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IPCM decries killing of anti-mining and indigenous environment activist of Honduras

March 5, 2016

IPCM decries killing of anti-mining and indigenous environment activist of Honduras

The International People’s Conference on Mining (IPCM) condemns the assassination of Berta Caceres, an internationally recognized and indigenous environmental activist. Caceres was shot dead by unknown gunmen who entered her home in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras on March 3, 2016.

berta caceres collage

Photo collage in remembrance of Berta Caceres. Photo from rabble.ca

 

The 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize awardee Berta Caceres co-founded the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) in which she has worked for more than two decades. A week before the killing of Caceres, she and members of COPINH staged protests actions against Honduran company Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA) and Chinese state-owned Sinohydro, one of the largest dam builders in the world, from constructing Agua Zarca hydroelectric project in the Gualcarque river basin.

Several protests conducted by COPINH and the community have successfully blocked and stopped the construction of Agua Zarca in various areas in the face of harassments by the elements of the army, police, and employees of the dam. Moreover, investors of this hydroelectric project have already divested in response to continuing protests.

Berta Caceres, an IP rights and environmental activist, has staunchly opposed mega projects of giant corporations and Honduras government such as large dams and commercial mining. These projects have not only destroyed the environment ecosystem but displaced thousands of indigenous peoples and peasants in Honduras. Corporations with the permit of the Honduras government landgrab thousands of hectares of agricultural lands and forest areas.

In spite of continuing threats and harassments, Caceres never ceased to fight for the rights of the people and defend their communities.

The killing of Berta Caceres is an affront not only to the peoples of Honduras but also to all indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, and environmental advocates across the world. We honor Berta Caceres. Her death inspires us more to work in solidarity with the people of Honduras to oppose mega projects such as the Agua Zarca dam. We will continue our fight against injustices, environmental destructions, and impunity.

We demand immediate action from Honduras government to serve justice against to the killing of Caceres. We call for prompt prosecution and arrest of the perpetrators of this atrocious act.

We demand to stop the attack against indigenous peoples and communities and call for the abolition of anti-people and anti-environment projects and policies.

We mourn for the loss of an inspiring activist who devoted herself in defending their rights and lands.

We call on our friends, allies, and colleagues to unite and stand with us in solidarity to demand justice for this killing and put an end to militarization and persecution of indigenous peoples worldwide.

JUSTICE FOR THE BRUTAL KILLING OF BERTA CACERES!
RESIST DEVELOPMENT AGRESSIONS AND MILITARIZATION!
STOP THE ATTACK AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND COMMUNITIES! NO TO PLUNDER AND INJUSTICE!
STOP THE AGUA ZARCA DAM!