San José, March 6, 2018.- From the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), we welcome the capture and formalization of charges against Roberto David Castillo, as one of the alleged masterminds of the murder of Berta Cáceres Flores, on March 2, 2016, at her house in La Esperanza, Intibucá.
The Lenca leader opposed the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, promoted by the company Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA), of which Castillo was executive director. The report of the International Advisory Group of Experts (GAIPE), made public in October last year, demonstrated the ties between the company and state authorities, which were co-opted and bought in exchange for criminalizing the indigenous resistance led by COPINH. The report also noted that the Agua Zarca project used resources from international funders to maintain these public-private corruption networks.
The capture of Castillo also proves what was indicated by GAIPE, that the Public Prosecutor had enough evidence to reach the intellectual authors behind this crime that shook the world. Castillo is one of the intellectual authors, but not the only one.
The death of Berta evidenced what thousands of human rights defenders in the Americas face, they become involved in a spiral of violence for the simple reason of appealing to juster, democratic societies, respectful of the collective welfare and of natural resources.
CEJIL vehemently calls for the Honduran authorities to continue with the identification, prosecution, and punishment of all the intellectual authors, as well as to revoke once and for all the irregularly granted concessions to the company DESA.