CIDSE and EU-LAT urge EU Member States to adopt the Due Diligence Directive – CIDSE

CIDSE and EU-LAT urge EU Member States to adopt the Due Diligence Directive


In memory of Berta Cáceres, CIDSE and EU-LAT urge Member States to adopt the EU Due Diligence Directive.

Eight years after the murder of Berta Cáceres on 3 March 2016, the EU-LAT Network and CIDSE echo her family’s call and urge EU Member States to say YES to a strong Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.

From 2013 until the last days of her life, Berta Cáceres denounced the financial and logistical support given by European banks and companies to the Honduran company DESA, which was responsible for the destructive “Agua Zarca” hydroelectric project. This struggle cost her her life.

Berta Cáceres was a victim of the worst kind of corporate impunity. The struggle of the Lenca people, of Berta and her daughter, is just one example of the daily fight of indigenous and peasant communities to protect the land, water sources, forests, and our human families from the negative impacts of corporate activities. Nearly 2,000 Environmental Human Rights defenders have been killed in the last decade, with almost 70% of these killings taking place in Latin America.

In 2021, Berta’s daughter, Bertha Zuñiga, wrote a letter to the EU Commissioners on behalf of COPINH[1], calling for a robust and effective EU Directive to help prevent brutal corporate human rights abuses, such as those experienced by her family from happening again. Also in 2023, she sent an open letter to EU decision-makers expressing great concerns that the draft Directive did not fully include the same due diligence obligations for the financial sector as for other companies.

In this crucial week for the adoption of the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, we recall the words of Bertha Zuñiga:

This is a great opportunity for the EU to show leadership in ensuring that companies act responsibly”.

We call on EU Member States to vote in favour of a robust Directive that enables access to justice for victims.

[1] COPINH was founded by Berta with the aim of defending the territorial and fundamental rights of the Lenca people.

Cover photo: The grave of murdered human rights defender, Berta Caceres. 2019. Credit: Garry Walsh, Trócaire

Additional resources:
Documentary: “The Illusion of Abundance“, 2022. Press kit.

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