The Platform of Social and Popular Movements of Honduras (PMSPH) and the Coalition Against Impunity (CI)

In relation to the assassination of Bertha Caceres,  we alert the national and international community on the following extreme developments:

I.   We are concerned that during the first 24 hours following the assassination of Bertha Caceres the principal emphasis  of the investigations being developed by different government units have given priority to hypotheses not related to the threats to which Berta has been exposed, recently and which on reiterated occasions have been denounced by COPINH and by Berta Caceres herself.   

II.  We are concerned that the government, in an effort to lower the national and internacional pressure this crime has brought, provides immediate statements and responses about the crime, without recognizing that those truly responsible for this deed continue to enjoy the historic impunity which has buried us.   

III.  The government of Honduras, before presenting any results concerning the causes and authors of this crime against Bertha Caceres, has the responsibility to respond whether the company Desarrollos Energéticos
Sociedad Anónima (DESA) designated concession holder of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca, various banking and financial institutions of these projects, various Municipal Corporations in the Lenca municipalities, especially that of San Francisco de Ojuera, whether pólice, military and various other companies who have aimed threats to do away with the life of Bertha Caceres and other leaders of the area, participated in this undeniable crime.   

Some of the recent facts denounced directly by Bertha Cáceres are:

–      On February 25  50 Lenca families in the Community of Jarcia, Guise, Intibucá, were evicted by elements of the National pólice, military and pólice investigators under an illegal and arbitrary order.  Directly involved in the destruction of homes was Mr. Lenin Pérez, on order by Judge Mario Pineda of the second court of letters of Intibucá, whose mayor´s office was denounced for emitting imminent domain, to the judges of the D.A. Vania Jetziva Aguilar for racism, neglect, favoritism. This very denunciation about the policy of eviction against members of COPINH is not an isolated one because the next day another eviction took place in Rio Chiquito, Rio Lindo, Cortes.

–      On February 20 early morning the repression and detention of more than 100 members of COPINH was denounced, for a peaceful Action against the Hydroelectric Project “Agua Zarca” that is pushed by the Company DESA.  Others denounced at that time were Sergio Rodriguez, employed by this company, the mayor of San Francisco de Ojueras in Santa Barbara (Raúl Pineda), the National Party, supported by the National Army of Honduras, the National Police, prívate security gaurds and paid assassins.

–      On Friday February 26, in San Pedro Sula at 5:00 p.m. Berta received a telephone call that a car was circling her home.   

–       Bertha denounced subjects processed in cases 1001-2015-00107 and 1001-2015-00008, in the Court of Letters of  Intibucá, for the crime of illegal carrying of weapons and homicide had been contracted to assassinate her.  The two accused are free today, after having been favored by the Public Ministry and the Court of Intibucá. 

IV.    The Platform and the Coalition against Impunity denounce the intention of the government and State of Honduras to present random responses about this crime.  The only acceptable response would be to establish the true causes and motives of this crime, the full identity and penal sanction of the intellectual and material authors.  

V.    We alert and ask the Community of internacional cooperation, of the political, social and human rights movements of Honduras and the world, for all persons in solidarity around this crime, that they send messages to the State of Honduras asking for respect for internacional standards defined for investigations of this kind, above all the fact that  BERTHA CÁCERES is a recognized social activist and defender of human rights, and that this crime is most certainly tied to her struggle.   

March 4, 2016.