Monday, May 2, 2016

Four Men With Ties to DESA and Honduran Military Captured and Accused of Berta's Assassination - Her Family and COPINH Respond

Statement by Berta Caceres's Family and COPINH
May 2nd, 2016

[Declaración original en español]

Olivia, Berta, Laura and Salvador Zúniga Cáceres (Berta Cáceres’s daughters and son), Austra Bertha Flores (her mother), and the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), each a victim of the assassination of Berta Cáceres under Honduran law, were surprised this morning by the Attorney General and ATIC (Criminal Investigation Agency) announcement in relation to the capture of persons involved in this vile crime against our beloved Berta.

The family and COPINH, as well as all Honduran society and the international community demand justice and truth regarding the assassination of our Berta.

Because we have been denied our right under Honduran law to participate in the investigative process from the beginning, we have no way of knowing if these arrests are the product of an exhaustive and diligent investigation, nor do we know if they include those who ordered the assassination. The news of the alleged participation of active and retired members of the military linked to DESA in the assassination should be investigated further and indicates involvement by state agents which is enough reason for the immediate suspension of and a definitive end to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project.

We regret that the investigations conducted by the Attorney General have moved forward without our participation and that our voices have not been heard.

Today, two months since the assassination of our dear Berta, we continue being victimized, having to learn of any news through the media rather than the official channels afforded to us by law.

Our ongoing lack of confidence in the Attorney General’s office has been fomented by its own actions, which lack transparency and ignore the victims. If the State has truly conducted an exhaustive, diligent investigation based on scientific proof that looks into both the plotters and perpetrators of this crime, then today they should accept the participation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights so that a group of independent experts can analyze the actions carried out thus far and establish whether they are consistent with the highest international standards of due diligence.

If the Attorney General's office and its agency have carried out their work correctly, there should be no fear of having the commission that the IACHR has already made available begin its investigation immediately.

What we seek is truth and justice in the case of our beloved Berta's assassination. If we achieve that, everybody wins.


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