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Urgent: We reject order that Gustavo Castro stay 30 days longer in Honduras

To the President of Honduras
To the Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras

We reject the Honduran Attorney General’s decision to prolong the migration alert that impedes human rights defender Gustavo Castro Soto from leaving Honduras for another thirty days.

This decision is unjustified and unnecessary: Gustavo Castro, who was injured during the assassination of Berta Cáceres on March 3rd in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras has provided sufficient information to the Attorney’s office to help clarify what took place. Additionally, he has not been informed about what other procedures remain.

On March 6th, the Honduran Attorney General verbally assured Gustavo Castro when he was in the Mexican Embassy in Tegucigalpa that after extending his testimony on March 7th in La Esperanza, he could leave the country.

As a result of being held up for longer in Honduras, Gustavo Castro is not being treated as a victim of an attempted assassination, rather his life is being put at risk and his right to free circulation is being violated.

It is important to underscore that the environmentalist and coordinator of Otros Mundos A.C./Friends of the Earth Mexico has never refused to collaborate with the Attorney’s office in order to clarify the facts regarding the murder of Lenca leader Berta Cáceres, coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).

Together with COPINH, we demand that the investigation be oriented to look into the responsibility of the company Energy Development Company S.A. (DESA its initials in Spanish), promoter of the ‘Agua Zarca’ hydroelectric project against which COPINH has been fighting with dignity for years. At the same time, it is necessary to position Berta and COPINH’s struggle in defence of land and territory against diverse companies as the motivation for Berta’s brutal assassination.

We thank the Mexican Embassy in Honduras, Dolores Jiménez, who has channeled all her energy and influence since March 3rd into trying to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of Gustavo Castro and to allow him to return to Mexico. It is important that the Ambassador keep up this diplomatic activity in defence of the human rights of the environmentalist.

We demand that the Government of Mexico take stronger and more forceful actions to guarantee that the Government of Honduras will guarantee the immediate departure of Gustavo from Honduras.

We call on everyone to demand the revocation of this decision to:

President of the Republic of Honduras
Tel: 2290-5000

Honduran Secretary of Human Rights, Justice, Governance and Descentralization/Secretaría de Derechos Humanos, Justicia, Gobernación y Descentralización de Honduras
Tel: (504) 2232-7800 y (504) 2232-8900

(Original version of this letter can be found here)

9 Mar, 2016
Posted in Defending Rights, Forests and Climate Change