Canadian Embassy calls on Honduras to ensure judicial independence and due process in the Berta Cáceres trial

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 8, the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua tweeted: “Canada joins the international community in calling on Honduras to ensure judicial independence and due process in the Berta Cáceres trial. We also call for the protection of human rights and environmental defenders.”

That same day, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) tweeted: “We are facing a political trial, where misogyny, institutional racism, contempt for indigenous peoples are evident and above all where it is felt that our beloved Berta was being judged rather. She was not a criminal, she was a defender of life!”

PBI-Honduras has been accompanying COPINH during the trial of former DESA hydroelectric dam executive David Castillo who is accused of being an intellectual author in the murder of Cáceres on March 2, 2016.

Castillo is alleged to have coordinated with, and provided funds to, the men who were the material authors of the murder of Cáceres.

Cáceres opposed the Agua Zarca dam that DESA was building on the Gualcarque River without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous Lenca people. The Intercept has reported that DESA executives had become angry when Cáceres’ protests disrupted their investment in the hydroelectric dam.

In December 2019, when four hitmen were sentenced for this crime, Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres stated: “These sentences are a start in breaking the impunity, but we’re going to make every effort to ensure that all those responsible – the company executives and state officials identified in the trial – are prosecuted.”

She has also commented: “There is only one case open – which has also been extremely delayed – and that is of David Castillo, the president of the company. However, for us, David Castillo is a minor and in fact, the weakest representative of the powerful people that took the decision and economically lent support to this crime.”

Last week, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “63 months after the murder of Berta Cáceres for defending the Indigenous and territorial rights in Honduras, a thorough investigation of all the masterminds of the crime is urgently needed.”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied COPINH since May 2016.


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