Friday, January 31, 2014

Report from Honduras - January 30th - Chabelos Trial - Day 3

text and photos V Cervantes

Just a very short update from todays court session - 

Pobladores from Progreso, Yoro, and members of MUCA from the Aguan along with ERIC SJ, maintained today’s vigil in support of Chabelo outside the courthouse in La Ceiba. There were also accompaniers from PROAH (Honduras Accompaniment Project) and the Permanent Observatory for Human Rights in the Aguan. 

The prosecution and judges seemed determined not to recognize the fact that the key witness against Chabelo contradicted his original testimony and ended up confirming Chabelo’s own testimony about his arrival in his community after the confrontation with landowner Henry Osorto’s guards. In other words that the original testimony was false.

 Today the prosecution filled up much of schedule with forensic and ballistic expert testimony along with testimony from the forensic physicians. The experts verified the affidavits they had produced for the original trial that established that a large number of weapons were involved in the confrontation, that there was a fire and that a number of people died violently. However, there was no evidence that in anyway related to Chabelo or the charges against him. The prosecutors continued to present information about deaths that Chabelo is not charged with over the objections of the defense. The judges rejected a number of objections by the defense and even accused the defense of being disrespectful to the court for raising the objections.
 After the session was over, about 10 family member and supporters of Chabelo gathered at the entrance to the court parking lot to talk to Chabelo as he was leaving to go back to the prison for the night. He travels wearing a bullet proof vest in a small pick-up vehicle full of heavily armed National Police. They stopped so that we could shake his hand or hug him and talk for just a moment.

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