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In the morning of Monday, April 9, COPINH (the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) organized a peaceful sit-in outside the Governmental Building in Tegucigalpa, capital city of Honduras. The action was violently repressed by the police and special forces of the Honduran State. Four members of the organization were arrested and several of them were injured. Among them, Junior, who is fifteen years old and suffered a head trauma and is hospitalized in a serious condition.
"We blame the Honduran government if our comrade, this kid, dies as a result of the beating he was given", said Tomás Gómez, General Coordinator of COPINH in an interview with Real World Radio. The goal of the demonstration was to demand the creation of an independent investigation commission to clear up the murder of Berta Cáceres and for this case not to be left unpunished.
Yesterday, the Honduran judicial authorities formally prosecuted and preventatively imprisoned four men over the murder of Berta. COPINH considers this does not mean that the case is closed: "They (i.e, the people prosecuted) are the material authors", said Gómez about these rulings, and he added: "We need the intellectual authors. In our denunciations, we mention that Gladys Aurora López, the Vice-President of the National Congress and the Secretary of the National Congress (Mario Alonso Perez López) of the National Party are involved. So we believe that one of their goals is to delay this process and to calm the international community by saying that they captured the material authors and end there".
Gómez also said that in addition to several MPs, President Juan Orlando Hernández should be tried as well as the "Atala family, owners of the FICOHSA bank, who have paid for the murder of our colleague, Berta Cáceres".
COPINH has recently concluded a tour through European countries to demand justice for Berta Cáceres and the end to the financing of projects such as Agua Zarca, of DESA company. After this tour, Gómez said, without it being confirmed yet, it is possible that the banks FMO (Netherlands) and Finnfund (Finland) "will definitively suspend their finance for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project". "On the one side it is encouraging, but on the other we see that the Honduran government is not ceasing its repression against our comrades", added Gómez.
In this framework of resistance and demands for justice, the member of COPINH denounced that "they have started to threaten us, both the grassroots leaders and us at the General Coordination. This government will leave everything unpunished and they will let us being murdered in order to build these hydroelectric projects that mean only death for the indigenous communities".
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
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