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Sat Dec 12, 2015, 02:51 PM

The Struggle Continues: Garifuna Land Defender Shot in Honduras

The Struggle Continues: Garifuna Land Defender Shot in Honduras
Saturday, 12 December 2015 00:00
By Sandra Cuffe, IC Magazine | Report

"This is where the first bullet grazed me," says Vidal Leiva, pointing to the side of his face.

Shot three times outside his home on Nov. 27, the Garifuna community leader survived and is now recovering from the gunshot wounds to his torso. However, since the attack, members of Leiva's family and of the Land Defense Committee he heads report receiving threats.

Sitting up carefully, Leiva lifts his shirt. On his right shoulder, front, and back, stitches mark bullet entry and exit points. A bandage covers the middle of Leiva's abdomen, where a bullet pierced internal organs before exiting through his back. His liver, intestines, and right lung all suffered damage in the shooting.

Leiva is president of the Land Defense Committee of Cristales and Rio Negro, two Indigenous Garifuna communities at either edge of the town of Trujillo, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. He is also a candidate in the local elections later this month for the leadership of the community council (patronato) of Cristales and Rio Negro.

The outspoken Garifuna land defender believes his three attackers were hired to kill him due to his involvement in the local struggle to recuperate and defend Garifuna lands. Collective lands belonging to Cristales and Rio Negro and to other Garifuna communities along the Trujillo Bay are being taken over by Canadian developers for tourism projects.

The Garifuna people and language arose on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in the early 17th century, when people being trafficked into slavery from several regions of Africa survived a shipwreck and mixed with local Indigenous Arawak and Carib populations. In 1797, the British forcibly expelled the Garifuna from Saint Vincent, dropping them off on an island off the coast of Honduras. After forming the first mainland community in Trujillo, the Garifuna spread out along the Caribbean coast of Central America between Belize and Nicaragua.



Randy Jorgensen and former Honduran president Porfirio Lobo. [/center]

Can a Canadian Porn King and the Cruise Lines Keep Cruise Passengers Safe in the Banana Coast in Honduras?

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Jim Walker

One of the principal developers of the mega-tourism project in Trujillo is Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Authoridad. He's a Canadian multi-millionaire who reportedly became wealthy in the pornographic video business. Several publications call him the "Canadian Porn King" (photo below with former Honduran President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa). He created Adults Only Video (warning XXX). Canada's Macleans magazine reported in 2001 that Jorgensen had been "accused of making X-rated films with underage girls in his vacation home in Honduras," according to Media Lens organization.

Jorgensen and others are accused of converting the beautiful Honduran coast into a large scale tourism project that includes vacation condominiums and the cruise ship facility, which have displaced and destroyed the indigenous Garífuna communities. The developers are accused of illegally obtaining the land and expelling the Garífuna people from the Bay of Trujillo.

Travel Pulse says that cruise tourists will be "welcomed by local Garifuna performers . . . and dancers in colorful attire." Sounds to me like a faux Disney World recreation of the displaced local inhabitants for the amusement of the arriving U.S. cruise passengers.


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