Press Conference for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba + (video)

Press Conference Calls for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba

Thursday, December 1 2016

Los Angeles/Harbor Area, (San Pedro) California

Transcript of the video available here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016 San Pedro Courthouse

COPINH: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! — Latest Statement from Lenca Organization in Honduras

2015_BertaCaceres_013.jpg

(English Below) 

¡Basta Ya!

El Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de honduras hace de conocimiento a la opinión pública el asesinato el día de hoy de nuestro compañero Nelson García de la comunidad de Río Chiquito en el departamento de Cortés, a manos de dos personas desconocidas.

Lamentamos tener que informar que el compañero Nelson García fue asesinado cuando llegaba a la casa de su suegra a almorzar, luego de haber estado toda la mañana ayudando a mover los enceres de las familias desalojadas de la comunidad de Río Chiquito.

El asesinato ocurrió en el marco del desalojo efectuado contra la comunidad e Río Chiquito en la localidad de Río Lindo, en el departamento de Cortés, en el cual aproximadamente 100 policías, 20 efectivos de la policía militar, 10 del ejército y varios de la DGIC invadieron el territorio recuperado por 150 familias, en el cual más de 75 habían construido sus casas con los materiales y esfuerzos que han podido obtener.

El desalojo se produjo al medio día de hoy, utilizando tractores y maquinaria pesada para destruir las casas de madera en las que han vivido desde hace casi 2 años los compañeros y compañeras organizadas en el COPINH, dejándoles sin un techo con qué protegerse. De igual manera se destruyó la huerta y sembradíos de la comunidad, arruinando con tractores las plantaciones de yuca, caña, plátano y pequeñas milpas, violando cualquier tipo de derecho. Incluso se destruyó un horno artesanal que tenía la comunidad y mataron unas gallinas pertenecientes a la comunidad. 

La comunidad de Río Chiquito ha protegido su territorio desde que le fue donado a las mujeres de la misma, sin embargo, han sido atacados por las autoridades municipales, en especial por el alcalde anterior, que utiliza 3 testaferros para despojar a los compañeros y compañeras, y vender la tierra.

El compañero Nelson García fue un activo militante del COPINH, en la defensa del derecho a la habitación, lo recordamos por su activa participación en el proceso de recuperación de la tierra y la fundación de la comunidad de Río Chiquito. Lamentamos esta nueva muerte a 13 días del vil asesinato de nuestra coordinadora General Berta Cáceres.

 El asesinato de nuestro compañero Nelson García y el desalojo de la Comunidad de Río Chiquito se suman a la guerra en contra del COPINH, que busca acabar con su labor de defensoría, resistencia y construcción de más de 22 años.

 Estas agresiones del día de hoy se suman a la gran cantidad de amenazas, agresiones, asesinatos, intimidaciones y criminalizaciones dirigidas en contra del COPINH.

Desde el asesinato de nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres hemos sido objeto de una gran cantidad de incidentes que demuestran el nulo interés por parte del Estado hondureño por garantizar nuestra vida y la labor que desempeñamos. Así como su irrespeto a los mandatos de la CIDH en cuanto a la aplicación de las medidas cautelares que se nos han otorgado.

Las medidas cautelares fueron emitidas el días 6 de marzo y hoy 9 días después nos asesinan un compañero. ¿Cómo se supone que confiemos en el proceso investigativo del Estado si a la coordinación de la organización se le hostiga criminalmente mediante el llamado a declarar investigando su presunta participación en el asesinato, mientras no se investiga a las fuentes de las amenazas? ¿Cómo se supone que se haga justicia en el caso de nuestra lideresa Berta cuando no se garantizan las medidas necesarias para la protección de su familia, y las hijas y compañeros de nuestra compañera Berta han sido perseguidas por un hombre armado en la ciudad de Tegucigalpa en medio de los encuentros con autoridades?

 

Desde el mismo día del asesinato de Berta, las instalaciones del COPINH en La Esperanza han sido vigiladas por personas desconocidas, intimidando a quienes permanecemos en resistencia, siguiendo el legado de nuestra lideresa.

De igual manera los compañeros y compañeras de la comunidad de Río Blanco han sufrido agresiones de persecución cuando se trasladaban a la ciudad de Tegucigalpa para exponer su caso ante entes como el Ministerio de Gobernación y los representantes del grupo de representantes diplomáticos del G16.

