Thursday, March 3, 2016

La Voz de los de Abajo: Statement on the Assassination of Berta Cáceres

A nuestr@s querid@s compañer@s del COPINH,

A la Resistencia Hondureña,

Al pueblo digno hondureño,

A los movimientos populares de todo el mundo

A la comunidad internacional en general,

A tod@s l@s que sueñan con un mundo mejor:

El mundo acaba de perder a una de las grandes luchadoras en la historia, no solo de Honduras, sino del mundo entero. La voz de Berta Cáceres era, es y siempre será una voz que inspire tenacidad, amor al pueblo, y esperanza. Berta siempre usaba su voz para ampliar las voces de l@s demás, de la gente humilde, de la gente pobre, del pueblo Lenca, de todos los pueblos indígenas y afrodescendientes, de las mujeres, de la gente de diversidad sexual, de las obreras y los obreros, de las campesinas y los campesinos, de las explotadas y los explotados, de la juventud, del pueblo en resistencia, de tod@s quienes soñamos con un mundo más justo.

Compartimos en lo más profundo de nuestras almas el dolor inmenso que sienten en estos momentos tan difíciles nuestr@s compañer@s hondureñ@s del COPINH, la familia hermosa y luchadora de Berta y tod@s l@s que tuvieron el gran privilegio de conocerla en algún momento. Berta tocaba corazones en todo el mundo. En cada rincón de este planeta tierra, este planeta que Berta defendía con todo su esfuerzo y, finalmente, con su vida misma, el ejemplo, la voz, la memoria, la inspiración, la enseñanza, el amor de Berta Cáceres están presentes, hoy y siempre.

Como La Voz de los de Abajo, una organización internacional de derechos humanos con sede en Chicago y con más de 15 años de historia de acompañamiento a los movimientos populares hondureños, responsabilizamos al gobierno de Honduras, al gobierno de los Estados Unidos y a la empresa DESA y sus financiadores internacionales por el asesinato de Berta.

El gobierno hondureño es responsable por su falta de voluntad para investigar las constantes amenazas de muerte en contra de Berta, por su indiferencia ante las medidas cautelares otorgadas a Berta por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, por su participación en la campaña de difamación y satanización que se realizó en contra de Berta en los medios de comunicación, y por su colaboración con y apoyo a la empresa DESA en su proyecto nefasto de construir una represa hidroeléctrica en el Río Gualcarque a pesar de la oposición de las comunidades indígenas Lencas. Somos testigos de esa colaboración, vimos con nuestros propios ojos la gran presencia del ejército hondureño y su cercanía y colaboración con los guardias de la empresa DESA en la comunidad de Río Blanco.

El gobierno estadounidense es responsable por su continuo financiamiento del ejército hondureño, por su historia larga y criminal de entrenar a militares hondureños asesinos en la Escuela de las Américas, por su papel fundamental en financiar, defender y asegurar la consolidación del golpe de estado y el ambiente de represión e impunidad que este conllevó.

La empresa DESA y sus financiadores internacionales son indudablemente responsable por el acto material del asesinato. Sus empleados dijeron descaradamente, en innumerables ocasiones, que iban a asesinar a Berta por su liderazgo en la lucha en contra de la destrucción ambiental y cultural que representaría la construcción del proyecto hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca en Río Blanco.

Berta vivirá no solo en los corazones, sino en las acciones de todos los pueblos en resistencia del mundo y especialmente en su querida Honduras y en su querido pueblo Lenca en particular. Si los malos de arriba piensan que con el asesinato de Berta podrán acabar con la lucha del pueblo Lenca, se equivocan terriblemente. Su voz se multiplicará. Su ejemplo se multiplicará. Su inspiración se multiplicará. Ella sembró miles de semillas con su persistencia, con su risa, con su tenacidad, con su esperanza, con su visión de un mundo sin patriarcado, sin explotación capitalista y racismo, con su sueño de un mundo liberado, con su profunda fe en el triunfo inevitable de la lucha popular. Se profundizará la lucha, se profundizará la solidaridad internacional, se profundizará la ola de indignación, se profundizará la determinación y dedicación del pueblo Lenca, del pueblo hondureño en resistencia y de los pueblos del mundo que los acompañamos.

Estaremos informando sobre los próximos pasos para mostrar solidaridad internacional muy pronto.

¡Berta Cáceres presente!
¡Que viva el COPINH!
¡Que viva la resistencia!
¡Que vivan las luchas populares!
¡Sangre de mártires, semilla de libertad!
Nunca nos olvidaremos de usted, compañera Berta Cáceres.

