The skies wept as together we received the month of September in the town of La Esperanza, Honduras. Hundreds of visitors brought with them hearts that beat to the rhythms of their struggles, their love and the many colors of their dreams; they brought their cameras, drums, pens, and the united cry to demand once and for all: Justice for Berta!
The force and the conviction of our presence can be felt not only in this town, but in every community, in every river, in every voice, in every mountain, and even in far-off places where solidarity has grown and today comes together to remind the world that it has been #6monthswithoutJustice.
The COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) welcomes us with open arms, and with the care and hospitality of taking us into their home without regard for where you come from or what your issue is. They know we’re here to support their struggle, which is our own. They know we are honoring Berta and honoring COPINH. On arriving, beautiful images of Berta’s face appear as if to say: “I’m here!” And your soul winces because the pain of her physical absences hurts like glass cuts to the heart, but then her voice is right beside you as you read her words on a banner: “The right to be happy is very subversive and that’s why we should all aspire to be happy”, and you see again her broad smile, her laughter, her jokes, her dances… Her love and her passion for life are right there in front of you!
With this spirit of love—so distant from the logic of “development”—we begin today to walk together to demand a permanent halt to the Agua Zarca project, an independent commission investigation into Berta’s assassination, and an end to the exploitation of Mother Earth and the persecution of those who care for her and defend her. I have my hat ready, woven proudly by the women of La Cuchilla, a township declared mining-free, who like all the women in these parts have come here today to demand Justice for Berta!