ARREST WARRANT FOR HONDURAN JUDGE FOR JAILING CHILDREN/SK-List FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 06:04:43 -0700 (PDT)


=46WD  CC Replies to "Casa Alianza - Regional Office" <casalnza@sol.racsa.co=
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=46OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE		April 26th, 1998

ARREST WARRANT ISSUED FOR HONDURAN
JUDGE FOR ILLEGAL DETENTION OF STREET
                     CHILDREN

The Fourth Criminal Judge of letters of the Honduran city of San Pedro
Sula issued an arrest warrant on April 17th, 1998 for the capture of
the ex =96 Second Criminal Judge of the Peace of San Pedro Sula, Vianey
Cruz Recarte, accused of Abuse of Authority; Incompliance with the
Responsibilities of a Public Servant; Illegal Detention of  the minors
Carlos Enrique Jaco y Geovany Francisco Jaco.

The accusation was placed by Patricia Mejia Erazo, a Public
Prosecutor, the same day as the judge issued the arrest warrant. This
was just a few days after the Inter American Commission on Human
Rights had sent an official report to the State of Honduras regarding
the complaint against the State of Honduras presented by Casa Alianza
and the Center for Justice and International Law, CEJIL, for the
illegal detention of hundreds of children together with adults in
Honduras=B4 24 jails.

The Jaco teenagers were detained on November 3rd, 1994 =96 before the
unconstitutional "Auto Acordado" came into effect =96 an ruling by the
Supreme Court allowing the jailing of children in adult prisons under
certain conditions. Even though the twins declared themselves to be 15
years old, the then Judge Vianey Cruz Recarte did not order a forensic
exam to establish a true age until eight months later. When the
decision was returned, it confirmed that the boys were in fact minors.
Cruz Recarte should have then referred the case to a Juvenile Judge as
the law requires, which she did not do, keeping the boys mixed
together with adult prisoners in the San Pedro Sula jail.

It was not until the intervention of Casa Alianza that the now accused
ordered the March 1st, 1996 transfer of the minor`s case to a juvenile
judge, which was never actually carried out. The consequence of this
inaction was that four days later, Carlos Jaco was murdered by an
adult prisoner in the San Pedro Sula jail.

=46ollowing a further complaint by Casa alianza, the Inspecor of
Tribunales determined that "grave errors" had been committed in the
case, but Judge who reviewed the charge, a colleague of the former
Judge Vianey Cruz, decided that the accused had fulfilled her
obligations according to the law.

"Any objective lawyer can clearly see that Cruz Recarte did not
respect the law or the Constitution of the country", commented Bruce
Harris, the Regional Director for Latin America of Casa Alianza, the
Latin American branch of the New York based Covenant House, working
for Honduran street children for more than 10 years. "It is
interesting that with the pressure of the report from the Inter
American Commission upon the government, that finally we are seeing
some action. But better late than never. All we need now is the
sentencing and jailing of Cruz Recarte and compensation for the family
of Carlos Jaco", stated Harris.

Casa Alianza has presented thirty complaints against Honduran judges
for the illegal detention of children together with adults. The
Inspector of Tribunales confirmed six of the first nine complaints
filed by Casa Alianza.

Each of the three criminal accusations against Vianey Cruz carry a
sentence of six months to three years jail time plus other
administrative measures for double the length of the sentence.

----------------
=46or more information, please contact:

Bruce Harris, Casa Alianza Regional Office, San Jose, Costa Rica, tel:
+506-253-5439 or Casa Alianza Honduras at +504-237-1750
--------------------------------------------
Casa Alianza/Covenant House Latin America
SJO 1039
PO Box 025216, Miami FL 33102-5216  USA

Tel. in Costa Rica: +506-253-5439 or 253-6338
=46ax in Costa Rica:  +506-224-5689

Home page address: http://www.casa-alianza.org

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"In their little worlds in which children have their existence,
there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt,
as injustice...."

Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"
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