March 09, 2016 Headlines
In New York City, dozens of women marked International Women’s Day by rallying outside the Honduras Mission to the United Nations to demand justice for the murder of Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres. She was gunned down in her home last week, less than a year after she won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. The activists also demanded the release of Gustavo Castro Soto, another well-known environmental campaigner, who witnessed the shooting and was shot twice. Honduran authorities have barred him from returning to his native Mexico. He says his life may be in danger. Honduran activist Gregoria Flores spoke at Tuesday’s protest.
Gregoria Flores: “We came here today to look for the United Nations delegate from Honduras, but they told us she wasn’t here. We spoke with the person who reports to her, and we gave him a letter demanding clarifications about Berta’s case, freedom for Gustavo, security for the family of Berta Cáceres, and security for all of the activists in Honduras and around the world, as well. One more time: Freedom for Gustavo, freedom for Gustavo. We need Gustavo to be in Mexico. We need Gustavo to be with his family. We need an assurance of the safety of Gustavo’s life. We want the whole world to say, ‘Freedom for Gustavo, freedom for Gustavo, and justice for all the defenders of human rights.'”
Peru: Indigenous Villagers Release Officials Held Hostage over Oil Spill
In the Peruvian Amazon, an indigenous village has reportedly released at least eight officials it had taken hostage to demand action over an oil spill on its lands. The village had been excluded from an emergency response plan after the spill. On Sunday, villagers seized a grounded military helicopter, capturing officials, including representatives of the state-owned energy company Petroperú, which operates the pipeline. Petroperú said the hostages were freed after the firm agreed to provide aid, including help with electrical and phone service.