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Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are giving their support to the cause of murdered indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, following a petition from her daughter and indigenous rights organisation COPINH.
Berta was one of the most prominent environmental defenders in Honduras and co-founder of COPINH, the confederation of indigenous organisations of Honduras.
Berta had asserted and claimed the right to free, prior and informed consent as stated in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169, a fundamental right of Indigenous Peoples, when facing the presence of extractive industry projects in their territory.
At the time of her murder, Berta had experienced repeated intimidation and received death threats in relation to her work opposing the Agua Zarca hydro-electrical project, which threatens the livelihoods of indigenous Lenca communities, of which Berta was a member.
Berta’s death prompted international outrage, as well as a flood of tributes to a prominent and courageous human rights defender.
Between 2010 and 2016, 123 land rights defenders were assassinated in Honduras.
The supportive MEPs are calling on the state of Honduras to bring those responsible for the murder of Berta Cáceres to justice. With some further requesting the establishment of an independent commission of experts to oversee the case.
The following video includes interviews with Berta Zúñiga Cáceres, Berta’s daughter, and members of the European Parliament – outlining the situation and what needs to be done to seek justice for Berta, uphold international law, and address the threats to environmental and human rights defenders.
Last year, following Berta’s murder, 1,500 Trócaire supporters also signed a petition to the Honduran Ambassador to the UN, demanding that he ensures that those responsible for Berta’s death are brought to justice and that the climate of impunity in Honduras is tackled.