PBI-Honduras has posted: “The Corruption Sentencing Court has just convicted 3 of the 6 former public officials accused in the ‘Fraud on Gualcarque’ case. We are observing the @COPINHHONDURAS [Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations in Honduras] sit-in, which requested a conviction for the 6 accused people.”

COPINH adds via social media:

“3 persons were found guilty:

– Roberto David Castillo Mejía: Manager of the [hydroelectric dam] company DESA. / Guilty of fraud.

– Carolina Lizeth Castillo Argueta: Former ENEE [Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica, the government owned and operated electrical power company] official / Guilty of fraud.

– Raúl Pineda Pineda: Former Mayor of San Francisco de Ojuera / Guilty of usurpation of functions and falsification of documents.

Their sentences will be announced on 24 May 2024.”

Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres has also tweeted: “My mother spoke about the criminality of David Castillo, president of DESA, and Raúl Pineda, who criminalized and attacked her #COPINH . Today that they are found guilty of fraud, falsification of documents and usurpation of functions, we only confirm their reason. Berta Lives!”

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has previously explained: “This trial seeks accountability for those involved in the network of corruption that allowed for fraudulent concessions of the Gualcarque River. These concessions are still in force in the territories of the Lenca community, violating their rights to land and water. The complaint is linked to the 2016 murder of renowned environmental and human rights defender Berta Cáceres. This trial is also emblematic because it is the first time in the country that Indigenous communities — direct victims of these criminal acts — have become parties to a corruption case for violation of their human rights.”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied the Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations in Honduras (COPINH) since May 2016.

Published by Brent Patterson on