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Assassination of Berta Cáceres sparks outrage

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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.


On behalf of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Hélène Laverdière - critic for foreign affairs and Cheryl Hardcastle - member of House of Commons Subcommittee for International Human


ALBA capitulo Canada

Amnesty International Canada

Association de protection de l'environnement des Hautes-Laurentides

Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale


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 Peace Congress

Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Carrefour de solidarité internationale de Sherbooke

Centre international de solidarité ouvrière

Centre de solidarité internationale Corcovado

Centre for Social Justice

Centre justice et foi

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

Conférence religieuse Canadienne

Coordination du Québec de la Marche mondiale des femmes

Council of Canadians

Development and Peace

Faculty Association of the University of St. Thomas

Fédération des femmes du Québec

Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec

Felician Franciscan Sisters of Canada

Idle No More

Inter Pares

Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice

Jesuits in English Canada

Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network

Latin American Canadian Solidarity Association

La Coordination du Québec de la Marche mondiale des femmes

Le Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes signe sa solidarité

Ligue des droits et libertés

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

Office for Systemic Justice

OMI Lacombe Canada

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine

Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival

Public Service Alliance of Canada

Presentation Sisters Newfoundland and Labrador

Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire

Regroupement Vigilance Mines Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Rights Action

Solidarité Laurentides Amérique centrale

Science for Peace

Sept - Îles sans uranium

SEIU Local 2

Sierra Club Canada Foundation

Taproot Faith Community - Toronto

Toronto Archdiocesan Council for Development and Peace


Union Paysanne

United Church of Canada

United for Mining Justice

United Steelworkers

Voyages Inter-cultures 

For more information or to sign on contact: 

Raul Burbano - Common Frontiers, 416 522 8615, [email protected]

Amelia Orellana - Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine - 514 257 8710 poste 334, [email protected] 

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