Authors: Vienna Herrera, Celia Pousset, Jennifer Ávila y Catherine Calderón
The goddess Themis, stands blindly holding a set of balanced scales, in front of the Supreme Court. The palace is out of reach for women who were raped, beaten, criminalized, murdered or suffered an obstetric emergency.
Honduras is one of the most violent countries for women in Latin America. Although murder rates in general have decreased during the last eight years, denunciations of domestic violence, crimes against sexual rights and femicides have increased. By October 31, 2023*, the Center for Women’s Rights (Centro de Derechos de Mujeres) registered 341 violent female deaths, an increase from 297 in the previous year.
Violent deaths in 2023*
There’s substantial impunity surrounding these cases. Only 35% of violent death cases investigated by the Attorney General’s Office made it to the Supreme Court of Justice between 2010 and 2019. Many investigations don’t make it past the Attorney General’s Office, an institution that has not prioritized this emergency.
There are failures in the system, and the erroneous classification of crimes is one of the most serious issues. For instance, Article 208 of the Penal Code defines aggravated femicides as a murder committed against a woman by a “partner or former partner”, but, between January 2015 and August 2023, the Attorney General’s Office registered 21 cases of patricide—of the 100 cases that took place during that period—in its database in spite of the fact that the suspects had or have had a relationship with the victims.
The justice system not only is in debt with women, but it also attacks them. In Honduras, women have been unfairly prosecuted for abortion after suffering obstetric emergencies following medical malpractices in the health system. Due to inconclusive evidence and gender stereotypes, women are forced to go through a long, exhausting judicial process in which they relive their traumatizing experiences. The Attorney General’s Office is usually the less supportive institution.
Periodista de investigación con enfoque especializado en género. Apasionada por investigar las estructuras de poder políticas, económicas y patriarcales en Honduras. En 2020 formó parte del equipo finalista del premio Gabo en la categoría de cobertura con el proyecto «Tierra de Resistentes».Vienna Herrera
Periodista recientemente graduada de la escuela de periodismo de Sciences Po Rennes ( Francia), he trabajado temas de género, justicia y desigualdad en Guatemala y El Salvador, he incursionado en el documental radiofónico en Francia sobre migraciónCélia Pousset
Periodista, cofundadora y directora editorial de Contracorriente. LASA Media Award 2020, Premio Gabo a la Excelencia Periodística 2023.Jennifer Ávila
Cofundadora de Contracorriente y directora de desarrollo. Cubre temas de género, en específico población LGTBI, violencia y juventud. METIS fellow 2019.Catherine Calderón
Credits: A special by Contracorriente
Idea and story editing:Jennifer Ávila
Investigation: Vienna Herrera and Celia Pousset
Photography: Jorge Cabrera and Fernando Destephen
Style editing: María Eugenia Ramos
Illustrations were designed with the AI apps Canva and BING with ideas and editing from Catherine Calderón.
Thanks to Fund for a Just Society and Seattle International Foundation for their support.