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Global Catholic Networks Decry Murder of Berta Cáceres, Honduran Environmental & Indigenous Rights Leader

Berta Cáceres

BY ISN STAFF | March 7, 2016

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and the Ecclesial Pan-Amazonian Network (REPAM) have issued a joint statement regarding the brutal murder of Berta Cáceres, an internationally renowned Honduran indigenous and environmental leader. Cáceres was shot to death by intruders who entered her home in Honduras on March 3, 2016. Cáceres had been internationally recognized for her advocacy on key environmental and indigenous rights issues, including being honored with the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her role in fighting a dam project in Honduras.

Berta Cáceres

Berta Cáceres [SOURCE: The Goldman Environmental Prize]

“We mourn the loss of Berta Cáceres, and her valiant efforts for the rights of those who are marginalized,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, in support of the GCCM/REPAM statement. “Berta’s death illustrates the grave danger that people working for human rights and environmental justice face in  Honduras.  The Ignatian Solidarity Network will continue to work with our partners to advocate for U.S. foreign policy that promotes human rights and values the dignity of our brothers and sisters in Honduras and throughout Central America.”

The Ignatian Solidarity Network became a member organization of the Global Catholic Climate Movement in 2015.

The full statement GCCM/REPAM statement can be found below.


The Ecclesial Pan-Amazonian Network – REPAM and the Global Catholic Climate Movement -MCMC express their strong condemnation of the brutal murder of indigenous and environmental leader Honduras, Berta Cáceres. We join our voices to thousands of people and institutions. They demand justice to this unfortunate and painful fact that robs us so violent to a brave woman, mother, wife, activist and human rights advocate.

Berta Cáceres’s death unites us in mission in the defense of life, the earth, and the many peoples’ rights of future generations. This death cries out, away from silence us.  It moves us, and calls us to resist and to demand justice.

Our companion Berta Cáceres, from Lenca indigenous identity, was cofounder of Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to fight for their rights. She led the peaceful opposition to the construction of a dam that would have destroyed farmland of local communities and limited access to drinking water and was initiated without their notification or consent.  Her actions led to the Goldman Prize being awarded to her last year, the highest recognition for environmental activism.

She protected the environment, defended human rights, and defended the common home of humanity; it was this “crime” that the powerful do not forgive. Berta’s life and other indigenous leaders has been threatened repeatedly, but they have continued and still continue their valuable work.  International organizations and governments have pressured Honduran authorities to ensure the safety of human rights activists. Today we are witnessing the price of inaction.

From the REPAM and GCCM-MCMC, we join our prayers, together with Berta’s friends, family members, and colleagues.  And we make an urgent call to all entities and international justice agencies and the Government of Honduras to punish the perpetrators of this unfortunate murder and demand that everything possible be done to stop violence and intimidation against social activists.

Honduras mourns, indigenous, peasants, the Pan Amazon, Latin America and the world cry out for justice in the face of this injustice and violence.  We demand answers instead of deaths, murders, imprisonments, silence, indifference, and social, governmental and institutional failures and indolence.  No more impunity, no more persecution, no more killings of fighters who defend a decent life for their peoples and for humanity.

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  1. […] working to speak out against the degradation of our environment. I have thought about leaders like Berta Cáceres, who faced threats in order to protect the earth from exploitation and gave her life working for […]

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