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MACCIH-OAS Demands Strong Response to Serious and Unacceptable Theft of Berta Cáceres Case File

  September 30, 2016

Tegucigalpa, September 30, 2016

The Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH-OAS) today urged Honduran authorities to carry out a swift and purposeful investigation into the theft of the judicial file on the murder of Berta Cáceres, which the Mission considers serious and unacceptable.

“The theft of the case file on Berta Cáceres is a crime that requires an energetic response from authorities of the Interior Ministry and the judiciary to identify and punish those responsible,” said Juan Jiménez Mayor, spokesperson for the Mission and special representative of the Secretary General in the MACCIH-OAS.

The action of the judge, who reportedly carried the file in her vehicle, would be one of serious irresponsibility, said the MACCIH-OAS.

The MACCIH-OAS is currently evaluating the damage caused to the judicial process by the illicit removal of the file and will designate an international official from the Mission to, within the framework of his or her supervisory capacity, verify the process of the reconstruction of the file by the judicial authority.

In this way, the full recovery of evidence and other legal proceedings that incriminate those materially and proximately responsible, contained in the removed documentation can be guaranteed.

Moreover the MACCIH-OAS will request from the judiciary a report on the administrative proceedings that authorize the removal of documents from judicial headquarters and will propose the reforms necessary to stop such an act from happening again.

Finally, the MACCIH-OAS will verify the investigation of the Interior Ministry, to clarify the disappearance of the file in order to find those responsible for this act, which is a serious obstruction of justice.

Reference: E-102/16