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15 March 2016 | Interviews | Water | Criminalization of COPINH | Free Honduras | Land grabbing | Resisting neoliberalism | Human rights | Gender | Climate Justice and Energy | Social activists at risk | Berta lives on!
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The organization Otros Mundos Chiapas – Friends of the Earth Mexico is demanding that its coordinator, activist Gustavo Castro, witness of the murder of Lenca leader Berta Caceres in Honduras, is allowed to return to Mexico and continue with the necessary legal proceedings from his country. They are also warning that the Honduran judicial authorities continue without revealing information about why exactly he is legally required.
Gustavo is staying at the Mexican Embassy in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras. He has been under the protection of the Embassy and is recovering from his injuries. However, the Honduran judicial authorities have not requested anything from him in the past few days, but he has been blocked from leaving the country for 30 days.
Otros Mundos highlights that Gustavo´s lawyers continue to work to repeal this decision. “It doesn´t make much sense. Gustavo has complied with all that was requested from him and he has the right to continue with the proceedings from Mexico”, said on Tuesday Libertad Diaz, spokesperson of Otros Mundos, in an interview with Real World Radio.
The activist said that there is an agreement between Honduras and Mexico for the protection of witnesses which establishes the right, in this case of Gustavo, to continue with all proceedings from his country. “The Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry of Mexico and the Foreign Affairs Secretariat are aware of these agreements, so we call not only on the Honduran Prosecutor´s Office, but also other relevant institutions to enforce these agreements”, said Diaz.
The Otros Mundos representative also warned that the Honduran Prosecutor´s Office continues without providing any written document that explains what is required from Gustavo or written copies of Gustavo´s statements. “There has never been clarity around this, the team of lawyers is not certain about why he is being blocked from leaving Honduras”.
Diaz also made reference to the 15-day suspension against Gustavo´s lawyer after the legal representative of the activist requested his legal file.
The request made by Otros Mundos some days ago for the Mexican government to directly address Gustavo´s case in Honduras and ensure the respect of the activist´s rights was heard by the Mexican authorities. According to Diaz, the Foreign Affairs Secretariat made a commitment to demand the return of Gustavo Castro and to cooperate with the investigation from Mexico. It was recognized that Gustavo has not refused to comply with any of the proceedings.
Otros Mundos highlights that Gustavo is a victim of the terrible murder of Berta Caceres, in addition to its witness, and that he has two gunshot wounds. The Chiapas-based organization calls on the international community to continue expressing their solidarity and to continue exerting pressure on the Honduran authorities for Gustavo to return to Mexico, and especially “to listen to the demands of COPINH (the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras)”, which was coordinated by Berta and has remained close of Gustavo since the attack on March 2nd. “From Mexico we are working on this, just like COPINH and Berta´s family, we believe that the line of investigation should be expanded, that our colleagues should not be criminalized and that the case should be followed by international organizations”, concluded Diaz.
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