Miskito Divers (Opario Lemoth Morris y otros)

Fishing by diving has caused disability and death in adolescent and adult Miskitos. A recent report issued by the Pan American Health Organization noted that in 2004 that about 9,000 divers practice underwater lobster fishing and an estimated 97% had experienced some degree of decompression syndrome.Additionally, the report indicated that at least 4,200 Miskitos had total or partial disability from the disease.

For Miskito divers suffering from any injury related to their work at sea, access to timely and effective treatment is nearly impossible. Given the Mosquitia region's isolation, health centers are few and far between, especially those with hyperbaric chambers needed to treat decompression sickness. The Association of Disabled Divers Honduran Miskito (AMHBLI) has reported that about 400 divers have died because of their work-related diseases. Also, people who suffer disabilities lack access to appropriate rehabilitation services. Due to a lack of money to access appropriate transportation--like a boat or a seaplane--to get to courts frequently located in other cities, affected divers and their families are unable to access justice or the appropriate authorities.

Case Impact:

  • An Interinstitutional Commission is formed to create a strategic plan that will address the challenges faced by miskito divers. 
  • The children of Miskito divers are eligible for scholarships