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50+ Organizations to UN Voting States: Honduras has no legitimacy in the Human Rights Council

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

For immediate release

Photo: Martin Calix, Contra Corriente

Today, more than 50 national and international civil society organizations sent this letter to UN voting States, urging them to leave their ballot blank when voting for Honduras - one of the world's deadliest countries for human rights defenders - for the Human Rights Council.

October 13, 2021

The undersigned civil society organizations denounce the Honduran State's nomination for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Honduras, one of the most dangerous places in the world for human rights defenders, has no legitimacy to implement a mandate to "Promote and protect human rights worldwide". Although the Honduran State is part of a "closed slate" candidacy, we urge voting States to leave the ballot blank when it comes to Honduras, a State manifestly unqualified for the seat, as a symbolic way of denouncing the State's failure to respect the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and to cooperate fully with the Council.

For years, Honduras has been plagued by assassinations, arbitrary detentions, threats and intimidations against those who courageously defend their rights. Faced with the serious human rights situation, the IACHR has presented three reports on the country in 2009, 2015 and 2019, in which it identifies the persistence of structural problems such as poverty, inequality, corruption and impunity that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable sectors of society, due to the existence of a "selective justice" that, on the one hand, acts belatedly in relation to human rights violations, but on the other hand, acts in favor of the interests of various actors linked to public, political and business power.

On the other hand, there has been little movement on the recommendations made by the former Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, after his visit to Honduras in 2019, and the situation of vulnerability and risk faced by defenders has not diminished. On the contrary, regressive laws, including profound changes to the penal code, have served to deepen the situation of risk faced by defenders, their communities and their families.

Ahead of the Human Rights Council elections on October 14, Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights held an engagement event for candidate states on September 8, 2021. During the event, we were surprised that Honduras pledged to cooperate with civil society and States from all regions, when just this year, far from respecting the will and spirit of the UN to protect and promote human rights, Honduras failed to comply with Resolution Opinion No. 85/2020 of the Working Group on Human Rights. 85/2020 of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, concerning José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbín Nahúm Hernández, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz and Jeremías Martínez Díaz (Honduras), known as the Guapinol defenders, which urged the State to immediately release the eight water defenders who have been arbitrarily detained for more than 25 months. The Honduran State not only failed to implement the resolution but has since prolonged without cause the arbitrary detention of the defenders who were fighting to defend their community's drinking water from mining projects in Carlos Escaleras National Park.

This October 14, UN member states should not promote Honduras, but take action to stop the State from acting against its own people and their rights.


AIDEVISH, Honduras

Asociacion APUVIMEH, Honduras

ASOPAZH, Honduras

Bandera Socialista, Honduras

Bufete "Estudios para la Dignidad", Honduras

Bufete Jurídico Justicia Para Los Pueblos, Honduras

CADEHO, Alemania-Germany

Caritas. Diócesis de San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Casa Visitacion, Iglesia Catolica, Honduras

Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo CNTC, Honduras

Centro de Derechos de Mujeres, Honduras

Centro de Estudio para la Democracia (CESPAD), Honduras

Centro de Estudios de la Mujer - Honduras, Honduras

Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Victimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares (CPTRT), Honduras

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, EEUU-USA

Coalición Contra la Impunidad, Honduras

Comité de Defensa de los Bienes Comunes y Publicos de Tocoa, Honduras

Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, Honduras

Comité por la Libre Expresión (C-LIBRE), Honduras

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), EEUU-USA

Consejo Indigena Lenca Reitoca, Honduras

Consejo Indigena Municipal de Santa Elena La Paz, Honduras

COPINH, Honduras

Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan (COPA), Honduras

Equipo Jurídico por los Derechos Humanos, Honduras

ERIC-SJ, Honduras

FIDH en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos

Foro Honduras Suiza, Suiza-Switzerland

Fundación San Alonso Rodríguez (FSAR), Honduras

Grupo Musical Son de Pueblo, Honduras

Hondurasdelegation, Alemania-Germany

Iniciativa Mesoamericana de mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos, Mesoamerica

Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Program, EEUU-USA

Just Association (JASS), Mesoamerica

Mesa Nacional de Incidencia para la Gestión de Rieagos MNIGR, Honduras

MEU, Honduras

Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (MADJ), Honduras

Movimiento de Diversidad en Resistencia (MDR), Honduras

Movimiento PATRIA en Acción, Honduras

OMCT en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Internacional

Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia, Alemania

Organización Ayudamos Honduras (OAH), Honduras

OrganizaciÓn Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), Honduras

Plataforma Agraria, Honduras

Plataforma de solidaridad con Honduras, España-Spain

Plataforma Internacional Contra la Impunidad, Honduras-Suiza

Red Coiproden, Honduras

Red de mujeres del Progreso, Honduras

Red europea de Comités Oscar Romero, Bélgica-Belgium

Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras , Honduras

Sede Comunidad LGBTI Ofraneh, Honduras

Solidaridad con Guatemala de Austria, Austria

Trócaire, Honduras


CIDH. Situación de Derechos Humanos en Honduras. Washington, D.C. 27 de agosto 2019, p. 47, párr. 75

End of mission statement by Michel Forst, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders on his visit to Honduras, 29 April to 12 May

ONU: Liberar a defensores de Guapinol de inmediato e investigar a responsables de detención ilegal

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Oct 13, 2021

Exigimos una verdadera justicia en Honduras y por el momento no permitir que este gobierno tenga ninguna representación en el.consejo de las naciones unidas y sus órganos operativos...

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