Honduran National Resistance Update 10/9
“* Police teargas pro-Zelaya protesters
* Zelaya congratulates Obama on Nobel prize
By Frank Jack Daniel and Ignacio Badal
TEGUCIGALPA, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Ousted President Manuel Zelaya said on Friday he would not yet abandon dialogue to end a three-month political standoff in Honduras, while police fired teargas to disperse a protest outside the hotel where his aides were negotiating with the de facto government.
A June military coup that removed leftist Zelaya triggered Central America’s worst crisis in years. It has become a test for U.S. President Barack Obama who has promised a new era of engagement with Latin America.
Zelaya slipped back into the country two weeks ago and is now holed up in the Brazilian embassy. Talks between envoys from his camp and that of de facto leader Roberto Micheletti started on Wednesday with foreign delegates present.
Zelaya told Reuters he did not trust Micheletti’s motives but would not call off negotiations until at least Oct. 15.
“I am not optimistic about the conduct, about the political will of the de facto leaders, who keep power by force,” he said by telephone from the Brazilian embassy, where he is trapped by soldiers who will arrest him if he leaves.
“You always have to promote dialogue and never end it, I think October 15 is sufficient to clarify the positions of both sides.”
Micheletti angrily dismisses the possibility of a return for Zelaya, who he says was legally removed for breaking the constitution. Micheletti accuses his rival of corruption and criticizes his close ties to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.
About 100 Zelaya supporters protested outside the hotel where the third day of talks were being held. Police fired teargas and used a water cannon to disperse them.
“They were shouting slogans outside the negotiations, we had to move them on,” said Tegucigalpa police commissioner Leandro Osorio.
Zelaya, who has in the past requested that Washington take tougher action to restore him to power, warmly congratulated President Barack Obama for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
“Today’s most important event is the Nobel Peace Prize,” Zelaya said. “I consider it a challenge to President Obama, who will be more committed every day to looking for peace.” (Additional reporting by Luis Rojas Mena; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Report from Day 2: “The resistance here is amazing, and inspiring, and most of all, unstoppable.”
October 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
HONDURAS TRIP, DAY TWO
URGENT: We just heard there is an emergency occurring at the Brazilian embassy. Tonight they have erected two scaffold and placed two snipers on it—one a member of the police, the other of the army. They have also set up speakers and are sending out commands and making animal sounds, terrifying the people. The National Resistance Front has sent out an emergency email notice.
Day two of the U.S. Delegation in Solidarity with the Honduras Resistance began early. At 7 am, we traveled to the offices of the bottler’s union, which has become somewhat of a headquarters for the resistance movement here in Honduras. This morning, members of the many varied, yet unified, sectors of the resistance—Indigenous, campesinos, labor unions, women, religious figures, artists, writers, doctors, engineers, youth, and more—were meeting to be debriefed about the political situation and to plan next steps.
The level of organization was impressive and exciting, with representatives giving reportbacks on pertinent information. A representative reported on the negotiations with the Organization of American States—negotiations in which the resistance movement has a seat at the table. Others reported on the numbers of people injured at the hands of the state at various places throughout the country.
Next was another day of protest—this time, a march from the pedagogical university to the Clarion Hotel, where the OAS delegation was staying. The situation quickly became tense, with truck after truck of heavily armed, face-masked police and army forces arriving to surround protesters. We once again attended the march, carrying our banner identifying us as being from the U.S. This time, protestors stopped and clapped for us as we arrived; one woman directed as many members of the press as she could find to us.
Once again, we saw women on the frontlines of the struggle; one diminutive but clearly fierce woman was brought over to the delegation and introduced as “la abuela de la resistencia”—the grandmother of the resistance.
With the presence of international media, a U.S. delegation, and the OAS representatives, the government’s armed forces once again held off from attacking the crowd. However whether or not the attacks occur, it is clear that the resistance here has no intention of backing off. One of the chants often heard is “tienen miedos porque no tenemos miedos”–they are afraid because we are not afraid.
Later we returned to the bottler’s union for a meeting with religious leaders, who have organized themselves to resist the coup. The large churches, and particularly the Catholic church, has been supportive and even offered their blessings to the=2 0illegal, repressive Micheletti regime. But smaller churches have taken up the mantle of liberation theology and dedicated themselves, as one sister said, not just to theory, but to practice–in the streets with the people.
