Honduras arrests energy executive tied to murder of environmental activist | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 03.03.2018
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Honduras arrests energy executive tied to murder of environmental activist

Prosecutors have accused him of "providing logistics and other resources" for the murder of Berta Caceres. Legal experts claimed her murder was "the product of a plan" by executives to push through a mega-dam project.

Honduran prosecutors on Friday said police had arrested a former dam development company executive for involvement in the murder of renowned environmental activist Berta Caceres.

Roberto David Castillo, executive president of Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA), was apprehended at an airport, prosecutors said. His company DESA had pushed for the construction of a mega-dam project on land claimed by indigenous groups.

Read more: The financial system killing environmental activists

Caceres had organized opposition to the dam with indigenous tribes affected by the project. However, she was shot dead by masked men in 2016.

Castillo was "in charge of providing logistics and other resources to one of the material authors already being prosecuted for the crime," prosecutors said.

'Not an isolated incident'

Castillo has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement, DESA rejected "this decision that comes from international pressure and smear campaigns of various NGOs on the company."

At least eight other people have been arrested and tried in connection with her murder, including company employees, members of the army and hired assassins.

Read more: The deadly price of environmental activism

In October, a team of international legal experts issued a report claiming that the murder of Caceres was "not an isolated incident" but instead the "product of a plan" by executives of an energy company spearheading a major infrastructure project in the area.

On Friday, activists gathered in front of the prosecutors' offices in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to demand further action from authorities, including the arrest of local businessmen they believe are linked to Caceres' murder.

Protesters hold placards demanding an end to violence against women with an image of Berta Caceres

Fellow activists converged in the capital to demand justice for Berta Caceres and an end of violence against women

ls/jm (Reuters, AP)

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