On July 31, WOLA—together with 15 Honduran organizations, 25 international organizations, and seven individuals—sent a letter to the Coordinator of the Intervention Commission for the Office of the Attorney General of Honduras on the assassination of Judge Mireya Mendoza Peña. Judge Mendoza was assassinated around noon on July 24, 2013 in the city of El Progreso, Honduras, while she was driving her car. Unidentified gunmen shot at her approximately twenty times.
The letter emphasizes that “for the signatory organizations, the murder of Judge Mendoza does not only entail the irreparable loss of a lawyer committed to justice and democracy, but her death is of the utmost concern due to the inevitable chilling effect that this type of event has on everyone committed to the pursuit of justice.”
According to the National Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras, since January of 2010, 64 legal professionals have lost their lives under violent circumstances and 97 percent of the cases went unpunished. The letter affirms that “The effect that this type of crime has on judicial operators is devastating. In particular, if the state does not investigate and punish both the material and intellectual perpetrators to the furthest degree, it would essentially be tolerating these acts and thus intimidating the independent and impartial work of judges and other judicial operators.”
The signatories request a thorough investigation of the assassination in order to identify and prosecute the material and intellectual perpetrators of this act.
Please click here to read the letter (only available in Spanish).