Honduras Human Rights

General Country Conditions

Concerns about human rights in Honduras have intensified since the democratically elected President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was forced from power on June 28 and expelled from the country by a military-backed group of politicians led by Roberto Micheletti, former leader of the National Congress. There has been widespread unrest in the country since the coup d’etat with frequent clashes between the police, military and civilian protestors. At least two people have died after being shot during protests.

Excessive Use of Force and Unlawful Killings

The use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas by the police and military led to the death of at least 10 people. The arbitrary and indiscriminate use of tear gas, with insufficient warning or precautions, caused physical harm to scores of protesters, including children. Hospitals were not given information about the chemical substances used, hindering them from providing treatment.

Nineteen-year-old Isis Obed Murillo died from a gunshot wound to the head on 5 July after members of the military fired live ammunition during a demonstration at Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa. The military reportedly refused to co-operate with the investigation into his death.

In August, 38-year-old teacher Roger Abraham Vallejo died in hospital as a result of injuries sustained from a bullet wound to the head, reportedly fired by police during the break-up of a protest in Tegucigalpa in July.

In September, 16-year-old Gerson Ariel Cruz was seriously wounded by police following the break-up of a protest in Tegucigalpa. According to an eyewitness, the police chased protesters into a residential neighbourhood where they opened fire, shooting Gerson Ariel Cruz, who had taken no part in the protest. An investigation by the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights was under way at the end of the year.

Violence Against Women

Women demonstrators and women in custody reported sexual abuse and harassment by police officers. Many women reported being beaten on the buttocks and backs of the legs by police during demonstrations. No investigations were conducted into gender-based violence during the disturbances.

N. was separated from her family during a demonstration in Choloma on 14 August. She was arbitrarily detained by police officers who, after dropping other detainees off at a police station, took N. to a remote location where four police officers raped her consecutively.

A 34-year-old woman told Amnesty International that she and her 59-year-old mother were repeatedly beaten across the back of the thighs and buttocks by police using batons during one protest.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Evidence emerged of a sharp rise in the number of killings of transgender women following the June coup. Between 2004 and March 2009, human rights organizations had registered 17 cases of killings of transgender women. Between the end of June and December 2009, 12 such cases were reported by local human rights organizations. No data was available about investigations into these killings.

Honduras Newsroom

March 30, 2022 • Press Release

Federal Appeals Court in Denver Rules Transgender Woman from Honduras Should Have Been Granted Asylum Based on “Extensive Evidence” of Violence Against Transgender Individuals

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a transgender woman, should have been granted asylum based on a record of “extensive evidence of widespread violence against transgender individuals in Honduras.”

February 27, 2020 • Report

Countries cracked down on asylum and the right to protest in the Americas in 2019

As millions took to the streets to protest rampant violence, inequality, corruption and impunity, or were forced to flee their countries in search of safety, states across the Americas clamped …

November 27, 2017 • Report

No Safe Place: LGBTI Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans Seeking Asylum in Mexico

The lives and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) from violence-ridden El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are at an increased risk as authorities in their countries fail to protect them, leaving them with no choice but to flee their countries and face further dangers in Mexico, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

August 30, 2016 • Report

Honduras/Guatemala: Attacks on the rise in world’s deadliest countries for environmental activists

An insidious wave of threats, bogus charges, smear campaigns, attacks and killings of environmental and land activists in recent months has made Honduras and Guatemala the most dangerous countries on …

August 29, 2016 • Report

We are defending the land with our blood: Defenders of the land, territory and environment in Honduras and Guatemala

An insidious wave of threats, bogus charges, smear campaigns, attacks and killings of environmental and land activists in recent months has made Honduras and Guatemala the most dangerous countries on earth for those protecting natural resources, Amnesty International said in a new report six months after the brutal murder of Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Honduras 2013

Republic of Honduras Head of state and government Porfirio Lobo Sosa Human rights defenders continued to be threatened, attacked and killed. Prison conditions remained a concern following the deaths of …

June 16, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Honduras 2011

Head of state and government: Porfirio Lobo Sosa Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes Population: 7.6 million Life expectancy: 72.6 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 44/35 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 83.6 …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico

Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico Available in PDF only