September 7, 2010
After failing to lift suspension of Honduras from OAS on 30 July, US continues to pressure for Honduras reintegration, and sent in 3 & 4 August a high level delegation from US State Department to Honduras, headed by Mary Otero – Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, who is accused by human rights organisations to be an ex CIA agent. The July 30 meeting was cancelled not because of the report, but because of lack of agreements reached and OAS HLC not having formal mandate to be negotiating although it tried to. The report sets the framework for follow up actions by state department to impose a recipe to quickly reintegrate Hondduras. Report – whitewash – it neglects to mention that Lobo regime is illegitimate, invisibilises the HR Platform’s Truth Commission, and seeks to involve a sympathiser from the resistance on the official TC instead. Lobo is charged with concocting a national dialogue and would attempt to influence the constituent process. It sought installation of UN OHCHR office
(please see this link for an analysis of these http://www.rightsaction.org/articles/US_presses_OAS_on_Honduras_080510.html)
Evidence from August of lack of willingness by the regime to comply with even the OAS HLC’s recommendations:
•It was recommended that accusations against Zelaya be withdrawn as they are politically motivated;
•On 1/8 Mario Canahuati (foreign secretary) proposed that Zelaya be tried by a different (Honduran) tribunal other than the Supreme Court instead.
•On 2/8 Arturo Corrales insisted that the report sets the parameters for Honduras’ reintegration to OAS and imposes his mis-interpretation of the report to being that Zelaya is tried under dued processes by Honduran authorities
•On 21/8, the DPP placed new false charges against Zelaya, accusing him of having diverted 530 million lempiras donated by the Venezuelan government. Zelaya denounced the disinformation campaign, provided information about what was donated, spent, and not spent, why, and where this money was when he was deposed.
Lobbying efforts by Lobo and U.S. Embassador continue, to obtain OAS reintegration for Honduras without making sure that democracy and human rights are restored:
•At the end of July, Lobo also held a secret meeting with a friend Merino who is a FMLN leader to, in Lobo’s statement to Diario de Hoy, ‘mediate with the Honduran Resistance’ without explaining what he means by ‘mediate’.
•On 6/8 Lobo appointed Jorge A Reina as the embassador to UNASUR, a character previously considered a leftist, to ‘whitewash’ and convince UNASUR to consent to reintegration of Honduras to OAS.
•Hugo Llorens US Embassador said this appointment shows an openness to international diplomatic relations and that the international community has an obligation to (help) Honduras through normalising relations
•On 12/8/10, Choluteca Mayor – Quintin Soriano, through a letter from the head of human resources obligated council employees to attend the welcoming of US Embassador Hugo Llorens. They were threatened the suspension of 2 days pay if they don’t attend. Llorens is accused of having participated in the coup.
It is important to continue to pressure against premature reintegration of Honduras to OAS as it is a leverage for demands to end impunity and support democracy, with the president of OAS declaring his wishes for the reintegration of Honduras in an extraordinary assembly. IMF visited Honduras on 11/8 and has not yet signed an agreement. While it mentioned poverty and lack of social investment as problems, its greater concerns are fiscal sustainability and economic growth; the measures it promotes deepen inequality. For example it and IDB advocated and even pressured for the regime to not repay its massive debt to the teachers’ payroll institution Inprema (presumably because it – fulfiling educational and labour obligations – is seen as an unproductive way of using money it does not have).
There are 146 persons accused of attempting against the state – if they choose amnesty then they are accepting that they were accused legally and in due form, hiding the violation of their human rights – that they have been beaten and tortured.
On the other side, the ‘justice’ system makes sure human rights violators go unpunished. For example, only now, one year later, the human rights prosecutor ordered the armed forces to hand in the arms that killed Isis Obed Murillo, at which point they would have gotten rid of basic evidences. On 31/8/10 the Court ruled Coronel Jose Arnulfo Jimenez, charged with abuse of authority and closing medias (Channel 36, Radio Globo and Radio La Catracha), as INNOCENT, stating he simply looked after the properties and never used force to close the medias unlike what was denounced by the affected and by DPP..
Awards of coup supporters continue with the appointment of Maria del Carmen Nasser as the Embassador for Chile – she is sister of coup financing elite businessperson Fredy Nasser, and a businessperson herself.
