COPINH - Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras

Founded in 1993, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, COPINH, is a political and social indigenous non-profit organization. It represents the grassroots movement in the department of Intibucá, the struggle in defense of the environment, and the preservation of the Lencan culture. Their goal is to facilitate the recognition of the political, social, cultural, and economic rights of Lencan communities and campesinos in Honduras, thus propelling an improvement in living conditions

While COPINH works directly with communities in the southwest region of Honduras to protect their rights to land, water, and life, their sphere of influence is national. Furthermore, it plays many roles throughout the continent of Central América, for example: Red Latinoamericana Contra Represas (REDLAR), Articulación Continental de los Movimientos Sociales Hacia el ALBA, Grito de los Excluidos/as Continental, and COMPA.

PBI Honduras has accompanied the coordinating team of COPINH since April 2016, after the March 2016 assassination of figurehead Berta Cáceres. The organization works in an atmosphere of sustained violence, and continues to suffer threats, intimidation, assassination attempts, detentions, and defamations because of the work that they do defending human rights. PBI Honduras accomanies the COPINH and the family of Berta Caceres to the trials for her murder.

May 2016 - Networks and organizations across the Americas and Europe issue a statement condemning the assassination of the Honduran human rights activist Berta Cáceres.

Berta Cáceres lived defending the territorial and cultural rights of indigenous peoples, the Garifuna peoples and peasants. She was recognized nationally and internationally as a human rights defender, particularly the rights of women and indigenous peoples. In recent years, Berta was the victim of harassment, persecution, intimidation, stigmatization and discrimination both by State and non-State actors, because of her activities defending human rights of indigenous communities opposed to the hydroelectric and mining operations that have been imposed in their territories without their free, prior and informed consent.

Read the statement here.