A second Honduras anti-dam activist assassinated, EU funders suspend funding

Nelson Garcia, a member of the same Indigenous rights group as murdered activist Berta Caceres, has been assassinated in Honduras.

On Tuesday, Nelson Garcia was killed after being shot four times in the face in the Rio Chiquito community who was a member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous organizations of Honduras (COPINH), of which Berta Caceres was also member. Local reports suggest that the assassination happened during an evacuation of occupied land executed by Honduran military police.

Armed soldiers arrived early to begin evicting the group from land that is being grabbed for the Agua Zarca dam project.

“When they finished the eviction, our companion Nelson Garcia went to eat in his house, they were waiting in the zone that the commission of COPINH pass, but it was diverted. Garcia arrived first and they killed him”, Tomas Gomez, a COPINH coordinator informed Telesur.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the killing. Human rights groups in Honduras are demanding the protection of COPINH members since the assassination of Caceres and has put international scrutiny on the Honduran government and supporters of multinational projects in the country. Activists are calling on the U.S. Agency for International Development’ to cut support for the dam project.

In response to this second kiling, Dutch development financier FMO suspended all activities in Honduras, effective immediately. This means,” FMO said in a statement, “that we will not engage in new projects or commitments and that no disbursements will be made, including for the Agua Zarca project.” Finnfund, another European financier involved in Agua Zarca, suspended its support as well.

Featured image: COPINH protests/Felipe Canova/Flickr photos



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