lenca indigenous activist berta cáceres has been in hiding for one month

by Tim Phillips

Berta Cáceres is one of the founding directors of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). Founded in the early 1990s to fight logging companies in Lenca territories, COPINH is now struggling against four large dams. A Foreign Policy in Focus article by Jeff Conant summarizes COPINH’s history:

After decades of struggle, COPINH has expelled dozens of logging operations from Lenca territories, recovered over 100 indigenous communal land titles, and served as a critical voice in international forums advocating for the right of indigenous communities to give or withhold their binding consent to any megaprojects planned for their territories.

Cáceres and two other leaders of COPINH were recently charged with inciting communities to cause material damage to the companies undertaking construction of the four large dams. (A roadblock prevented passage to the dam project for more than 170 days.) Cáceres failed to appear for trial on September 20 and has been a fugitive ever since.