Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2008 - Honduras

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 28 May 2008
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2008 - Honduras, 28 May 2008, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Head of state and government: Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 7.5 million
Life expectancy: 69.4 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 48/38 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 80 per cent

Women continued to experience high levels of violence. Human rights defenders, particularly those working on economic, social and cultural rights, were threatened and attacked. Violence against children and young people remained a concern.


In March, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reported that 125 cases from the early 1980s were still pending clarification. In February Honduras signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Police and security forces – excessive use of force

At least 41 people were reportedly injured by police in Santa Bárbara during anti-mining protests on 17 July. Demonstrators were calling on Congress to pass a new Mining Law which would include stricter provisions on environmental and health protection and ban open cast mining. Police reportedly beat demonstrators and used live ammunition. It was reported that some police officers were also wounded.

Human rights defenders

The absence of government policy on defenders and the lack of effective protection measures left human rights defenders at risk of threats and attacks.

  • In March, Donny Reyes, treasurer of the Rainbow Association (Fundación Arcoiris), a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization, was arbitrarily detained by police officers. At the police station, an officer reportedly told other inmates "look, I'm bringing you a little princess, you know what to do". Donny Reyes told Amnesty International that the other inmates took this as a signal to beat and rape him repeatedly.
  • In February, four police officers were detained in connection with the killing of two members of the Environmentalist Movement of Olancho (Movimiento Ambientalista de Olancho) in December 2006. A preliminary hearing took place in December, where charges were presented against the officers, and the trial was due to start in 2008. Members of the Movement reported they had been forced to severely curtail their activities during 2007 because of threats.
  • By the end of 2007 no one had been brought to justice for the killing of Dionisio Díaz García, a lawyer working for the Association for a More Just Society (Asociación para una Sociedad Más Justa, ASJ) who was shot dead in December 2006. He had been working on various cases of alleged labour rights abuses by a private security firm. In May 2007, another ASJ lawyer, Félix Antonio Cáceres, received a death threat by text message.

Violence against women

According to official statistics, around 200 women and girls were reported to have been killed in 2007. Continuing high levels of domestic violence were also recorded. Local organizations stated that the lack of investigation into the killings of women and a lack of effective action to tackle domestic violence remained a grave concern. In April 2007, Special Courts on Domestic Violence began to function in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.

Killings of children and young people

Official statistics varied, but according to the Public Prosecutor's Office the number of autopsies carried out for murders of children and young people under 19 years of age was approximately 300. In most cases those responsible were not brought to justice.

Amnesty International visit/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Honduras in August.
  • Honduras: Environmental activists killed in Olancho department (AMR 37/001/2007)
  • Persecution and resistance: The experience of human rights defenders in Guatemala and Honduras (AMR 02/001/2007)
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