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Ex-Honduran military intelligence officer arrested for masterminding Berta Cáceres' murder

Author: Nina Lakhani, Guardian (UK), Published on: 2 March 2018

"Berta Caceres murder: ex-Honduran military intelligence officer arrested," 2 March 2018

Honduran authorities have arrested a former military intelligence officer for masterminding the murder of the indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, who was shot dead exactly two years ago today. David Castillo Mejía, the executive president of the company building a dam which Cáceres campaigned against, is the ninth person arrested for the murder, and the fourth with ties to the Honduran military. Castillo Mejía is accused by arresting authorities of providing logistical support and other resources to one of the hitmen already charged. He is the first person to be charged as being the “intellectual author” of Cáceres’s murder and the attempted murder of Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro... Before her death, Cáceres had said that she was scared of Castillo Mejía because of his military intelligence background. She told close friends and family that Castillo Mejía hounded her with texts, phone calls, and in person, appearing without warning at her home, work events and even the airport.

... Desa’s board also includes a former justice minister and several members of the Atala Zablah family, part of one of the richest and most powerful clans in Honduras... News of the arrest broke while protests took place across the country to demand justice for the slain leader – who is one of at least 130 environment and land defenders murdered in Honduras since the 2009 coup... In a statement... Copinh said...  “The arrest is thanks to the work and pressure by national and international organisations. No thanks is due to the attorney general’s office, who have tried everything possible to cover up the truth in this case … Copinh will continue to denounce the entire murderous, criminal structure behind the assassination of our sister Berta Cáceres, of which David Castillo is just one piece.”

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