rivers and forest, fighter of LIBRE and pre-candidate for Somos Más for the department of La Paz” tweeted former President Zelaya.