On 1/9/10, 22 officials of the Colombian military visited the Honduran military, according to the Public Relations Office of the Air Forces of Honduras, which also said that exchanges between the 2 armed forces are frequent. In Colombia the biggest mass grave of Latin America was found recently of 2000 corpses.
August – massive repression and persecution against teachers, farmers, university workers, journalists
Summary of killings in August – details can be found under each sector
‘Teresita’ Maria Teresa Flores – la Via Campesina member, 12/8/10
Victor Manuel Mata (40), MUCA member, 17/8/10
Sergio Magdiel Amaya (18), MUCA member, 17/8/10
Rodving Omar Villegas (15), MUCA member, 17/8/10
Israel Zelaya Diaz, journalist, 25/8/10
Antonio Hernandez, teacher, ?
Santos Avila (45), Secretary General of National Campesinos Association of Honduras, 28/8/10
More human rights violations under Lobo regime
COFADEH (Committee of Families of the Detained & Disappeared, Honduras) coordinator announced that the 6 months under Lobo had 45% more human rights violations recorded than 7 months under Micheletti. The patterns are more selective, systematical and silent.
New mass grave found
COFADEH denounced on 21 August 2010 that a mass grave has been discovered containing over 100 bodies of persons assassinated in the last 3 months, proving the existance of crimes against humanity in Honduras. She confirmed that governmental repression works with organised crime.
Paramilitary groups identified
Human rights defenders and social activists have been receiving electronic messages signed by ‘CAM’ or ‘Comando Alvarez Martinez’.
COFADEH identified and located terror prisons in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, and the resurge of paramiliary group ‘la Mano Blanca 14/-88 (white hand). La Mano Blanca first appeared in Guatemala in 1966 – torturing and assassinating students, professionals, farmers on the pretext of these being communists. It operated with clandestine support of the Guatemalan army with CIA backing according to sources including the Study and answer to Terrorism (START) and the Office of the Archbishop of Guatemala (ODHG).
COFADEH called on Lobo to dismantle the death squads in Honduras.
Attacks against journalists and media
Radio Globo journalist, Mayka Antunez, reported escalated death threats following an interview she obtained with the 2009 coup regime head Roberto Micheletti, in which she questioned him about the state of human rights, impunity, and Micheletti’s responsbility for the deaths under his regime.She received information from an army source (a friend of a relative) that if the army cannot attempt against her, they will hire someone else to, and that this is because of the interview.
On 1/8, the youth Walter Maradiaga, producer of Colon News Centre (reporting repression against farmers), was attacked with a daggar by 2 individuals where he went with a classmate on his motorbike to work. He was stabbed and is recovering in hospital.
On 4/8/10 Dr Jorge Amaya Banegas wrote a note on the Food Information & Action Network email list denouncing the brutal police repression against the unionists and UNAH university students. Minutes after his posting, he received threatening text messages from 89999999. Resistance journalist Ida Garberi replied that she received calls from the same number which only breathes when she answers.
On 5/8, Rene Rojas, director of the Free Expression Program on community radio Voice of the Occidente, and working journalist of Radio America for 15 years, was handcuffed by traffic police Espinoza in Copan and detained for 2.5 hours on the pretext of ‘prohibited parking’ when he parked in the same way as other cars. During his detention they knocked him over at the staircase. He was freed thanks to the pressure of other journalists. Persecution began 2 months ago after he denounced on radio abuse by traffic police with balaclavas arriving at local restaurants at midnight, demanding their licences and closing their businesses. He returned to broadcast the evening following his release and saw a car with tinted windows prowling around his home when he returned that night and also the next morning. He also received visits at work from an angry police delegate.
On 14/8, Brayan Flores, editor of El Libertador, was covering the teachers’ protest at INPREMA and taking photos of the militarisation and policing, when he was illegally detained – accused of being a resistance member, and of being ‘communist’ and ‘Venezuelan, he said he is a Honduran journalist doing his work. He was quickly release under the immediate pressure by other journalists – one of whom almost got arrested also protesting the arrest of Flores. Flores suffered undercover police persecution in 12/2009.
On 14/8 at 2am, Itsmania Pineda Plateros – journalist and president of Xibalba – art and culture organisation, suffered an attempt at her home. 3 persons tried to drill a hole in the wall to enter, but prevented thanks to the automatic switch on of the light surprising the invaders and alerting the home owner. Pineda Platero knows these people live near her and that one of them is a police informant. She has suffered persecution since 2006 for her human rights/journalistic work at Xibalba, rescuing youth gang members.
