Last August 3rd, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concluded its on site visit to Honduras, which took place from July 30th to August 3rd of this year. The purpose of the visit was to observe the human rights situation in the country on the ground.
In its preliminary report, the Commission observed that human rights defenders continue to contend with an extreme risk situation due to the ongoing violence, criminalization and defamation to which they are exposed. The Commission underscored the fact that the Honduran government has the right to struggle against impunity for attacks on human rights defenders, which implies the realization of serious, independent, transparent investigations to identify intellectual and material authors, prosecute them, and guarantee adequate reparations. Likewise, the Commission expressed its concern over the practice of criminalizing human rights defenders, which generally leads to submitting defenders to long judicial proceedings. In those that impose alternative measures to imprisonment, a multiplier effect of intimidation often extends to others defending similar causes. In light of this situation, the Commission urged the Honduran government to adopt all necessary measures to avoid that through judicial investigations, human rights defenders are subjected to unjust or unwarranted trials.
The IACHR also reiterated its concern over the grave situation of violence against women in Honduras, the diverse ways in which this takes place, and the high rates of impunity that result. Furthermore, it expressed its alarm over the violence used against women in special risk situations, such as LGBTI women and human rights defenders. In the same vein, it confirmed that the fact of being a migrant or human rights defender can heighten the risk that a woman could be killed and victimized.