“How to Solve a Murder in Honduras,” a special series from AJS that tells the story of how criminal investigators, lawyers, police officers, psychologists, information analysts, and victims are working together to end violence in Honduras.
“I had many victories in my years with the police – I earned medals and diplomas, and many awards. But I don’t remember a single victim or witness ever thanking me for my work. With Peace and Justice, that has become the most important prize I could receive. I would rather receive the gratitude of one family than all the awards in the world.”
Through its three conferences, “Communities of Learning” brought civil society leaders of international prominence together to discuss topics important to Honduran society. Experts in the fight against corruption and impunity encouraged Honduran citizens to be involved and committed in the justice process of their country by supporting the justice system, demanding transparency from politicians and denouncing corruption.
According to a definitive report into Honduras’ Superior Auditing Court, published by AJS this March: “These corruption scandals and institutional crises could have been prevented, detected, and corrected if there were an independent Superior Auditing Court with sufficient budget and capacity…”
This story, originally published in Spanish by AJS online magazine Revistazo on September 8, 2016, details AJS’s involvement in investigating the murder of a young girl
AJS’s Peace and Justice Project reaches out to the families of homicide victims and offers a listening ear. They also help with filing a police report, facilitating investigation, and accompanying witnesses through the process of giving testimony. It is this personal interaction that can make the difference between a conviction and another murderer let to go free.
One way in which AJS is helping to make the Honduran judicial system work is by advocating for better attention to victims and witnesses of crimes. These rooms, called “Gesell Chambers”, allow victims of sensitive crimes like interfamily violence, sexual abuse, or sexual assault to give their testimony before a court – without the fear, shame, and anxiety of appearing in a courthouse. That results in better testimony and more convictions!
This short documentary tells the tragic story of a young girl’s murder, and the investigation that sent her killer to jail.