Daughter of murdered Honduran environmental activist praises work of leading Irish charity
THE daughter of a Honduran environmental activist shot dead in 2016 has praised the work of a leading Irish charity in supporting her fight for justice.
Berta Cáceres, an internationally renowned activist and indigenous leader, was killed in March 2016 after armed assailants broke into her home in the city of La Esperanza in Honduras.
Ms Cáceres, a winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was killed after a long battle to stop construction of an internationally financed hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque river, which the indigenous Lenca people consider sacred.
Her daughter Bertita Zúñiga Cáceres yesterday praised the work of Irish charity Trócaire in helping to support her.
Speaking at the launch of the charity's annual Lenten campaign at Stormont in Belfast yesterday, Ms Cáceres said the indigenous community in Honduras had endured a long struggle to defend their land from corporate abuse.
While she continues the work of her mother, Ms Cáceres said she also wants to ensure that all those responsible for the murder – the company executives and state officials identified during the resulting trial – are prosecuted.
"Trócaire supporters in Ireland, north and south, have helped us by giving visibility to the fight for justice, as well as financial support," she said.
"This will help to keep the work going in the search for justice and in defence of all human-rights defenders and indigenous communities.
"I believe that we deserve a life of justice, freedom and peace. We want a country that recognizes indigenous peoples and the diversities that make up Honduras – a country built according to Honduran needs and not those of companies."
A new report from Trócaire has found that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change and corporate human rights violations throughout the world.
The report, 'Women Taking the Lead: Defending Human Rights and the Environment', found that 14 times more females than males are killed in disasters resulting from climate change.
Young girls are up to 30 per cent more at risk of being trafficked following environmental disasters.
More than 70 per cent of women have experienced violence during natural disasters or in crises where people are forced to leave their homes.
The report also found that 13 per cent of agricultural land worldwide is owned by women, making them more vulnerable to eviction.
Siobhan Hanley, from Trócaire, said the report uncovered the impact of climate change and human rights violations inflicted upon many women in developing countries.
"Developing countries carry about 75 per cent of the cost of the climate crisis, but the poorest populations are responsible for just 10 per cent of global carbon emissions," she said.
"Around the world, women face huge risks in standing up for their rights in the face of injustice perpetrated by big business taking advantage of vulnerable communities. The threat of assault and murder is a daily reality for many of these women, who are fighting for their families to live better lives."
Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal will help support women around the world who are struggling to protect their families from intimidation, violence, hunger and drought.
- For more information or to support Trócaire’s Lent campaign, visit www.trocaire.org/lent or phone 0800 912 1200