• Campaigns

Honduras: fear for safety / death threats: Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas, Oscar Wilfredo Jeresano Murillo, Mayra Betancourth, Bessy Maribel Jeresano Betancourth, Juan Pablo Rivas Jeresano and other members of the Jeresano family

, Index number: AMR 37/002/1995

AI is concerned for the safety of members of the Jeresano family, who have reportedly been subjected to death threats, harassment and surveillance since the killing in early 1995 of Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas's husband, Juan Pablo Rivas Calderon. The family believes that the harassment is intended to intimidate them and other witnesses, in order to stall the investigation into the killing of Juan Pablo Rivas Calderon. No progress appears to have been made in this investigation.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 37/02/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 73/95 Fear for Safety / Death threats 17 March 1995
HONDURAS Norma Bessy JERESANO DE RIVAS (f)
Óscar Wilfredo JERESANO MURILLO, her brother
Mayra BETANCOURTH (f)
Bessy Maribel JERESANO BETANCOURTH (f)
Juan Pablo RIVAS JERESANO
and other members of the Jeresano family
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of members of the Jeresano
family, who have reportedly been subjected to death threats, harassment and
surveillance since the killing in early 1995 of Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas's
husband, Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón.
Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón, a retired army major, was shot dead by unidentified
individuals in San Pedro Sula on 4 January, in circumstances which have yet
to be officially clarified. Since his death, it has emerged that Juan Pablo
Rivas Calderón's killing may be related to charges brought by him in 1993 against
the former head of the Armed Forces, Humberto Regalado Hernández, for
corruption.
Hours after the killing, neighbours saw unidentified individuals apparently
watching Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas' home from several vehicles. On the
evening of Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón's funeral, the same vehicles, which had
no number plates, were seen circling the home. Shortly afterwards Óscar
Wilfredo Jeresano Murillo received an anonymous telephone call warning him
not to continue calling for an investigation into the killing of Juan Pablo
Rivas Calderón. Óscar Wilfredo Jeresano Murillo's partner, Mayra Betancourth,
was also followed by a suspicious vehicle as she took their daughter, Bessy
Maribel, to school. The same vehicle has been seen watching their home.
Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas has also received anonymous telephone calls,
in which the caller either asks who lives there or just breathes heavily down
the telephone. On 7 March, Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón's son, Juan Pablo Rivas
Jeresano, was on his way to buy drinks when a similar car without number plates
appeared deliberately to try to run him over. Juan Pablo Rivas Jeresano
narrowly avoided the car and was shaken but unhurt.
According to a complaint presented before the Comité de Familiares de
Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH), Committee of Relatives of the
Detained-Disappeared in Honduras, the family believes the harassment is
intended to intimidate them and other witnesses, so as to stall the investigation
into the killing of Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón. No progress appears to have
been made in investigating this killing.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The killing of Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón and the threats against his family
have occurred in the context of recent moves by the one-year-old government
of President Carlos Roberto Reina to investigate human rights abuses and acts
of corruption by officials of previous administrations.
Human rights activists campaigning for the bringing to justice of those
responsible for past "disappearances" have received death threats, believed
to be issued by sectors of the military linked to these abuses. Members of
2
the press who have denounced corruption by powerful economic sectors, including
the military, have also received threats.
The government of President Carlos Roberto Reina has repeatedly voiced its
commitment to end impunity for human rights violations by the military and
for acts of official corruption. However, Amnesty International is concerned
that those allegedly responsible for these abuses may be resorting to threats
and intimidation to prevent the truth about these abuses from emerging.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of the above-named members of the Jeresano
family, following reports that they have been threatened and intimidated,
apparently in connection with their calls for an investigation into the killing
of Juan Pablo Rivas Calderón;
- asking for steps to be taken to ensure their protection, including the
investigation of these incidents and the bringing to justice of those
responsible;
- calling for measures to guarantee the safety of all those involved in
denouncing human rights violations and official acts of corruption, including
witnesses, relatives, human rights activists and members of the press.
APPEALS TO
1) President of the Republic
S.E. Carlos Roberto Reina
Presidente de la República de Honduras
Casa Presidencial, 6ª Avenida, 1ª Calle
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telegrams: Presidente Reina, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Faxes: +504 37 85 21 and 34 49 47 and 34 19 66
Telexes: 1129 MMRR HO/1429 HO
Salutation: Sr. President / Dear Mr. President
2) Attorney General
Lic. Edmundo Orellana Mercado
Fiscal General
Fiscalía General de la República
Ministerio Público
4º Avda, Colonia Palmira, Edificio Castillo Poujol
contiguo del Colegio de Enfermeras
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Faxes: +504 39 36 97 and 39 36 98
Salutation: Sr. Fiscal General/Dear General Attorney
3) Human Rights Commissioner
Lic. Leo Valladares Lanza
Comisionado Nacional para la Protección de los Derechos Humanos
Edificio Las Cumbres, Quinto Piso
Ave. Cervantes, Apdo. 2986
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Faxes: +504 38 75 38
Salutation: Sr. Comisionado/Dear Commissioner
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
3
Human Rights Organization
COFADEH
Apartado Postal 1243, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Fax: +504 37 98 00
Daily newspaper
Diario Tiempo
Altos del Centro Comercial Prisa,
Colonia Miramontés, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Faxes: +504 534590; Tel/Fax: +504 310422
Radio
Radio América
Colonia Alameda, AP 259, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Faxes: +504 31 29 23
Head of the Honduran Armed Forces
Jefe de las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras
Gral. Luis A. Discua Elvir
Cuartel General, Estado Mayor, Comayagüela, Honduras
Fax/Tel: +504 37 32 95
and to diplomatic representatives of Honduras accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 May 1995.

Choose a language to view report