Berta Cáceres, co-founder and leader of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was assassinated early this morning in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras.
In recent weeks Berta had experienced escalated threats as a result of her work to peacefully denounce the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam in Rio Blanco. Other members of COPINH and community leaders are currently at risk for their efforts to protect Indigenous land rights in the area.
Berta dedicated her life to defending Indigenous land rights in Honduras, particularly those of the Lenca people. She was a strong voice for human rights and economic justice issues in the country. As a result of her work she was under significant threat and at times had to flee the country. Berta was granted precautionary measures by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights and received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. Her death is emblematic of the extreme violence women human rights defenders experience in Honduras and throughout Central America.
Civil society in Honduras and internationally are rallying in solidarity to condemn the murder and call for an immediate investigation into her death. Together they urge the international community to write to embassies in Honduras – particularly the US Embassy – to put pressure on the government of Honduras to properly investigate Berta’s death and hold perpetrators accountable.
“Honduras Indigenous Leader Berta Caceres Assassinated in Home”, TeleSur, 3 March 2016.
Watch “Women Crossing The Line: Breaking the Silence Violence Against Women in Honduras” to hear Berta talk about her work
Join the call for an immediate investigation in to Berta’s murder! Tweet at US Secretary of State John Kerry @StateDept and Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson @WHAAsstSecty to urge them to call for a proper investigation in to her death: