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ACTION ALERT: Goldman Environmental Prizewinner Berta Caceres Assassinated


March 4, 2016
Just Foreign Policy & Sen. Patrick Leahy & National Public Radio & The Goldman Environmental Prize

Honduras has lost one of its most courageous indigenous leaders, Berta Caceres. Caceres was the General Coordinator of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. In 2015, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her activism and leadership. She was assassinated on March 2. Urge Congress to press the Honduran government for an independent investigation of those responsible for the assassination.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-probe-assassination

ACTION ALERT: Goldman Environmental Prizewinner Berta Caceres Assassinated



SANTIAGO, Chile (March 3, 2016)
Atrocious!!! I'm crying here . . . . What a world! She was a fantastic lady. Indigenous, of the 'Lenca' people. Received the Goldman Prize. Fighting hydro development in her territory and denouncing the presence of US military in Honduras in general and in their own territory.
What are we going to do with humanity?

Juan Pablo Orrego S.
Presidente - Ecosistemas
Bustos 2108 - Depto. 251, Providencia. Santiago, Chile
www.ecosistemas.cl





ACTION ALERT: Honduran Indigenous Leader Berta Caceres Assassinated
Robert Naiman, Avram Reisman, and Sarah Burns / Just Foreign Policy

(March 3, 2016) -- Honduras has lost one of its most courageous indigenous leaders, Berta Caceres. Caceres was the General Coordinator of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. In 2015, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her activism and leadership. She was assassinated on March 2.

Urge Congress to press the Honduran government for an independent investigation of those responsible for the assassination of Berta Caceres by signing our petition at MoveOn:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/probe-assassination-berta-caceres

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said: "this horrific crime demonstrates that no one, not even an internationally known social activist, is safe in Honduras if they speak out against corruption or abuse of authority. . . ." [See Sen. Leahy's complete statement below -- EAW]




Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On The State Department And Foreign Operations) On The Assassination Of Berta Caceres In Honduras

"Berta Caceres spent her life fighting for indigenous rights, and this horrific crime demonstrates that no one, not even an internationally known social activist, is safe in Honduras if they speak out against corruption or abuse of authority.

"Ms. Caceres was an inspiration to people around the world, and her death is a great loss for all the people of Honduras. The immediate question is what President Hernandez and his government -- which has too often ignored or passively condoned attacks against Honduran social activists -- will do to support an independent investigation, prosecution, and punishment of those responsible for this despicable crime.

"And beyond that, what steps will the government take to protect the many other Hondurans who have been deemed in need of protection, and to stand up for the rights of people like Berta who risk their lives in peacefully defending the environment and their livelihoods.

"The answers to those questions will weigh heavily on the Congress's support for future assistance for that government."


ASESINAN A BERTA CACERES

Tomas Membreno, miembro de la Coordinacion General del COPINH informa que Berta Caceres fue asesinada en La Esperanza, intibuca. Los asesinos entraron a su casa aproximadamente a la 1 am para matarla.

Berta, lider indigena del pueblo lenca de Honduras, habia recibido reiteradas amenazas a muerte por acompañar las luchas de defensa de su pueblo y ademas de sufrir persecusion política y ordenes de detención.

Su lucha, junto con la del COPINH y el pueblo, fue reconocida con varios premios internacionales. Actualmente era Coordinadora General del Consejo Indigena de Organizaciones Populares de Honduras, COPINH y miembro de la coordinacion Nacional de la Plataforma de Movimientos Sociales y Populares de Honduras, PMSPH.

Honduras ha perdido una valiente y comprometida luchadora!!



Berta Caceres, Honduran Indigenous Rights Leader, Is Murdered
National Public Radio

(March 3, 2016) -- Berta Caceres, a hugely influential Honduran indigenous rights activist, was killed in her hometown of La Esperenza, Intibuca, on Thursday. She would have turned 46 tomorrow.

Caceres was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize after she led a peaceful campaign to stop one of the world's largest dam builders from pursuing the Agua Zarca Dam, which would have cut off the ethnic Lenca people from water, food and medicine.

La Prensa of Honduras reports that Caceres was currently working to stop a company from building a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River, which the Rio Blanco community said would fundamentally change their way of life. Authorities, the paper reports, said she was killed during a robbery, but her mother said that Caceres was killed "because of her struggle."

Caceres had faced threats for her environmental activism. So much so that the the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights had called on the government of Honduras to provide her with protection.

La Prensa reports that police say Caceres was killed at a house they were not surveilling.

"We were protecting her old home at Villa El Calvario, but she had not reported this new house to authorities," Police Commissioner Sergio Paz Bueso told the paper.

In a statement, COPINH, the indigenous rights group that Caceres worked for, characterized her murder as an "assassination." The group said:
In the last few weeks, violence and repression towards Berta, COPINH, and the communities they support, had escalated.

In Rio Blanco on February 20th, Berta, COPINH, and the community of Rio Blanco faced threats and repression as they carried out a peaceful action to protect the River Gualcarque against the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA.

As a result of COPINH's work supporting the Rio Blanco struggle, Berta had received countless threats against her life and was granted precautionary measures by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights.

On February 25th, another Lenca community supported by COPINH in Guise, Intibuca was violently evicted and destroyed."


In a tweet, the Goldman Prize said it was "devastated to hear of Berta Caceres' assassination."

Caceres is survived by her four children -- ages 26, 24, 23 and 21 -- and her mother.

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