The government of Honduras has asked the Organization of American States to help investigate the murder of the Indigenous activist Bertha Caceres, who was shot dead a month ago at her home in the western town of La Esperanza.
According to the local daily La Prensa, authorities want the OAS to send a “renowned and experienced prosecutor or judge” to provide assistance in the investigation into the death of Caceres, who was threatened various times by people from a Canadian mining company.
The announcement comes a day after Caceres relatives called for an independent and internationally-led investigation, similar to the probe carried out by independent experts in the case of Mexico’s 43 forcibly disappeared Ayotzinapa students.
However, the OAS and all its affiliated institutions, including the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, lack credibility among some member countries, especially the progressive governments of the region that consider that the regional body serves only U.S. interests.
Honduran Indigenous Groups demand justice for Berta Caceres. pic.twitter.com/l2680Tnraw— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) March 18, 2016
The biased OAS operations have prompted Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to call on replacing the OAS with the Community of American and Caribbean States, or CELAC.
Since day one, Caceres’ family and Honduran activists have doubted the willingness and proper disposition of the country's authorities to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation into the assassination.
Caceres’ daughters have blamed the Honduran state for failing to protect their mother, who had denounced having received various death threats.
Caceres, 45, gained prominence for leading the Indigenous Lenca people in a struggle against a hydroelectric dam project. Her family has accused government officials of trying to mask her death, insisting that she was assassinated due to her activism against the environmental destruction poised by the activities of major mining — mainly Canadian — and hydroelectric companies.