Honduras: rights group reports 1,155 violations

A mission of delegates from international human rights organizations released a preliminary report on July 23 in Tegucigalpa charging “serious and systematic violations” of rights in Honduras following the June 28 military coup. The mission’s 15 members included representatives from the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and the Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ).

The report listed five killings that appeared to be politically motivated: the death of an unidentified man whose body was found in Tegucigalpa on July 3 in a t-shirt supporting the “fourth ballot box” (a reference to a proposed poll on a constitutional reform that precipitated the coup); the shooting death of protester Isis Obed Murillo Mencias by soldiers during a July 5 demonstration at the Toncontín airport; and the murders of journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega and two activists from the leftist Democratic Unification Party (PUD), Ramón García and labor leader Roger Iván Bados. The report also listed one apparent homophobic murder. Vicky Hernández Castillo (Sonny Emelson Hernández Castillo) was shot and strangled San Pedro Sula during the nightly curfew the de facto regime imposed after the coup.

The Honduran human rights group COFADEH listed 1,155 human rights violations since June 28, of which 1,046 were illegal detentions, mainly for violating the curfew or for participating in protests. Oscar Raúl Matute, governance secretary in the de facto government, denied the human rights groups’ accusations on July 23. “You can travel freely around the country,” he said. “There are no persecutions; there are no political prisoners.” (La Jornada, July 24 from AFP, DPA, Reuters; Upside Down World, July 23; Equipo Nizkor, July 24)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 26

See our last post on Honduras.