Saturday, July 1, 2017

Attack against Berta Zúñiga Cáceres and other COPINH leaders!!!

ALERT! Attack against Berta's daughter Bertha Zuñiga Cáceres and two other COPINH leaders!
Translation by Alicia Carrillo Flores

Tegucigalpa.- This Friday at 2:36 pm the young Berta Zúniga, daughter of former indigenous and environmentalist leader Berta Cáceres, and two of her colleagues from the Civic Council of Honduran Popular and Indigenous Organizations (Copinh) were attacked in Two occasions by four men, in the west of this Central American country.

A statement from the Copinh said that the attack occurred when Zúniga Cáceres and her companions, Sotero Chavarría and Asunción Martínez, were attacked twice by four men when they were returning to the community of Cancire, in the municipality of Santiago Puringla, La Paz.

In the first incident, three men armed with machetes stood next to a black Toyota Tacoma car with PCH 1886 plates and blocked the road that leads from the community of Cancire  to San Antonio, the men threatened the members of Copinh with machetes.

"Thanks to the ability of the driver, the men with machetes could not stop or machete the car, however, the fourth man, driver of the Toyota Tacoma threw a stone that hit the top of the driver side window of the car members of Copinh, were driving" the text said.

On the second occasion, the same car, with only the driver,  persecuted members of Copinh along the same road dangerously with the clear intention of forcing them into the abyss.

Later the Tacoma vehicle blocked the car that the defenders of the environment were riding in, trying to stop it for at least ten minutes. Fortunately the driver of the Copinh was able to take a detour and avoided further incidents.

"The Copinh reports that this incident has to do with the ambitions of a few  members of the communities of Lomas de San Antonio and Las Delicias, with the support of the American agency USAID, to remove the source of water to the communities of San Antonio, Cancire , Higuito and Cedrito, "the statement said.

"It should be noted that these communities have been affected by the Zazagua Hidroelectric dam, which has left its water sources dry," added the letter.

The Copinh requires that the authorities investigate and punish these aggressions. It is the responsibility of the State of Honduras to protect the physical integrity of its members and take all necessary measures to ensure that the organization carries out its work in defense of the rights of the Lencas communities and their territories, the statement said.

Finally, the indigenous organization calls on the international community to be vigilant and to demand from the Honduran authorities the protection of its members.

Berta Zúniga Cáceres, is one of four children of Berta Cáceres, who was murdered the morning of March 3, 2016, in her house in the city of La Esperanza, in the department of Intibucá. Her relatives and human rights defenders point out that his crime is linked to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, built on the Gualcarque river, by the company Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. (DESA).

So far Honduran justice has captured eight alleged perpetrators of the crime. Two of them with direct links to the company DESA

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