Thursday 14 December 2017

Honduras cops arrested for 'tampering' in activist's murder probe

Honduras cops arrested for 'tampering' in activist's murder probe
(AFP 11/21/17)

Honduran authorities on Monday arrested two policemen who allegedly tried to cover up the trail to those behind the 2016 murder of prominent environmental campaigner Berta Caceres, prosecutors said.

The officers, Juan Carlos Cruz and Miguel Arcangel Rosales, "are accused of the crime of tampering with evidence and presenting false evidence to divert the investigation," prosecutor's office spokesman Yuri Mora told AFP.

The two allegedly altered reports and recordings to cover for Caceres' killers. Murdered in her home in March 2016, Caceres was the head of an indigenous rights group trying to stop the construction of a hydro-electric dam on indigenous land.

The two policemen arrested on Monday had tried to make her killing look like a robbery or domestic dispute.

Eight people are in custody over the crime, including a manager at Desarrollos Energeticos, the company that was building the dam.

Their detention has been backed by "scientific proof" based on analysis of the gun believed to have been used to kill Caceres, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Caceres' family and the COPINH indigenous group she represented accuse Honduran authorities of not adequately investigating her murder, by avoiding a probe into the suspected wealthy masterminds of the crime.

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