Feministas en Resistencia was born on the same day as the coup, June 28, when a large number of women gathered at the home of the president to protest the coup. Although they were driven away with bullets and tear gas, they returned to meet again the following day, outraged at what had happened. The various feminist organizations joined together immediately and began to call themselves Feministas en Resistencia. They then joined the National Resistance Front (Frente Nacional de Resistencia) against the coup.
The group Feministas en Resistencia has been characterized by its permanent presence since June 28 in all acts of resistance. Moreover their individual actions (as feminists) have been noteworthy. They have promoted protests such as sit-ins and marches, and many other protest actions as well, before both national authorities as well as international agencies.
For its part, the Observatory of Transgressions and Feminist Resistance (Observatorio de Transgresión y Resistencia Feminista), which came into being in 2006, has participated in observation teams in different countries to show solidarity and to contribute to the progress feminism has made in attaining recognition of the rights of women.
During the week of the Aug. 17-21 of this year, both groups shared a day of observation in order to compile testimonies about the violations against women’s human rights after from the coup. With the input gained from this process, they succeeded in establishing what the violation practices are. The groups have continued to compile testimonies right up until this hearing today.
The objective of the organizations making this appeal today is to present these findings to the Honorable Commission in order to contribute to the updating of the preliminary report which the IACHR produced following its onsite visit to Honduras. This presentation is also made in order to denounce the major violations that have been encountered, since the majority of them were not presented before the corresponding national tribunals for reasons which we will discuss below. It is important that the violations that women in particular suffer not remain invisible in the context of a political crisis which has brought, as a consequence, grave violations of human rights to all of the Honduran people.
From the testimonies it can be observed that the women most affected are those who participated or continue to participate in marches and public demonstrations organized by the resistance in cities such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Comayagua, Intibucá, Santa Bárbara, and Tocoa. These individuals include adolescent girls, women over 60 years of age, and even children.
Since the coup, there have been many demonstrations, almost all of them dispersed by the de facto government’s security forces. There has been more violence in some than in others, depending on what provoked the demonstration. It is estimated that since the coup, there have been between 4,000 and 6,000 illegal detentions. In the first 15 days alone, there were around 1,000.
Among the cruelest forms of repression against women is rape, which is used to frighten and intimidate women so that they don’t leave their houses. We make this assertion as a result of various testimonies by women which demonstrate that the police and the army insults women, saying for instance: “Whores, go home,” “What are you doing making a fuss?—go take care of your children,” “I am going to beat you until you are left crippled, bitch,” “They want us to rape them so that they can’t come back and get mixed up in this stuff.”
1. Violations of Women’s Human Rights in Honduras Within the Framework of the Coup
The woman’s body has always been dominated, subjugated, minimized, and enslaved. And in the present climate of political conflict in which our country lives, our bodies have been converted into a battlefield.
In spite of the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, it is a fact that the police and the army have repressed women with more violence because we have a more obvious role inside the resistance.
Repression of women is characterized by its being directed against our sexual characteristics, against our condition as women, against our femininity. Feministas en Resistencia and the Observatorio de Transgresión y Resistencia Feminista, together with other human rights organizations, have recorded more than 400 cases of human rights violations against women, of which only 20 have been processed for the purpose of disseminating information. It should be understood that this is a sampling of a much greater population of women whose rights are affected by repression from the de facto government.
We find among the principal forms of aggression against women: heavy blows with clubs, physical aggression (kicks, punches), insults, and sexual abuse. Furthermore, there have been toxic gas attacks which have left two women dead from complications caused by this gas: Wendy Avila and Olga Osiris Uclés. To these two deaths we can add those of nine members of the LGBT population (Vicky Hernández Castillo, Fabio Zamora, Valeria Uclés, Héctor Maradiaga, Michelle Torres, Salomé Miranda, Saira Salmerón, Marión Lanza, and Montserrat Maradiaga), who died from gunshot wounds after the coup. Among these nine, some showed signs of having been tortured. In two of the cases of death, forensic officials refused to perform an autopsy (Vicky Hernández Castillo and Valeria Uclés).
Within this framework of repression, sexual violence against women by the police and army is marked especially by blows and insults to those parts of our bodies that identify us, like hips, breasts, vulva, and buttocks. We can attest to this because in 23 of the 240 cases we have recorded the women have declared that they were victims of groping, and have said that they received blows to their breasts and vaginas, and that they were the objects of sexually suggestive remarks and of insults with violent sexual connotations.
