Movilizaciones de colectivos por el caso de Keyla Martinez. Foto: Tomada red social X.

In Honduras, a femicide case sparks outrage. Despite evidence and family requests, the accused faces a controversial charge of ‘manslaughter,’ unleashing criticism and allegations of corruption in the judicial system.

Despite the family’s request and the evidence provided by private accusers that demonstrated the responsibility in the crime, by action or omission, of several agents and officers who were at the post that night, the Public Ministry determined to accuse only the police officer Perdomo Sarmiento. for the crime of aggravated femicide. This was April 15, 2021.

 However, in the course of the process and in a chain of favors operated from the judicial system, it was determined to modify the crime from aggravated femicide to simple homicide. The Prosecutor’s Office presented an amparo to reclassify the crime, but the Constitutional Chamber washed its hands of it and returned the file to the Siguatepeque courts, leaving the judge free to determine the classification of the crime.

 To complete the favor, the judge reduced to a minimum the possibility of sanctioning the murderer and ended up classifying it as “wrongful homicide”, during the ruling announced on September 14, 2023. According to the theory of law, “wrongful homicide” is one that is committed without intention, due to incompetence, negligence or violation of regulations. It is punishable with lesser penalties than intentional homicide.

Judicial misrepresentation: the truth challenged in a femicide case

According to the arguments presented at the trial, and which were accepted by the judges to reach their verdict, “this man, for wanting to provide first aid (to Keyla), suffocated her. That was a total mockery for the family,” said Mrs. Norma.

Saying that “this man went too far in helping my daughter is the worst thing that these judges could have invented to justify the large amount of money, to say this foolishness or this imprudence. Because that is reckless, what they have done. “Despite all the evidence that has been presented to them, they say it was reckless homicide,” he added.

Murals representing the murder of Keyla Martínez.

During the trial, held in September 2022, but whose ruling was issued in September 2023, the accused Harold Perdomo never raised his head or opened his mouth to give his version of the events because defenders and even the judges emphasized that it was your right not to testify. For Mrs. Norma, this was on purpose because “they knew that he was going to mess up, that he was not going to keep up or was going to make some mistake. (…) He is seeing the entire corrupt and rotten system that exists in our country.”

The uncertain future of the case

 It must be considered that the Penal Code from Honduras In its article 208, it establishes that femicide has a penalty of between 20 and 25 years in prison, and if it is aggravated femicide it is 25 to 30 years. While the crime of reckless homicide, according to article 198 of the same Code, has a penalty of 1 to 3 years, if it is minor; and from 3 to 7 years if it presents aggravating circumstances.

 At the sentencing hearing held on October 11, 2023, Perdomo’s defense requested a sentence of 1 year in prison, while the accusing party requested a sentence of 7 years. Under any parameter, justice will lose because it is foreseen that the murderer will be released after the sentence is read.

 This was scheduled for November 3, 2023, and the secretary was instructed to notify the parties. That is to say, it is a sentence so shameful that the judges will not even be present when the sentence for the murderer is confirmed.


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