Civic Counsel of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH)


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Civic Counsel of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH)

COPINH is a fierce grouping of primarily Maya Lenca people who are committed to fighting the US government's neoliberal policies. In Latin America, these policies have led to increased militarization, harmful "free trade" agreements, and the annexation of indigenous lands and resources by corporations and governments. COPINH seeks full indigenous autonomy, and the right to live in peace and dignity through projects like "Utopia"--a small but self-governing indigenous community in Honduras.

In October 2008, COPINH hosted The 2nd Hemispheric Conference against Militarization in Honduras. The conference was a forum for like-minded organizations throughout the Americas to join forces in rejecting an increased US military presence in the region. The spectacular series of workshops and public actions culminated in Palmerola, where a final declaration was announced at the gates of the US Army Base. The base was an especially poignant location for the declaration, as it was the site from which contra operations against the Nicaraguan government were launched in the early 1980s. The declaration was an uncomplicated litany of neighborly demands which included the closing of all US military bases in the region, the termination of all empire-building measures like the ignominious "Merida Initiative," and a call to stop the exporting of Patriot-Act style legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean, where healthy dissent can be categorized as "terror." COPINH received a grant from Caipirinha Foundation to help organize, host, and document the events.

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