Tegucigalpa, March 16 (IANS/EFE) Fifty-three attorneys were murdered in Honduras during the period 2010-12 and more than 95 of the crimes remain unsolved, the Central American nation’s human rights commissioner said.
All but 8 percent of the killings were carried out with firearms, Ramon Custodio said in a report Friday.
Ten of the victims were women.
Most of the targeted lawyers were assaulted while driving, “in some cases accompanied by their children, spouse, employees, friends and even clients”, Custodio said.
Because attorneys perform “a special essential function in the defense of human rights and of the rule of law”, the Honduran state must “guarantee that legal professionals conduct their work without any kind of intimidation”, the commissioner said.
Among the 53 lawyers killed were criminal defense specialists, public prosecutors, juvenile-court magistrates and attorneys representing peasant and grassroots organizations, according to the report.
Honduras suffered 85.5 homicides for every 100,000 residents in 2012, compared with a global median rate of 8.8 murders per 100,000, the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University said in a study released last month.
The number of homicides in Honduras has grown by nearly 233 percent over the past nine years.