In recent years, community members of the Civic Council of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) have been victims of countless acts of harassment, threats, persecution and criminalization by State and non-State agencies. This has been especially true since the Desa company’s Agua Zarca hydroelectric plant began to operate in the territory of the Lenca people in Río Blanco.
Last March 3, COPINH Coordinator Berta Cáceres was killed, sparking a wave of global outrage and solidarity.
According to the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras, this morning, March 15, at least 150 Lenca families belonging to COPINH are being violently evicted by 10 patrol cars and 2 armoured cars from Río Lindo, in the Cortés region,.
Last Februrary 25, a few days before Berta Cáceras was killed, COPINH had warned that the eviction was imminent in a statement denouncing another violent removal of 50 Lenca families from the La Jarcia community in the town of Guise in the Intibucá region.
We, the members of IM-Defensoras condemn the violence used in these forcible evacuations, which have left entire families in the street, without any shelter whatsoever. Such practices are a systematic abuse of power to justify the plunder of indigenous communities that live on communal lands and care for them, carrying on struggles in defense of a different way of coexisting with their natural surroundings.
We also demand that the government of Honduras put an end, once and for all, to all attacks and ongoing harassment of COPINH members, in compliance with its obligation to guarantee their security and their right to defend human rights.