On Tuesday, August 29th, Hector Duarte, artist of El Despertar de Las Americas, returned to the UIC Latino Cultural Center to add another honorable face to the mural. Berta Cáceres was a Honduran environmental and human rights activist. She is most widely known for her involvement in stopping the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam, which was not only organized in violation of the rights of the indigenous Lenca people but would also result in the depletion of their resources. In 2013, the efforts against the dam forced construction to come to a standstill. Unfortunately, with Cáceres’ success came backlash and in March 2016, she was gunned down in her home. The LCC recognizes her bravery and dedication, and hopes others will do the same. Click here for more information about Berta Cáceres.
In addition to Berta, Duarte also added two small but significant additions to the mural. In the Warrior Eagle scene above the stage, in the image of a collective march, the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was added to one of the t-shirts, in response to student and community requests over the past couple of years during public programs and arts-based civic dialogues. On another wall, Duarte added to the faux pillar in the Hub for Social Change scene, which has been used to commemorate events in LCC history, such as the student protests that led to the creation of the center, the death of Rafael Cintrón Ortiz, and visits like that of Rigoberta Menchú. To these important events, we have added a recognition of the LCC’s 40th anniversary, celebrated in 2016.