December 20, 2010

III. Ongoing Attacks

Human Rights Watch documented 18 cases in which journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists have been killed since President Lobo took office in January 2010. We have also received credible reports of 29 cases in which journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists have been threatened or attacked. Information collected by local human rights organizations suggests the number of attacks could be significantly higher.[194]

Despite repeated requests, Human Rights Watch has been unable to obtain complete information from Honduran authorities as to the status of the investigations in the majority of these cases. However, available information suggests that little or no progress has been made; thus, in most of the cases, it is not yet possible to determine whether the attacks or threats were politically motivated or whether there was any official involvement.

Some of the cases may be the result of common crime, a major and longstanding problem in Honduras. For years, Honduran authorities have failed to protect the right to life of its citizens. The homicide rate in Honduras—one of the highest in the world—has increased every year since 2003.[195] An important factor that contributes to the rising violence is that most perpetrators are never brought to justice.[196] 

Yet the broader political context and the specific circumstances in which the crimes occurred suggest that many may not be random crimes. In the majority of the cases, there is circumstantial evidence—including explicit statements by the perpetrators in some instances—that suggests that the victims may have been targeted because of their political views. In the majority of the cases involving threats and attacks, and in several of the killings, the victims were opponents of the coup and members of the National Front of Popular Resistance (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP), an organization that includes thousands of individuals, including members of political groups, teacher unions, and NGOs who oppose the coup and the policies of the de facto government. [197] In at least one case, the victim was a supporter of the coup. It is critical that criminal investigations into these cases gather and carefully examine any evidence that the victims were targeted for political reasons.

Whatever the motive of the attacks and threats, the cumulative effect has been to generate a climate of fear that has had a chilling effect on the exercise of basic rights in Honduras.

Killings

Human Rights Watch documented the following 18 killings of journalists, coup opponents, and human rights defenders in 2010:

  • On February 3, the body of Vanesa Yánez, a member of the Union of Social Security Workers (Sindicato de Trabajadores del Seguro Social) and the FNRP, was reportedly dumped from a car. According to witnesses interviewed by the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras, CODEH), her body showed signs of torture.[198] Yánez’s mother told Human Rights Watch that her daughter had left the home the day before to buy notebooks, and never returned.[199]
  • On February 15, Julio Benitez, a member of the FNRP and the Workers Union of the National Service of Aqueduct and Sewer Systems (Sindicato de Trabajadores del Servicio Autónomo Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados), was shot by men on a motorcycle in front of his home. He died in the hospital shortly afterwards. Benitez’s wife told Human Rights Watch he had received numerous threatening phone calls warning him to abandon his participation in opposition groups.[200]
  • On February 24, Claudia Larissa Brizuela was shot to death in front of her two young children upon answering the door of her father’s house. Her father, Pedro Brizuela, is a prominent leader of the FNRP, of which she was also a member.[201]
  • On March 1, unknown gunmen shot and killed Joseph Hernández Ochoa while he was driving with Karol Cabrera, another journalist who was injured in the attack. Ochoa hosted an entertainment show on TV Channel 51, and Cabrera hosts a radio show on Cadena Voces. Cabrera, who openly supported the coup and hosted a TV show on a public station during the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, had reported receiving multiple death threats since the coup.[202]
  • On March 11, David Meza Montesinos, a reporter for TV Channel 10 and the local radio station El Patio and a correspondent for the national station Radio America, was driving his car when a truck opened fire on him. The gunfire caused Meza to lose control of his vehicle and crash into a building, resulting in his death. According to the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Meza had reportedly been threatened after he published several stories on drug trafficking.[203] Meza had also reported on government and police violations.[204]
  • On March 14, gunmen repeatedly shot Nahúm Palacios while he was driving his car. He died at the scene. Palacios, who directed TV Channel 5 of Aguán, covered several politically sensitive issues, including pro-Zelaya demonstrations, corruption, drug trafficking, and agrarian conflicts. Two days after the coup—which Palacios had criticized—military officials searched his home, seized his work equipment, threatened him, and pointed their guns at his children. On July 24, 2009, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had ordered Honduras to protect him. Palacios continued to receive threats until his death.[205]
  • On March 17, José Francisco Castillo, an active member of the FNRP, was shot to death on the street by unknown individuals. Prior to his death, he and his wife had reported being followed by unmarked cars and motorcycles and had asked a human rights group in Honduras for protection.[206]
  • On March 23, José Manuel Flores was murdered in front of colleagues and students on the patio of the school where he worked. Flores was an active member of the FNRP and belonged to the Socialist Workers Party (Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores).[207]
  • On March 26, José Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juárez were killed while driving in the department of Olancho, when gunmen fired repeatedly at them from a passing car. They were journalists with the radio station Excélsior and the Channel 4 R.Z. television station; Bayardo covered general interest stories, including organized crime, and Juárez was a news presenter.[208]
  • On April 11, Luis Antonio Chévez, a journalist with Radio W105 in San Pedro Sula, and his cousin Julio César Chévez were murdered. The two were returning from an evening at a nightclub where—according to press accounts—they had been involved in an argument with other patrons. According to press accounts, when the cousins arrived home, gunmen were waiting for them and fired at them repeatedly.[209]
  • On April 20, Jorge Alberto “Georgino” Orellana was shot in the head and killed while walking to his car. He was leaving his office at the Honduras Television in San Pedro Sula, where he hosted a nightly news program.[210]
  • On May 8, masked gunmen killed the environmental activist Adalberto Figueroa less than a mile away from his home. According to information received by the IACHR, Figueroa’s death could be related to the fact that he had previously denounced the illegal exploitation of forested areas by timber companies.[211]
  • On May 13, Gilberto Alexander Núnez Ochoa was shot 17 times and killed. He was a member of the security and discipline committee of the FNRP.[212]
  • On May 26, Pedro Antonio Durón Gómez, a member of the FNRP, and his brother-in-law, Oscar Tulio Martínez, an agent with the General Office of Special Investigation Services, were shot and killed while driving in their car. Gómez and Martínez were the brother and brother-in-law respectively of Maria Arcadia Gómez, a minister in President Zelaya’s government.[213]
  • On June 14, Luis Arturo Mondragón was killed outside the Channel 19 television station he owned. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Mondragón had told his family prior to his death that he had been receiving threats.[214]
  • On August 24, Israel Zelaya Díaz’s body was found along the side of a road in a rural area of San Pedro Sula. He had been fatally shot in the head and chest. Zelaya was a reporter for Radio Internacional.[215]

