Will There Be Justice as Berta Cáceres Murder Trial Nears End?

Eight men are on trial in Honduras for the murder of environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who was gunned down in her home in La Esperanza in 2016. A verdict is expected this week. The assassination of Cáceres came a year after she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work protecting indigenous communities and her campaign against a massive hydroelectric dam project. We speak with Dana Frank, professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her new book is titled, The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the United States in the Aftermath of the Coup.

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: As you talk about the resistance, I wanted to ask about Berta Cáceres. Eight men on trial right now accused of murdering the great environmentalist. She was gunned down in her home in La Esperanza in 2016. A verdict is expected any moment. Her assassination came a year after she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work protecting indigenous communities and her campaign against a massive hydroelectric dam project. This is Berta Cáceres speaking in 2015.

BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] In our world views, we are beings who come from the earth, from the water and from corn. The Lenca people, ancestral guardians of the rivers, in turn protected by the spirits of young girls who teach us that giving our lives in various ways for the protection of the rivers is giving our lives for the well-being of humanity and of this planet.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Berta Cáceres receiving the Goldman Prize in San Francisco. She would go home and she would be killed. Dana Frank, talk about the trial, who’s involved, who is on trial and who isn’t.

DANA FRANK: Well, there are eight men on trial, one of whom was an active duty military officer in charge of military intelligence at the time. Another one was a former military officer. They do seem to have been the material authors of the crime itself. But it’s…

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