Dozens of activists, human rights advocates, and community members rallied across the street from the Honduran embassy in downtown Ottawa on International Women's Day to call for an investigation into the shooting death of renowned activist Berta Caceres.
The environmentalist and indigenous rights activist was shot to death while at home in the town of La Esperanza, Honduras last Thursday.
"Berta was an extraordinary activist in Honduras who was assassinated in her home," said Rachel Vincent of the Nobel Women's Initiative, who helped organize the Ottawa rally. "And the echoes of that assassination have reverberated around the planet."
Caceres led opposition to a major dam project in her home region, and was a longtime advocate for conservation and indigenous land rights, for which she received death threats.
Supporters want impartial investigation
Organizers of the Ottawa rally are calling on Honduran authorities to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation into her killing, and they want the Canadian government to echo that call.
They staged the demonstration on International Women's Day to honour the memory and legacy of Caceres, and to highlight the dangers faced by women activists.
"What we know from the UN's statistics is that women activists face higher risks around the world than their counterparts do," said Vincent.
"[Caceres] took on some of the riskiest work, which is protecting land against corporations, and this put her at high risk for death, and death ultimately is the price she paid for her work."