PBI-Honduras observes court hearing related to the murder of COPINH leader Berta Cáceres
On October 14, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted on its Facebook page, “Last week we went to observe the hearing against David Castillo for the murder of the indigenous leader Berta Cáceres.”
PBI-Honduras further explains, “The preliminary hearing was suspended after Castillo’s defense filed an appeal.”
That hearing was to take place on Thursday October 10.
CNN Español reports, “The preliminary hearing against Roberto David Castillo, the ninth defendant in the case of the murder of environmentalist Berta Cáceres … was postponed on Thursday at the request of the defense, which considers that there were vices in the expertise presented by the Public Prosecutor’s Office as an accusatory entity, according to the media spokeswoman Bárbara Castillo.”
On October 10, COPINH posted this short video on Twitter with the caption, “The lawyer Rodil Vasquez, a member of the COPINH legal team gives statements on procrastination of David Castillo, one of the intellectual authors of the murder of Berta Cáceres.”
In terms of background, The Guardian has reported, “In November 2018, seven men were convicted of carrying out the murder, which the court in Tegucigalpa ruled was ordered by executives of the Agua Zarca dam company Desa because of delays and financial losses linked to protests led by Cáceres.”
“One of the executives identified in court was David Roberto Castillo Mejía, the CEO of Desa. In March 2018 Castillo was indicted as an ‘intellectual author’, who is alleged to have coordinated with, and provided funds to, the killers. He vehemently denies any involvement.”
That article adds, “On [August 30], a dossier that implicates Castillo in a pattern of violence, human rights violations, and corruption to benefit companies with which he was associated was published by a coalition of US rights groups including the Due Process of Law Foundation, International Platform against Impunity and Robert F Kennedy Human Rights.”
Concerns have also been expressed that the seven men convicted in November 2018 murder of Caceres have yet to be sentenced.
Caceres was killed in March 2016. PBI-Honduras began accompanying COPINH in May 2016.
An April 2015 video of a speech (with English subtitles) given by Caceres when she received the Goldman Prize can be seen here.
For more, please see PBI-Honduras attends presentation of report on murder of Berta Cáceres (September 7) and PBI-Honduras visits COPINH community after their collective crops damaged (July 19).