Another Xibalba worker, Elvira Liliana Carcama Puerto, who is also director of a TV news program on Channel 51 and is a teacher and resistance member, recently had her work equipment, documents and journalist ID confiscated by the police. She has also been assaulted with scratches on her wall and is a victim of harrassment by a Hondutel official Carlos Montoya (Hondutel telephone is headed by ex head of army), and Professor Dimas.
On 18/8/10, journalist and resistance member Jose Eduardo Coto was arrested, and accused of sedition, for trying to intervene against the arrest of comrade Jorge Alberto Alvarado, in the teachers demonstration in Choloma.
At the same demonstration on 18/8/10, Jose Alcides Alvarez, graphic reporter of a community media, had his camera and all his equipment taken off him from an order from Officer Zavala, he was then tied up using his shoelaces and taken to the police station, he has a 10 y.o. child with him who was also beaten by the police. Another graphic reporter of Tiempo Daily was beaten while trying to take photos of the beatings and violent evictions police patrols were meting out – the police used their shields to block the photographer from capturing images, and began to beat him.
Edgardo Escoto, journalist of Radio Uno (strong anti-coup station) was brutally attacked by a coup complicit journalist. He was amongst those detained on 18/8/10 at the Choloma demonstration. He has cautionary measures granted by the IACHR.
On 20/8/10, Channel 36 journalist Richard Casula and his cameraperson were beaten and assauted by the police when they were covering the violent evictions against teachers. The cameraperson was impeded from recording images of police brutality. Casula has been subeject to police aggression before.
On 25/8/10, journalist and resistance member ‘Chacatay’ Israel Zelaya Diaz was found dead with 3 gunshot wounds on the skirts of a San Pedro highway, with his wallet, journalist ID and other belongings untouched. He recently denounced in an assembly an attempt against him, unidentified persons set his home on fire but he was saved by the dog’s barking. Some years ago he suffered another attempts when unknown persons fired shots at his car. One of his sons was similarly killed.
Other journalists killed this year: 18/2 - Nicolas Asfura (42), 1/3 – Joseph Hernandez Ochoa, David Meza (51, Channel 10), 14/3 Nahum Palacios (34), Luis Mondragon (Channel 19), 26/3 – Bayardo Mirena and Manuel Juarez 11/4 – Luis Chevez Hernandez, 20/4 - Georgino Orellano. These human rights violations have been denounced by IACHR and by the Organisation of Iberoamerican Journalists.
On 27/8/10, at the massive repression against teachers in the UPN university, Radio globo journalist Carlos Paz was covering live the capture and brutal beating against several youths, when he was dragged away and captured by the police. After he was freed by the order of Police Chief Commissioner Chamorro, he was again violently captured by another police contingent who brok his tape recorder and physically assaulted him. He was released under pressure of human rights organisation CODEH and El Libertador journalist Brayan Flores.
On 27/8/10, Journalist Oswaldo Estrada and another technical staff of the radio globo also suffered police and military regression.
Also on 27/8/10, Dick Emanuelsson and Mirian Huezo were covering the protests and gas attack inside the university. Dick found Mirian inside, trying to breathe, with swollen eyes and her throat closed and burning from gases, like many more – many were vomiting and trying to breath. She fainted for a time.
On 30/8 at 9.20pm director/journalist Arnulfo Aguilar was running a program on Radio Uno (San Pedro Sula) about the teachers strikes and the signed pact, when the station suddenly went off air – the cables were cut off. Days before this their security guards received threats and resigned. Aguilar also received repeated threats as he continues to denounce the military coup and human rights violations.
There is a discrediting campaign towards deportation of naturalised journalists and resistance participants who orginate from other countries, against Dick Emanuelsson and ‘Emo’. El Heraldo, La Tribuna and Human Rights Commissioner Ramon Custodio head this campaign.
In El Heraldo, it was published that Ramon Custodio is investigating nationality, professional status, visa and identity of a foreigner, and that this foreigner (this is untrue ) participated in a brutal beating and near murder against La Tribuna and Micheletti’s photographer Amilcar Luque. In addition to false accusations and deportation threats, Dick and his spouse Mirian Huezo (Honduran photographer) have also reported death threats. Dick Emmanuelsson has previously exiled from Colombia where he worked as a journalist. He reports for ‘Aurora Boreal’, has for many years been a member of the Latin American Federation of Journalists and is firmly committed with the popular causes and in denouncing human rights violations in Latin America, and was a metal worker in his youth.
