By Kathy Price, AI Canada's Latin America campaigner
It was a killing that could and should have been prevented.
On numerous occasions, the renowned Lenca Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres had reported receiving death threats as she led David-against-Goliath efforts to stop a big dam project in Honduras that threatened Indigenous lands and rights.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recognized the risks and called on the Honduran government to provide protection measures.
Yet Berta was gunned down on March 3 in her home in La Esperanza, ironically Spanish for “hope”.
The pain of losing such a vital, beloved leader was quickly followed by fear. Berta’s tireless efforts had won her the prestigious 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize.
If someone as celebrated and well-connected as Berta could be murdered at will, then what about others less well-known?
The answer came days later. Community leader Nelson García was shot in the face and killed as he returned from helping victims of a land eviction.