Indigenous Activist Who Worked With Berta Caceres Is Assassinated in Honduras

Lead Photo: STR / EPA / CORBIS
Read more

Earlier this month, gunmen barged into Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres’ home and killed her. The astonished community continues to demand justice for the woman who successfully stopped the building of the Agua Zarca Dam and attempted to do the same with a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River.

Related: Remembering Slain Indigenous Rights Activist Berta Cáceres’ Most Inspirational Speech

Less than two weeks after Cáceres’ death, another member of the Consejo Cívico de Pueblos Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH) has suffered the same fate. On Tuesday, two people fired four shots at 39-year-old Nelson García Laínez, as he arrived to his El Naranjal home, according to teleSUR.

At 8 a.m., the Honduran military and other officials evicted families from Rio Chiquito. “They said that they would be peaceful and they were not going to throw anyone out of their houses, but at midday they started to tear down the houses, they destroyed the maize, the banana trees and the yuca plantations,” said Tomás Gomez, a COPINH coordinator.

After the evacuation, García Laínez returned home to eat, where the two men waited for him. Local publications suggested the Honduran military carried out the murder, but Julián Pachecho Tinoco, the Honduran security minister, denied the connection between the two events.

Honduran human rights groups urge the government to protect COPINH, especially as Gustavo Castro Soto’s life remains in danger. The Mexican activist is the only witness to Cáceres’ murder, and the government hasn’t allowed him to return home despite his cooperation with the investigation. He blamed Honduran officials of trying to control and silence him.