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  • Indigenous Lenca hold posters of their indigenous leader and environmentalist, Berta Caceres, during a visit from Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkul Karman and Shirin Ebadi.

    Indigenous Lenca hold posters of their indigenous leader and environmentalist, Berta Caceres, during a visit from Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkul Karman and Shirin Ebadi. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 October 2017
Opinion

The Honduran activist had led mobilizations against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River.

Two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Shirin Ebadi from Iran and Tawakkol Karma from Yemen, have soundly denounced the Honduran government’s inaction in response to the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres in 2016.

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"I am deeply sorry to hear that justice has not been done in Berta's case," said Ebadi, who traveled to Honduras Friday to participate in the Nobel Women convention which strives to uphold human rights.

Both Ebadi and Karma belong to the Nobel Women initiative, with which they work side by side with Mujeres Tierra Paz. During their tour of the nation, they met with the Indigenous Lencas, a community which Caceres belonged to.

The Lencas received the Nobel prize winners with a religious ceremony, in the middle of a forest where they had erected a memorial for the murdered environmentalist who was assassinated in March 2016 after being attacked by a group of gunmen in her home.

The activist had led mobilizations against the construction of a hydroelectric dam near the Gualcarque River.

Although eight were detained under suspicion of the murder, continued investigations into the death was dropped, despite the demands of the victim’s family and the social organization, Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or Copinh.

"The struggle continues - it’s a cause for happiness to see how the path that Berta started one day has been continued by you," Ebady said after hearing testimony from a dozen Lenca leaders.

The delegation of rights activists from the Nobel Women’s initiative, the Associates for Justice and the Nobel Peace Prize are also scheduled to meet with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Attorney General Oscar Chinchilla and several human rights officials.

They will also be joined by members of the media and human rights experts from Canada, the United States, Guatemala and Honduras.

The group plans to visit Guatemala to confront violence there against the nation’s human rights defenders.

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