Threats and Attacks

Human Rights Watch has received credible information regarding the following 29 cases of threats or attacks against journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists in 2010:

  • On February 2, Manuel de Jesús Varela Murillo and Ricardo Antonio Rodríguez—both videographers with Globo TV and members of the FNRP—were detained by plainclothes men who identified themselves with police badges and ordered the journalists into a vehicle. The men were then taken to a house where they were tortured and interrogated about arms, money, and videos supposedly possessed by the FNRP. The men beat the journalists, covered their eyes with tape, put on a hood that made it difficult for them to breath, and told the journalists to stay away “from the resistance.” The journalists said they were told their families would be killed if they denounced their abuse. On February 25, the IACHR ordered the Honduran government to protect them.[216]
  • On February 9, Maria C. was abducted along with other family members by seven men in military dress near San Pedro Sula.[217] The men forced the group out of their car and brought them to an undisclosed location in the surrounding mountain area. One of the abductors allegedly told the victims: “This is happening to you because you spoke out.” During their nine hours of captivity, Maria C. was raped at gunpoint by one of her captors and forced to take cocaine and perform oral sex. According to the victim, her sister-in-law was also raped by four of the uniformed men. The victims were freed when a group of villagers came looking for them and exchanged gunfire with the abductors, who then fled.[218]
  • On February 12, a car drove towards Hermes Reyes, a member of the “Movement of Artists in Resistance” and the “Broad Movement for Divinity and Justice,” as he was leaving a meeting of the FNRP. A passenger emerged from the car and whipped him across the face with a wire cable. Reyes fell to the ground and his attacker said, “Now we know where you are, you sons of whores.”[219]
  • Pedro Antonio Brizuela , an active member of the FNRP, has received repeated threats on his cell phone before and after his daughter—also a member of the FNRP—was killed on February 24. On March 19, the IACHR ordered the government of Honduras to protect Brizuela, but he told Human Rights Watch in July that no government official had contacted him to implement protective measures. [220]
  • In February, Marta B.—a teacher, former member of a human rights NGO, and active member of the FNRP—received a text message the day Claudia Larissa Brizuela, another FNRP member, was killed, which said, “You are next.” Marta B. told Human Rights Watch that when she reported this threat to human rights organizations, she found out that four other women had received the same text message.[221]
  • On February 26, five individuals attacked Tomás Enrique García Castillo, a member of the FNRP.  The five men hit him hard on the face and back, brutally kicked him, and insulted him. García Castillo told Human Rights Watch that he has also received several threats via phone.[222]
  • During the first week of March, Rebeca Becerra Lanza, a former official in the Zelaya administration, was in a taxi with her two daughters when an unknown individual drove up in a motorcycle and pointed a rifle at her.  In several instances she noticed that she was being followed and that individuals were monitoring her home. She has also received intimidating phone calls since the coup. She had presented a formal complaint to the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office in December 2009, and continued to receive threats after that.[223]
  • Ricardo Emilio Oviedo , president of the Colón Communicators Association and host of a cable television program in the city of Tocoa, has been repeatedly threatened and harassed since the coup. He has received death threats via telephone and, after he reported on the murder of his colleague Nahúm Palacios on March 14, two strangers approached his 13-year-old daughter on her way to school and told her they were going to kill her father. Oviedo has repeatedly been followed by vehicles, which caused him to fall off his motorcycle on April 13, and on several occasions has heard gunfire outside the television studio. On May 1, Oviedo requested and was granted police protection, but dismissed it after a few days stating that it was a nuisance to his neighbors. [224]
  • Journalist Jorge Ott Anderson has received death threats repeatedly since the coup last year, when the small cable TV channel he owns in the state of Colón was shut down by the military and remained off the air for two months. Since reporting on the murder of journalist Nahúm Palacios, the threats have intensified. In an on-air call during the live broadcast of Anderson’s show on April 18, an unidentified caller warned he would kill the journalist soon. He received another death threat on May 13.[225] 
  • On March 17, Cecilia P., a member of the FNRP and radio journalist, received a text message stating, “little girl, shut your mouth if you don’t want someone else to shut it for you.”[226] Three days later, unknown individuals entered her home and stole her laptop computer.  Cecilia P. had previously received threats during the de facto government, including one that said, “stay away if you want to live.”[227]
  • On March 23, unknown individuals shot at Arturo H., an active member of the FNRP, while he was standing on the porch of his home.  Two days later, an unknown person walked into his shop and told him he had heard that someone would burn down his home and anyone who was inside. He has since moved to a different location. He told Human Rights Watch that he never filed a formal complaint with the authorities because he fears for his life and that of his family.[228]
  • On March 28, José Alemán, a correspondent for the newspaper Tiempo and the radio station Radio América in San Marcos de Ocotepeque, received a menacing call warning him not to continue with his reporting after the radio broadcast his report on fighting between the police and criminals in the area. Later that day, gunmen broke into his house and fired shots into his bedroom while he was not at home. A car also cut him off in a threatening manner while he was riding his bicycle that same afternoon. Alemán fled Honduras that day.[229]
  • José Oswaldo Martínez is an active member of the FNRP and a voluntary journalist with Radio Uno, where he participates in a daily political program. Since the coup he has sporadically received threats on his cell phone, but the threats intensified at the end of March. The journalist received anonymous phone calls in which he was warned, “Your days are numbered, we’re going to shoot you in the head.” And “If you don’t shut up, asshole, we’re going to shoot you in the head … we know what car you drive in and we know where you live.” The last threatening call he received was on March 31. [230]
