The Nobel laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are calling on the government of Honduras to ensure an immediate and independent investigation into the assassination of indigenous land rights defender Berta Cáceres on March 3. The laureates also call on the Honduran government to ensure the safety of Berta’s family and colleagues who continue to experience great risk and threats for their work to protect indigenous land. In the statement, the laureates also express their deep appreciation for Berta’s work and stand in solidarity with her family, friends and colleagues.
Berta was co-founder and leader of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). She dedicated her life to defending indigenous land rights in Honduras, particularly those of the Lenca people. She was a strong voice for human rights and economic justice issues in the country.
Read the full statement below.
Laureates call on Honduras to fully investigate murder of Berta Cáceres
The Nobel peace laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative stand in solidarity with the family, friends and colleagues of Berta Cáceres, the indigenous Honduran human rights defender who was assassinated in her home on March 3.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative has long known Berta and supported her work. We admire and deeply value her contributions in protecting indigenous people’s human rights, including their land rights in Honduras, and her leadership in promoting social justice and democratic values.
We call on the Honduran government to support an independent and thorough investigation into Berta’s death, and to guarantee the protection of her family and colleagues, in particular the activists working with the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). COPINH has been protesting the construction of the Agua Zarca dam in the community of Río Blanco and Berta has been threatened many times for her leadership in opposition to the dam.
We also state our unambiguous support for and acknowledgment of the efforts of the Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders and other regional and women’s networks to mobilize quickly and efficiently to protect and defend the rights of women human rights defenders such as Berta Cáceres. Clearly we all must redouble our efforts in support of women human rights defenders to help ensure that she has not died in vain.