Andrés Pavón Murillo, president of the Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (CODEH), Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Honduras, has been subject to intimidation, after he accused the Honduran State of violating human rights, negligence and the denial of justice following the death of over 100 gang members in the San Pedro Sula prison on 17 May.
Since 4 May, Andrés Pavón has reportedly received four threatening telephone calls. The caller threatened that they would “acabar con los defensores de mareros” “finish with the defenders of the mareros or gang members”. On two different occasions during the last week of May, neighbours saw a car with polarised windows which they did not recognise outside Andrés Pavón’s weekend home, located in a small village some 45 minutes from the city of Tegucigalpa.
Andrés Pavón has also reportedly been verbally attacked on television and radio. On a national radio station, both a member of staff and the general public have allegedly said that he should be shot for defending delinquents. On a national television programme, a suggestion was reportedly made that Andrés Pavón’s son or another close family member should be killed in order to see whether he would continue his work. On 29 May, Andrés Pavón requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights.
CODEH is one of the leading independent human rights organizations in Honduras. Since the organization was formed in 1981, its members have been the targets of attacks, death threats and even “disappearances”. Andrés Pavón has previously been intimidated as a result of his work. In 1994 he was followed by a gunman after he denounced the disappearance of Orlando Jiménez. In December 2003, his house was also broken into and in addition to valuable objects, documents concerning the organisation’s work were also taken. The break-in was reportedly not investigated by the authorities.
Letter written June 8, 2004 by Monique Pongracic-Speier, member of LRWC