On 24/8, El Heraldo published ‘They will deport foreigners that go on the marches’ and on 5/8 It also published an article with a photo of a barrel lit with fire, with the caption ‘The anarchistic acts of yesterday were led by an Indian citizen that lives in the country’. The article said several foreigners have been identified by the regime and there are plans to deport these, and amongst these is ‘Emo’. ‘Emo’ Mahadeo Roopchano Sadloo Sadloo was born in Suriname and lived for 35 years in Honduras and is married with 2 children to a Honduran. A tyres vendor, he was accused in the media of leading resistance acts with the UNAH university.
Attack against collectors of sovereign declarations
The army detained Choluteca resistance leaders for a while – they took boxes from their car of sovereign declarations and made photocopies of some of these.
Attacks against farmers and land rights activists
On 1/8/10, family members of Denis Ramos, who continued to be detained, reported that they were being followed by 2 vehicles for a long stretch after they visited him. They reported seeing their followers talking with State Investigative agents before starting to follow these.
On 2/8/10, MUCA members Salvador Flores Aguilar (18), and Olvin Alexander Rivas were going to buy groceries at a corner shop when they were detained by police, accused of illegal possession of arms and illicit association
On 4/8/10, the youth Juan Ramon Chinchilla was detained for 21 hours. He is on the Executive Committee of FNRP, and a MUCA member. He was driving home after a funeral when he was arrested on the pretext of not using a seat belt and not respecting authority. The witness lawyer Zamora testified that he saw the Tocoa police
subcomissioner order the youths to pose without shirts with weapons in their hands for a photo during the detention in the police station, and that when Zamora tried to intervene advising that it was illegal he was ignored.
On 12/8/10, the putrified body of ‘Teresita’ Maria Teresa Flores (52), was found with gunshots and signs of torture including machete wounds. She was last contactable on 7/8/10 at 6am when a comrade spoke with her on telephone and she said she was in Siguatepeque waiting for a bus home. She was the leader of several campesino organisations including La Via Campesina, OCH, and COCOCH, and a mother of 14 children, who the year before lost 15 family members in a car accident. Her body was taken to the morgue which did not allow viewings because of the state of decomposition.
On 17/8/10, 3 MUCA members Victor Manuel Mata (40), Sergio Magdiel Amaya (18) and Rodving Omar Villegas (15) were riddled with bullets with heavy calibre arms when they were driving towards the Paso Aguan community, according to witnesses. It is presumed that they were killed by the private security services of Mr Miguel Facusse based on the type of arm used (AR-15 and AK-47 bullets were found). Other testimonies say the killers belong to the police. On the weekend Victor Manuel Mata participated in a workshop organised by 2 organisations of the Honduran Human Rights Platform which are also on an interinstitutional comission (together with govt rep Ana Pineda, human rights minister) to monitor compliance of the signed agrarian agreements by the campesinos and the government. Just metres from the crime scene a military checkpoint was installed seaching and checking everyone against the wanted list.
On 22/8, a police, military and investigative agents contingent was present from early in the morning at Puerto Grande in support of 30 armed persons working for businessman Facusse. The land belongs to 160 families who have lived their and grown corn on it for over 100 years and bravely defend their land and livelihood (under decree 18-2008 it is their right to remain on the land), but Facusse is claiming the land, falsifying paperwork, and illegally offers this land to other landless villagers and armed these. The armed group (some of whom are relatives of the community members) attacked villagers throwing stones at these, while the officers watched passively. At least 4 were wounded. Ethel Veronica Corea Posadas (28) was hospitalised with head injury and unstopped bleeding, requiring 14 stitches. Rosa Merari Alvarado and Alma Veronica Canales were both savagely beaten and threatened of being raped in front of their children and of being killed after. Gustavo Eduardo Sanchez (20) was brutally beaten, Miguel Angel Vasquez (20), Edwin Aguilar and Veronica Torres were all threatened in front of officers who did nothing. Facusse announced on 15/8 that he will donate this disputed land to build a college in Puerto Grande, as a tactic to cause conflict to appropriate the land. Facusse’s armed staff also arrived to the community on this date, but they were asked to leave by the community.
