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Honduras: Attacks in country surge, four years after defender Berta Cáceres was killed for protecting ancestral land from hydroelectric dam project

Author: Global Witness, Published on: 3 March 2020

"Four years since Berta Cáceres’ assassination, Honduran defenders face greater danger than ever", 02 Mar 2020

In many parts of the world, standing up for the environment is a deadly undertaking. Few places are more dangerous than Honduras... A recent report showed that in 2019, Honduran human rights defenders faced the highest number of these threats than anywhere else in the world...It was four years ago today that Honduran activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated for protecting her ancestral land from the construction of a hydroelectric dam… On 2 March 2016, armed men broke into Berta’s home...and shot her dead. She had dedicated several years to protecting her community’s land in Intibucá... from the construction of the dam which threatened a vital and sacred water source for the indigenous Lenca people… Late last year, seven men were sentenced for their part in Berta’s murder. This is a rare outcome in a country where over 90% of human rights violations, including murders of defenders, go unpunished…

It is exactly this impunity from justice that is fuelling the high level of threats against land and environmental defenders in Honduras… These are people that stand up to powerful vested interests in the mining, logging and agribusiness sectors. According to Global Witness data, indigenous groups have been particularly targeted – as businesses turn to extracting resources in evermore remote areas...

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Related companies: Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA) Finnfund FMO