BY ISN STAFF | July 14, 2017
Nery Geremías Orellana was a 26-year journalist and social communicator—director of Radio Joconguera, a community radio station located in Candelaria, Lempira in Honduras, and a correspondent for Radio Progreso, a larger nation-wide radio station run by the Jesuits of Honduras.
Nery Geremías maintained a critical position against the coup d’état in 2009 and made serious reports about deficiencies in local public health services in Mocalempa, Lempira. He covered questions about the management of international cooperation funds received by the municipal based water authority, the Pro-Water Central Committee of Integral Development (COCEPRADIL).
He was murdered on July 14, 2011 while traveling by motorcycle to Radio Joconguera, intercepted by unknown assailants who shot him in the head. He was treated at the hospital in Sensuntepeque, El Salvador, but he died hours later. Six years have passed and his murder remains in complete impunity.
Nery Geremías is one of 69 people linked to the media, including journalists, social communicators, broadcasters, photographers, cameramen, and media owners, who have been murdered since 2001. According to the Honduran National Commissioner for Human Rights, 91% of those cases remain in total impunity. His case is emblematic of Honduras’ failure to prevent, protect, and investigate violence against journalists.
Six years after he was murdered, the Team of Reflection, Investigation and Communication of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Honduras (ERIC-SJ) and the International Human Rights Clinic of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law have collaborated to call for clarity and truth regarding Nery’s death. They issued the following statement earlier this week:
Nery Geremías Orellana’s rights to life [Article 4], to judicial guarantees and protection [Articles 8.1 and 25.1], and to freedom of thought and expression [Article 13] have been violated, as well as the right of his family members to physical, mental, and moral integrity [Articles 5.1 and 5.2], as recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights.
For this reason, the Team of Reflection, Investigation and Communication of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Honduras (ERIC-SJ) and the International Human Rights Clinic of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, representing the family of the victim, are making public the demand filed against the State of Honduras before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The goal of the demand is to clarify the truth about the murder of Nery Geremías Orellana, identify and punish the perpetrators, seek reparations for the moral and material consequences of his death, and take measures to avoid repetition of events like this. The demand seeks State compliance with its constitutional and international obligations to prevent human rights violations and to investigate diligently those violations so as to end a culture of impunity.
Learn more in this video (in Spanish) highlighting Nery Geremías and the demands made in relation to his death: