Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Lenca woman and co-founder of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, was assassinated yesterday. We join in solidarity with those calling for justice for Berta and all indigenous women leaders who have been murdered in the pursuit of equality and justice.
In the wake of Berta’s death, NoVo Foundation’s co-presidents, Jennifer and Peter Buffett, submitted the following letter to the Honduran Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jorge Alberto Milla Reyes, to make a respectful call for justice.
We write to express our outrage and heartache at the brutal assassination of Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Lenca woman who has worked tirelessly and courageously to protect indigenous homelands across Honduras.
As co-presidents of an international foundation firmly dedicated to indigenous communities and the rights of girls and women, we join our voices with those across the globe in demanding a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into Berta’s death. We simultaneously call for you to take immediate measures to protect the safety of the entire Cáceres family, as well as activists across Honduras.
International human rights organizations are documenting a drastic increase in violence against indigenous human rights defenders, particularly women. And Honduras has emerged as the deadliest country in the world for environmental and human rights activists. We challenge you in the strongest possible terms to move swiftly to end this violence, and to ensure justice for those whose lives have already been taken.
Berta’s bravery and determination have built a grassroots movement of leaders whose work will only continue. The leaders of this work are united around a single goal: a better future for their communities, for Honduras, and for all of us. We call on you to provide an environment of safety for this work, and we assure you that the world will be watching.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent and important matter.
Jennifer and Peter Buffett
Co-Presidents, NoVo Foundation