Berta Cáceres, ¡Presente!
On Thursday the world woke to the devastating news that Berta Cáceres, world-renowned Honduran indigenous activist, leader of the Lenca people, and mother of four, was murdered in her home in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras. Though her life had been threatened many times over the years of her work, it was a shock to those who knew and worked with her.
Cáceres was a founder of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH), a powerful coalition fighting for indigenous, environmental, and human rights around Honduras.
We must undertake the struggle in all parts of the world, wherever we may be, because we have no other spare or replacement planet. We have only this one, and we have to take action.
Many Thousand Currents staff have met and are grateful to have spent time with Berta. One of whom described her presence, “Her spirit gave power to the earth’s struggle.”
May her spirit live on in the powerful organization that she built and in the many, many people that she touched and inspired.
Statements from Thousand Currents allies:
Goldman Environment Prize, see Cáceres’ acceptance speech below at the 2015 Goldman Prize ceremony:
Berta was not killed by lone gunmen. She was killed by plunder, by exploitation, by all the economic and political forces that enslave and upend the natural world in the name of profit. If we are moved by Berta’s killing, it is our work to hold the actors behind these forces accountable.
“We should all be as fierce, determined, visionary and brave as Berta was.
~ Jeff Conant, friend of Berta and senior international forest campaigner at Friends of the Earth
When the powerful extinguish a light like Berta Cáceres, it is up to all of us to burn brighter.
Sign and share #JusticiaParaBerta:
- Justicia para Berta y el Pueblo Lenca: Cancelen el Proyecto Agua Zarca, COPINH
- Justice for Berta!, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
- Congress: Probe Assassination of Berta Caceres in Honduras, MoveOn.org
- Petition demanding Gustavo Castro Soto’s safe return to Mexico – Castro, an environmental activist from Mexico, was a guest in Cáceres’ home during the attack on Wednesday night, witnessed it, and was injured himself. He is still being held by Honduran authorities.
- Other Worlds: Help demand Gustavo Castro Soto’s safety and security (in English) (en español)
- Petition: Justicia ante el asesinato de Berta Cáceres, defensora feminista indígena de Fondo de Acción Urgente (en español)
- Demand justice for Berta NOW, Friends of the Earth
- Tell the State Department and USAID: We Demand Justice for Berta, Witness for Peace
- Letter to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Demanding an Independent International Investigation into the Murder of Environmental and Indigenous Activist Berta Cáceres, signed by over 50 organizations
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Condemns the Killing of Berta Cáceres in Honduras
Learn more about Berta Cáceres’ life and work:
- Asesinan a Berta Cáceres, líder indígena de Honduras, TeleSUR
- Berta Cáceres, Honduran human rights and environment activist, murdered and Murder of activist Berta Cáceres sparks violent clashes in Honduras, Guardian UK
- Honduran Indigenous Leader Berta Cáceres Assassinated, Won Goldman Environmental Prize, Democracy Now
- Berta Cáceres is the most recent environmental activist to be killed trying to protect her home, Grist
- ‘Her Life Hung by a Thread Because of This Work’: CounterSpin interview with Beverly Bell of Other Worlds on Berta Caceres, indigenous environmental activist
- Murder of Indigenous Activist Berta Cáceres Exposes Reality of War on Honduran Social Justice Movements, Upside Down World
- The violence and impunity against indigenous activists like Cáceres cannot be fully understood outside of the context of the 2009 military coup, which paved the way for multinational interests and free market policies to be implemented at any cost in Honduras. See The Nation article, “The Clinton-backed Honduran regime is picking off indigenous leaders” or Fair.org article, “US Contribution to Death of Honduran Activist Goes Unmentioned in US Coverage.”
Learn more about the threats to environmental activists in Honduras and around the world:
- How many more? Global Witness report shows killings of environmental activists are increasing, with indigenous communities hardest hit
- Map: 116 environmental activists were killed in just one year, Grist
- Women Crossing the Line: Breaking the Silence on Violence Against Women in Honduras, Nobel Women’s Institute and JASS
- In our bones: Stories from women defending land, community, human rights, and the environment in Indonesia and the Philippines, Urgent Action Fund
- The deadly price of environmental activism, DW