ASTM condemns the murder of human rights defender and indigenous leader Berta Cáceres in Honduras

ASTM puts the protection and realization of human rights at the center of its vision and activities. We therefore firmly condemn the assassination of Berta Cáceres, a prominent human rights defender, an indigeneous leader and spokesperson of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras fort he past 20 years. In order to show our support in this moment of grief, we signed the international joint statement initiated by Global Gampaign Dismantle Power and Stop Impunity.

International condemn of the murder of indigenous leader Bertha Cáceres in Honduras

4th March 2016, Planet Earth


Berta Caceres / Photo credit RightsAndResources.org

Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and spokeperson for more than 20 years of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – Copinh), was murdered on 3rd March while she was resting in her home in La Esperanza, Intibucá, about 188 km from Tegucigalpa, by “unknown” gunmen.

Berta Cáceres was a firm defender of small farmers and indigenous peoples’ rights and an inspiring social activist, both at regional and continental level, in defense of social and environmental justice, particularly against mining megaprojects and hydropower plants.

She had warned amny times about Free Trade Agreements as part of the machinery of impunity of transnational corporations. Berta committed her life to health, land, against patriarchism and violence. She opposed the political golpe of 28th June 2009; COPINH denounced the golpe as an instrument of violence serving transnational corporations to exploit resources and to repress the dissent of social movements. Bertha also opposed US military bases on Lenca territory.

In April 2015, Berta Cáceres was awarded with Goldman price, one of the most prestigious awards for environmental defenders. She was awarded for her hard work in defense of the Lenca territory against the Agua Zarca Hydropower Project of the Chinese transnational SINOHYDRO and national company Desarrollo Energético Sociedad Anónima (DESA).
Lenca people had been denouncing for years the violation of human right to water as source of life and culture by corporates, military and governmental actors.

Berta Cáceres was mother of four and was assigned precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) which were not accomplished by the state. Bertha has been assassinated by a state who protect the interests of local capital, transnational corporations who have spoiled the territory. Bertha’s commitment in favour of life, of those most in need, was reason of several trials, investigations and threats against her.

The indigenous leader denounced many times death threats against her, and this was happening among a general violent context; 111 environmental activists in Honduras have been killed between 2002 and 2014, according to the 2014 report “¿Cuántos más?” of the ONG Global Witness. This makes Honduras the country with the highest rate of violence among the 17 countries analysed in the report. It also shows the architecture of impunity and violence of the large scale mining, of the hydroelectric business, among other activities in favour of 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.

We firmly demands to the government of Honduras

  • To put an end to impunity and proper investigation on the murder of Bertha Cáceres, as well as of all other social and environmental justice activists.
  • To ensure the integrity, freedom and to respect Human Rights of Gustavo Castro de Soto and of Aureliano Molina.
  • To suspend all projects that have been denounced by Human Rights defenders, among which the Hydropower plant Agua Zarca on Rio Blanco and the Blue Energy project on Rio Cangel.
  • That corporations and finance institutions withdraw their support and investments from projects that have violated HHRR or where there has been no free prior and informed consultation, according to ILO Convention 169.
  • To put an end to persecution and criminalization of Human Rights defenders and to accomplish with all precautionary measures for the integrity and safety of people.

We express our solidarity and extend our condolences to the family and close friends of Berta Cáceres, to the Lenca people, and to the people of Honduras who suffer her irreparable loss.

Finally, we call for an international peoples’ mobilization and immediate denounce of Berta’s assassination to the embassies and consulates of Honduras in our respective countries, to express our repudiation of such crimes and our firm demand of justice.

Link to the worldwide protests on the murder of Berta Cáceres

Link to another urgent action initiated by the Central American and Mexican social movements on Gustavo Castro, injured during the murder of Berta Cáceres (please also endorse)

Firmas / Endorsement

International orgs/networks/ Redes y organizaciones internacionales

Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe, ATALC
Confederación Sindical de trabajadores y trabajadoras de las Américas (CSA)
International Rivers
CADTM (Comité para la Anulación de la Deuda del Tercer Mundo)
Friends of the Earth International (FOEI)
Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity
ISP Americas
Transnational Institute (TNI)
Young Friends of the Earth Europe

