Peoples Mobilisations against Corporate Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty convergence at the UN
The brutal assassination of Berta Cáceres in her home in Esperanza, Honduras on March 3, has generated an unprecedented protest against corporate impunity and a demand for effective access from around the world. It is this global demand that will be central to defining the deliberations of the UNHRC on March 11 as the Report of the Open Ended Inter Governmental Working Group on TNCs is presented.
Berta Cáceres, a woman indigenous leader and staunch defender of Peoples rights and sovereignty against the corporate led dam project Agua Zarca has been in the forefront of demanding an end to such projects financed by International Financial institutions and imposed by complicit governments. The indigenous leader protested the many death threats against her, which were taking place against a general violent context: 111 environmental activists in Honduras have been killed between 2002 and 2014, according to the Global Witness 2014 report “¿Cuántos más?“. This makes Honduras the country with the highest rate of violence against human and environmental rights defenders among the 17 countries analysed in the report. It also shows an architecture of impunity and violence protecting for instance the interests of large scale mining, the hydroelectric industry and favouring private capital and complicit governments. According to the Honduras-based organization ACI-PARTICIPA (Asociación para la participación ciudadana en Honduras) more than 90% of assassinations and abuses in the country remain unpunished.
The shots that killed Bertha are a continuum of the militarised violence that increasingly cost the lives of leaders and citizens defending human rights and the environment around the world. In this context it is also very important to urge immediate protection for Gustavo Castro, injured during the assassination of Berta Cáceres.
Our protest will be heard inside and outside the Assembly Hall of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 11, as the Chair of the Open Ended Inter-Governmental Working Group (OEIGWG), Ambassador Maria Fernanda Espinosa, delivers her progress report on Transnational Corporations and human rights.
It is the persistent resistance of defenders of human rights which have brought the issue of corporate impunity to the agenda of the UNHRC and continues to give momentum to the mandate of the OEIGWG set up in June 2014 to establish a binding international instrument to address TNCs and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. This growing and irreversible demand for access to justice is linked to an articulation of a new model of economy and politics that puts peoples rights above the profits of corporations.
Civil society organisations, including the Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power have planned several mobilisation activities around the 31st UNHRC regular session:
Wednesday 9th of March, 2016
16:00-17:00, Palais des Nations, Room XVIII: Side Event: “How to hold TNCs accountable for Human Rights violations?”
Video record of the Side Event
Thursday 10th of March, 2016
Friday 11th of March, 2016
Report on the first session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, with the mandate of elaborating an international legally binding instrument
International Statement on the murder of Berta Cáceres, endorsed by the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity [Please endorse with the name of your organisation/network]
Urgent Action: “We urge immediate protection for Gustavo Castro, injured during the assassination of Berta Cáceres” [Please endorse with the name of your organisation/network]
We will be updating during the week on the media activities.