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Article

24 Aug 2020

Author:
Comité Municipal en Defensa de los Bienes Comunes y Públicos; Justicia para los Pueblos (Bufete Jurídico); Dabar Abogados

Honduras: The lawyers in the Guapinol case reject denial of appeal stating that it was copied and pasted form a different resolution

"Legal Defense of Guapinol Water Protectors Respond to Disgraceful "Copy-Paste" Appeals Court Ruling with Constitutional Action", 24 de agosto de 2020

...The eight defenders have been in pretrial jail for almost a year without ever having a solid legal reasoning as to why. A year ago this week, the defenders voluntarily appeared before the National Court to clarify their legal situation after the Los Pinares mining company and the Public Prosecutor's Office filed false charges against them. At the end of their initial hearing on September 1, 2019, Judge Lisseth Vallecillo ordered pre-trial detention despite the fact that the charges they face - aggravated arson and unjust deprivation of liberty - do not require this measure. She reaffirmed this decision in November 2019 during a closed-door bond hearing, citing their possible involvement in a criminal network as a reason for keeping them in detention, even though the charges of illicit association they faced were clearly unfounded and were dismissed...

The false accusations maintained by the Public Ministry and the Los Pinares mining company are related to the events of September 7, 2018, when dozens of armed security guards from the mining company came to intimidate a peaceful camp that had been installed in the community of Guapinol as a demonstration of their legitimate opposition to an iron oxide mine operating illegally in the Carlos Escaleras National Park...

The legal team ensures that pre-trial jail in this case is unnecessary, disproportionate and illegal. What’s more, the new criminal code, which came into force in June 2020 and which would benefit defenders, was not taken into consideration by the Court of Appeal in its decision.