Nobel Peace Laureates Call for a Fair Trial for Berta Cáceres


By: 
Nobel Women's Initiative

NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES CALL ON HONDURAS TO ENSURE A FAIR TRIAL IN THE MURDER OF LAND DEFENDER BERTA CÁCERES

Ottawa — 19 September 2018

The Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative call on the Honduran government to ensure that there is a fair and just trial for those individuals being charged with the murder of Berta Cáceres, land and human rights defender assassinated in her home on March 3, 2016.

In March 2016 we called on Honduras to support an independent and thorough investigation and to guarantee the protection of her family and those affiliated with Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH). [1]

With the postponement of the murder trial due to concerns about violations of due process by trial judges, we are gravely concerned about the capacity of the Honduran State to conduct a fair trial.

It has been more than two years since the untimely death of Berta Cáceres sent shock waves through the international community. We continue to support the observations made by the International Advisory Group of Experts (GAIPE) compiled in the months following her death. [2] GAIPE’s analysis demonstrates a broad and extensive list of actors implementing strategies that violate the right of free, prior, and informed consultations of the Lenca indigenous people. We call for an investigation into these allegations.

We express our deep concern regarding recent attempts made by law firms and public relations firms hired by the company DESA to publicly discredit the work of GAIPE and to slander victims with false and distorted arguments.

The murder of Berta Cáceres highlights the climate of violence, political persecution, criminalization and stigmatization of human rights defenders and their communities defending their land and natural resources.  Berta Cáceres exemplified the dignity of the Lenca people and their right to self-determination. Her work and legacy continues to inspire thousands of people around the world. We call on the Honduran authorities to ensure that there is a fair and just trial for the eight men charged in her murder.

[1] Laureates call Honduras to thoroughly investigate the murder of Berta Cáceres. https://nobelwomensinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BertaCaceresStatement_March2016_FINAL.pdf

[2] Dam Violence: The Plan that Killed Berta Cáceres. November 2017. http://bertacaceres.org/international-group-experts-report-assassination-berta-caceres/

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