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  • Berta Caceres, a 43-year-old teacher who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot dead at her home on the night of March 2, 2016. 

    Berta Caceres, a 43-year-old teacher who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot dead at her home on the night of March 2, 2016.  | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 March 2018

Berta Caceres, a 43-year-old teacher who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot dead at her home on the night of Mar. 3, 2016. 

Honduran authorities have arrested a high-ranking executive of a hydroelectric company on charges of helping plan the murder of Indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres two years ago.

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Robert David Castillo, executive president of Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA), was arrested at an airport in the north of the country, Honduran prosecutors said. DESA had been pushing for the construction of a dam that was opposed by Caceres.

Castillo "was in charge of providing logistics and other resources to one of the perpetrators already prosecuted for the crime," Public Ministry spokesman Juri Mora told Reuters. Castillo and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

In a statement, DESA denied involvement in the crime, saying Castillo is "innocent" and rejecting "this decision that comes from international pressure and smear campaigns of various NGOs on the company."

Caceres, a 43-year-old teacher who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot dead at her home on the night of Mar. 3, 2016. 

Castillo is the second alleged mastermind arrested in connection with her murder. Eight other people, including company employees, hired assassins and members of the army have also been arrested and tried. 

Repeated confrontations have occured between Indigenous populations and mining and hydroelectric operations. President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who won reelection in December in a vote marred by fraud allegations, has sought to boost investment in such ventures.

Members of the activist group that Caceres led gathered Friday in front of prosecutors' offices in the capital to demand the arrest of more prominent local businessmen they allege are connected to the crime.

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