Dina Meza: “In Honduras we have gone back 30 years regarding Human Rights”

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Dina Meza: "In Honduras we have gone back 30 years regarding Human Rights"

Dina Meza lives and talks human rights at every opportunity she is given. As a journalist, an activist and a member of COFADEH (Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras), one of Honduras’ oldest human rights organizations, she knows all too well what it means to work on an issue that is not always popular with the authorities.

The past five months have been particularly challenging for Dina and her colleagues at COFADEH. Its members have spent countless days and nights collecting testimonies of threats, harassment, police beatings, arbitrary arrests, ill treatment and killings across the country.
They then file habeas corpus and other legal remedies on behalf of those affected by the repression.

In one of the most serious incidents, on 23 September, police threw tear gas canisters inside their office in Tegucigalpa, while Dina and other colleagues were inside the building. The message was clear from those who had taken power: defending human rights was part of the problem, not the solution.

Dina believes the underlying problem in Honduras is a lack of justice prevailing since the 1980s, when hundreds of people were killed or disappeared at the hands of the country’s security forces.

“The generations who were repressed in the 80s – the men and women killed, disappeared, and whose relatives still haven’t received justice – all this accumulated impunity and the human rights abusers who are calmly walking the streets of Honduras, this all has to do with what’s happening now. It teaches us that when repression goes unpunished, it happens again,” Dina said.

“We have legal repression, police repression, military repression – so what does this mean? We have to reform and reconstitute all these institutions and start again, with a new procedure.”

Source:Amnesty International

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