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UA 244/92 - Honduras: possible extrajudicial execution: Juan Humberto Sanchez

, Index number: AMR 37/008/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 37/08/92
Distr: UA/SC
UA 244/92 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 30 July 1992
HONDURAS: Juan Humberto SÁNCHEZ, aged 26
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the possible extrajudicial
execution of Juan Humberto Sánchez, who was found dead on 24 July 1992, 13
days after his abduction by individuals believed to be members of the Honduran
armed forces.
In the evening of 9 July 1992, Juan Humberto Sanchez was detained in front
of his family at his home in Santo Domingo, Colomoncagua, Intibucá Province
by about five members of the Batallón Décimo de Infantería, Tenth Infantry
Battalion stationed at Colomoncagua. He was held for two nights on suspicion
of illegal possession of weapons.
In the morning of 11 July 1992 he was released without charge from the Battalion
barracks. He told his family that on his release members of the Battalion
had warned him to be careful because they would come to his home at any time.
At around 10pm that same evening, five armed unidentified individuals arrived
at his home, forcing his parents to lie face down, apparently to avoid
identification. Nevertheless his mother noted that the men were dressed in
green and wore camouflage headgear, of the type worn by the Fuerzas
Territoriales, Territorial Forces which patrol the border with El Salvador.
Juan Humberto Sánchez was taken away, and was not seen again alive by his
After receiving no indication of his whereabouts, the family presented a writ
of habeas corpus to the Tenth Battalion which denied all knowledge and
responsibility for his detention.
His body was found in a ditch near his home on 24 July 1992. His hands and
feet were tied at the back and he had been shot in the head. His body appeared
to have been severely mutilated.
Since President Callejas took office in January 1990, Amnesty International
has been concerned at several cases of apparently politically motivated killings
in circumstances which suggest the involvement of the security forces. Few
of these cases have been officially investigated, nor the perpetrators
identified or brought to justice. Most of the victims have been suspected
government opponents.
In December 1991, Manuel de Jesús Guerra Arita, assistant secretary of the
Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo (CNTC), National Union of Rural
Workers, was killed in unclarified circumstances. Allegations that the
Honduran police intelligence was involved in his killing do not appear to have
been investigated by the authorities.
In July 1991 the government decreed a sweeping amnesty law granting immunity
from prosecution to military and police personnel allegedly involved in human
rights violation carried out in the past. Although the government has recently
created new mechanisms aimed at protecting human rights, AI believes that the
failure to punish those responsible for human rights violations, may have given
the perpetrators the belief that they can continue to commit similar acts with
Page 2 of UA 244/92
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters:
- expressing grave concern about the killing of Juan Humberto Sanchez in
circumstances suggesting that he was extrajudicially executed;
- calling for an immediate and full investigation into his death and urging
that those responsible be brought to justice
1) President of the Republic:
S.E. Rafael Leonardo Callejas
Presidente de la República de Honduras
Palacio Presidencial
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telegrams: Presidente Callejas, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Fax: (504) 37-9656
Telex: 1129 MMRR HO
Salutation: Sr. Presidente
2) Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Dr. Mario Carias Zapata
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Avenida La Paz
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telegrams: Ministro Relaciones Exteriores, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Fax: (504) 31-0097
Telex: 1129 MMRR
Salutation: Sr. Ministro
3) Attorney General:
Lic. Leonardo Matute Murillo
Procurador General de la República
Procuraduría General de la República
Calle Principal 107
Colonia Reforma
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telegrams: Procurador General de La República, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Fax: (504) 38-3130
Salutation: Sr. Procurador
1) Tnte. Cnel. Emmanuel Flores Mejía
Comandante del Décimo Batallón de Infantería
La Paz, Honduras
2) Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecios
en Honduras (COFADEH)
Apdo. Postal 1243
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
3) Sr. Director
Diario Tiempo
Altos del Centro Comercial Miramontés
Colonia Miramontés
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
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 10 September 1992.

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