Honduras trial suspended in murder of indigenous activist

Tegucigalpa, Honduras (AP) — The alleged mastermind in the killing of the award-winning environment and indigenous rights defender Berta Caceres in Honduras was suspended Wednesday as defense teams attempted to change judges. I did.

A stop sign occurred just one day after the trial of Roberto David Castillo Messiah began.

The defense team petitioned the court on Tuesday to postpone the proceedings, but three open issues were resolved and awaiting the results of some forensic analysis. The court dismissed the request.

Castillo’s lawyer is currently asking the Court of Appeals to move the case to another court. Court spokeswoman Lucia Villar said the trial could not continue until the Court of Appeals resolved the matter. I have three days to do so.

“There was a series of decisions on the part of this court that were considered irregular,” they want to change the court, said lawyer Juan Carlos Sanchez.

Caceres’ daughter, Versa Sniga Caceres, said Wednesday that she saw it as another defense attempt to delay the trial.

“They are trying to maintain the immunity as much as the people behind Mr. David Castillo,” she said. “It’s the strategy they’ve been using for some time to fight for justice for my mother.”

In December 2019, seven men were sentenced to imprisonment for the murder of Caceres. At the time, the prosecution said the murderer had acted on behalf of Desa, the company that was building the dam in opposition to activists. Castillo Mejía, who leads the project, was arrested in 2018.

According to prosecutors, Castillo Messiah paid Hitman, provided logistical support, and provided resources to those already convicted.

Caceres was the co-founder of the National Council of Honduras’ popular indigenous organizations. She helped organize opposition to the Aguazarka Dam project, which was to be built on the Garkark River. The river is not only mentally important to the people of Renka, but also an important source of water. The dam project remains frozen.

Caceres received the prestigious Goldman Award for her environmental activities in 2015. She was killed at her home in La Esperanza on March 3, 2016. A Mexican activist with her was also shot dead, but survived.

The trial will continue until April 30, after which the verdict will be dated.