The Honduran judge and human rights defender, Mireya Mendoza Peña, was murdered in broad daylight on July 24. She was a trial judge in the city of El Progreso and the undersecretary of Hivos partner the Association of Judges for Democracy (Asociación Jueces por la Democracia), an organization which works to defend Honduran judges and promote an independent judicial system in Honduras.
Mendoza was leaving a shopping center in her car when two motorcycles approached the vehicle and fired multiple gunshots. The online newspaper Conexhion, supported by Hivos, cited Mendoza’s car was hit by more than 20 bullets.
Honduras has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for human rights defenders. According to the state human rights commission (CONADEH), the death of Mendoza Peña brings to 64 the number of legal professionals who have lost their lives under the de facto government which took power after the 2009 military coup.
Hivos condemns the ongoing violence, threats and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political activists and the lack of accountability for these crimes. We call upon the Honduran authorities to investigate Mendoza Pena’s murder, bring to justice those responsible and take the necessary measures to ensure judges and other legal professionals are protected from intimidation and other forms of violence to ensure the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Statement of ‘ACI participa’
Hivos partner Association for a Participatory Citizenship (ACI Participa) also expresses its grave concern about the recent rise in killings of human right defenders in Honduras and the impunity surrounding these crimes. ACI Participa is a civil society organization that encourages citizens to be aware of their rights and duties and have advocacy in the key issues of the country.
You can download the complete statement (in Spanish) from the right sidebar.