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Honduras: Bertha Caceres' daughter's message to the UN Forum on Business & Human Rights 2017

Hi, my name is Bertha Zúniga Cáceres. I am currently the general coordinator of COPINH (Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras). From Honduras, from the Lenca people, from the fight for the truth, justice and a guarantee of non-repetition in the case of our sister and companion Berta Cáceres, we salute the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights for speaking about this case, as it is emblematic and crucial in showing the violation of indigenous communities by companies and financing banks.

We would like to tell you that from the side of COPINH, there have been various efforts to uncover the truth and that today, the root of international investigation efforts has been validated, and we have sufficient proof to know the intellectual authors of this crime, in which there was clear involvement of the Honduran private company DESA, state’s security forces, its employees, and also banks and investors which were negligent for not knowing what was happening since 2013 until her murder in 2016. They have done nothing to avoid the killings, not only hers, but of other companions in the area.

This criminal structure was financed by international banks such as the Dutch development bank (FMO), Finnish development bank (Finnfund) and Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica). Today we are sure that there was an awareness of what was happening. There are also declarations that have been produced by international banks, local banks, and the private national company. In these declarations the violations against indigenous communities and their fundamental rights to life are clear, but there is also a general violation of human rights that makes this supposed development model, that brings only death, incompatible with human rights.

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