UN raises concerns over Central America prosecutor murders

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The UN human rights office on Tuesday raised concerns about what appeared to be a new trend of murdering public prosecutors in central America.

"We are extremely concerned about an apparent new trend of targeting public prosecutors in Central America, apparently by organized crime groups," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Over the past week, public prosecutors have been murdered in both Guatemala and Honduras in the course of their duties, amid growing insecurity and violence in both countries," he noted.

A local prosecutor in Guatemala was found decapitated in a plastic bag on May 24, while in Honduras, a public prosecutor was gunned down on May 28 by several armed men, said Colville.

"The increasing vulnerability of human rights defenders in both of these countries has been of extreme concern," he added.

In Guatemala, 250 human rights defenders were attacked and eight killed in 2010, while in Honduras, human rights defenders and journalists have also come under threat, said the UN.

© 2011 AFP

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