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Day of Action for Berta and Earth Defenders in Honduras

Posted in: Honduras
    Friday, February 21, 2020 - 21:20

    March 2 marks four years since iconic Lenca Indigenous water defender Berta Cáceres was gunned down in Honduras.

    Bringing to justice everyone responsible for the killing of Berta is vitally important to end the impunity that fuels more killings of forest and water defenders. Front Line Defenders Global Analysis 2019 reports that 31 defenders were killed in Honduras last year.

    Pressure from inside and outside Honduras is making a difference. In December 2019, seven men were sentenced to between 30 and 50 years in jail for their role in carrying out the assassination of Berta. Her organization COPINH has recognized the importance of activism by Amnesty Canada supporters. Read more in this blog about what we have helped to achieve together.

    Now Berta’s organization and her family are appealing for us to redouble our efforts to help ensure that those who gave the orders and paid for the killing of Berta are brought to account.  Messages from Canada carry weight, says Berta’s daughter Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, who courageously carries on the work her mother led to defend Indigenous rights and the environment.

    Inspired? Ready to lift your voice for justice and the protection of earth defenders?

    Mark your calendars and join our Day of Action on or around March 2.

    1. Learn more. Watch the following short videos to learn more about Berta Cáceres, the struggle that got her killed, and what Berta's daughters want us to know about the importance of coming together to defend human rights and the environment. Activists tell us these videos inspired them to take action.

    2. Use art to attract attention and support.

    Do you believe in the power of art to bring about change? Are you interested in weaving words and images to convey a powerful message that will attract the attention of people around you? Would you like to work together with others and build a stonger community of concern? Do you enjoy creating social media photo stories. If you answered yes to any of these questions, join groups in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Stratford, Timmins and Regina that are taking part in our Art Builds for Berta. Or organize your own! Don't worry if you've never been part of an Art Build before. Invite friends with artistic talents in any media to join you. Think about where you could display your finished creation in your community or at a community event like an Earth Day Festival to attract attention and signatures on our post cards (see below). Contact Elena Dumitru of our Activism Team via edumitru@amnesty.ca for instructions and support. 

    A fabric banner Art Build in process in St Mary's, Ontario. The finished banner will be displayed at community action events and carried at a march.

    3. Collect signatures on our post card action.

    Do you have connections at your library, a local school, place of worship or elsewhere in your community where you could set up a table with powerful images of Berta and gather signatures on our post card action? Our goal is to show Honduran authorities that thousands of Canadians are watching and raising their voices with Berta's organization COPINH to demand meaningful JUSTICE FOR BERTA. Contact Honduras campaigner Kathy Price via kprice@amnesty.ca for posters you can use at your action table.

    4. Spread the word on social media.

    Share Amnesty Canada posts on March 2. Or create your own! You can use this image and add symbols and words to turn it into a personal message of support for the cause of Berta and all Earth Defenders. You could make your photo your profile picture on and around March 2. Be sure to use the hashtags #4Berta and #JusticaParaBerta. Tag Berta's organization COPINH and Honduran authorities. See a sample tweet below. 

    5. Sign the e-action.

    If you haven't already, please sign the e-action at the bottom of this page. Please encourage friends to sign too by sharing on social media. Remember that expressions of concern from Canada have already helped to press Honduran authorities to act. Berta's family and organization are counting on us to keep up the pressure in order to bring to justice the masterminds behind the murder and stop the green light for more violence against earth defenders.

    PLEASE NOTE, you can take action on or around March 2. The important thing is to get involved and create impact by adding your voice with those of courageous defenders in Honduras.

    Thank you for your solidarity!