TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, July 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A Honduran court found Roberto David Castillo Mejía guilty of co-masterminding the 2016 killing of Honduran environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Isabel Cáceres.
Castillo, who was a Military Intelligence Second Lieutenant in the Honduran Army from 2006 to 2011, and was the Executive President of Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA), the company building the dam that Caceres had been opposing, was identified as a co-coordinator of Cáceres’ murder.
The court considered that the deletion of information from the cell phones of the accused and others involved, establish that Castillo Mejía ordered the death of Cáceres as part of a plan to eliminate any interference with the operations of DESA on the Gualcarque River, an ancestral territory of the Lenca indigenous people.
According to the evidence, the defendant repeatedly held conversations through messaging groups with Douglas Bustillo, who was previously convicted as a co-coordinator, establishing that both participated in the organization, logistics, monitoring and surveillance of the murder of the environmental leader.
According to the Public Ministry, Castillo could face a prison sentence of 25 to 39 years, scheduled to be issued on August 3rd.
For the same murder, in 2019 the Honduran Justice Department sentenced Edilson Duarte, Henry Javier Hernández, Elvin Rápalo and Óscar Torres to 34 years in prison, and 16 additional years for attempted murder of Mexican citizen Gustavo Castro who was with Cáceres on the day of her murder.
Douglas Bustillo, Mariano Díaz and Sergio Rodríguez were also convicted and they face 30 years in prison after being found guilty as co-perpetrators of the murder.
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SOURCE Government of Honduras