Assassination of Berta Cáceres sparks outrage !

March 3, 2016

We condemn the assassination of Berta Cáceres, general coordinator and co-founder of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. Berta was assassinated in La Esperanza, Intibuca after several individuals broke into the house where she was staying and shot and killed her.

An Indigenous Lenca women and community leader, Berta waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam. Just last month, COPINH issued an alert noting that repression and violence against the Rio Blanco community, including Berta Cáceres had escalated as they carried out peaceful actions to protect the River Gualcarque against the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA. Due to the violence against her she was granted precautionary measures by the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights.

Berta Cáceres was recognized nationally and internationally as an environmentalist who fought for Indigenous rights. In 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, the highest international recognition for environmental activists. As part of her recognition speech she spoke of the repression she faced, “they follow me, they threaten to kill me and kidnap my family, this is what we face”.

Berta was also instrumental in leading protests against the 2009 coup that overthrew the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. Since the coup the human rights situation in Honduras has deteriorated as human rights defenders and social movement leaders are routinely killed and systematically criminalized.

On October 1, 2014, Canada implemented a Free Trade Agreement with Honduras despite opposition from civil society and labour organizations. The deal provided diplomatic and economic backing to an undemocratic government responsible for widespread human rights abuses, political violence that has generated massive inequality.

We call on the government of Canada to condemn the murder, and to call on the Honduran government to support an independent, international investigation into the murder.


  • Alternatives
  • ALBA capitulo Canada
  • Amnesty International Canada
  • Association de protection de l'environnement des Hautes-Laurentides
  • ATTAC-Québec
  • Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network
  • British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union
  • British Columbia Teachers' Federation
  • Bolivarian Circle Louis Riel
  • Canada-El Salvador Cooperation for Development
  • Canadian Jesuits international
  • Canadian Labour Congress
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • Centre international de solidarité ouvrière
  • Centre de solidarité internationale Corcovado
  • Centre for Social Justice
  • Centre justice et foi
  • Carrefour de solidarité internationale
  • Cercle des Premières Nations de l'UQAM
  • Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada
  • Coalition pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine
  • CoDevelopment Canada
  • Collectif du Mur de femmes contre les oléoducs et les sables bitumineux
  • Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance
  • Comité de vigilance de Malartic
  • Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine
  • Common Frontiers
  • Confédération des syndicats nationaux
  • Confederation of Canadian Unions Council of Canadians
  • Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec-FTQ
  • Idle No More
  • Inter Pares
  • Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice
  • Jesuits in English Canada
  • Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
  • Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
  • Latin American Canadian Solidarity Association
  • Le Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes signe sa solidarité
  • Maquila Solidarity Network
  • Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network
  • Mer et Monde
  • MiningWatch Canada
  • Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
  • Movimiento Farabundista
  • Norbert Piché, Directeur national Service jésuite des réfugiés
  • Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Office for Systemic Justice
  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union
  • Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire
  • Regroupement Vigilance Mines Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Rights Action
  • Solidarité Laurentides Amérique centrale
  • Science for Peace
  • Sept - Îles sans uranium
  • Sierra Club Canada Foundation
  • Toronto Archdiocesan Council for Development and Peace
  • United Church of Canada
  • United for Mining Justice
  • United Steelworkers
  • Unifor

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