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Activists in Honduras tell Amnesty International of Hidden Human Rights Crisis


As Honduras' president elect Porfirio Lobo prepares to take power, new
questions arise about events that have taken place since the coup
d'etat last June.

An Amnesty International delegation in the country talked to human
rights activists about the hidden crisis affecting the Central American

Read interviews with activists:
Dina Meza - "We have gone back 30 years"
Donny Reyes - "Most crimes against LGBT people are lost in limbo"
Alexis Quiroz - "The population needs to be informed to make objective decisions"

Gilda Rivera: "Women are at higher risk because they are considered second class citizens"

Rivera works in an apparent oasis of calm on a hill in Tegucigalpa.
When you are there, among the plants and paintings which decorate the
building, it's hard to imagine the stories she and her organization
hear. But some days, an unknown car appears and parks suspiciously in
the close vicinity of the offices for no apparent reason and waits,
then it leaves.

Gilda is the director of the Centre for Women's Rights (Centro para
Derechos las Mujeres), a group that works to document and combat
violence against women in Honduras.

In a report published recently, the group painted a dark picture of
what it is like to be a woman in Honduras, where hundreds have been
victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and murder.

Gilda says the situation for Honduran women has always been worrying
but since the coup d'etat of June 2009, things have deteriorated

"When the whole population is facing human rights violations, women are
at even greater risk because we are considered second class citizens,"
said Gilda.

The Centre for Women's Rights has documented a number of cases of
sexual violence against women reportedly committed by members of the
security forces since de coup d'etat, particularly in the north of the

"A woman was detained by police officers after a demonstration, taken
to a piece of wasteland and raped by four police officers. She
recognized some of them from the names she could see on their uniforms.

"They left her there. She was forced to move away from her home because
of the fear she feels. This is the punishment women experience for
daring to speak out - to participate, to be citizens."

Gilda is convinced that the historical lack of investigations and
justice for women who have suffered violence is contributing to more
cases of abuse.

"The coup d'etat ruined much of what we had gained and achieved... all women have received is more violence."

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Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.