Remembering Berta Cáceres before the Green Climate Fund | Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) Skip to content Skip to navigation
14 March 2016

On March 3, Berta Cáceres, an indigenous rights defender in Honduras, was assassinated. As a leader of COPINH, Berta was fighting against the implementation of an internationally funded large dam project. She was fighting for the health of the Gualarque River, and for the lives and livelihoods of the indigenous communities that depend upon it. 

Her death is a glimpse at the real life impacts that megaprojects may have.

That’s why, at the closing of the 12th Meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund, I presented a message to the Board on behalf of the civil society organizations monitoring the development and decision making process of the mechanism.

The message was intended as a reminder of the care with which financing decisions must be made, as the board prepares to review and approve more projects:

“We would like to ask for a moment to remember Berta Cáceres, the indigenous environmental justice and human rights defender brutally murdered last week in Honduras.

She was leading a fight against an internationally financed large dam that threatened her water, her land, and her people. We would like to ask all of you to do whatever you can to secure justice for Berta, and the immediate safe return of Gustavo Castro, head of Friends of the Earth Mexico, who was injured during the assassination and whose life is now in danger.

Berta’s murder serves as a tragic reminder to the GCF of the incredible risks faced by rights defenders, and the deep need to safeguard their rights and the rights of the people and land they fight for.  

The GCF must not support questionable projects like the one that claimed her life and must obtain in all of its projects and programmes the free, prior and informed consent of people and communities to protect their livelihoods and survival.”

About the Author

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Andrea Rodríguez Osuna

Andrea Rodríguez Osuna was our senior attorney for the Climate Change Program. Andrea is a Bolivian lawyer with a Master’s in Environmental Law from Stockholm University and a Master’s in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University, Sweden. She has worked and taught in Bolivia, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden, where she gained experience in policy development funding for climate change, sustainable development and access to information, and public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

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