JUSTICE
FOR BERTA
IN HONDURAS

Tell Honduras to stop deadly violence against those who work to protect Indigenous lands and the environment.

Tell the Government of Honduras you want justice for Berta Cáceres and protection for her family, colleagues and all who defend human rights.

PROTECT DEFENDERS OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN HONDURAS.

On 2 March 2016, Berta Caceres, a courageous defender of the environment and indigenous rights, was shot dead by gunmen who entered her home in Intibucá, Honduras. Berta and the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras – COPINH, campaigned against the construction of a hydroelectric dam project called Agua Zarca and the impact it would have on the territory of the Lenca People.  This struggle put Berta at great risk and continues to threaten the lives of other members of COPINH and any organization questioning the development of economic projects in the Lenca territory.

It was a tragedy waiting to happen. Berta had repeatedly denounced aggression and death threats against her. They had increased as she campaigned against the Agua Zarca project.

“THEY FOLLOW ME.
THEY THREATEN TO KILL ME AND KIDNAP MY FAMILY.
THIS IS WHAT WE FACE.”
- Berta

Since Berta’s murder, Amnesty International has documented a pattern of threats and abuse against those who seek justice on her case or report the actions of powerful companies against local indigenous or peasants communities. Six months after her murder, at least two more defenders were killed and four more attacked.

Will you stand with Berta’s family and fellow Indigenous rights defenders in this time of such danger? Please honour Berta’s courageous commitment to human rights by telling Honduras: the world is watching.

Update: On 2 May 2016, the Honduran General Attorney’s office arrested four men in connection with the crime. The suspects have ties with DESA, the company building the Agua Zarca dam, and the Honduran military. However, the lack of transparency in the investigation, including the fact that the family has been systematically kept in the dark regarding developments and the refusal by investigators to question high ranking officials is jeopardizing the investigation. Failure to seek real justice will send the message that human rights defenders can be killed and nothing will be done about it. Join us and urge the government of Honduras to protect the defenders of the environment and ensure justice for the murder of Berta Caceres and other land defenders.


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Dear Attorney General

c/o the President of the Republic of Honduras

I am shocked and saddened by the murder of Berta Cáceres that resulted from the failure to provide effective protection, as requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

I am also deeply troubled by flaws in the investigation to bring Berta’s killers to justice. Impunity will only fuel the deadly violence against defenders of Indigenous rights, lands and the environment with which Honduras has lamentably become synonymous.


I call on you to:


  • Ensure truth and justice regarding the murders of Berta Cáceres and other defenders by making use of all domestic and international resources available to carry out an impartial, exhaustive, timely and credible investigation, as requested by Berta’s family and colleagues. Give Berta’s family and lawyers access to the files.

  • The investigation must examine all the threats and attacks that Berta Cáceres and other members of COPINH and MILPAH  had reported in connection to their efforts to uphold their rights, and bring to justice all those responsible, including the masterminds.

  • Ensure that no development project advances without meaningful consultation and the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples whose lands and rights will be affected, in compliance with international standards including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169.

Sincerely,

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
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