Honduras: Death of Keyla Martínez demands prompt, exhaustive and impartial investigation

Following the death of 26-year-old Keyla Martinez on 7 February after she was detained and taken to a Honduran national police facility in the town of La Esperanza, and reports of police repressing protests over her death, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“The Honduran public prosecutor’s office must carry out a prompt, exhaustive, independent and impartial investigation into Keyla’s death, with a gender perspective and following the guidelines of international standards such as the Minnesota protocol, as this could be an extrajudicial execution at the hands of public officials.”

The Honduran public prosecutor’s office must carry out a prompt, exhaustive, independent and impartial investigation into Keyla’s death, with a gender perspective and following the guidelines of international standards such as the Minnesota protocol.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“Such a tragedy demands not only that the public prosecutor’s office fulfils its obligation to guarantee access to justice, but also that the government ensures that people who peacefully demonstrate to demand justice for Keyla can do so freely and without fear of reprisals. The authorities must end the excessive use of force against those mourning this human loss and demanding justice in front of police facilities.”

According to the national police, on the night of 6 February, police officers arrested Keyla Martínez for breaking the curfew imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and transferred her to the facilities of Police Department Unit #10 in La Esperanza, Intibucá. However, hours later she was taken to the Enrique Aguilar Cerrato hospital, where, according to the medical personnel who attended her, she arrived without vital signs. The national police claimed that Keyla Martínez had committed suicide using the shirt she was wearing.

“We join the call of Honduran society for the authorities to clarify the facts as soon as possible and determine the truth, through the necessary forensic and scientific procedures. Amnesty International notes that in any death in police custody it is up to the state to demonstrate convincingly that the death was not a human rights violation resulting from the actions of an agent of the state,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Duncan Tucker: [email protected]