Environmental activist killed in Honduras

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Teguchigalpa, March 23 (IANS) An indigenous environmental activist has been killed in Honduras, according to police and media reports.

Carlos Cerros, a representative of the indigenous Lenca people, was shot dead in the street near the city of San Antonio in Cortes department in the north-west of the country, dpa news agency quoted the La Prensa news paper as saying.

The 41-year-old was reportedly gunned down Monday night in front of his children.

A suspect has been arrested, the National Police said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The motive for the killing remains unclear.

Cerros was president of a local advocacy group, United Communities, and had campaigned against a hydroelectric power station in the region.

“We condemn the shameful murder of our comrade in arms,” United Communities wrote on its Facebook page, demanding justice and security for the slain activist’s family.

There have been repeated murders of environmentalists in Honduras.

Five years ago, Berta Caceres, a prominent activist and founder of the indigenous organization COPINH, was murdered in her home.

She also fought for the rights of the Lenca indigenous people and against the construction of the Agua Zarca hydropower plant.

Seven perpetrators were sentenced to up to 50 years in prison, including contract killers, soldiers and employees of the construction company.

–IANS

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