Image courtesy of Witness for Peace
Berta Cáceres - internationally renowned activist in Honduras and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize - was assassinated on Wednesday March 3rd. Berta, cofounder and coordinator of National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was a leader of indigenous peoples defending their land, rivers, and rights. She was part of the ongoing struggle to stop the construction of a hydroelectric dam by the internationally-financed Honduran company, DESA, on the Gualcarque River.
UPDATE: HONDURAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES GUSTAVO CASTRO
Gustavo Castro Soto was the only witness to Berta’s assassination, and was shot twice in the attack. A Mexican citizen and coordinator of Otros Mundos Chiapas/Friends of the Earth-Mexico, coordinator of the Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model (M4), and Other Worlds’ co-founder and board member, Gustavo was held by the Honduran government for 24 days. Gustavo's testimony is key to preventing the Honduran government from distorting responsibility for the crime and their attempt to pin Berta's murder on COPINH itself.
On March 31st, the First Courthouse of Letters of Intibucá, Honduras, acting on instructions from the judge Victorina Flores Orellana, decided to lift the measure prohibiting Gustavo Castro Soto from leaving the country. This decision was made after the Honduran General Attorney’s office requested that it be lifted on the basis of the argument that “all of the [necessary] investigations and scientific tests have been exhausted” in the case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres.
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