On 28/8, at 9pm, Santos Avila (45) was shot in the head and killed instantly outside his home when he came home with his 14 year old son from visiting his 5 y.o. son who was undergoing treatment for dengue fever in hospital. His 14 y.o. went to open the garage door but it was tied shut by the hitmen, so Santos hopped off to open the door and was shot by the sniper waiting for him. He is a resistance coordinator and Francisco Morazan Secretary General of the National Association of Campesinos of Honduras, has been part of the campesino struggle for 17 years, and has worked for the UD party. He is the single father of 3 children (5, 10, 14) as the mother left Honduras some years ago. He is the 11th campesino killed by the coup regime.
Major crisis in Honduras: indefinite teachers strike since 5/8/10, massive daily marches, and teachers’ occupation of Inprema – an institution of the teachers which manages teachers’ funds
August 2010 – the teachers’ massive actions and why
With major crises of attacks against teachers’ rights and the public education system, organised teachers have undertaken a series of actions. A number of teachers and others in solidarity occupied ‘Inprema’ from 4 August 2010. Inprema is a financial institution of teachers which receives and manages state funds, payments and deductions from teachers’ pays, manages loans, etc. Amongst the major problems is that the state not only has not been making the required contributions, but it has also deducted teachers’ pays illegally, not transferring to the pensions funds but stealing these for other uses (eg military repression). The state and officials have stolen over 3600million lempiras (US $159million) from the teachers’ funds. Because of this, over 3000 teachers have not received their salary all year, and retiring teachers fear that they will not receive their entitlements. Other demands include for an increase in the minimum wage, to which teachers’ wages are indexed, for attacks to abolish the teachers’ statute (award) to cease, against pushes to privatise education, for the dismissal of Education Minister Ventura, and reintegration of area directors illegally dismissed who were replaced with National Party activists. Teachers have also been on an indefinite teachers’ strike since 5 August 2010, and have been protesting on the streets daily (20,000 in Tegucigalpa on 5 August 2010, over 200,000 on 18 August 2010) accompanied by other union movements (which also announce they will soon undertake a general strike to demand an increase of the minimal wage) from 11 August 2010 and the resistance from the beginning.
Massive actions continue despite massive repression
6 August 2010
•Inprema, where some teachers are occupying, was closed in by 100s of police, barricades and fences, closing off some streets (comparisons were made to when president Zelaya was inside Brazilian Embassy for 4 months). Police carrying gas masks threatened to come in every 10 minutes saying if teachers don’t leave they will be violently evicted.
•Wilfredo Paz, a leader in the teachers union movement, who denounced that since the coup he has been subject to death threats, including recent ones from Mr Magdiel Lopez and Arnaldo Mejia – collaborators of the coup. Hitmen are watching around his home and he is constantly followed by vehicles.
•There were reports that Antonio Hernandez, a teacher of Ocotepeque, was assassinated, no further information available to date.
18 August 2010 (Choloma/San Pedro Sula)
•Plain clothes police fired live shots at protesters from a car, wounding 4 people.
•Security forces carried masks, shields, helmets, sticks, bulletproof vests, 9mm pistols and gas guns
•30 were illegally detained and dozens were beaten by uniformed officers
•Amongst those illegally detained was Ruy Diaz, teacher and resistance member, who was ambushed after he yelled ‘the people united, will never be defeated’, detained and beaten with his companion Giovanni Matute and the two were beaten and tortured brutally – he almost fainted when an agent stepped on his neck almost to the point of suffocation. In the police patrol vehicle the police tried to go really fast and make him fall out and die and make it look like an accident, but another police made these stop. After the ordeal he was taken back to the Texaco petrol station where he was taken, very injured.
•5 of the illegally detained are judicially persecuted and accused of sedition: Juan Carlos Aguilar, Jose Eduardo Coto (journalist and resistance member, arrested for trying to kntervene against arrest of Alvarado), Jorge Alberto Alvarado, Roberto Lobo Echeverria and Didier Alexander Carias – Didier was launched over the bridge by the police before his arrest and hospitalisation under police custody.
•Amongst the illegally detained was 3.5 years old Gema Valeria Manzanares together with her father – her father has a shop there and a teargas bomb went into his shop and he ran out with her in his arms (she has asthma) and the police grabbed them.
