The Garifuna are descendants of Carib indigenous people and escaped African slaves who made it to the Honduran mainland at the end of the 18th century, where they established small fishing communities along the Caribbean coast.
In recent years, their traditional lands, to which they possess legal titles, have been encroached upon by oil palm plantations, luxury resorts, drug trafficking, and other powerful interests.
The Garifuna have suffered numerous human rights violations as a result.
Most recently, an “employment and economic development zone,” encompassing 20 Garifuna villages, has been established to attract foreign investment in mining, tourism and energy projects.
The Garifuna are attempting to use their traditional rights, and a United Nations-sanctioned process of “free, prior and informed consent,” to reject such developments.
Source: Christian Science Monitor