Victims of the Honduran State, tragic death of 46 women. Who is responsible?

The death of 46 women at the National Penitentiary for Social Adaptation (PNFAS) brought to light bad decisions by the State amid a prison crisis that had shown warning signs. Xiomara Castro’s administration improvised an intervention in the prison system which demanded more time to make necessary changes and was affected by the lack of action by the National Police, according to Security Vice Minister, Julissa Villanueva, who led the intervention. It was a matter of time for such a tragedy to take place, but now that the military police have taken over the prison system in response, some fear that those who planned the massacre and benefit from the chaos at PNFAS will never be held accountable.

Text: Jennifer Avila y Allan Bu
Reports by Fernando Silva
Photography: Jorge Cabrera y Fernando Destephen
Translated by: José Rivera

«Do you have any news about Sayda?», asked a grief-stricken voice which was interrupted by a much louder and distressed one, «check if Fátima Leticia is on the list», then more voices demanding information were heard, «please, look for Ingrid Celeste», «do you know anything about Mayra?», «look for Blanca Lidia on the list», «we know nothing about Sara Escalante, please help us».

This happened countless times on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in front of the main gate of the National Penitentiary for Social Adaptation (PNFAS) located in the village of Támara in Tegucigalpa, 36 hours after a brawl and subsequent fire that led to the death of 46 women. According to Honduran authorities, armed members of the Barrio 18 gang attacked the module where women affiliated with the MS-13 gang were held.

María González arrived early at the prison in Támara the day after the tragedy took place to ask authorities about her daughter, Dunia Raquel González. They didn’t have any information and sent her to Forensic Medicine in Tegucigalpa, where after waiting a couple of hours they told her they didn’t have any information either, and was sent back to PNFAS. «They sent me again to the prison and I went there already, they don’t let us in and there’s no list of the women there. They just say if they are not on the list, they are fine, and they will call us», said doña María.

Just like doña María, hundreds of people arrived at the gate of PNFAS to make sure their relatives were alive. No matter how many times they were told nothing happened in many of the prison modules, they still asked for Fátima, Ingrid, Sara, and others. «We want to see them», said Ulda, who traveled from Salamá, Olancho, on June 20 and had been waiting 36 hours for news at the prison gate. She heard dozens of times that no one was killed in the module where her daughter was, but she wanted to see her and be certain because she had no trust in a State that failed to protect 46 inmates.

Familiares de las víctimas de la penitenciaría femenina de Támara esperan noticias de sus familiares en un espacio habilitado con sillas . Foto CC/Fernando Destephen.
Relatives of victims from the female prison in Támara wait for news in an area set up for them. Photo CC/ Fernando Destephen.

«They just say they’re fine, but I want to see her». I understand the situation, I know that authorities should protect inmates and it’s their responsibility. We are worried because there could be consequences and to make matters worse, some inmates are not on the list and not inside either, that’s why they have to count again. How can I remain calm?» said Ulda, who would not give up and went the next day to the prison to ask again for information about her daughter, «look, they could simply take a picture of them and people wouldn’t be waiting outside asking for information».

By July 7, 2023, 18 bodies had not yet been identified. The decision to identify the bodies with DNA analysis was made after discarding fingerprinting and forensic odontology, a process in which information from a database is compared to that of the victim and if there’s a match, relatives can claim the body.

Issa Alvarado, the spokesperson for Forensic Medicine, said to Contracorriente two days after the murders that DNA analysis takes time and depends on the quality of the collected sample, «it’s not an immediate process, but there are professionals working to bring information to the relatives soon».

In the press release 18-2023, the National Committee of Prevention Against Torture (Conaprev) recommended «disclosing the names of the women who died at PNFAS to determine with certainty the corresponding individualization in order to avoid cruel treatment toward the relatives and practices that contribute to impunity».

Conaprev also recommended protecting the personal safety of the women that survived this violent event, to consider alternatives in terms of relocation to protect the lives and well-being of the inmates and administrative and security staff. Access to the prison is currently restricted, however, unofficial sources said to Contracorriente that the victimizers and survivors are held in the same space.

Failures leading to the tragedy

Soon after Xiomara Castro, the first woman elected president in Honduran history, started her term, the government declared a state of emergency in the penitentiary system within the framework of the demilitarization of public safety, a promise she made during her campaign. On March 1, 2022, the cabinet announced a state of emergency in the penitentiary system in the decree PCM-03-2022 which states «since the militarization of the penitentiary system violence in prisons has increased» and explains that uprisings were a result of the dynamics of organized crime that got worse after the military intervention carried out during the administration of Juan Orlando Hernández.

