Statement by Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, September 19, 2016, Toronto, Canada
Just after midnight, Friday September 16, 2016, shots were fired at the home of Angelica Choc, a Mayan Q’eqchi’ human rights leader and community defender in El Estor, department of Izabal, Guatemala, while she slept inside with her youngest son and an adopted daughter.
These most recent deaths (August 2016) are added to a growing list of deaths – due to repression, accidents and “mysterious” circumstances – at the “Fenix” nickel mining operation in Guatemala that was owned for over 40 years by Canadian mining companies, beginning with INCO and ending with Hudbay Minerals.
Rights Action has sent an initial $1,000 to OFRANEH to help the families of Santa Fe whose homes were burnt.
“Berta’s assassination woke up many numbed consciences. Berta sent us a very clear message: Wake Up Humanity. Berta did not die, she multiplied. It is incredible how this has exploded all over. We didn’t bury Berta, we planted her. She has begun to blossom everywhere.”
In May 2016, Grahame Russell and Dr. Catherine Nolin lead an emergency delegation to Guatemala to re-examine and update documentation on four major mining struggles throughout the country, all related to Canadian (and partially American) owned mining operations.
Thank-you all for your work and commitment to that other world that is possible. Thank-you for your donations for the work and struggles Rights Action is involved with, some of which are summarized below.
Funds are needed to support Berta’s family as they respond to this political crime/crisis situation and demand justice for the assassination of Berta and wounding of Mexican Gustavo Castro; and to support COPINH’s work for justice in this case, and their long-term work for territorial defense and indigenous rights, and fundamental transformation and change in Honduras.
This is summary of most grassroots funding to principal partner organizations and individuals. Rights Action disperses funds and grants to other partner groups as well in other countries.
Rights Action recommends this 13 minute film, showing just how repressive, oppressive and desperate the situation in Honduras is, ever since the military coup in June 2009... ... and just how brave so many women are.
Over 185 days have passed in which the Lenca indigenous communities of the Rio Blanco region of Intibuca, Honduras have blocked an access road built into the intended construction site for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River. Desarrollos Energeticos, SA (DESA), plans to build the dam, and is pushing the project through with violence and intimidation, while attempting to criminalize land rights defenders with baseless charges.