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Startseite Urgent Actions 2011 09 Honduran community leader abducted
UA 293/11
Honduras
Abgeschlossen am 8. November 2011

Honduran community leader abducted

AI-Index: AMR 37/007/2011

On 30 August José Reynaldo Cruz Palma, a Honduran community leader, was abducted in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras by two unknown individuals. To date, his whereabouts are unknown. Amnesty International believes his life is at risk.

On 30 August at 2.30pm, José Reynaldo Cruz Palma and his wife were travelling on a minibus in San Pedro Sula when the vehicle was stopped by a grey pick-up truck with tinted windows, which had been following them throughout their journey. Two men wearing balaclavas boarded the minibus and took the keys to the minibus from the driver. They then ordered Cruz Palma’s wife to get off the bus, which she did. They then grabbed José Reynaldo Cruz Palma, forcing him out of the bus, where they searched him. The men did not identify themselves or give any reason for their actions.

When his wife asked why they were doing this to him, one of the men pointed a gun at her face and released the safety catch, as if ready to shoot her, saying “it’s nothing to do with you, it’s about him“ (“con vos no es, es con el”). After searching José Reynaldo Cruz Palma, the two men handcuffed him and forced him into the pick-up truck. As they did this, the men covered José Reynaldo Cruz Palma’s face with a hood.

At approximately 3.00pm his wife went to the Primera Estación Police Station to report the crime. The police officers made her wait for one hour and only took her complaint at 4.00pm when other members of the community went there to support her. The whereabouts of José Reynaldo Cruz Palma remain unknown and the authorities have yet to take action to establish his whereabouts.

José Reynaldo Cruz Palma is well known in the community for his work on abuses committed by the police against local youths. He did a television interview in July expressing his concerns about violence in his local community and on 27 August at a public event held in the community he also stood up to express his concerns about police abuses. A police officer who was there stood up and said to him, ”You have to shut up because we reckon you’re a gang leader” (”vos te debés callar porque te consideramos jefe de la mara”).

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