The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH): five days after the assassination of Berta Cáceres.
A day before International Women’s Day and in light of the constant harassment, criminalization and persecution we undergo as an organization, conditions reached their climax on March 2 when our General Coordinator, Berta Cáceres, was murdered. We fervently condemn this terrible crime that affects Indigenous communities, civil organizations, women’s struggle and the Lenca people’s fight for life.
We invite all national and international organizations to join the series of mobilizations being carried out in commemoration of International Women’s Day and to dedicate their protests and marches to our colleague Berta Cáceres as a way of expressing solidarity with our organization and family.
We stand firm on our anti-patriarchal, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-racist position that framed our colleague’s life and that of our organization. We do not want her death to become another statistic. It was feminicide stirred by political differences and determination to protect our territories!
We are very grateful for all the international and national solidarity and support that has come through. At the same time, we invite you to organize even more actions on this day to demand justice and emphasize that this act was a feminicide carried out by those in power (government, corporations, army).
We invite you to summon Berta’s spirit through ceremonies with candles, flowers, photographs and whatever other artistic and cultural expressions that demonstrate the strength with which we remember her and keep fighting.
We demand that the government signs a convention with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in order to create an international commission of independent investigators to look into Berta Cáceres’s case since current mechanisms cannot guarantee a transparent and reliable procedure.
We demand to immediately terminate all concessions and operations related tohydraulic, mining and exploitative projects in Lenca territory, especially the Agua Zarca dam in Rio Blanco carried out by the DESA corporation.
We demand to end all criminalization and harassment towards COPINH members, to demilitarize territories and to extinguish death squads.
To us, demanding justice does not equal obeying or legitimizing the judicial apparatus in Honduras, which is shaped by corruption and support for transnational corporations and international policies that do not answer to the people’s needs. Demanding justice entails bringing clarity to Berta’s case, punishing the intellectual and material culprits, ending death projects and creating solutions that answer to the demands of first nations.
Fueled by the ancestral strength of Mota, Etempica and Lempira, her rebel spirit will walk with us forever.
¡BERTA LIVES THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!
Stated in La Esperanza City, municipality of Intibucá on March 7, 2016.