Honduran National Resistance Update 10/13
>Update on teacher and correspondent for Radio Liberada, Augustina Flores: She is on conditional release from jail based on a bogus charge of sedition. She was fined 100 mil lempiras, or around $5,000, to get out .
>Short video of El Frente Nacional assembly this past weekend expressing unanimous agreement that any settlement of the conflict in Honduras must include the restitution of Zelaya.
Oct 13, 2009
* Rights groups link at least 10 deaths to coup
* Serious injuries blamed on police violence
TEGUCIGALPA, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Suspicious deaths. Beatings. Random police shootings. Life under the de facto government of Honduras at times feels uncannily like Latin America’s dark past of military rule.
In the three months since soldiers overthrew leftist President Manuel Zelaya and marched him out of the country in his pajamas, international and Honduran human rights groups say security forces have committed a litany of abuses.
They link at least 10 deaths to de facto rule under Roberto Micheletti, who was named president after the June 28 coup. The government admits three people have died in protests.
Amnesty International said in September that Honduras risks spiraling into a state of lawlessness where police and military act with no regard for rights.
Repression of protests against the coup increased after Zelaya slipped back into the country on Sept 21, took refuge in the Brazilian embassy and called his backers onto the streets.
Honduran human rights group Cofadeh said it had numerous reports of police firing guns in poor areas of Tegucigalpa.
Some shootings occurred during night-time curfews enforced by Micheletti.
Unemployed Angel Manuel Osorto broke the curfew to go out to borrow money for medical treatment for his pregnant wife and his 13-year-old son Angel David was hit in the lower back when a policeman fired a pistol from a motorbike.
“As we walked home a police patrol rode up shooting. One bullet hit him,” said Osorto. “Thank God he is alive.”
That same night a Zelaya supporter was shot dead. Five more were hospitalized with bullet wounds. “People are terrified to go out at night. I am scared of the authorities,” said Osorto.
The curfew has been lifted in Honduras, but Micheletti has put in place an emergency decree allowing the army and police to break up protests. And they do so with gusto, firing gas at almost any small demonstration.
Tegucigalpa police chief Leandro Osorio denied abuses and said left-leaning rights groups are biased in favor of Zelaya.
“They will say there are lots of injured people in the hospital, but that’s not true,” he told Reuters.
RIGHTS GROUP TEAR GASED
Honduras did not suffer the same level of state-sponsored violence as South American nations under military regimes or neighbors Guatemala and El Salvador during Central America’s civil wars in the 1980s. But veteran rights activist Bertha Oliva says in some ways things are worse now.
“Before, they hid the dead. Now they do it in public, challenging every principle of human rights,” said Oliva, who formed human rights group Cofadeh when her husband, a left-wing activist, was abducted in 1982.
Two days after Zelaya’s return, police fired tear gas into Cofadeh’s office where about 150 people were gathered to report beatings by soldiers and police dispersing protesters from the streets of Tegucigalpa.
The Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned the attack. It said there had also been some cases of violence against people and property by protesters.
“The human rights situation in Honduras has worsened substantially in the sense that the controls and repression of protests have risen exponentially,” the commission’s president Luz Patricia Mejia told Reuters.
One 22-year-old medical student who declined to be named says she and other members of her leftist, pro-Zelaya group have received threats by text message. One recent message read: “The best communist is a dead communist.”
Last week, the student says masked, armed men tried to force her into a black car with dark windows. She escaped, but broke a ligament in her arm struggling to free herself from one of the men’s grip.
“The idea was to torture me for information about my organization, I am sure of that,” she said, her arm in a cast and dark rings around her eyes from the stress. (Writing by Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Anthony Boadle)
AT 517 YEARS THE RESISTANCE CONTINUES AND DEEPENS
The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH, on the occasion of the commemoration of the date that our peoples and territories began to be the subject of genocide, exploitation, extraction and destruction; emits the following statement:
1.- We condemn once more the assassinations, tortures and all type of attacks suffered by the indigenous peoples by the colonialist powers and their criminal institutions throughout theses 517 años.
2.- We denounce the execution of a plan of world domination against the peoples of the world, which is executed through the implementation of the neoliberal system and the imperialist wars of invasion, with the goal of taking power over all the natural resources of the planet and subjecting humanity to extreme exploitation.
3.- We call the peoples of the world to resists and defeat the order of exploitation advanced by the fascists and construct in its place a society of fraternity and solidarity living in harmony between humans and nature.
4.- We condemn the political-military dictatorship that with armed force took power in Honduras through a cruel coup d’etat which has left in its wake various killed Hondurans and a huge quantity of beaten, tortured and politically persecuted women and men. This coup d’etat is part of the plan of world domination with the objective of taking power over the natural resources of Honduras and stopping in Honduras the processes of emancipation of the Latin American peoples.
5.- We make a call to the Honduran people to deepen the resistance against the dictatorship until we defeat them and achieve the punishment of Roberto Micheletti, the coup-plotting Supreme Court magistrates and congresspeople, the attorney general of the state, the leadership of the Catholic and Evangelical church, the commissioner of human rights who today is supporting the violation of human rights of the Honduran people by the entire police and military leadership. We also call for the convening of a national Constitutional Assembly with representatives who emit a new constitution of the republic that allows a new juridical framework and a new set of institutions in the name of participatory democracy.
6.- We call to the peoples of the world to support the Honduran people not just to be in solidarity but as a means of self-defense since if this coup d’etat wins all teh processes of emancipation of the peoples of the world will be more at risk.
With the ancestral force of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices of life, justice, liberty, dignity and peace.
At 517 years of struggle nobody is giving up here!
Intibucà, Honduras – October 12th, 2009