Assassination Attempts Against the General Coordinator and a Community Leader of the COPINH.

GUATEMALA-COPINH
The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) denounces to the national and internacional public that there were two assassination attempts against comrades Tomás Gómez Membreño, General Coordinator of COPINH and Alexander García Sorto, a community leader from Llano Grande, Colomoncagua.

In two separate events, yesterday, on October 9, these two comrades were shot at. Unidentified people arrived at the home of comrade Alexander García, fired numerous shots through the main door and the window of the bedroom where he, his wife and two daughters were sleeping. The shooters intended to murder Alexander Garcia and his family.

2

On the same night, a person shot at the pickup truck of the COPINH, which was being driven by comrade Tomás Gómez Membreño, General Coordinator of the organization, as he left the meeting center of Utopía en route to his house.

The attempted murder against compañero Alexander García was the second try, because on May 6 this year, two months after the assassination of our General Coordinator, Berta Cáceres, he was shot by the former military Enedicto Alvarado, as he left his house. Alexander was wounded and almost killed that time. After that, Alvarado was processed, and his family has made threats against Alexander for not withdrawing the legal demand.

The COPINH denounces these assassination attempts against comrade Tomás Gómez, who took over the general coordination of COPINH after the assassination of comrade Berta Cáceres, on March 2 this year, and against comrade Alexander García. These are attempts to silence the struggle of the COPINH against the deathly projects that are being promoted in indigenous Lenca territories, pushed by this corrupt government that submits to the economic interests at both national and international levels.

Likewise, the COPINH denounces the shots fired at the Lenca Community of Rio Blanco, by hitmen hired by the DESA company, as a form of intimidation and threat against the community for opposing the destruction of the Gualcarque River and the seizure of territories of the Lenca people.

Now, 7 months since the assassination of our comrade Berta Cáceres, those who oppose the projects of death such as the Agua Zarca/ DESA dam on the Gualcarque River and the dam by HIDROSIERRA on the Black River in the municipality of Colomoncagua, continue to be targeted. These are attempts to kill those who defend their rights as Lenca people and who strive to build viable alternatives for the development of our communities and of the entire world, instead of submitting to the ambition for profit of a handful of people.

Now, 7 months after the assassination of our general coordinator, neither the government nor the institutions have responded to our demands to cancel the projects that the communities were never consulted about, to authorize an independent investigation on the assassination, to demilitarize the Lenca territories and to cease the persecution and stigmatization against the COPINH. We demand answers.

We demand the closing of Agua Zarca/DESA and all of the other illegitimate, unconsulted deathly projects in our territories.

We demand respect for the lives of all the members of COPINH.

We demand justice for the murder of Berta Cáceres.

Berta did not die, she multiplied.

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota, Iselaca and Etempica, we raise our voices full of life, justice, dignity, freedom and peace.

Sent on October 10, 2016 from La Esperanza, Intibucá.

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