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13 February 2014 | Interviews | Water | Criminalization of COPINH | Free Honduras | Resisting neoliberalism | Human rights | Extractive industries | Climate Justice and Energy | Social activists at risk | Berta lives on!
The coordinator of the Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) Bertha Caceres told Real World Radio that the solidarity at national and international level was key for the definitive dismissal ruled on Monday on the case led by the Santa Barbara Court, Santa Barbara municipality.
In an interview carried out on Thursday, the leader expressed her joy and highlighted that the State has taken responsibility in the defense of human rights.
Bertha Cáceres was arrested on May 25 by military officers and was accused of “illegal possession of weapons against the safety of the Honduran people”. On the following day she was released. When she was arrested, Bertha was on her way to support the communities of the Lenca indigenous people from Rio Blanco, Intibucá department, which has been plagued by police and military repression for their resistance to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, on the Gualcarque river.
In Thursday´s interview, Bertha warned that she was in Monte Verde municipality, capital of San Francisco de Opalaca municipality, also in Intibuca department, where there is an indigenous resistance process and where the Lenca people communities of the area have suffered harassment. The situation is very tense. “We blame the national government led by Juan Orlando Hernandez for any repression, harassment, human rights violation against the Lenca people of San Francisco de Opalaca and any type of repression against COPINH”.
Bertha told Real World Radio that “20 days have passed since the occupation of the City Hall in that indigenous municipality, since the majority of the population rejected the electoral fraud that took place in that place”. The local communities are demanding the outgoing administration conduct an audit. They are denouncing the corruption and warn that this administration is threatening to charge them with insurrection. With the participation of large companies and the support of the Honduran army, the communities have also suffered because of the removal of community land titles.
The Lenca indigenous people of San Francisco de Opalaca are defending their territories, cultural and historic rights and have supported the struggle against Agua Zarca. The local communities are also resisting several hydroelectric and mining exploitation projects and they are organizing a “Meeting in defense of autonomy and democratization”.
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