PBI-Honduras accompanies the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders at memorial for Keyla Martínez

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On February 8, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “One year after the violent death of Keyla Martínez in the custody of the National Police, PBI accompanied @RedDefensoras [National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders] in an act in memory of Keyla. From PBI, we remember the importance of clarifying Keyla’s femicide.”

On Facebook, PBI-Honduras adds: “According to University Institute for Democracy, Peace and Security data, 318 women were killed in 2021, which means that in Honduras every 27 hours with 33 minutes a woman dies violently. In addition, more than 95% of the cases go unpunished.”

On February 10, 2021, the BBC reported: “The death of a 26-year-old nursing student in police custody has caused outrage in Honduras.”

“Police arrested Keyla Martínez on Saturday night for allegedly being drunk and breaching the night-time curfew in place to curb the pandemic. She was taken to a police cell, where a female officer says she was found ‘close to death’ suspended from the cell door by her blouse. Police at first said it was suicide but forensic tests suggest she was killed.”

The article adds: “Women’s rights groups have called for justice both in street protests and on social media under the hashtag #JusticiaParaKeyla (#JusticeForKeyla).”

Last February, The Guardian also reported: “She was the latest victim in a relentless wave of misogynistic killings and state-sponsored violence in Honduras – one of the most dangerous and corrupt countries in the Americas.”

That article from last year further noted: “This week, security forces have teargassed protesters demanding truth and justice for the young nurse.”

In the decade before the 2009 coup in Honduras, 222 women were murdered annually. In the past five years, 381 have been killed on average annually.

Suyapa Martínez of the Centre for Women’s Studies – Honduras (CEM-H) says: “The militarization of the country since the coup has increased the threat to women’s lives, there are guns everywhere and we know the police have links to criminal gangs.”

On February 7 of this year, Tu Nota reported: “For the crime [against Keyla Martinez], the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Life obtained an opening order against the policeman Jarold Perdomo Sarmiento, accused by the Public Ministry of the crime of homicide.”

Honduras Now adds: “It’s been 1 yr since young nurse Keyla Martinez was murdered in the custody of the National police In La Esperanza. Only one police officer has been found guilty while there were at least 15 more agents present that evening & a structure giving orders.” 

Photo of Keyla Martínez.

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