martes, 19 de diciembre de 2017

The COPINH DOES NOT recognize the statement of Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and calls for the permanent mobilization

(here in spanish)
The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) DOES NOT
recognize the statement made yesterday by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) which claims  Juan Orlando Hernández as the winner. This decision represents the final consummation of the electoral fraud through which they seek to make a mockery of the Honduran people’s will expressed on November 26th, which is to expel the dictatorship and its corrupt cabal from the presidency. The fraud carried out throughout the process is clear and evident, starting with the illegality of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH)’s candidacy itself and especially in the hours following the closure of the polls when the opposition’s victory became apparent. With their timid statements the OAS and EU have corroborated what the people have already declared in the streets - all of the irregularities of the corrupt electoral process and Honduran state make clear that this is the imposition of a dictatorship. The statement by the TSE is yet another affront to the Honduran people and we denounce that all of its members who were involved should be prosecuted.

*COPINH calls for the permanent mobilization and organization in the streets of the Lenca and Honduran people as a whole to make the legitimate demand that JOH immediately step down, or, short of that, for there to be a new electoral process with guarantees and transparency, supervised by the international community, beyond the OAS and also including representation of the Honduran grassroots social movements.

*COPINH demands that the armed forces and Honduran police immediately cease their repression against the Honduran people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest a government based on imposition!

*COPINH calls on the international community to denounce the violent and murderous actions by agents of the state’s repressive forces, which have already taken 22 Honduran lives, and to push for the governments of the world to refuse recognition of the criminal declaration by Honduras’s TSE.

*COPINH and the Lenca people are rising up, not in defense of a party or a candidate, but rather in defense of dignity itself.

For the blood spilled by Berta Cáceres and all of our ancestors, we demand justice! We demand the downfall of the killer regime!

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Iselaca, Etempica and Mota we raise our voices full of life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace.

December 18th, 2017
La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras

viernes, 15 de diciembre de 2017

COPINH communicates the following about the repression suffered today, December 15, 2017.

COPINH communicates the following about the repression suffered today in the peaceful roadblock on the road that travels between La Esperanza and Siguatepeque.

In the early morning hours of today, December 15, 2017, a roadblock was set up on the road between La Esperanza and Siguatepeque as part of the protests around the country.  Without delay, members of the National Police from La Esperanza, and the military, presumably the Battalion of Engineers of Siguatepeque, arrived to violently evict the protest using tear gas. Faced with this, the people at the road block including Bertha Zúniga and other members of the General Coordination of COPINH headed to the mountainous area to flee the repression and were pursued for a significant time.  The violent incidents included use of tear gas, hitting people with batons, and rock throwing by the repressive forces of the State against the protesters.

COPINH denounces the excessive persecution with the objective of realizing detentions, intimidating, and beating the protesters.  Today’s repression adds to the violent actions by the repressive forces on previous days against the protests between La Esperanza and Siguatepeque which have included excessive use of force to evict the roadblocks, intimidation, taking of photographs for persecution, illegal detentions, illegal retentions, tracking people, threats of rape and murder, and the use of live bullets on Monday, December 11, 2017.

martes, 5 de diciembre de 2017

Lenca people demand Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) step down immediately!

For over a week, the people have defended in the streets the will that they expressed at the polls. The flagrant theft that they want to carry out through fraud is undeniable. The people know it and the international community should understand that the narrow interests of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) and the elite powers that he represents alone are maintaining the crisis by refusing to accept defeat.

It has been clearly demonstrated how the leadership of the National Party, which includes the President of the Supreme Electoral Council David Matamoros, have committed fraud in the presidential elections in order to illegally keep themselves power. Therefore, results from this institution are not and will not be reliable nor in any way credible, and the people have shown as much in the streets.

COPINH is clear that the hundreds of mobilizations, highway blockades, peaceful protests and expressions of resistance go beyond this electoral process. They represent a cry of the people as a whole to move beyond the hatred, violence and submissiveness that have characterized the years of JOH’s government and his other coup-supporting predecessors, years inundated with corruption, impunity, assassinations, approval of spurious laws, handing over of territories, illegal concessions, and poverty and hunger for the majority.

