PBI-Honduras with COPINH on the 8th anniversary of the murder of Indigenous Lenca water protector Berta Cáceres

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Near midnight on March 2, 2016, assassins hired by DESA, a company seeking to build a hydroelectric dam opposed by the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), broke into the home of COPINH’s general coordinator, Indigenous Lenca water protector Berta Caceres, shot her, and escaped. She died minutes later in the arms of friend Gustavo Castro, who was also shot in the attack.

In Honduras, there is a saying: “blood of martyrs, seed of freedom.” 18th century martyred Aymara leader Tupac Katari is also attributed to saying: “I will come back, and I will be millions.” Following Berta’s murder, a popular saying emerged: “They wanted to bury her, but they didn’t know that she was a seed” and thus “Berta multiplied”.

PBI-Honduras has posted:

“We agree with @COPINHHONDURAS during the 8th sowing of #indigenous #defender #lenca Berta Cáceres. It is important to advance the #justice process for Berta, COPINH and the community of Rio Blanco. Berta will return and will be millions. #JusticeForBerta.”

On March 2, PBI-Honduras also tweeted:

“Yesterday, we observed the premiere of the documentary ‘The Illusion of Abundance’ in Utopia (La Esperanza) as well as the subsequent dialogue between the communities of the @COPINHHONDURAS. ‘This film was made to generate debate and raise awareness’ (Bertha Zúniga Cáceres).”

“The screening of ‘The illusion of abundance’ took place in the framework of our project ‘Walking together: comprehensive protection for women and people of sexual and gender dissidence, defenders of #HumanRights in #Honduras’, funded by @AECID_Honduras [the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation].”

Our friend Amnesty International Canada Latin America Campaigns Coordinator Kathy Price also tweeted: “The legacy of #BertaCáceres is alive in Canada. In the words that surround Berta’s tree! In the commitment of all who make their call their own: ‘Let’s wake up, there is no time’! Solidarity with @COPINHHONDURAS #JusticeForBerta #TheStruggleContinues #BertaMultiplied #BertaSeed”

Solidarity with Palestine

And we take note that COPINH expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people at this 8th anniversary gathering. They tweeted:

“At the #8yearAniversary of the Sowing #BertaCáceres, we stand in solidarity with the people #palestine, who face a painful humanitarian and environmental crisis on the part of the State of Israel.”

“We firmly believe in the importance of people’s solidarity and support in such adverse times, therefore, from these Lenca lands we join the global action for Gaza and Palestine.”

Further reading: Peace Brigades International urges Israel to implement ICJ decision to prevent genocide in Gaza; calls on international community to increase efforts to guarantee peace.

Berta Cáceres in her own words

Photo: Berta Caceres.

In the preface to this interview with Berta Caceres from 2015, Asís Castellanos and Adrienne Pine comment in Toward Freedom:

“Berta’s close relationships with Zapatista organizers and anti-hierarchical Indigenous movements throughout the Americas, as well as her collaborations with non-Indigenous-identified anarchist-leaning organizers were mutually beneficial and constitutive. Though her leadership, revolutionary clarity and vision were undeniable (as her words demonstrate), her praxis centered on building broad-based, radically democratic, horizontalist movements and coalitions capable of confronting the murderous power of capital and creating in its stead a profoundly different model of social organization.”

To read that interview in full, click here.

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

Video: On March 8, 2016, people gathered in front of the Embassy of Honduras in Ottawa, Canada to demand justice just days after the murder of Cáceres.

COPINH’s coordinators have been accompanied by PBI Honduras since May 2016.

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