Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Members of COPINH hold a rally in Honduras during an international day of action for Berta Cáceres in June. (Photo: COPINH)

'Horrific Human Rights Crime': Another Environmental Activist Slain in Honduras

Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, a compatriot of two other recently murdered campaigners, was found dead beside a municipal landfill on Wednesday

Nika Knight Beauchamp

Another Indigenous environmental activist has been killed in Honduras, teleSUR reports.

"The death of Lesbia Yaneth is a political feminicide, and an attempt to silence the voice of those brave women who are courageously defending their rights and opposing the patriarchal, racist and capitalist system of of their society."
—COPINH

The activist, identified as Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, was abducted and found dead near a municipal dump with severe head trauma on Wednesday.

Urquía was a member of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the Indigenous rights group founded by slain activist Berta Cáceres. Urquía "fought against the building of hydroelectric power plants on Indigenous land," according to teleSUR.

"The comrade was killed with a knife," said La Voz Lenca, the communications arm of COPINH, on its Facebook page, according to teleSUR's translation. The group added that Urquía had been "abducted by unknown persons."

In a press release, COPINH wrote that the "death of Lesbia Yaneth is a political feminicide, and an attempt to silence the voice of those brave women who are courageously defending their rights and opposing the patriarchal, racist and capitalist system of of their society."

Maude Barlow, chairperson of the social justice group Council of Canadians, condemned this latest murder as a "horrific human rights crime."

Urquía's death also follows that of Nelson García, another COPINH activist who had fought against a mega-dam project alongside Cáceres before he was also shot and killed in March.

In June, a whistleblower revealed that Cáceres had been on a secret "kill list" that U.S.-trained Honduran special forces use to target environmental and Indigenous activists in the country.

Since a U.S.-backed military coup that overthrew a democratically elected president in 2009, Honduras has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for environmental and land defenders, according to U.K.-based human rights group Global Witness.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Rights Groups Rip NYC Mayor Over Forced Hospitalizations for Mental Illness

"Forcing people into treatment is a failed strategy," said the head of the NYCLU. "With no real plan for housing, services, or supports, the administration is choosing handcuffs and coercion."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Put Up or Shut Up,' Says Sanders as Progressives Move to Add 7 Sick Days to Railway Deal

"If you can't vote for this," said the independent Vermont senator, "don't tell anybody that you stand with working families."

Jon Queally ·


'Love Wins Again': Senate Passes Bill to Protect Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage

"While Congress has taken an important step," said the head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, "it is incumbent on all of us to continue to push for passage of the comprehensive Equality Act."

Jessica Corbett ·


Groups Blast Biden for 'Siding With Billionaires Over Rail Workers'

As criticism of the president's position mounts, some members of Congress are speaking out in support of including at least seven days of paid sick leave in any measure they pass.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Very Good Day for Our Republic' as Key Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy

"Now the only remaining question is how much higher did those plans go, and who else might be held criminally responsible," said one former federal prosecutor after Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers militia, was found guilty.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo