Tegucigalpa, Honduras – May 5, 2016 – Officials of the United States Embassy will meet a North American solidarity delegation in honor of Bertha Caceres; organized by Agricultural Missions with participation of the Indigenous Environmental Network. The issues the delegation will raise with the United States Department of State, include:
- That the US Embassy use their extensive political and economic leverage, as well as their strong presence in the investigation of Bertha’s death, to support the call that the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the assassination of Bertha Cáceres;
- That the US Government evaluates the 51 concessions issued to corporations on the Lenca indigenous territories to ensure that human rights and Indigenous rights, including the right to free, prior, and informed consent is respected, pursuant to international agreements that Honduras has ratified.
- That all security and military aid from the US government to Honduras be suspended until the massive violation of human rights, including extrajudicial killings be clarified and the rule of law be established in Honduras.
- That US aid be suspended to Honduras until the situation of gross and massive violations of human rights is resolved.
The Delegation met with COPINH, Lenca communities, several human rights organizations and the family of Bertha Caceres over the past week. The Delegation heard testimonies about the militarization of the State, the persecution of human rights defenders, journalists and entire Indigenous communities.
“Just the great number of extrajudicial executions, over 60,000 since the Coup, is alarming,” said Steven Bartlett of Agricultural Missions.
Given the emblematic nature of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, the announcement on May 2nd of the arrest of four suspects associated with the Honduran military, and the DESA Corporation, the outcome of this affair is of utmost importance.
“The intellectual authors also must be identified and prosecuted,” said Alberto Saldamando of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). “Until there is accountability at the highest levels of Honduran government there is little safety for those who are defending the well-being of their communities and their human rights, or for the Honduran people.”