World in View: Murder in Honduras

From the May-June 2016 issue of News & Letters

Six weeks after the murder of the Indigenous leader and ecological-social activist Berta Cáceres, a three-day international gathering celebrating her life took place in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. Over 1,300 activists from more than 20 countries attended. On the third day of the conference, a peaceful march held by the participants was attacked in front of police and military personnel who failed to intervene. The attack took place at the Gualcarque River, where the Agua Zarca dam is being constructed, a project that Cáceres, her Lenca people, and her environmental organization Copinh opposed.

Cáceres had said, “I cannot freely walk on my territory or swim in the sacred river, and I am separated from my children because of threats. I am always thinking about being killed or kidnapped. But I do not want to leave my country; I refuse to go into exile. I am a human rights fighter. I will not give up this fight.

Less than two weeks after Cáceres’ murder another member of Copinh, Nelson García, was killed—shot in the face by unidentified gunmen.

Honduras remains a land out of control, with the police, military, and drug gangs on the loose. It is the most dangerous country in the Americas for journalists. The country is still living under the shadow of the 2009 U.S.-supported coup which assured continual oligarchy rule and widespread terror.

—Eugene Walker

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