•A pick up truck was seen following the march with 2 police with their faces covered with balaclavas, dressed in black with heavy arms and vests that said ‘police’
20 August 2010 (Tegucigalpa)
•When the protest was at Miraflores, the Miraflores shopping complex was violently evicted, affecting including many people who were not participating in demonstrations. Teargas bombs were launched inside the Miraflores shopping complex. People running out included employees and shoppers. Food and chairs were knocked about everywhere. Victims included employees and women with babies whose lives were threatened and many fainted. Many people were beaten with sticks by police.
•When some protesters moved to the National Pedagogical University these were chased by the police and this was also attacked by tear gas bombs by police motorcyclists, affecting including striking teachers, students in classes and people in neighbouring homes. 18 teachers were arrested (including Luis Sosa, Andres Martinez, Carlos Anariba, Edgar Soriano and Luis Figueroa, who will be judicially persecuted). During Luis Sosa’s detention, he was beaten by sticks, kicked, insulted, threatened to be hung – all five were similarly beaten and given death threats, and their hospitalisation under police custody was delayed. They were released on cautionary measures on 22/8. 2 children were hospitalised from the gases, and one teacher’s wound was from a teargas bomb hitting his head. The police motorcyclists returned in a second round firing shots at the pavement to intimidate; teachers collected the bullets as evidence.
•The police also threw teargas bombs inside the Inprema (where teachers occupy), inside passing buses and even private vehicles.
•COFADH (human rights organisation) advocated for the captured victims at the police stations but the police refused to reveal where the teachers are detained
22 August 2010 (Tegucigalpa)
•Teachers Elmer Rolando Romero and Rogel Alexander Sanchez who were in front of Inprema were detained at 4.30pm and freed at 6pm. At which point they returned to Inprema to occupy Inprema, where the electricity and water had been cut off.
24 August 2010
•Demonstrations of teachers and their supporters returning to the Pedagogical National University after marching to near the Presidential House were attacked by soldiers in a helicopter with pepper gas. There was also pepper gas shot from the Hondutel (telcom) building, which is now headed by ex head of army and main executor of the coup Romeo Vasquez Velasquez.
25 August 2010
•Helicopters launched gas bombs at the ‘tail’ of the teachers’ march
•Lobo’s adminstration threatened to decree a state of siege – this threat was denied later with Lobo publicly stating he did not authorise the officials’ statements.
26 August 2010
•With another breakdown of negotiations, thousands marched from National Pedagogical University to the Presidential House and met with repression again. Some teachers led by Luis Sosa carried sticks to defend themselves from further police beatings
•Soldiers in antiriot gear threw many teargas bombs and stones at protesters
•Soldiers were shooting M-16 live shots indiscriminately at teachers (captured and broadcasted on TV).
•Another officer shot from his pistol towards the protesters, and police on motorbikes chased after and throwing teargas bombs at these as they ran off in different directions.
•At least 7 teachers were wounded. Hospital Escuela did not want to attend to these, asking them where they came from first. Angel Hipolito for example was urgently removed and taken to a private medical centre because although he fainted in the hospital’s emergenc department, he was not attended to
•Medical negligence against repression victims was also reported at the Emergency of Social Security Hospital of Comayaguela
•Doctors say 3 teachers are in critical states and some have disappeared
27 August 2010
•The city was militarised with 100s of police, military, and at least 2 tanks
•When the negotiations broke down again with the negotiator Corrales trying to force the leaders to sign the agreement before meeting with Lobo and impose processes involving smaller numbers of representatives on the teachers side in attempt to impede these from transparency and checking with their bases, an emergency assembly of teachers marched to the Presidential House. 2 protesters beat against the shields of the military with sticks, and made these to recede towards close to the entrance of the government house but the police then threw teargas and pepper gas bombs against the protesters and the soldiers shot their fire guns ‘against the protest’ with at least 3 injured by gunshots. Some responded to the chemical attack of the soldiers by throwing stones. 7 hospitalised.
•At midday as teachers were marching and returning to their base (especially for teachers who came from other cities) at the Pedagogical university police began to evict teachers under the Miraflores bridge using gases. 7 youths were beaten there.
•The security forces turned the university into a concentration camp and gas chambers as they surrounded the university and inundated the university with gases; they entered and launched 200-300 tear/pepper gas bombs inside and around the campus, searching for, chasing after and aiming the bomb tins at people’s bodies. Those who tried to leave the campuses were detained by security forces who blocked the entrances.
•Police and military beat the faces, heads and backs of protesters and to others who got off buses and taxis near the university, and people running out suffocating from gases.
