Body of missing environmentalist found in Honduras

Tegucigalpa (AFP)


A missing environmentalist who recently said he feared for his life has been found dead in Honduras, a country considered high-risk for human rights and environmental defenders, humanitarian groups said Tuesday.

Marvin Damian Castro, 29, was found dead on Monday a after he went missing, the Committee of Families of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras NGO reported.

His body was found in the Sacamil River in Perspire, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the capital Tegucigalpa.

Castro, who was a member of a network of environmental defense groups in southern Honduras, had last week expressed fears for his life to the National Protection System, a government body set up to protect human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers.

That system was created by Congress in 2015 under pressure from the Organization of American States and the UN.

Both organizations had requested government action because of the high number of human rights defenders, communicators and lawyers who have been murdered in the Central American country.

On June 1, a journalist and his cameraman were shot dead in the Caribbean port of La Ceiba.

Two gang members were arrested as suspects in that killing. However, rights advocates say 91 percent of the 82 murders of journalists carried out in Honduras since 2001 have gone unpunished.