Last night, assassins gunned down Honduran indigenous leader and environmental activist Berta Cáceres. Her family said that she had been receiving death threats for leading an ongoing struggle against a hydroelectric dams and defending the rights of indigenous communities.In 2015, Berta won the Goldman Prize for her work, and the InterAmerican Commission for Human rights had called on the Honduran government to protect her in light of recent threats.
This afternoon, the Movement of Victims of Climate Change and Corporations (MOVIAC), of which Voices on the Border is a member, released the following statement:
The Assassination of our Compañera de la Lucha Berta Cáceres Fills Us with Profound Feelings of Sadness and Indignation
More than 100 communities in five countries in Mesoamerica organized as the Movement of Victims Affected by Climate Change and Corporations (MOVIAC), faced with the cowardly assassination of our compañera de la lucha and leader of the Lenca people declare:
Berta Cáceres was a tireless fighter in the defense of human rights of her people, as well as a prominent environmentalist that defended the land of indigenous communities against the voracity of corporations.
We have no doubt that this murder is part of a strategy of repression against environmental activists, carried out on a global scale and motivated by powerful transnational corporations and powerful economic interests in Honduras, that are accustomed to violating human rights and plundering the region with impunity.
Berta’s assassination is not an isolated event, rather one of many in the region. Activists in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, and Gatemala have been subject to brutal repression and killed for their legitimate struggle to defend their territory against aggressive mining, oil, energy companies, land speculators, and the like.
We declare from Mesoamerica we will be vigilant and demand that this cruel and cowardly murder does not go unpunished.
May Berta Cáceres’ example endure forever as an inexhaustible source of inspiration and indignation for all people, organizations and movements, and that her work serve as an example of the courage, commitment, and determination of struggle with marginalized people of the world.
BERTA CACERES, HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE