On 2nd March 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras. Berta Cáceres was one of the outstanding figures in the organisation against the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras, a leading figure in the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH, and a leader of the indigenous Lenca community. The Agua Zarca Dam is one of the many projects that deplete and destroy the planet, and in the context of which so many people are killed and dispossessed to ensure the profit and the comfort of others.
Her struggle for life, for water, and for land continues, and must continue. We call readers of this blog to organize for life and dignity, against the violent expansion of ‘dead land, dead water’ (as Saskia Sassen put it so aptly in her book Expulsions), in the spirit of Berta Cáceres and in your calendars and geographies.
Berta is one of many Honduran defenders of the environment and of social, cultural and political Human Rights who has been killed – since 2010, more than 120 have been killed according to a recent report by Global Witness. Only two weeks ago José Santos Sevilla was assassinated in his home in Montaña de la Flor. He was a member of the indigenous Tolupan community, who fought to protect their ancestral lands against international mining and logging companies. As for those responsible for the assassination of Berta, a satisfactory investigation is still outstanding. Eight individuals have been arrested and accused of having carried out the assassination; out of those eight men, two were retired and one was a serving military officer. Two of them are reported to have received military training from the U.S. COPINH has launched a petitition to demand justice in the holistic sense of the word.
Spanish-speakers are invited to follow the news released on the website of COPINH. They have called for a day of action and solidarity to nurture the seeds that Berta has planted. There will also be a live radio broadcast on today’s events. This collection of voices speaking (in Spanish) about Berta and about the seeds of dignity, courage and determination she has sown is available as a recording for those who’d like to listen later. You can also follow on Twitter at #JusticiaparaBerta.
For background, we recommend the excellent documentary Unrelenting Rebellion, available in Spanish with English subtitles, on the projects and struggles of COPINH. Please make a point of sharing it, especially today, 2nd March 2017.
Source of image: COPINH, https://copinh.org/inicio