Friends of the Earth Latin America & Caribbean (ATALC) denounces and rejects the harassment of Berta Zúñiga, coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and a number its members today, 12 December 2017.
COPINH announced earlier today that the car in which Berta Zúñiga was travelling was stopped and the leader and others were held in custody by military personnel. This was a blatant act of harassment that increases the state of uncertainty and uneasiness for the people of Honduras exercising their legitimate right to defend their territories and for members of COPINH acting in compliance with its commitment to dignify the lives of Hondurans and the peoples defending the web of life and permanence in their territories.
This latest harassment of COPINH’s coordinator, Berta Zúñiga, takes place in the context of a country engulfed in police and military repression as popular mobilizations continue to denounce electoral fraud in the national elections that took place on 26 November 2017.
A state of siege and curfew to suspend constitutional guarantees including the legitimate right to peaceful protest and social mobilization, was recently lifted. Despite this, these military and police actions deepen the vulnerability of social activists as a result of the regime imposed by Juan Orlando Hernandez.
As organizations in pursuit of social, environmental and gender justice, we consider it our duty to denounce and reject these actions of intimidation, while calling for international solidarity in the form of a permanent monitoring of events taking place against Honduran social activists.
We hereby pledge our unconditional support to COPINH and the popular movement organizations of Honduras. We will remain on alert, ready to respond to any actions or threats against the legitimate freedom of action of the courageous Honduran people and its organizations, shedding light on and denouncing all such atrocious actions.