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Protesters Demand Penalty for Masterminds Behind Berta Cáceres Murder
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=33791"><span class="small">teleSUR</span></a>   
Saturday, 02 March 2019 09:30

Excerpt: "Natural resources defense groups, as well as friends and families of deceased Indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres, demand the capture and penalization of the masterminds behind her murder. The activist was killed at her home on March 2, 2016."

An Indigenous woman holds a poster with a photograph of Berta Caceres during a march to demand justice in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (photo: Reuters)
An Indigenous woman holds a poster with a photograph of Berta Caceres during a march to demand justice in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (photo: Reuters)


Protesters Demand Penalty for Masterminds Behind Berta Cáceres Murder

By teleSUR

02 March 19


On the eve of the memorial, COPINH has called on "anyone who feels compelled by the fight of native people and environmentalists" to partake in Saturday's events.

atural resources defense groups, as well as friends and families of deceased Indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres, demand the capture and penalization of the masterminds behind her murder. The activist was killed at her home on March 2, 2016.

The Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), for which Caceres served as general coordinator, is expecting a commemoration for the activist starting Friday in the city of La Esperanza, where she died. The event will mark three years since her death.

On the eve of the memorial, COPINH has called on "anyone who feels compelled by the fight of native people and environmentalists" to partake in Saturday's events.

The activities commemorating the life of Berta Caceres will include protests in front of Honduran embassies, building altars and demanding "the capture of the masterminds of the crime and the cancelation of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project."

Caceres opposed the Agua Zarca project that was being developed by the Energy Developments (DESA) company in the western region of the country. The late environmentalist said DESA's plan for a dam would cause severe damage to the environment, an argument that was rejected by those responsible for the project. Since Caceres' death, the project has been halted.

In Spain, several NGO's including Amnesty International (AI) stressed that the prosecution of the intellectual authors of Berta Caceres' murder would send a clear message that impunity will not be tolerated.

In honor of the third anniversary of the crime, several dozens of people demonstrated in front of the Honduran embassy in Madrid Friday. During the protest, the group demanded "justice for Berta," with some 20 human rights organizations represented, including AI and Greenpeace.

"Global action driven by murder of Honduran activist Berta Caceres. COPINH called for a global action to demand justice for the murder of the Indigenous leader perpetrated three years ago."

Director of AI for the Americas, Erika Guevara Rosas, said "the justice system in Honduras is still responsible for continuing a thorough investigation," and that they should continue to do so until they find, "all of those responsible for the crime - beyond the mere material perpetrators - and ensure that it does not go unpunished."

Guevara added that "bringing justice before a fair and impartial trial to all the material perpetrators, as well as the masterminds, would send a significant message to Honduras' society, and the whole world, that these types of crimes against defenders of the Earth and environment will not end in impunity."

On November 30, 2018, Honduran courts convicted seven of the eight accused of the murder of Berta Caceres. The decision was met with dissatisfaction from both the activists' family as well as DESA's defense team. So far, the penalty for those convicted is unknown.

"I cannot say that I feel satisfied, but at least justice has been served," Austra Bertha Flores, Caceres' mother said at the end of the hearing in the courtroom in Tegucigalpa.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 09:55