Además de un incidente en el cual los compañeros de la comunidad se trasladaron al Río Gualcarque y fueron agredidos por los guardias de seguridad del proyecto hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca, mediante disparos de escopeta, que afortunadamente no hirieron a ningún miembro de la comunidad.

Todas estas agresiones hacen parte de un plan de exterminio en contra de nuestra organización y hacemos un llamamiento a la solidaridad nacional e internacional para luchar en contra del mismo. 

Exigimos que cese la persecución, el hostigamiento y la guerra en contra del COPINH.

Exigimos que el Estado hondureño responda por la muerte de nuestros compañeros y compañeras y no exista más impunidad.

Exigimos justicia para nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres.

Con la fuerza ancestral de Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, se levantan nuestras voces llena vida, justicia y paz.

¡¡¡Berta Vive, la lucha sigue!!!

La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Dado a los 15 días del mes de marzo 2016.

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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.

We regret to have to say that comrade Nelson García was assassinated when he arrived at the house of his mother-in-law to eat lunch, after having spent all morning helping to move the belongings of the families being evicted in the community of Río Chiquito.

The assassination took place in the context of the eviction carried out against the community and Río Chiquito in the locality of Río Lindo, in the department of Cortés, where approximately 100 police, 20 members of the militarized police, 10 soldiers, and several members of the DGIC [investigative police] invaded the territory that had been recuperated by 150 families, where more than 75 of them had built their homes with the materials and efforts they had been able to gather.  

The eviction happened at mid-day today, using tractors and heavy equipment to destroy the wooden homes where the comrades organized in COPINH had lived for nearly two years leaving them without a roof over their heads. The garden and plantings of the community were also destroyed, the tractors being used to ruin the cultivations of yucca, cane, plantain, and small milpas, violating any concept of justice. The community’s artisanal oven was also destroyed, and chickens belonging to the community were killed.  

The community of Río Chiquito had defended their territory ever since it was given to the women there; nonetheless they were attacked by the municipal authorities, especially by the prior mayor, who used three front men to evict the comrades and sell the land.

Comrade Nelson García was an active militant of COPINH, defending the right to habitation; we remember him for his active participation in the process of recuperating the land and founding the community of Río Chiquito. We lament this new death thirteen days after the vile assassination of our General Coordinator Berta Cáceres.

The assassination of our comrade Nelson García and the eviction of the community of Río Chiquito are additional elements of the war against COPINH that seeks to end our more than twenty-two years of work defending, resisting, and constructing. Today’s aggressions are additional elements of the large quantity of threats, aggressions, assassinations, intimidations and criminalizations directed against COPINH.

 

Since the assassination of our comrade Berta Cáceres we have been the target of a large number of that show there is zero interest on the part of the Honduran state in guaranteeing our lives and the work that we perform, as well as disregard for the mandates of the IACHR in terms of the application of the precautionary measures that have been granted us. The precautionary measures were granted March 6th, and now, nine days later, they’ve killed one of our comrades.  

How could anyone expect us to trust the investigative process of the state that criminally harasses the leadership of the organization by announcing that it is under investigation for presumed participation in the murder, while not investigating the sources of the threats?

How could anyone expect there would be justice in the case of our leader Berta, when the measures necessary to protect her family are not guaranteed, and the daughters and companions of our comrade Berta have been followed by an armed man in the city of Tegucigalpa during their meetings with the authorities?

Since the very day of Berta’s assassination, the installations of COPINH in La Esperanza have been under surveillance by unknown persons, intimidating those who remain in resistance following in the footsteps of our leader.

In the same way the comrades of the community of Río Blanco have suffered aggressions and persecution when they went to the city of Tegucigalpa to make their case in front of entities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the diplomatic representatives of the G16.

Also there was an incident in which the comrades of the community went to the Río Gualcarque and were assaulted with shotgun blasts by the security guards of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca, fortunately without injuring any members of the community.

All of these aggressions are part of a plan for the extermination of our organization and we call for national and international solidarity to fight back.

 We demand an end to the persecution, harassment, and war against COPINH.

We demand that the Honduran state answer for the deaths of our comrades and that there be no more impunity.

We demand justice for our comrade Berta Cáceres.

With the ancestral force of Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, our voices rise full of life, justice, and peace.

Berta Lives On, the Struggle Continues!

La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Done on the 15th day of the month of March, 2016.

