PBI-Canada remembers Berta Cáceres on the 4th anniversary of her murder

Published by Brent Patterson on

Today, March 2, is the fourth anniversary of the murder of human right defender Berta Cáceres, the co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).

This morning COPINH posted on its Facebook page, “Berta lives, lives in the Lenca people who fight against those who try to snatch their territory, lives in women who raise their voice to defend their rights, lives in the struggles of peoples for water and life. 4 years from her sowing, Berta lives in the heart of all rebellion!”

In April 2015, less than a year before she was killed, Cáceres gave this acceptance speech when she received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize:

“In our worldview, we are beings who come from the Earth, from the water, and from corn.

The Lenca people are ancestral guardians of the rivers, in turn protected by the spirits of young girls, who teach us that giving our lives in various ways for the protection of the rivers is giving our lives for the well-being of humanity and of this planet.

COPINH, walking alongside people struggling for their emancipation, validates this commitment to continue protecting our waters, the rivers, our shared resources and nature in general, as well as our rights as a people.

Let us wake up! We’re out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction.

The Gualcarque River has called upon us, as have other gravely threatened rivers.

We must answer their call.

Our Mother Earth – militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated – demands that we take action.

Let us build societies that are able to coexist in a dignified way, in a way that protects life.

Let us come together and remain hopeful as we defend and care for the blood of this Earth and of its spirits.

I dedicate this award to all the rebels out there, to my mother, to the Lenca people, to Rio Blanco, and to the martyrs who gave their lives in the struggle to defend our natural resources.”

To watch the 3-minute video of her speech, please click here.

On February 10 of this year, PBI-Honduras posted, “On the third of this month we attended in front of the Public Ministry in Tegucigalpa the meeting convened by COPINH to different national and international organizations in which more than 1000 signatures were presented demanding justice for the Berta case and the follow-up of the investigation to reach the intellectual authors of her murder.”

PBI-Honduras has also noted on its website, “The organisation promotes the protection of territories and the recognition of the political, economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous peoples in Honduras. Investigations into the murder of Berta Cáceres and COPINH’s work in communities where land conflicts have been ongoing for decades, have had a significant impact on the organisation’s security situation.”

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project began accompanying COPINH in May 2016.

Categories: News Updates


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