Among these 23 cases, we have recorded seven rapes occurring in the cities of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choloma, Danli, and El Progreso. These rapes have as a common factor that they were multiple rapes, performed by agents from the National Police. Rape was used as a punishment for the women because they took part in demonstrations. We can say that these were premeditated acts, since the women who reported that they were raped by the police said that the police had condoms. The women who were the victims of these rapes had been apprehended by the police after peaceful demonstrations or after curfew. Of these cases, only one woman has presented a formal complaint to the relevant authorities (Irma Villanueva). The other victims have presented their complaints to women’s organizations, but they have refused to present them to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs or the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights.
We believe that these cases of rape are not the only ones. Women say that they don’t make complaints for three reasons: 1) because they are afraid that if they file a complaint they will have to undergo a police investigation, that is to say, an investigation by the same repressive body that violated them; 2) lack of confidence in the country’s justice system has been exacerbated, and consequently there is no confidence that there will be an effective response; and 3) because they actually have made the complaint and the police refused to take their complaint as in the case of Yoslany, 17, who was raped in the company of another woman on September 22.
That day (Sep. 22) I found myself in the park with a girl friend and we didn’t hear the curfew, which was at five in the afternoon. We left the Central Park at six in the afternoon and a patrol of three police followed us down the street. When we arrived near the Guanacaste (about four blocks from the Central Park) the patrol confronted us and made us get in [the patrol car]. We asked them please, don’t detain us; we told them that we were going to pay them, but they told us they didn’t want money, what they wanted was to have sex with us.
Then they brought us to a hill where it was isolated, insulted us, treating us like whores and dogs, and two of them raped us. We never saw their identification because they had the names on their uniforms covered. They beat us a great deal and told us that if we returned to the park, they would kill us. They knew what they were doing because they brought condoms to protect themselves. Later they left us lying there with our clothing torn. Since that day I have been very frightened and my girlfriend left the house in which we both lived because she was so scared and she doesn’t want to talk about it.
Yoslany Díaz, 17, Tegucigalpa.
During the repression in El Paraíso, I went to the march. I stepped away from the group for a little bit to go to the bathroom, maybe around six in the afternoon. That’s when the police grabbed me. It seems they were following me, or perhaps it was that I was alone, I don’t know, and a patrol jumped me. There were four of them, and I couldn’t see their faces because they wore hoods. Since I’m not from there, I don’t know where they took me, but it was a wooded area, and they raped me there, two of them, while one took care of the police car and the other kept watch. The one who was watching me put the club in my vagina and asked me if I liked it, if I was Mel’s whore, that this was what awaited women like me who meddled in these things. I cried the whole time and told them not to do this to me, but they didn’t pay any attention, they put a gun to my forehead when they raped me and then they left me there. I came here but I don’t want to make a complaint in the courts because they are the same people [who did this to me], I don’t have confidence in them and it is hard for me to speak of it.
Florinda López, 37, El Paraíso.
On the other hand, under the de facto government, there has been an increase in the number of murders of women, a clear indication of the violence against women committed by this de facto regime and the impunity with which it operates. According to the report “Death of Women from Intentional Violence 2008” from the Violence Observatory of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 312 women died violent deaths between January and December of 2008 in the country (an average of 26 murders of women a month). Through March of this year there was an average of 16 a month. According to sources in the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs, as of October 325 murders of women have been reported (an average of 31 a month). These sources note that in the month of July alone there were 51 murders of women.
Regarding the statistics related to domestic violence and intra-familial violence, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs reports a decrease in the number of complaints since June 28. According to its criterion, the curfews have caused the flow of complaints in police centers to lessen. However, starting with interviews with various women we arrived at this hypothesis: that women have stopped going to the police to present their complaints because they don’t have confidence in the police due to the fact that the coup has turned the police into the main instrument responsible for the many violations of physical and individual liberties. According to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs, in Tegucigalpa alone, in June, 375 complaints of domestic violence and 278 complaints of intra-familial violence were received, while in July 561 and 268 reports, respectively, were received.
It is important to point out that following the arrival of President Zelaya in Honduras on Sep. 22 due to the passage of the Decree of the Suspension of Individual Rights, peaceful demonstrations moved from the streets to the neighborhoods. In order to prevent these demonstrations, the de facto government has deployed its entire military force and has made use of firearms, rubber and wooden bullets, tear gas bombs, pepper gas, tanks, clubs, metal pipes, and wooden sticks with nails with which they beat the demonstrators, with the excuse that the use of force and the violence is necessary to prevent violent acts and “vandalism.”
