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News > Honduras

Caceres Murder Accomplice Should Receive Stiffer Sentence

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "Berta Caceres lives," Honduras. | Photo: Twitter/ @EntrepbsHarte

Published 4 August 2021

The relatives of the Indigenous environmentalist ask that Roberto Castillo receive the maximum penalty established by Honduran laws.

On Tuesday, the family of Berta Caceres asked Honduras' Sentencing Court to send Roberto Castillo to 25 years in prison for the murder of the Indigenous environmentalist in March 2016.


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He was originally accused of masterminding the crime. However, the jury unanimously decided to convict him of complicity on July 5. The sentencing court is expected to set the length of his sentence until August 3.

The judicial process against Castillo, who was the manager of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project, began on April 6. During previous investigations, authorities found sufficient evidence that he had been involved with the hitmen who attacked Caceres.

Caceres' daughter Bertha Zuñiga urged the Court to issue its sentence against the businessman within the established procedural time.

In 2016, Caceres was leading the struggle of the Lenca community against the construction of the dam at the Gualcarque River. As a result of her environmental activism, she received several death threats and asked for protection from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Despite this, she was shot to death in her home.

In the early 1990s, Caceres began her environmental activism fighting against illegal logging inside the Lenca territories. Later, she won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts to organize resistance to the dam.

According to the Global Witness, Honduras is one of the world's most dangerous countries for progressive social activists. Since 2019, 14 environmental defenders have been killed in this Latin American country.

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