Although they don’t say it, Ulda and other relatives of the victims are concerned because of the mistakes the government has made trying to regain control of prisons. Right after the demilitarization of the penitentiary system, in a state of emergency, four simultaneous uprisings on April 8, 2023, shook the government. As a response, President Xiomara Castro instructed Julissa Villanueva, Viceminister of Internal Affairs, to coordinate efforts to intervene in the penitentiary system.

Efforts that failed and, according to Villanueva, who denies responsibility, due to a series of factors caused by the former Security Minister, Ramón Sabillón, and former Chief of Police and current Security Minister, Gustavo Sánchez. This failure led to the military police, a unit created by former president Juan Orlando Hernández and questioned for its legal standing and its involvement in human rights violations, to take control of the penitentiary system after the government stopped efforts led by Villanueva. An action she considers regressive.

Familiares de privadas de libertad de la penitenciaría femenina de Támara esperan noticias de sus parientes. Foto CC/Fernando Destephen.
Relatives of the inmates in the women’s prison in Támara wait for news. Photo CC/ Fernando Destephen.

Signs were ignored and, if addressed, the death of 46 inmates could have been prevented. A source told Contracorriente about a report from that same prison which Villanueva received a week before the tragedy alluding to a possible attack between inmates of Modules 1 and 4. Relatives of the inmates and human rights activists who had been inside the prison before the tragedy said it was necessary to separate women who belong to different gangs because there were threats and the atmosphere was hostile. Vice Minister Villanueva told national media outlets she received preliminary reports but didn’t know they concerned the women’s prison. In an interview by Contracorriente, she said she didn’t receive that particular report and had visited PNFAS before and saw no signs of a looming tragedy.

«We grieve for the women in the PFNAS, I used to tell the president we had to intervene in this prison first, this prison should have been a model for the penitentiary system because this is the government of the first woman elected president», said Villanueva in her office at the Ministry of Security surrounded by a police force she doesn’t trust.

There are official documents that suggest the government was aware of the time bomb in prisons and for which the government commission was responsible. In section e) of Article 6 of the PCM-04-2022, in which the State declared a state of emergency, states that inmates should be classified. «National Police, in the temporary intervention framework of the penitentiary system will have the following duties: […] e) Classify existent penitentiary centers and inmates, taking into account architectural design and the criminal profile of each inmate based on technical studies of how dangerous they are considered».

Just two months before the tragedy, the government commission led by Villanueva acquired more power and dismissed the director of the National Penitentiary System, General Commissioner Otoniel Castillo Lemus, who was appointed by former Minister Sabillón during the transition of prisons from the military to the police. They also deprived prison directors of the authority to make any decisions. However, Vice Minister Villanueva assures she can prove they did everything they could in a month and a half, and it was General Sabillón, former Security Minister, who did not allow the police to follow intervention plans swiftly.

«I led efforts to intervene in the prisons, I had the authority to dismiss Castillo Lemus and I did because it was during a transition in which the police would be intervened, Villanueva has a different way of doing things. We would have had different results if they had followed our plan, I dismissed him not because he’s corrupt but because I had to limit his authority», explained Villanueva and added that the circular indicating that every decision had to be approved by the commission came into effect because inmates were released or relocated under irregular conditions. We had to stop this because there was corruption and they had to show me the release papers, which I reviewed on many occasions. There were release papers ordering the release of a man with three names and, who was it? It was Cholo Houston who used a different name. Who stopped this? We did and we know about the pressures and risks».

On June 27, 2023, after the military takeover of prisons and when Villanueva wasn’t leading the commission anymore, they found the leader of the MS-13 gang, Cholo Houston, in the maximum security prison of La Tolva in Morocelí, although he was registered in the lower security prison in Támara.

Now as an outsider, Vice Minister Villanueva is concerned about the military intervention in the penitentiary system and assured that the root issue, corruption, is not taken seriously.

The Vice Minister helped draft the decree that created the government commission and sought to carry out a contingency plan after confrontations took place in many prisons around the country, «it was a call to face this challenge», she said and further explained that there was no time to carry out the plans because within the prisons the police were involved in corruption and their interests put pressure on efforts to intervene and so it all failed before it had even started. «We were facing a monster of corruption, including the police, military, and organized crime. During our intervention, all transfers cost money, I found corruption in the system even in matters related to food […]».

