On March 3, 2016, Honduran feminist, indigenous and environmental justice leader Berta Cáceres, co-founder of COPINH (Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras), was assassinated. Berta was outspoken against the US State Department-backed 2009 coup, which ousted the progressive President Manuel Zelaya, and led to increased repression against farmers, indigenous leaders and other activists protecting their communities.
COPINH and the family of Berta Cáceres do not trust the Honduran government to carry out a thorough investigation into her murder and to find those truly responsible for ordering her death. They are calling on the Honduran government to allow the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to undertake an independent international investigation.
The US government has tremendous leverage over the Honduran government. This is why we are calling on US Secretary of State John Kerry to pressure the Honduran government to comply with the family’s request for an independent investigation led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
In the aftermath of the March 3rd, 2016 murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, the Honduran government’s investigation is still far from finding and punishing those responsible, on all levels, for her assassination. Among Hondurans, there is widespread mistrust of the judicial system, especially in cases involving human rights defenders.
The family of Berta Cáceres and her organization COPINH have called for an independent investigation into her murder by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. We, the undersigned, urge you to comply with their request by:
1. Pressuring the Honduran government to sign an agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and to fully cooperate with such an investigation and
2. Making a public statement that the US government is in favor of an independent investigation by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
We thank you for your consideration and look forward to a just resolution.
CODEPINK and allies