Global Day of Action Demanding Justice for Berta Cáceres
June 15, 2016
Today, human rights activists are protesting around the world at Honduran consulates and embassies, international development agencies, and government institutions that provide economic development and security aid to the Honduran government – responding to a call to action from the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to demand Justice for Berta Cáceres.
1) The immediate establishment of an independent research group led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to clarify the assassination of internationally-renowned Honduran Indigenous and land rights defender Berta Cáceres on March 3, 2016, and ensure the prosecution of all those responsible.
2) The immediate and definitive cancellation of the concession granted to the DESA company, builder of the “Agua Zarca” Hydroelectric Dam Project in Río Blanco, Honduras, which Cáceres was protesting at the time of her murder.
On this day of global action, it is crucial to continue pressing for a transparent, thorough, and comprehensive investigation of the intellectual authors of Berta’s murder. The Honduran government has not responded to the request of Berta’s family and the COPINH community for an independent investigation with experts chosen by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The five suspects that have been arrested so far are are believed to be the hitman and intermediates, but not the intellectual authors who ordered Berta’s murder.
“We are confronting a monster- just for defending the natural resources. When a community resists, when it doesn’t want to give away and privatize the land and water, it is threatened with violence and the Honduran state begins to take away public services and strategically divide the community,” notes Tomás Gómez Membreño, Cáceres’ successor as head of the organization she founded. Gómez has been touring the U.S. in the weeks leading up to the 15th, when he will be speaking to members of Congress and representatives of international financial institutions (IFIs) in DC. Those standing with Gómez and Honduras’ social movements echo their call for comprehensive change to U.S. policy and development practices impacting Honduras.
Over 60 members of Congress have asked for an independent international investigation into Cáceres’ assassination; an immediate halt to all U.S. assistance to Honduran state security forces; the review of U.S. support for loans to projects in Honduras from U.S.-funded IFIs; and the cessation of the Agua Zarca dam.
Show your solidarity on social media:
- On this Global Day of Action Demanding #JusticeForBerta, I stand in solidarity with @COPINHHONDURAS.
- I demand #JusticeForBerta during the @COPINHHONDURAS #AccionGlobal15Junio pic.twitter.com/zLBBBJr1fS
- Exijo #JusticiaParaBerta con @COPINHHONDURAS en el #AccionGlobal15Junio
- Me sumo al #AccionGlobal15Junio demandando #JusticiaParaBerta en solidaridad con @COPINHHONDURAS.
In the United States, protests for Justice for Berta Cáceres will take place in:
- Washington, DC (followed by a march to the Inter-American Development Bank to demand that the bank ends funding for polemic projects in Honduras like the Agua Zarca Dam which displaces communities or are imposed without true, free, prior and informed consent; and then to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to echo the call of over 60 members of Congress who demanded a review of US support for loans to projects in Honduras to ensure that US funding does not undermine the land rights of indigenous people and small farmers.)
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- New Orleans
For a list of embassy locations to join the protests, visit: School of the Americas Watch
Other actions are being organized in Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Columbia, Costa Rica, Italy, England, Spain, Austria, Canada, Germany, and other countries.
Visit COPINH’s Global Day of Action blog for updates on actions around the world: http://copinhaccionglobal15j.blogspot.com/
Letter from Tomás Gómez, General Coordinator of COPINH, to join the march in Washington, DC:
We at the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), are calling on all organizations, social and popular movements and to the civil society of the world.
The death of Berta Cáceres has filled us with indignation. We carry the pain with us, but we also carry the strength of her thought, her work, and the longing for justice. The principles that she fought for are what will save humanity, which is why we call on you to participate in a worldwide protest that will bring all of our voices together to demand justice for Berta Cáceres, justice for Gustavo Castro, justice for COPINH and justice for the people of Honduras.
Please join me on June 15th in Washington, DC to answer this call.
On June 15, in Honduras organizations and social movements, institutions, ordinary people will march to demand the immediate establishment of an independent research group that, in a transparent, thorough and comprehensive way, investigate the murder of our sister and companion.
On that day we would like our sisters and brothers from other countries in the world to join us by carrying out protest actions in front of the Honduran embassies of your respective countries to demand the following:
1. The immediate establishment of an independent research group led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to clarify this vile crime and ensure the prosecution of all those responsible.
2. The immediate and definitive cancellation of the concession granted to DESA company, constructor of the Hydroelectric Project “Agua Zarca” in Rio Blanco.
The actions carried out by the Honduran state and its organizations are insufficient and are not aimed at achieving justice. On the contrary, they are assuring that this crime will go unpunished.
Join me in DC to put a stop to death, impunity and injustice.
Tomás Gómez Membreño
General Coordinator of COPINH
JUSTICE FOR BERTA,
MEANS JUSTICE FOR THE WORLD