Chiapas/International: Nelson Garica, another member of COPINH, murdered; Gustavo Castro detained for 30 more days

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Photo @Resumen Latinoamericano

Following the murder of Berta Caceres last March 3, social activist and member of the Civic Council Of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and member of the opposition to the building of the hydroelectric dam at Agua Zarca, COPINH reported another murder of one of its leaders. On March 15, Nelson Noe Garcia Lainez “was murdered when he arrived at his mother-in-law’s home for lunch, having spent the morning helping to move the shelters of the evicted families from the Rio Chiquito commuity”, COPINH declared in a statement. The events took place in the Rio Chiquito community, in the Cortes department of Honduras following the recovery of lands at Rio Lindo, an area which the same day “was violently evicted by the military police and special forces”, according to organizations that witnessed the events. The General Direction of the National Police denied any connection between the murder of Garcia Lainez and the eviction, which they claimed was carried out “in a peaceful manner.”

Likewise, COPINH warned about capture threats that two more of its members are receiving from the police. “FOR HOW MUCH LONGER WILL WE CONTINUE TO PUT UP WITH MORE MURDERS OF THOSE WHO STRUGGLE FOR A MORE JUST WORLD, FOR THE RIGHT TO LAND, FOR A DIGNIFIED ROOF [over their heads], FOR A DIGNIFIED AND NOT EXPLOITED JOB [?]. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH OF THE EXTERMINATION OF INDIGENOUS AND BLACK PEOPLES AND CAMPESINOS”, they added.

On another note, Other Worlds Chiapas(Otros Mundos Chiapas) member, Gustavo Castro Soto, who was injured during the murder of Berta Caceres as he was present in her home, remains in detention as a protected witness in Honduras. A range of organizations have expressed concern for the safety of the activist, describing as “arbitrary” the fact that his return to Mexico is impeded for 30 more days and demanding that the Honduran government lift the migratory alert. The most important of those was the demand of the special rapporteur of the UNO for the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michael Forst, who asked the government of the Central American country for the return and protection of the activist. Furthermore, Castro Soto’s attorney added that the order to remain in Honduras “is illegal for a witness, it is not covered by the law, we have forwarded the legal resources that establish the norm, because this limitation of freedom does not exist in relation to witnesses.”

They also announced the establishment of an International Mission “Justice for Berta Caceres”, called for by COPINH, the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras, and individuals, collectives and organizations of an international network for solidarity in support of the Honduran people. This Mission plans meetings with the authorities of the Central American country “to demand clarification of the murder of Berta Caceres, with the participation of an Independent Investigative Commission; to demand the immediate release of the Mexican Gustavo Castro and guarantee his personal integrity.”

For more information in Spanish:

ALERTA Asesinato de un COPINH mas!!! (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – COPINH, 15 de marzo de 2016)

Se intensifica violencia en Honduras: asesinan a Nelson García, líder del COPINH (EDUCA, 16 de marzo de 2016)

Asesinan a otro integrante del COPINH en Honduras (Resumen Latinoamericano, 15 de marzo de 2016)

Honduras desatiende solicitud de dejar salir a Gustavo Castro (La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2016)

El costo de defender los ríos y el territorio (Desinformémonos, 15 de marzo de 2016)

Las represas de la muerte (SubVersiones, 15 de marzo de 2016)

Misión Internacional “Justicia para Berta Cáceres” (Combate Racismo Ambiental, 16 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas: exigen ONG “traslado inmediato” de Gustavo Castro (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2016)

Policía Nacional aclara asesinato de miembro del COPINH, Nelson García (Tiempo, 15 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)

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