During the months of May and June, an international delegation composed of African and Indigenous human rights organizers has been visiting communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize to exchange with peoples struggling for their territorial sovereignty in defense of their human rights.
The international delegates represent the organizations: Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) and Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), Chiapas Support Committee and Black Lives Matter in the United States, as well as Liyawada Cerro from Belize.
Our work in Belize has focused on sharing the experiences of Indigenous and Garifuna struggles in Honduras with the Belizean people to raise consciousness and to defend their land from neoliberal destruction.
We have met with grassroots organizations, alternative radio and television stations, human rights lawyers and campesino leaders.
As a delegation we were invited to KREM, one of the most important television channels in the country. We shared experiences, achievements and struggles specifically different communities that form part of OFRANEH and COPINH. We also referred to land disputes and displacement of Indigenous and Black peoples sanctioned by Central American governments.
Early Saturday morning the delegation traveled from Belize City to Punta Gorda to continue accompanying the organization Liyawada Cerro. Immediately after arriving in Punta Gorda the delegation was intercepted by a white man identifying himself of German descent and from a military family. He was dressed in all black, had an aggressive demeanor, and asked the delegation: where they were from, who they are, their names, how much time they will stay in Belize, and what countries they have visited. He then individually profiled members of the delegation, intimating that we were being surveilled.
Seconds later he told the delegation that he works for the Prime Minister's son doing construction and that he cooks for their family, emphasizing that the Belizean elite enjoys European cuisine. He added that he does a variety of work for the Prime Minister.
Finally, he advised the delegation to leave Belize and head to Guatemala.
We assure the Belizean people that the delegation will continue with its planned activities with human rights organizations. We encourage Indigenous, Garifuna, African Kriol peoples and the general population to continue strengthening their struggle for human rights.
We also alert international organizations that we hold Prime Minister Dean Barrow responsible for anything that may occur against the delegation and the organizations we have visited.
We are human rights defenders with an internationalist vision and we have the right to defend our territories and peoples.
Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)
Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
Chiapas Support Committee