July 26th at 10:00 am, relatives and friends of Isy Obed Murillo, Ilse Ivannia Velásquez, Roger Vallejo, Félix Murillo, Mario Fidel Contreras, Manuel Flores, Karen Jessenia Hernández, Walter Tróchez, Julio Fúnex, Pedro MAgdiel Muñoz and Pablo Villanueva, 11 victims assassinated after the coup d’état on June 28, 2009, staged a demonstration in front of the offices of the Ministry of the Attorney General (Ministerio Público) in Tegucigalpa. With banners and t-shirts featuring the faces of the deceased, they came together to protest the lack of response by the Ministry to any of the cases, despite the fact that the necessary denouncements had been filed as required by law. An additional, formal denouncement was filed with the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Office.
The relatives of the victims were accompanied in their demands by the Committee for Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), who released the press statement (translated from the original Spanish) below. The Honduras Accompaniment Project was also present for the event.
Additional information (in Spanish) can also be found at Defensores en línea, COFADEH’s human rights journalism site.
Committee for Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras
11 cases, 11 shouts, 11 demands…and more will come
We, the relatives of the 11 victims murdered since the military coup, appear today here, outside the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the day after tomorrow outside the United Nations building, demanding justice!
One by one, all the families will be here from all corners of the country to point the finger at public prosecutors, investigators, police officers and judges.
We are the new generation of victims, who have emerged from the pain of the coup, which continues with the denial of justice, while it sinks into impunity.
Isy Obed Murillo, Ilso Ivannia Velásquez, Roger Vallejo, Félix Murillo, Mario Fidel Contreras, Manuel Flores, Karen Jessenia Hernández, Walter Tróchez, Julio Fúnez, Pedro Magdiel Muñoz, Pablo Villanueva. They are here with us.
More will come.
We are being accompanied in our demands by the Committee for Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), which is sharing its three decades of experience in the struggle against summary and arbitrary executions, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, kidnappings, illegal mass detentions and repression of peaceful demonstrations.
Most of the crimes were committed almost two years ago, but no serious investigation has yet been launched by the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The principle of due diligence in cases of serious human rights violations has been reduced to repeated declarations for media consumption, while we have not been included nor respected in our right to know.
The universal right of the families of victims of human rights violations to learn the truth has been systematically violated.
Today, we accuse the Ministry of the Attorney General not only of lack of openness in its proceedings, but also of hindering the work of human rights defenders.
We do not want to return to the situation of the 1980s to the mid-1990s, when the Honduran state applied a policy of repression, hid evidence and protected the criminals.
We therefore ask the community, both national and international, to demand that the institutions which have survived the coup d’état investigate, immediately and impartially, the circumstances surrounding the deaths of our relatives.
We are here to give notice that we will always be here, that we will return and that we will not go away.
The crimes and the criminals
Will neither be forgiven nor forgotten
Tegucigalpa, 26 July 2011
Barrio La Plazuela, Avenida Cervantes, Casa No. 1301