Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and spokesperson for more than 20 years of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – Copinh), was murdered on March 3, by “unknown” gunmen. Mexican activist Gustavo Castro, wounded in the attack on Berta, was held for several weeks by the authorities of Honduras in the country despite having already answered to the requirements of justice on numerous occasions. After numerous protests and pressure from Honduran, Mexican and international civil society, Gustavo Castro was able to return safely to Mexico at the end of March.
Berta Cáceres was a firm defender of small farmers and indigenous peoples’ rights and an inspiring social activist, both at regional and continental level, in defense of social and environmental justice, particularly against mining megaprojects and hydropower plants. She had warned many times about Free Trade Agreements as part of the machinery of impunity of transnational corporations. Berta committed her life to health, land, against patriarchism and violence. She opposed the political coup d’etat of June 28, 2009; COPINH denounced the coup as an instrument of violence serving transnational corporations to exploit resources and to repress the dissent of social movements. Berta also opposed US military bases on Lenca territory.
Berta Cáceres was part of the resistance against the “Agua Zarca” project, a dam project developed in cooperation with European and US finance institutions: The German giant Voith Siemens, the FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company), Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation), and the CABEI (Central American Bank for Economic Integration).
The Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity has demonstrated its indignation in front of Berta Cáceres assassination and has joined the International mobilisation of Solidarty with COPINH and the demand of Justice in the case of Berta.
The Solidarity Actions deployed by the Global Campaign in this case are the following:
- Launch an the International Statement “Justice for Berta Caceres”, signed by hundreds of organizations from all continents and delivered in different consulates and embassies of Honduras and Mexico during March.
- Exposing corporate impunity in this case during the mobilization of the Global Campaign at the United Nations (Geneva 9 – 11 March 2016) at the occasion of the Human Rights Council Session and the presentation of the report of the Intergovernmental Working Group for the Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights; in oral statements, in a Side event, aswell as in a public demonstration at the UN Square, where a Press Conference was held. This action was followed by thte delivery of the International Statement at US and the European Union embassies, as well as to the Honduras and Mexico representatives at the UN.
- Active participation at the International Solidarity Mission to Honduras “Justice for Berta Cáceres and COPINH”, from 17 to 20 March 2016.
- Support to the tour of COPINH in Europe (17th April to 7th May 2016).
More information and links to the mobilisation in Honduras:
- Follow by Twitter: #JusticiaParaBerta #MisionJusticiaBerta