Courtesy CICA
Rio Blanco community members and COPINH protest the hydroelectric dam project, May 2013.

Indigenous Leader Acquitted of Weapons Charges Connected to Protest

Rick Kearns

“Although the criminal charges recently brought against her are not a direct threat to her life and personal integrity – and, therefore, not subject to consideration by the IACHR through the precautionary measures mechanism – we believe these types of actions constitute a new, more subtle form of persecution of human rights defenders that does, in fact, represent an obstacle for the free development of their activities,” she said.

“In this sense,” Limon continued, “it is of crucial importance that the Honduran State has recognized (regarding the charge of illegal possession of a commercial weapon as a threat to the internal security of the State) not only her innocence, but also that defending the human rights of indigenous peoples is an activity protected by international treaties that Honduras has committed to comply with, specifically with regard to the defense and protection of their territories and the enjoyment of their culture.”

Limon asserted that in the other case where the DESA Corporation is charging Cáceres and her colleagues Víctor Fernández and Aureliano Molina, of usurpation, coercion and damages caused by a roadblock erected by protestors, the international protections will be recognized by the government and those charges will be dropped as well.


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