  • On April 8, Father Ismael Moreno, a Jesuit priest and human rights advocate who works at the Jesuit organization Team of Studies, Investigation and Communication (Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación, ERIC), received a text message stating “Melo son of a bitch you’ll regret having helped ivonne ‘cause you forgot the sons of bitches that she leaves behind in honduras we will gladly kill them who will defend those trashy sons of bitches mommy will be far away (sic).”[231]  Father Moreno had been supporting the efforts of a woman (who was a member of the FNRP and had been raped by police officers) and her family to leave Honduras. On April 10, Father Moreno received another text message and several calls saying someone would kill the woman’s husband.[232]
  • On April 14, Gerardo Chévez, a reporter with Radio El Progreso, got a message that said, “Resistance: We are eliminating the Chévez, then we will go for the priests.”[233] Three days earlier his cousin, radio host Luis Alberto Chévez, was murdered by unidentified gunmen outside his home.[234] Gerardo Chévez had received a number of threatening text messages since the coup. On May 3, the IACHR ordered Honduras to protect Chévez.[235]
  • On April 24, Lucy Mendoza, a human rights defender who has provided legal support to journalists of Radio El Progreso, received a text message stating, “Coronel: Do you think we don’t know who you are? You go to the park, we know at what time you arrive and we see when and with whom you arrive. Better leave all of that resistance stuff.” Mendoza has also been followed and has received other threats.[236]
  • On May 13, television news presenter Jessica Johanna Pavón Osorto received a series of threatening text messages. Pavón, a presenter on the news programs Notiseis Matutino y Notiseis Nocturno on Channel 6 in Tegucigalpa, has reported on police stories and union negotiations seeking a minimum wage. The first message said, “You can really feel death today bitch, because you’re wearing white and we’re going to kill you, bitch.” Pavón was in fact dressed in white that day. Pavón received menacing texts and calls throughout the day and was escorted home by the police. She has continued to receive threats since then and has filed a report with the Attorney General’s Office.[237]   
  • Arturo Rendón Pineda and Manuel Gavarrete , two journalists with Radio La Voz de Occidente in Santa Rosa de Copán who have been critical of the coup, have received several threatening telephone calls. While recording their show on May 17, they received three phone calls from unknown individuals who threatened to kill Gavarrete and his family. According to Gavarrete, his wife also received a call from an anonymous caller who said he would kill her and her husband if the journalist didn’t “shut up.” Rendon has heard rounds of gunfire outside the studio and his house, and has since filed a report with the Attorney General’s Office. [238]
  • In early June, Eliodoro Cáceres Benitez, an active member of the FNRP in Tela, received three death threats by phone, stating that members of organized crime would kill him and his family.  His son went missing on June 13, and as of December, his whereabouts remained unknown.[239]
  • In June, Anarella Vélez, who works at the nongovernmental organization C-Libre, received several intimidating emails after she presented the organization’s annual report during the OAS General Assembly meeting in Lima. The report criticized the situation of freedom of expression in Honduras. One email said “What they should do is hire the Zetas to kill all the members of the Resistance, and as a prize give them channel 36 and Radio Globo… after all it’s that easy to get rid of them.”[240]
  • On June 17, unknown individuals jumped into the car of Rosa Margarita Vargas Zelaya, a teacher and member of the FNRP, and told her they would kill her and “all the members of the resistance” if she returned to the school where she teaches.  They tied her hands, covered her mouth, insulted her, and issued death threats.[241]
  • On July 17, Gladys Lanza Ochoa, a human rights defender who works with the Committee for Peace (Comité por la Paz Visitación Padilla), received an email stating, “have you forgotten the money you stole…? You don’t remember the people you ordered be killed when you controlled the guerrilla working with the Communist Party…? Have you forgotten, rotten old lady? Do you think we don’t remember? We will get you, ignorant old lady! (sic)”[242] The email had pictures attached to it, including two of Lanza, one of the leader of a military battalion allegedly responsible for the enforced disappearance of Lanza’s partner in the 1980s, and one with a coffin. In July 2009, the IACHR had ordered Honduras to protect Lanza, who has received several threats since the coup. Given the government’s lack of compliance, on September 2, 2010, the Inter-American Court requested that Honduras protect Lanza, arguing that she faces what appears to be a situation of “extreme gravity and urgency.”[243]
  • On July 21, unknown individuals broke into the car of Kenya Oliva, a human rights defender working with the Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras, COFADEH), while she was at the Attorney General’s Office obtaining information on the status of investigations into complaints filed by her organization. In 2009, the IACHR had ordered the government of Honduras to protect Oliva and several other members of COFADEH. Nevertheless, according to Oliva, the government had not provided police protection and no one has answered when she or others called the emergency numbers the government provided.[244]
  • On July 22, Osman Montezinos, a member of the FNRP and the “Popular Youth Movement Morazanista,” received a text message saying, “children will pay for the errors of their parents. We lost one, but you will lose another one.”[245] A month earlier, Montezino’s son had published a book titled “My pencil in resistance. Political tales.” Montezinos told Human Rights Watch that unknown individuals had followed him in the past.[246]
  • On August 20, José Pablo Peraza, a journalist with Radio El Progreso, received a text message saying “you are next, the good part is that you live near the hospital and we’ll do the job early in the morning stop fooling around (sic).”  Peraza does live near a hospital and leaves home at 5 a.m. every day to go to work.[247]
  • On September 14, Luis Galdámez Álvarez, a reporter for Radio Globo and Globo TV stations, was ambushed by unidentified gunmen when he entered his home. Galdámez returned fire and the attackers eventually fled. He has frequently been critical of the coup and the Lobo government in his broadcasts and has received threats for more than a year. In June 2009, the IACHR ordered that the Honduran government provide him with protection.[248]
  • On September 15, police and military members attacked the offices of Radio Uno in San Pedro Sula, which has been critical of the coup. They threw tear gas bombs at the radio station’s offices and at the people inside, broke windows in the building, damaged equipment and seriously injured one person who was going to the station to be interviewed. The station was also vandalized on August 31.[249]

