Since the November elections in Honduras which resulted in the installation of Porfilio Lobo as President on January 27, 2010, the human rights situation in Honduras has continued to deteriorate. According to human rights organizations, there is a marked increase in selective targeting of people and communities active in the resistance movement. Despite a public discourse of reconciliation on the part of Lobo, partners in Honduras are experiencing increased levels of state terror.
In the month of January, the Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras documented the death of seven resistance members, as well as 12 other targeted incidents including beatings, detentions and disappearance. People continue to flee the country to protect their lives.
The deadly pace continues in February with the murder of Vanessa Zepeda, a 29 year old nurse, active member of the resistance movement and SITRAIHASS union organizer (in photo). On Feb. 3, Vanessa left her home at 2pm; at approximately 6:30 pm, her lifeless body was dumped out of a vehicle in Loarque, a neighborhood with strong links to the resistance movement. Vanessa was the mother of three children; the youngest is 4 months old.
The United States was a major backer of the highly contested elections in Honduras and is pushing for international recognition of the new government as a U.S. certified democracy. For many however, the deepening human rights crisis attests to the fact that the elections have institutionalized the military dictatorship. The targeted murder of Vanessa is typical of the current counterinsurgency campaign being waged in Honduras.