Indigenous Leader Assassinated

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We were shocked and saddened by the news that Berta Cáceres was murdered in the middle of the night.  For decades, indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres put her life at risk to defend the forests and rivers of the indigenous Lenca peoples in Intibucá, Honduras. She led a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of a major hydroelectric project on indigenous land—activism that helped protect her community, but that led to constant threats of violence and death.

Last year, I met her as she was honored with the Goldman Environmental Prize.  Her fearless bravery and courage protecting the land of the Lenca people shows us the power of grassroots environmental activism. Consider adding your name to a letter drafted by Global Witness to President Hernández of Honduras, asking for an immediate and thorough investigation and guaranteed protection for her family and colleagues.  If your organization would like to sign on to this letter, please send your confirmation, logo, and director’s e-mail signatures directly to Billy Kyte (bkyte@globalwitness.org) and Alice Harrison (aharrison@globalwitness.org).

Berta’s murder is a terrible reminder of the increasing threats faced by environmental and land defenders worldwide for their courage to protect their homes.  Let us all work together and redouble our efforts to protect these amazing heroes and make protecting our environment a cause for celebration, not attack.