On March 3, 2016, Honduran Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered and Mexican activist Gustavo Castro Soto shot and wounded;
Several people were detained for this crime, but there is little confidence that the investigation – plagued with irregularities – will lead to convictions or that the authors of the crime have been identified;
Ms. Cáceres' high profile murder means no activist is safe in Honduras;
The Cáceres family and the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) have faced escalating repression, violence and harassment;
Since the 2009 military-backed coup in Honduras, well over 100 Indigenous and environmental activists have been murdered; and
Despite the climate of violence and impunity, the Canadian government entered into a free trade agreement with Honduras, while lobbying for a mining code that favours companies and puts people and the environment at risk.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to publicly, and using other channels, urge Honduran authorities to:
1. Agree to an investigation by a group of independent experts under the auspices of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) into the material and intellectual authors of Ms. Cáceres’ murder;
2. Fully implement IACHR precautionary measures for the Cáceres family and COPINH;
3. Demilitarize Lenca territory;
4. Cancel the Energy Development Company’s (DESA) Agua Zarca hydroelectric project granted without the Lenca peoples' free, prior and informed consent; and
5. Finally, we urge that an investigation take place into the Canadian government’s role in Honduras during and since the 2009 coup.
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