Claiming & Protecting Water

Gustavo Castro Soto's Message to the People of Honduras

March 24, 2016

[Español Abajo]

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

March 15, 2016

To the Honduran people:

I don't know if you'll ever receive these lines I'm writing to you.

I came to Honduras with so much hope. I hadn´t been here in years, but I'm grateful that Berta invited me. My beloved friend for so many years, her and her family. Despite all what I´ve been through, I don't regret coming or having been chosen by fate to say goodbye to my dear friend.

INTERVIEW WITH BERTA CÁCERES: “TO FIGHT AGAINST REPRESSION IN HONDURAS IS TO FIGHT FOR OUR WHOLE CONTINENT”

March 23, 2016

By Beverly Bell

Photo credit: Roger Harris.

Below is a never-before-published interview with international social movement leader and Honduran indigenous organizer Berta Cáceres, who was assassinated on March 3, 2016. The interview was taken in Havana on September 4, 2009, two months after Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a US-backed coup d’état, while the unelected regime was still on a rampage to destroy resistance and the activists behind it. Cáceres’ murder has brought the overthrow of the last legitimately elected government to rule that country back into the global spotlight, because that overthrow laid the groundwork for the repression that now engulfs grassroots justice movements.

Cáceres’ message in the interview was clear: Pay attention. Stand up with and for us. Our fates are connected, and what happens to us can happen to you.

“What’s past is prologue,” Shakespeare said. Today, an unelected regime is again attempting to destroy resistance and the activists behind it. Berta’s message is as relevant to the Americas and the US now as then.

Update from COPINH on the Assassination of Nelson García & Tuesday's Violent Evictions in Río Chiquito: "Enough is Enough!"

March 17, 2016

Repost from COPINH

March 15, 2016

[Para leer en español, haga clic aquí]

Enough is Enough!

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras [COPINH] makes known to public opinion today’s assassination of our comrade Nelson García, of the community of Río Chiquito in the department of Cortés, at the hands of two unknown assailants.

250 + Organizations Signed This Open Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the Murder of Honduran Indigenous and Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres

March 17, 2016

Reposted from Latin America Working Group

Originally shared March 10, 2016

[Download this letter as a PDF. ]
[Para leer la carta en español, haga clic aquí.]

Dear Secretary of State Kerry,

We write in shock and deep sorrow regarding the murder of Honduran human rights and environmental defender Berta Cáceres, founder and general secretary of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). We urge a response from the State Department that is not business as usual but a profound change of direction towards improving the abysmal situation of human rights in Honduras.

WHY WAS BERTA CÁCERES ASSASSINATED?

March 16, 2016

By Beverly Bell

A few numbers begin to reveal why Honduran indigenous leader and global movement luminary, Berta Cáceres, was assassinated on March 3, 2016.

According to the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), more than 300 hydroelectric dams are planned for Honduras, of which 49 are on COPINH lands. Eight hundred seventy-two contracts have been handed out to corporations for mining alone, with many others created for mega-tourism, wind energy, and logging projects. The majority of these are planned for indigenous lands. Of those, all are in violation of International Labor Organization Convention 169, to which Honduras is a signatory, allowing free, prior, and informed consent by indigenous peoples before development may take place in their territories.

European funders suspend support for Agua Zarca Dam

March 16, 2016

Reposted from Huffington Post

By Peter Bosshard

The construction site of the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras (COPINH) 

On March 15, Nelson Garcia, an activist of COPINH, the Honduran organization Berta Cáceres had founded, was shot and killed when he helped a group of poor families resist a land grab in the small town of Rio Lindo. The brazen murder was not directly related to the conflict around the Agua Zarca Dam, but it showed that even under the international spotlight, powerful circles in Honduras have no respect for the lives of people who stand in the way of their economic interests.

In response to this "shocking news," FMO, the Dutch development financier, decided to "suspend all activities in Honduras, effective immediately. This means,"FMO said in a statement, "that we will not engage in new projects or commitments and that no disbursements will be made, including the Agua Zarca project." Finnfund, the second European financier involved in Agua Zarca, suspended its support as well.

BREAKING! Gustavo Castro is in danger in the community of La Esperanza, Honduras

March 7, 2016

From Otros Mundos, Chiapas

(Click here to read in Spanish

- To the Secretary of Human Rights, Justice, Interior, and Decentralization of Honduras

- To the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Honduras

- To the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

- For national and international attention

- To all organizations defending human rights

At present, the Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro Soto, Coordinator of Other Worlds AC/Friends of the Earth Mexico, is adding to his statement in La Esperanza, Intibucá, southeastern Honduras, where he was the victim of an assassination attempt in which indigenous rights defender Berta Cáceres was murdered on March 3.

We are on HIGH ALERT because his departure from the Embassy of Mexico and transfer back to La Esperanza represent a high risk for his physical security and psychological wellbeing.

On Sunday March 6, upon trying to leave Honduras, legally and under the protection of the Mexican Embassy in Honduras, he was arbitrarily intercepted by Honduran authorities before passing through immigration at the Tegucigalpa International Airport. They detained him under the justification that he needed to expand upon his declaration, but without notifying him of this previously.

COPINH: URGENT DENUNCIATION

March 7, 2016

HONDURAS March 6, 2016

(Click here to read in Spanish

The Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) demands an investigation by independent and impartial experts to identify those physically responsible for the political assassination of Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, General Coordinator of COPINH, as well as the intellectual authors of this crime. Specifically, we demand that the Honduran state sign an agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to send independent experts to conduct a clean, impartial, and transparent investigation.

 

Illegal and Illegitimate Hydroelectric Project Reinitiated on Gualcarque River in Honduras

February 24, 2016

Reposted from COPINH

The Government of Honduras continues to permit and be complicit in the violation of the human rights of the Lenca People of Río Blanco and the nothern part of the Department of Intibucá, to support DESA’s second attempt to build the “Agua Zarca” hydroelectric project on the Gualcarque River – a natural heritage, cultural, economic and functional habitat of the Lenca people. This new attempt by DESA-Agua Zarca is based on the same illegal concession that violates the right to prior, free and informed consultation of the Lenca people, as well as [International Labor Organization] Convention 169, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which declares this hydroelectric project since its inception, illegitimate and illegal.

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