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Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:16 PM

Deep failures in investigation into Honduras activist’s killing put many at risk

Deep failures in investigation into Honduras activist’s killing put many at risk

March 8, 2016

The catalogue of failures in the investigation into the death of a prominent Indigenous leader last week exposes the Honduran government’s absolute lack of willingness to protect human rights defenders in the country, said Amnesty International after a visit to the Central American country.

“Authorities in Honduras are saying one thing and doing another. They have told us they are committed to finding those responsible for Berta Cáceres’ death yet they have failed to follow the most basic lines of investigation, including the fact that Berta had been receiving serious death threats related to her human rights work for a very long time,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“This shocking lack of action is sending the dangerous message that anyone can kill those who dare to confront the most powerful in society and get away with it. That authorities seem to be willing to trade lives for money.”

“The fact that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado is still refusing to meet with Berta Cáceres’ relatives, other human rights defenders and Amnesty International is simply inexcusable. Burying his head in the sand will only put the lives and safety of more activists in grave danger.”

Berta Cáceres, leader and co-founder of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Peoples Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was shot dead on March 3 in her home in the town of La Esperanza, in the province of Intibucá, west Honduras. For years, she had vocally campaigned against the construction of the Agua Zarca dam in the community of Río Blanco.

So far, only members of COPINH were called to give testimony. Human rights activist Gustavo Castro, who was with Berta when she was killed, was prevented from leaving Honduras to his native Mexico even after giving testimony on several occasions and despite serious threats to his life.


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Reply Deep failures in investigation into Honduras activist’s killing put many at risk (Original post)
Judi Lynn Mar 2016 OP
Mufaddal Mar 2016 #1
Judi Lynn Mar 2016 #2
Judi Lynn Mar 2016 #3

Response to Mufaddal (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 9, 2016, 01:35 AM

2. Gustavo Castro needs help in a hurry or he will be shot down again. My god.

From the Democracy Now feature today:

BEVERLY BELL: We are calling for his safe passage out of Honduras back to Mexico. We are also calling for an independent investigation of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, because so far it’s been grossly manipulated by the Honduran government, which is seeking to target and blame other members of Berta’s group, who themselves had been detained and are now being investigated and interrogated without lawyers being present. And we are also calling for the decriminalization of the indigenous and popular group, COPINH, that Berta led.

I want to say that this is not just a horrible human rights crisis happening in Honduras right now. It is also a battle for the future of Central America, which is the epicenter of extractive industries. So, on the one hand, you have multinational corporations that are in Honduras to take over forests, mines, waters, indigenous lands and intellectual property rights, which others call indigenous knowledge, and on the other hand, you have social movements, which in Central America have been led by Gustavo Castro and by Berta Cáceres for the protection of these indigenous lands, for rights and for participatory democracy.

He needs to be rescued from the filthy Honduran government, taken OUT of their clutches, one way or another.

Thank you for posting this new material.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Mar 9, 2016, 01:42 AM

3. Berta Cáceres murder: Honduras blocks sole witness from leaving country

Berta Cáceres murder: Honduras blocks sole witness from leaving country

  • Mexican Gustavo Castro, who was wounded in attack, stopped at airport
  • Castro says crime scene was altered and activist allies treated as suspects

    David Agren in Mexico City
    Tuesday 8 March 2016 18.19 EST

    Officials in Honduras have refused to allow the only witness to the murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres to leave the country and return to his native Mexico.

    Gustavo Castro Soto, coordinator of Friends of the Earth Mexico and director of the NGO Otros Mundos, was shot twice during the attack on Cáceres on Thursday morning, and only survived by playing dead. Officials are treating him as a protected witness, according to the Associated Press, but activists say that the Honduran attorney general’s office has issued a 30-day immigration alert against him, preventing him from leaving the country.

    In a statement on Tuesday, Otros Mundos and Friends of the Earth Mexico said the order was “unjust and unnecessary” as Castro has “provided sufficient information to prosecutors to clarify the facts of the case and has not been informed what procedures remain outstanding”.

    “Gustavo Castro is not being treated as a victim of an assassination attempt, instead his life is being put at risk, along with his right to free movement.” The statement said that when Castro attempted to catch a flight out of the country on Sunday, he was stopped at the immigration desk of the Tegucigalpa airport and refused permission to proceed to his gate.

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