In the neighborhoods, this repression has especially affected women, as one can see, due to the fact that women have tended to flee with their children even from their own houses to protect themselves each time the army and the police have violently entered homes in residential areas. Specifically, these acts of aggression happen during raids at night by gangs of five or more police patrols, who in many cases remain to patrol the area, keeping the women “under siege” without freedom of movement. The situation has worsened the level of indefensibility and vulnerability.
As a result of this repression, there are women who have become victims of gunfire during shoot-outs which the police and military have organized in the raids mentioned above, when they go out onto the patios of their houses.
Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm I was in the house and I heard people making a ruckus and I went to see what it was about and I was not even out there five minutes when I heard shots, and the people pushed forward because they [the soldiers] wouldn’t let them pass, and suddenly I felt something in my stomach and it was a shot which exited through my leg. I have three bullet holes, and the doctors said they are from one or two shots. I don’t know why the soldiers were shooting, only that people were running, but there were shots in the air.
Sonia Isabel Castejón Trejo, 59 years old, Tegucigalpa, September 22.
The following is testimony obtained in the neighborhood of Suyapa, evidence of the manifestation of this violence:
That night we had a bonfire. Around eight that night, the people in the neighborhood were dancing and laughing, when approximately 12 police patrols arrived and without explanation began to beat people saying they were Zelaya supporters, part of the resistance, and that these meetings were prohibited. After the people—there were about 200 of us—began to protest, the police began shooting in the air at first and then at those of us who were fleeing. I took refuge with my compañero in a man’s house and the police broke down the door and came in, there were about 20 of them. We were hidden in the back. I only saw their boots. I thought, what am I doing? What’s going to happen to my three-year-old son who was also in the house? How am I going to take care of him, with whom is he going to stay if something happens to me? They grabbed two neighbors and beat them. Before this, they had already managed to hit me a few times in the arms. I still have the bruises. That night I couldn’t leave; I stayed there until the morning when the patrols left.
Jessica Aguilar, 25.
Despite this change in the form of the demonstrations, some continue to protest in the streets. After President Manuel Zelaya’s return to Honduras, 12 women reported to Feministas en Resistencia that they had been directly targeted by toxic gas bombs thrown by National Police agents in addition to 50 other women who reported collateral effects from the gases including diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and difficulties breathing, among others.
I was at the peaceful demonstration when the army (the special COBRAS squadron) and the preventative police bombarded the demonstration with teargas. They spit on me, kicked dirt and rocks at me, they beat me on the body and arms with a club. I fell in a ditch from the harsh beating and broke my left foot. While they were beating me they screamed: “Bitch, we are going to leave you crippled so you don’t fuck with us anymore.
Latinea Zepeda Amaya, 43, teacher, member of the COPRUMH, describing the peaceful El Durazno demonstration that took place on July 30.
Another important aspect that should be stressed is the numerous illegal detentions of women that have lasted from three hours to several days. The women reported that while detained they were not informed as to the reason for their detention or read their rights, and they were denied their right to legal defense, among other things. They were also denied medication, food, and water during their detention.
They did not provide us with food or water. A nurse, who was a friend of one of the teachers, arrived and was allowed to enter. She took our blood pressure and gave us acetaminophen for headaches. I feel like there was discrimination. They took away our freedom, our cell phones, and we weren’t allowed to communicate with anyone.
María Edith Villanueva, after the demonstration that took place on July 31 in San Pedro Sula.
Several women have presented complaints to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights and according to the monitoring carried out by human rights and women’s organizations, as of yet, they have not received any response.
Alba Leticia Ochoa, in an interview with the media, also related her experience after being illegally detained in a holding cell at the rear of the congressional building:
Afterward they took us to the Cobras. They had us there from 2:30 until 10 that night. They didn’t give us water, they continued to intimidate us (…). They wanted us to sign a blank piece of paper, I told them that I wouldn’t sign anything without the presence of my lawyer. Then they told me that if I didn’t sign I would lose my rights. Some of the compañeros signed because they were intimidating them. From there they took us to the police station where they processed us as if we were the worst criminals in the world. The hearing started the next day at six in the afternoon where we were accused of sedition.
