NEW YORK, March 24 – On March 17th, hundreds of activists and allies joined Berta’s family in demanding justice for her murder, protection and security for her family and COPINH members and the immediate halt to plans for the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric dam in Rio Blanco, Honduras by rallying in front of the Honduran Mission to the UN in New York. Berta’s death highlights the desperate need to end impunity for threats and attacks against all human rights defenders and enact laws for their protection.
Bertha Isabel Zuniga Cáceres, the daughter of slain activist Berta Cáceres, called on the government of Honduras to identify the culprit “not just for the assassination of Berta, but for the assassination of many activists.” Despite the efforts of the Honduran government to end their movement for justice, Bertha said, “We will not give up and we will not stop.”
The crowd echoed this statement, unanimously chanting, “Berta no no se murió; se multiplicó.”
The list of speakers included Lilian Esperanza López, Bertha’s colleague from the COPHIN; Yessica Trinidad, the Coordinator of the National Women Human Rights Defenders Network in Honduras; Daysi Flores Hernandez, the Honduras Coordinator for JASS Mesoamerica; Áine O’Connor, a member of the Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the United Nations for the Sisters of Mercy; and Bai Ali Indayla, a Bangsamoro (Moro) activist from Maguindanao, Philippines.
The rally was one of many actions and mobilizations that took place in New York and across the world demanding an end to the culture of repression and impunity. To learn more see Democracy Now’s comprehensive coverage here. You can also find photos from the Rally on WEDO’s Flickr account.