Contracorriente talked to a source close to the penitentiary system who wished to remain anonymous. Regarding the remarks made by Villanueva after her dismissal from the commission, our source assured us that managing a prison is complicated work and pointed out that before the commission came in they were trying to deal with inmates differently.

«They lacked the tact or gentleness necessary to tackle the problem in prisons, only those who work there understand what needs to be done to make progress, but I don’t know what motivated the inmates at PNFAS to do what they did. We had no confrontations or deaths before, and the prisons were managed differently. They organized training with the National Institute of Professional Education [INFOP] and courses to manage soccer teams with the National Commission of Sports and Physical Education [CONDEPOR]. They even played in the modules, we were heading in the right direction», said our source.

Familiares de la víctimas de la penitenciaría femenina de Támara, esperan afuera del Centro De Medicina Legal Y Ciencias Forenses por noticias de las autopsias. Foto CC | Jorge Cabrera.
Relatives of the victims at the women’s prison in Támara wait outside the Center of Forensic Medicine for news of the autopsies. Photo CC / Jorge Cabrera.

Our source made further comments about Villanueva’s allegations of corruption and complicity between the police and organized crime, «as head of the National Police, her statements are odd because if she knows someone is not acting appropriately, she can sanction them and submit the case to the DIDADPOL, the institution in charge of imposing disciplinary measures, so I don’t understand what she says because she’s in charge and is in a position to change things. If I had the authority, I would write the reports and submit them to the Prosecutor’s Office, but she must have her reasons for not doing so, I don’t know what she was trying to gain from it».

Villanueva commented about this and is aware that she «is in the middle of a hornet’s nest», she constantly gets death threats and utterly rejects becoming a scapegoat in the middle of this crisis. All of her actions and requests to quickly intervene in Támara and in PNFAS were ignored by the police.

We wrote to General Ramón Sabillón and to the Security Minister, Gustavo Sánchez to schedule an interview, but by the time this article was published, we had no response.

«We were going to start working with female inmates. I had been to PNFAS many times because when I was director of Forensics [in the previous administration] that always interested me. We couldn’t get too involved in governance because that is the responsibility of the police and Castillo Lemus. I went in to see the conditions, kitchens, clinics, educational activities, integration work, and the identification plan. I asked the odontologist to take samples from the inmates for purposes of oral hygiene and identification», said Villanueva and added that she would have never thought the tension inside the prison would lead to a massacre.

«I swear I didn’t see any threats at PNFAS. I was among members of the Barrio 18 and MS-13 gangs, it didn’t seem like a problem between two conflicting sides, we were simply trying to integrate and classify inmates according to their crimes and not their link to gangs. To do this, we needed a diagnosis, and when they assigned me this task, I prioritized and had to restore governance, disarm inmates, understand overcrowding, and ensure all inmates are in an adequate space while keeping in mind that minors and women at PNFAS are the priority. My collaborative partners supported me and understood this had to be done», said Villanueva.

Villanueva had the support of the United States Embassy and she had brought experts from Israel and Mexico to successfully intervene by creating intelligence units in prisons. She didn’t ask the government of El Salvador for advice because she defends human rights and her collaborative partners were against oppressive measures like those undertaken in prisons there. In fact, when Carlos Marroquin —head of the government’s Social Fabric Reconstruction Unit in El Salvador who was identified by the US government as a negotiator between gangs and the Salvadoran government— visited the Honduran President’s son to discuss this issue, she was not invited.

After the tragedy at PNFAS, everybody wanted answers from the commission, and Villanueva insisted there was a boycott, and despite not suspecting a tragedy that changed the course of security policy in Honduras would take place, the women’s prison was her priority.

«Women are not considered a priority, I felt pressure from the prisons in Moroceli and Ilama, but who was talking about the female inmates at PNFAS? There was no fear they would get killed, just the regular fear regarding the separation of gangs. If there’s a dead body in the prison in Ilama and more dead bodies in other prisons, can an intervention in the women’s prison wait? I ordered a simultaneous intervention in Támara, PNFAS, and Ilama, but they said the police do not have the resources, the manpower and the logistics».

La viceministra de Seguridad, Julissa Villanueva muestra los informes que preparó durante su breve paso como inventora del sistema penitenciario. Foto CC/Fernando Destephen
Security Vice Minister, Julissa Villanueva, shows reports she wrote during the short time she led the government commission. Photo CC/ Fernando Destephen.

Villanueva is aware that many people have said the commission was not doing its job and asked, «who was not up to the task and not performing their duties? It was the police because they were under pressure to ensure the safety of the public and inmates. Demilitarization was in effect and the military couldn’t go in», she added.

