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Honduras: COPINH and other human rights defenders are concerned that David Castillo, former General Manager of DESA, accused of having murdered Berta Cáceres, will be found “not guilty”


“Author of Berta Cáceres’ assassination on trial in Honduras”, 15 June 2021

...In 32 days of testimony, overwhelming evidence has come to light implicating Roberto David Castillo Mejía, former General Manager of DESA and a former military intelligence officer. This includes eyewitness accounts, documents and communications among Castillo, his co-conspirators and the hit men who carried out the murder. Castillo’s attorneys are now presenting their side, and the trial is expected to conclude in June. Despite the preponderance of evidence against him, COPINH and other human rights defenders are concerned that Castillo will be found “not guilty” by the panel of three judges hearing the case. As Cáceres’ daughter Bertha “Bertita” Zúñiga Cáceres explained on a recent web meeting, there is “a lot of impunity” in Honduras...There is widespread concern in Honduras about the trial’s outcome. As COPINH states: “Victims and their allies of the deadly Honduran extractive model took to the streets of the country’s capital [May 17] to demand an immediate halt to the energy, mining, tourism and forestry projects that private companies are implementing with the full support of the State through acts of violence and corruption, and without the free, prior and informed consent of the affected Indigenous and rural communities.” (copinh.org) A feminist encampment erected May 4 in the capital, Tegucigalpa, under the theme “Berta vive” (Berta lives), will be up until the trial concludes. Solidarity activists outside Honduras plan to have actions and send letters to demand Castillo not be acquitted for the brutal murder of a heroic fighter...

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