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Honduras: Court is violating the rights of Berta Cáceres’ family

    October 23, 2018

    Responding to the decision of the National Criminal Court that the trial of those accused of the killing of Berta Cáceres should proceed with the Public Prosecutor's Office acting as representative for her family and for Gustavo Castro, the only witness to the killing, because their lawyers supposedly abandoned the trial, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, stated:

    “Throughout the investigation of the killing of Berta Cáceres, the family of the human rights defender and Gustavo Castro have repeatedly stated that the Public Prosecutor’s Office neither ensured they had genuine and full access to the case file and the evidence nor fulfilled its obligation to identify those suspected of being behind the killing.”

    “Despite this, to date the National Criminal Court has taken no action to ensure that the Public Prosecutor’s Office fulfils its obligation to give the lawyers access to the information they have requested. Faced with this situation, the lawyers lodged a petition calling for the judges hearing the case to be recused on grounds of bias.”  

    “The Court’s decision to impose representation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the victims is a breach of due process guarantees and therefore impacts on victims' right to access to justice, truth and reparation. Victims’ representation cannot be put in the hands of an institution that they have repeatedly said is responsible for violating their rights.”

    “The Honduran authorities have an obligation to carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the killing of Berta Cáceres and to bring to justice, in proceedings that are consistent with fair trial guarantees, both those who committed this crime and those who ordered and planned it.”

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Further information:

    Honduras: Berta Cáceres' family left without legal representation in court (Public statement, 22 October 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr37/9286/2018/en/

    Honduras: Authorities must guarantee the safety of defenders and journalists targeted in smear campaigns (News, 28 September 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/09/honduras-autoridades-deben-garantizar-la-seguridad-de-defensores/

    Honduras: Amnesty International to observe trial over killing of human rights defender Berta Cáceres (News, 14 September 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/09/honduras-amnesty-international-to-observe-trial-over-killing-of-human-rights-defender-berta-caceres/