Garifuna Defenders Need Our Solidarity
On March 3, the anniversary of Berta Cáceres’s murder, Honduran police illegally jailed two Garifuna ancestral territory defenders from our partner OFRANEH (Organizacíon Fraternal Negra Hondureña, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras). Jenifer Sarina Mejia Solorzano and Mariela Mejia Solorzano were detained on trumped-up charges related to land conflicts in Trujillo Bay, Colon. This is similar to what the government has done to the Guapinol defenders who have been illegally detained for well over a year now. Thanks to the work of OFRANEH and international solidarity, Jenifer and Mariela were released on Sunday, March 7. However, they continue to be criminalized and face unjust charges.
This jailing follows years of violence and dispossession against the Garifuna people. Just last July, we joined OFRANEH in solidarity after five Garifuna activists were disappeared — and who have not been seen since. We continue to stand with OFRANEH in demanding that these five Garifuna men be returned to their communities, alive. And we stand with OFRANEH today in demanding an end to the criminalization of Jenifer, Mariela, and all Garifuna leaders defending their territories and Mother Earth.
Today, let’s stand with these two Afro-Indigenous women detained for defending their territory.