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Following the sentence in the trial for the murder of indigenous leader and environmentalist Berta Cáceres, Ecologistas en Acción has declared that despite the seven convictions issued, justice has not been served.
The Ecologist organization has denounced that the trial has been full of irregularities that have prevented the reality of the intellectual authorship of the murder and the criminal structure that supported it from coming to light.
Let us remember that Berta Cáceres, Goldman Award for the Environment, reveal the struggle of hundreds of Mesoamerican communities in defense of their lands and territories. And against the aggressive presence of megaprojects, be they mining or hydroelectric.
At that time Berta was the fourth COPINH activist assassinated in this new cycle of the project. She feared –as well as her organization- that Agua Zarca would mean the entry of megaprojects to the Lenca people's region, where after the military coup of 2009 the new Government gave a large part of the territory in concession to implement 17 hydroelectric projects and a similar amount of mining projects.
The sentence in the trial for the murder of the indigenous and environmental leader Berta Cáceres in 2016 has been known, declaring guilty seven of the eight defendants, but not the intellectual authors of this crime and the attempted murder of Gustavo Castro.
Ecologists in Action has joined the condemnation of the COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) to denounce the irregularities of the entire process. Also to point out that the Public Ministry of Honduras has in its possession information regarding the involvement of other actors of the criminal structure related to the DESA company (Desarrollos Energéticos, SA), responsible for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project against which Berta Cáceres, As a COPINH activist, he was fighting during his last years.
The environmental organization has published a manifesto in which it lists a list of points for which the judicial process has been irregular: impediments for the private representation of the family to access evidence collected by the Public Ministry, the lack of analysis of the majority seized objects or leaving the victims and the family without private representation in the process, are some of them.
For Ecologistas en Acción, the State of Honduras has the international obligation acquired by virtue of the signing of various international instruments and its own internal legislation, to guarantee the full representation of the victim's family and that of COPINH in the judicial procedure.
For all these reasons, Ecologistas en Acción has demanded that a diligent, independent and due process investigation be guaranteed, so that all those responsible, material and intellectual, of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the murder are identified, prosecuted and punished. Berta Cáceres.
Link to manifest
More information: Serlinda Vigara, spokesperson for Ecologists in Action, 628 914 789.
The death of the environmental activist was an event that impacted numerous ecological and social policies in several Latin American countries. In fact, its dissemination managed to show the high risk in which both indigenous communities and the environment live in the face of the gluttonous ambition of large -trans-nationals who invade and pollute natural resources. Two years after the death of the Honduran, the Dutch Development Bank –FMO– and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation –FINNFUND– definitively withdrew their support for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project from the company Desarrollo Energéticos Sociedad Anónima –DESA–.