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4 March 2010
Honduras - Murder of Claudia Larissa Brizuela, daughter of human rights defender Mr Pedro Brizuela
The daughter of human rights defender Mr Pedro Brizuela, Ms Claudia Larissa Brizuela, was murdered on 24 February 2010. Pedro Brizuela is a member of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular - FNRP (National Popular Resistance Front). Claudia Larissa Brizuela was also a FNRP supporter. The FNRP is a pro-democracy movement which actively denounces human rights violations under the new de facto government, including acts of violence and aggression carried out against people involved in peaceful protests against the coup d'état of June 2009.
On 24 February 2010, at approximately 2pm, unidentified persons came to the home of Claudia Larissa Brizuela, which she shared with her father, in Céleo González in San Pedro Sula, and shot her dead. A friend of Claudia Larissa Brizuela, who had assisted her in minding her children, witnessed the killing and has now gone into hiding in a safe house with the children, for fear of being targeted.
The assassination was carried out on Claudia Larissa Brizuela's 36th birthday, the day before a planned demonstration in Tegucigalpa which had been organised by the FNRP. It is believed that the killing at her home was a targeted attack with the aim of sending a warning message to her father to cease all activities with the FNRP. Front Line is seriously concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Pedro Brizuela, as well as that of his family. Furthermore, Front Line believes that the murder of Claudia Larissa Brizuela forms part of an ongoing pattern of harassment and attacks on human rights defenders associated with the resistance movement in Honduras.
Front Line urges the authorities in Honduras to:
1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Claudia Larissa Brizuela, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
2. Guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of human rights defender Pedro Brizuela and his family, as well as any witnesses to crimes in Honduras;
3. Ensure that all human rights defenders in Honduras, carrying out their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, are able to operate free of restrictions and reprisals.