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Berta Cáceres group backs Wet'suwet'en struggle

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) has expressed its solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people.

On the morning of January 12, COPINH posted a message of "solidarity with the worthy struggle of Indigenous peoples in Canada! NO to the plunder of the Indigenous territories of the Wet’suwet’en People!"

In the photo above that was posted with their message, the sign on the left reads "No to the dispossession of Indigenous peoples!" The sign on the right reads "Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people in Canada."

Their statement came just days after the violent RCMP raid on the Gidimt'en Checkpoint.

The Unist'ot'en Camp explains, "On January 7, 2019, militarized RCMP descended onto unceded Gitdumt'ten territories of the Wet’suwet'en Nation to enforce a colonial court injunction" that allows Coastal GasLink to begin pre-construction activities for a fracked gas pipeline.

In response to COPINH’s statement, the Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory posted on Facebook, "This is awesome. We are so proud of our indigenous brothers and sisters speaking up, and eternally grateful for their support."

Berta Cáceres was the co-founder and coordinator of COPINH. On March 2, 2016, Cáceres was shot by gunmen six times and killed.

At the time of her assassination, she was campaigning against the proposed Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River which is considered sacred by the Lenca Indigenous people.

On November 30, 2018, The Guardian reported, "Seven men have been found guilty of [her] murder… The court ruled the murder was ordered by executives of the Agua Zarca dam company Desa because of delays and financial losses linked to protests led by Cáceres. The murder was contracted to a group of hitmen who were paid to kill Cáceres."

The Wet'suwe'ten are protecting their traditional lands (in the central interior of British Columbia) from the 670-kilometre TransCanada Coastal GasLink pipeline that would bring fracked gas down from Dawson Creek (in northern B.C.) to Kitimat, where it would be converted into a liquid form (for export) at LNG Canada’s proposed processing facility.

190 kilometres of that pipeline would run through Wet'suwe'ten territory.

LNG Canada is a consortium comprised of Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and the Korea Gas Corporation.

The Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have not given their consent to this fracked gas pipeline. As such, the pipeline and injunction are in violation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its core right of free, prior and informed consent.

Following the assassination of Cáceres, Peace Brigades International (PBI) Honduras has provided protective accompaniment to the coordinating team of COPINH.

PBI United Kingdom notes, "COPINH 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."

The intensity of COPINH's own situation makes their expression of solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people all the more powerful.

Image: Facebook/COPINH

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