•At least dozens were detained, some held in the masses directly outside, in the parking lot near the Presidential House (for 3 hours, teachers Dagoberto Espinal, Jose Maria Andino and German de Jesus Maldonado), others mounted onto police patrols and taken to including illegal detention facilities where detainees were washed to get rid of the evidence and had their stained and torn clothes changed including at Core-7 (passing youth – Randal Pineda)
•Unidentified persons in the vehicle with numberplate PPJ9117 shot live shots against teachers, the car is identified to be property of National Congress – it was around the day before checking out the area. Security forces gave way to these and allowed them to leave. Everyone reacted as if nothing happened– this was filmed by Globo TV. The same repeated at 4pm.
•17 teachers were left on the 5th floor of the university building, suffering from hasses for which they urgently called Red Cross and Fire Ambulances for help
•Red Cross spokesperson Domingo Flores said they went to the university to attend to the victims’ calls, but were denied entry by the police and army in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1951 of International Humanitarian Law
•Some examples of attacks: 12 years old Jesy Reyes was gravely intoxicated by gases. 7 years old Arnaldo Javier, whose mother is a street vender, was beaten, intoxicated and taken to emergency of a church medical delegation. Roberto Lopez (45) defended himself with only a stick, was being shot at by a soldier, beaten, handcuffed and taken to the police station. He fainted in another previous protest from the gases. Teacher and CODEH human rights defender Agripino Salgado was detained.
•Lecturers were removed from classrooms and taken bo a nearby gully where they were abused and tortured
•Women and children took refuge in the gas inundated toilets but teachers took them out to save them
•Small business people and street venders had their stalls destroyed.
•TIGO telephone signals were blocked
•Protesters were photographed by repressive forces
•It was reported that the repression was directed by Sub General Chief of Police Rene Maradiaga Panchame, who is accused by human rights organisations of being part of the 3-16 battalion/deathsquad which disappeared around 100 Hondurans in the 80s
•4 Red Cross ambulances were around before the repression started. This meant they were told before hand and did not warn the teachers. One year ago Red Cross ambulances were also mentioned to have helped transport teargas bombs for the police on one occasion. These are international crimes.
•Teargas bombs used were imported from US and Peru, at about US$80-130 each (around half of a month’s minimal wage in Honduras).
•National Congress president Orlando Hernandez asked for forgiveness for the congress employee who circulated in the surroundings of the Pedagogical university and fired shots. Hernandez said they will take actions and dismiss this person.
Some You-Tubes of this repression in Spanish:
Pepe Lobo turns the Pedagogical University into a gas chamber!
The victims to the gas war of the Honduran police give their testimonies
30 August 2010
•At least 4000 concentrated and mobilised in Tegucigalpa, holding 18 assemblies
•4 teachers leaders were detained
A pact was finally signed with 26 points between Lobo and the teachers on the night of 30 August. Teachers declared that they have formed monitoring teams and will be ensuring all of the points are complied with. Some of the points:
•Independent and international audit of Inprema backdated to 2000, and revision of regulations about positions, appointment and salary of Inprema staff, eliminating employment to this based on political affinities
•Take measures to make Inprema transparent, including by making financial information of revenue and spending available on internet
•A debt repayment plan from the Lobo regime to Inprema. An immediate cash payment of 959.6 million lempiras (of illegally retained contributions from teachers towards their retirement pensions), 69.8 million lempiras (of illegally retained union fees), and 211.8 million lempiras (in illegally held loan repayments from teachers), and 3500 million lempiras in bond to be paid back within 5 years at 3.9% interest rate plus adjustments to compensate any depreciation of the lempira to the dollar
•That the draft bill of General Law of Education (privatisation plan) would be withdrawn at the congress if it appears without consensus of the teachers’ associations
•The regime agreed to respect the Teachers’ Statute and ensure teachers are paid and backpaid according to their entitlements
•A biparty commission to be formed, to investigate the appointments of directors, area directors and district directors
The agreement does not necessary mean a safeguard for teachers’ rights and of public education as the regime does not have a good record for keeping to agreements and pressure from the private sector and international funds continue.
