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Honduras: Berta Cáceres murder trial begins in presence of int’l observers; co. DESA denies any link with murder

Author: Nina Lakhani, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 17 September 2018

"Berta Cáceres murder trial to be monitored by international lawyers", 17 Sep 2018

The trial of those charged with the murder of the indigenous leader Berta Cáceres Flores, which opens on Monday in Honduras, will be monitored by an international group of lawyers for possible violations of national and international standards... Cáceres, the coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, was best known for her defence of indigenous territory and natural resources, but was also a respected political analyst, women’s rights defender and anti-capitalist campaigner... Cáceres led community opposition to the 21MW Agua Zarca dam, licensed to the company Desarrollos Energéticos SA (Desa)... Desa denies any link with the murder and claims the company and its personnel have been wrongly targeted as a result of smear campaigns. “Slandering individuals before a trial in the name of human rights is a complete violation of their human rights,” said Robert Amsterdam, Desa’s lawyer. In contrast, Cáceres’ family claim prosecutors have withheld crucial evidence to conceal a wider criminal conspiracy... Two of the defendants are directly linked to Desa: Sergio Rodríguez Orellana.. and...Douglas Bustillo... The case will be heard by three judges and is scheduled to run in Tegucigalpa until 19 October.

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Related companies: Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA)