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Dr. Juan Almendares’ Open Letter to President of the UN General Assembly Regarding Honduras

September 24, 2009

September 22, 2009almendaresjuan

Honduras: Letter to the United Nations
Juan Almendares

His Excellency Mr. Ali AbdussalamTreki
President of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Mr. President:

Dr. Juan Almendares

I respectfully direct this letter to you appealing to your sense of respect

for life, dignity and the human rights of peoples; and recognizing in your
esteemed organization as a bastion in the struggle for peace and global

I do so in my capacity as physician to the poor, defender of human rights
and the environment, educator and former Rector of the National Autonomous
University of Honduras.

We send this appeal to your esteemed person as quickly as we can, although
we are sure that it would be supported by human rights organizations and
millions of Hondurans, because it is essentially about respect for life,
although it is not possible to make consultations in this case because
Honduras is in a state of siege, with the suspension of all constitutional
guarantees and the serious risk of imminent assassination of the person of
the President of Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, currently hosted by
the Brazilian government in its embassy in Tegucigalpa.

We appreciate the efforts your organization has made to contribute to
conflict resolution based on peace, justice and respect for human rights.

The systematic violation of human rights in Honduras has increased, the
nation has become a vast prison without access to the wounded, tortured; and
unable to provide water and food to people who have been arbitrarily
imprisoned or detained in stadiums, sport courts, secret prisons, detention
centres and military police outposts.

The health status of malnourished children in hospitals is at high risk
because of lack of food due to the curfew and there is the possibility of
hypoglycaemia and risk of death. Thousands of tear gas launchings have been
made from aircraft and from the troops; and hundreds of people, mostly
civilians, have been detained, tortured, and wounded.

Neither the immunity nor the territory of the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras
has been respected. The life of the legitimate President of Honduras and his
family in danger, as well as that of the diplomatic corps, whose immunity is
not respected.

We appeal to you urgently to despatch a medical and UN human rights mission
to the Embassy of Brazil, to attend the President and his family and the
Brazilian diplomatic corps and to ensure the respect for life and health of

We urge that this mission visit the stadiums, sports fields, police
detention centres, hospitals and barracks where hundreds of Hondurans are
being imprisoned and tortured.

We know there are specific UN human rights bodies that are making valuable
efforts. But the process is slow and it would not be an exaggeration to say
that this could become a post mortem exercise.

However, a global call to conscience on the part of President of the General
Assembly of the United Nations will have the weight of his moral authority
in all corners of the earth.

In the event that it is not possible to organise the emergency missions
outlined above, we gladly volunteer to provide our medical and human rights
services, to visit the President and his family and the diplomatic corps in
the Brazilian Embassy; and offer the services of our health teams to visit
all detention and torture sites mentioned above.

For the sake of love and human and planetary solidarity..

With assurances of my highest consideration and fraternal greetings:

Tegucigalpa September 22, 2009

Juan Almendares
Executive Director, Centre for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of
Torture Victims and their families (CPTRT).

*Google translation revised by Norman Girvan*

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