Some of the proposals that sprung up during and to take advantage of the crisis:
•To reduce the state’s obligation to provide education only to 15 years of age (currently 18), also changing the adult age to 15 for judicial prosecution purposes
•Businessman Adolfo Facusse, president of the National Association of Industries (ANDI) stated that it is better to close the (public) schools), since they ‘don’t give any benefits to the Honduran people’. He said it makes no sense to have public schools because private schools are better and that the poor should go to private schools too
Posted by RW
August update - Part 2
September 7, 2010
Repression and hunger strike at UNAH university
The hunger strike of 3 people on only has continued water and honey has continued for prolonged periods, demanding reintegration of more than a hundred illegally dismissed workers. Despite a pact prepared by the Human Rights Minister Pineda and the Work Secretary on 11/7/10, the university Director Julieta Castellanos refuses to sign (even when her spokesperson Navarro said they would sign) and continues her delay tactics putting the lives of h...
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August 7, 2010
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July Update Part 1
August 7, 2010
State of impunity and human rights violations continue, but several Central American presidents violated its own bylaws to reintegrate Honduras without consensus to Central American Integration System, US lobbied and pressured for return of Honduras to the Organisation of American States (OAS) at a meeting called for on 30 July 2010 – cancelled
There are signs that even a portion of coup supporters want ex-president Zelaya’s return; the Liberal Party’s leadership sent a delegation...
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July update, part 2
August 7, 2010
Others, in the context of the coup: economic attacks on the poor majority, impunity in multinationals ruining the environment and exploiting workers, and update on U.S. military bases in Hondruas
Remembering that the primary struggle for the Resistance is the National Constituent Assembly, and that it was on a day when an official survey towards propelling this was scheduled that the military coup took place, that Honduras is the 2nd poorest Latin American nation, that profound inequalities ex...
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June update - 12 mths later the coup and HR violations continue
July 6, 2010
Assassinations, repression, persecution by police, on the 12th month of the military coup – impunity continues, where is the justice?
Resistance member whose partner was assassinated was captured and tortured by police
At about 7pm on 30/6 a police patrol under Official Vargas (including officers he’s denounced of killing another) captured Edwin Espinal under the charges of not carrying his drivers licence, when he resisted the arbitrary arrest his face was sprayed with teargas and...
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What should be the conditions for Honduras return to international community?
July 6, 2010
Some points of a suggested (by a resistance leader) minimal reconciliation plan Lobo could follow
1) quickly convoke a Popular constituent assembly
2) immediate dismissal of those who conspired and plotted the military coup who are now sitting in high public official positions in strategic institutions of the state
3) dismantle all the repressive structures installed during the military coup regime which had facilitated the assassinations of Hondurans in resistance
4) submit all who plott...
Continue reading... Posted by FNRP
Part 1 May Update - crisis escalates with 5 hunger strikes
June 11, 2010
Nothing ‘normal’: Honduras in crisis with 5 simultaneous hunger strikes in May: university staff, judges, teachers, parents and campesinos.
Hunger strike 1: University Staff and its union SITRAUNAH
Context: SITRAUNAH has been struggling for a collective contract for UNAH (National Autonomous University of Honduras) staff this year, but UNAH director Julieta Castellanos responded by dismissing SITRAUNAH president Marco Moreno (using false accusations of violence against a student), and s...
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May Update Part 2 - killings, persecution, truth comissions, current state, pressure
June 11, 2010
Some of the killings and more persecution this month
On 8/5/10, 8.30am Adalberto Figueroa went to look for firewood near his home with his 11 year old son and a cousin, when he was ambushed by people in balaclavas who killed him with several gunshots. Adalberto was a remarkable leader with a strong sense of solidarity and commitment to the social causes. He was a directive member of Olancho Environmental Movement (MAO), coordinator of the environmental movement of Guata, alderman of the muni...
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April update: 2 more journalists + 2 more campesinos killed, militarisation of farmers' land
May 8, 2010
Opening of ‘Truth Commission’ is used to justify normalising relations while journalists continue to be killed, massacre alerts and death threats continue, farmers’ lands are militarised, and budget for soldiers and police who repress and kill are increased, and those responsible for the coup are awarded strategic government positions
Reporters Without Borders has just placed Honduras as the most dangerous country for journalistfollowing 5 murdered journalists in March and another...
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Older posts » About Us
Hi! We are two people compiling and forwarding info to this website. Santiago Reyes is a Honduran Australian who is very actively involved and connected to the movement. Rosie Wong went to Honduras as a human rights observer (and helper for the organizers of an international fast) 1-26 September 2009.