The struggle in the territories and in the streets is the key action in these moments and must continue. The dignity and strength of the people’s struggle in the streets is what has led the National Police and the COBRA forces to set down the arms they were using against the people. We salute this dignified action and call on the armed forces and other repressive state bodies to understand their role as part of the people and respect the actions of that people.

It is clear that the call in the streets is not just about recognizing the obvious electoral victory of Salvador Nasralla, but is above all the cry of the Honduran people to say JOH MUST GO! It is no longer about him recognizing the victory, it is about him stepping down from the presidency and thereby ending the crisis to which our Honduras has been subjected.

COPINH calls on the international community to take all pertinent measures to ensure that JOH’s desperation to maintain power does not lead to more spilling of blood by the Honduran people.

As such, the Lenca people, organized in COPINH demand that:
JOH’s government immediately hand over the presidency to a temporary government of national consensus until January 27th, 2018, the day in which Salvador Nasralla will be seated as President.
The resistance in favor of recognition of the people’s will as expressed at the polls strengthen and consolidate through territorial organization.
That the international community take a side and activate the pertinent mechanisms so that JOH’s desperation to maintain power does not lead to further spilling of blood by the Honduran people.

For the blood shed by Berta Cáceres and all of our ancestors, we demand justice! We demand that end of this killer regime!

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Iselaca, Etempica and Mota we raise our voices full of Life, Justice and Peace.

December 5th, 2017.

miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

COPINH Calls to Respect the Will of the Honduran People

(AQUI en español)
The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) calls for the respect of Honduran people’s will who took a position against continuity and dictatorship on November 26 and has communicated the decision to get the dictator Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) out of the Presidency.

COPINH is a popular organization that fundamentally believes in community and grassroots political processes that make political participation a daily struggle and not just a call every four years to change executioners. However, despite all the manipulation, vote buying, clientelism and deceit, the Honduran people have clearly stated that they don’t want to continue to live in the violent situation imposed by the JOH government which represents a continuation of the 2009 coup d’etat and is an ally of the oligarchic economic structures. The people have expressed, even in the highly controlled and manipulated electoral process, that this coup-supporting, racist, extractivist government only represents hatred and death.

The Honduran people don’t forget that this government is complicit in the assassination of our General Coordinator Berta Cáceres and have expressed this belief in thousands of public protests and in the most recent, last Sunday. The people know the complicity of JOH’s government with DESA’s owners and the powers that be - unpunished murderers that are protected by a cloak of impunity that the corrupt and colonialist state enables.  

The same hate and fear that persecuted and assassinated Berta is the same that wants to impose a dictatorship by means of violence and fraud. What has occurred in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the divulgation of votes is a large crude lie that reflects the dirty, lying nature of the state. The delay in the divulgation of results, like the ambiguities in their public announcements are a clear sign of the development of fraud. The sudden reduction of the percentage differences favoring JOH, is also a demonstration of this.

The structural changes that this country needs cannot be achieved through a voting process but instead through means of liberating practices of our peoples, in the defense of our territories, our autonomies, and living alternatives to capitalism in which life, dignity and liberty come before business and profit. For this reason, our organization will remain vigilant in the fulfillment of the will of the people.
COPINH calls to defend the decision of the people to avoid dictatorship. We call on all popular and grassroots organizations to not only defend their decision but to unite and pronounce in favor of the construction of the society we want. We convoke the entire international community to be observers of the events that will unfold in the coming days, to avoid a blood bath in what may be a new coup d’etat perpetrated by the same elite political class.

With the ancestral force of Berta, Lempira Mota, Iselaca y Etempia, we raise our voices full of life, justice, liberty, dignity and peace.

