Civic Counsel of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
To the Indigenous and Afro Peoples of Honduras, to the international and national community in the face of the crime perpetrated against a group of members of the Miskito People by US and Honduran troops, and in the face of more repression against the Indigenous Peoples and against our organization itself, we declare:
*1.- The strongest condemnation of this crime undertaken by members of the U.S. and Honduran armies who occupy Honduran Moskitia, a deed that led to the assassination of several people, including pregnant Miskita women and Miskita children.
2.- That this action on the part of the repressive U.S. and Honduran forces adds to other actions perpetrated directly against the indigenous and campesino peoples, such as the assassination of our colleague Santos Alberto Dominguez at the hands of the police, who remain in impunity, and also the participation of U.S. troops in repression of the farmer communities of Bajo Aguan, which has been denounced repeatedly by those communities and organizations of that region.
*We are being informed now that police elements are indiscriminately pursuing members of COPINH of the Lenca community of Cuchilla, in the municipality of Ceguaca, Santa Barbara and the arrested COPINH members Presentación Casteñanos Muñoz, Bonifacio Trochez and Nelson Gómez at a time when this community has maintained for the past month a struggle for the recovery of ancestral lands and will continue that struggle. The community denounces that they have not been charged for any crime by means of a judicial order.
*That at this moment the Honduran police and (corporate) lumber guards have been involved in attacking indigenous Tolupan brothers and sisters in the community of Lavanderos in the Mountain of the Flower, who are defending their territory against the industrial tree cutters who have violated Tolupan territory.
3.- For years we have been denouncing the strategy of total intervention by the U.S. in Honduras, the military bases installed since the coup d’etat, the threat of installing more such bases in the Lenca region, the hunger of transnational and oligarchy imperialism to take over the Indigenous and Afro territories, their biodiversity, knowledge and cultures along with the goal of converting us into their slaves.
4.- That this murderous action, not the first committed by the U.S. and Honduran army, is part of a policy of imposing fear, displacement, control and reproducing the terrorist U.S.-Colombia policy against the peoples as a strategy of strengthening the hegemonic domination of the U.S. in the continent, using projects such as the hypocritical “war on narcotraffic”, with the movements of the Fourth Fleet, components of militarization and security for the Free Trade Agreements, projects of Security for Central America that include financing by the international financial institutions (IFIs) with more external debt, along with the coup d’etat in Honduras and the increase in numbers of troops, military bases and operations of war that violate the individual and collective rights of the First Peoples.
5.- It is crystal clear that this policy of terror, of subjugation and pillage against the indigenous and Afro peoples, against the Honduran people in general are increasing according to a plan already agreed upon in the U.S. and will accelerate while the people in resistance in Honduras continue to undertake the social and political struggle to Re-Found our Motherland.
6. - We demand the immediate freedom of our COPINH member and respect for his physical and emotional well being; we add our voices to the demands of the Territorial Counsels, the organizations of the Miskito People who demand the departure of U.S. troops from their sacred ancestral territory which has been forced to grieve and has suffered bombardments and indiscriminate machine gun fire. We add our voices to the call that those responsible for this atrocity are the Honduran and U.S. military and demand the punishment of those responsible and that in this case they not remain in impunity.
7.- The U.S. army, the Honduras army and other repressive military forces are not welcome in any place in our territories. We demand their disappearance. We have had enough of the deceitful discourse about the “fight against drugs”. We demand respect for the life, territories, cultures, autonomy and legitimate right we have to defend ourselves against this imperialist, elitist and colonialist invasion.
8.- We energetically call on all the indigenous and Afro peoples to follow the example of the great rebellious spirits of the Miskitus, of Lempira, of Barauda, of Cicumba, Copan Galel and all our ancestors who taught us the path of dignity, of rejection of the oppression and of rising up against them.
Intibucá, May 15, 2012.
Note (May 16): Ubaldo Pineda, member of COPINH and a leader of the National Front for Popular Resistance, has also been detained.
TO DEMAND THE FREEDOM OF THE COPIN COMPAÑEROS CALL (504) 99-90-75-48 TO THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF THE POLICE, WILMER AGUILERA AND TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY CONCERNING ETHNIC AND CULTURAL HERITAGE, CONTACT LAWYER JANNY DEL CID AL (504) 95-65-33-61