Status of Investigations

Despite repeated requests, Human Rights Watch has been unable to obtain information on the status of the investigations in the majority of the cases described in this chapter. The incomplete information we were able to obtain indicates that there has been little or no progress.[250]

Prosecutors have only filed charges in two of the 10 cases of killings of journalists.[251] In the case of the killing of David Meza, a judge ordered the detention of four men on June 2, 2010.[252] The only one who voluntarily presented himself before a judge was acquitted. According to press accounts, police officers detained another suspect in September 2010, and the rest remain at large.[253] In the case of the killing of Jorge Alberto Orellana, one of the defendants was acquitted, while the prosecution continues against the other.[254]

To their credit, prosecutors from the Human Rights Unit at the Attorney General’s Office, who can only investigate cases in which military or police personnel are accused of committing a crime, have attempted to investigate some of the threats described above. Despite the fact that it is not always clear who issued the threats, they have tried to investigate, for example, cases in which the victims were human rights defenders.

However, prosecutors from the Human Rights Unit told Human Rights Watch that they have encountered two major difficulties when investigating these cases. The first is that, under Honduran law they can only investigate threats if the threatened person files a formal complaint before prosecutors.[255] And, according to the prosecutors, in several cases, the victims failed to do so.[256]

Secondly, judges have undermined prosecutors’ ability to investigate these cases. In one case, in May 2010, a judge in San Pedro Sula rejected a prosecutor’s request for authorization to obtain phone records for use in identifying the owner of a phone from which threatening text messages were sent.[257] Even though prosecutors transcribed two death threats received by a human rights defender from the same number, the judge ruled the evidence insufficient to warrant violating the phone owner’s right to privacy.[258]

Similarly, in June 2010, a prosecutor in Tegucigalpa requested that a judge order a cell phone company and the National Telecommunications Company (HONDUTEL) to provide information on calls made to, and received from, two numbers from which threats were allegedly issued. The prosecutor argued that the information would help corroborate the victim’s allegations that he had received several calls from that number, and that a high-ranking military official had issued the threats.[259] The court, however, ruled that the prosecutor needed to provide the “complete name of the accused and where he is based,” which are prerequisites for any criminal charge.[260] But the prosecutor had not charged anyone yet and needed the requested information to be able to gather sufficient evidence to bring charges.[261]

Lack of Adequate Protection

Since the coup, the IACHR has issued “precautionary measures” (medidas cautelares) ordering the government of Honduras to provide protection to over 150 journalists, human rights defenders, coup opponents, and their families. This includes 14 cases arising since President Lobo took office.[262]

In June 2010, the commission emphasized that efforts by Honduras to comply with these measures have been “few, late in coming, and in some cases nonexistent.”[263] As evidence of the government’s ineffective compliance, the commission cited the case of Nahúm Palacios, who was killed after the commission had requested that the Honduran government protect him.

In August, Ana Pineda, the human rights advisor to President Lobo at the time, told Human Rights Watch that the major difficulties in implementing protective measures are identifying the victim, determining where he or she lives, and establishing what sort of protection the person needs. According to Pineda, after the government issued a public invitation in three major newspapers asking individuals who had been granted precautionary measures to present themselves to obtain protection, officials were able to reach agreement with 217 such individuals as to what sort of protection the government would provide. She said that the government still had not provided protection to another 96 people who had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR but with whom the government had yet to reach an agreement.[264]

In October 2010, however, four NGOs representing almost 200 people granted precautionary measures by the IACHR reported that two people who should have received protection had been killed, 35 had received death threats, and nine had fled Honduras with their families.[265]

Representatives from Honduran human rights organizations that brought the cases to the IACHR also told Human Rights Watch that the protection provided by the government has been inadequate, and that many victims say they do not trust the police to protect them. In one case, a victim was given a phone number to call in case it was necessary to contact the police, but when he called, no one answered the phone.[266] In another instance, a person who was supposed to receive police protection had to wait for an hour at the police station for the officer who was to provide a police escort. When the officer arrived and the victim offered him water, the officer responded he did not want anything “from coup-plotters.”[267]

Chilling Effect

The ongoing killings, threats, and attacks have generated a climate of fear and intimidation that has undermined the exercise of basic rights in Honduras.

A radio journalist told Human Rights Watch that a colleague left his job at their station after receiving repeated death threats for his political views.[268] A coup opponent interviewed by Human Rights Watch said she felt compelled to abandon her political activities after she and her daughters were accosted by armed men.[269] A FNRP member who was shot in the leg during an assassination attempt told Human Rights Watch that he stopped participating in political activities as a result of the attack.[270]

According to Leo Valladares, a human rights defender and formerly the national ombudsman of Honduras, these cases reflect a broader chilling effect on Honduran society. Even though there still is active civil society participation in political affairs, the threats and attacks generate fear, which inhibits journalists and defenders from doing their work.[271] Similarly, Father Ismael Moreno told Human Rights Watch that the killings of journalists have led to self-censorship.[272]  According to Osman López, president of C-Libre, an NGO that monitors freedom of expression in Honduras, this is particularly evident in rural areas, where most of the killings of journalists took place.[273]

