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March 4, 2016

The Platform of Social and Popular Movements of Honduras (PMSPH) and the Coalition against Impunity (CI), with reference to the murder of Berta Cáceres, ALERTS the national and international community about the following:

1. We are concerned over the fact that after 24 hours of the murder of our colleague Berta Cáceres, the main focus of the investigations by the different government units has been to prioritize hypotheses that are not related to the threats to which she was recently exposed and COPINH and Berta Caceres herself had denounced numerous times.

2. We are concerned over the fact that the government, in its attempts to reduce the national and international pressure surrounding this crime, seeks to give a quick answer, without really caring about the real culprits who enjoy the historical impunity we have sadly become used to.

3. The Honduran government, before presenting any outcome on the motives and authors of the crime against Berta Caceres, has the duty to respond if the company Desarrollos Energéticos Sociedad Anonima (DESA), in charge of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, several bank institutions that are financing these projects, several Municipal Corporations of Lenca municipalities, especially San Francisco de Ojuera, police officers, military officers and several other companies that had threatened Berta´s life and the lives of other leaders of the area, participated in this terrible crime.

Some of the most recent events directly denounced by Berta Caceres were:

On February 25, 50 Lenca families of La Jarcia community, Guise, Intibucá were evicted by the national police, investigation officers and military officers under an illegal and arbitrary order. She directly involved Mr. Lenin Perez in the destruction of houses, ordered by Judge Mario Pineda, denouncing the mayor´s office for issuing full control permits, judges and prosecutor Vania Jetziva Aguilar for racism, negligence and favoritism, and on the same day, denouncing that this eviction policy against COPINH members is not an isolated event, because there was another eviction scheduled for the following day in Rio Chiquito, Rio Lindo, Cortes.

In the morning of February 20, she denounced that over 100 members of COPINH were being detained and harassed for participating in peaceful resistance against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project of the DESA company in Lenca territories, denouncing the company´s engineer Sergio Rodriguez, workers of said company, the mayor of San Francisco de Ojuera in Santa Barbara (Raúl Pineda), the Nacional Party, supported by the National Honduran Army, the National Police, private security guards and hitmen.

On Friday, February 26, in San Pedro Sula, she received a phone call at 5 pm from someone who informed her that there was a car watching her home.

Berta denounced that the people prosecuted as per files 1001-2015-00107 and 1001-2015-00008 in Intibucá Court, for the crimes of illegal possession of guns and homicide, had been hired to kill her. The two men are now free, after undue favoritism by the Public Ministry and the Intibucá Court.

4. PMSPH and CI denounce the attempts by the Honduran government to present just any response to this crime. The only acceptable response is one that establishes the true causes and motives, the full identity and criminal sanctions against the intellectual and material authors of the crime.

5. We alert and request the international community, political, social and human rights movements of Honduras and the world, and all people who expressed their solidarity, to send letters to the Honduran government demanding respect for international standards regarding the investigation of such a crime, especially taking into consideration the fact that BERTA CÁCERES was a renowned social activist and Human Rights defender and her murder is directly linked with her struggle.


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