Written in La Esperanza, Intibucá, November 29, 2017 

jueves, 16 de noviembre de 2017

Statement by Senator Patrick Leahy on the Need for Justice in Honduras

(Senate - November 09, 2017)


Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak about a subject that many Senators are aware of and should be deeply concerned about.
As we remember, in the early morning hours of March 3, 2016, Honduras lost one of its most courageous and charismatic indigenous leaders, Berta Caceres. 
Ms. Caceres was the general coordinator of the  
National Council  of  Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, COPINH.
She was gunned down by assassins in her home in the village of La Esperanza, Intibuca.
Berta Caceres spent her life defending indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources. In 2015, she won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her outstanding activism and leadership. She and COPINH had been supporting land struggles throughout western Honduras, and because of that--because she was exercising rights guaranteed by Honduran law and international law--she and the communities that she and COPINH supported were the frequent targets of death threats.

lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

Fake Honduran Twitter: the digital campaign against Berta Cáceres and COPINH

Erin Gallagher 
A network of fake accounts tweeted a smear campaign against Berta Cáceresand COPINH three months before Berta was murdered. This was just one component of a larger campaign that was waged against COPINH for years due to their opposition to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project.
A new report by an independent team of attorneys linked Berta’s assassination to the highest levels of Capital Energy Development SA de CV (DESA), the company whose hydroelectric dam project Berta and COPINH were protesting.   MORE>>>

martes, 7 de noviembre de 2017

Twenty months have passed since the assassination of Berta

Twenty months have passed since the night of the vile assassination of Berta Cáceres, General Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. During this time the Honduran authorities have demonstrated a lack of political will to prosecute those who ordered her murder, confront the structural causes of her death, or end the persecution of those who defend their territory in Honduras.

Those who wanted to take the life of Berta Cáceres and thereby try to end to the fierce struggle of COPINH and the Lenca people have been hiding behind a cloak of impunity. Nonetheless, with just minimal access to information, an international group of advisors was able to conduct an independent investigation and unveil the network of corruption, cruelty, persecution and hatred behind her murder, and the perpetrators at the center of it, members of the DESA corporation.

In view of the above, the undersigned support COPINH’s demands to the Honduran authorities with respect to:

 1. The arrest, trial and conviction of those who ordered and planned the murder of Berta Cáceres and the persecution of COPINH.
2. Cancellation of the concession along the Gualcarque River granted to Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. (DESA), which the GAIPE report clearly shows formed part of a criminal and murderous network.
3. Assurance of a true investigation into the crime against Berta Cáceres, through the dismissal of all the people involved in the case and the creation of a new investigation team subject to oversight by international organizations.
4. The adoption of effective and immediate measures of safety and protection for the legal team, COPINH, and Berta's family, who are involved in the case in pursuit of justice.

Berta lives!

sábado, 4 de noviembre de 2017

DESA Killed Berta! Capture the people who gave the orders!

On March 4th of 2016, just a few hours after the assassination of our Coordinator Berta Cáceres, COPINH and the daughters and son of our sister denounced that her assassination stemmed from the struggle that she lead against the DESA corporation because of the Río Blanco community’s opposition to the Agua Zarca project of death.

Today, 20 months after her assassination, the investigators from GAIPE have corroborated with the upmost possible objectivity the unequivocal link between this killer corporation, its owners, directors and employers in the persecution, criminalization, and stigmatization that she suffered, as well as the planning, coordination and execution of the killing.

The corroboration of the actions leading to her assassination doesn’t come from witnesses or hypotheses. It comes from the words of the actors themselves, from their phone conversations, text messages and WhatsApp messages. They implicated themselves. The key information comes from their own words.

The information analyzed by GAIPE is the same that the Attorney General has had in its possession since at least May 2nd, 2016, which means that for over a year and a half the authorities had the proof and have not had even a minimal inclination to go after the plotters. A mantle of impunity envelops the whole investigation, as we have denounced since the beginning. All of the irregularities, the theft of information, the lack of transparency, the illegalities, the setbacks and suspensions of hearings have now been revealed to be the Honduran Attorney General’s office trying to cover up those who plotted the crime, obviously pressured by the executive and the business groups behind the assassination.

