Image: Radio Progreso

The world just lost one of the greatest freedom fighters not just in the history of Honduras but in the whole world. The voice of Berta Cáceres was, is and always will be a voice that inspires tenacity, love for the people, and hope. Berta always used her voice to amplify the voices of others, of the downtrodden, of the poor, of the Lenca people, of all indigenous and afro-descendant peoples, of women, of the LGBT community, of workers and peasants, of the exploited, of the youth, of the people in resistance, of all of us who dream of a more just world.

We share in the depths of our soul the immense pain felt by our Honduran comrades from COPINH, by Berta’s beautiful and resilient family, and by everyone who had the great privilege of meeting her at one time or another. Berta touched hearts around the world. In every corner of this planet earth, the planet that she defended with all of her energy and finally with her life itself, the example, the voice, the memory, the inspiration, the teachings, the love of Berta Cáceres are present today and always.

As La Voz de los de Abajo, an international human rights organization based in Chicago and with more than 15 years of history accompanying Honduran social movements, we hold responsible the government of Honduras, the government of the United States, and the DESA corporation and its financial backers for Berta’s murder.

The Honduran government is responsible for its unwillingness to investigate the constant death threats against Berta, for its indifference regarding the protective measures extended to Berta by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, for its participation in the campaign of defamation and character assassination carried out against Berta in the Honduran press, and for its collaboration with and support for the DESA corporation and its nefarious project of building a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River despite the opposition of the indigenous Lenca communities. We are direct witnesses to that collaboration, having seen with our own eyes the tremendous presence of the Honduran army and its closeness and collaboration with DESA’s private security in the Río Blanco community.

The U.S. government is responsible for its continued financing of the Honduran army, for its long and criminal history of training Honduran military assassins at the School of the Americas, for its essential role in financing, defending and assuring the consolidation of the coup d’état in Honduras and the environment of repression and impunity that it ushered in.

The DESA corporation and its financial backers are undoubtedly responsible for the assassination itself. Its employees have said shamelessly and on numerous occasions that they would kill Berta for her leadership in the struggle against the environmental and cultural destruction represented by the building of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam in Río Blanco.

Berta will live not just in the hearts but in the actions of all the peoples in resistance around the world and especially in her beloved Honduras and her beloved Lenca indigenous community. If the powerful and evil think that by killing Berta they can end the struggle of the Lenca people, they are terribly mistaken. Her voice will multiply. Her example will multiply. Her inspiration will multiply. She sowed thousands of seeds with her persistence, with her laughter, with her tenacity, with her hope, with her vision of a world free from patriarchy, capitalist exploitation and racism, with her dream of a liberated world, with her profound faith in the inevitable triumph of the people’s struggle. The struggle will deepen, international solidarity will deepen, the wave of indignation will deepen, the determination and dedication of the Lenca people, of the Honduran resistance and of the people of the world who accompany them will deepen.

We will be releasing information on next steps for demonstrating International solidarity very soon.

Berta Cáceres lives on!
Long live COPINH!
Long live the resistance!
Long live the people’s struggles!
Blood of martyrs, seed of liberation!
We will never forget you, comrade Berta Cáceres.

From Chicago, USA
La Voz de los de Abajo