A new investigation by The Guardian has revealed that leaked court documents allege Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres’s murder nearly one year ago was planned by Honduran military intelligence members who are linked to the country’s U.S.-trained special forces. Cáceres was murdered by armed gunmen just before midnight on March 2, 2016. At the time of her murder, she was fighting hydroelectric dams threatening the ancestral land of the indigenous Lenca people.
The Guardian investigation, published today, reveals that at least two men who have been arrested in connection with Cáceres’s murder, Mariano Díaz and Douglas Giovanny Bustillo, received military training in the United States. Honduran prosecutors say phone records reveal extensive communication between Díaz, Bustillo and a former Honduran special forces sniper who has also been charged in the murder. Prosecutors say this third man, Henry Javier Hernández, may have also worked as an informant for Honduran military intelligence. Prosecutors say one of the messages between the three men even includes a coded reference to a payment for an extrajudicial killing.