David Castillo to be sentenced on April 4 for the murder of COPINH leader Berta Cáceres

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Outside the courthouse in Tegucigalpa during the trial of David Castillo, April 29, 2021.

On February 16, the Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) tweeted: “Reading of the Judgment of the case against David Castillo for next April 4, 2022. The Sentencing Court with National Territorial Jurisdiction in Criminal Matters summons to read the sentence after a delay of more than 7 months.”

On July 5, The Guardian reported: “[Castillo] a US-trained former Honduran army intelligence officer who was the president of an internationally-financed hydroelectric company [Desarrollos Energéticos Sociedad Anónima/DESA] has been found guilty over the assassination of the indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres.”

That article adds: “Cáceres, 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.”

Yesterday, Berta’s daughter Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres tweeted: “We will continue to demand the investigation and conviction of the intellectual authors.”

Cáceres family lawyer Víctor Fernández has stated Berta’s family faces “a power structure, the economic structure that murdered Berta Cáceres, who is not only David Castillo, but the company DESA, the national and international financial system that financed and even continues to benefit the entrepreneurs” who benefited from the concession of the hydroelectric dam” on the Gualcarque River sacred to the Lenca people.

Open Democracy has also reported: “[COPINH continues to seek] the revocation of permission for the [Agua Zarca] hydroelectric project. It wants the state to be held accountable for failing to protect Cáceres and to investigate the investment in initiatives premised on such massive human rights violations.”

And Vice reports: “DESA owns the concession for 50 years, [COPINH general coordinator Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres] says, meaning the company has the exclusive right to work the land [without free, prior and informed consent] until 2059.”

Zúñiga Cáceres has highlighted: “They have not given up and apparently have no intention of abandoning the project altogether.”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied COPINH since May 2016.

On March 22, World Beyond War, Mutual Aid Media and PBI-Canada are sponsoring a screening of Berta didn’t die, she multiplied! More on this here.

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