Dam executive arrested in death of Honduran activist

Author: Freddy Cuevas, Washington Post, Published on: 2 March 2018

Honduran authorities arrested an executive with a dam development company Friday in the 2016 killing of indigenous and environmental activist Berta Caceres, calling him an intellectual author of a crime that sparked an international outcry. Roberto David Castillo Mejia, who at the time of the slaying was executive president of the company Desarrollos Energeticos SA, or DESA, was detained at an airport in San Pedro Sula as he was about to fly to Houston, Texas, said Jorge Galindo, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office. It was the ninth arrest in the killing of Caceres, a Goldman Environmental Prize winner who was shot to death two years ago after attackers barged into her home in La Esperanza...Two others have been arrested for allegedly impeding the investigation. The Public Ministry alleges Castillo was “the person in charge of providing logistics and other resources to one of the material authors already being prosecuted for the crime.”

In a statement, DESA defended Castillo and its employees as innocent, saying they were “totally unconnected” to the crime and calling the “unjust detention” the result of “international pressure and campaigns by diverse NGOs to discredit the company... Caceres’ relatives said they were certain of Castillo’s guilt. “There is no doubt that he was one of the material authors of Berta’s death,” said her ex-husband, Salvador Zuniga.

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