Honduras August Update: Attacks against journalists and media
Reporting by Itsmania Pineda Platero, XIBALBA Art and Culture’s President, Honduras.
Itsmania Pineda Platero
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 organizations 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 Honduras. Report – whitewash – it neglects to mention that Lobo regime is illegitimate, makes the HR Platform’s Truth Commission invisible, and seeks to involve a sympathizer 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by the regime to comply with even the OAS HLC’s recommendations:It was recommended that accusations against Zelaya be withdrawn as they are politically motivated: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 misinterpretation of the report to being that Zelaya is tried under due 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. Ambassador 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 Ambassador to UNASUR, a character previously considered a leftist, to ‘whitewash’ and convince UNASUR to consent to reintegration of Honduras to OAS.
- Hugo Llorens US Ambassador said this appointment shows an openness to international diplomatic relations and that the international community has an obligation to (help) Honduras through normalizing 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 Ambassador Hugo Llorens. They were threatened with the suspension of 2 days pay if they did not 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 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 – fulfilling educational and labor 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 Ambassador 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.
Itsmania Pineda Platero is a member of the Voluntary Network of the Ecumenical Human Rights Observatory of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI). A journalist, Itsmania is President of the XIBALBA Art and Culture organization that for years has been working in the prevention of youth joining the Maras and other gangs.
File Photo: Honduras Anti-Coup Day (Honduras Indymedia Upside Down World)
Agencia Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Comunicación (ALC)
Análisis e información de la realidad socio-eclesial, desarrollo y derechos humanos en America Latina y otras regiones del mundo