Press Release: Update on attacks against defenders Berta and Gustavo

OTROS MUNDOS AC/CHIAPAS -AMIGOS DE LA TIERRA MÉXICO

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas - March 4, 2016 .

To media, organizations and social movements:

Early in the morning on Thursday March 3rd, our Honduran friend and colleague Berta Cáceres along with Mexican Gustavo Castro were attacked in the community of La Esperanza, Honduras. Tragically, Berta was killed and Gustavo was injured. Gustavo is now in good health. These attacks are part of a string of threats, harassment and criminalization of which Berta and the Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) have been victims. This is a result of their remarkable struggle in defence of land and the rights of the Lenca Indigenous people. The Honduran government failed to address these attacks against them, despite the range of security measures that they had been granted.

Currently, our friend and colleague Gustavo Castro, coordinator of Otros Mundos Chiapas A.C./Friends of the Earth – Mexico and member of the Mexican Movement of Peoples Affected by Dams (MAPDER its initials in Spanish) and the Mexican Network of Mining Affected Peoples (REMA), has been detained in the community as a protected witness in order to give his testimony, for which reason we remain on alert out of concern for his physical and psychological integrity.

The team at Otros Mundos A.C. and networks and movements that we are part of express our profound indignation in response to the assassination of Berta Cáceres and the processes that are ongoing in Honduras to criminalize the Lenca people and COPINH. This legal persecution is now oriented to blame them for Berta’s murder, which serves to protect the companies involved in the hydroelectric project that is threatening the communities and their rights. The escalation of violence against members of COPINH has touched the life and wellbeing of our colleague Gustavo Castro and along with him, the peoples and organizations that are defending water, life and territory against companies operating in Mexico and Latin America.

We call on all organizations, movements and collectives to remain on alert. We thank you for all of the demonstrations of solidarity that we have received so far, and ask that these continue. Every email, every phone call and every mention on social networks are important to ensure Gustavo Castro’s security and to support the legitimate struggles of COPINH.

In addition to signing the following online action (http://movimientom4.org/2016/03/urgent-action-we-urge-immediate-protection-for-gustavo-castro-injured-during-the-assassination-of-berta-caceres/), please communicate with your embassies in Honduras demanding Gustavo Castro’s prompt return to Mexico and an end to the criminalization of COPINH.

For further information, please write to: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está protegida contra spambots. Usted necesita tener Javascript activado para poder verla.

Otros Mundos A.C./ Friends of the Earth México
Mexican Network of Mining Affected Peoples/Red Mexicana de afectados por La Minería (REMA)
Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model/Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el modelo extractivo Minero (M4)
Mexican Movement of Peoples Affected by Dams and in Defence of the Rivers/Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos (MAPDER)
Latin American Network against Dams and for Communities and Water/Red Latinoamericana contra Represas y por sus comunidades y el agua (REDLAR)
Friends of the Earth International/Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI)