Berta Caceres named on military hit list months before death - soldier

    by Nina Lakhani, The Guardian
    Tuesday, 21 June 2016 15:22 BST

An indigenous woman holds a poster with a photograph of slain environmental rights activist Berta Caceres during a march to demand justice in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

Berta Caceres, the murdered campaigner for indigenous and land rights, appeared on a "hitlist" seen by Honduran special forces months before her death, a former soldier has said in interviews with the Guardian.

The photographs and names of dozens of social and environmental activists were given to two elite military units, who were ordered to kill each person on it, according to the unnamed 20-year-old first sergeant. 

"I’m 100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army,” he told the Guardian.

Among the other names reported on the hitlist were Juan Galindo - an activist who was murdered in November 2014 - and Johnny Rivas and Vitalino Álvarez, high-profile members of Honduras' organised labour organisation United Peasant Movement.

The former soldier said he was shown one list while deployed in the Xatruch taskforce in the Bajo Aguán region. Campaigners said violent land disputes between large palm oil producers and local smallholder farmers have resulted in over 100 deaths in the region.

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