[194]According to the Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras, COFADEH), between January 30 and July 31, 2010, there were 23 politically motivated killings, 8 journalists killed, 92 death threats, including 59 against human rights defenders, and 76 instances of intimidation or persecution. COFADEH, “Human rights violations in Honduras not only continue in the aftermath of the coup… they are too many” (Violaciones a DDHH en Honduras no solo continúan en la continuidad del golpe… son demasiado), August 30, 2010, p. 13. See also Human Rights Platform (Plataforma de Derechos Humanos), “Press Release,” August 26, 2010, http://www.defensoresenlinea.com/cms/documentos/Plataforma_DDHH_Comunicado_26_agosto_2010.pdf (accessed September 24, 2010). The members of the Human Rights Platform are leading human rights non governmental organizations in Honduras: Center for the Rights of Women (Centro de Derechos de Mujeres, CDM), Center to Investigate and Promote Human Rights (Centro de Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, CIPRODEH), Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras, CODEH), COFADEH, Center for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their Families (Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares, CPTRT), and Food First Information & Action Network (FIAN) – Honduras.COFADEH, “There is a systematic state policy of violating human rights” (Existe una política de Estado de violación sistemática a los derechos humanos), August 6, 2010, http://www.resistenciahonduras.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=771:cofadeh-existe-una-politica-de-estado-de-violacion-sistematica-a-los-derechos-humanos&catid=60:derechos-humanos&Itemid=244 (accessed September 20, 2010). Defensoresenlinea.com, “Criminalization and Lack of Protection surrounds the lives of human rights defenders” (Criminalización e indefensión rodean la videa de los defensores y defensoras de ddhh), April 13, 2010, http://www.defensoresenlinea.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=696:criminalizacion-e-indefension-rodean-la-vida-de-los-defensores-y-defensoras-de-ddhh&catid=71:def&Itemid=166 (accessed September 24, 2010).

[195]The homicide rate in Honduras per 100,000 people was 33.6 in 2003, 31.9 in 2004, 35.1 in 2005, 42.9 in 2006, 50 in 2007, and 60.9 in 2008, and 67 in 2009.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Homicide Statistics, Dataset for advanced users, by country and source (2003-2008),” undated., http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Crime-statistics/Data_Table-final.xls  (accessed September 24, 2010). See also United Nations Development Program, “Human Development Report 2010,” http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2010_ES_Complete.pdf (accessed November 15, 2010), 2010, pp. 201-203. In 2009, 5265 people were killed. Instituto Universitario de Democracia, Paz y Seguridad, “Observatorio de la Violencia, Edicion No. 17,” March 2010, http://iudpas.org/pdfs/NEd17EneDic2009.pdf (accessed September 8, 2010). According to the Honduran ombudsman, 2929 people were killed between January and June 2010.  National Human Rights Commissioner (Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos), “Public Security: A priority in the national agenda” (La Seguridad Pública: Una prioridad en la Agenda Nacional), October 2010, p. 21. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the homicide rates decreased between 2003 and 2008 for most countries in the world, with the exception of a number of Caribbean and Latin American countries, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Venezuela, all of which all showed significant increases in homicide rates.  UN Office on Drugs and Crime, “Global homicide rates stable or decreasing, new UNODC report says,” February 16, 2010, http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2010/February/global-homicide-rates-stable-or-decreasing-new-unodc-report-says.html (accessed September 28, 2010).

[196]For example, the United Nations Committee against Torture held in 2009 that the government of Honduras had recognized that impunity was “widespread.” United Nations Committee against Torture, “Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention. Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture,” CAT/C/HND/CO/1, June 23, 2009, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats42.htm (accessed September 20, 2010), para. 20.

[197] Since the coup, the FNRP has organized several demonstrations criticizing the coup and the policies of the de facto government. It has also questioned the legitimacy of the Lobo administration, and has advocated for the establishment of a Constituent Assembly. Resistenciahonduras.net, “Definition of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP)” (Definición del Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP), March 2, 2010, http://www.resistenciahonduras.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=173:definicion-del-frente-nacional-de-resistencia-popular-fnrp&catid=53:documentos-constitutivos&Itemid=261 (accessed November 19, 2010).

[198]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Andres Pavon, president of CODEH, February 18, 2010. 

[199]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Vanesa Yáñez’s mother, February 19, 2010. The case is also mentioned in a report by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, but uses a different name (Vanesa Zepada). Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” June 3, 2010, http://cidh.org/pdf%20files/HondurasObservacionesVisitaCIDH2010.pdf   (accessed September 15, 2010), para. 54.

[200]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Lidia Marina Fúnez, February 19, 2010; CODEH, Testimony by Lidia Marina Fúnez, March 23, 2010. IACHR, “para. 55.

[201] IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 56. CODEH, “Claudia Larissa Brizuela Gonzalez, member of the National Resistance Front, is killed” (Asesinan a Claudia Larissa Brizuela Gonzalez, miembro del Frente Nacional de Resistencia), February 24, 2010, http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=82:asesinan-a-claudia-larissa-gonzales-miembro-del-frente-nacional-de-resistencia&Itemid=1 (accessed September 21, 2010). Additional information on Pedro Brizuela’s case is available in the section “Threats and Attacks” of this chapter.

[202] IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 24. Committee to Protect Journalists, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” July 27, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/reports/2010/07/journalist-murders-underscore-honduras-government.php (accessed September 22, 2010); National Section (Nacionales), “Journalist Cabrera blames the “resistance” for criminal attack” (Periodista Cabrera culpa a la “Resistencia” por atentado criminal), La Tribuna, March 4, 2010.

[203]Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, “Press Release R29/10,” March 15, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/relatoria/showarticle.asp?artID=787&lID=2 (accessed September 24, 2010).

[204] Ministry of Security, Document D-DNIC-198-2010 (Oficio No. D-DNIC-198-2010), June 11, 2010; IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 24. Committee to Protect Journalists, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” July 27, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/reports/2010/07/journalist-murders-underscore-honduras-government.php (accessed September 22, 2010).

[205] IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 24; Inter American Commission on Human Rights, MC 196-09, March 19, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/medidas/2010Hond.sp.htm (accessed September 21, 2010). Committee to Protect Journalists, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” July 27, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/reports/2010/07/journalist-murders-underscore-honduras-government.php (accessed September 22, 2010); CODEH, “IACHR already knew about the threats against journalist killed last night in Tocoa, Colón” (CIDH ya sabía de las amenazas a periodista asesinado anoche en Tocoa, Colón), March 16, 2010, http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=92:cidh-ya-sabía-de-las-amenazas-a-periodista-asesinado-anoche-en-tocoa-colón&Itemid=1 (accessed September 24, 2010).

