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Indigenous Peoples' Struggle in Honduras
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News From Honduras
August 13, 2013 - Radio Interview on the Human Rights situation in Honduras with Greg Mccain and Brigitte Gynther on the Hemispheres show hosted by Irene Rodrigueze on KGNU Independent Community Radio http://www.kgnu.org/hemispheres/8/13/2013
Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, 6 months
after the assassination of COPINH’s General Coordinator, hereby states that:
of the woman who served as COPINH’s General Coordinator and who was a founding
member of the organization was a crime committed against the entire Lenca people’s
struggle to build autonomy and defend Mother Earth, our shared natural
resources, and our rights as indigenous peoples.
Despite this crime
we re-affirm that we will continue our fierce struggle against the deadly
projects that have been imposed without consultation since the 2009 military
coup d’état. We know that our sister Berta Cáceres Flores has not died as long
as neither her struggle nor her political project, embodied by this
organization, have died.
Our compañera Berta Cáceres, our sister, is
the victim of a State crime, having suffered persecution by Honduran
authorities, security forces and courts and criminalization of her work
throughout her years of political activity, aided and abetted by corporations like
DESA, and international banks like FMO, CABEI and FINNFUND, who want to plunder
our shared natural resources to turn them into their own profit.
Over the 23 years
of our organization’s existence, this
crime has been the biggest blow to our people and it is an attempt to end the
struggle waged by COPINH, which continues to suffer from demonization and
criminalization by the government and national and international corporations
and financial institutions.
Berta in her struggle, which is our people’s struggle, we are completely clear
that justice will not come from the corrupt and inefficient institutions that
have promoted the extermination of peoples in resistance and that the arrests
they have made do not represent justice for this assassination but are clear
example of the way that impunity is produced in this country.
to demand the creation of an Independent
Investigation Commission so that we can get to the bottom of this crime, a
demand that has fallen on the government’s deaf ears.
For several years COPINH
has been demanding the expulsion of the
Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project from Lenca territory, where it has been
imposed without consultation, along with the
50 other concessions for dams and wind-power megaprojects that they seek to
impose upon our territory.
The Lenca people
are fighting to live in peace, which is why we demand the de-militarization of our territories, where the
soldiers, police and private security forces exist to secure private investments
by violating the most basic of human rights and sewing fear, terror and death.
Faced with this
assassination, the corporations and banks who finance terror and death should
know that COPINH will be unwavering in its efforts to find those who
participated in this act. May the perpetrators know that we will not rest in
our search for Justice for our sister and that we will denounce each and every
attack we suffer for carrying out our work before the international
COPINH knows that
both before and after the 2009 coup d’état the violence and atrocities come
from the interference of the U.S., with its money and its interventions, as
with the coup d’état itself. The imposition of the extractivist model comes as
a result of the U.S. capitalist doctrine and Berta’s assassination is part of a
clear strategy to eliminate by force any form of opposition to that economic
model, which the U.S. is at the heart of.
We denounce the campaigns to criminalize our
organization, financed by DESA on national TV, where they roll out Gloria
López, a person who does not represent Lenca women and is a farce of a
dignified indigenous person and who we are sure is being used by Honduran
businessmen to manipulate public opinion and create more conflict.
COPINH is completely
clear what justice in the face of this enormous loss means: finding who
assassinated her, who gave the order to assassinate her, and denouncing the
criminal power structure that allowed for her assassination. It means that the
work of resistance, of emancipation, of rebellion by COPINH and the Lenca
people remains steadfast. It means tireless struggle against this economic,
political and cultural system that seeks to eliminate our communities, their
ancestral resistance and alternatives to dispossession, exploitation, racism
Justice is keeping
the memory of Berta’s life alive, the convictions that led her to be the greatest leader of the Lenca people in
the history of the Lenca people’s resistance. Justice is clearly telling the corporations,
the representatives of the state and all of those who enter Lenca territory
that we will not allow the development of any project, action or activity that
rolls over people or that eliminates our voices. It means development by the
communities and NOT by corporations that take advantage of communities,
development based on proposals that stem from our needs.
months after this vile crime the Lenca people continue to cry over this loss
for the Honduran social movement, yet we have not forgotten that her spirit
accompanies us as one more ancestor who has joined us in the millenarian
resistance of the Lenca people. Six months after this
assassination thousands of voices have risen to demand Justice for Berta and to
take up our demands, for which COPINH profoundly thanks the communities, grassroots
social movements and civil society from all regions of the continent and world.
As a people in struggle we know that justice will come only through the efforts
of the grassroots social movement and people of conscience.
Berta didn’t die, she multiplied!
With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota,
Iselaca and Etempica we raise our voices full of life, justice, freedom,
dignity and peace!
Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres from Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) First interview / Primera entrevista: English - Español Recent Speech / Discurso Recién: English - Español
Rights Action has been doing good reporting and commentary as events unfold and has people on the ground monitoring the situation. They are also a reliable vehicle through which to get money to the organizations fighting for the restoration of democracy in Honduras.
Defensores en línea is the best (Spanish-only) online source for regularly updated information on the violation of human rights in Honduras.
Honduras Laboral is a regularly-updated blog in Spanish with the latest news coming out of Honduras, published by Community Communications.
School of the Americas Watch has good background information on the coup-plotters training at the Georgia-based School of the Americas / (also known as the School of Assasins) as well as news updates on the coup and a call to action.
Honduras Habla is a citizen-media project of Honduras with a variety of news updates and links to good, current information (in Spanish) about the resistance to the coup.
La Voz de los de Abajo is a Chicago-based organization that has been working to organize solidarity with the Honduran resistance and to denounce the coup from within the U.S.. This blog (Honduras Resists) is published and maintained by La Voz de los de Abajo members.
Americas Policy Program have some good coverage and some English translations of interviews, statements and documents about the coup, the international response and the resistance.