Various human rights groups accused Honduran authorities of impeding Mexican activist Gustavo Castro Soto’s return to his country, where he is seeking protection until he testifies as the only witness of the assassination of Indigenous leader Berta Caceres.
“We demand the Honduran state to immediately condemn the murder of Berta Caceres and to protect Gustavo Petro, another internationally-renown activist, who was injured during the events of Thursday's dawn,” said Friends of the Earth in a communique.
Castro Soto was heading toward the international airport of Tegucigualpa Sunday, in order to return to Mexico, but Honduran officials refused to let him fly around 5 a.m. local time, informed the organization Otros Mundos Chiapas – founded by Castro Soto.
The group added that Castro Soto's life was still in danger, as he became the only witness in the investigation over Caceres' murder, and that the Mexican Embassy in Honduras even had to drive him back to the Embassy in the official car in order to protect him.
The reason why Honduran state officials would not let him leave the country remains unknown.
Otros Mundos Chiapas, a human rights group, convoked a press conference on Monday on the issue.
Berta Caceres, the coordinator and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras, or COPIHN, was killed by unknown assailants early Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m. local time inside her home in La Esperanza in the western province of Intibuca.
Caceres was leader of the Lenca Indigenous community and was a staunch human rights defender. She won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. Her assassination has rapidly sent shock waves across the country and sparked outrage over her death.