Honduran environmentalist murdered

Berta Cáceres, who was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015 for her opposition to the Agua Zarca hydropower project, was murdered in her home in the early hours of Thursday.

The brutal killing of Berta Cáceres has prompted outrage from around the world and highlights the dangers that human rights defenders and social activists face on a daily basis in Honduras.

As the Guardian reports, Cáceres, the leader and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH), had endured a campaign of harassment and threat for years because of activities against dams, illegal loggers and plantation owners.

Outside Honduras, she is best known for her campaign against the Agua Zarca dam in the community of Río Blanco, one of Central America’s biggest hydropower plants. She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015 for her environmental activities.

“I have no doubt that she has been killed because of her struggle and that soldiers and people from the dam are responsible, I am sure of that. I hold the government responsible,” her mother said on radio Globo at 6.

According to the Guardian, Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for social activists. Between 2010 and 2014, 101 activists were killed, a higher death toll relative to population than anywhere else in the world. A disproportionately high number of them were indigenous, like Cáceres.


Image credit: Goldman Environmental Prize/CC BY-SA 4.0

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