EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 37/09/94
UA 426/94 Death threats / Fear for safety 2 December 1994
HONDURAS Andrés PAVÓN MURILLO- Regional President of the Honduras Committee
for the Defence of Human Rights (CODEH), Comité para la Defensa
de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Andrés Pavón Murillo,
regional president of the Honduran human rights organization, CODEH, in the
municipality of La Ceiba, Department of Atlántida, following reports that he
was subjected to death threats on 20 November 1994 by an unidentified gunman.
The threats follow efforts of CODEH to clarify the "disappearance" on 17
September 1994 of Orlando Jiménez Antúnez (see AI Index AMR 37/08/94 "Honduras:
Possible "Disappearance") and his subsequent killing. Reports indicate that
the house of Andrés Pavón Murillo has been under surveillance by unidentified
people since CODEH's denunciation of the "disappearance".
On 20 November, Andrés Pavón Murillo and his wife were reportedly returning
from a local trip when a gunman reportedly threatened him and followed them
in a vehicle without number plates, stopping opposite their home. Andrés Pavón
Murillo sought refuge in a shop nearby until the vehicle left the area. According
to witnesses, the gunman had been waiting for Andrés Pavón Murillo for several
hours. The threat has been denounced to the local police, the relevant judge
and the Public Ministry. Amnesty International is unaware of any investigation
into the incident. The identity of the gunman is unknown, but Amnesty
International believes that he may be connected with the security services
of the Honduran Armed Forces.
As a regional coordinator of CODEH, Andrés Pavón Murillo had been investigating
the "disappearance" of the bar manager Orlando Jiménez Antúnez who was abducted
from his home in the village of Elixir, Department of Colón, on 17 September
1994 by a group of unidentified assailants. In the investigation that followed
by a Public Ministry Attorney and CODEH, Andrés Pavón Murillo publicly denounced
the participation of at least four members of the police and four civilians
in the "disappearance" and killing of Orlando Jiménez Antúnez. The body of
Orlando Jiménez Antúnez was found buried in an unmarked grave on 17 November.
He had been shot and his forearms severed from the body.
On taking office in January 1994, the government of President Carlos Roberto
Reina gave a commitment to investigating human rights violations in the recent
past, so as to prevent their recurrence. In particular, initial efforts were
made to clarify the fate of over 100 victims of "disappearances" in previous
years. However, these have not resulted in the prosecution of those responsible.
Meanwhile, human rights activists campaigning for these cases to be clarified
have repeatedly received death threats, believed to be issued by sectors of
the military linked to abuses.
Amnesty International has repeatedly appealed to the government of President
Carlos Roberto Reina to implement effective measures to put an end to human
rights violations in the country.
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