Urgent needs: We want justice
– An independent, international investigation – e.g., through a cooperation agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
– Analysis of forensic evidence by Guatemalan Anthropological Forensics Foundation
– Ensuring the genuine protection of family members and members of COPINH. Berta had protective measures from Inter-American Commission but her security was a joke.
So far: a deeply flawed investigation:
– Manner in which crime scene was dealt with: no protection of crime scene with many individuals running amok around the house.
– Manner in which Berta’s body was dealt with: thrown in body bag and thrown in the back of a truck.
– Autopsy was performed without the presence of an independent forensic expert as demanded by the family.
– Treatment of main witness: wounded but no medical assistance provided by authorities, interrogated endlessly – no sleep, left in bloody clothes.
– Concerned about safety of Berta’s family members and COPINH members under threat: protective measures not properly enforced by Honduran authorities: e.g., Berta’s case.
Additional demands of Berta’s family and COPINH:
– Stopping the Agua Zarca project (“the dam would cut off the supply of water, food and medicine for hundreds of Lenca people and violate their right to sustainably manage and live off their land.” – Goldman Environmental Foundation).
– Cut off all security assistance to the government of Honduras while activists like Berta continue to be murdered in impunity. Honduran police forces, the Honduran military (1st Battalion of Engineers) and local officials belonging to the ruling party all part of campaign of attacks, harassment and killings of members of COPINH.
– multilateral development banks suspend funding to Honduran private sector because the governance conditions are not adequate to insure gross human rights violations do not occur.
– The immediate withdrawal of the “Tigres” unit from Río Blanco (militarized police unit trained by the U.S.)
– An end to paramilitary training and activity throughout the country, supported by foreign governments.
– An end to the persecution of those who defend the rights of indigenous peoples and the entire society.