The Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared – COFADEH, condemns the political murder of the general coordinator of COPINH, Bertha Cáceres, which occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m. Wednesday night, March 2, 2016 in La Esperanza, Intibucá, place of her birth.
We join the chorus of voices and national indignation provoked by this crime. We affirm the statements made by her close family members.
“This is what happens under a despotic government. She had moved to a safe house as a security measure to protect herself from the military and the minions of the investors who are damning the rivers who hunted and killed her because of her struggle to defend the lives of indigenous people and the lives of women.” Austrabertha Flores, mother.
“They murdered my sister because of her struggle, because she denounced the death threats from DESA and SYNOHIDRO. They murdered a woman who struggled for justice. She had no bodyguard and lived a life without riches or ostentation. We denounce a State that does not fulfill its responsibility to implement protective measures which Bertita had been issued by the OAS and the IACHR.” Gustavo Cáceres, brother.
“They want to sow fear in the people with this political crime committed by assassins of the power groups linked to the State and to the economic model. They murdered a woman who defended the common good of nature. A woman who resisted the exploitation of ancestral rights in indigenous territories. She was murdered by dark forces that have renounced reason, and dialogue — that use force, criminalization and hate. The government has an obligation to investigate because they have caused great mourning in the women’s movement and the indigenous people of Honduras.” Salvador Zúniga, father of the children of Berta
"With the murder of Bertha Cáceres we have come to the maximum level of defenselessness in this country and insecurity for the people and institutions that fight extractivist transnational corporations. This has reached a level of extremism. We ask the government, the United States, the United Nations, the MACCIH and the international community to make the investigation of this murder the highest priority.” Ismael Moreno, Jesuit, Director of Radio Progreso.
COFADEH ends this first with this public call to the international Banks, the multilateral financial institutions and to the governments to suspend support to this perverse alliance between the transnational economic system, the military, the police and local hitmen who kill those who defend the natural resources that belong to our indigenous peoples.
The reports of violations to this Committee from departments where the State of Honduras has conceded territories to companies to build dams, drill for oil, extract minerals and archaeological objects, are excessive. The principal characteristic in all cases is the use of violence to impose their dirty business. This must stop, now!
In defense of life, the acts and those who commit the acts, we will not forget and will not pardon.