With the murder of Héctor Orlando Martínez Motiño President of SITRAUNAH-Choluteca section 14 people with protective measures have been assassinated

June 19, 2015

To the national and international community, once again we are obligated to report on the difficult situation experienced by university employees and union members in Honduras. Last night, June 17, 2015, Héctor Orlando Martínez Motiño, President of the Workers Union for the Centro Universitario del Litoral Pacífico (CURLP) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH) was murdered. Martínez Motiño was a beneficiary of protective measure, No. MC-253-14, issued by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. His murder occurs 69 days after the forced disappearance of union leader Donatilo Jiménez, ex President of this same union at Centro Universitario del Litoral Atlántico (CURLA) in La Ceiba, Atlántida.

Héctor Martínez, a university professor, was gunned down by 12 bullets fired by unknown actors riding a motorcycle who allegedly followed him when he left his workplace at 9:00 pm, heading for his home in Marcovia, when he was overtaken by the gunmen.

On January 31, 2015, the Human Rights Unit of the Secretary of Security notified him of the protective measures and documented the hostile labor environment he experienced at the CURLP. Martínez denounced before the Inter American Commission (IACHR) that these measures were not sufficient, that he was suspicious and afraid. On Facebook, he wrote:

“Despite these measures, I continue to be harassed, followed, threatened and the target of attempts against my life. I ask God and all of you to keep us in permanent prayer.”

On July 9, 2014, Martínez was the victim of an attempt on the university campus when unknown actors sabotaged his vehicle, parked in the university parking lot, five meters from the private security guard post. Unknown actors loosened the bolts on the rear tire of his vehicle which after advancing eight meters, fell off the axle. Motiño registered a complaint with the National Direction of Criminal Investigation and stated that this was the third incident of this type that he had suffered.

Prior to this attack, on May 16, 2014, he had denounced abuses on the part of university authorities including, harassment, campaigns to discredit, problems with disabilities due to health, and persecution on the part of unknown actors driving a white SUV from which photographs had been take of him. The university persecution was to such a degree that authorities requested immigration records to confirm if he was really receiving medical attention outside of Honduras and also requested that the IHSS provide doctors evaluations confirming that he required medical disability. In one instance, the attending doctor ordered his immediate hospital admission to control blood pressure.

On repeated occasions, SITRAUNAH has denounced that its members have been victims of permanent surveillance, harassment and persecution on eight university campuses.

On August 4, 2011, they publicly denounced that Mr. Donatilo Jiménez and three other members of SITRAUNAH, in different sections, were victims of death threats and that hit men in the atlántica zone had been contracted to kill the four unionists. Today, Donatilo remains disappeared.

On the same date, the union denounced that UNAH Security personnel, that were not members of the Private Security Company, Bacilides Baca y Javier Brooks, contracted by the university, were murdered in unclear circumstances. And that Rafael Arambú Rico, security supervisor, received death threats.

On March 10, 2011 the Director of the Centro Universitario Regional del Litoral Atlántico (CURLA), Magda Hernández, was the victim of a criminal attempt according to news reports, when two subjects on motorcycles, fired at her face in the morning, at the CURLA entrance gate.

Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., June 18, 2015

Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras