On December 2, 2019, This includes Douglas Bustillo, an SOA graduate and former head of security for the hydroelectric dam company DESA, and fellow SOA graduate Army Major Mariano Díaz. , and was part of the the US-led war in Iraq. He was as an Army Major, instructor for Honduras’ Military Police, and head of military intelligence for Honduras’ First Battalion.
However, neither Bustillo nor Díaz nor any of the five sentenced were the ones who ordered and paid for Cáceres’ murder. Those sentenced primarily had roles related to the preparation or execution of the murder, but the money and order to carry out the murder came from above. Over three and a half years after Cáceres’ murder, none of the intellectual authors have faced trial.
Bustillo and Díaz communicated with Henrry Hernandez, a former soldier who had served under Díaz in the military. Hernandez led a group of hitmen to Cáceres’ 吉林快三 on March 2, 2016 to execute the murder. Hernandez and three other hitmen were sentenced to 50 years for both the murder of Cáceres and the attempted murder of Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro, who was at Cáceres’ 吉林快三 at the time of the murder. Additionally, Sergio Rodríguez, DESA’s Environmental and Social Manager, who coordinated informants who monitored Berta Cáceres and COPINH, was also sentenced to 30 years and six months. The verdict and sentences are subject to an appeal process and several defense lawyers have indicated they will file appeals.
The court’s sentence affirmed that Cáceres was murdered for her leadership in COPINH’s opposition to DESA’s internationally-financed hydroelectric project on the Gualcarque River. Only one other person has been arrested for Cáceres’ murder, former Honduran military intelligence officer and President of DESA, Roberto David Castillo. The evidence admitted during the trial of the seven suggests that However, beyond Castillo nobody else has been arrested and Castillo’s case has moved extremely slowly.
As long as all of the intellectual authors who made the decision to murder Berta Cáceres and who paid for the murder to be executed are not brought to justice, impunity will persist. Furthermore, the entire criminal structure that persecuted Cáceres and COPINH must be dismantled. Cáceres murder was the culmination of years of persecution and violence against COPINH members who opposed the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project on the Gualcarque River. Additionally, it is extremely concerning that the concession of the Gualcarque River that Berta was killed while opposing has not been cancelled.
SOAW joins COPINH and Berta’s children in calling for all of the intellectual authors, however powerful they may be, to be brought to justice and for the concession of the Gualcarque River to be cancelled.