N° 52/09




Washington, D.C., July 27, 2009 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Pedro Ezequiel in Honduras (also identified as Pedro Mondiel Martínez), and calls on the de facto regime to guarantee the life and physical integrity of all the country’s residents.


According to information received from civil society organizations and published in the media, Pedro Ezequiel or Pedro Mondiel Martínez was allegedly arrested by the police on Friday, July 24, when he was on his way to the town of El Paraíso, Honduras, located near the border with Nicaragua, to participate in demonstrations supporting the return of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. The information received indicates that the body of Pedro Ezequiel or Pedro Mondiel Martínez was purportedly found on Saturday, July 25, in a deserted area, and that witnesses indicated they had seen signs of torture.


The IACHR demands that this murder be investigated and those responsible punished. The IACHR also calls on the de facto regime to adopt all measures necessary to guarantee the life, physical integrity, and safety of all residents of Honduras.


On another matter, the IACHR reiterates its deep concern over the repeated use of various states of emergency in Honduras, which have been used to suspend fundamental rights such as the right of personal liberty, allowing for someone to be detained and held in isolation for more than 24 hours; freedom of association and assembly; and the right to move about freely, leave, enter, or remain in Honduran territory.


The IACHR would like to reiterate that the suspension of rights is warranted only under exceptional circumstances established specifically by the American Convention on Human Rights. At no time may the suspension of personal liberty entail a limitation of habeas corpus, or other suitable and effective remedies for judicial review of detentions, or of the essential judicial guarantees necessary to protect life and physical integrity. 


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.



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