Tuesday, August 15, 2017


[Información en español]
On Tuesday, August 15th, 2017, Honduran police used tanks, tear-gas and violence to displace thenon-violent “Camp Dignity” encampment of community members in the Pajuilescommunity in the municipality of Tela, Honduras who for months have beenprotesting the intrusion of the HIDROCEP corporation owned by Jaison Hawit intothe Cordillera Nombre de Dios mountains to dam up the Mezapa River. 

Communitymembers from the Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (Movement for Dignity and Justice) were beaten and gassed and five were arrested, including awoman who is six months pregnant. Those detained are Albertina López Melgar(who is six months pregnant), Wendy Yanery García, Kevin Javier Linares, JuanBautista Santos and a minor whose name we have been unable to confirm.
La Voz de los de Abajo was able to reach Albertina in prisonwho has the following to say:

“Whatthey are doing here in our country is repressing us just for defending ourright to water. The police don’t help us but when the corporation calls themthey come and repress us and detain people. We have 13 people alreadycriminalized and now five more of us arrested this morning. We want to call outto the international community and let you know that we are indignant as aHonduran people facing the repressive system we live under. The people arebeing harshly repressed with tear gas and tanks. We hold the authoritiesresponsible and the people who finance them and who finance these projects. Weare ending up without water and that is all we have for future generations. Theyneed to think twice, they are doing damage, both social and ecological damage.We pay taxes just like them, but the police are only there to defend them.Right now they are trying to get two machines through our encampment to the damsite by any means they can and I am very worried there will be a loss of lifebecause they are using everything they have to repress us.”
UPDATE: All five were released at 1:30am, but face charges of "carrying out an illegal meeting" amongst others and must check in weekly to the police station pending trial. 

Spanish speakers canmake calls to:
Julián Pacheco, Minister of Security – 011-504-9456-3699
Commander Adán Antonio Reyes Ochoa – 011-504-9440-0220
Tela police station – 011- 504-2448-2086/2089

English speakersplease call:
  • U.S. State Department – Bureau of Western HemisphericAffairs – 202-647-5402 – Let them know about this unfolding human rights crisisand ask they call their counterparts in the Honduran government.
  • Your congressperson – Let them know about the situation inPajuiles and ask they support the Berta Cáceres Law for Human Rights inHonduras to cut off military and police aid that is being used for assassinationsand other human rights violations like the violent operation underway right now.http://witnessforpeace.org/bertacaceresact/

Thursday, August 3, 2017

In Defense of Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno & of the Honduran Students

Statement of the Honduras Solidarity Networks In Defense of Padre Melo and the Honduran Students
En Español and in English 
Padre Melo
photo from Ignaciansolidarity.net

La Voz de los de Abajo is sharing the HSN Statement in Spanish and English at the link above. 
Students in Honduras' universities and high schools have been fighting the privatization of education and the authoritarian anti-democratic administration of the National Autonomous University of Honduras as well as the rule by the coup government's Ministry of Education in the public schools. When our delegation was in Honduras in March, we talked to students at the National Autonomous University of Honduras and learned about their movement.  Just as it does in the face of all the movements in resistance,  the government answers the students with violence and even assassination, reneging on agreements and refusing to dialogue. When human rights groups, political opposition members and members of the peoples' movements defend the students, they are threatened. La Voz de los de Abajo is a member of the Honduras Solidarity Network in North America and is working with other organizations in the US to cut off US aid to the repressive Honduran government and we also hold the Honduran government responsible for the safety of Padre Melo, Berta Caceres' family, Berta Oliva of COFADEH, Miriam Miranda of Ofraneh, Doris Gutierrez of PINU, the student leaders and the many many others at risk. 

University Student Protest
foto Honduras Tierra Libre

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

Wednesday, June 28, 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 the United States, has implemented the most far-reaching project of displacement against Lenca communities to date. The Lenca communities organized in COPINH and lead by sister Berta Cáceres have denounced the approval, without any community consultation, of 49 hydroelectric and other exploitative projects in our territories, forced upon us through the terror and violence imposed by the coup d’etat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New death threats in Rio Blanco against COPINH members

Alert: COPINH demands respect for the lives of Lenca people in Río Blanco
COPINH urgently communicates to the national and international community our serious worry about the defenseless state of the Lenca people in Río Blanco, faced with armed men and constant threats. We insist that the authorities take immediate action to protect the physical wellbeing and lives of COPINH members in Río Blanco, who continue to defend their ancestral territory against the invasion of people linked to the DESA corporation.

In recent months, and especially in the past few weeks, the threats against COPINH members have intensified, especially while they are working on their ancestral lands in Vega del Achiotal and Vega del Culatón, sites where the DESA corporation has invaded Lenca territory to build the Agua Zarca project.

The Madrid family, who is originally from santa Bárbara, illegally took over Lenca territory and sold part of it to the DESA corporation. Several of these people have been employees of the DESA corporation and have been put to work threatening members of COPINH, including our sister Berta Cáceres. We remind you that one of them threatened that they were going to “set things straight with Berta one way or another” just a few months before her assassination and they warned to look out for the consequences.

We denounce that Franklin Madrid has pointed firearms at COPINH members in Río Blanco and fired into the air close to COPINH members while they worked their ancestral landsb. The frequency of the threats is increasing and the COPINH members are in a state of complete vulnerability against the armed men who are openly threatening and intimidating them. Today, June 21st, in the morning hours, several armed men once again threatened COPINH members while they were working at Vega del Culaton. We alert that one of the armed men threatened to kill at any moment the children of Francisco Javier Sánchez, Coordinator of the Indigenous Council of Río Blanco and member of the General Coordination of COPINH.

COPINH has filed complaints with the authorities regarding the threats and destruction of the corn crops, nonetheless, to this day those responsible continue to be free. Instead of penalizing those who make violent threats, the police have instead accompanied them.

We also denounce the responsibility of the Municipality of Intibucá for having illegally granted land rights on ancestral Lenca territory at the Vega del Achiotal, facilitating the invasion of Lenca territory.

We demand that the authorities take immediate action to secure the life and physical wellbeing of the Lenca people of Río Blanco and to resolve the situations denounced by COPINH. We call on the national and international community to speak with the Honduran authorities and embassies to demand that they Honduran state take immediate action and prosecute those who are threatening the Lenca people with firearms.

·         Oscar Chinchilla, Attorney General - 504-2221-3099

·         Julian Pacheco, Secretary of Security – 504-9456-3699

·         National Human Rights Commission (CONADEH)

Tegucigalpa: 504-2231-0204, central@conadeh.hn

Intibucá: 504-2783-0039, intibuca@conadeh.hn

No more martyrs!

We demand immediate action before it is too late.

Berta lives on, COPINH is still strong!

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

From Río Blanco, Intibucá, June 21st, 2017
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