Assassin who killed activists in Honduras was reported, friends say

Photo:Mr. José Ángel Flores, human rights defender, was a leader o the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán. (Archives)
 

Alleged organizer of the assassination of two human rights defenders José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio George was reported several times to the Honduras Public Minister, the member of Human Rights Observatory of Aguán, Ms. Orbelina Flores informed.

“At the meeting he said that he: Jose Angel Flores, we will kill you”, she said. The other human rights advocate Doris Pérez Vásquez was also threatened, Ms. Flores added.

Mr. José Ángel Flores who was a leader o the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán and George who was a member of that movement were murdered on October 18th, 2016 after attending a meeting with several campesino (peasant farmer) people in La Confianza settlement, Bajo Aguán region, north-eastern Honduras. José Ángel Flores died immediately. Campesino activists took Silmer Dionisio George to the hospital, where he died as a result of the gunshots.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to both human rights defenders in 2014, along with another 121 leaders of the campesino movements in the region. The IACHR requested that Honduras take appropriate measures in order to protect their lives and personal integrity, given the high risk they were facing.

A campesino leader of the Agrarian and Regional Platform of the Aguán Valley (Plataforma Agraria Regional del Valle del Aguán) also covered by precautionary measures told Amnesty International that José Ángel Flores had constantly received threatening calls in the past year.

Earlier this year Silmer Dionisio George had to leave the Bajo Aguán region because of repeated threats against him. The Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH) confirmed that both leaders faced constant threats because of their work as human rights defenders.

(El Heraldo, Criterio, AI, pht)