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Newsletter No.8 – year 2020

Berta Caceres´ Cause – September 11, 2020. (AQUI en Español)

David Castillo’s legal defense is convinced of his guilt.

The desperate actions of the accused David Castillo’s legal representation demonstrate his clear conviction of his client’s guilt. In this sense, the campaign of disinformation they carry out on the case and the unscrupulous attacks on the victims, social organizations and even the international community, as well as the delaying tactics, are understandable. In this way they seek to maintain the impunity to which they are used to.

The strategy consists of carrying out maneuvers that avoid at all costs taking the process to a trial in which the link between the defendant and the murder of Berta Cáceres, as well as with other members of the criminal structure, will be publicly demonstrated.

The bad faith and dilatory practices of the lawyers Juan Sánchez and Ritza Antúnez have had recent episodes in the first hearing of the oral trial stage. On this occasion, they have recused the two judges and sentencing court judge who are hearing the case under arguments that are more political than legal in nature. The final decision on this appeal should be handed down before the end of the day.

This maneuver to delay and obstruct justice is in addition to the previous ones, which delayed the preliminary hearing by more than a year and four months.

They promote hate and slander.

Attorney Ritza Antúnez, a defender in addition to the convicted army officer Mariano Díaz, assured in a slanderous and lying manner in the media in recent days that COPINH seized the judicial file of the process against Castillo, feeding a discourse of hate against Berta Cáceres and COPINH.

The victims’ legal team clarified that the request for a photocopy of the file is a basic right of the parties and that it was made and granted by the court prior to the delaying tactic of the recusation.

In view of this, COPINH has requested that the principles of due process, transparency, and publicity be guaranteed in order to prevent further misinformation in the search for impunity. 

In its attacks and accusations, Castillo’s defense forgets that the only people accused and convicted of crimes and irregularities are those linked to the Atala Zablah family and its companies. 

Call centers against the truth.

In recent months there has been evidence of attacks on social media against COPINH, the daughters of Berta Cáceres and the social and human rights organizations that are following the case.

The attacks, carried out by false profiles, convey messages of hate against Berta Cáceres’ daughters and COPINH, and attempt to portray David Castillo as a victim, echoing the discourse of his defense. They seek to create a false impression of support for David Castillo.

These social media campaigns are systematic attacks [link to article on the network attacks on the Cause] that have been carried out for years and were executed against Berta Cáceres before her murder.

 Accusations against civil society organizations and the international community

The international observation efforts for the transparency of the process and the visibility of the absence of persecution of the intellectual authors by civil society organizations have been distorted by David Castillo’s representatives attacking human rights organizations and even members of the international community, insisting that there is a harassment of the justice system. This, denying the international demand for justice for Berta Cáceres.

“We are concerned about these rude accusations of this criminal structure against members of the international community and human rights organizations. They show their desperation to maintain impunity and their disregard for the efforts made to obtain some justice for Honduras,” said Bertha Zúniga, coordinator of COPINH.