Honduras is a country occupied militarily by the United States of America. On 28 June 2009, leaders of the Honduran Armed Forces carried out a coup d’état orchestrated by the Pentagon and national and international elite against President Manuel Zelaya’s government. There were no legal or ethical justifications for the coup. On the contrary, it signalled the installation of a military-police, prison, human rights-violating and corrupt state, which came to be described as a “narco-state” in a permanent state of emergency.
12 years after the coup, Honduras is plagued by drug trafficking, massacres, torture, femicide, fraudulent elections, the sale of the country to transnational corporations, one of the highest homicide rates in the world and a 90% impunity rate.
From Berta Cáceres to Margarita Murillo: defenders are paying with their lives.
On 27 August 2014, peasant leader and community defender, Margarita Murillom was assassinated. Her murder remains unpunished. One of the most the emblematic environmental defenders is Berta Cáceres, a senior leader of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH), Goldman Prize winner, who was assassinated on 3 March 2016 for her defence of rivers and mother earth. Her murder also remains unpunished.
In the last decade, the leadership of the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), in particularly its leader, Miriam Miranda, and her management team, have been subject to continuous threats by police, military and drug traffickers. A situation evidenced in the displacement of communities in the areas near the ports of Tela, Trujillo, Castilla and the Aguán and Vallecito areas.
In defending water, fighting against mining extractivism, the construction of hydroelectric dams and the exploitation of African palm companies supported by the World Bank, these communities have become defenders of the environment and human rights and are therefore the object of assassinations, torture and other violations of their rights.
Internationalist solidarity with the Honduras resistance
We publicly acknowledge the national and international solidarity actions during and following the military coup d’état in Honduras and in the face of the events that began in 2014.
Invaluable lessons have been learned from this experience of internationalist solidarity by Friends of the Earth International and Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC), notably: Karin Nansen, Silvia Quiroa, Loreto de Amunátegui, Natalia Salvático, Danilo Urrea and members of various organisations including World March of Women (WMW), Grassroots International, FIAN International, La Via Campesina, Jubilee South Americas (JSA), La Jornada Continental por la Democracia y contra el neoliberalismo.
The Internationalist Solidarity System (ISS) and its work has allowed: rapid responses regardless of the time of day, night, weekends or holidays; efficient and organised attention to serious cases; management of effective responses from international cooperation agencies and European parliamentarians and diplomatic bodies; strengthening of local groups; official communications to government officials and human rights institutions; supporting the Garifuna Committee in the investigation into and search for Triunfo de la Cruz (SUNLA); and national and international virtual conferences led by OFRANEH.
These activities were an indirect means to demand the protection of people who could be targeted by repressive state bodies. We also believe these actions were important in pressuring US policies concerning the situation in Honduras, especially because the solidarity groups included women from the United States, as well as from Europe and Latin America.
We reiterate our recognition of the significant value of the internationalist solidarity of our comrades from all the organisations and movements mentioned above, which constitute substantial support for the advancement of the democratic process in Honduras.
The struggle for the unity and historical dignity of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean has been expressed against all forms of blockades that have historically been imposed on Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Haiti and Ecuador, which are inhumane acts that violate the peoples’ self-determination.
For the love of and solidarity with the Honduran people and for the defence of the historical dignity of the peoples of Latin America!
We call again for internationalist solidarity with the Honduran people, this time to accompany them on this path of transformation, and to follow their example of tenacity and struggle.