Urgent measures necessary to ensure Gustavo Castro’s security and safe departure from Honduras
Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado,
President of Honduras
Ms. Dolores Jiménez Hernández,
Mexican Ambassador to Mexico in Honduras
Mr. Héctor Alfredo Rangel Gómez,
Head of Foreign Relations,
Mexican Embassy in Honduras,
RE: Urgent measures necessary to ensure Gustavo Castro’s security and safe departure from Honduras
Mr. Presidente Juan Orlando Hernández and Mexican authorities in Honduras:
On behalf of more than 240,000 members of the United Steelworkers in Canada, I am writing to you as the President of Honduras and representatives of Mexico in Honduras out of deep concern for the life and security of Gustavo Castro Soto who is currently in a precarious situation after surviving the brutal attack that killed the internationally-renowned human rights defender, Berta Cáceres. As a result of having survived, Gustavo Castro became a key actor in the investigations into the assassination of Ms. Cáceres, also putting him in serious danger.
I understand that the Mexican Embassy in Honduras is taking steps to help ensure Gustavo’s security. However, I also understand that his departure from Honduras is being held up and it is not clear what is taking place.
Concurrently, I further understand that Honduran authorities are starting to criminalize members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH) in connection with Berta’s brutal assassination. Not only could this put members of COPINH in danger, I fear that it could also be aimed at distorting the investigation, which must be full and impartial and consider both material and intellectual authors.
I am writing to urge the Honduran government to refrain from criminalizing members of COPINH and to clarify why Gustavo is not being allowed to leave the country in a timely manner.
In addition, I urge the Honduran government and the Mexican Embassy in Honduras to fully guarantee Gustavo Castro’s security and to ensure that he will be ensured a safe return to Mexico in an expedited manner.
National Director for Canada
cc: Honduras Prosecutor General
Honduras National Human Rights Commission in Tegucigalpa and Intibucá
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