CISPES Statement on the assassination of Berta Cáceres:

Early in the morning on March 3rd, armed intruders shot and killed Berta Cáceres, an organizer from Honduras’ indigenous Lenca community and Coordinator General of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras. Cáceres was a leader in the popular movement that surged following the 2009 US-backed military coup in Honduras and that has organized ongoing resistance to the repression, militarization and corporate land grabs that followed the coup. She had been receiving death threats for her organizing to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam megaproject for some time.

Berta’s murder represents a devastating loss to the Honduran people, the communities and movements she organized with, and the world at large. The fact that even an internationally-recognized human rights activist, winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize, with precautionary protection orders from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was not safe from the violent, State-sponsored repression that had claimed the lives of hundreds of other activists before her further highlights the dire human rights situation in the country. It also makes it increasingly hard for the United States to justify the millions of taxpayer dollars being sent to the Honduran security forces and government institutions responsible for this repression and impunity.

As CISPES mourns the loss of Berta, we echo the call of COPINH for an independent and impartial investigation into her murder and into the economic and political forces behind it.

Furthermore, CISPES calls on the United States government to end all training and aid to the Honduran security forces.



To read more about Berta’s life and work and how US policy has worked to undermine democracy and human rights in Honduras, read Greg Grandin’s piece in the Nation.

Check out the CISPES Facebook page for photos from mobilizations demanding justice for Berta in El Salvador and Washington DC.

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