Honduras: Berta Cáceres and COPINH

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Berta Cáceres, Honduran indigenous and environmental leader, was assassinated in her home on March 3, 2016. Berta was a founder of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), which has been active in opposing the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project in the indigenous territories of the Lenca people. Photo: telesurtv.net.

The assassination of Honduran leader Berta Cáceres on March 3, 2016 has brought into focus struggles around the world by the dispossessed, for the right to land, water, participation and dignity, in opposition to governments and private interests.

Berta and her organization, COPINH, have been at the forefront of resistance to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project in Honduras since 2006, and it was well documented that she was a marked woman.

The failure of the Honduran state to protect her life, in spite of pleas by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, shows an egregious lack of will and interest in complying with national and international law. Complicit in this tragedy are those, including Hillary Clinton, who supported the 2009 coup in Honduras that has created a context in which over 100 environmental activists and hundreds more opposition leaders, journalists and human rights workers have been murdered.

Berta was a central figure in Latin American resistance. Some have compared the impact of her murder on indigenous struggles to that of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Black freedom struggle in the United States.

On this page, we will continue to share news, analysis and action items relating to:

  • Seeking justice for Berta Cáceres.
  • Demanding protection for Gustavo Castro Soto, a human rights leader in Mexico and the lone witness to Berta’s murder.
  • Shedding light on the Honduran and global contexts in which environmental leaders face extreme repression and danger.

Articles

IN THE TRENCHES WITH BERTA CÁCERES

May 2, 2016
by Daniel Fireside


LAND GRABBING IS KILLING HONDURAS’ INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

April 5, 2016
by Andrea Reyes Blanco and Tim Shenk


STRENGTHEN PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN LATIN AMERICA:
IN MEMORY OF BERTA CÁCERES

March 10, 2016
by Andrea Reyes Blanco


‘THEY WANT TO PROHIBIT US FROM DREAMING’: 2014 Interview with Berta Cáceres

March 8, 2016, Jacobin
by Berta Cáceres and Chris Lewis

Letters and petitions

  • CUSLAR’s letter calling for the release and safe return to Mexico of Gustavo Castro Soto, a human rights leader and the lone witness to Berta’s murder. Click here to sign
  • For scholars: Letter of protest regarding the murder of Berta Cáceres and the deplorable Human Rights Conditions in Honduras. The letter will be sent to Secretary of State Kerry and will be used in other advocacy efforts. Click here to sign
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