Four Arrested in Connection with Berta Cáceres's Murder | La Prensa

Monday, May 2, 2016

This article originally appeared in La Prensa.

Un de los hombres detenidos supuestamente vinculados con el asesinato de Berta Cáceres.
Un de los hombres detenidos supuestamente vinculados con el asesinato de Berta Cáceres.
La Prensa


Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Four men allegedly linked to the murder of Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres were arrested Monday during ten raids in Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba and Trujillo, Colón.

The arrested men include Douglas Geovanny Bustillo, Mariano Díaz Chávez, Sergio Ramón Orellana and Edilson Atilio Duarte Meza. 

The spokesman of the Public Ministry, Yuri Mora, told AFP that four people had been arrested for their possible involvement in the murder of Cáceres, without going into details. 

Operation Jaguar

The raids conducted by the Technical Criminal Investigation Agency (Atic) and the military police were executed in the colony La Peña and residential Lempira in Tegucigalpa, in the Divanna Comayagüela colony, and in La Ceiba in the El Manantial colony.

"Action is being promoted court for the crime of murder against Berta Cáceres Flores and murder in their degree of execution attempt against protected witness," a statement from the Public Ministry.

The arrest warrants are supported by substantiating evidence and "have been directed against the alleged perpetrators, on the basis of scientific evidence to support the allegation presented by linking the activity of these men, through sufficient prima facie evidence of their participation in the lamentable event," says the prosecution. 

The brother of Orellana, Ricardo Valladares, said "he (Orellana) came because they called with a problem, the lady (her mother) lives alone with her husband, my mom is 81 years old. It is an obscenity that the prosecution come without testing, without anything; you have to start thinking about what the prosecution is doing, they are incompetent."

"It's a political issue (...) this is a show mounted because they have not figured out how things are.

"In this there are a lot of hidden things that you of all people should know," he said.

"He (Rodriguez Orellana) is an employee as you are, as I am; they are getting involved," he reiterated.

The environmentalist Cáceres was shot dead early on March 3 by unidentified assailants who entered her home in the city of La Esperanza, after an armed attack by two men who forced open the door.

According to Gustavo Castro Soto, the only witness, who was in another room, the indigenous leader grappled with the attackers, one of whom suffered a broken hand and left foot.

Cáceres, coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), had taken precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

COPINH, Cáceres's family and other social groups are demanding that the government appoint a commission with the support of CIDH to investigate the murder of the environmentalist.