Family of Herminio Deras and COFADEH give testimony in international trial

San José, Costa Rica. – On Tuesday May 10th at 2:00pm, the family of social leader Herminio Deras García, will give testimony before the Inter American Court of Human Rights, 20 years after presenting the case internationally.

The family of the social and political leader, Herminio Deras will speak about what they experienced during the last years of the life of the professor who was executed by repressive state forces in the decade of the 1980s under the framework of National Security Doctrine of the United States.

20 years after presenting the case before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), initially by the Deras family and later with the Committee of the Families of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, the case of Herminio Deras will be heard by the Inter American Court of Human Rights in San José Costa Rica.

The Deras-García family was victim of the persecution suffered by the leader of the communist party. The wounds remain 39 years later, however the family traveled from Honduras and other countries to be part of this important trial.

A commission from COFADEH, led by general coordinator Berta Oliva, attorneys and human rights defenders are also in the capitol of Costa Rica to represent and accompany the Deras-García family.

Without fear and with hope for justice, the family of professor Herminio Deras, victim of extrajudicial execution on January 29, 1983 in San Pedro Sula, held a vigil at the International Court, hours before testifying in this case of crimes against humanity.

The case will lay out the international responsibility of the state of Honduras for the extrajudicial killing of Herminio Deras García, teacher, leader of the Communist Party of Honduras and advisor to unions on the northern coast of the country, as well as threats, illegal detentions and acts of torture against his family.

On the morning of January 29, 1983 Herminio Deras was detained by members of the 3-16 Battalion during a transit stop and executed in his vehicle.  On July 30, 1998 the Public Ministry filed a complaint against members of the 3-16 Battalion for the death of Herminio Deras.

On May 23, 2005 military agent Marco Tulio Regalado was sentenced for a second time to twelve years in prision for the killing and on February 27, 2009 a Judge issued an arrest warrant.

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights determined that the case was an extrajudicial killing in violation of the right to life of Herminio Deras García and in Febuary 2022 informed that the case would go to trial.

“This is a very important case in the search for justice. The chain of de facto power that controls and runs the Justice system in Honduras never permitted the victims to be heard, nor the investigation or punishment of those responsible. That is why it is important to share this case at the international level…To dismantle this criminal system and promote memory so that “never again” also means to persist.  This is what we have done in the case of Herminio and what we have done for over 40 years.”  Bertha Oliva, COFADEH