April 8, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell
The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reports, communicates and denounces the following:
- We appreciate the national and international solidarity for an objective, impartial and non-racist investigation that clarifies the facts around the political assassination of our compañera and General Coordinator, Berta Cáceres, and leads to the truth and to justice, with the true material and intellectual authors of the murder being subjected to the law, as well as learning the facts and motives by which her murder was planned and carried out, however, we reiterate that the State of Honduras continues to fail to fulfill its obligations in this respect. Not accepting our requests, such as for an independent international investigative commission that has the trust of our organization, are the reasons for which we haven’t trusted, don’t trust and never will trust in the national laws and for which we denounce our country’s legal authorities’ manipulation of the investigation into the vile and horrendous murder of our compañera Berta Cáceres. And that Mr. Juan Orlando Hernandez has not shown the political will to speed up the investigative process and one month after the murder, neither the compañera’s relatives nor COPINH have received an official report on behalf of the government about how the investigation is proceeding into identifying the material and intellectual perpetrators.
Translator’s note: On April 1, Gustavo Castro was permitted by the Honduran government to leave the country and is now back in Mexico.
March 29, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell
Relatives of Berta Cáceres report that the Attorney General is protecting the murderers. There are economic ties between the coordinator of the prosecution and DESA’s lawyers [the company behind the Agua Zarca dam]. They claim that the Honduran State knew of the plan to murder indigenous leader Berta Cáceres.
President of the Republic, Juan Orlando Hernández,
Attorney General of the Republic, Oscar Chinchilla,
The relatives of Berta Cáceres, the COPINH [Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras], the Platform of Social and Popular Movements of Honduras (PMSPH) and the Popular Coordination Berta Cáceres, for the ears of Honduran society and the international community, we are writing you to express and demand the following:
Originally posted on It’s Going Down.
In the past two weeks, social movements in Mexico racked up significant victories while continuing to organize in the face of constant state repression. Detractors will point to the several successes won in the courts as examples of the reasonableness and functionality of a democratic government. Those on the ground know that it was not due to a wise and benevolent judiciary that they won, but through years of organization, mobilization and struggle that forced the state’s hand. Even in victory they remain on guard, knowing that the state cannot be trusted and these battles are part of a larger war. That war rages daily as neoliberal capitalism, racism and patriarchy continue to plunder the peoples and territories of Mexico and beyond.
Readers may have heard of the assassination of indigenous land and water defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras on March 3. Wounded during the attack was Gustavo Castro Soto, a member of Otros Mundos from Chiapas. Fearing for his safety, he attempted to leave Honduras only to be detained by authorities and ordered to remain in the country for 30 days. A few days later on March 14 movements around Mexico participated in the International Day of Action Against Dams and in Defense of Rivers. The Chiapan Front in Defense of Water, Land and Life held an action in the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, while the Mexican Movement of those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) released a map documenting the 40 people from Mexico to Colombia killed since 2005 for organizing against dam construction. The map quickly became outdated the following day when Nelson García, a member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) – the same group Berta Cáceres belonged to – was assassinated.