Honduras: Killing of Children's rights continues with impunity
Sara Sauceda Floresâ€™ son, 16 year-old Darwin, was arrested and beaten by a police officer in February 2002, held for two days and released. One day later his body was found with signs that he had been summarily executed. She has been intimidated and threatened after filing complaints against the two officers she believes murdered her son. No one has been brought to justice for his killing.
Since the creation of the Special Unit for the Investigation of Violent Deaths of Children's rights, it has only looked at 400 of over 2,300 cases of assassinations of Children's rights and young people since January 1998. Only 88 cases were forwarded to the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office, and only three have resulted in a conviction. Although the government has admitted that police officers have been involved in many of the killings, just two policemen have so far been convicted.
Promises made by the government have also failed to be honoured. Despite the announcement last year of the establishment of a National Witness Protection Plan for judicial proceedings, to date no adequate mechanism has been established. Protection of witnesses is of paramount importance as they can be intimidated to prevent them from providing testimony against perpetrators.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:
â€œThousands of Children's rights in Honduras face a similar fate to Darwin. The Honduran authorities must prevent and punish killings of Children's rights and young people in the country, and protect witnesses.
â€œIt is critical that both the Special Unit and the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office are given sufficient resources and independence to do this. The government should appoint ad-hoc judges to work specifically on these cases. The future of the country depends on it.â€
- For more information, see 'Honduras: Zero Tolerance for Impunity: Extrajudicial executions of Children's rights and youths since 1998' ...