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Guapinol Trial To Be Public: Court Annuls Arbitrary Ruling After Defense Files Appeal

Updated: Nov 28, 2021

- for immediate release

November 27, 2021

The trial against the Guapinol River defenders, scheduled for next Wednesday, will in fact be public according to a new resolution issued Friday night. The Sentencing Court declared favorable the motion for reconsideration filed by the legal defense team, which revokes the previous resolution to keep the trial behind closed doors.

In its new ruling, the Court declares the request for absolute publicity to be granted through the entry of members of the public to the courtroom and also by means of the transmission of the trial through the Judiciary's digital media platforms.

With the notification of this resolution, the IT team of the Judiciary must take immediate steps to ensure the necessary conditions for live transmission, and the Trujillo Sentencing Tribunal, which will preside over the trial in a courtroom in Tocoa from December 1, must ensure that all measures are taken to allow adequate space for in-person observation.

National and international alarm was sounded after the court arbitrarily ruled to maintain the secrecy of the trial, calling for an immediate rectification so that the public interest case can be observed in accordance with national laws and international standards.

Public trials are a guarantee against arbitrariness and abuse of power and is indispensable in this case of public interest after more than three years of arbitrary decisions by the State that have led to the criminalization and illegal detention of the defenders, accused by the mining company Los Pinares, part of the Mining Division of the Emco Group of Lenir Perez and Ana Facusse, and the MP of Tocoa after having legitimately protested against illegal open-pit iron oxide mining in Carlos Escaleras National Park, which affects the water sources of nearby communities.

The trial begins on December 1 and now it is up to the citizenry to accompany the judicial process, demanding transparency and an acquittal for the defenders. They are innocent!

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