Urgent Issues Forum/Foro Urgente: The Assassination of Berta Cáceres and the Future of Indigenous and Afrodescendant Environmental and Land Rights in Honduras

Event Information

Friday, April 8, 2016
9 AM - 2 PM
Presentation Room, Young Research Library

Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided.

On March 2, 2016, award-winning Lenca environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home in Honduras. She had received multiple threats from military and paramilitary groups linked to the mining and dams interests that she opposed. Gustavo Castro, a Mexican activist who was in Berta's home and was injured in the attack, is now being held illegally in Honduras and there are international concerns that he is being framed for the attack. This urgent forum explores the issues of resource extraction and state violence and their impact on the future of indigenous and environmental rights activism in Honduras.

Participants include:

  • Olivia Zúniga Cáceres (Lenca)
    Activist and daughter of Berta Cáceres
  • Rony Castillo (Garifuna)
    PhD student UT Austin, Advisor on Education Issues OFRANEH, President of the Garifuna Education Council and Co-founder of the Garifuna Intercultural University
  • Suyapa Portillo
    Pitzer College
  • Chris Loperena
    University of San Francisco
  • Joseph Berra
    UCLA Law School


9:00 AM - 9:10 AM Coffee, light breakfast
9:10 AM - 9:20 AM Welcome
Dr. Shannon Speed (Chickasaw, Director AISC)
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM Joseph Berra (UCLA Law School)
9:40 AM - 10:00 AM Dr. Suyapa Portillo (Pitzer College)
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM Dr. Chris Loperena (University of San Francisco)
10:20 AM - 11:00 AM Discussion
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Lunch
11:30 AM - 11:50 AM Dr. Rony Castillo (Garifuna Education Council and Garifuna Intercultural University)
11:50 AM - 12:15 PM Olivia Zúniga Cáceres (Lenca, Coordinadora Indígena del Poder Popular en Honduras)
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM Discussion
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Closing remarks Dr. Leisy Abrego (Chicana/o Studies, UCLA) and
Dr. Shannon Speed (AISC, UCLA)

Hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Chicano Research Studies Center, UCLA Center of Study for Women, UCLA Latin American Institute, and Grassroots International.

UCLA is a tobacco-free campus. All-day parking ($12) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lots 2, 3 and 4 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues).