Members of Civil Society Denounce the Situation of Violence in Honduras to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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Source: Center for Justice and International Law / The Dawn News / February 26, 2018

In the 167th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), the Coalition Against Impunity of Honduras and the Center for Justice and International Law -CEJIL- denounced yesterday morning the situation of violence in Honduras since the last elections on November 26, 2017.

Juan Orlando Hernández, the Coalition points to —a group formed by 58 Honduran organizations—, increased the concentration of personal power to control the key institutions of the country. As a consequence of this, the Constitutional Chamber allowed the set-in-stone norm that prohibited the reelection of President in the country, which then allowed Juan Orlando to present himself as candidate again and end up elected as President again. This is how it happened, despite that “there were not necessary conditions to guarantee the right to choose and be elected,” as one of the members of the Coalition pointed out.

Also before the presence of the State, the petitioning party denounced the state of repression and militarization exercised against the Honduran population during the last couple of months, with harsh responses against the protesters who are repressed with tear and chemical gases, non-authorized military instruments, arbitrary detentions, use of firearms, etc. Additionally, the Government has implemented other practices to identify and sanction the people from the opposition. Home raids have been carried out, as well as wrongful recording, penal law has been used in an unjust way to criminalize social protest, the military and police presence has increased in the areas where there is more opposition and selective assassinations are occurring of the people who have participated in protest actions.

Lastly, to illustrate to the commissioners of the CIDH of the consequences of this situation in Honduras, they presented the figures of the violence, documented by the organizations: 192 mobilizations repressed and around 1,257 detentions; 1 detained disappeared person, 38 deaths in the context of the conflict; 76 victims of torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment; 393 people injured and wounded in the protests, many of them with irreversible consequences in their health, 105 people displaced because of political persecution; 15 journalists attacked; 89 people criminalized, 24 of them in preventative prison and they are considered political prisoners; as well as 73 defenders who were victims of threats and other actions. A family member of someone was killed during a mobilization also gave a testimony.

The Coalition and CEJIL asked the Honduran State, amongst other things, that it promises to stop the indiscriminate and excessive use of force in the mobilizations and of the selective persecution of social leaders. The representatives of the State invited the Commissioner Joel Hernández García, the new representative of the CIDH for Honduras, to travel to this country this April. The State also agreed to analyze the inclusion of the civil society in a work commission with the Public Ministry, to investigate the human rights violations that were denounced.

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