A picture was going around which showed a woman, identified as «La Negra Suicida» from Shadow Park Locos of the Barrio 18 gang, dressed in black wearing a Punisher shirt and carrying a gun. That image helped authorities determine this gang started the brawl at PNFAS and initially showed the only person guilty of the tragedy, but the police later revealed they are investigating 12 suspects linked to this massacre.

The PNFAS was a time bomb and it blew up.

We don’t know who smuggled the guns and how, but a source who is close to the penitentiary system said, «there are many ways to smuggle weapons and inmates have plenty of time to think about ways to have to access to illegal objects, we heard about a drone that could carry up to 20 liters of gasoline, and sometimes authorities are accomplices, but it’s uncommon because we had a national police force in penitentiary centers so an oversight on their part is unlikely».

Vice Minister Villanueva posted a picture on Twitter of the alleged gang member holding a weapon, she said it is a way of putting pressure on authorities because she tried to call the police at 6 am when the gunshots were heard at PNFAS so they could act fast, but they didn’t. «If they had arrived earlier, maybe inmates wouldn’t have been burned alive».

«Forty-six women, and whose fault is it? Is it their own fault for having gang rivalry and having planned to kill each other? Who could benefit from all this? I had already dismissed corrupt people from Támara and appointed a new director and deputy director. Corrupt commissaries had already been stopped and they said they were going to kill me and then they killed the women at PNFAS. I have never been an emotional or scared woman, but this time I was scared. What did I do wrong? I was completely and genuinely committed, everything failed except me», said Villanueva.


Dunia called her mother, doña María, on Friday four days before the murders. It was a short call, she asked how her 7 and 9 year-old daughters were doing. Although the conversation was not long, doña María noticed her daughter was worried, «she wasn’t very cheerful, they had threatened them, but she didn’t say more. She wanted to get out of there, but how? She couldn’t».

Delma Ordoñez, president of the Association of Relatives of Inmates (Asociación de Familiares de Privadas de Libertad), said on a Twitter space organized by Contracorriente that during a visit to PNFAS weeks before the tragedy she sat down to talk with one of the inmates who is the mother of seven children, one of whom has a terminal disease. Behind bars and anguished she told Delma she was desperate to get out of prison to help one of her daughters who needed an operation. She was desperate, even though she would be out on parole in two months. «I have to get out of here to help my girl», she said. That never happened, that woman was one of the 46 inmates killed at PNFAS.

As Delma was talking to the inmates, she told them she was going to be interviewed on television later that day and one of them asked, «looking like this?» So that jail cell turned into an improvised beauty salon where Delma, a human rights activist, got her hair and make-up done.

While they were fixing her hair, they told Delma they were scared. Other inmates yell at them everyday, «bitches, get out of there, this is our territory». Delma describes the background that helps understand why the tragedy took place on Tuesday, June 20.

Familiares de las víctimas de PNFAS en Tamara lloran al recibir los cuerpos de sus parientes. FotoCC | Jorge Cabrera.
Relatives of the victims of the PNFAS burst into tears as they claimed the bodies. Photo CC/ Jorge Cabrera

Up until the murders, 914 inmates were held at PNFAS, 103 of them in Module 1, where women who allegedly belong to the MS-13 gang are imprisoned, the rest are average citizens or members of the Barrio 18 gang. «This prison is controlled by the Barrio 18 gang so most of the inmates that do not belong to any gang are drawn by and sympathize with Barrio 18 because they don’t have a choice», said Delma.

An anonymous source pointed out that among the victims who died on June 20, around 28 women held in Module 1 did not belong to the MS-13 gang. «They were held there because they live in areas controlled by MS-13, but they have no links to that gang. Most women associated with the gang were not involved», said our source and explained that in many cases they are arrested along with their partners just because they were there at the moment of the arrest. Mothers and sisters of gang members are also associated with criminal structures and arrested in the same circumstances.

«Most of the victims lived in those areas [controlled by MS-13] and others who had to sell drugs to make ends meet».

A time bomb

Corruption and terror have devastated Honduran prisons for a long time. Prison tragedies like the one in PNFAS have happened before. In 2003, a brawl took place in the El Porvenir prison, in the department of Atlántida, where 66 were killed. In 2004, 107 inmates were killed in a prison fire in San Pedro Sula, an event for which the State was sentenced by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In February 2012, 360 inmates were killed in a prison fire in Comayagua. These deaths took place after brawls or fires while the National Party was in power, a party that implemented security policy under the banner of «tough on crime».

