LENCA BERTA ISABEL CÁCERES FLORES ESTABLISHES COUNCIL OF POPULAR & INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF HONDURAS (COPINH)
Born March 4, 1971, in La Esperanza, Honduras, Cáceres grew up an activist. In 1993, she founded what would, by 1998, develop into COPINH which focused on the Lenca and sought recognition of Indigenous self-government, a logging moratorium, and an investigation of violence against Indigenous peoples. In 2013, COPINH protested at the construction site of the DESA-backed Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam to protect land by the Gualcarque River. This led to killings of COPINH members in 2013 & 2014. As a result of the killings, 2 of the dam project’s backers withdrew from the project. When charges were filed against Cáceres and other Indigenous leaders, regional & international organizations called upon the Honduran government to stop criminalizing the defense of human rights. On March 2, 2016, Cáceres was shot dead in her home by killers paid by DESA. All, including the former DESA head, were convicted by 2021. Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, Berta’s daughter, was elected COPINH general coordinator in 2017.
Sources: Elisabeth Malkin, Alberto Arce, Alberto, "Berta Cáceres, Indigenous Activist, Is Killed in Honduras". The New York Times, 3/3/2016. Retrieved 1/6/2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/world/americas/berta-caceres-indigenous-activist-is-killed-in-honduras.html “Alleged Mastermind Convicted In The Killing Of Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres,” NPR, 7/5/2021. Retrieved 7/26/2022, Alleged Mastermind Convicted In The Killing Of Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres : NPR “Environmentalists in Honduras, ‘neither ignorant nor anti-development,’” Equal Times. Retrieved 7/26/2022, Environmentalists in Honduras, “neither ignorant nor anti-development” - Equal Times Photo: UN Environment, undated. Permissive Use.. Source: ONU Brasil - https://vimeo.com/214055225