61 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have sent a letter to Honduran authorities, including the president of the Republic Juan Orlando Hernández, expressing their deepest concern over the unjustified delays of the ongoing judicial process for the murder of Indigenous Lenca leader Berta Cáceres.
Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA group, comments:
“This case is of utmost importance for the European Union and is paramount for the protection of environmental human rights defenders in Honduras and the entire Latin America region. Therefore, we call on the Honduran state to fulfil its obligations to ensure the right to truth, access to justice and adequate, effective and prompt reparation for the victims, both the family of Berta Cáceres and the Honduran society as a whole that were impacted by the crime.”
The EU Delegation and its Members States embassies have been following closely the ongoing trial of Roberto David Castillo Mejia, general manager of the DESA company, and have urged the Honduran authorities that the criminal proceedings should be conducted in full respect of the legal principles of impartiality and open justice. While the MEPs celebrate some advances that have been made in this case, five years after Berta’s murder, the lack of guarantees of non-repetition is regrettable.
Miguel Urbán Crespo, Member of the European Parliament, the Left, comments:
“In addition to the David Castillo prosecution, we urge the Public Ministry to take prompt and concrete steps to act on its investigation and to apprehend and prosecute all suspect masterminds in the case. We also call on the State of Honduras to recognize the right of Indigenous Lenca communities of Rio Blanco and COPINH as victims, to participate as private accusations in the corruption case known as “Gualcarque Fraud””.
Javi Lopez, Member of the European Parliament, S&D, concludes:
“The lack of justice for Berta Cáceres and the many more that are killed and attacked in Latin America for defending ancestral land rights and the environment remains systemic but Berta’s case remains a beacon of hope. This is a unique moment to break with the impunity that all too often surrounds cases involving environmental human rights defenders that weaken the Rule of Law and Democracy.”
The hearings in the trial against David Castillo have ended this Monday, June 28, 2021. The parties, private prosecution and the defense of Mr. Castillo have already presented their conclusions. The Court should issue its resolution in the case in the next few days after the conclusions as established in the Honduran Procedural Penal Code. This Monday the Court has informed that it would issue its resolution before Saturday, July 3, 2021. Please find attached a copy in English of the letter sent by the MEPs today.
Contacts for media requests:
Tilly Metz, contact Lena Widefjäll: (+32) 248-57246, firstname.lastname@example.org
Miguel Urbán Crespo, contact Jose Luis Torremocha Martin: (+34) 609308863 email@example.com
Javi Lopez, contact: (+32) 2 28 45625, firstname.lastname@example.org