Lastly, the delegation met with Carlos H. Reyes, who was an independent candidate for president before the coup d’etat. He explained the nuances of the struggle in the streets to us—how the struggle is increasingly a struggle between the classes; how the masses are rapidly becoming politicized in the midst of this situation; and more.
We have decided that tomorrow we will pay a visit to the U.S. embassy and tell them our observations from this delegation. We are going even though they dodged our calls all day, transferring our call to voicemail over and over.
The resistance here is amazing, and inspiring, and most of all, unstoppable. We will keep you all posted with developments as soon as we can; and we will continue to stand in solidarity with them while we are here, and when we return.
The following report came from the US delegation in Honduras investigating civil rights violations which was contacted by Pastors for Peace about a Radio Globo report this afternoon that snipers were firing on the Brazilian embassy. I’ll try to find out what’s up and report back here a little later.
Urgent Alert from US Delegation in Honduras – Radio Globo reports: Snipers fire on Zelaya
October 9, 2009
The situation is grave in Tegucigalpa. According to a message from the organization, Pastors for Peace, Radio Globo from Honduras is reporting that snipers are shooting into the Brazilian Embassy where President Zelaya and hundreds of supporters have taken refuge. There is no word yet on injuries.
Also, according to an Oct. 9 AP report, paramilitaries from Colombia are arriving in Honduras now. Many of these paramilitaries were trained in torture and repression at the infamous School of the Americas in the U.S.”
Urgent – Take Action Now!
Call Now – demand an end to the attacks on Zelaya and a restoration of civil liberties.
* Honduras Desk, U.S. State Department 202-647-3482
* State Department Main Switchboard 202-647-4000
* White House 202-456-1111
* OAS Washington Office 202-458-3000
Radio Globo reporter Galdámez and ground supporters have reported from the interior of the Brazilian Embassy that the National Police, has placed a hydraulic crane as a platform of observation or deck, to hostigate those in the interior of the Brazilian Embassy, posting armed snipers that harass and spy upon the facilities with special cameras from the new post ( website has a few pics). Also, go to the El Frente Nacional site for more pics outside Brazilian embassy.
Members of the AUC, classified as a terrorist organisation by the US, reportedly hired to offer protection for landowners
* guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 October 2009 14.50 BST
Honduran landowners have reportedly hired former Colombian paramilitaries as mercenaries to protect them against possible violence stemming from government tensions, a UN panel said today.
The UN working group on mercenaries said that it has received reports that some 40 former members of United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, or AUC. The US government classifies the AUC as a terrorist organisation.
They will protect properties and individuals “from further violence between supporters of the de facto government and those of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya,” it said.
Separately, a 120-person group of paramilitaries from several countries in that region was reportedly created to support the coup in Honduras, the panel said.
Honduras is a party to the international convention against the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries, the group said.
The panel is composed of Shaista Shameem of Fiji, Najat al-Hajjaji of Libya, Amada Benavides de Perez of Colombia, Jose Luis Gomez del Prado of Spain and Alexander Nikitin of Russia.
The group also alleged that Honduran police and the mercenaries indiscriminately used “long range acoustic devices” against Zelaya and his supporters taking refuge at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.
The device can blast sounds by concentrating voice commands and a car alarm-like noise that can be heard nearly two miles away.
“We urge 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,” the group said.
Zelaya was toppled in the 28 June military-backed coup that has paralysed the impoverished Central American nation with street protests, the suspension of foreign aid, diplomatic isolation and a standoff between the rival claimants to the presidency. The crisis deepened when Zelaya slipped back into the country in late September and took refuge with dozens of supporters in the Brazilian embassy.
Governments throughout the world insist the ousted president serve out the final months of his term and be restored to his office in time to prepare for the November election.”
viernes 9 de octubre de 2009
(Bang the pots and pans, make some noise on Monday, 7PM (Honduras time) against the coup d’etat in Honduras)
ESTE 12 DE OCTUBRE A LAS 7:00 PM (hora de Honduras)
Gran cacerolazo latino!
En toda latinoamerica sicronizaremos nuestros relojes para a las 7:00 PM dar el cacerolazo en contra de el golpe de Estado en Honduras.
Organiza a la gente de tu barrio, región, pueblo!
Gracias Latinoamérica por la solidaridad!
Viva Latinoamérica unida!
Hasta la victoria siempre!