Latest update: Honduras gov’t shuttling envoys to DC, media and foreigners targeted by gov, Pepe Lobo’s son goes to jail and MACCIH’s messy start

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The Honduran government has quietly been sending government representatives to lobby on the Hill. If you recall, then-Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales, who is now caught up in the latest police scandal, visited back in April. This time it was Coordinator General Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro. (His position being a cabinet-level equivalent of the U.S. President’s Chief of Staff.) He was told by at least one staffer on Capitol Hill that the Honduran government should acquiesce to calls for an independent international investigation. The cast of characters that Honduras has sent so far have not impressed those in Washington, “[N]o sensible person would trust [them] with a ten foot pole,” said a person with knowledge of at least one meeting. As well, the Honduran government has refused to accept a recently released report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that is critical of Honduras and the shameful record of impunity and violence in the country, claiming it is biased.

On May 9, Hernández Alcerro announced an investigation into “foreigners who participate in protests and incite violence” in Honduras. This was in response to COPINH’s peaceful march to the presidential palace days before during which government forces violently repressed a few dozen protesters with tear gas, riot police and water cannons. Hernández Alcerro’s new investigation is part of a coordinated campaign targeting human rights observers/defenders in Honduras who work for international non-governmental organizations.

Most recently, the government has taken to pulling tv licenses from channels that have allegedly failed to pay fees (Spanish). This, coincidentally, includes Globo TV, the main government opposition channel.

Former Pres. Lobo’s son is charged with drug trafficking

Former Honduran president Pepe Lobo’s son pled guilty to drug trafficking in New York on May 16. “Fabio Lobo has now admitted in court that he conspired to import thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States. Whether you are a street-level dealer, a member of a cartel, or the son of a former foreign president, drug dealing is drug dealing.”

This is yet another example on a growing list as to why the Honduran government cannot be trusted to adequately conduct professional criminal investigations: they are complicit in criminal activity and impunity reigns. Lobo’s father was elected president of Honduras in late 2009 after a military coup ousted then-President Manuel Zelaya. Porfirio Lobo left office in January 2014, when Juan Orlando Hernandez assumed the presidency.

MACCIH sputters to life

The Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras — known by its Spanish initials MACCIH — slowly began to sputter into motion late last month. Alex Main shines a light on its increasingly controversial and already turbulent existence:

“…the fact that both the Honduran government and the OAS Secretary General had tried to involve MACCIH in an investigation that had nothing to with the body’s mandate, and had attempted to do so before MACCIH had even come into existence, left a very bad taste in the mouths of Honduran human rights defenders and anticorruption advocates.”

Lastly, Berta’s mother, Doña Bertha is doing as well as can be imagined. She receives visitors daily keeping her spirits up but also making her a bit tired. Overall she is in good health and as strong as ever. She and Berta’s children send their gratitude for your overwhelming support.

How can you help?

Go to BertaCaceres.org and donate to Berta’s children, mother and COPINH. The money is needed to keep pressure on both the US and Honduran governments. You can also sign up for the newsletter, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The more people we educate about what is happening the more Berta’s legacy can bring about true change and her death be not in vain.

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Latest Update from Berta’s Family: Four Defendants to Stand Trial, Capture Coincides with visit to White House, FMO’s PR Fail

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Four Sent to Pre-trial Detention Ahead of Trial

The four defendants whom the government claims were responsible for the assassination of Berta Caceres were sent to the national penitentiary for pre-trial detention on Sunday. There is, of course, a considerable amount of danger for these men in jail where they could be easily eliminated. Berta Caceres’ family continues to call for an independent international organization conducted by IACHR because the government does not have the will, capacity or experience to investigate and convict not just the triggermen but the intellectual authors as well. Additionally, at least two of the defendants have strong ties to the military, and other state institutions have also been implicated which means the investigation has been seriously compromised.

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Berta’s Family Reiterates Call for IACHR Investigation Despite Capture of Alleged Culprits

May 5, 2016

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1) The Honduran government made a surprise announcement on Monday morning claiming to have caught the culprits that assassinated Berta. The most impressive detail is that they were able to snap many well-posed photos of the culprits and clearly defined ATIC agents on hand.

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Costa Rica’s Former President Weighs In; Berta’s daughter, COPINH go to Europe

April 27, 2016

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1) Ex-Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Oscar Arias, urges JOH to allow IACHR investigation
“I’m sure we agree that in a case such as this one, involving the brutal murder of a nationally and internationally recognized social leader, it is important that the investigation be seen as transparent and impartial by the victim’s family and by the general public. This is why I respectfully urge you to consider granting the family’s request to allow the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to form a commission of independent international experts to join the murder investigation.”

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Honduran FM Arturo Corrales resigned, a misleading NYT story and more

April 18, 2016

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1) Days after visiting Washington DC Honduran FM Arturo Corrales resigned. It is unclear why he did so but according to Honduran news reports Pres. Juan Orlando Hernandez was not happy with him after his meetings at the OAS which involved negotiations over MACCIH which the family of Berta Caceres made clear they did not want involved in the investigation of her assassination.  The NYT reports it was linked to his previous post as security minister.
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Updates from the family of Berta Cáceres in Honduras and the US

April 12, 2016

Thank you and welcome to BertaCaceres.org.

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This story just out from the New Yorker brings us up to date on where we are today: No Answers in the Murder of Berta Cáceres

It’s been five weeks since Berta’s assassination and the Honduran authorities have yet to identify the cowards who pulled the trigger, much less the intellectual authors.

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