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Excerpt: "International human rights organizations have condemned the assassination of Indigenous leader Berta Caceres in Honduras, and called on the U.S. to recognize its own role in the violence in the Central American country."

Berta Caceres was murdered early Thursday morning by unknown assailants. (photo: teleSUR)
Berta Caceres was murdered early Thursday morning by unknown assailants. (photo: teleSUR)

ALSO SEE: First Suspect in
Berta Caceres Assassination Arrested

Human Rights Organizations Condemn Assassination of Honduran Indigenous Leader, Call on US to Recognize Its Role in Central American Country's Violence

By teleSUR

04 March 16


A Washington-based organization said that the U.S. must acknowledge its own involvement in the violence.

ur hearts are broken. We just lost a powerful woman who dedicated her life to defend the Lenca Indigenous peoples’ rights, territory and their sacred Gualcarque River, and one of the strongest voices in Mesoamerica and beyond for the defense of Indigenous peoples’ rights and the Mother Earth,” Boston-based Grassroots International said in a statement.

“Despite our sorrow, the struggle continues and it is vital for the Lenca people to resist and keep fighting against the extractive projects that want to privatize and destroy territories, rivers and lives. The international solidarity is critical to protect the defenders and continue the struggle.”

The Center for Economic and Policy Research noted that pressure on human rights defenders in Honduras is intensifying, and their situation is becoming intolerably dangerous. Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said that the U.S. must acknowledge its own involvement in the violence.

“Caceres’ murder represents an escalation in the targeting of human rights defenders and dissidents in Honduras,” Weisbrot said. “It is a tragic and disturbing development showing how vulnerable anyone in Honduras is, and demands a strong international response.”

“The Obama administration must stop white-washing the human rights abuses being committed and perpetuated in near-total impunity in Honduras, and stop ignoring the involvement of U.S.-backed Honduran security forces in many of these abuses.”

Weisbrot added that political repression, including targeted killings of activists, had spiked after the 2009 military coup, as Honduras’ post-coup governments and the U.S. government turned a blind eye. Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state during the coup, “did her best to help the coup government succeed and legitimate itself,” said Weisbrot.

Caceres, the coordinator and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras, or COPIHN, was killed by unknown assailants early Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m. local time inside her home in La Esperanza in the western province of Intibuca.

Caceres was the leader of the Lenca Indigenous community and was a staunch human rights defender. She won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. Her assassination has rapidly sent shock waves across the country and sparked outrage over her death.

Also injured in the attack, according to local news sources, was Mexican activist Gustavo Soto.

Soto is a member of various resistance groups, like the Mexican Movement of those Affected by Imprisonments and the Latin American Network against Imprisonments. He also belongs to the Mexican Network of those Affected by Mining.

The author of the book “Coca-Cola. History of the Black Waters” had a close relationship with Caceres.

The brother and mother of Caceres called on the Honduran government to protect witnesses of the murder and prevent evidence from being contaminated. “We ask that they give guarantees to the witnesses,” her brother, Gustavo Caceres, told teleSUR. your social media marketing partner
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