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Lawyer shot to death after reporting on human rights violations

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 18 January 2012, Tegucigalpa, Honduras - Lawyer José Ricardo Rosales was killed three days after reporting that police in Tela, Atlántida, violated the human rights of a group of youths by beating, torturing and groping them. He had reported these facts to "Diario Tiempo" and they were published in the 14 January 2012 edition of the newspaper.

According to Tela police chief Héctor Turcios, on 17 January around 11:30 am Rosales' vehicle was intercepted by three people who shot him multiple times and then fled the scene. The lawyer died at the scene of the crime.

On 13 January, Rosales, along with another lawyer, Elvin Varela, went to the "Diario Tiempo" offices and reported that police officers had committed abuses and violations of human rights by beating and assaulting a group of youths. Rosales said that the local Attorney's Office already knew about the incident, but that they had looked the other way.

Deputy officer Geovanny Fonseca, of the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation, said that Rosales had recently made serious allegations against some police officers, who were accused of torturing people who had been detained for a range of crimes. He said it was not entirely clear what had taken place.

Rosales was the lawyer who defended, and eventually succeeded in freeing Marco Joel Álvarez Barahona, also known "El Unicornio", who was tried for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist David Meza Montesinos on 11 March 2010.


(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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