PBI-Guatemala accompanies the Network of Ancestral Healers at remembrance of Indigenous Lenca defender Berta Caceres

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 3, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanied the Network of Ancestral Healers of Community Feminism at the ceremony to honour the life of Berta Caceres on the 5th anniversary of her murder.”

Caceres was the co-founder of the Civil Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations in Honduras (COPINH) and was murdered in 2016 for her opposition to the internationally financed Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River.

Less than a year prior to her death, Caceres stated: “Let us wake up! We’re out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction.”

PBI-Guatemala has noted that the Network of Ancestral Healers is “an organization of indigenous women defending life, women’s rights, natural resources and territory, in different regions of Guatemala.”

PBI-Guatemala has also explained that the Network includes in its definition of these rights:

“Defence of the body-land territory. This perspective entails assuming the body as a territory in dispute for ancestral and colonial patriarchal power, but also as a space for the recovery of life. This defence is an emancipating political stance against sexual aggressions, femicides and territorial violence.”

PBI-Honduras began to accompany COPINH, the organization that Caceres co-founded and led, in May 2016.

In a joint letter to the Spanish Foreign Minister signed by PBI-Spanish State, it was highlighted that COPINH has submitted about 35 complaints to authorities about aggressions they have experienced between 2017 and 2020. PBI-Canada has encouraged Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau to read that letter.

And in this article, PBI-Canada recalls that Caceres was in Quebec City, Canada in April 2001 to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Prior to that she told audiences in Toronto and Montreal: “Free trade deals are legal tools to impose a model that advocates taking control over the planet’s natural resources for profit.”

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the Network of Ancestral Healers since February 2018.

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