Berta Cáceres was the coordinator of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras/The Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), a social and political movement that represents the indigenous populations in Honduras. COPINH seeks to highlight their interests and needs in national and international fora.
Cáceres was a member of the Lenca community, an indigenous population who live in southwest Honduras as well as east El Salvador. Since Cáceres founded COPINH in 1993, the organization has been active in fighting for Lenca territorial rights and to improve the population’s livelihood. Lenca communities are currently facing multiple threats to their land and territories from resource extraction and state infrastructure programs.
In 2015, Cáceres was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, which recognizes and supports the work of grassroots environmental activists, for her work in pressuring the world’s largest dam developer, the Chinese state-owned Sinohydro, to pull out of the proposed Agua Zarca dam development. This project would have seen a dam built across the Gualcarque River on Lenca territory.