Earlier this week, we received word from Friends of the Earth International that environmental and human rights activist Berta Cáceres from the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPIHN) was illegally detained by the army and police on May 14 and that she would appear in court on June 13 to answer charges against her.
She had been travelling to support a 55-day protest by the Rio Blanco community against the proposed Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River in Lenca territories. The communities were not consulted about this massive and destructive project on their ancestral lands.
Many groups – including the Blue Planet Project and the Council of Canadians – responded to the call from Friends of the Earth International and signed an open-letter demanding an immediate annulment of the court proceedings against Berta and that the Honduran authorities guarantee the necessary conditions for her to continue her vital work.
This morning, a headline reported (in Spanish) that, “Honduran army defeated in its case against the feisty Berta Caceres: movements celebrate a win against authoritarianism.” The article adds, “This Thursday at 5 pm in Honduras, the lawyer of Berta Cáceres Marcelino Martínez explained to Radio Mundo Real through the phone that there were not sufficient elements of proof against the Honduran activist and, for this reason, she got back her freedom to travel outside the country… Although the defense argued to dismiss the accusation definitively, the judgement is still open. It now awaits new elements of proof from the State’s attorney.”
Solidarity with Berta Caceres and with the organizations that supported her in this cause.