Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lawyers Group: DESA executives instigated Berta Cáceres' murder

A group of five international lawyers investigating the murder of Berta Cáceres has concluded that three senior executives of Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA) instigated and ordered the murder of Berta Cáceres in Honduras.  In the report, to be published on Tuesday, the lawyers wrote:
"The existing proof is conclusive regarding the participation of numerous state agents, high-ranking executives and employees of Desa in the planning, execution and cover-up of the assassination."

The evidence that allowed them to reach this conclusion are 40,000 pages of text linked to telephones belonging to two of the accused murderers, plus another phone confiscated from the DESA offices.  One of the phones belonged to Sergio Rodriguez, the Environment director for DESA.  The other phone belonged to Douglas Geovany Bustillo, a retired military officer who reported to the Director of Security for DESA. These text messages were provided by court order by the Public Prosecutor's office in Honduras.  The Public Prosecutor's Office has had the text messages since April and May, 2016, but have taken no apparent action in the case to pursue those who ordered the murder of Cáceres. Those messages show that two of the group accused of her murder, Rodgriguez and Bustillo, remained in frequent contact with three senior DESA executives via text and WhatsApp as they tracked Cáceres and harrassed COPINH members.

The New York Times wrote:
The conversations reveal, the lawyers said, that the orders to threaten Copinh and sabotage its protests came from Desa executives who were exercising control over security forces in the area, issuing instructions and paying for police units’ food, lodging and radio equipment

Miguel Bustillo,  a member of the lawyer's group said:
"What the public ministry has yet to do is indict the people who hired Bustillo to plan the operation."

Honduras has arrested eight men charged with carrying out the murder of Berta Cáceres in 2016. DESA has repeatedly denied any involvement in the harassment or murder of Cáceres. 

1 comment:

RNS said...

DESA emphatically denies involvement in the strangely titled "Hydroelectric Agua Zarca always respects the Rule of Law in Honduras". I say strangely titled because really, there is no rule of law in modern Honduras, and there hasn't been for quite some time. Money buys legal opinions in everything from car accidents to murder. You can find the DESA press release published here: