Statement on the situation of Gustavo Castro Soto

On March 10, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Professor John Knox, joined the statement of Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, calling on the Government of Honduras to ensure the safety and protection of Gustavo Castro Soto, Mexican defender, who was hurt during the assassination of Berta Cáceres on March 3.  Berta Cáceres and others in her organization had received death threats for her opposition to a major hydroelectric project in the territory of her indigenous people.  The statement urged the Honduran authorities to allow Mr. Castro Soto to return to his home in Mexico as soon as possible, and insisted that the government of Honduras ensure an immediate, independent, and impartial investigation of the death of Berta Cáceres.  “It is high time that the Government of Honduras addressed the flagrant impunity of the increased number of executions of human rights defenders in the country, especially targeting those who defend environmental and land rights,” Mr. Forst stressed.