Desde Chicago, Estados Unidos,
La Voz de los de Abajo

To our dear sisters and brothers of COPINH,

To the Honduran Resistance,

To the dignified people of Honduras,

To the people’s movements around the world,

To the International community in general,

To everyone who dreams of a better world:
The world just lost one of the greatest freedom fighters not just in the history of Honduras but in the whole world. The voice of Berta Cáceres was, is and always will be a voice that inspires tenacity, love for the people, and hope. Berta always used her voice to amplify the voices of others, of the downtrodden, of the poor, of the Lenca people, of all indigenous and afro-descendant peoples, of women, of the LGBT community, of workers and peasants, of the exploited, of the youth, of the people in resistance, of all of us who dream of a more just world.

We share in the depths of our soul the immense pain felt by our Honduran comrades from COPINH, by Berta’s beautiful and resilient family, and by everyone who had the great privilege of meeting her at one time or another. Berta touched hearts around the world. In every corner of this planet earth, the planet that she defended with all of her energy and finally with her life itself, the example, the voice, the memory, the inspiration, the teachings, the love of Berta Cáceres are present today and always.
As La Voz de los de Abajo, an international human rights organization based in Chicago and with more than 15 years of history accompanying Honduran social movements, we hold responsible the government of Honduras, the government of the United States, and the DESA corporation and its financial backers for Berta’s murder.

The Honduran government is responsible for its unwillingness to investigate the constant death threats against Berta, for its indifference regarding the protective measures extended to Berta by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, for its participation in the campaign of defamation and character assassination carried out against Berta in the Honduran press, and for its collaboration with and support for the DESA corporation and its nefarious project of building a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River despite the opposition of the indigenous Lenca communities. We are direct witnesses to that collaboration, having seen with our own eyes the tremendous presence of the Honduran army and its closeness and collaboration with DESA’s private security in the Río Blanco community.

The U.S. government is responsible for its continued financing of the Honduran army, for its long and criminal history of training Honduran military assassins at the School of the Americas, for its essential role in financing, defending and assuring the consolidation of the coup d’état in Honduras and the environment of repression and impunity that it ushered in.

The DESA corporation and its financial backers are undoubtedly responsible for the assassination itself. Its employees have said shamelessly and on numerous occasions that they would kill Berta for her leadership in the struggle against the environmental and cultural destruction represented by the building of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam in Río Blanco.

Berta will live not just in the hearts but in the actions of all the peoples in resistance around the world and especially in her beloved Honduras and her beloved Lenca indigenous community. If the powerful and evil think that by killing Berta they can end the struggle of the Lenca people, they are terribly mistaken. Her voice will multiply. Her example will multiply. Her inspiration will multiply. She sowed thousands of seeds with her persistence, with her laughter, with her tenacity, with her hope, with her vision of a world free from patriarchy, capitalist exploitation and racism, with her dream of a liberated world, with her profound faith in the inevitable triumph of the people’s struggle. The struggle will deepen, international solidarity will deepen, the wave of indignation will deepen, the determination and dedication of the Lenca people, of the Honduran resistance and of the people of the world who accompany them will deepen.

We will be releasing information on next steps for demonstrating International solidarity very soon.

Berta Cáceres lives on!
Long live COPINH!
Long live the resistance!
Long live the people’s struggles!
Blood of martyrs, seed of liberation!
We will never forget you, comrade Berta Cáceres.

From Chicago, USA

La Voz de los de Abajo

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chance for justice-Trial Continues

Chabelo's trial 
October 20
Greg McCain


Osorto's Refusal

Today's hearing began with the possibility of another suspension hanging over it. Police Commissioner Henry Osorto and another witness, known to the court as Protected Witness 2 (PW2), have refused to appear to testify, stating that Trujillo was too unsafe for them. Their rationale being that since their family was killed in Trujillo there are people still plotting to kill them. Nevermind that Osorto is now a Commissioner in the National Police and has the resources to order police from everywhere in the country, there is not enough security in Trujillo for him.

The Defense pointed out that the security concerns weren't credible plus there isn't any proof that Osorto has received threats. In addition, the Defence pointed out that the law stipulates that no one is entitled to preferential treatment including members of the police or military.

Each time that the court has requested their appearence the response from the Prosecutor has changed with Osorto's excuses increasing in intensity. At the beginning of the trial his reason was that he was bothered by the fact that there was a retrial and that he couldn't give a specific date for when he would appear. The hearings were suspended to accomadate his schedule and when reconvened he was now fearful for his safety. When the court didn't capitulate to these blatant manipulations there were suddenly threats against him and the other witness.

