MANAGUA – Environmentalists and feminists held a protest Thursday in Nicaragua to demand justice for a Honduran indigenous leader who was shot dead by armed intruders a year ago.
Dozens of women and men demonstrated in an exclusive Managua neighborhood where the Honduran Embassy is located, chanting slogans and singing songs in honor of Berta Caceres, whose March 3, 2016, murder remains unsolved.
“Berta lives!” “No more murders of women human rights defenders” and “Justice for Berta!” were among the demonstrators’ rallying cries.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had urged the Honduran government to protect the Lenca Indian activist after she received death threats, although there was no security presence at her home in the western Honduran town of La Esperanza on the day she was murdered.
Mexican environmental activist Gustavo Castro Soto also was wounded in the attack and survived only by playing dead.
“There’s profound indignation among environmental organizations over this brutal killing of Berta Caceres,” the president of the Popol Na environmental organization, Monica Lopez Baltodano, said. “We won’t accept that these cases go unpunished.”
The demonstrators delivered a letter to Honduran diplomatic representatives in Managua in which they demanded that authorities punish those responsible for the killing.
Feminist groups also demonstrated in cities in northern Nicaragua to demand that those behind Caceres’ murder be brought to justice.
Caceres’ campaign against a dam on the Gualcarque River in western Honduras earned her the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, which is awarded to protectors of the environment at the grassroots level.
That river is sacred to the Lenca indigenous people.