Her daughter, Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, told Real World Radio that this may be a “historical trial”, although the people who masterminded the murder won´t be tried.
The oral and public hearings against the eight men accused of murdering Berta Cáceres are scheduled to take place from September 10 to 28, reported COPINH. Bertha Zúñiga said that the defendants are five perpetrators, two people who were members of the company and a military officer involved in the plan.
“It is not the trial we wanted”, said Bertha, because the people who plotted the crime are not being tried; it is rather “a gesture by the government for the international community”, that has been demanding an answer to the political murder. However, Zúñiga still referred to the event as “historical”: “It is important that the trial takes place to give a sign against injustice”.
Berta Cáceres, defender of the Lenca people, was murdered in her home on March 3rd, 2016, amidst an ongoing and systematic repression experienced by those who defend the territories and human rights in Honduras, especially after the coup d´Etat of June 28, 2009. She was awarded with the Goldman Prize in 2015 and led the struggle against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, which violated the free, prior and informed consultation process and is part of the deepening of the extractivist looting model.
“We want this trial to be not only about “justice for Berta”, but that it contributes to structural changes in the country, to denounce and transform what is happening in Honduras, such as the murders, persecution and repression that are left unpunished”, said her daughter.
The hearings will introduce the charge of “political femicide” in the case of Cáceres murder. “It is an important nuance to show the hatred towards women who challenge the system. For the people in power, they represent a threat that needs to be eliminated”, said Zúñiga.
The activist also welcomed the letter signed by approximately 50 European MPs to demand the annulment of Agua Zarca´s concession permits: “The fact that the Agua Zarca concession permits are still valid is an insult to the memory of Berta Cáceres and the communities in struggle”.