In the three years since the tragic murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, innocent parties have suffered a relentless campaign of false accusations, and in some cases, unlawful imprisonment, says Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer representing Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. (DESA).
“This anniversary marks an important reminder that to date there has been not one single item of evidence presented showing any involvement in this crime by DESA executives or ownership,” said Amsterdam. “It is understandable that supporters seek answers and accountability, but by waging a pressure campaign based only on conspiracy theories and no facts, instead the cause of Berta Cáceres has been used to perpetrate a grave injustice.”
Amsterdam referred to the November 2018 conviction of former DESA executive Sergio Rodriguez following a trial that he says was critically flawed by procedural violations.
“The trial leading to the conviction of Rodriguez was a complete farce. There exists no independent legal body which could endorse a verdict based on no direct evidence, while even counsel for the private accusers have acknowledged the fatal due process errors before the UN,” said Amsterdam. “The courts have been subjected to incredible political pressure by COPINH, as well as many in the global NGO community who have similarly been misled by their false campaign. The result has been a degradation of rule of law in Honduras.”
Last fall, Amsterdam & Partners LLP published a comprehensive white paper investigation of the Berta Cáceres case, including hundreds of pages of text messages and data recovered from personal devices belonging to the victim and accused. These text messages reveal a completely different portrayal of events leading up to the crime.
“On this third anniversary of the crime, it is important for all parties to re-evaluate assumptions and to take stock of the facts,” said Amsterdam. “The murder of Cáceres was catastrophic for DESA’s interests, the worst possible outcome which they would have avoided at all costs. The text messages prove that the company and Cáceres had largely reached a détente, and that she maintained a genuine friendship with David Castillo, and that she had no reason to fear them. Instead, the texts show the existence of numerous other threats which were not investigated.”
Amsterdam further denounced the ongoing propaganda campaign by COPINH. “This is clearly not an organization that is genuinely interested in truth and justice for Berta Cáceres. Instead, they have sought to weaponize her name to violate the rights of their opponents despite a total lack of evidence. We are confident that the truth will be brought to light, and that this campaign of false accusations will not stand.”
The white paper and other documentation related to the case is available at casocaceres.com.