Slain Honduran activist’s daughter seeks criminal probe

by | Jul 17, 2022 | World

A petition for a criminal probe against the Dutch state-run development bank FMO has been filed in the Netherlands for alleged complicity in bloodshed in Honduras.FMO, the acronym for the Netherlands Development Finance Company, had been involved in financing the controversial Agua Zarca dam project in northwest Honduras from 2014 to 2017. The project, slated for construction in Indigenous Lenca territory, drew international scrutiny after several murders surrounding the project, including the 2016 assassination of world-renowned Indigenous water defender Berta Cáceres.
Cáceres had led the resistance to the dam, which many Indigenous people said would displace them from the Gualcarque river, regarded as sacred. She was later killed by a hit squad whose members had connections to both the Honduran military as well as DESA, the dam-building company receiving loan money from FMO.
David Castillo, the former chief executive of DESA, was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on June 20 for being a collaborator in the killing.
Cáceres’s daughter Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, who on June 28 jointly filed the 138-page petition with a Dutch court along with Amsterdam-based law firm Global Justice Association, alleged that FMO was negligent in ignoring warning signs that their money was being embezzled on an enormous scale, allowing that money to go towards viole …

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