Concerns for the safety of the witness to Berta Cáceres’s murder
Update – 9 March 2016: Judge Victorina Flores of the First Court of Letters of La Esperanza, Intibucá, decided not to revoke the Immigration Alert forcing Gustavo Castro to remain in Honduras for another 30 days. She also suspended from Castro’s lawyer from duty for 15 days.
The international community calls for a transparent investigation of the murder of Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres shot last Thursday, and the protection of her fellow activists.
We specifically call for the protection of the only witness – Gustavo Castro Soto, director of Otros Mundos Mexico (Friends of the Earth Mexico). Furthermore, Soto should be allowed to return safely and quickly to Mexico.
Cáceres lead the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – COPINH) for the last two decades. In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, she rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.
On the night of March 2nd, she was murdered by gunmen who entered her home in Honduras. Soto was also wounded in the attack.
Yesterday, in Mexico City, a demonstration was held at the Embassy of Honduras – calling for a transparent investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the attack, and the safe return home of Soto. More protests are planned worldwide over the next week.
“I sympathize with their struggle, and thank her infinitely for the protection of the rivers, which are the rivers of us all. Let’s struggle together for a Maya and Mesoamerican region free of dams. A region with living rivers, with living people.”
— Gustavo Castro Soto