On Thursday, The Honduran Parliament conferred the National Heroine title to the Indigenous Lenca environmentalist Berta Caceres, who was murdered in March 2016 for defending the rights of her community over the Gualcarque river.
"Our decision seeks to recognize and preserve the legacy of Caceres for Honduras," legislators stated and urged the national educational system to include the life of this environmentalist in its programmatical contents.
The Honduran Parliament also approved the creation of the Berta Caceres prize to recognize the citizen environmental struggle and the inclusion of this leader's image with the message "Wake up humanity, there is no more time" in the 200 lempiras (US$8.19) bill.
In 1993, Caceres co-funded the Honduran Popular and Indigenous Organizations Civic Council (COPINH) with her ex-husband Salvador Zuñiga to fight for the rights of the Lenca community.
She won the 2015 Goldman Prize for leading a campaign against the Energy Developments S.A. (DESA) company’s construction of the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River, which is sacred to the Lenca community.
Caceres was murdered while sleeping in her home in La Esperanza city, even though she reported on multiple occasions that she received death threats for her activism.
In 2019, a Honduran court sentenced four out of the eight perpetrators of this crime to a 50-year sentence and three co-authors to 30 years in prison. Roberto Castillo, the DESA President at the time of the murder, will receive his sentence as co-author of the crime on June 17.