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28 May 2014 | | | |

Interview with Bertha Caceres about the recent murders, attacks and cases of torture against COPINH members

A few days before its 10th General Assembly, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH) had to mourn the death of two of its members. On Saturday 24, William Jacobo Rodriguez, a leader in defense of the Gualcarque River and against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project was murdered on his way home, in Rio Blanco. The following day, in San Francisco de Opalaca and after an indigenous assembly, Irene Meza was shot. While he was still alive and being being transferred to a medical center, the vehicle was intercepted and he was shot another six times.

In an interview with Real World Radio, COPINH´s leader, Bertha Cáceres, added that on the same day William Jacobo was murdered in Río Blanco “two members of COPINH were kidnapped and tortured by the police task force present at the army base, in the same facilities of DESA", the company which owns the concession over the Gualcarque River.

In the case of Irene´s murder, Bertha said that it is related to "the process of building autonomous indigenous governance in San Francisco de Opalaca, a municipality with over 22 community titles and that is carrying out a process of territorial defense and struggle. They took control of the city hall four months ago". According to the leader, despite Irene´s murder, the control over the city hall will continue and "tomorrow we will carry out an interdepartmental, regional mobilization here in Esperanza, Intibucá" to reject these events and demand justice.

"Strength in unity, struggle and hope". Under this slogan and in the framework of the recent murders and attacks, the 10th General Assembly of COPINH began on May 27. The meeting will end on Thursday 29, but according to Cáceres "there have been key agreements that strengthen the political positions of COPINH, both in terms of the anti-patriarchal struggle, and throughout the entire anti-capitalist process in favor of decolonization. We´ve made the decision to create a permanent women´s council, an Extraordinary Women´s Assembly was approved, which will have its own mandates that will be mandatory for the entire structure of COPINH", in addition to a position paper by the movement about the rights related to sexual diversity".

Imagen: COPINH Intibucá

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