10.31.17

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Report Of The Independent Team Of Experts Investigating The Assassination Of Berta Caceres In Honduras

“This damning report corroborates what many have suspected -- that the investigation of Berta Caceres’ murder has been plagued by incompetence, attempts to stonewall and deflect blame to protect those who conceived of and paid for this plot, and a glaring lack of political will.  The Public Ministry needs to fully disclose, without further delay, all testimony and electronic and ballistics evidence to the Caceres family’s legal representatives and defendants’ lawyers, as required by law.  The Ministry also needs to ensure that every piece of evidence is properly safeguarded, and to follow the evidence wherever it leads to arrest those responsible.

“It is shameful that despite intense domestic and international pressure, this horrific case has languished, while those responsible have sought to derail it.  And there are hundreds of other Honduran social activists and journalists who have been similarly threatened and killed, whose cases have not even prompted investigations.

“Any hope that the Honduran Government may have of continued U.S. assistance under the Alliance for Prosperity Plan will hinge, in part, on the outcome of the Caceres case, acceptance of the legitimate role of civil society and the independent press, and top-to-bottom reform of the judicial system.”

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[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on The State Department and Foreign Operations, has consistently called for justice in the case of indigenous Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres, who was assassinated in March 2016.]

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