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Trócaire condemns excessive force used by Honduran security forces on election protestors

16 March 2018

Trócaire and our Honduran partner organisation’s condemn the recent killings of unarmed protesters following November’s disputed presidential election.

Honduras protests

March following disputed presidential election, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 2017.

Members of the Honduran security forces, in particular the military police, used excessive force to control and disperse protests following the disputed election.

The official report from the UN corroborates that security forces have used live ammunition and killed more than 16 unarmed demonstrators during protests and engaged in other serious human rights violations.

It found that multiple civilians were killed during the protests, including women and children. The report also documents the killing of 15 individuals prior to the elections, including party candidates, municipal councillors and activists.

No charges have been brought against any member of the security forces

Trócaire’s Country Director in Honduras, Hervé Bund said: “These cases raise serious concerns. No charges have been brought against any member of the security forces in relation to the killings. International Advocacy is key to keep putting pressure on the State to prosecute those responsible for the killings, otherwise impunity will prevail."

Over 1,000 people were detained between 1st and 5th December for violating a curfew imposed as part of a state of emergency declared.

The state of emergency’s broad grounds for detaining people, resulted in mass and indiscriminate arrests, and discouraged people from exercising the right to peaceful assembly and of association.

The report also highlights “consistent allegations of ill-treatment of persons at the time of arrest and detention,” illegal house raids, and a surge in “threats and intimidation against journalists, media workers, and social and political activists.”

Trócaire calls on the Honduran authorities to restrict the use of the military police and to adhere to international human rights standards.

Furthermore, there must be an impartial, immediate investigation into all allegations of human rights violations.

Trócaire echoes the report’s findings and urges the Honduran Government to engage in a participatory national dialogue on reforms to promote development, human rights and reconciliation.

Hervé added, “The already fragile human rights situation in Honduras is likely to deteriorate further unless there is true accountability for human rights violations.”

Read the full report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Updates from Honduras