It shows once again that the State has been taken over by a murderous mafia and that we, the Honduran people, and especially the indigenous peoples, are its victims. It shows once again that the economic elites who benefited from the 2009 coup d’état think that they can do whatever they want without having to pay the consequences.

COPINH is not opposed to development in Honduras, what we oppose is this “development” that means the death of our communities, our identity and our territories. We oppose deceitful people filling their pockets at the expense of our dead, at the expense of the death of Berta Cáceres and all of those of us who struggle against this unjust system where the majority is repressed for the benefit of a small economic elite.

The production of supposedly “renewable energy” or “clean energy” are just the cheap words of businessmen who see energy production as a business and are willing to roll over any and everything, including the law and the people, in order to maximize their profits.

The assassination of Berta Cáceres will not remain in impunity. COPINH, the Lenca people and all dignified people in Honduras and the world will fight until the final consequences for their to be justice, for the plotters to be punished and so that no more of these deaths occur. So that as peoples we can continue to defend our territories.

The corporation Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. led by David Castillo, members of the Atala Zablah family, and other directors, the builder of the Hydroelectric Project of death Agua Zarca, financed by the CABEI, FMO and FinnFund banks, supported by USAID, SERNA (MiAmbiente), Banco Ficohsa, Voyth Hydro-Siemens, the armed forces of Honduras, the National Police and private security forces, the COHEP and the AHER, was the corporation that assassinated Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores. We have said it since the beginning and it has been confirmed by the recent investigation.

Because of this, COPINH demands:

1. The capture, prosecution and punishment of all of those who ordered and plotted the assassination of Berta Cáceres and the persecution of COPINH.

2. The cancellation of the concession along the Gualcarque River to the criminal and murderous corporation Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. DESA.

3. Assurances of a real investigation into the crime against Berta Cáceres, by removing all of those involved in the case and creating a new investigation team under the oversight of international organizations.

4. The adoption of effective and immediate measures of protection and security for the legal team, COPINH and the family, all of whom are involved in the case seeking justice.

We call on Honduran society not to allow this case to remain in impunity, justice for Berta means justice for our people and for the many people assassinated at the hands of corporate and State criminals.

We call on Honduran organizations and grassroots social movements to continue forward in defense of our territories and lives. To demonstrate that Berta didn’t die, she multiplied.

We call on international solidarity to join us in these demands for justice.

Berta lives on, COPINH is strong!
What do we demand? Justice!
Punish the plotters!

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Iselaca, Lempira, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices full of life, justice, dignity, freedom and peace!

La Esperanza, Intibucá, November 3rd, 2017

domingo, 29 de octubre de 2017

The Grass is Greener-2017-10-28 (4pm) Gaspar Sanchez Equality and Rights in Honduras

Who Ordered Killing of Honduran Activist? Evidence of Broad Plot Is Found

MEXICO CITY — It was just before midnight when two men kicked in the door to Berta Cáceres’s house in the small Honduran mountain town of La Esperanza. Moving past the kitchen, one of them opened the door to her bedroom and fired six shots. She died moments later.
In a country where the fight to protect land rights provokes violent retaliation, the murder in March 2016 of another environmental defender might simply have receded into a grim tally of regrettable losses.
But Ms. Cáceres, 44, had won international acclaim for leading her indigenous Lenca community against a dam planned on their land. Her prominence transformed her killing into an emblematic crime — and turned the investigation that followed into a challenge to the entrenched impunity of the powerful in Honduras.
Now, 20 months after the killing, a team of five international lawyers has warned that the people who ordered it may never face justice.
The evidence, the lawyers said, points to a plot against Ms. Cáceres that was months in the making and reached up to senior executives of Desarrollos Energéticos, known as Desa, the Honduran company holding the dam concession.

lunes, 21 de agosto de 2017

COPINH Y MADJ: The Public Ministry and the judicial authorities continue violating the rights of the victims in the Berta Caceres case.

