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B. Press releases


7. In addition to its media advisories or press releases issued in connection to country visits, regional consultations and the holding of its regular sessions, the Working Group issued two press releases in connection to alleged mercenary activities in Bolivia and Honduras. On 29 April 2009, the Working Group expressed its grave concerns at allegations that mercenaries were involved in a plot against Bolivian authorities. It received some information from concerned governments in response to its correspondence but is calling on the Bolivian authorities to carry out a transparent investigation into the incident and share its findings with the Group.


8. On 9 October 2009, the Working Group issue a statement following reports that former paramilitaries from Colombia had been recruited in Honduras to protect properties and individuals from further violence between supporters of the de facto government and those of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya. It urged the Honduran authorities to take all practical measures to prevent the use of mercenaries within its territory and to fully investigate allegations concerning their presence and activities.


9. In addition, following a decision from a U.S. Federal District Court to dismiss an indictment against five security guards of Blackwater charged with voluntary manslaughter and firearms violations in connection with a shooting in Nissour Square in Iraq 2007 during which at least 14 people were killed and a further 20 injured many seriously, the Working Group issued a statement expressing its concern that this decision may lead to a situation where no one would be accountable for grave human rights violations. The Working Group commends the U.S. Government for appealing this decision and calls for all necessary measures to be taken to ensure accountability in accordance with international obligations.

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