A Bloody End to 2002 For
Honduran Children & Youth
January 6th 2003
Yet another 64 Honduran children and youth under the age of 23 were murdered during the month of December 2002 making it one of the bloodiest months of the year in the Central American country of just over 5 million people.
Fifty-nine males (92%) and five females were murdered, 92% of them by gunfire. A growing percentage of the killings - 52% - took place in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, including two street children, Junior Edgardo Lopez (15) and Belsin Edgard Rivero Gonzalez (14), attended by Casa Alianza who were gunned down from behind on December 27th.
In a disturbing new trend, one third of murders in December of children and youth occurred outside the two principal cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, signaling that the murder of children in Honduras is a growing trend throughout the country. There were 5 murders in Comayagua; three in Tela, Atlantida; two in Tocoa, Colon; and one each in Choloma, Danli, Trujillo, El Progreso, Pespire, Villa Nueva and Santa Cruz de Yojoa.
Whilst there were no killings of children and youth over Christmas Eve and Christmas day in this mostly Catholic country, 22% (14) of the murders of the whole month took place on New Years Eve, including five children in the town of Comayagua.
The Honduran government has not been able to protect the nation's children despite promises to do so and a much-lauded "zero tolerance" campaign used as an election promise by President Ricardo Maduro elected in early 2002 has been ineffective. A special investigative unit of the Honduran police was set up in September of last year but not one of the 15 initial cases given to them to investigate by Casa Alianza's Legal Aid Program has led to a conviction. A Casa Alianza request to the government to increase the number of investigators from 5 to 10 after President Maduro publicly offered to use "all the country's resources necessary to stop the killing of children" has not received a response.
Casa Alianza has requested that the United Nations follow up on the recommendations made to Honduras after the August 2001 visit of the Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions and it is expected that the theme of the murder of Honduran children will be discussed at the next meeting of the UN Committee on Human Rights in Geneva in March of this year.
PLEASE write to the Honduran Embassy in your country asking:
- to STOP THE KILLINGS OF CHILDREN in their country - to investigate the murders of all the children, especially those of Junior Edgardo Lopez (15) and Belsin Edgard Rivero Gonzalez (14) who were killed this month - that President Maduro fulfill his promise of using all the country's resources necessary to stop the killing of children and to your own governments, asking:
- the position of the government regarding the killings of homeless children in Honduras - that the government request that the United Nations urgently discuss this issue at the upcoming meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva in March
Please send messages to:
Honduran Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States Honduras@oas.org
Honduran Mission to the European Union email@example.com
Honduran Mission to the United Nations mission.Honduras@ties.itu.int
Honduran Embassy Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
Honduran Embassy to Scandinavian countries email@example.com
Honduran Embassy London firstname.lastname@example.org
And a copy to email@example.com
For more information, please contact Casa Alianza at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Casa Alianzaís award winning website at http://www.casa-alianza.org
Thank you for taking the time to care,
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The Journal of History - Winter 2003 Copyright © 2003 by News Source, Inc.