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.”

Link to English version of letter

Link to original version of letter in Spanish

‘Time was running out’: Honduran activist’s last days marked by threats

In her final days, Berta Cáceres was bombarded with texts and calls warning her to give up the fight against the Agua Zarca dam, or else.

The Honduran indigenous leader told trusted friends and colleagues that some of the death threats were from a suspected sicario – or hitman – who was terrorizing community members near the dam and openly boasting of his intention to kill her.

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LA Times: Murder of acclaimed activist has U.S. questioning massive Central American aid package

“The administration has portrayed Hernandez as a credible partner in tackling the region’s myriad troubles, including the flood of undocumented families to the U.S. border, rampant violence and drug-trafficking.

That kind of assessment infuriates many in Congress and in the activist community. They are skeptical Hernandez will allow a credible investigation into the Caceres slaying or ease the government’s repression of people it doesn’t like.”

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This Earth Day, Lets Defend Earth’s Defenders

In many places, basic human dignity often requires those who live closest to the land to fight, openly, to protect it. And, increasingly the bold actions of those on the frontlines of environmental protection lead them to be marginalized, criminalized, and even killed. Such was the case with Honduran environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, who was killed early last month. Read more.

Stop aid to Honduras, says murdered campaigner’s daughter

The daughter of murdered environmental leader Berta Cáceres has called for a suspension of European aid to Honduras and investment in its hydro projects until the country complies with human rights norms.

Cáceres was shot as she slept on 2 March, after her family say that Honduran authorities failed to adequately respond to a slew of escalating death threats.

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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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CEJIL: Reasons why MACCHI should not investigate assassination

MACCIH is not qualified to investigate assassinations One of MACCIH’s main objectives is as follows:
1.2 To support, strengthen and actively collaborate with the Honduran state institutions responsible for preventing, investigating and punishing acts of corruption.
To achieve this objective, MACCIH can:
3.1.1.2. Provide technical support, supervise, evaluate and actively collaborate with a group of judges familiar with causes of corruption, public prosecutors, investigators and forensic experts from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, selected and certified by MACCIH to collect information, investigate and pursue corruption cases and networks.
It can be gathered from the above that MACCIH’s investigative jurisdiction is limited to “corruption cases and networks”.

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Video: Who was Berta Cáceres?

In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, Berta Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of a major project.