[206] Letter by CODEH to the IACHR, December 20, 2009; CODEH, “Killings of members of the resistance continue” (Continúan asesinatos a miembros de la Resistencia en Honduras), March 18, 2010, http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=95  (accessed September 15, 2010); IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 57.

[207] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Aurora Agustina Narvaes Arguijo, widow of José Manuel Flores, August 10, 2010; CODEH, “Social Sciences teacher José Manuel Flores, active member of the National Resistance against the Coup d’Etat” (Asesinan a professor de ciencias sociales José Manuel Flores miembro activo de la Resistencia Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado), March 23, 2010, http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=103:asesinan-a-profesor-de-ciencias-sociales-josé-manuel-flores-miembro-activo-de-la-resistencia-nacional-contra-el-golpe-de-estado&Itemid=1 (accessed September 20, 2010); IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 58.

[208]IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 24; Committee to Project Journalists, “In Honduras, a wave of deadly violence against media,” March 29, 2010, http://cpj.org/2010/03/honduras-deadly-violence-against-news-media.php (accessed September 22, 2010).

[209] UNESCO, “The general director of UNESCO condemnes the killing of Honduran journalist Luis Antonio Chévez Hernández” (La Directora General de la UNESCO condena el asesinato del periodista Hondureño Luis Antonio Chévez Hernández), April 21, 2010, http://www.unesco.org/new/es/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/news-single-view/news/director_general_condemns_murder_of_honduran_journalist_luis_antonio_chevez_hernandez/  (accessed October 7, 2010); “Fight in discoteque could have been the cause of Luis Chévez’s death” (Discusión en discoteca pudo ser móvil de la muerte de Luis Chévez), Tiempo, undated; http://www.tiempo.hn/web2/index.php/secciones/sucesos/14121-discusion-en-discoteca-pudo-ser-movil-de-la-muerte-de-luis-chevez-huevo.html (accessed September 22, 2010).

[210]IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 24; Committee to Project Journalists, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” July 27, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/reports/2010/07/journalist-murders-underscore-honduras-government.php (accessed September 22, 2010).

[211] IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 59.

[212]Ibid., para. 60.

[213]CODEH, Testimony by María Arcadia  Gómez Medina, June 22, 2010; Ibid., para. 61.

[214]Committee to Project Journalists, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” July 27, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/reports/2010/07/journalist-murders-underscore-honduras-government.php (accessed September 22, 2010). “Another journalist is killed, now in El Paraíso” (Matan a otro periodista, esta vez en El Paraíso), Tiempo, June 15, 2010, http://www.tiempo.hn/web2/secciones/portada/17882-matan-a-otro-periodista-esta-vez-en-el-paraiso.html  (accessed September 22, 2010).

[215]Committee to Project Journalists, “Honduran radio reporter shot in latest journalist murder,” August 25, 2010, http://cpj.org/2010/08/honduran-radio-reporter-shot-in-latest-journalist.php (accessed September 22, 2010).

[216]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Andres Pavon, president of CODEH, February 18, 2010;  Inter American Commission on Human Rights, MC 38-10, March 19, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/medidas/2010Hond.sp.htm (accessed September 28, 2010); CODEH, Testimony of Manuel de Jesús Varela, February 3, 2010.

[217]Maria C. is a pseudonym used to safeguard the victim against possible retaliation.

[218]Testimony of Maria C., given before prosecutors on February 12, 2010, provided to Human Rights Watch by John César Mejía, director of the San Pedro Sula office of the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, August 27, 2010.

[219] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Hermes Reyes, February 19, 2010.

[220] Human Rights Watch telephone interviews with Pedro Brizuela, April 8, 2010, and July 27, 2010. IACHR, MC 91-10, March 19, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/medidas/2010Hond.sp.htm (accessed September 21, 2010). See other section on “Killings,” in this chapter for more information on Claudia Larissa Brizuela’s case.

[221] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Marta B., May 13, 2010. Marta B. is a pseudonym used to safeguard the victim against possible retaliation;  CODEH, Testimony of Marta B., undated.

[222]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Tomas Enrique García Castillo, August 11, 2010. IACHR, MC 91-10, March 19, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/medidas/2010Hond.sp.htm (accessed September 21, 2010).  (The Commission talks about “Mateo” Enrique García Castillo); CODEH, “Persecution and Uncertainty, two nightmares for the Honduran people” (La persecución e incertidumbre dos pesadillas para el pueblo de Honduras), March 18, 2010,

http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=93:la-persecución-e-incertidumbre-dos-pesadillas-para-el-pueblo-de-honduras&Itemid=1 (accessed September 21, 2010).  CODEH, Testimony of Tomás Enrique García Castillo, February 28, 2010.

[223]Human Rights Watch telephone interviews with Rebecca Becerra, April 28, 2010, and July 27, 2010; IACHR, MC 196-09;   CODEH, “Precautionary Measures for Rebecca Becerra” (Medidas cautelares para Rebecca Becerra), April 3, 2010, http://codeh.hn/v1/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=114:meidas-cautelares-para-rebeca-becerra&Itemid=1 (accessed September 21, 2010); CODEH, Testimony by Rebecca Ethel Becerra Lanza, December 2009.

[224]Committee to Protect Journalists, “Two Honduran TV reporters receive death threats,” May 4, 2010, http:// http://cpj.org/2010/05/two-honduran-tv-reporters-receive-death-threats.php (accessed September 28, 2010). See section on “Killings” in this chapter for more information on Nahúm Palacio’s case. IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” paras. 30-31.

