Glimmer of Hope in Honduras: Ex-Dam CEO & West Point Grad Convicted in Murder of Berta Cáceres

Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 6, 2021

A former U.S.-trained Honduran military officer and businessman has been found guilty of plotting the assassination of Berta Cáceres, the award-winning Lenca land and water defender killed in 2016. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled unanimously that David Castillo, the former president of the hydroelectric corporation DESA, was a co-perpetrator in Cáceres’s murder. Cáceres was assassinated as she led the fight against the construction of DESA’s massive hydroelectric dam on a river in southwestern Honduras that is sacred to the Lenca people. Seven hired hitmen were convicted of her murder in 2018 and sentenced in 2019. Castillo’s conviction this week comes just days after Honduras marked the 12th anniversary of the 2009 U.S.-backed coup. “This is the first time in 12 years that we have seen any kind of justice in Honduras,” says Honduran scholar Suyapa Portillo Villeda, an associate professor at Pitzer College and the author of “Roots of Resistance: A Story of Gender, Race, and Labor on the North Coast of Honduras.”

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