June 13, 2024

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Former Honduran Executive Convicted in Killing of Environmental Activist

A Honduran court convicted the previous chairman of a nearby construction organization Monday of ordering the 2016 assassination of Berta Cáceres, an indigenous-legal rights leader and environmental crusader whose killing shocked the earth.

Roberto Castillo Mejía, who at the time of the murder led Desarrollos Energéticos SA, or Desa, was discovered responsible of masterminding the killing of Ms. Cáceres, an internationally recognized activist who led a yearslong hard work to end the construction of a dam that she mentioned threatened indigenous lands.

“Mr. Castillo Mejía ordered the killing of Caceres as component of a plan to eradicate any obstacles that would interfere with the operations of Desa on the Gualcarque River, the ancestral territory of the Lenca indigenous men and women,” Honduran prosecutors mentioned in a published statement. He faces a sentence of as extended as thirty years in prison.

Ms. Cáceres was killed by two gunmen who broke into her dwelling in the compact town of La Esperanza in the center of the evening and shot her 6 periods. In 2015, Ms. Cáceres experienced received the Goldman Environmental Prize, thought of to be the world’s greatest honor for grass-roots environmental activists.

At the time of her murder, Ms. Cáceres experienced been getting government safety at the ask for of the Inter-American Fee on Human Rights, the human-legal rights unit of the Group of American States.