The letter below comes from one of Grassroots International’s allies in Honduras — Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)– and expresses solidarity with their neighbors in Haiti.
Solidarity with the Haitian People
In the face of the human catastrophe in Haiti, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) declares:
The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean were built with the hands of thousands of black and indigenous people. The colonizers oppressed them with the use of the whip and the dollar. The misfortune of the Haitian people is not a product of their geography but a product of a history of occupation, that which determines who lives and who dies, whose life is worth more than others. That is the reason why humanitarian aid so far has not reached the majority of the population and even mainstream media is denouncing that only those people who belong to international organizations such as the UN, and its occupying forces, are being taken care of with urgency.
Thousands of people have died. Among them, leaders of social organizations that were fighting for the sovereignty of their people. Those who organized to end violence against women. Those who worked for a life with dignity for their people, a people recognized in history’s pages for being the only slave rebellion that victoriously put an end to slavery before any other country in the Americas.
We mourn them profoundly. In the measure we are able to, COPINH joins you in solidarity with the disproportionate misfortune that fell upon you, brothers and sisters. Like you, we know what military and economic occupation brings to our communities, and the neocolonial threat that the international cooperation of some governments and groups represent. Like you, we have lived the harshness of mother nature when combined with the shameful misery of global imperial policies imposed on us. With the spirit of our common struggles, we become your brothers and sisters. We pay homage to the thousands of lives lost in this tragic calamity. Moreover, we condemn the US military occupation and any other colonial armies that exacerbate the pain of this Caribbean island.
La Esperanza, Intibucá, January 17, 2010