SUMMARY OF HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AND EVENTS IN HONDURAS. OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2014

You will find HERE our latest Summary, from October to December 2014.

Here is an introduction to the report:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) featured prominently in the last quarter of 2014, with its on-site visit in early December (see below), as well as its 53rd session of

hearings from October 23 to November 7, which included three on Honduras (see Annexe on P.34 for more details). Its primary concerns included the alarming rates of violence in the country as well as the murder and harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and justice operators.

Unfortunately, there was no let-up from October to December. Four lawyers were killed in the space of a month, including two public prosecutors and a public defender (P.4), adding to the climate of fear for the legal profession which is making a number of judges consider resigning. Another journalist was killed in December (P.7), bringing the total for 2014 to 9, making it one of the worst years for such murders since the coup, and securing Honduras’ place in the top 10 of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world over the past 5 years.

Three land rights activists were also murdered, including a member of COPINH opposed to the dam project in Rio Blanco (P.21), and a campesino leader in the Bajo Aguán (P.23). The number of murders of children and young people continued to increase, with disturbing allegations of social cleansing in Yoro (P.16). There were also numerous instances of attempted criminalization, for example, of journalists through the abuse of defamation laws (P.11) and of land rights activists on charges of sedition (potentially) (P.22) and usurpation (P.24). These groups also continued to suffer other forms of persecution, including death threats and illegal detention.

Meanwhile, there were a number of crimes committed by the security forces, including the TIGRES and PMOP (Public Order Military Police), set up as alternatives to the corrupt National Police force. 50 TIGRES were suspended for the theft of $1.3 million (P.29); in two separate incidents, PMOP were involved in a rape, and in the shooting of bus, wounding four people (P.30), and 10 policemen and two soldiers, including an army colonel, are alleged to have regularly used child prostitutes (P.29).

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