Honduran social media exploded late last night when the people of Honduras learned what had the courts have finally decided will happen to Kevin Solorzano. But I think we should take a step back because unless someone is fluent in Spanish and pays attention to Honduran social media, they probably haven’t heard of Kevin Solorzano. As someone who has written some of the only English articles about Kevin online, I should know.
Before we go any further I want to take us back in time. Please note, there are too many details for me to comprehensively cover what has happened in Honduras because this is a legal battle that has unfolded over the past 2 years and one that likely isn’t over yet even if it feels like it.
Who Is Kevin Solorzano?
In late 2014 Honduran news outlets like La Prensa began reporting on the murder of a former attorney who worked with the Honduran “Public Ministry” (that’s a literal translation, a more appropriate one would be something like the “Office of Public Prosecutors”). His name was Edwin Eguigure. Older articles in Spanish talk about the act being committed by two people who intercepted Edwin and his family as they were talking from their home to their car in their community, a small area named El Chimbo. Edwin was walking his family to their car, located right outside of their home when they were cut off by two people who immediately attacked Edwin, one of them stabbing him and the other shooting him. Kevin was arrested just days later on November 20th 2014 and that would begin a long-lasting legal battle that reached its end last night.
This isn’t the end of the story, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Prior to his arrest, Kevin Solorzano was a college student. Kevin is the youngest in his family. His older sister named Melissa Hernandez has been one of his most charismatic supporters and is one of the leaders of the groups that seek to see Kevin freed. Kevin also has an older brother named Jose Luis. The campaign to free him has a page on Facebook named Liberen A Kevin Solorzano with a large number of supporters. If you can read Spanish, I recommend checking it out.
Changing Witness Testimonies and Conspiracies in Kevin Solorzano’s Case
Going to come at you fast with some videos. Unfortunately these videos are all in Spanish so you’ll have to bear with me.
So Maria Auxiliadora Sierra is the widow of Edwin Eguigure. One of the leading theories among people who insist that Kevin is innocent is that Maria herself ordered the murder. This is a wild theory, but one that at least had some public support for a while due to controversial testimonies by figures who claimed that Kevin had nothing to do with the murder of Edwin and that they had been paid 600,000 lempiras (25,433 dollars in today’s exchange rate) by Maria to kill her husband. Maria insisted that she could never forget the face of her husband’s killer, despite evidence to the contrary on an objective level. This is also despite the fact that older articles mention that it was two people, not three, who according to witnesses murdered Edwin. For whatever reason the only witness testimony taken seriously was Maria’s, which on a basic level is understandable but still frustrating given the discrepancies between the original witness testimonies and the second set, especially the two killers vs three killers.
Part of the video drama surrounding this trial is that there is a video which appears to showing Kevin Solorzano at his university the same day and at what might well have been the same time Edwin was being killed according to accounts given by witnesses of the crime.
Why Should You Care?
Honduras’s legal system is dangerously broken. This is part of why people flee Honduras, both with and without documentation. Kevin’s family reported receiving death threats, as did Kevin’s lawyer. At the time of Edwin’s death Edwin was one of 84 lawyers killed in Honduras between 2010 and 2014. In 2015 the lawyer of Lena Gutierrez (One of the vice-presidents of the Honduran Congress) was murdered during the worst days of the fallout of the IHSS scandal in the days leading up to her trial. In Honduras even the lawyers themselves are in constant danger, as are the journalists, students, and virtually every member of society aside from the people at the VERY top. When people flee from Honduras this is part of why they flee. Many Hondurans feel that they lack opportunities and live in a country where if they are murdered their murderers won’t face justice.
This disaster of a legal battle wasn’t talked about in English. Not by anyone aside from myself, as far as I know when it comes to posting articles. Not even TeleSur English reported on it. It’s important that people in the United States understand the complex realities of life in Central America and come to understand why people flee. People in the United States need to know what drives people to flee and come to a country where the President will vilify them. And when even lawyers are in constant danger of course people are going to flee. Part of the problem is that the media of the United States is not interested in talking about injustices Hondurans have to face. The media doesn’t want to devote time to talking about the death threats faced by a family that wasn’t already famous, like it has when it came to the death of Berta Caceres. Providing coverage of a non-famous Honduran doesn’t seem to be something that the English media has time for.
I want people to care about Kevin Solorzano. I want his story to fill people with frustration. I want people to understand why people come from places like Honduras seeking a better life for themselves. It makes sense, even if its not pleasant. We need to talk about Kevin’s story and so many more.
I provide translations of news articles from Honduran sources on Facebook and on Weebly. If you want to be kept informed as to events going on in Honduras, come check out The Honduras Report. I would love to help keep you informed!
Support Hondurans made mad by this injustice. Talk about Kevin Solorzano yourselves. Learn what happened to him and why he has spent the last two years imprisoned. Be mad. This is frustrating stuff. It’s okay to feel bad because of this. We need to stand in solidarity with the Hondurans all over the world who are discussing this injustice.