[225] IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 29; Committee to Protect Journalists, “Two Honduran TV reporters receive death threats,” May 4, 2010, http:// http://cpj.org/2010/05/two-honduran-tv-reporters-receive-death-threats.php (accessed September 28, 2010). See section on “Killings” in this chapter for more information on Nahúm Palacio’s case.

[226] The text message in Spanish reads: “muchachita cállate el pico si no querés que te lo callen.”

[227]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Cecilia P., April 6, 2010. Cecilia P. is a pseudonym used to safeguard the victim against possible retaliation.

[228] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Arturo H., April 14, 2010. CODEH, Testimony of Arturo H., April 12, 2010. Arturo H. is a pseudonym used to safeguard the victim against possible retaliation.

[229] Committee to Protect Journalists, “Honduran journalist flees the country after attacks,” April 1, 2010, http:// http://cpj.org/2010/04/honduran-journalist-flees-the-country-after-threat.php (accessed September 28, 2010).

[230]Human Rights Watch telephone interviews with José Oswaldo Martínez, April 6 and July 27, 2010; Defensoresenlinea.com, “Oligarchy focused on closing Radio Uno, whatever it takes” (Oligarquía empecinada en cerrar Radio Uno a como dé lugar), March 20, 2010, http://www.defensoresenlinea.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=671:oligarquia-empecinada-en-cerrar-radio-uno-a-como-de-lugar&catid=54:den&Itemid=171 (accessed September 28, 2010).         

[231]The text message in Spanish reads: “aja Melo hijo deputa te vas arrepentir de abele prestado ayuda a ivonne pues séte ólvido de los hijos de puta que deja aquí en honduras los mataremos con gusto quien los va defender ahora a esos basura hijos de puta mamita va estar lejos.”

[232] Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Father Ismael Melo, April 8, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with Father Ismael Melo, San Pedro Sula, August 26, 2010; Attorney General’s Office, Testimony by Ismael Melo, April 9, 2010; Complaint presented by Valentin Menéndez, S.J., representative of the Compañía de Jesús, before the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, April 16, 2010.

[233] The original threat in Spanish reads: “Resistencia estamos eliminando a los chebes luego van los curas.”

[234]See section on “Killings” in this chapter for more information on Luis Alberto Chévez’s case.

[235]Radio Progreso, “Why we feel threatened” (Actuaciones por las cuales nos sentimos amenazados), undated; Information provided to Human Rights Watch by Father Ismael Melo, director of Radio El Progreso, San Pedro Sula, August 26, 2010. IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 36; IACHR, MC 196-09; International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), “Journalist receives death threat,” April 26, 2010, http://www.ifex.org/honduras/2010/04/26/chevez_death_threat/ (accessed September 28, 2010).

[236]The text message in Spanish reads: “Coronel: Vos crees que no te conocemos? Pasas en el parque sabemos a que horas llegas y vemos cuando y con quien llegas mejor deja todo eso de resistencia”; IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 36; Radio Progreso, “Why we feel threatened” (Actuaciones por las cuales nos sentimos amenazados), undated; Information provided to Human Rights Watch by Father Ismael Melo, director of Radio El Progreso, San Pedro Sula, August 26, 2010.

[237]CODEH, Testimony of Jessica Johanna Pavón Osorto, May 13, 2010; IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” paras. 32- 34; International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), “Canal 6 journalist received death threats,” May 13, 2010, http://www.ifex.org/honduras/2010/05/17/pavon_osorto_death_threats/ (accessed September 28, 2010).

[238]IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” paras. 37-38.

[239]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Elidoro Cáceres Benitez, July 29, 2010; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Eliodoro Obando, December 1, 2010; CODEH, Testimony of Eliodoro Cáceres Benitez, June 19, 2010; Human Rights Defenders Online (Defensores en linea), “Member of the resistance disappears in Tela” (Desaparece miembro de la Resistencia en Tela, Atlántida), June 15, 2010,

http://www.defensoresenlinea.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=800:desaparece-miembro-de-la-resistencia-en-tela-atlantida&catid=54:den&Itemid=171 (accessed September 21, 2010).

[240]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Anarella Velez Oseja, Tegucigalpa, August 25, 2010; Email threats provided to Human Rights Watch by Anarella Velez Oseja, September 9, 2010.

[241]CODEH, Testimony of Margarita Vargas Zelaya, June 17, 2010.

[242]The original text in Spanish reads: “Que ya se te olvido el dinero que te robaste del STENEE CON LA ROLL ROIZ RUSH que ahora tiene una ONG robada a Callejas y ¿ya no te acordas de la gente que mandastes a matar en San Pedro Sula cuando controlabas la guerrilla del partido comunista de Padilla Fush? ¿O ya se te olvido vieja podrida? ¿Crees que nosotros no nos acordamos? Ahorita te caemos, vieja ignorante!!! (sic).” Inter-American Court of Human Rights, “Provisional Measures on Honduras. Case Gladys Lanza Ochoa” (Medidas Provisionales respecto de Honduras. Asunto Gladys Lanza Ochoa), September 2, 2010, para. 2 (ñ).

[243]IACHR, “Provisional Measures on Honduras. Case Gladys Lanza Ochoa,” para. 16.

[244]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Kenya Oliva, August 12, 2010; IACHR, MC 196-09.

[245] The text message in Spanish reads: “Las crías van a pagar los errores de los padres. Perdimos uno, pero ustedes van a perder otro.”

[246]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Osman Montezinos, July 29, 2010.

[247] The text message in Spanish reads: “Vos sos el que sigue lo bueno es que vivís cerca del hospital y tempranito haremos el trabajo no sigas metido a pedos.” Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Lucy Mendoza, human rights lawyer who works for El Progreso, September 13, 2010; Center to Receive Claims (Centro de Recepción de Denuncias) at the Ministry of Security, “Claim number 2209” (Denuncia No. 2209), August 20, 2010.

