Image courtesy of Witness for Peace

Berta Cáceres - internationally renowned activist in Honduras and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize - was assassinated on Wednesday March 3rd. Berta, cofounder and coordinator of National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was a leader of indigenous peoples defending their land, rivers, and rights. She was part of the ongoing struggle to stop the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company, DESA, on the Gualcarque River. 

Read more about Berta's life and legacy

 

UPDATE: HONDURAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES GUSTAVO CASTRO 

Gustavo Castro Soto was the only witness to Berta’s assassination, and was shot twice in the attack. A Mexican citizen and coordinator of Otros Mundos Chiapas/Friends of the Earth-Mexico, coordinator of the  Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model (M4), and Other Worlds’ co-founder and board member, Gustavo was held by the Honduran government for 24 days. Gustavo's testimony is key to preventing the Honduran government from distorting responsibility for the crime and their attempt to pin Berta's murder on COPINH itself.  

On March 31st, the First Courthouse of Letters of Intibucá, Honduras, acting on instructions from the judge Victorina Flores Orellana, decided to lift the measure prohibiting Gustavo Castro Soto from leaving the country. This decision was made after the Honduran General Attorney’s office requested that it be lifted on the basis of the argument that “all of the [necessary] investigations and scientific tests have been exhausted” in the case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres.  

 

Support an independent international investigation

into the murder of Berta Cáceres. 

Take action here.

Check out our blog, below, for further action alerts, articles, and updates from our allies in Honduras.

Alternatives Blog

BIRTHING JUSTICE: Not Wasting the Waste: Creating Environmental Sustainability

June 9, 2012

By Beverly Bell
June 9, 2012

S. Ushakumari |Kerala, India

When we started organic farming, as I said, all the women came forward, but we understood that involving women still wouldn’t solve the issue of pesticides. We had to change the farmers, the men, also. Initially, we were not into marketing the organics. Our idea had been that the poor people should eat the food, so we encouraged that, and they were doing it. But then we thought, “Let’s start organic marketing, so we can motivate more male farmers to change their agricultural practices. At least it can be chemical-free, it can be pesticide-free, and it can be fertilizer-free later on.” And that really worked. It’s just very small-scale farming, but one can see the improvements in the productivity and in the diversity of the crops we cultivate. And because of our work, the Minister of Agriculture has framed an organic farming policy for the state of Kerala.

BIRTHING JUSTICE: Challenging Globalization Head-On: Women Confronting Poverty

June 1, 2012

By Beverly Bell
June 1, 2012

Mary Ann Manahan |Manila, Philippines

It’s very inspiring for many young feminists and young activists like me to see how, in the midst of globalization, the most vulnerable women are using collective action to build their strength. These are people who are considered victims, who’ve faced decades of being battered by wrong agricultural policies and by their husbands, of not being taken seriously by the government or even by their male counterparts in the farmers’ movement.

Women are called “shock absorbers” because they are the first to feel the crises caused by the economic and social insecurity of globalization, and right now specifically by the financial crisis. Essentially, the global economy is being run on the backs of women, especially women in the global South.

Withholding Water: Cholera, Prejudice, and the Right to Water in Haiti -- Part I

May 31, 2012

By Deepa Panchang
May 31, 2012

Cholera is something they sent,” says graffiti on Port-au-Prince walls, “to finish killing off the rest of us.”

Scientists have shown that the cholera pathogen came to Haiti with foreign UN troops who carried the bacteria in their bodies, and whose military base was dumping its sewage into a nearby river. The imported disease has claimed more than 7,000 lives and continues to ravage communities across Haiti. Despite billions in post-earthquake aid dollars and hundreds of humanitarian NGOs, the country still faces a dearth of water and sanitation services, further fueling the epidemic. Nearly half a million internally displaced people (IDPs) still live since the 2010 earthquake in makeshift camps under tarps, torn tents, and pieces of old fabric and cardboard, an ideal environment for cholera. The situation raises serious questions about the humanitarian mechanism and its priorities. Why do so many people still lack the most basic of services? What factors are guiding humanitarian agencies’ decisions to provide or withhold them?

BIRTHING JUSTICE: This Land Is My Teacher: Preserving Native Agriculture and Traditions

May 25, 2012

By Beverly Bell
May 25, 2012

Nayeli Guzman |New Mexico, USA

If people would only open their eyes and their ears and their hearts to living in community, everything would work so much smoother. It’s not a Native thing. Community is a human thing. It’s already in us, we just have to bring it back out. One person can grow corn, one person can grow something else, and they can share. That’s how people used to survive way back when.

What we’re doing is very simple. These ideas are not an alternative for us, they’re just a way of life. We’re just doing what Creator meant for us to do.

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Shares Victories Worldwide!

May 24, 2012

Cross-posted from GAIA, http://www.no-burn.org/.

Dear GAIA Members and Friends!

In this issue of the GAIA Newsletter, we are delighted to share with you snapshots of victories and advances from across the world. But before we do, we want to take a moment for a little self-congratulation. We—the 650+ GAIA members in 90+ countries around the world—have passed the decade mark. Who would have thought that so many local fights against incinerators and for zero waste systems would grow together into such a strong, global movement? To celebrate, the GAIA coordination team has put together a beautiful 10-year report—do check it out!

URGENT ACTION: Risk OF forced eviction for families in haiti

May 22, 2012

Human rights defenders in Haiti are concerned with a recent upsurge in violence against displaced people. One camp was arsoned over the weekend and others face imminent, illegal eviction. Over the course of the past week, Amnesty International, who has been working closely with the Haitian right to housing movement, has released two urgent action alerts regarding camp evictions. Take a moment to read and respond to the alert below. 

URGENT ACTION: Risk OF forced eviction for families in haiti

May 22, 2012

Human rights defenders in Haiti are concerned with a recent upsurge in violence against displaced people. One camp was arsoned over the weekend and others face imminent, illegal eviction. Over the course of the past week, Amnesty International, who has been working closely with the Haitian right to housing movement, has released two urgent action alerts regarding camp evictions. Take a moment to read and respond to the alert below. 

BIRTHING JUSTICE: One System for All -- Universal Access to Health Care

May 18, 2012

By Beverly Bell
May 18, 2012

The French system’s slogan is, “Everyone contributes according to his resources and receives according to his needs.” And this is not just rhetoric. Ever since the 1940s, France has made budgetary decisions to turn this dream into reality. But in France, as in many other countries, the logic of the market is now slicing away at universal access. As has been proven elsewhere, and as some in French civil society are now realizing, a strong health care system can only survive if the population fights to protect it.

 

URGENT ALERT: Take Action for Families at Risk of Forced Eviction in Haiti

May 15, 2012

URGENT ACTION: FAMILIES AT RISK OF FORCED EVICTION IN HAITI
Alert from Amnesty International

Hundreds of families living in a camp for internally displaced people in Carrefour, in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, are being harassed and intimidated and are at imminent risk of forced eviction.

BIRTHING JUSTICE: Water Is Where Everything Intersects -- Water in the Global Commons

May 11, 2012


By Beverly Bell
May 11, 2012

Marcela Olivera |Cochabamba, Bolivia
I believe women are organizers by nature, because we’re very sensitive and because we have the ability to show what we’re feeling. But women are still marginalized; there’s a kind of invisibility around the work that women do on water issues. For example, I notice that the organizing work is mainly done by women, but then the one who always stands up in front of the meeting to explain how everything was organized is a man.

I think it’s fantastic that women have stepped up and are leading the way in the fight over water rights. In our continent, at least, the face of the movement is the face of a woman.

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