Here is the letter from Secretary Kerry in response to our open letter. The letter is addressed to Lisa Haugaard of LAWG who submitted it on behalf of the more than 250 organizations who signed on. A couple of articles were published about Kerry's response in El Heraldo and Criteria.hn.
On Tuesday, April 5, a vigil in honor of Berta Cáceres was held in Washington DC, beginning outside of the World Bank and marching to the Organization of American States (OAS) to meet Bertita as she exited an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing. The group gathered for the vigil included members of Berta's family, colleagues from COPINH, local DC activists, visiting human rights defenders from throughout the Americas, and representatives from a wide range of environmental, indigenous, women's and human rights organizations. Thanks to all of the organizations that organized the moving vigil!
For more on the vigil, see:
- Blog by Brian Finnegan of AFL-CIO: Family and Allies of Berta Cáceres Remember Her Life and Continue Her Struggle
- LAWG's photos from the vigil/march (also find attached a few photos)
- Latin America & Caribbean Network photos from the vigil
- School of the Americas Watch photos from the vigil
The vigil aimed to "uphold Berta Cáceres' legacy on the fight for human rights, against criminal exploitation of nature, and for the auto-determination of the native peoples of Honduras and the Americas."
With this tragic loss, we join together to call for more systemic change. We ask that the State Department make clear to the Honduran government that future partnership and funding depends on demonstrating the political will to investigate and prosecute this crime and all crimes against human rights defenders. The Honduran government must make the mechanism for protection of human rights defenders, journalists, media workers and justice operators fully operational and adequately funded, with protection measures consulted with beneficiaries. It must guarantee freedom of expression, including by ending harsh, constant repression of social protests, ensuring an immediate end to intimidating public statements by government officials and members of the military and police that place human rights defenders and journalists in danger, and ending specious prosecution of human rights defenders. - The U.S. government must stand with those who are putting their lives on the line for the protection of human rights and the environment in Honduras. Honor the Earth is honored to sign onto these efforts, and we encourage you to as well.
Stay vigilant on efforts for Berta Cáceres case and environmental, indigenous, women's and human rights issues in Honduras. Again, here is the letter from Secretary Kerry in response to our open letter.