The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), urgently denounces that at 11:30pm on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, around ten armed men wearing ski masks attempted to assassinate Arnulfo Aguilar, the Director of Radio Uno in the city of San Pedro Sula, in front of his house.
Aguilar told COFADEH that he succeeded in locking himself into his home while the men surrounded the house and tried to jump over the wall. He reports that he called the First Police Station of San Pedro Sula where he was told they would move immediately, however it was a full hour afterwards, in a very indifferent manner, that officers of Patrol #123 did no more than escort Aguilar to a nearby boulevard and left him there.
The General Coordinator of COFADEH, Bertha Oliva, attempted a series of calls to high-ranking officials of the police, even with Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, where she was told that their mobile phones were turned off and that the minister has left orders to not call him after 10 pm.
Arnulfo Aguilar has protective measures granted by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights resulting from a series of attacks that he and his team at Radio Uno have suffered. The attacks include death threats, harassment, and attacks against the radio equipment itself, all taking place since Aguilar and the entire radio collective assumed a position of opposition to the coup d’etat of June 28th, 2009.
Aguilar denounced that in the last few months, various members of the collective have been victims of kidnappings and attempted kidnappings. Further information on these incidents can be found here (in Spanish):
Aguilar told COFADEH that, “tensions have risen since April 26th when we began tackling the subject of the Armed Forces involvement in supplying weapons to the drug cartels.”
According to a US Defense Intelligence Agency report leaked by WikiLeaks entitled “Honduras: Military Weaponry Feeding the Weapons Black Market”, serial numbers found on anti-tank weaponry discovered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and San Andrés Island, Colombia, match the serial numbers of weapons that had been sold to Honduras. Beyond the weapons, the US authorities confiscated a series of M433 grenades from criminal organizations in Mexico, which can also be traced back to the Honduran military.
For COFADEH this latest attack against Arnulfo Aguilar is very worrying and, once again, places the State of Honduras in a delicate position given that it has done nothing to protect the lives of Aguilar or the Radio Uno collective. We have already seen the serious consequences that come when the state doesn’t urgently implement these measures. Such as the case of the journalist Nahum Palacios, who also received protective measures from the IACHR and yet was assassinated by numerous masked men armed with AK-47s, shot dead while heading to his home in Tocoa, Colon on the night of March 14th, 2010.
For all the reasons described above, we demand immediate actions to protect Aguilar, who succeeded in saving his life, but he has told COFADEH that he has concerns further actions could be carried out against him,
NEITHER FORGET NOR FORGIVE
Committee of the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras
Tegucigalpa, April 27th, 2011