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Goldman Prize winner assassinated

This morning, Berta Caceres, 2015 Goldman Prize winner, was assassinated in her home in Honduras. The news is shocking and horrifying.

Berta Caceres stands at the COPINH (the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) offices in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras where she, COPINH have organized a two year campaign to halt construction on the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric project, that poses grave threats to Rio Blanco regional environment, river and indigenous Lenca people.

Berta Caceres stands at the COPINH offices in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras.

The international fame of her award and the promise of police protection were not enough to stop her killers.

Her murder is an unfortunate reminder of the extreme dangers that environmental and community activists face every day of their lives as they work to protect wild places and the rights of people.

And her murder strikes a close chord with Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Only three years ago, Jairo Mora Sadoval, a young Costa Rican environmentalist, was murdered while attempting to protect leatherback sea turtle nests. We have been active in the international movement to seek justice for his murder.

Turtle Island’s International Director, Randall Arauz, also won the Goldman Environmental Prize and continues to put himself on the front lines in Costa Rica to protect sea turtles and sharks from industrial fishing.

Caceres’s assassination underscores the extreme risk that environmental heroes face.

Caceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts to rally the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras to successfully pressure the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.

You can watch the Goldman Prize video here:

We pause a moment today to reflect on the life of a courageous person who fought despite the risks she knew she faced. But we vow to continue our fight to protect the environment and communities struggling for justice.