There was also violence in prisons after the military forces intervened during the administration of Juan Orlando Hernández, the nationalist former president who faces drug trafficking charges in trial in the United States. For instance, in 2019, 18 inmates in a prison in Tela, in the department of Atlántida and 19 inmates in a prison in El Porvenir, in the department of Francisco Morazán, were killed. According to the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (Conadeh), around 1,050 inmates died violently between 2003 to 2023.

According to Jenny Almendárez from the Torture, Cruel and Inhumane Treatment Prevention Center (CPRTRT), there are currently 19,400 inmates, of which 63% are in pretrial detention. In addition, according to Delma Ordóñez, prisons in Honduras are overcrowded and operating at 143% of their capacity, the limit of inmates is exceeded by 10,000. None of this is new, nor is it the deaths, the «tough on crime» measures or the militarization as reactions.

During the administration of Juan Orlando Hernández, military officers took on responsibilities not related to their actual duties, they were even in charge of promoting agriculture and were given tasks during the Covid-19 pandemic. In December 2019, during Juan Orlando Hernández’s second term, the military, as a part of the National Inter-Institutional Security Forces (FUSINA), took control of prisons after the murder of Nery Sanabria, also known as Madgaleno Meza, a drug trafficker who allegedly had a ledger with information about Antonio Hernández, the former president’s brother, who was sentenced on drug trafficking charges in the United States.

Miembros de la Policía Militar del Orden Público (PMOP) en la presentación de las armas, munición y dinero encontrado el primer día de requisas en la penitenciaría, Marco Aurelio Soto de Támara. Foto CC | Jorge Cabrera.
Weapons, ammunition and money found by the military police in the Marco Aurelio Soto prison in Támara on the first day inspections took place. Photo CC/ Jorge Cabrera.

Delma Ordóñez, president of the Association of Relatives of Inmates, is convinced that the military should not be in charge of prisons and pointed out that that was one of the most important requests made when the current administration took power. She thinks it’s necessary to demilitarize prisons nationwide because most human rights violations against inmates were committed when the military was in control.

She received many complaints during the military control. For instance, in the prison in Tela, the warden owned the pulpería (a store where a large variety of products is sold) inside the building and relatives were not allowed to bring any products, they were only allowed to bring money and buy products from the warden. In Támara, prison managers bred pigs and at times some prisoners were taken to their farms to work, «there’s proof to back this up and the question is, how can we trust them?» said Delma.

At the beginning of President Xiomara’s term, it seemed like the military was losing influence, at least that’s what the public perceived, but that’s not the case because their budget is still substantial —10,662 million lempiras in 2023, 1,300 million more than in 2022— a larger budget is allocated only to the Ministries of Health and Education. Even Congress, whose board of directors is affiliated to the Libre Party, authorized purchasing five helicopters for the Air Force.

It is all very clear now, military officers who were forced out of prisons are now brought back as if they were a panacea against a long-standing disease that showed its symptoms on Saturday, April 8, when four simultaneous uprisings in El Porvenir, La Tolva, Central Prison of Támara, and El Pozo, in Ilama, Santa Bárbara took place.

Un policía militar observa el culto en una iglesia evangélica en el barrio Villanueva de Tegucigalpa, durante un operativo de rutina. Foto CC/Fernando Destephen.
A military officer watching a worship service from the evangelical church in the Villanueva neighborhood in Tegucigalpa during a routine operation. Photo CC/ Fernando Destephen.

After the four simultaneous prison uprisings, President Castro tweeted: «I know efforts from the police and Ministry of Security have contributed to the reduction in homicides and corruption, but I’m going to launch an aggressive intervention in prisons. Twelve years (144 months) looting the country and colluding with drug traffickers, gangs, public and private organized crime are issues that cannot be fixed in 12 months».

That was the intervention Julissa Villanueva briefly led which at times she described as a horror movie. «To start, I needed around 2,000 police officers and we had to come up with a plan and that’s the first thing I told them, that we need a plan: yes, doctor, but we need time, an analysis, vehicles, bathrooms, logistics […] They did not approve my plan to intervene in the women’s prison. They said it’s not that important because they were not that violent».

Villanueva assured the police would not carry out prison inspections on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays because «there are soccer matches and people are out on the streets and they couldn’t neglect citizens to bring two thousand on-duty police officers to PNFAS or other prisons».