National level/ Nivel nacional

Adhesiva Espai de trobada i acció
AESO Asociación de Ecología Social
Aitec-IPAM, France
Alianza Internacional de habitantes, Pobladores Ac
Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) – Alliance Against Mining Philippines
Amigos da Terra Brasil
Amigos de la Tierra – España
Amigos de la Tierra Argentina
Armenian Women For Health And Healthy Environment NGO /AWHHE/
Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras – AMB
Asamblea Ayotzinapa Catalunya
Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental, México
Asociación ciudadana ACCEDER, Costa Rica
Asociación de apoyo mutuo entre mujeres-Honduras – APOMUH
Asociación Qachuu Aloom, (Madre Tierra) Rabinal, Baja Verapaz
Asociación Raxch’ och’ Oxlaju Aj (Tierra Verde 13 Aj) AROAJ. Carcha, Alta Verapaz Guatemala
ASTM – Projets Amérique Latine, Luxembourg
Atacama limpio, Chile
ATTAC Argentina
Attac France
Bloque Verde
Blue Planet Project
Calala Fondo de Mujeres, Spain
Campaña Popular Palestina contra el Muro de Apartheid (Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign – Stop the Wall)
CCJS, Switzerland
CENSAT Agua Viva – Amigos de la Tierra Colombia
Centro de Derechos de Mujeres, Honduras
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)
Centro de investigación de la comunicación (CINCO), Nicaragua
Coalición de los Pueblos por la Soberanía Alimentaria PCFS
Coalición Palestina de la Defensa de la Tierra (Palestinian Land Defense Coalition)
COECOceiba Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica
Col·lectiu Respostes a les transnacionals (RETS), Catalunya
Colectivo Revuelta Verde
Collectif Venezuela 13 Avril, Bruselas, Bélgica
Comité por los derechos humanos en América Latina, Montréal, Canadá
Comité pour le respect des Droits Humains “Daniel Gillard”, Bruselas, Bélgica
COMUNA Caribe, de Puerto Rico
Consejo de Defensa del Valle del Huasco, Chile
Cooperacció , Barcelona (miembro de GS)
Council of Canadians
Creando Valle, Chile
Diálogo 2000 – Jubileo Sur Argentina
Ditsö, Costa Rica
Ecologistas en Acción
Ekologistak Martxan (PAís Vasco)
Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF)
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria
European Environmental Bureau (Europe)
FASE, Brazil
FDCL, Germany
FECON (Federación Ecologista Costarricense)
FECON. Federación Ecologista Costarricense.
Feminist Task Force
Focus on the Global South
Food & Water Watch
Foro México Suiza MFS
France Amérique Latine (FAL)
Freirina Conciente, Chile
Frente de Comunidades en Contra de la Incineración
Fronteras Comunes de Canadá
Fundación Ethnos . Nicaragua
Fundación servicio Paz y Justicia – Argentina
Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación (México)
Global Greengrants Fund
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Green Delaware
Grito de las y los Excluidos Nicaragua.
groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa
Grupo de Trabajo Suiza Colombia ask!
Grupo de investigación en ddhh y sostenibilidad de la Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad de la UPC
Grupo Guayubira, Uruguay
Grupo Sur (Red Europea de ONGs), Bruselas
he Association for International Water Studies, Norway
Health and Environment Justice Support (HEJSupport)
Homa – Centro de Direitos Humanos e Empresas firma
Iglesia Católica de la Región de Atacama, Chile
Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)
IndyACT Lebanon
Inesc – Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos, Brazil
Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas (Ibase), Brazil
Instituto de Estudios Ecologistas del Tercer Mundo, Ecuador
Instituto EQUIT – Gênero, Economia e Cidadania Global, Brazil
Instituto Latinoamericano para una sociedad y un derecho alternativos, ILSA
JA! Justica Ambiental/ FOE Mozambique
KRuHA Indonesia (people’s coalition for the right to water)
L’Association d’ex-prisonniers politiques chiliens, France
Laboratorio de Investigación en Desarrollo Comunitario y Sustentabilidad, LIDECS
Labour,Health and Human Rights Development Centre
Marxa Mundial de Dones, Catalunya
Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres, Nicaragua
Movimiento de Afectados por Represas Brasil ( MAB)
Movimiento Ríos Vivos de Costa Rica
NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina – Paz con Dignidad (OMAL)
Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica, México
Oilwatch Costa Rica
Organización de Mujeres Campesinas e Indígenas CONAMURI-Paraguay
Organización Huascoalto, Chile
Osvaldo Durán Castro, Costa Rica.
Otros Mundos A.C. /Amigos de la Tierra México
Oxfam Solidariteit, Belgium
PAPDA – Haití
Paz con Dignidad
Perifèries, Estado español
Plataforma de gestión cultural Cusuco – Nicaragua
Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid
Plataforma de Solidaridad con Guatemala de Barcelona
Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD Regional)
Polaris Institute, Canada
PROAL. Proyectos Alternativos, Costa Rica.
Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e Investigación
Proyecto Videastas Indígenas de la Frontera Sur (PVIFS)
RECOMA – Red latinoamericana contra los monocultivos de árboles
Red de Acción en Plaguicidas y Alternativas en México (RAPAM) A.C.
Red de Ecologistas Populares, Ecuador
Red de Trabajadoras Sexuales de Honduras
Red Latinoamericana sobre Industrias Extractivas (RLIE)
REDES-Amigos de la Tierra (FoE) Uruguay
REDLAR Costa Rica
Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC), Canadá
Rural Coalition, USA
“Sandía Digital, Laboratorio de Cultura Audiovisual.
Solidaridad Suecia – América Latina (Solidarity Sweden – Latin America)
TEDIC, Paraguay
The Gaia Foundation
Unión de Afectadas y afectados por Texaco – Chevron (UDAPT)
WIDE+ Women In Development Europe+
WRM – Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques

Share this: