Image courtesy of Witness for Peace

Berta Cáceres - internationally renowned activist in Honduras and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize - was assassinated on Wednesday March 3rd. Berta, cofounder and coordinator of National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was a leader of indigenous peoples defending their land, rivers, and rights. She was part of the ongoing struggle to stop the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company, DESA, on the Gualcarque River. 

Read more about Berta's life and legacy

 

UPDATE: HONDURAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES GUSTAVO CASTRO 

Gustavo Castro Soto was the only witness to Berta’s assassination, and was shot twice in the attack. A Mexican citizen and coordinator of Otros Mundos Chiapas/Friends of the Earth-Mexico, coordinator of the  Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model (M4), and Other Worlds’ co-founder and board member, Gustavo was held by the Honduran government for 24 days. Gustavo's testimony is key to preventing the Honduran government from distorting responsibility for the crime and their attempt to pin Berta's murder on COPINH itself.  

On March 31st, the First Courthouse of Letters of Intibucá, Honduras, acting on instructions from the judge Victorina Flores Orellana, decided to lift the measure prohibiting Gustavo Castro Soto from leaving the country. This decision was made after the Honduran General Attorney’s office requested that it be lifted on the basis of the argument that “all of the [necessary] investigations and scientific tests have been exhausted” in the case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres.  

 

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into the murder of Berta Cáceres. 

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Check out our blog, below, for further action alerts, articles, and updates from our allies in Honduras.

Alternatives Blog

As Hillary Clinton Defends Her Role in 2009 Coup, Is US Aid to Honduras Adding "Fuel to the Fire"?

May 24, 2016

Reposted from Truth Out

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

[Watch the interview here.]

We speak with Annie Bird, director of Rights & Ecology, a project of the Center for Political Ecology, about Hillary Clinton's role as secretary of state during the 2009 coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. "There's no other way to categorize what happened in 2009 other than a military coup with no legal basis," Bird says. "The U.S. was not willing to cut off assistance to Honduras, and that is the only reason it was not called a coup, a military coup. At the time, activists like Berta called for the assistance to be cut off, and today her children are calling for it to be cut off, because the U.S. assistance is actually adding fuel to the fire and stoking the economic interests of the people behind the coup."

¡BERTA VIVE! VIDA Y LEGAJO DE BERTA CÁCERES

May 20, 2016

Por Beverly Bell

9 de marzo de 2016

Crédito de la imagen: HispanTV

Empecé escribiendo una elegía para Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores hace años, aunque apenas murió  la semana pasada. El 3 de marzo, Berta fue asesinada por sicarios respaldados por el gobierno hondureño. Como muchos que la conocimos y trabajamos con ella, yo era consciente que esta luchadora por el poder de los pueblos indígenas, por el derecho al control de sus propios territorios, por los derechos de las mujeres y las personas LGBTI, por una democracia auténtica, por el bienestar de la Pachamama, por el fin de la tiranía del capital transnacional, y por el fin del imperio norteamericano, no estaba destinada a morir en la vejez.

ACTION ALERT: CALL CONGRESS TO STOP PEANUT DUMPING IN HAITI BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE!

April 27, 2016

Reposted from Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Please join the Haitian diaspora in demanding action against this initiative: As part of its “Stocks for Food” program, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haitian schools, which could destroy Haiti’s peanut market and the livelihood and income of 150,000 peanut farmers and their families. This is the latest in a long history of U.S.-sponsored programs which have destabilized Haiti’s agricultural sector, further impoverishing the nation and increasing its dependence on foreign aid. President Clinton had to apologize for one such misguided program in the 1990’s.

International Gathering ”Berta Cáceres Lives On” Ends in Violence: "The National Police were only pretending to be helping us”

April 25, 2016

Reposted from Counter Punch

By Gloria Jiménez

Participants in the International Gathering bathe in Río Gualcarque on April 15, 2017. Photo: Gloria Jimenez. 

A member of the indigenous Peche community strongly criticized the poor work of the police on the last day of the International Gathering “Berta Cáceres Lives On.” The gathering ended with a Mayan ceremony on April 17th in Rio Blanco, where members of the delegation were assaulted by paramilitaries. The aggressors were paid 250 lempiras, the equivalent of 11 dollars, by Desarrollos Energeticos SA, the company implementing the Agua Zarca dam project, according to local residents.

"People of the World: Intensify the Struggle" Declaration of the International Summit in Honor of Berta Cáceres

April 21, 2016

Reposted from Honduras Resists

April 17, 2016

Final Statement of the Berta Cáceres Lives International Peoples' Summit

[Declaración original en español]

Photo: Giorgio Trucchi

In this land of over 500 years of struggle, with the sound of free-flowing rivers, the strength of mountains, barrios and villages, the fury and tenderness of natural life, the spirit of the ancestors, the hopes and pain of men, women and children, the people of Berta gather in memory of her rebellious life.

“THE PEOPLES OF ¡BERTA VIVE!” INTERNATIONAL GATHERING: CÁCERES LIVES ON, AND SO DOES VIOLENCE BY HONDURAN GOVERNMENT AND DAM COMPANY

April 19, 2016

By Beverly Bell

"The Peoples of Berta Caceres" march to the Gualcarque River, April 15, 2016. Photo: Maggie Padlewska.

Fifteen hundred people from at least 22 countries convened in Honduras from April 13-15, 2016 for the “Peoples of ¡Berta Vive!” International Gathering. They came to honor slain global movement leader Berta Cáceres and to commit themselves to keeping her legacy alive.

Members of the international gathering also experienced the violence of the Honduran government and Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. - DESA, the foreign-backed company illegally constructing a dam on the indigenous ancestral Gualcarque River - which shadowed Berta throughout her final years and ended her life this past March 2.

COPINH communique on the attack on COPINH and the Encuentro pariticipants

April 18, 2016

[Original en español]

COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) communicates the following to the Honduran people and to the international community:

There has been new physical aggression by employees of the company DESA (Desarrollos Energeticos S.A.) owned by the Atala family, after a spiritual intercultural ceremony for our comrade Berta Caceres that was part of an activity carried out by an international solidarity caravan at the Gualcarque River as part of the International Conference “Berta Careers Lives”.

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