Alba Leticia Ochoa, interviewed by Revistazo.com.
An emblematic case is that of Professor Agustina Flores, detained and accused of sedition, who is awaiting an order of detention with substitute measures that prohibit her from many things including: participation in demonstrations or actions of peaceful resistance, freedom of movement around the country, as well as freedom to leave the country. Agustina was jailed for 30 days and finally released thanks to international pressure and the intervention of the Lawyers Front against the Coup (Frente de Abogados/as contra el Golpe) who were financed with 100,000 lempiras (approximately USD $5,000) donated by the Teachers’ Colleges (Colegios Magisteriales) which she belongs to.
Feminist lawyers and human rights defenders have participated in the presentation of several appeals for legal protection. Twelve women have been accused of sedition, some of which are under the PCM-16-2009 decree of Sep. 22 of this year that restricts constitutional guarantees, and all of which are currently under substitute measures. Ninety-two have received precautionary measures from the IACHR that have not been implemented. In total, 42 appeals for legal protection have been presented since the coup took place, between June 29 and the month of October. In addition, 10 appeals of unconstitutionality have been presented between July and September and 26 appeals for habeas corpus were filed between June 28 and August of this year. But not one of the appeals have been put into effect, due to the fact that they have been declared inadmissible either because the Supreme Court has been declared incompetent in recognizing them or because they are still being processed.
The appeals for legal protections have mainly been presented in order to attack the decisions and actions of the armed forces or the National Congress of the Republic. The appeals of unconstitutionality have been directed toward the legislative decrees and have been mainly in defense of President José Manuel Zelaya.
In the presentation of women who have been accused of offenses, we cannot overlook the case of Judge Maritza Arita who has been harassed within her work environment for having applied substitute measures for three people accused of acts of vandalism and terrorism. As a result of this action, the judge has received death threats.
We also want to denounce the persecution and surveillance of women human rights defenders, feminists, and women’s organizations by the police and military. Among the organizations that have denounced this surveillance are the “Lolas” Association of Socialist Women (Asociación de Mujeres Socialistas “Lolas”), the Center for Women’s Studies (CEMH, Centro de Estudios de la Mujer), and the Center for Social Development (CESADEH, Centro de Desarrollo Social).
Feminist activists and women leaders of the resistance, as well as teachers and lawyers from the Frente de Abogados/as contra el Golpe, have received direct death threats (from the repressive police and military) or in messages transmitted through cell phones and emails. The threats are directed at the most well-known women leaders calling them by name or by profession, which indicates a sophisticated level of surveillance and control carried out by the police and military of the movements and actions of women involved in the resistance. We must highlight that the majority of these death threats and intimidating messages include allusions to sexual violence including rape or sexual abuse if the women continue in the resistance. This is a strategy used to induce these women to abandon their work for the defense of human rights and justice.
Violations of Freedom of Expression
Since the second week of the coup d’etat, radio programs produced by women’s organization such as “Tiempo de hablar” from the Women’s Rights Center (Centro de Derechos de Mujeres) and “La Bullaranga” from the CEM-H, both broadcast via Radio Cadena Voces, were taken off the air while they were demonstrating their condemnation of the coup.
Recently, the “Tiempo de hablar,” “La Bullaranga,” and “Entre Chonas” (from the Women for Peace, Visitación Padilla [Mujeres por la Paz, Visitación Padilla ] organization) were shut down on Oct. 16, 2009 by the INVOSA-Radio Cadena Voces management based on a decree that restricts constitutional guarantees (PCM-16-2009). The news was given to the organizations a few days after INVOSA decided to charge them double the amount agreed on in their initial contract as a condition to renewing the contract, saying it was a rate established for the campaign period leading up to elections. After the organizations agreed to the new contract their programs were cancelled.
The document that justifies their expulsion from the station cites supposed “lack of respect for the constitution” by producing shows with content such as contextual political and judicial analysis in regard to President Zelaya’s arrival in the country (“Tiempo de hablar,” Oct. 3) and a program on human rights violations against women with participation from women who had been beaten and persecuted by the national police due to their participation in the resistance (“Tiempo de hablar,” Oct. 10). They also accused them of being “a danger to familial peace in Honduras.”
According to Daysi Flores, host of “Tiempo de hablar,” both shows had a large audience and strong public participation. “Through the intimacy of the radio we have invited people to share the reality that we are living, not what the official media shows.”
