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Environmental and indigenous rights leader murdered in Honduras

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Environmental and indigenous rights leader murdered in Honduras


An environmental rights activist known for her fight to stop hydroelectric plants and mines from encroaching on indigenous lands was shot dead early on Thursday in Honduras.

Berta Caceres, a 43-year-old teacher, was shot and killed by two men at her home in La Esperanza, Honduras, 112 miles (180 kilometers) west of the capital, Tegucigalpa, Honduran security minister Julian Pacheco said, condemning the attack.

One other person was wounded in the incident, which is under investigation.

Caceres, who had received death threats, won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015 for her struggle to prevent the construction of a $50 million dam that threatened to displace hundreds of Indians.

“The cowardly killing of Berta is a tragedy that was waiting to happen. For years, she had been the victim of a sustained campaign of harassment and threats to stop her from defending the rights of indigenous communities,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

The project, which was subcontracted by a local company to Chinese builder Sinohydro, has been temporarily suspended thanks to protests led by Caceres.


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