DEMAND PROTECTION AND SAFE RETURN TO MEXICO FOR GUSTAVO CASTRO SOTO
Gustavo Castro Soto, Mexican environmental activist and sole witness and surviving victim to the assassination of internationally-renowned global social movement leader Berta Cáceres, was told by Honduran government authorities on March 7th that he cannot leave Honduras for 30 days. He is being refused the right to return to his home country of Mexico. Please take action to demand his safe return.
Please copy and paste the sample letter below and send an email to the following US State Department and Mexican government officials. Feel free to adapt this text for your own letter to any/all of the individuals below. We would be grateful if you could let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you sent a letter to any of these individuals and of any response(s) received.
* Secy. of State John Kerry: COPY AND PASTE THE MESSAGE HERE: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
* Thomas Shannon, Undersecretary for Political Affairs, over Western Hemisphere: ShannonTA@state.gov.
* The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico/Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México: email@example.com
* The National Commission on Human Rights of Mexico/ Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos de México: firstname.lastname@example.org
TO: Secretary of State; Undersecretary for Political Affairs, over Western Hemisphere
TO: The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico/Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México; The National Commission on Human Rights of Mexico/ Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos de México
I am writing out of grave concern regarding the safety of Mexican environmental activist, Sr. Gustavo Castro Soto, the sole eyewitness to the assassination of Indigenous community leader, Berta Caceres in La Esperanza, Honduras, at which time he himself was wounded.
On March 7th, Sr. Castro was illegally prevented from leaving Honduras and returning home to Mexico by Honduran government authorities. I was initially pleased to hear of the rightful intervention by Mexican authorities who took Sr. Castro into protective custody at the Mexican Embassy in Tegucigalpa. However, I was shocked and dismayed to learn that subsequently, the Mexican government relinquished Sr. Castro, handing him over to Honduran authorities who subsequently took him back to La Esperanza, the village where he was previously injured in the murder of internationally reknowned Indigenous community leader, Berta Caceres.
The release by Mexican authorities of Sr. Castro into the hands of Honduran authorities has put Sr. Castro in severe personal, physical and psychological danger.
Sr. Castro has already cooperated fully in giving his statement about the events surrounding Berta Caceres' assassination. If further elaboration of his statement was in fact desired, this could and should have taken place within the Mexican Embassy, with Sr. Castro remaining under protective custody.
At this point, there is no reason at all for the Honduran government to continue to block his return home. It is absolutely essential that Mexican authorities intervene swiftly and decisively with Honduran authorities to regain protective custody of Sr. Castro and secure his safe passage home to Mexico. Once in Mexico, his life may continue to be in danger, and he should receive full protection and security.
I urge you to do everything within your offices' powers to regain protective custody of Sr. Castro immediately, and to secure his free and safe passage home to Mexico.