Berta Cáceres: Ex-dam company boss guilty of planning Honduran activist's murder

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The president of the NGO Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras, Bertha Oliva, lays a wreath on an alter in memory of murdered indigenous Honduran environmentalist Berta Caceres
Berta Cáceres had rallied indigenous Lenca people against the dam

A court in Honduras has found a former energy executive guilty of helping plan the murder of a high-profile environmental activist in 2016.

Berta Cáceres led protests against the Agua Zarca hydro-electric dam project before being shot dead in her home.

The court ruled that Roberto David Castillo, whose company had been awarded the contract, had planned the murder and hired the gunmen.

Castillo has denied any wrongdoing. He will be sentenced in August.

Seven men had already been convicted for their role in Ms Cáceres's killing and were sentenced to lengthy jail terms.

Ms Cáceres had faced years of threats over her opposition to the dam project being run by Mr Castillo's company, Desa.

The dam would have flooded large areas of land and cut off the supply of water, food and medicine for hundreds of the indigenous Lenca people.

As well as filing official complaints, Ms Cáceres organised a road block that prevented construction workers from reaching the site.

The Chinese state-owned company Sinohydro, which was jointly developing the project, eventually pulled out citing community resistance.

In 2015 Ms Cáceres was awarded the prestigious Goldman Prize for her role in stopping the building of the dam.

The indigenous rights organisation Ms Cáceres co-founded called the verdict a "victory" for the people of Honduras.

It is one of the world's most dangerous countries for environmental activists, according to advocacy group Global Witness.

In a blog post earlier this year, the group said "at least 40 land and environmental defenders" had been killed in the country since Ms Cáceres's death.

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