“Sadly, these deplorable killings are far from isolated cases. There is a menacing climate of insecurity and violence in Honduras, and human rights defenders have been targets of threats, harassment,” Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Wednesday
“The impunity that surrounds these violations is unacceptable. When the perpetrators know they are very likely to get off scot-free, there is nothing to deter them from killing off more of the country’s finest human rights defenders,” she noted.
Incidentally, Antonio Trejo-Cabrera, a lawyer prominent for defending the interests of peasant groups in land conflicts in the Lower Aguan Region of Honduras, was shot to death last Saturday. He had repeatedly reported receiving death threats in the months leading up to his killing.
Two days later, Manuel Diaz-Mazariegos, a public prosecutor in the city of Choluteca, who also worked on human rights cases, was gunned down.
Pillay on Wednesday urged the Honduran Government “to spare no effort in their investigations” into the killings of Trejo-Cabrera and Diaz-Mazariegos, and to ensure that attacks or threats against other human rights defenders are taken seriously and promptly investigated.
“It is essential that the people who commit these crimes are brought to justice. Failure to do so will only exacerbate what is already a dire situation,” she stressed.