Statement of the National Network for Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras two years after the assassination of Berta Cáceres

Two years ago, on March 2, 2016, in the dark of night in her own home, our comrade sister Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores was assassinated by violent forces who tried to silence the women’s and people’s struggles that she embodied.

For the last two years, we have stood by COPINH in demanding JUSTICE for Berta and all human rights defenders and people in the struggle to make Honduras a country where social justice exists.

For two years, we have sorely missed having Berta’s life and thought among us; her political clarity helped us understand simultaneous forms of oppression and emancipatory forms of peoples’ resistance.

Today we take up the words of our sister: "Territorial defense is a broad concept, in which territory includes our bodies, our sexuality, our thoughts, and our life proposals, because we not only withstand attacks of big capital, but misogynous macho attacks, as well."

Today, two years after her seed was sown in the earth, we join COPINH and other peoples of the world in celebrating the arrest of the General Manager of DESA, who has been named in a variety of sources as one of the main persons responsable for her death. We recognize that his arrest is due to the struggle and demand for justice of the Lenca people and the peoples of the world, and is not a gesture of good will by this killer government, known for its rights violations. Those most responsable for our Berta’s assassination are bankers and businessmen, together with the political class.

We of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras remember Berta’s legacy as a symbol of struggle, commitment, and conviction, when she said: “I want to state categorically that they are not going to paralyze us by sowing fear. Even though something might happen to me, I am absolutely convinced that the resistance of the Lenca People and all the Honduran people is going to grow and that we’re going to keep moving on ahead.”

Two years after her assassination, we continue in the struggle to win JUSTICE for Berta, JUSTICE that is found in the communities that resist alongside the rivers of Honduras, that is found in the women who get organized to confront patriarchal attacks on all the communities joining together in the utopia of a Honduras emancipated and free from the extractive industry that aims to loot the natural resources, knowledge, spirituality, and the lives and dignity of our peoples.

Today as we remember Berta with pain and sorrow over her vile assassination, we recover her joy and hope; the force of Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores lives in us on the roads that we travel.

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