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News > Latin America

Another Member of Berta Caceres’ Group Assassinated in Honduras

  • A woman with a poster of slain environmental activist Berta Caceres

    A woman with a poster of slain environmental activist Berta Caceres | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 March 2016

When will it stop?

Nelson Garcia, a member of the same Indigenous rights group as murdered activist Berta Caceres, has been assassinated in Honduras, local media reported Tuesday.

Less than two weeks after Caceres was gunned down in her home by unknown assailants, Garcia was killed after being shot four times in the face in the Rio Chiquito community.

Both were outspoken members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous organizations of Honduras (COPINH).

Local reports suggest that the assassination happened during an evacuation of occupied land executed by Honduran military police.

Around 150 poor families who were members of COPINH had occupied the land at Rio Chiquito for the last two years.

OPINION: US Activists: 'USAID Stop Funding Murder in Honduras'

According to local sources, 20 police officers, 20 soldiers and 20 anti-riot police arrived at 8 a.m. to begin evicting the group.

“They said that they would be peaceful and they were not going to throw anyone out of their houses, but at midday they started to tear down the houses, they destroyed the maize, the banana trees and the yuca plantations,” said Tomas Gomez, a COPINH coordinator.

“When they finished the eviction, our companion Nelson Garcia went to eat in his house, they were waiting in the zone that the commission of COPINH pass, but it was diverted. Garcia arrived first and they killed him,” he added.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the killing.

Garcia, the father of five children, was the leader of the community sitting in Rio Chiquito.

Human rights groups in Honduras have demanded the protection of COPINH members since the assassination of Caceres March 3, triggering outrage across the world.

Human and environment rights activists say that they are targeted in violent attacks in Honduras.

The assassination of Berta Caceres has put international scrutiny on the Honduran government and supporters of multinational projects in the Central American country.

On Monday, activists called on the U.S. Agency for International Development’ to cut support for the Agua Zarca dam project, which was vehemently opposed by Berta Caceres and her community.

Two activists scaled an art installation in front of the office of the USAID's information office in Washington D.C. as part of protest calling on the U.S. government agency to cut support with a controversial dam project in Honduras.

USAID is supporting the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River, which was one of the projects opposed by the Lenca people and famed Honduran Indigenous rights defender Berta Caceres, who was recently assassinated, allegedly as a result of her activism.

WATCH: Activists Across the Americas Demand Justice for Berta Caceres

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