Lica. Karla Cueva, Secretary of State for Human Rights Affairs of Honduras
Óscar Fernando Chinchilla Banegas, Attorney General of Honduras
Lic. Rolando Argueta Pérez, President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras
Dr. Roberto Herrera Cáceres, National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras
June 11, 2020
Dear Attorney General Chinchilla, Secretary Cueva, President Argueta, and Commissioner Herrera:
We are writing to express our concern about attacks on civil liberties being carried out by security forces in Honduras under the guise of health emergency protections. The military forces and militarized police forces have increased arbitrary detentions and physical assaults, resulting in at least one killing.
Here are some examples from recent weeks:
Marvin Rolando Alvarado Santiago (El Paraíso, Omoa, Cortés Dept.) was killed on April 24 when an agent at a military police checkpoint shot him several times.
Oscar Machado and Eduardo Vásquez (Zacate Grande, Amapala, Valle Dept.) were taking the temperatures of people entering their town on April 24 when TIGRES anti-riot agents attacked them with kicks and tear gas.
Miguel Padilla and his brother-in-law Yoni Duarte (Guarizama, Olancho Dept.), were illegally detained by military police on May 7 and then transferred to San Francisco de la Paz where they were tortured.
César Arnulfo Blandón Merlo (Jutiapa, Danlí, El Paraíso Dept.), an adolescent youth who was staffing a health check point on May 9, was beaten by Preventative Police, breaking one of his hands.
Heydi Mareli and her brother Wilmer Roberto Amaya Rubio (Campamento, Olancho Dept.) were arbitrarily detained on May 20 and assaulted with punches, kicks, slaps and insults by nine Preventative Police agents who would not allow Wilmer to accompany Heydi to run errands in her car
We strongly urge you to:
- carry out thorough and impartial investigations of the incidents listed above, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice
- end all forms of aggression, threats and harassment against the people of Honduras, especially human rights defenders, during and after this health emergency
- guarantee the rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and freedom of expression, while practicing bio sanitary measures as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martinez, Co-Coordinators