'Berta Lives': Demonstrators Demand Justice for Slain Activist, End to US Military Aid to Honduras
'The next generation of land defenders will grow up hearing the stories of Berta Cáceres'
"Berta didn't die, she multiplied!" was the cry heard around the world on Wednesday afternoon.
Rights defenders worldwide stood in solidarity and called for justice for slain Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres on Wednesday, rallying for a global day of action at Honduran embassies in Ottawa, New York, and London, among other cities.
Cáceres, a prominent environmental activist in Honduras, was murdered in her sleep in March in what many observers suspect was a politically motivated assassination.
"The death of Berta Caceres has filled us with indignation," COPINH, the Indigenous rights group Cáceres founded, wrote on Facebook this week. "Pain is with us, but the strength of her thought and work and the need for justice also accompanies us."
Cáceres had been leading local Indigenous resistance to a controversial dam project. Activists and rights defenders are extremely vulnerable to criminalization and violence under the current government, as Common Dreams reported, and military and energy company officials were arrested in connection to her murder last month.
Supporters taking part in Wednesday's demonstrations are demanding an independent investigation into Cáceres' death as well as an end to U.S. military aid to the repressive Honduran regime, which has been in power since a 2009 U.S.-backed coup.
"DESA [the corporation behind the dam], the Honduran military, and the U.S. government are all implicated in these assassinations," the U.S.-based rights advocacy coalition Grassroots Global Justice Alliance writes. "Since Cáceres' death, the repression and harassment and targeting of human rights defenders has only increased."
Indeed, riot police were out in full force in Honduras to meet COPINH members on Wednesday during their march for justice:
— COPINH (@COPINHHONDURAS) June 15, 2016
Thus far, no clashes with Honduran security forces have been reported.
Elsewhere in the world, demonstrators documented the outpouring of support for Cáceres and her cause on Twitter:
— WretchedOfTheEarth (@wretchedotearth) June 15, 2016
— AI Canada Media (@AICanadaMedia) June 15, 2016
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 15, 2016
— Somos el Medio (@Somoselmedio) June 15, 2016
— AMAZON WATCH (@AmazonWatch) June 15, 2016