Organizations denounce irregularities in Berta Caceres murder case

Press release
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Today, thirteen international and national organizations, experts in the defense of the rule of law, due process and human rights, sent a letter to Oscar Chinchilla, Attorney General of Honduras and the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, to denounce irregularities in the legal process for the murder of Berta Cáceres on March 2, 2016.

From the first arrests on May 2, 2016 in relation to the attacks against Ms. Cáceres and Gustavo Castro, the Honduran Public Prosecutor’s Office has had in its possession evidence seized in searches of the homes of the accused and the offices of DESA Corp. Although there have been four court orders and more than 35 requests for information, the State Prosecutors have refused to hand it over to the family of Ms. Cáceres. On August 16, the family was notified that the evidence that the Public Prosecutor has in its possession has not been duly assessed even though the evidentiary hearing is set to start today.

“This situation generates inequality for the family of Berta Cáceres who is seeking justice, and it lays the groundwork for impunity given that the irregularities identified could be grounds for dismissal of the case due to non-compliance with judicial orders and procedural errors,”

state the signatories to the letter.

Ms. Cáceres was an indigenous Lenca leader recognized worldwide. As a feminist, social leader and environmental activist who co-founded the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), she worked to defend the rights of indigenous peoples. On March 2, 2016, armed men entered her home and shot and killed her. They left her Mexican friend and colleague, Gustavo Castro, injured in the same attack.

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