PBI-Honduras at courthouse as DESA dam company executive found guilty of murder of Lenca defender Berta Cáceres

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The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project was present outside the courthouse in Tegucigalpa today awaiting the ruling on David Castillo in the murder of Lenca land defender and COPINH co-founder Berta Cáceres.

The Guardian now reports: “A US-trained former Honduran army intelligence officer who was the president of an internationally-financed hydroelectric company has been found guilty over the assassination of the indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres.”

“Caceres, winner of the Goldman prize for environmental defenders, was shot dead two days before her 45th birthday by hired hitmen on 2 March 2016 after years of threats linked to her opposition of the $50m Agua Zarca dam.”

The article adds: “[The court ruled that Castillo] coordinated, planned and obtained the money to pay for the assassination of the internationally acclaimed leader, which was carried out by seven men convicted in December 2018.”

And Hola News reports: “The ruling was notified by the Sentencing Court ‘by unanimous vote’ and the prison sentence to which Castillo will be sentenced will be known on August 3, the spokesperson for the Judiciary.”

This afternoon, COPINH commented: “This damning ruling means a popular victory not only for COPINH, the Lenca people and the family of Berta Cáceres, this is a popular victory for the Honduran people. It means criminal power structures failed to corrupt the justice system. Berta lives, the fight continues!”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied COPINH since May 2016. It has also accompanied COPINH at the courthouse during the 49-day trial of Castillo that started on April 6.

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