The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) express the following to the national and international community:
1. COPINH, while representing the Lenca community of Río Blanco, was illegally excluded from the “Fraud on the Gualcarque” case, a case in which 16 public officials were accused corruption when imposing the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project, of the Atala Zablah family, on the Gualcarque River. The oral and public trial of the case continues without the participation of the victims, denying victims’ access to justice and the truth for the COPINH and Lenca community.
2. The unconsulted and illegal installation of the Agua Zarca project resulted in serious human rights violations against the Lenca community of Río Blanco. As a result of their justified opposition to the project, six people were killed, among them was our colleague, Berta Cáceres.
3. We demand that the State of Honduras respect and guarantee the rights of the Lenca communities and of COPINH by giving us access to justice and truth. The judiciary of Honduras must guarantee due process, ensuring the rights of victims and their families at all times. We demand that the judiciary of Honduras actively participate in a judicial process that recognizes the victims as such, as well as the fundamental rights of the Lenca indigenous communities as subjects of law.
4. We call upon the international community to exercise their power to urge the State of Honduras to respect the fundamental rights of indigenous communities, as guaranteed by international standards.
#Justice for the People
Presented in the city of Tegucigalpa, on October 15th, 2020.
“With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota, Iselaca and Etempica we raise full of life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace”.