PBI-Honduras expresses concern about Sentencing Court not allowing family members or observers in courthouse on April 26
The courthouse in Tegucigalpa where the trial is taking place.
On April 27, PBI-Honduras posted: “This morning the trial against David Castillo, alleged co-author of the crime of killing Berta Cáceres. …From the PBI-Honduras Project, we show our concern over the decision of the Sentencing Court not to allow in yesterday’s session the presence in the victims room and international observation.”
Criterio.hn further explains: “The Sentencing Court resumed the oral and public trial on Monday [April 26] to the alleged intellectual author of the murder of environmental leader Berta Cáceres, but did not allow any kind of observation during the process.”
“The court’s decision not to allow the presence of family members or any kind of observation during the hearing prompted the reaction of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR Honduras).”
“The international body stressed as positive that the transmission was made on social media but said that this ‘does not constitute sufficient guarantee of publicity and effective participation of victims according to international standards.’”
There is also continued concern over the exclusion of Berta Caceres’ daughter from the public hearings. On April 27, COPINH tweeted: “We continue to demand respect and guarantee of the rights as a victim to Laura Zúniga, daughter of Berta Cáceres, in the trial against David Castillo, co-author of Berta’s crime.”
Back on April 6, the first day of the trial, PBI-Honduras commented: “The trial will begin today more than 5 years after the murder of Berta Caceres and 3 years after the arrest of David Castillo, former DESA manager. From COPINH they assure ‘that it is a key trial to demonstrate responsibility for the crime and the participation of the Atala family in the attacks on Berta and COPINH.’”
The trial is now expected to conclude on May 7.
There are various sources for updates about the trial on Twitter including @COPINHHONDURAS, @BerthaZuniga1, @ninalakhani, @springkj and @pajarolindo.
PBI-Honduras has accompanied COPINH since May 2016.