mural of human rights defender Berta Caceres

BIPOC in STEM: Berta Cáceres

By Cecilia Caro

Berta Cáceres was a Lenca woman, Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader. Growing up during an era of violence across Central America in the 1980s would inspire Berta to co-found the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) in 1983. In the following years, Cáceres would go up against illegal loggers, plantation owners, and multinational corporations whose projects would cut off food and water supplies to indigenous communities. In 2015, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her grassroots campaign against the Agua Zarca Dam. This campaign filed complaints to national and international authorities, organized community members in peaceful protests, maintained a road blockade for almost a year and ultimately managed to successfully keep construction equipment out of the proposed dam site. Unfortunately, after years of death threats, Berta Cáceres was murdered in her own home on March 3, 2016. She is one of the many environmental activists who have been killed in Honduras, Latin America, and across the world for fighting for our communities, homes, and earth. 

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Photo of Berta Cáceres with her quote that says, "They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them."
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