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The seeds of Berta growing with the youth of COPINH

Six years after the murder of Berta Cáceres, two young members of COPINH in Honduras share their memories about the Lenca defender

Mobilisation by the Lenca people to demand justice for Berta, 10 January 2019, Tegucigalpa. Photo: COPINH.

“The participation of young people in COPINH has been strengthened, and new leaderships have been emerging. Every day we want to help the youth, so that they do not replicate the same flaws as so many social organisations”, stated Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, General Coordinator for COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras. This is six years after the murder of her mother, Berta Cáceres, who was killed on 2 March 2016 by hitmen hired by members of DESA company, among them David Castillo.

On the sixth anniversary of the political and territorial femicide of Berta, Real World Radio remembers her legacy through the voices of young people: Dunia Sánchez and Dania Hernández tell us what they learned from the Lenca defender, her inspiration and legacy for younger generations, and the struggles they face today.

Dunia Sánchez is a defender of Río Blanco and is involved in community work at COPINH. Dania Hernández lives in Intibucá and is also a member of COPINH.

“The legacy Berta has left us, young people, is to continue learning, working together, transforming, looking to Honduras. If we don’t fight, if we don’t organise ourselves, if we don’t defend what is ours, Honduras will keep failing. We need to keep learning about the importance of defending our ancestral territories, mobilising, fighting and demanding the respect of our rights to water and land. We need to defend ourselves against the violation of rights in our territories perpetrated by extractive, mining and other types of projects that loot us, attack us, persecute and murder us,” said Dunia Sánchez.

“I was born in COPINH, as were many children. One thing I loved was listening to the radio show of the organisation, called Ecos de Opalaca, and Berta talked in that show. I remember that I loved listening to this show because every time Bertita talked she did it with so much energy, you could feel the spirit of the struggle through the radio, that need to fight, that need to have empathy with what was happening in the different territories, in the communities. Berta is and will continue to be a very important person in the struggle of the peoples in defence of life,” said Dania Hernández.

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