Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Verdicts In The First Berta Caceres Murder Trial

“Berta Caceres, a widely known and respected Honduran indigenous environmental activist, was disparaged, threatened, targeted, and ultimately murdered in her home by assassins more than two and a half years ago.  Since then, we have witnessed an attempted cover-up by the Honduran police, an investigation fraught with irregularities, including reports of cell phone and ballistics evidence not analyzed, and a trial laden with delays involving eight defendants who almost certainly do not include the intellectual authors of this despicable crime. 

“The murder of Berta Caceres was one of scores of killings of Honduran environmental and social activists and journalists in recent years.  No one has been prosecuted or punished for any of those other crimes – or countless others – in a country where corruption seems to permeate practically every crevice of society and government. 

“These verdicts in the Caceres case, in which seven of the defendants were convicted and top officials of the hydroelectric company DESA were implicated, are one step, but only one step.  Only when all those responsible are held to account – those who conceived of the crime and gave the orders, those who paid the assassins, and those who participated in the cover-up – will justice have been served for Berta Caceres.”

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