MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- An outspoken environmental activist in Honduras was murdered in her own home, sparking outrage and offering another example of the impunity and violence in the Central American country.
Berta Caceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize -- an award considered the Nobel for ecological actions -- was murdered at around 1 a.m. March 3 in what police initially called an attempted robbery, but family members denounced as politically motivated murder, according to media reports.
"A strong, dangerous message was sent today," said Mike Allison, an expert in Central American politics at the Jesuit-run University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. "It's outrageous that after several years of international scrutiny and, at times, condemnation, that some people had no qualms ordering her murder."
A Lenca indigenous leader, Caceres attracted international attention for her opposition to a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River in western Honduras, where construction crews arrived unannounced almost a decade ago. A court order banned her from the area and she endured death threats, but successfully led protests that thwarted the project.