PBI-Honduras observes OFRANEH and UN Working Group reconstruction of facts of the disappearance of four men in July 2020

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 30, PBI-Honduras tweeted:

“Last week in Triunfo de la Cruz, Tela, together with @ofraneh [the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras] and the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances of the #UN we observed the reconstruction of the facts of the disappearance of Snider Centeno, Milton Martínez, Suami Mejía and Gerardo Trochez. #PBIaccompanies”

Their Twitter thread adds:

At PBI we express concern about the permanent situation of violence and insecurity experienced by the Garífuna communities in the north of the country. 2 years and 8 months after their disappearance, we remain in solidarity with the families and people close to the 4 disappeared.

We urge the authorities to continue with the pertinent investigations to clarify the facts of his disappearance and that there be justice for the defenders and their families.

In January of this year, Proceso Digital reported:

“The kidnapping of four Garifuna leaders in Triunfo de la Cruz, Tela, Atlántida is now three years old and remains an unsolved mystery and human rights advocates are not optimistic about the case.

The coordinator of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (Ofraneh), Miriam Miranda, told Proceso Digital that “there is no progress in the case of the disappeared of the Triumph of the Cross.”

She regretted that the authorities have only repeated the same thing for more than two years, without giving any meaningful response regarding the investigation.

She added that the Public Ministry was requested to incorporate the Garifuna Committee of the Disappeared of the Triumph of the Cross Garifuna Committee for Investigation and Search of the Disappeared (SUNLA, for its acronym in the Garifuna language).

She explained that SUNLA, which in Spanish means ¡Basta ya!, was born in order to find the whereabouts of the disappeared youths, given the lack of will and inability of the State of Honduras, to carry out the investigation, but this has not been incorporated, so that Ofraneh is part of the investigation.

On the contrary, she pointed out that rather since that request, the demonstration of the Garifuna people has been criminalized.

“They have never received us to talk about this issue in the Public Ministry,” said the defender, who added that it is a pity that this and other cases of disappearances continue in impunity without response.

She stressed that since the Garifuna leaders were forcibly removed from their homes in July 2020 in the community of Triunfo de la Cruz, nothing has been heard from the activists.

Recalling the antecedent, it was since Sunday, July 19, 2020, that five men, including four Garifuna, were violently taken from their homes in the community of Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras, the disappeared are: Alberth Snider Centeno Thomas, Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez, Suami Aparicio Mejía, Junior Rafael Juarez Mejía and Gerardo Misael Trochez.

To date, more than two years have passed for three years and there is still no news of their whereabouts, nor progress in the investigation, so members of the Ofraneh, and other sectors of Human Rights, ask for justice for these disappearances that are part of a systematic persecution of the Garifuna people.

The full article can be read at ¿Qué se sabe del caso de los cuatro líderes garífunas desaparecidos? (January 13, 2023).

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