Berta_caceres (2)

Award winning activist killed in Honduras

Honduras human rights activist , Berta Cacares assassinated for fighting against a dam project that will usurp the Lenca people from their home.

Berta Cacares who won the 2015 Goldman Prize for her enduring activism against the Agua Zarca dam was killed on 3rd March after assailants broke into Caceres’ home in La Esperanza. The police have started an investigation. Berta Caceres, was the coordinator of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras and leader of the Lenca Indigenous community. According to local sources, the attackers waited until the victim went to sleep before breaking into her house and assassinated her. Global Witness has demanded an urgent investigation.

She was the winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her relentless fight to protect the rights of communities against the Agua Zarca mega dam project. The dam project is a joint venture of Honduran company Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA) and Chinese state-owned Sinohydro, the world’s largest dam developer. Agua Zarca, is planned to be constructed on the Gualcarque River and has been approved without consulting the indigenous Lenca people, which is a violation of international treaties governing indigenous peoples’ rights. The dam would cut off the supply of water, food and medicine for hundreds of Lenca people and violate their right to sustainably manage and live off their land. An campaign led by organizations like International Rivers is trying to force the dam companies to withdraw from the project.

This is the second death of a prominent person associated with the protests against the dam. On July 15, 2013, a soldier opened fired on a Lenca protest against the dam, murdering elected community leader and dam opponent Tomas Garcia and seriously injuring his 17-year old son.

Honduras remains one the most dangerous countries in the world for human right and environmental activists.

Featured image: Captured from Goldman Prize website