Another suspect arrested in killing of Honduran activist

Another suspect arrested in killing of Honduran activist

Honduran authorities said Thursday that Rapalo Orellana was the last suspect sought in the killing.

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In this, file photo, a woman holds up a poster with a photo of slain environmental leader Berta Caceres, during a protest march in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP File Photo)

Honduran authorities have arrested a sixth suspect in the March killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres.

The head of the country’s criminal investigation unit identifies the suspect as 21-year-old Elvin Heriberto Rapalo Orellana. Investigation chief Ricardo Castro says Rapalo Orellana is known by the nickname “El Comanche.”

Castro said Thursday that Orellana was the last suspect sought in the killing.

The other arrested suspects include an active duty army officer and at least one man who worked for a hydroelectric project opposed by Caceres.


The public prosecutor’s office has said three suspects arrested in May worked for or were direct employees of Desarrollos Energeticos SA, also known as DESA, which was developing the dam project that Caceres’ organization successfully stopped.

Hidroelectrica Agua Zarca Co., which is managed by DESA, said that only one of the men was employed by the firm and denied it had anything to do with Caceres’ killing.

Caceres, who had been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work, was shot to death March 3 by gunmen who invaded her home. She had reported that she was the target of death threats from security personnel for DESA.

Caceres led the defense of the Gualcarque River in western Honduras, which is considered sacred by the Lenca people. The campaign she led successfully fought to halt the proposed Agua Zarca dam.