TEGUCIGALPA – A coalition of organizations held a press conference on Tuesday to denounce Honduran authorities over the theft of the file on the investigation into the murder of environmental activist and indigenous leader Berta Caceres.
The loss of the file, which occurred last week when assailants carjacked a judge in Tegucigalpa, demonstrates “a recurring irresponsibility” in the administration of justice and “a dangerous and permanent logic of impunity,” Caceres family attorney Victor Fernandez told EFE.
The lawyer read a statement from the Social and Popular Movement Platform of Honduras, which brings together a dozen NGOs demanding justice for Caceres, slain March 3 at her residence in the western city of La Esperanza.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the murder.
Judge Maria Luisa Ramos had the case file in her vehicle when two armed men blocked her path, forced her out of the car and took off, authorities said.
Fernandez suggested the assailants may have been acting on the orders of the people who had Caceres killed for her opposition to economic policies “based on the extraction of the natural wealth” of Honduras.
As a founder and coordinator of the indigenous organization Copinh, Caceres, 44, led demonstrations against hydroelectric projects that she said threatened the environment.
The victim’s family wants an end to the secrecy surrounding the investigation and favors the “intervention” of an international commission of experts, Fernandez said.