In Honduras, the police have arrested a high-ranking executive with a hydroelectric dam company in connection with the assassination of internationally renowned Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres just over two years ago. David Castillo Mejía is a former military intelligence officer and the president of the dam company known as DESA, which Cáceres was fighting at the time of her murder. This is Berta Cáceres’s mother, Austra Flores, speaking after the arrest.
Austra Flores: “Today we’re asking that they sentence those that are in prison—I believe there are eight—and that they capture the masterminds, and also that internationally the government of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is not recognized, because not only is he an impostor, but he also permits these murders in this country.”
Officials from two dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries have now signed on to an environmental rights pact aimed at protecting the lives of land defenders. The pact was signed only days after the second anniversary of Berta Cáceres’s assassination.