The government commission brought forward a plan to recruit new personnel for prisons, a plan her collaborative partners also supported, according to Villanueva. «They sent 1,400 police officers to the prisons but they were a mess, some had been dismissed for corruption, others had committed offenses, no one had a clean record, they sent them to the prisons as punishment», said Villanueva and added that’s why housecleaning had to be done first.

Villanueva also assured she had set up a prison intelligence system that provided information about the prisons. She was told what was going on in the prison at Ilama, who was involved in corruption and smuggling weapons, «and I had it all written down». But they never gave me information about PNFAS, I swear, if they had I would have intervened immediately», she said.

Prison inspections by the commission under the leadership of Villanueva were broadcast on television, she said it was a transparency strategy and not about giving an impression of a «reality show», because she found out that police officers only checked stashes when she arrived for inspection. She told us the police left her alone many times inside the Ilama prison and thought it was a set-up to kill her.

«They can investigate me, my time as head of the commission and their lack of action is documented. I’m not responsible for a systemic problem, I’ve only been working for a little over a month with such good results. I carried out orders by the president, I did everything I could, we were facing a monster of corruption and organized crime, my life is in danger and we’re in the middle of a hornet’s nest», said Villanueva.

Looking at the new prison intervention by the military and images posted by the Minister of Defense and the President’s nephew who, with the military police, have destroyed weapons found inside, Villanueva said she would never allow that because they are destroying key evidence to determine where the weapons came from and if they could be linked to important authorities.

«I’m not useless and I will not be a scapegoat, I’ll not let them damage my reputation as a professional, I performed my duty and I can prove, whether they were scheming or not, that they wanted to stop me».

Familiares lloran en el velorio de una de las víctimas de la penitenciaría femenina de Támara, Francisco Morazán. Foto CC/Jorge Cabrera.
Relatives grieving at a funeral of a victim who died in the women’s prison in Támara, Francisco Morazán. Photo CC/ Jorge Cabrera.

Looking among the ashes

Doña María’s daughter was held in Module 1, where the brawl took place. In the afternoon on Wednesday, June 21, she arrived at the front gate of PNFAS and they read through a list and mentioned the name Duna Raquel. According to those records, her daughter was injured and sent to Hospital Escuela (a public hospital in Honduras). Doña María heard the name and started moving away, «that’s my daughter», she said as she was leaving.

Hours later, doña María was in Forensics. She had been to Hospital Escuela but she was denied access and information. An acquaintance is certain that Dunia was not hospitalized, contrary to what the spokesperson from PNFAS said.

In Forensics, her daughter’s name appeared on a list posted in a tent, an improvised information center, where two young college students assisted family members. Doña María realized the women on that list had been declared dead.

When we asked about doña María’s daughter the students said that was not an official list, that was a list of women being looked for by their relatives. Doña María looked for her daughter all day without success.

«Well, tomorrow I’ll go early to the hospital», said doña María, a place she had not yet visited. She felt more anguish when she saw on television that there are only two survivors from Module 1, but that is not accurate because 103 women were held there.

Doña María looked for her daughter in Forensics, in PNFAS and in Hospital Escuela but she didn’t find her there. A few days later, she got information that her daughter is alive, but by the time this article was published, doña María had not seen her and was still asking «how is my daughter?». Meanwhile, in an office at the Ministry of Security, Vice Minister Julissa Villanueva says repeatedly: «I would have been able to do so much more if only they had let me do my job».

This investigation was possible thanks to the support of the Consortium to Support Independent Journalism in Latin America (CAPIR) powered by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).

  • Publicaciones
  • Destacados
Journalist, co-founder, and editorial director of Contra Corriente. Winner of the LASA Media Award 2020.
Total Posts: 112
Total Posts: 30
Fernando Destephen 1985 Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photojournalist and storyteller.
This is Alt
Total Posts: 109
Fernando Silva is an investigative journalist. His work focuses on covering corruption, power structures, extractivism, forced displacement and migration. He is also an audiovisual producer and has worked for half a decade in this field with organizations that defend human rights and development institutions in the country. In 2019 he graduated from the Investigative Journalism Course at Columbia University and that same year was part of Transnacionales de la Fe, which in 2020 won the Ortega y Gasset prize for best investigative journalism awarded by the Spanish newspaper El País. She is a fellow of the International Women Media Foundation (IWMF).
Total Posts: 31
Nicaraguan and Honduran nationality. Photojournalist with 20 years of experience covering international content. "Photojournalism has been present in my life for more than two decades and continues to be so day after day. "

Share this article

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.