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PHOTO ESSAY

Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography

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Miriam Miranda

Miriam Miranda (c. 1965–) (Flickr.com)

A tireless Garifuna activist and advocate for the rights of all Afro-descendant and indigenous people of Honduras, Miriam Miranda is the general coordinator and leading spokesperson of the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH). The Afro-indigenous Garifuna people of St. Vincent fought both French and British colonizers in the late 1700s and early 1800s and were ultimately deported from the island, settling in Honduras and later in other parts of the Caribbean. DCALAB author Glenn Chambers writes, "Although Miranda is the representative of the organization [OFRANEH], she is a strong adherent to the communal tradition of the Garífuna, and she acts on their behalf through consensus rather than individual aspirations. Because of this, it is difficult to separate Miriam Miranda and her activism from the larger Afro-descendant and indigenous movements for equality in Honduras." At great personal risk, Miranda has confronted the Honduran government and authorities in order to advocate for her constituents since the 1980s. She has led OFRANEH in public actions against land development initiatives including tourist resorts on Garfiuna lands, and she campaigns for Garifuna fishing rights and promotes causes that better the lives of Honduran women.

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