Rights Action
October 11, 2016
Ho Hum, More Assassination Attempts Against COPINH In Honduras: U.S. and Canada continue with bu$ine$$ as usual with military backed regime

(Mural, COPINH’s Utopia gathering place.)
This most recent act of systemic repression in Honduras comes in the wake of the court files on the investigation into assassination of Berta Caceres being stolen (
  • In Canada: Sign petition to Canadian government “Justice For Assassination of Berta Caceres”: (Deadline Oct.12)
  • In U.S.: Contact your Member Congress. Pressure them to support “Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act” calling for suspension of so-called “security” aid to Honduras

Honduran Activists Survive Attacks Months After Berta Cáceres Murder
By Nina Lakhani, 11 October 2016
Two indigenous activists in Honduras have survived separate assassination attempts this week, seven months after their leader, the environmentalist Berta Cáceres was shot dead in her home.  Tomás Gómez Membreño, who took over as leader of the Civic Council of Popular Organizations and Indigenous Peoples (COPINH) after Cáceres was murdered in March, was driving home from the organisation’s offices on Monday night when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle.
Gómez, who along with Cáceres was forced into hiding in 2012 after false criminal charges were brought against them, recently reported being followed and intimidated by military convoys in La Esperanza where COPINH is based.
In a separate incident, gunmen opened fired at the house of community leader Alexander García in the early hours of Monday morning.  García, the elected COPINH leader for the community Llano Grande, Colomoncagua, was asleep at home with his wife and two daughters when shots were fired through the door and window.
This was the second assassination attempt against García, who has been at the forefront of community opposition to a mining concession and two proposed dams.  An ex-military officer was detained after García was shot and injured in May.  The family have since reported further threats and intimidation, and say they have been pressured to charges against the assailant.
In a press release COPINH condemned the latest attacks as further attempts to silence their opposition to mega-projects on indigenous Lenca territory.
These latest incidents are part of a wave of violence against environmental activists in Honduras since the 2009 coup d’état, after which the new government unveiled a range of pro-business policies.
As community leaders including Cáceres fought back against mining, logging and agri-business projects, Honduras became the most dangerous country for environmental activists, with at least 118 killed since 2010, according to the NGO Global Witness.
In June, the Guardian reported that Cáceres’ name had appeared on a military hit-list along with those of dozens of other activists.
Cáceres won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last year for her opposition to one of the region’s biggest hydroelectric projects, a cascade of four dams in the Gualcarque river basin which is sacred to the Lenca people.
Six men have so far been detained for Cáceres’ murder but the activist’s family and colleagues continue to demand an independent international investigation to find the intellectual authors.
The case file was stolen from the judge’s car during an apparent common robbery last month.

Funding for Berta Caceres’ Family & COPINH
Since 1998, Rights Action has been funding the community development, indigenous rights and environmental defense work of COPINH, co-founded by Berta Caceres.  Make cheque payable to "Rights Action" and mail to:
  • U.S.:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
  • Canada:  (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
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