Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, has been murdered
The Guardian reports today: "Berta Cáceres, theHonduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, has been murdered,barely a week after she was threatened for opposing a hydroelectric project.
GREG GRANDIN, (347) 804-6851, [email protected], @greggrandin
Author of Kissinger’sShadow, Grandin just wrote the piece "The Clinton-Backed Honduran RegimeIs Picking Off Indigenous Leaders." For background, see: "HillaryClinton Admits Role in Honduran Coup Aftermath," and "Hillary Clinton’sEmails and the Honduras Coup."
BEVERLY BELL, (504) 891-8083, [email protected],@beverly__bell
Bell appeared onan Institute for Public Accuracy news release last April: titled "Cáceres,Threatened Honduran, Wins Biggest Enviro Award." As noted on that newsrelease, "For 15 years, Bell has been a close collaborator with Cáceres’and the group she coordinates, the National Council of Indigenous Organizationsof Honduras." Bell has repeatedly warned that Cáceres and other indigenousactivists’ lives were in danger because of their work.
She said then: “Berta likes to say that Honduras is knownonly for having been a Contra base and for Hurricane Mitch. But that countryalso hosts a powerful social movement which has taken on unaccountablegovernment, multinational corporations and oligarchy run amok, and U.S.military domination…"
Bell said today that, more than anything, this is"about continued U.S. and Honduran government support for land and rivergrabs and multinational investment."
School of the Americas Watch released a statement titled:"Human Rights Organizations Demand an Investigation of the CircumstancesSurrounding the Assassination of Berta Cáceres, the General Coordinator ofCOPINH." It says: "At approximately midnight last night, the GeneralCoordinator of COPINH, Berta Caceres was assassinated in her hometown of LaEsperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the housewhere Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, and shotand killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation.
"Berta Cáceres is one of the leading indigenousactivists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of indigenousrights, particularly to land and natural resources. …
"Since the 2009 military coup that was carried out bygraduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, Honduras has witnessed anexplosive growth in environmentally destructive megaprojects that woulddisplace indigenous communities. Almost 30 percent of the country’s land wasearmarked for mining concessions, creating a demand for cheap energy to powerfuture mining operations.
To meet this need, the government approved hundredsof dam projects around the country, privatizing rivers, land, and uprooting communities.Repression of social movements and targeted assassinations are rampant.Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate.
Honduran human rightsorganizations report there have been over 10,000 human rights violations bystate security forces and impunity is the norm — most murders go unpunished.The Associated Press has repeatedly exposed ties between the Honduran policeand death squads, while U.S. military training and aid for the Honduransecurity forces continues."
For more information, contact at the Institute for PublicAccuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; David Zupan,(541) 484-9167