Since the murder of Berta Cáceres in March 2016, several more community activists have been killed in Honduras. And little progress has been made in solving Cáceres’s murder. Eight people have been arrested, but court hearings have been postponed several times because of the prosecutors’ failure to produce evidence, ignoring the judge’s deadlines. Data collected from phones and computers and in police raids has not been presented in court. The government says the judicial process continues, but has admitted that the crime’s ‘masterminds’ remain untouched.
In 2013, as the leader of the local community organisation COPINH, Cáceres had written to the Dutch and Finnish development banks planning to fund the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, with evidence that the company building it, DESA, was violently suppressing any opposition. Two of DESA’s former staff members are among those under arrest. In June this year, the two banks announced their intention to ‘exit as soon as possible’. They changed their minds in July, however, saying the decision would now be subject to ‘local consultation’, apparently to be led by DESA. Eighty international organisations wrote to the banks urging them to stick by their June decision.