Back in March 2016, The Canary reported on the murder of land activist and community leader Berta Cáceres in Honduras. A founding member of the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), she had long fought against logging, hydro-power and mining projects. She was shot four times while in bed on 2 March.
For decades in the 20th century, Honduras served as a military base for counterrevolution in Latin America, training up vicious right-wing paramilitary groups with full US support. Today, seven years on from a US-backed coup against a reformist government, Honduras is still a country where the military machine serves the interests of local and international elites rather than Honduran citizens.
And this reality was further proven on 21 June, when reports emerged that Cáceres had been on the hitlist of a US-trained unit in Honduras. A former soldier, who has now fled the country, explained to The Guardian how he and others had refused to carry out orders to assassinate the environmental activist:
If I went home [now], they’d kill me. Ten of my former colleagues are missing. I’m 100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army