She says, “This is a dictatorship that tries to silence us, especially women that think, question, and bring about debate.”
II. Attacks Against the Institutionality of Women’s Rights
The situation of women specifically, as demonstrated by the situations that have been denounced, is made worse when there is a general regression in the protection of women’s rights, such as that experienced since June 28. Given that conditions were difficult previous to the coup, afterward the advances that were made in favor of women are in grave danger given the increased precariousness and lack of independence in public institutions, above all those that work with or for women.
For more than two decades, as a product of the work and efforts of feminist and women’s organizations, several public policies recognizing gender equality have been approved that define the directives and courses of action within the work to be undertaken by the state. One of the last policies approved was the II Gender Equality and Egalitarianism Plan 2008-2015, the content of which was the result of a two-year process of consensus between the state and the feminist movement and Honduran women. This process was led and coordinated by the National Institute of Women (INAM, Instituto Nacional de la Mujer). But after the coup, there was no follow-through on the application of these policies due to the fact that cooperative funds were cut and the state did not set aside any further funds for their implementation.
Another factor that is hindering the implementation of these public policies is that after the coup the INAM was further weakened both politically and institutionally. Key resources for its institutional strength were lost, such as the unjust firing of 19 people (12 women among them). These people were highly qualified and had ample experience working in women’s issues.
One of the strategies upheld in the National Women’s Policy (2002-2007)—a public policy that contains the principles and strategies to continue in the implementation of gender equality policies—is the work coordinated between the INAM and feminist and women’s organizations within the country that work at the national level. The break in relations between the INAM and the feminist and women’s movement—which has worsened since July 15, the day that feminist and women’s movements who were peacefully protesting the coup were violently evicted from the INAM—constitutes a reversal in the implementation of these public policies as the INAM now lacks the participation of women who were strategically allied in their work, creating a situation in which it will be impossible to implement these policies at the local and municipal level.
The coordinators of the Municipal Women’s Offices (OMM, Oficinas Municipales de la Mujer) that have demonstrated against the coup have been the object of political persecution and firings. We have evidence of six cases of this type. The OMMs, which are part of the INAM structure, were created to carry out the implementation of public policy in small cities and rural areas. They had succeeded in electing coordinators through participatory processes such as town meetings, which guaranteed their independence and autonomy with respect to municipal authorities. This whole process, which has contributed to the building of a more democratic and participatory society for women, was lost after the coup.
The creation of the INAM in 1999—as an autonomous organization responsible for the implementation of public policy concerned with gender equality—has been one of the great achievements of the feminist and women’s organizations as it has provided us with a representative institution that defends our rights. All of this was lost as a consequence of the coup.
The institutions within the judicial system have failed to follow through with the objectives and functions that they were created to uphold. The Public Ministry—which has as its function the penal prosecution of cases as stipulated in the laws—is both the prosecutor and the investigator of punishable acts; it has colluded with the coup-led government in order to legitimize its actions. The Special Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights, instead of defending those who have suffered human rights violations, has been accusatory in its processes and in the political persecution of the people who have participated in peaceful protests.
The Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs has lost credibility and social recognition as have the rest of the institutions within the judicial system. Women do not dare to report acts of violence that have put their lives and physical integrity at risk. Without a doubt, the increase of femicide in the country is a result of the lack of intervention and attention on the part of the Public Prosecutor, the Judicial Power, and the police with respect to the violence committed against women.
Both the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Women’s Affairs and Special Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights have also shown a lack of due diligence in cases of human rights violations against women that have been presented to them. We have evidence showing that of the complaints that have been filed, they have not followed through with the processing established by law in addition to not carrying out the actions necessary to investigate the events and apprehend those who both committed the crimes and those who acted as conspirators of those crimes. We are specifically denouncing the Judicial Power that has not followed through with the processes established by law in cases of appeals for judicial protections, habeas corpus, and the unconstitutional acts that they have been presented with.
The institutions created within the Public Ministry and the Secretariat of Security, such as the Units for Special Attention to Cases of Femicide or the Violent Deaths of Women, are not complying with their functions of ensuring compliance with the laws and supervising the actions of their officials. An example of this is the fact that since June they have not supplied any statistics on incidences of violence against women in the country or on the complaints and cases that they have received.
