Brave human rights defender Berta Cáceres murdered!
We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Berta Cáceres, who was murdered in her own home last week. Berta was the driving force behind the ‘Consejo Civico de Organizaciones Populares e Indigenas de Honduras’ (COPINH), a network of Honduran civil society organisations standing up for the rights of indigenous communities in the country. This attack once again proves that these rights are virtually non-existent in Honduras. We share the fear of many in and outside the region that this assassination will further worsen the situation of local communities.
Dutch involvement in Agua Zarca
The Agua Zarca dam, which is owned by the Honduran company DESA, is being built in cooperation with the German company Voith Hydro and the Central American COPRECA, among others. The project is partly financed by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which provided DESA with a loan of 24.4 million US dollars. But, in addition, also the Dutch development bank FMO and the Finnish 'Finn Fund' have invested in the project.
The indigenous Lenca population fears that the Gualcarque river will run dry as a result of the construction of the dam. This would mean that the residents will no longer have access to water and, moreover, a large part of their communal land will dry out. They fear that the Agua Zarca dam will make life impossible for them. Despite the protests, largely led by Cáceres and COPINH, the project is pushed through, thereby seriously violating the rights of the indigenous communities in the region.
Reconsider Dutch engagement
This is yet another assassination of a courageous human rights defender. The Dutch government has an obligation under human rights law to ensure that its state-owned enterprises respect human rights in their operations. As a majority shareholder, it is responsible for the impacts of FMO’s investments and must exercise its authority to prevent further adverse impacts from occurring. The assassination of Berta Cáceres is yet another signal that our Dutch policy does not sufficiently guarantee that local stakeholders can decide about their own future in a timely manner and without danger. There can and should be a time to discuss what policy changes are needed at FMO to ensure that future investments fully respect the rights of those affected, in particular the rights of indigenous peoples.
But now, we call on the Dutch government to take the following immediate actions to ensure that it is no longer contributing to the conflict and violation of rights in Honduras:
* Direct FMO to divest from the Agua Zarca project;
* Direct FMO to conduct a portfolio review to determine whether it is directly or indirectly investing in any other project on Lenca territory;
* Use all diplomatic means at its disposal to ensure the safe return of Gustavo Castro, witness to Berta’s murder, to Mexico, as recommended by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders;
* Urge the Honduran authorities to support a full and impartial independent investigation, one that involves international human rights organizations, that is coordinated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and pursues both material and intellectual authors of the crime.
A selection of articles, letters and other background information:
About Berta Cáceres:
Read more about this subject
Event / 4 December 2019, 15:00 - 16:30
On Wednesday December 4th 2019 Both ENDS together with Heinrich Böll Stiftung from he US organises a side event at the UNFCCC COP in Madrid: Can the GCF Catalyze Inclusive, Gender-Responsive Local Climate Action Globally and in Latin America?
News / 26 November 2019
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They call for urgent action and support the international Climate Strike taking place this Friday, November 29. In cities all over the world, young and old will take to the streets again. In the Netherlands too, climate strikes will be organised in many cities.
Press release / 18 November 2019
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Publication / 17 November 2019
Video / 8 November 2019
The Athi River Community Network is made up of communities who live along the Athi River watershed. Members of the Athi River Community Network promised to join forces with the Friends of Ondiri Wetland to ensure that this critical wetland is restored and conserved for the sake of current and future generations.
News / 8 November 2019
On Thursday November 7th, a group of European NGO's including Both ENDS, sent a letter to Vice-President of the EU Frans Timmermans, in which they ask him to support the phase out of European Investment Bank’s fossil fuel financing by the end of 2020.
News / 5 November 2019
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News / 31 October 2019
Earlier this month, we learned that Golfrid Siregar, an Indonesian environmental lawyer working for our partner organisation WALHI died under suspicious circumstances. We call for a thorough and transparent investigation and have brought the case to the attention of the Indonesian embassy in The Hague and to the Netherlands' embassy in Jakarta.
Press release / 24 October 2019
Press release 24 October 2019
Starting today, investors can use five criteria to test whether companies in the fossil sector are actively working on phasing out their fossil activities. Too many investors still seem hesitant to switch to a profitable future of sustainable energy and these criteria should help them do this. The organisations DivestInvest Network, Sustainable Energy (Denmark) and Both ENDS (the Netherlands) publish the report "Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Businesses" today, which describes these five criteria. The criteria aim to help investors choose investments that are in line with the Paris goal "stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius warming." The recommendations are presented at the World Pension Summit deliberately, because pension fund investors in particular can take more responsibility in this.
Publication / 24 October 2019
News / 11 October 2019
In Indonesia, US-based mining companies succeeded to roll back new laws that were meant to boost the country’s economic development and protect its forests. This is the level of impact that investment treaties can have on social, environmental and economic development and rights. Why? Because of the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement’ (ISDS) clauses that are included in many such treaties.
News / 11 October 2019
Indigenous communities in Paraguay saw their attempts to regain their ancestral lands thwarted by German investors. This is the level of impact that investment treaties can have on social, environmental and economic development and rights. Why? Because of the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement’ (ISDS) clauses that are included in many such treaties.
Indigenous communities in Paraguay saw their attempts to regain their ancestral lands thwarted by German investors. In Indonesia, US-based mining companies succeeded to roll back new laws that were meant to boost the country’s economic development and protect its forests. This is the level of impact that investment treaties can have on social, environmental and economic development and rights. Why? Because of the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement’ clauses that are included in many such treaties.
Publication / 4 October 2019
Event / 27 September 2019, 13:00
On Friday 27 September, Both ENDS joins the Dutch Climate Strike and the march in The Hague.
This way we let our government know that there is no more time to waste and that it must take significant action in all policy areas to stop climate change.
More information on the Dutch Climate Strike can be found on https://klimaatstaking.nl/english/
News / 25 September 2019
52 charity organisations, community groups, foundations and NGOs, many of whom are not primarily concerned with climate change, have come together to express their concern about the dangers of climate change for everyone and everything in a joint declaration. They call for urgent action and support the Climate Strike this Friday 27 September in The Hague.
Press release / 23 September 2019
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Publication / 23 September 2019
News / 20 September 2019
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Event / 20 September 2019, 19:30
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