Yesterday 38-year old Nelson Garcia, an active member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) was assassinated. This follows the March 2, 2016 assassination of COPINH founder Berta Cáceres.
Garcia was returning home from assisting those who had been displaced following a forced eviction of 150 indigenous Lenca families by Honduran forces in Rio Lindo in the Department of Cortes. The military police and the intelligence unit, the COBRAS, were present at the eviction. Sotero
Echeverria, a member of the coordinating committee of COPINH, was arrested while she helped the wounded from the eviction. Activists and international observers report a fear for the safety of their colleague under what they say is an illegal detention.
The 150 families then positioned themselves in front of the municipal building in Rio Lindo, Cortes in protest.
KGNU has reported on ongoing similar evictions that have been met with violence on the part of armed government forces against unarmed families.
COPINH is reporting that 8 of its 9 coordinators have been interrogated for the assassination of Cáceres, drawing criticism among international observers who point to an investigative process that is expending resources in the wrong places.
In a press release sent moments ago, the Dutch company FMO announced a suspension of all funds to Honduras including the funding of the Agua Zarca dam project that COPINH worked to oppose.
The press release stated, “We will not engage in new projects or commitments and that no
disbursements will be made, including the Agua Zarca project.” FMO also announced, a delegation, of their officials who will travel to Honduras to visit the communities around the Agua Zarca project “for a better understanding of the current situation.”
The Finnish company Finnfund announced a suspension of financial support for the project as well though human rights organizations are calling for the full withdrawal of support.
A mass mobilization of civil society organizations is planned for tomorrow and Friday in the capital Tegucigalpa originally to denounce the assassination of Cáceres, but has since gained momentum to also denounce the ongoing repression.