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH and the legal team of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice MADJ denouces again the violation of rights and basic procedures with respect to the judicial process in the case of the murder of our compañera Berta Cáceres and the attempted murder of our compañero Gustavo Castro.
Today, August 21st, the preliminary hearing is scheduled for 4 of the 8 accused: Henry Hernández, Óscar Torres, Edilson Duarte, and Émerson Duarte.  However, the Public Ministry, with an absolute lack of respect for due process and the rights of the victims, has not provided the information that supports their accusation so that the victim’s representatives can analyze and participate adequately in the judicial process.
The lack of provision of the necessary information signifies, additionally, the violation of the rights of the victims to participate appropriately in the judicial process and violates, according to international human rights standards, the rights of the accused, particularly with respect to what is established in article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights and article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The legal representation of the victims has requested on 6 occasions access to the necessary information to participate in the process, nevertheless, this has been expressedly and tacitly denied by the Public Ministry.
The notification of this hearing coincides with the irregular behavior by the Public Ministry throughtout the whole process.  The notification arrived the friday before the hearing, without having verified the provision of evidence so that the representatives of the victims, and even the accused persons could have the necessary time to prepare their defense, according to the principles of rule of law.  Does the suddenness of this hearing have a hidden interest?  What are they trying to achieve by hiding the information?
We emphasize that up until today, the requests by the victims for access to the information contained in materials that were removed from Berta Caceres’ home following her murder have not been responded to.  It is worrisome that there has been no answer regarding the contents of 3 celular phones, 1 electronic tablet, 1 laptop, 1 hard drive, and 5 USB memories, which were removed from Berta’s home by agents of the police and Public Ministry.
COPINH and the legal team of MADJ denouces the irregular handling of this process and the construction of impunity, as a result of the impediments to the victims’ legal representation realizing their functions. 
As this hearing occurs, the rights of the victims are being violated.
When will we see the intellectual authors?

Justice for Berta!
Justice for Gustavo!


jueves, 6 de julio de 2017

COPINH communicates that FMO and Finn Fund have confirmed their official exit from the murderous Agua Zarca Project


The banks' exit responds to the denouncements and indefatigable struggle the communities organized in COPINH have carried out against the financing by banks of projects that openly violate the rights of Lenca communities and have been imposed and developed through the murder of leaders like Berta Caceres and Tomas Garcia.
This exit has been a long and difficult process where COPINH has been constantly ignored and invisibilized.  The exit of the banks is a victory for communities organized in defense of the sacred Gualcarque River and the rights of the Lenca people.  This victory is a product of cosmic justice/reckoning in which our ancestors have accompanied us constantly.

However, we denounce that the FMO and Finn Fund have ignored COPINH's recommendations about a responsible exit.  To the contrary, the banks continue promoting a decision-making process about a hydroelectric dam project that could generate more violence and repression.  This process contemplates impunity for the murders and crimes committed and the tries to make invisible the responsibility of DESA and the state of Honduras for the violence in the region.  COPINH denounces that this process has already been rejected by the Lenca people of Rio Blanco and that COPINH has informed FMO and their consultant of the serious problems with this process on multiple occasions, however, they have ignored us.

In the same way, in their public declaration, FMO and Finn Fund do not consider their responsibility for the death and human rights violations that have resulted from the project. We continue demanding that the banks recognize their responsibility and that they apologize to the affected communities and COPINH, which they have refused to do.

We thank the organizations that have accompanied us in this struggle against the financing of death in our communities and we invite you to continue to join us in demanding justice, truth, and reparation.

jueves, 29 de junio de 2017

Berta's death sentence was written eight years ago: COPINH on the 8 year anniversary of the coup d'etat

The assassination of Berta Cáceres was planned eight years ago, during the 2009 coup d’état, a death sentence for all social movement leaders fighting the destruction of the common natural goo
d and indigenous communities of Honduras. With the coup d’etat, a mafia installed a criminal military dictatorship that continued on and deepened the process of depriving the Lenca and indigenous communities of Honduras of the right to make decisions about our own territories. The installed regime, through death and with the bloody hands of its repressive military, financed by ...MORE>>>