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Goldman Prize winners stand with Berta Cáceres

March 10, 2016

The Goldman Prize winner community has joined together to issue the following statement in solidarity with fellow Prize recipient Berta Cáceres, following her death last week:

“Berta Cáceres, a Member of our Family, has been Assassinated”

We are the recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize and come from all corners of the world with the same goal, to protect the Earth and its natural resources. We are saddened and shocked at the death of one our sisters, Berta Cáceres, who was killed defending the land she and her ancestors have occupied for hundreds of years. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones.

Berta was a member of the indigenous Lenca of Honduras and was devoted to her people and their rights to protect their homes and land from development. She lived her life in service to others with joy and kindness. As Berta said, “This best resistance is joy.” Being with Berta, it was impossible not to love her.

Berta was totally committed to defend the environment and human rights in her country. The organization she founded more than 20 years ago, the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was behind numerous struggles against mining and hydroelectric dams in Honduras. They succeeded in stopping large projects financed by international corporations and were attacked and threatened by military forces, para-military groups and corrupt politicians. When developers were blocked, Berta and her colleagues were attacked. Berta now joins eight others from COPINH who were killed before her.

Those who participated in her campaigns can give testimony to another rare quality she had: a woman with no fear at all. Berta was surrounded by threats and bullets, and at times, cars waiting for her in the road with armed men. But she continued to fight for human rights and the environment–women violated by their partners, children with malnutrition, and of course, the problems many of us worked on with her, unsustainable mining and hydroelectric dams. After knowing Berta’s work, it was impossible not to admire her.

Thousands of people from around the world have reacted, honoring Berta’s work and legacy. We cry out for a complete investigation into her murder. And in this moment, we remember the words of our brother who was also killed 20 years ago for fighting oil companies, Ken Saro-Wiwa, as he was about to be put to death: “Oh God, take my soul, but the struggle continues.”

Rest in peace, Berta.

In solidarity,

Ricardo Navarro, El Salvador 1995                            Phyllis Omido, Kenya 2015

Lois Marie Gibbs, US/New York 1990                         Ikal Angelei, Kenya 2012

Rossano Ercolini, Italy 2013                                        Myint Zaw, Myanmar 2015

Andrew Simmons, St. Vincent & Grenadines 1994    Jane Akre, US/Florida 2001

Atherton Martin, Dominica 1998                               Thuli Makama, Swaziland 2010

Juan Pablo Orrego, Chile 1997                                   Laila Iskandar Kamel, Egypt 1994

Oscar Olivera, Bolivia 2001                                        Hugo Jabini, Suriname 2009

Tarcisio Feitosa da Silva, Brazil 2006                         Christine Jean, France 1992

Sviatoslav Zabelin, Russia 1993                                  Azzam Alwash, Iraq 2013

Evgenia Chirikova, Russia 2010                                  Janos Vargha, Hungary 1990

Paul Alan Cox, Western Samoa 1997                         Nat Quansah, Madagascar 2000

Olga Speranskaya, Russia 2009                                  Hilton Kelley, US/Texas 2011

Tuy Sereivathana, Cambodia 2010                             Willie Corduff, Ireland 2007

Olya Melen, Ukraine 2006                                         Rudolf Amenga-Etego, Ghana 2004

Orri Vigfusson, Iceland 2007                                      Cath Wallace, New Zealand 1991

Humberto Rios Labrada, Cuba 2010                          Elias Diaz Pena, Paraguay 2000

Fatima Jibrell, Somalia 2002                                      Ignace Schops, Belgium 2008

Steve Wilson, US/Florida 2001                                   Matthew Coon Come, Canada 1994

Bobby Peak, South Africa 1998                                   Janet Gibson, Belize 1990

Bruno Van Peteghem, New Caledonia 2001              Juan Mayr, Colombia 1993

Carlos Alberto Ricardo, Brazil 1992                           Heffa Schucking, Germany 1994

Alexander Nikitin, Russia 1997                                   Ramesh Agrawal, India 2014

Prigi Arisandi, Indonesia 2011                                    Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor, Liberia 2006

Yuyun Ismawati, Indonesia 2009                                Jean Wiener, Haiti 2015

Anna Giordano, Italy 1998                                          Vera Mischenko, Russia 2000

Yu Xiaogang, China 2006                                            Albena Simeonova, Bulgaria 1996

Rudi Putra, Indonesia 2014                                         Alexander Peal, Liberia 2000

John Sinclair, Australia 1993                                      Maria Elena Foronda Farro, Peru 2003

Lynn Henning, US/Michigan 2010                              Kimberly Wasserman, US/ Illinois 2014

Father Edwin Gariguez, Philippines 2012                   Odigha Odigha, Nigeria 2003

Craig Williams, US/Kentucky 2006                             Michal Kravcik, Slovakia 1999

Howard Wood, Scotland 2015                                    Marc Ona Essangui, Gabon 2009

Feliciano dos Santos, Mozambique 2008                  Manana Kochladze, Georgia 2004

Francisco Pineda, El Salvador 2011                            Jadwiga Lopata, Poland 2002

Ka Hsaw Wa, Burma 1999                                          Maria Gunnoe, US/ West Virginia 2009

Marilyn Baptiste, Canada 2015                                 Tuenjai Deetes, Thailand 1994

Giorgos Catsadorakis, Greece 2001                          Wadja Egnankou, Ivory Coast 1992

Dmitry Lisitsyn, Russia 2011                                       Randall Arauz, Costa Rica 2010

Myrsini Malakou, Greece 2001                                  Oscar Rivas, Paraguay 2000

Sarah James, US/Alaska 2002                                      Suren Gazaryan, Russia 2014

Ursula Sladek, Germany 2011                                      Desmond D’Sa, South Africa 2014

Marina Rikhvanova, Russia 2008                                Eugene Rutagarama, Rwanda 2001

Jean La Rose, Guyana 2002                                          Bernard Martin, Canada 1999

Nohra Padilla, Colombia 2013                                      Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, Mongolia 2007

M.C. Mehta, India 1996                                               Rashida Bee & Champa Devi Shukla, India 2004

Medha Patkar, India 1992                                          Kaisha Atakhanova, Kazakhstan 2005

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