The COPINH, the family of Berta Cáceres and the team of lawyers of the MADJ, present ourselves before the public to warn about the future of the judicial process for the assassination of our colleague and general coordinator, Berta Cáceres and the assassination attempt of our companion Gustavo Castro.
In a few days we are to present to a hearing for the purpose of the submission of evidence in the case without having the possibility of accessing all the evidence collected for more than 2 years in judicial and investigative raids and proceedings carried out by the Public Ministry and the ATIC. On at least 35 occasions the prosecution of the case has refused to deliver information or has done so in a partial, segmented or irregular manner.
We have submitted specific requests for the information necessary to participate effectively in the trial of the assassination of Berta Caceres with due guarantees and the Public Ministry has ignored them, as well as repeated court orders by the Court of Judgment to deliver the information, such as the one that expired last Friday, after the expiration of the term of 5 days.
Since the day of the assassination, the Public Ministry and the State of Honduras have systematically denied us access to the truth. We have been denied access to basic information about what actually occurred. They have denied the Lenca People and the Honduran people in general the truth about what happened with our compañera Berta Cáceres, this despite the intermediations of the IACHR, and letters of concern from the United Nations agencies and the European Parliament.
We must denounce that this attitude of the Honduran authorities only benefits those responsible for the assassination of Berta Cáceres, and the intellectual authors of the crime who have still not yet been prosecuted.
The trial we face today is against the people who were paid to murder Berta Cáceres: the paid assassins and the mediators. These are individuals who are the basic links to those who actually gave the order to assassinate our COPINH leader. However, from the perspective of the authorities, the prosecution of the case tries to limit access to only these links instead of pursuing prosecution of the intellectual authors of the crime.
The absence of persecution of those who, from managerial posts, ordered the murder of our compañera Berta Cáceres is the direct responsibility of Attorney General Óscar Chinchilla, who from his official position has been complacent about the irregularities in the case and the lack of investigation of the obvious intellectual authors of the crime.
It must be known that David Castillo Mejía, general manager of DESA, known persecutor and stalker of Berta Cáceres was captured not by the will nor investigation of the Public Ministry but by a complaint made by our legal team. This particular complaint was not presented solely for David Castillo Mejía but for a number of other people from the company DESA, and for which there has been no further action or response.
In this court case, the reality of the indigenous territories and campesino communities of Honduras that organize to confront the corporate cartels is emulated. In this trial we are not facing the defense of the individual Sergio Rodríguez but the defense of the corporation DESA, its managers and owners. We also face the reality of complacency of state authorities complicit in impunity, such as the ongoing violations of the human rights of our communities.
With the consent of the State, we face an economic regime that seeks to put an end to the opposition of our Popular Organizations and Indigenous Peoples to a national project of development that brings hunger, destruction, tears and blood to the communities historically most marginalized by the same State. With this official consent, even the condition of victim is denied to the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).
We reiterate and warn that we are facing at the greatest disadvantage, a judicial process with enormous irregularities and violations of the rights of the victims.
Given in Tegucigalpa on the 7th day of August 2018