PEOPLE ARRESTED AND WOUNDED AT COPINH PROTEST, VIOLENTLY BROKEN UP IN FRONT OF PRESIDENTIAL PALACEBy Dina Meza (translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle)
[Original en español]
|Photo: Giorgi Trucci, LINyM|
President Juan Orlando Hernández ordered the violent removal of about 150 members of the Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) at 5:40am this Monday, May 9th, 2016. Police and military police forces launched tear gas bombs as the protesters arrived peacefully at the Presidential Palace to demand answers regarding the assassination of their General Coordinator, Berta Cáceres.
Although the crime took place more than two months ago, so far the only people detained are four people accused of directly carrying out the crime, but COPINH, Berta's family and the national and international community are demanding action against those who presumably ordered the crime, including personnel of the hydroelectric company Desarrollos Energéticos, S.A, (DESA), politicians and businessmen.
Tomás Gómez, current COPINH coordinator, denounced that he and several of his fellow COPINH members were beaten by the police and that a large quantity of tear gas was launched, affecting boys, girls, seniors and other people who just came to demand justice.
"What we want is for both those who carried out and those who ordered the crime against our sister to be punished. One of the main guilty parties is [Honduran President] Juan Orlando Hernández. There are political and economic interests behind the crime committed against our sister Berta," said Gómez.
He added that there was a concentration of military reserve members in the Presidential Palace and when several COPINH members crossed the security lines and were close to the entrance of the presidential palace they were repressed.