B. State
6. Regarding Mr. Deras' death, Honduras argues that investigations did begin to throw light on what had
happened and to identify those responsible. It states that the criminal proceedings complied with due
guarantees and that a member of the military had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the murder. It
stresses that it has not been possible to execute that judgment because of inability to locate that person. It adds
that the investigation into two other State agents is pending because they are fugitives from justice.
7. The Commission notes that with its writ of June 7, 2010, the Honduran State, in the person of the President
of the Court of Justice of Honduras, attached a report acknowledging the following:
Reasonable time limits were exceeded owing to prolonged spells of inactivity in processing the case by the judicial
authorities, and that between 1983, when the deed occurred, and 2007, when the last instance was exhausted, 24
years elapsed.
(…)
From an examination of the file (…), assessment of the written testimony, and reading of the final judgment, it
transpires that the taking of Mr. Herminio Deras' life by Mr. Marco Tulio Regalado Hernández, in his capacity as a
State agent and member of the Armed Forces' Squadron 3-16, constitutes a proven fact against the State of
Honduras (…).
It constitutes a proven fact that Mr. Herminio Deras suffered restrictions on the exercise of his right to freedom of
association as a member of the trade union organization Diligencia Sindical and member of the Communist Party
of Honduras.
(…)
It constitutes a proven fact that Mr. Herminio Deras suffered restrictions on the exercise of his right to freedom of
expression imposed by persons acting as agents of the State of Honduras, including Mr. Marco Tulio Regalado
Hernández, in the 1980s.

III. DETERMINATIONS OF FACT
A. Context
8. The organs of the inter-American system have pronounced on the context of grave violations of human
rights in the State of Honduras in the 1980s.3 In that connection, the Inter-American Court maintained:
There was a pattern of forced disappearances and extra-legal executions committed by the military forces in
Honduras. These forces had a special, autonomous status, and they acted under a certain doctrine of national
security, in light of which they captured “dangerous” persons or those who were “suspicious” of being alleged
Honduran subversives, supporters of the Salvadoran guerrillas or of the Sandinistas. Usually these persons were
detained
at
night,
interrogated,
tortured,
and
then
given
a
finishing
shot
and
buried in clandestine cemeteries or unauthorized places. The military forces, in turn, controlled the police forces,
and the judges felt intimidated to effectively investigate criminal cases where human rights violations by the
armed forces were alleged, and this created a climate of impunity.4

9. That context has also been described inside Honduras. Thus, the July 2011 Report of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission stated that:
In the ideological context of the national security doctrine, as part of the repression practiced by the State and
paramilitary groups in Honduras people were victims of forced disappearance, extrajudicial executions, torture,
illegal detention, and other forms of social violence. (...) Between 1982 and 1984 (...) judicial institutions were
practically subordinated to military and police directives based on the national security doctrine.5

10. According to the preliminary report on disappeared persons in Honduras 1980-1993 of the National
Human Rights Commissioner, those activities were carried out by Intelligence Units of the Armed Forces,
IACHR. Report No. 8/93. Case 10.793, Merits. Francisco Javier Bonilla. Honduras. March 12, 1993, par. 17.
I/A Court H.R. Case of Juan Humberto Sánchez v. Honduras. Preliminary Objection, Merits, Reparations, and Costs. Judgment of June 7,
2003. Series C No. 99, para. 70; Case of Godínez Cruz. Judgment of January 20, 1989. Series C No. 5, paras. 153. b, 165, 167, and 198; and
Case of Velásquez Rodríguez. Judgment of July 29, 1988. Series C No. 4, paras. 147, .b, 157, and 188.
5 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Report: So That the Events Will Not Be Repeated. Honduras, 2011, pp. 56 and 83.
3
4

2

Select target paragraph3