The National Human Rights Commission (CONADEH, Comisionado Nacional de Derechos Humanos), a state institution that is charged with receiving complaints of human rights violations and has a separate unit charged specifically with attending women’s cases—the Women and Children Program—instead of serving as a form of protection and a place to make complaints, has been working to legitimize and justify human rights violations carried out by this dictatorship. They use public communiqués to affirm that there have been no deaths or any other type of human rights violations since the coup took place. They have not made public the sexual violations and abuses that women within the resistance have suffered. We also have information that since the coup, the head of the Women and Children Program was fired without just cause, making it impossible for women’s organizations to work in conjunction with the program to denounce the violations of our human rights.
As a result of the coup d’etat, the legal advances that we have made after many years of struggle are now in grave danger. There is now a prohibition on the use and distribution of the Emergency Contraceptive Pill, instated through an executive order made by the Health Secretariat on June 29, 2009 (the day after the coup), that argues that they are abortion pills and therefore violate the right to life established in the constitution. This is an example of how the ultraconservative political class has come together with fundamentalist religious groups to reverse the social and legal changes that have been achieved in favor of women’s rights. Before the coup, Manuel Zelaya’s administration had vetoed another proposed law on April 1 before the National Congress—presided over at that time by Roberto Micheletti—to prohibit the Emergency Contraceptive Pill. The use and distribution of the pill was approved in Honduras in 1992 and is one of the most important achievements of the Honduran feminist movement.
Another example of the intentions of this government with respect to the advances made by those in favor of women’s rights is the lack of recognition of the OMMs as an organic part of the municipal structure within the reforms imposed on the Municipalities Law on July 8. Another attempt on the part of the de facto government to reverse the achievements made by women was the presentation of a proposed Law on Obligatory Military Service, in which it is established that women may be forcefully recruited in emergency cases. Women were able to make sure this law was not approved after peacefully protesting in front of the National Congress.
We have information that the II Gender Equality and Egalitarianism Plan 2008-2015, that the National Institute of Women started implementing in September of this year, was modified from its original content and does not include many demands—particularly those related to sexual and reproductive rights—as they were presented by feminist and women’s organizations in a two-year consultation process. We also have information regarding a proposed law to fuse the INAM with other institutions such as the INFAH (charged with the protection of children) and the Solidarity Network (that carries out social programs), which implies a step backward for women’s rights given that this will dilute and obscure the specificity of the problems encountered in the situation of women in public issues.
All of these reversals in the laws, public policies, and institutions have direct consequences in the lives of women. The weakening of government agencies charged with implementing public policy prohibits the reflection of efforts made by feminist and women’s organizations and the resources invested through years of international cooperation to create a substantial change in the female condition.
The reprehensible actions of the judicial system institutions and their loss of legitimacy, as in the case of the Public Prosecutor, the Judicial Power, the police, and the National Human Rights Commission, have created a climate of indefensibility for women as they do not have access to agencies in which they can denounce acts of violence against them and prevent larger consequences such as femicide. The illegality and inapplicability of the laws—as demonstrated since the coup took place—have increased the vulnerability of women facing social and political violence and exposed to abuses of authorities and the police as evidenced by the cases of sexual violence perpetrated by the police that we have brought before the Commission.
Due to the fact that this government implements and utilizes all of the coercive strategies of a dictatorship, the existing mechanisms used to supervise public institutions, such as the INAM and the National Human Rights Commission, are not complying with their mandate. This has the result of making it impossible to exercise social auditing processes within state institutions that take part in the application of laws and public policies.
Finally, the coup d’etat has signified an incalculable retrogression for us now that all that we have achieved in order to have a just, egalitarian, and more equal society for women has been put at risk. It does not allow women to continue fighting for their rights and advance in the recognition or harmonization of international and national norms.
Requests to the IACHR:
- We recognize that the Illustrious Commission, in its preliminary report from its onsite visit to Honduras, made a general allusion to the violations of women’s rights. We ask that along with the information we provide here and the report that we will produce in the next few days, the reference to those violations be made more specific in the final report.
- We also ask that these references to the violations of women’s human rights be included in the communiqué that the Commission is preparing to publish at the conclusion of this period of sessions.
- We request that the Commission call on the Honduran authorities to ensure that the security forces immediately cease all sexual violations against women and that all the cases that have occurred up until now be effectively investigated.
- We also require of this Honorable Commission that in their monitoring of the human rights situation in Honduras they consider with special attention our denunciation of the lack of response from public institutions for the protection of the rights of women.