Vicky Hernandez y Familia, Honduras

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the report.


70. In controversies alleging the participation of the State in gross human rights violations, such as the violent killing of a person, the Commission has stated that faced with evidence of this nature, which would appear directly to engage the State’s international responsibility, the authorities in charge of the investigation should have made every effort to clarify any possible responsibility or involvement on the part of State authorities in a violation of the right to life. Thus, it is up to the State to carry out a thorough, meaningful, and diligent investigation to prove or disprove the evidence of involvement of State agents. Where that has not happened, the Commission has accorded probative force to such circumstantial evidence when inadequately investigated.

72. (…) The Court has reiterated that failure to investigate alleged violations committed against someone when there are suggestions of involvement of state agents “prevents the State from presenting a satisfactory and convincing explanation of the [facts] alleged, and disproves the arguments concerning its responsibility, with adequate probative elements.” The Court has considered such failure to clarify the facts as a factor to be born in mind in accrediting alleged violations and the attendant international and responsibility.

73. In this case, as is analyzed in detail below, the Commission finds that the State has not carried out a thorough, meaningful, and diligent investigation to prove or disprove the evidence of involvement of State agents in the murder of Vicky Hernández. The Commission notes that the Honduran State has neither outlined nor exhausted lines of inquiry that take into account the context of violence based on prejudice toward trans women sex workers in Honduras and the pattern of police violence against them. In that regard, the record suggests that the State has not even outlined or considered a hypothesis of possible participation by state agents in the events, bearing in mind the context that framed them, specifically with regard to the fact that they occurred during a curfew in which it is proven that the military maintained a strong presence and control on the streets.


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