COFADEH’s open letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions

Tegucigalpa M.D.C., 9 December 2011
Mr Luis Alberto Rubí
Fiscal General de la República

Dear Mr Rubì,

COFADEH has repeatedly condemned the state of impunity for serious human rights violations committed in Honduras, which has intensified since the military coup of 28 June 2009. At the close of 2011, we would once again like to draw attention to the lack of transparency and inaction on the part of the Ministerio Público (Public Prosecution Service) in relation to these crimes.

Numerous politically-motivated human rights violations have been committed in the country before, during and after the coup, including arbitrary and summary executions, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, kidnappings, mass illegal detentions and repression of peaceful demonstrations.[1] The breakdown in the due functioning of state institutions is demonstrated by the systematic denial of the right to truth and justice for the victims and their relatives. Many of these violations were committed years ago. However, in cases involving agents of the state, the investigations have not been launched and those responsible continue to go unpunished.

COFADEH is aware of numerous cases of human rights violations. Several of the reports received relate to cases of murder, apparently politically-motivated, or to people who have died as a direct result of the use of excessive force by state authorities. COFADEH has been in regular contact with the victims’ relatives, and we can attest to the fact that the Ministerio Público disregards them and fails to keep them informed of progress in investigations. When it does contact them, it is to violate their right to decide who represents them legally.

The right of the families of victims of human rights violations to know the truth has been recognised by the United Nations and by the Inter-American System for the protection of human rights. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has declared that this right belongs, not only to the families, but to society as a whole, as knowing the truth about what occurred can prevent it happening again in the future. In view of this, the current state of impunity within Honduras is extremely alarming.

We request that you conduct, as soon as possible, thorough and impartial investigations into cases of serious human rights violations and that the people responsible are brought to justice …

Yours sincerely


(Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras)

[1] IACHR, ‘Honduras: Human Rights and the Coup d’Etat’, OEA/Ser.L/V/II. Doc. 55, 30 December 2009. See also: IACHR, Annual Report 2010, Chapter IV: Honduras, OEA/Ser.L/V/II, Doc. 5 corr., 17 March 2011.