Latin America

Berta Cáceres: Seven convicted of murdering anti-dam activist

A court in Honduras has found seven men guilty of the murder of a renowned environmental activist.

Berta Cáceres had received death threats for opposing a hydro-electric dam project and was shot dead by gunmen in her home in 2016.

Two of those convicted had worked for the company building the dam.

The murder sparked international outrage. In 2015 Ms Cáceres had won the prestigious Goldman prize for her long battle against the dam project.

She was praised for having rallied the indigenous Lenca people and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the dam builder to halt its project.

The dam would have flooded large areas of land and cut off the supply of water, food and medicine for hundreds of Lenca people.

Judges at the court in Tegucigalpa on Thursday said two officials from the construction firm Desa – Sergio Rodríguez and Douglas Bustillo – had helped organise the killing along with former soldier Mariano Díaz.

The company has strongly denied any involvement in Ms Cáceres' murder.

Also convicted were Henry Hernandez, Elvin Rapalo, Edilson Duarte and Oscar Torres who were described as hired assassins.

They are all due to be sentenced in January. An eighth man, Emerson Duarte Meza, was cleared.

Desa executive Roberto David Castillo is still awaiting trial in the case. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Original Article

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