A man who coordinated the killing of an activist in Honduras has been convicted

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TEGUSIGALPA, Honduras – A man convicted last year of co-ordinating the killing of Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison on Monday.

A judge sentenced Roberto David Castillo Mejia to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of Cáceres, a member of Lenka’s indigenous group who led opposition to a project for a dam involving Castillo Mejia. He will be able to appeal.

In December 2019, seven men were sentenced to prison for the murder of Cáceres. Four men were sentenced to 34 years for murder and 16 years for attempted murder. Three others received 30 years in prison for their roles.

Prosecutors then said the killers acted on behalf of the Desa company, which is building a dam that the activist opposes. Castillo Mejia, who leads the project, was arrested in 2018.

Castillo Mejia is alleged to have paid the mercenaries, provided logistical support and provided resources to those already convicted, according to prosecutors.

Cáceres was a co-founder of the National Council of Honduran Popular and Local Organizations. She helped organize opposition to the Agua Zarca dam, which was to be built on the Galcarke River. The river has a spiritual significance for the people of Lenka, as well as a critical source of water. The dam project remains frozen.

Cáceres won the prestigious Goldman Award for her environmental activism in 2015. She was killed at her home in La Esperanza on March 3, 2016. A Mexican activist who was there with her was also shot but survived.

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