Honduras convicts ex-executive in murder of Indigenous ecological activist

Honduras convicts ex-executive in murder of Indigenous environmental activist

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TEGUCIGALPA — A previous magnate of a Honduran building company was condemned on Monday of teaming up in the 2016 murder of ecological activist Berta Cáceres, a choice that a legal representative for the executive guaranteed to appeal.

Roberto David Castillo, the previous head of Desarrollos Energeticos, or DESA, ran the $50 million Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam task that the native Cáseres busily opposed.

Castillo’s attorney, Ritza Antunez, stated the judgment was an outcome of “international pressures” however provided no information. She included that Castillo’s conviction would be appealed.

Seven other males have actually currently been founded guilty and sentenced for contributing in the killing. Castillo was initially charged with being the mastermind behind the murder, however was condemned of being a co-conspirator.

It is unclear when Castillo may be sentenced, though the procedure might take months.

DESA, on the other hand, did not right away react to call looking for remark.

Cáceres was shot to death in her house in Honduras after leading a battle to stop a dam from being developed by DESA on the lands of her Lenca people on the Gualcarque River.

A guy puts a lit candle light beside a photo of Berta Cáceres in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on April 5, 2021. Elmer Martinez / AP

The veteran activist had actually handled ecological causes because the early 1990s, starting with prohibited logging. She won the prominent Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts to arrange resistance to the dam.

Lenca activists stated the task would trigger significant disturbances to their water and food supply which the contractors did not speak with regional Indigenous groups.

The Indigenous rights groups established by Caceres, COPINH, hailed the choice as a triumph.

“It means that the criminal power structures failed to corrupt the justice system,” COPINH composed in a post on Twitter.

Honduras is among the world’s most unsafe nations for activists, with 14 land and ecological protectors eliminated in 2019, up from 4 individuals in 2018, according to advocacy group Global Witness.

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