A letter from Gustavo to the people of Honduras
To the Honduran people:
I don’t know if you’ll ever receive these lines I’m writing to you.
I came to Honduras with so much hope. I hadn’t been here in years, but I’m grateful that Berta invited me. My beloved friend for so many years, her and her family. Despite all what I’ve been through, I don’t regret coming or having been chosen by fate to say goodbye to my dear friend.
I am in pain for my wounds, although they are getting better, but I am more in pain for my dear Honduran people, who don’t deserve this, none of us do. We’ve always admired this noble, brave people who are fighting for a dignified life for all, where there’s room for all, without distinction and with justice. That was Berta’s struggle.
Just as I feel the love of the Honduran people for Mexico, this is the love I feel for this beautiful country, its landscapes, its nature, and especially its people, proud of being Catrachos. We shouldn’t let murders or weevils cloud our hope or landscapes.
When in Mexico I run into immigrants from these lands, I can’t resist to come to them and help them, recognizing their bravery, because I know what they’ve been through and the pain for all what they are leaving behind to move on in the path of life, of hope, of searching for something better. And I say to myself and I say to them, don’t go, come back, the journey is difficult, our people, our land need us. And I say goodbye with a word that Berta always said to me: “Cheke!”.
Our land is generous, our blood is the same, the same Meso-American links that have always bonded us together and that invite us to fight, just like Berta, for a more dignified and better life for all.
While I’m waiting to reunite with my family and friends, a lot of Honduran people have expressed their solidarity and affection. I thank all of you, so much. Berta meant a lot to me, as much as she meant to you. Berta was an exceptional woman who fought for a better Honduras, more dignified, more just, for a country for all. Her spirit grows in the heart of the Honduran people, because we didn’t bury her, but sowed her so that she can give us hope, from La Esperanza.
Have no doubt. I have complied with all the proceedings requested by the authorities, more than ten, and I will continue to do so for justice. Although the authorities told me many times I could leave and they even got me a helicopter to leave La Esperanza to Tegucigalpa, at the last minute they requested me to stay for new proceedings, to which I’ve always said yes. Right now, I have done everything in my power. I have a life, I have a family. From Mexico I will not stop supporting and I will always be willing to help you find the truth. That’s why we have between both countries a Treaty on Bilateral Legal Assistance in criminal matters between the United Mexican States and the Republic of Honduras.
From Mexico I will continue taking on my historical responsibility with the Honduran people, with Berta, her family and COPINH. In my body I carry the wounds for all my life, which will never let me forget this commitment.
I thank COPINH for having opened their doors for me. They are beautiful people, worthy of their ancestors, worthy of these magnificent lands. They are a people with a relentless spirit for the struggle to preserve their identity and place of origin. I admire you in your respect to nature and your love to Honduras. I admire you and thank you so much. You are what the world knows and respects of Honduras, you are hope, you are the seed from where the spirit of Lempira, ancestral peoples, the Honduran people, will rise stronger. You have been an example and inspiration for many all around the world, and for the Honduran people as well. In the same way, you are an example of dignity for all social, peasant, indigenous and Garifuna organizations that struggle for a better country. I thank all of you for your solidarity.
I would also like to thank the Mexican Ambassador and Consul for all their invaluable support. They have greeted me with open and protective arms to face this adverse situation. I appreciate all the Honduran and international solidarity for their love to Berta and their generous displays of concern. I will never be able to pay for your thousands of letters, signatures and messages.
Soon there will be justice,
Gustavo Castro Soto
Director of Otros Mundos Chiapas / Friends of the Earth Mexico
March 15, 2016