[248]Committee to Protect Journalists, “Critical Honduran reporter survives shooting attack,” September 16, 2010, http://cpj.org/2010/09/critical-honduran-reporter-survives-shooting-attac.php (accessed September 24, 2010);

Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, “Office of the Special Rapporteur expresses concern over new attacks against journalists and media in Honduras,” September 20, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/relatoria/showarticle.asp?artID=820&lID=1 (accessed September 28, 2010). C-Libre/ International Freedom of Expression Exchange, “Journalist survives assassination attempt,” September 16, 2010, http://www.ifex.org/honduras/2010/09/16/galdamez_attack/ (accessed September 24, 2010).

[249]Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, “Office of the Special Rapporteur expresses concern over new attacks against journalists and media in Honduras,” September 20, 2010, http://www.cidh.org/relatoria/showarticle.asp?artID=820&lID=1 (accessed September 28, 2010).

[250]Danelia Ferrera, director of prosecutors (Directora General de Fiscalías) at the Attorney General’s Office, told Human Rights Watch in August that she would look for information on the status of the investigations into killings and threats, but as of the time of writing had not provided additional information than the one included in this section. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Danelia Ferrera, general director of prosecutors (directora general de fiscalías) at the Attorney General’s Office, Tegucigalpa, September 7, 2010; Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Danelia Ferreira, September 7 and 20, 2010.

[251]Ibid; Human Rights Watch interview with Justice Jorge Rivera Aviles, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Honduras, Justice Rosa de Lourdes Paz Haslam, Justice José Tomás Arita Valle, and Justice José Antonio Gutiérrez Navas, Tegucigalpa, August 25, 2010;  Ministry of Security, Document D-DNIC-309-2010 (Oficio No. D-DNIC-309-2010), August 19, 2010.

[252]Ibid; According to a power point presentation made by the Court during the meeting, the four accused are Angel Adalberto Martinez Nuñez, Terry Dubson Thomson Ivans, Marco Joel Alvarez Barahona, and Mario Roberto Guevara Caballero.

[253] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Danelia Ferrera, general director of prosecutors (directora general de fiscalías) at the Attorney General’s Office, Tegucigalpa, September 7, 2010;  Section “Events” (Sección Sucesos), “One of the suspects accused of killing journalist David Meza is caught” (Cae uno de los sospechosos de matar al periodista David Meza), Tiempo, September 22, 2010. Section “Events” (Sección Sucesos), “Pretrial detention for “The Unicorn” for killing David Meza” (Auto de prisión para “El Unicornio” por asesinato de David Meza), Tiempo, September 30, 2010.

[254]Human Rights Watch interview with Justice Jorge Rivera Aviles, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Honduras, Justice Rosa de Lourdes Paz Haslam, Justice José Tomás Arita Valle, and Justice José Antonio Gutiérrez Navas, Tegucigalpa, August 25, 2010. According to a power point presentation made by the Court during the meeting, Freddy Omar Ayala was acquitted, and Joseph Cockbork Delgado will be tried for the killing of Orellana.

[255] Code of Criminal Procedures, art. 26 (2): “The following crimes may only be prosecuted by public prosecutors per request of the victim: … (2) threats.”

[256] Human Rights Watch interview with Sandra Ponce, head of the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, and Juan Carlos Griffin, prosecutor in the Human Rights Unit, Tegucigalpa, August 23, 2010.

[257] Human Rights Watch interview with John César Mejía, director of the San Pedro Sula office of the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, San Pedro Sula, August 27, 2010.

[258]Request by Junny Coritza Vega Martinez, prosecutor in the Human Rights Unit, to the Criminal Judge of the Judicial Section of San Pedro Sula, May 14, 2010; Decision by Blanca Rita Dubon Bueso, Criminal Judge of the Judicial Section of San Pedro Sula, May 21, 2010; Appeal submitted by Johonny Bladimir Dubon Burgos, prosecutor, to the Criminal Judge of the Judicial Section of San Pedro Sula, May 25, 2010.

[259]Request by Juan Carlos Griffin Ramirez, prosecutor in the Human Rights Unit, to the Criminal Judge of the Judicial Section of Tegucigalpa (Juez de Letras de lo Penal Sección Judicial de Tegucigalpa), June 17, 2010.

[260]Resolution by the Criminal Court of the Judicial Section of Tegucigalpa (Juzgado de Letras Penal de la Sección Judicial de Tegucigalpa, Departamento de Francisco Morazan), File 20536-10, June 29, 2010.

[261] Human Rights Watch interview with Sandra Ponce, head of the Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, and Juan Carlos Griffin, prosecutor in the Human Rights Unit, Tegucigalpa, August 23, 2010.

[262] IACHR, “Precautionary Measures granted in Honduras. June 28, 2009 to date” (Medidas Cautelares otorgadas en Honduras. 28 de junio de 2009 hasta la fecha), http://www.cidh.org/medidas/2010Hond.sp.htm (accessed October 18, 2010).

[263]IACHR, “Preliminary Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about its visit to Honduras on May 15-18, 2010,” para. 71.

[264]Human Rights Watch interview with Ana Pineda, human rights advisor to President Porfirio Lobo, Tegucigalpa, August 25, 2010.

[265]“CEJIL: The government of Honduras does not respect the IACHR” (CEJIL: El Estado de Honduras irrespeta la CIDH), Radio El Progreso, October 29, 2010.

[266] Human Rights Watch interview with Bertha Oliva, president of COFADEH, Tegucigalpa, August 24, 2010.

[267]Human Rights Watch interview with Andrés Pavón, president of CODEH, Tegucigalpa, August 24, 2010.

[268]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with victim who requested anonymity, July 27, 2010.

[269] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Rebecca Ethel Becerra Lanza, April 28, 2010.

[270] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with victim who requested anonymity, April 14, 2010.

[271]Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Leo Valladares, director of the Association to Promote Participatory Citizenship (Asociación para una Ciudadanía Participativa), Tegucigalpa, October 27, 2010.

[272]Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Father Ismael Moreno, October 28, 2010.

[273]Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Osman López, president of C-Libre, October 30, 2010.