The judges weren't buying it. They decided that there would not be another suspension of the trial nor a change of venue. The case would proceed as scheduled.

The morning session concluded after less than an hour and with the decision that after lunch the Defence could present their witnesses.

When the hearing reconvened, three witnesses testified for the Defense collaborating Chabelo's statements that he got to the scene after the deaths had occurred. The first witness was the photographer who had taken the photo that Henry Osorto and the Prosecutor's office had manufactured the case around. His testimony corroborated Chabelo's statements that he was there to retrieve the body of a friend that had been killed by shots fired from the Osorto house. When the witness arrived he saw Chabelo on a bicycle in a crowd of people about 100 km from the Osorto house. The house was already in flames. He snapped the photo of Chabelo just as the dead friend's body was being moved to a car to return to the community.

The other two witnesses corroborated Chabelo's story of being in the community in the late afternoon and went to the scene of the incident when the wife of the friend who had died was pleading for him to help bring the friend home.

This concluded the Defense's evidence. The judges asked the Prosecutor if there had been any changes regarding  Osorto and PW2 appearing. Suddenly, Trujillo wasn't the dangerous place that it had been just this morning as the Prosecutor stated that Osorto and PW2 would appear tomorrow. We'll see.

Whether they do or not, tomorrow should be the last day of the trial as both sides have presented their cases short the testimonies of the no shows. The court has stated that they will not entertain any more manipulations. We shall see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

November Elections Delegation

La Voz de los de Abajo - Chicago

Join Us in November 2013 in Honduras
Human Rights and Election Observer Delegation

On June 28, 2009 there was a coup d’état in Honduras. The coup carried out by the Honduran oligarchy, military, and police was condemned around the world but encouraged by the U.S. government which has continued to work to legitimize the coup governments. Many tens of thousands of Hondurans took to the street in resistance and have maintained their resistance for more than 3 years despite a continuing human rights crises that has left hundreds of activists murdered.

Now a real opposition party born out of the resistance movement is participating in the national elections on November 24, 2013.  The LIBRE Party is running ahead of the traditional pro-coup parties and its candidates and supporters are the targets of violence and intimidation. Honduran social justice activists and human rights defenders are calling for international observers to accompany them during the elections. 

In response to that call La Voz de los de Abajo  is organizing delegations in November 2013.  The delegations will be working in different areas of the country to help provide human rights coverage and election observation where it is most needed.  We are planning to  a 10 day and a 5 day option. 

For more information about the delegation contact us at: lavozchicago@yahoo.com

La Voz de los de Abajo has been organizing delegations in solidarity with Honduras for almost 15 years. Since the 2009 coup we have taken 7 delegations to accompany the social justice organizations and resistance across the country. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Report Back - Delegation to Honduras September 2012


Video - Music - Conversation and Discussion
20 de Octubre - October 20  -  7pm
Meztli Gallery & Cultural Center - 2005 South Blue Island Avenue (Pilsen)

From September 6-16, 2012 a La Voz de los de Abajo delegation of 9 human rights activists from the United States visited Honduras. We met with campesino and indigenous communities and organizations, with leaders of the Sexual Diversity Movement, the resistance political party LIBRE, independent radio stations and Honduran human rights organizations.  We heard the stories of the hundreds of  political assassinations and violent attacks on people since the coup in June 2009. We saw with our own eyes the effects of the militarization and use of paramilitaries when our delegation was directly threatened by private paramilitary.  Everywhere we went the people asked us to make the United States government stop supporting the Honduran military, police, paramilitary and government. Let us share this reality with you and talk about what we can do here so the Hondurans can refound their country.


Desde el 6 a las 16 de septiembre, 2012 una delegación organizada por La Voz de los de Abajo de nueve activistas de derechos humanos de Estados Unidos visitó Honduras. Nos reunimos con las comunidades campesinas e indígenas y sus organizaciones; con los líderes del Movimiento de la Diversidad Sexual, partido política de la  resistencia, LIBRE;  las estaciones de radio independientes y organizaciones de derechos humanos en Honduras. Escuchamos las historias de los más de 100 asesinatos políticos desde el golpe de Estado en junio de 2009 y también vimos con nuestros propios ojos a los efectos de la militarización y el uso de los paramilitares. De hecho, nuestra delegación fue amenazado directamente por los guardias privados paramilitares. Por todos lados la gente nos pidió que hacemos algo para que el gobierno de Estados Unidos deja de apoyar a los militares, la policía, los paramilitares y el gobierno hondureño. Vamos a compartir esta realidad con usted y hablamos de que podemos hacer aquí, para que los hondureños pueden refundar su país.