The death of Lesbia Yaneth Urquía in Honduras shows that to attain global food security, the US needs to focus on defending rights as much as agriculture
While US NGOs erupted in near-giddy applause last week, celebrating the passage through Congress of the Global Food Security Act of 2016, peasant communities in Honduras and land rights activists around the world mourned the death of environmentalist Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, whose body was found in a rubbish dump 160km west of the capital, Tegucigalpa.
The act, versions of which had been debated for years, makes food and agriculture development a US “national security” priority and calls for a new whole-of-government strategy to tackle global hunger. It authorises billions of dollars in funding and was hailed by NGOs from Save the Children to Care as a major victory and historic step. Barack Obama described it as gamechanging.