January UPDATES FROM HONDURAS
Given Honduras’ human rights situation, CRLN will provide for its members a monthly update on human right issues afflicting the country.
- The Honduran authorities arrested another suspect of the assassination of Berta Caceres, Henry Javier Hernandez Rodriguez, a former member of the Honduran military, in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Berta’s family demands the arrests of those that planned the murder. However, the Honduran authorities don’t seem to be making any effort to prosecute the real intellectual authors of Berta’s assassination.
- Gustavo Castro, who survived an assassination attempt when Berta Caceres was murdered, filed a formal accusation against the Honduran State for human rights violations.
- Global Witness released a report that denounces, after a two-year investigation, that 120 environmental activists have died since 2010 in Honduras and that at the heart of the conflict are the rich and powerful elites, among them members of the political class. The Guardian analyzed the Global Witness report, focusing on the involvement of politicians and the business elite in the murder of the environmental defenders. Global Witness also denounces that the U.S. continues to provide security aid to Honduras despite the continuous human right violations by the state. Just this week, the U.S. gave the first Alliance for Prosperity funds ($125 million) to the Honduran government.
- President Juan Orlando Hernandez is seeking a reform to the Penal Code and introduction of new legislation which would provide more power to the security forces of the country. Also, with this legislation, police, military and security forces who kill or injure civilians in “defense” would be exempt from justice. CARITAS Honduras said this legislation would bring the country back to the 80’s when the opposition and media were persecuted and practices of forced disappearances occurred regularly. Amnesty International, among other international and national organizations, is critical of this reform of the Penal Code.
- Miriam Miranda and other members of the Afro-Honduran Garifuna cultural group OFRANEH were harassed and threatened by the Honduran Police in early January. The police wanted to illegally detain Miranda and three other human right defenders, during a checkpoint in La Ceiba. Miriam has protective measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).
- Journalist Igor Padilla, was assassinated in the Northern part of Honduras. Honduras is one of the most dangerous and deadliest countries in the world to be a journalist. Padilla became the 63rd media worker to be killed since 2003. 50 of the 63 murders took place since 2009 and 24 alone in 2014 and 2015.
- OFRANEH is fighting against Indura Hilton, which wants to build resorts on their ancestral lands in Northern Honduras, and denounces the role of the Attorney’s General Office in granting access to that land to Indura Hilton
- Honduras celebrated National Women’s day this past January 25th, and local women right’s defenders and organizations protested the continuous violence and discrimination against women in the country.
- President Hernandez is actively seeking an illegal re-election, prohibited by the Honduran Constitution, and is harassing the opposition. In the previous election, the National Party stole funds from the Social Security system, leaving sick and economically poor people without medicine and treatments, in order to finance his political campaign.