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Protests in Honduras over Murder of Human Rights Leader

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 79943
Category/Department: Honduras
Date: 2016-04-07
By: George Rodríguez

Honduras has been mercilessly battered by corruption, violence, and impunity, and those who seek to fight this state of affairs place themselves at high risk––too frequently, at the highest risk. Activists who defend human rights, natural resources, justice, and the rule of law become targets for powerful forces that, feeling a threat to their interests when corruption is exposed, do not hesitate to kill. Honduran history is filled with examples. The political murders of civil society leaders in the 1980s led to the creation of the Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared People, COFADEH). The systematic violation of the rights of peasants and indigenous peoples led to the emergence, a decade later, of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations, COPINH). And now, after 23 years of a tenacious and risky struggle as a staunch activist for human rights in general and for the rights of women and indigenous peoples in particular, and as a strong advocate for natural resources, Berta Cáceres has been gunned down. Cáceres was also a leader of the Lenca people, the largest of the seven indigenous groups in Honduras.

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