Past Highlights and Pictures

Highlights and Accomplishments

Southwest Region Witness for Peace

Moving Congress: In theSouthwest region secured 6 of 87 congressional signers on a Dear Colleague letter condemning human rights abuses in Honduras. On the Colombia Free Trade Agreement 4 congresspersons were swayed to vote NO through Southwest region efforts in October. WFPSW rallies were held at 3 Southern California undecided congressional offices a day before the free trade votes. 2 of the 3 reps voted against the free trade agreements the next day. Through grassroots pressure, this December Rep. Berman CA-28, ranking Democrat in the House Foreign Relations committee sent a public letter to Secretary Clinton questioning US funding of state sponsored repression in Honduras. This next year we will be bird-dogging congress during election campaigns to make sure they address the failed Drug War, Honduras human rights violations, the Cuban Embargo and immigration reform. (pictured WFPSW members at Rep. Henry Waxman’s office)

Honduras– The Southwest Region joined protests at the Honduran Consulate in the spring when there was a brutal military/police crack down on teacher/students protests that lead to the death of elementary school teacher Ilse Ivania Velásquez Rodríguez. In March the Southwest region hosted Gerardo Torres, leader of the Honduran Resistance Front, for several speaking events in Southern California. In September the Southwest region sent a nine-person delegation to Honduras that visited the campesino movements of the Aguan Valley, 4 political prisoners, served as international observers for the Sept 15 Resistance marches and met with the brand new US Ambassador to Honduras. The Southwest hosted Afro-Honduran Garifuna Doctor Luther Castillo for a workshop on Honduras at the School of the Americas vigil in Ft. Benning, Georgia. The Southwest continues to be an active member of the Honduras Solidarity Network. In 2012 we plan to send more protective accompaniment delegations to Honduras, push for more cuts in US funding and get a Dear Colleague letter circulating in the Senate.(pictured: delegate Sara Kohgadai with former Honduran President Mel Zelaya.)

Trade- Three free trade agreements came to a vote  for Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The Southwest held face to face meetings with several congressional offices in the spring in which reps committed to vote against the FTAs. During the final votes many reps spoke out strongly against the FTAs on the floor of the Senate and House. In the end 80% of House Democrats voted against the Colombia FTA and most significantly against a specific ask by President Obama to pass the trade agreements. In 2012 election season we will be holding reps accountable for their votes on the FTAs and will push for more congressional co-sponsors for the Trade Act, a bill that will stop any new FTAs and renegotiate all current FTAs. (pictured: rally at Rep. Karen Bass’ office. She voted against all 3 FTAs)

Colombia- In the Spring the Southwest hosted events for the Days and Prayer and Action on Colombia, in July we sent an accompaniment delegation to the humanitarian peace communities of Uraba, Colombia and in the fall we lobbied against the Colombia FTA and hosted Jani Silva, campesina leader from Putumayo, Colombia on a speaking tour that reached over 1000 people. In 2012 we will send protective accompaniment delegations to Uraba, Colombia and continue to raise awareness in the US of the failed drug war model. (pictured Southwest delegates in Uraba, Colombia)

Migrant Rights- In January we hosted the first domestic delegation on immigration and migrant rights in Ventura County, California. We co-sponsored multiple migrant rights forums and participated in campaigns to stop ICE’s Secure Communities Program. In the summer the Southwest sent volunteers to deliver water and humanitarian aid at the Arizona/Mexico border with the human rights group No More Deaths. In 2012 we will return to volunteer on the border, flight for an end to ICE’s S-COMM program and participate in migrant rights forums and Know Your Rights Trainings. (pictured: volunteers with No More Deaths take a break in the Arizona/Mexico desert.)

Cuba– the Southwest has participated in the efforts to protect Cuban family travel. Hardline Cuban Americans in congress twice this year have tried to roll back travel for Cuban Americans to Bush era policy. In December the Southwest sent 28 delegates to Cuba ranging from ages 24-76 and representing 18 states. This coming year we will support the campaign to Free the Cuban Five, organize delegations to Cuba and lobby to end the travel ban and embargo on Cuba. (pictured: International Workers Day march in Havana, Cuba)

Delegations– The Southwest sponsored 4 delegations to Honduras, Colombia, Cuba and Ventura County, CA. A total of 55

delegates participated and the Southwest Region awarded $3,175 in delegation scholarship assistance. In 2012 we have delegations planned for Honduras, Colombia, Cuba and domestic California and Arizona delegations on migrant rights. We also will be facilitating more short term and long term volunteer accompaniment teams in Uraba, Colombia and the Aguan Valley of Honduras. (pictured: Southwest region’s first domestic delegation focused on farmworkers and migrant rights in California.)