Press Release IACHR to review protection measures granted to COPINH, legal team and family of Berta Cáceres


Press Release 09/2022

March 24, 2022 – Tomorrow, Friday, March 25, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold a private working meeting to review the risk situation faced by the communities of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), as well as the representatives of the legal team and family members of indigenous leader and human rights defender Berta Cáceres. The IACHR will also review the State of Honduras’ compliance with the precautionary protection measures granted since March 2016 and subsequently extended in favor of the legal team.

These measures were granted after the assassination of leader Berta Cáceres Flores, considering that the communities that make up COPINH; the defender’s family; and the people who make up her legal team were in a situation of serious risk and possible irreparable harm to their rights to integrity and life.

Among others, the IACHR required the State of Honduras to: a) adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, as well as b) adopt the necessary measures so that the members of COPINH can carry out their activities as human rights defenders, without being subjected to acts of violence, threats and harassment; and c) investigate the facts that led to the adoption of the measures to avoid their repetition.

In November 2021, the Commission also expressed its interest in conducting an on-site visit to Honduras, in order to verify first-hand the situation of the beneficiaries of these measures.

Six years after the assassination of Berta Cáceres, in this Friday’s working meeting, COPINH, together with the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), will present the reasons why the risk persists for the communities, the legal team and the family of the leader. They will also present the obstacles they face in complying with the measures and the lack of structural actions to address the problems that gave rise to the risk. The State will also present information on compliance with the Commission’s orders.

After the meeting, the Commission shall assess the status of compliance with the measures and issue the resolutions it deems appropriate.

“With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota, Iselaca and Etempica rise our voices full of life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace!”