Green, Government - Seven Sentenced In Caceres Killing
A year after they were found guilty, a court in Honduras sentenced the seven men convicted of the murder of indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres to prison terms of 30 to 50 years each.
Berta Caceres was a winner of the Goldman prize for environmental defenders. She campaigned relentlessly against the Agua Zarca hydro-electric dam project on the Gualcarque River because it would destroy the lands of the indigenous Lenca people.
She was shot and killed in her own home late at night on 2 March 2016 - two days before her 45th birthday. Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro was shot and wounded in the same attack, but survived because he played dead and waited for the attackers to leave.
In November 2018, the court ruled the murder was ordered by executives of the dam's parent company Desa because of the delays and losses caused by Ms. Caceres' activism. Now, four paid hitmen - Elvin Rapalo, Edilson Duarte Meza, Oscar Torres, and Henry Javier Hernandez - were each given 34 years for the murder of Caceres, plus another 16 years each for the attempted murder of Castro.
Desa executive Sergio Ramon Rodriguez, Desa security chief Douglas Geovanny Bustillo, and ex-special forces soldier Mariano Diaz Chavez were sentenced to 30 years each for plotting the logistics of the murder. Bustillo and Chavez were both trained by the United States military Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) - the infamous "School of the Americas" where the US allegedly trains Latin American armies to kill and abuse civilians.
But Caceres' family says the guilty parties who ordered the murder still have not been brought to justice, and they will continue to push the Honduran government to act until that happens.