Thursday, 13 Dec 2018

Correction: story of the assassination of a Honduran activist

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – In an article published on November 29 on the conviction of seven men for the murder of a Honduran environmentalist activist, the Associated Press wrongly reported that three of these men had been convicted of 39, less charges. The seven men were convicted on the same counts of murder in the murder of Berta Caceres. The AP has also incorrectly reported the name of Oscar Torres as Oscar Galeas.

A corrected version of the story is below:

7 convicted of killing a Honduran environmental activist

A Honduran court has found seven people guilty of participating in the murder of Berta Caceres, an activist for indigenous peoples and environmental rights in 2016, while acquitting a suspect in a case that has attracted international attention


Associated press

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – A Honduran court has found seven people guilty of participating in the murder of award-winning environmental rights activist Berta Caceres while acquitting an eighth suspect in a case that has attracted international attention.

In a unanimous decision released Thursday, three judges found that Elvin Rapalo, Henry Hernandez, Edilson Duarte and Oscar Torres had murdered Caceres, shot dead at her home in La Esperanza, in western Honduras, a year later. to have won the Goldman Environmental Prize his leadership against a dam project.

They face up to 30 years in prison for their conviction for murder and their sentence will be announced on January 10.

The judges also sentenced army officer Mariano Diaz, ex-soldier Douglas Bustillo and Sergio Rodriguez, one of those responsible for the Agua Zarca hydropower project, to which Caceres was responsible. was opposed during his murder. Emerson Duarte, Edilson's brother, was acquitted. He had been accused of concealing the crime.

The decision did not satisfy the family of Caceres, who wants the perpetrators to be prosecuted.

Roberto David Castillo Mejia, who was executive chairman of the company that was leading the construction of the DESA, at the time of the assassination of Caceres, is accused by prosecutors of having organized the logistics of the murder. He is in prison awaiting trial.

The company said Castillo and his other employees were "totally disconnected" from the killing.

Friends, family members, activists and members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras in Caceres demonstrated in court.

"We'll get them … catch the intellectual writers of this crime!" Shouted the protesters.

His organization issued a statement claiming that the latest decision only concerns "the lowest link in the criminal structure".

"We regret that the actions so far have not been directed against those who ordered the death of Berta or those who paid for her murder," said Omar Menjivar, a lawyer for Caceres' lawyer.

Activists waved a banner with the inscription "The missing of Atala", referring to the Atala Zablah family, shareholder of the DESA, whom the demonstrators accuse of being at the origin of the actions against Caceres.

Caceres reportedly received death threats and his family said that there had been collusion between the company and the state security forces.

The Honduran government has been under considerable pressure from abroad to solve the problem of killing in a country where impunity is extreme.


Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, disseminated, rewritten or redistributed.


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