13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance

Originally posted April 28, 2017

Two close friends and comrades of the late, beloved Honduran indigenous resistance leader, Berta Cáceres, put four stories from Melissa Cardoza’s 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance on stage, to bring stories of women of the Honduran resistance movement to Chicago, just over a year since Cáceres’s murder.

Melissa Cardoza is an afro-indigenous journalist, poet, writer and feminist organizer from Honduras, a country where being an activist in opposition to the government on any issue entails considerable physical risk. In her newly translated book, 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance, she tells 13 stories about women from the resistance in the aftermath of the June 28th, 2009 military coup, supported by the Obama administration, against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. On that day, led by a U.S.-trained General, the Honduran military barged in to the president’s house and took him in his pajamas into a helicopter, flying him first to a U.S. base in Honduras and then on to Costa Rica.

It was the first coup of the 21st century in Central America. The military and Honduran oligarchy quickly imposed an interim government, undid most of the progressive reforms underway, and passed hundreds of concessions to corporate interests. To the surprise of the coup’s backers, however, thousands of people around the country spontaneously came out into the streets. Their numbers and the depth of their vision and commitment kept growing during hundreds of days of consecutive protest, with fearless women at the forefront.

Cardoza will be touring alongside the beloved Karla Lara, who sings and tells stories of resistance. Lara appears in one of the book’s stories and has been an icon and sharp voice in the resistance.

Both were among the closest friends to Berta Cáceres, the Honduran indigenous leader and organizer of COPINH who was assassinated on March 3, 2016, for her work in defense of the Lenca people and against patriarchy, capitalism, and racism. This book and this tour are dedicated to Berta.

Alicia Garza, co-creator of the Black Lives Matter Network, has this to say about “13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance”:

“[This] is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the many contours of Honduran feminists fighting for self-determination and dignity. These stories of bravery, of struggle and pain, and ultimately of a resilience rooted in a love for freedom will grip your heart. Cardoza is brilliant in storytelling, and ensures that, in memory of our sister Berta Cáceres, feminisms are three dimensional and span multiple experiences—trans, Black, elderly, and more. The lessons contained in these stories offer important reflections for all revolutionaries.”

The “13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance” tour of the U.S. is coordinated by La Voz de los de Abajo, the Honduras Solidarity Network, Witness for Peace and the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ).

Local co-sponsors are the Gay Liberation Network, Loyola School of Social Work Student Organization – Anti-Oppression Committee, Nothing Without a Company, and the Social Workers of Color Alliance at Loyola University.

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