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.”

2) Bertha Zúniga, COPINH to Europe

Berta’s daughter, Bertha Zúniga Cáceres and several COPINH members, arrived in Europe last week to speak at the European Parliament in Belgium.They will also visit several other countries, including Finland and Holland where FinnFund and FMO, two of the three financiers of the  Agua Zarca dam, are based.

They will wrap their visit in Spain.

3)  JOH catches corruption bug
A series of NYT stories written in English and Spanish seem to be giving Honduran Pres. Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) a lot of good press on the pretext of cleaning up corruption in the police force. Eventually, NYT wrote this piece, which has an ex-police chief stating JOH’s government faked the documents in question. It’s interesting to note the documents were originally leaked to El Heraldo, a newspaper owned by Mario Canahuati (a major supporter of the coup in 2009 and of JOH). Then, they appear in the NYT, clearly someone is thinking about making sure the US is aware JOH is “fighting corruption.” Oh, and in case you don’t know about JOH and his own battles with corruption, here’s a story on him from less than a year ago by the Guardian and another more recent blog post about family connections to Colombian drug cartels.

4) MACCIH sets the record straight, finally.

In news that was buried everywhere, the head of MACCIH, Peruvian Juan Jiménez Mayor, has now publicly stated that his agency will not be investigating the assassination of Berta Caceres. He added, that if corruption is tied to her murder then MACCIH will be ready to investigate.  JOH, the US State Department and the OAS have been very eager to get MACCIH to claim that the agency could investigate the murder. However, the family is against this because this agency is untested and could give the government the ability to manipulate the investigation and it’s why the family has repeatedly asked for an independent international investigation. The US and OAS helped to create MACCIH and want to see it flourish to keep Honduras “stable (translation: unfettered access to military assets).” However, impunity reigns in Honduras and each of these governing institutions is corrupt from the courts to the militarybecause they are beholden to the Honduran business elite as Carnegie Endownment’s Sarah Chayse explains.

Recent links:
KCRW’s Press Play with Madeleine Brand:
Murder of Honduran Activist Prompts US Congress to Question Aide
http://kcrw.co/1WQKjJz

LA Times: Murder of acclaimed activist has U.S. questioning massive Central American aid package
http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-bungled-murder-honduras-20160425-story.html

Guardian: ‘Time was running out’: Honduran activist’s last days marked by threats
http://gu.com/p/4tgvb/sbl

How can you help?
Go to BertaCaceres.org  and donate to the immediate family and COPINH. The money is needed to keep pressure on both the US and Honduras. You can also sign up for the newsletter. And, we’re 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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