HONDURAS: DEATH THREAT AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
An environmental journalist has received a death threat after publicly condemning the environmental impacts of opencast mining and illegal logging in Honduras.
Environmental activist and journalist Juana Dolores Valenzuela received an email death threat on 27 November. The subject line of the email read “big mouth” (barbara lengona), and the message read: “Because of your big mouth we’re going to kill you one of these days, when are you going to learn some respect…old woman who never learned…you reached old age, bitch with that big mouth your coffin won’t be big enough for your tongue” (Por la lengua te vamos a matar un dia de estos, cuando vas a aprender a respetar …. vieja que nunca aprendiste ..llegaste a vieja, hija de la gran puta con la lengua que no te va a ajustar el ataud para tu lengua).
That morning, Dolores Valenzuela had appeared on a TV program on state broadcaster Canal 8, on the subject of opencast metal-ore mining, along with the president of the Honduran Congress’s Mining Commission. She then travelled to the Radio Católica studios, where she took part in a program on various environmental issues, including opencast metal-ore mining, illegal logging, and hydroelectric dams. During the show she mentioned the names of several people she said were responsible for environmental destruction.
When Dolores Valenzuela returned home at 4pm, she found the email, which had been sent at about 2.30pm. She has reported the death threat to the authorities.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY.
* Call on the authorities to order an independent, thorough and impartial investigation into the threat to kill Juana Dolores Valenzuela, to publish the results and to bring those responsible to justice.
* Urge them to take immediate steps to provide appropriate protection to Juana Dolores Valenzuela, in accordance with her wishes.
* Remind them that human rights defenders have a right to carry out their activities without any unfair restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION YOU NEED:
Sr. Luis Alberto Rubí
Fiscal General de la República
Lomas del Guijarro
Avenida República Dominicana, Edificio Lomas Plaza II
Fax: 011 504 2221 5667
Salutation: Sr. Fiscal General / Dear Attorney General
Minister of Interior:
Sr. Pompeyo Bonilla
Secretaría de Estado en el Despacho de Seguridad
Plantel Casamata, subida al Picacho
Fax: 011 504 2220 1756
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro
PLEASE SEND A COPY TO
Her Excellency Sofía Lastenia Cerrato Rodríguez
Ambassador for Honduras
151 Slater Street, Suite 805
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H3
Fax: (613) 232-0193
Via website: www.embassyhonduras.ca (at the mailbox icon Escribanos)
Non-governmental organization: Centro Hondureño de Promocion para el Desarrollo Comunitario, the Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development:
Colonia 15 de Septiembre
Calle Clemente Marroquin Rojas, casa 1902
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders said in February 2012, after visiting Honduras, that human rights defenders there were still suffering death threats, attacks, harassment and stigmatization, and urged the authorities to establish urgently a protection program for defenders.
Amnesty International issued an open letter to the Honduran government in May 2012, expressing deep concern at the sharp increase in attacks and threats against journalists and human rights defenders in Honduras, and urging the authorities to take urgent steps to address the situation. The organization has not yet received a reply.
Juana Valenzuela is an environmental activist and journalist. She writes columns on environmental issues for digital human rights news site Revistazo.com and environmental news site Periodicoecovida.com.