COPINH: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! — Latest Statement from Lenca Organization in Honduras

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(English Below) 

¡Basta Ya!

El Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de honduras hace de conocimiento a la opinión pública el asesinato el día de hoy de nuestro compañero Nelson García de la comunidad de Río Chiquito en el departamento de Cortés, a manos de dos personas desconocidas.

Lamentamos tener que informar que el compañero Nelson García fue asesinado cuando llegaba a la casa de su suegra a almorzar, luego de haber estado toda la mañana ayudando a mover los enceres de las familias desalojadas de la comunidad de Río Chiquito.

El asesinato ocurrió en el marco del desalojo efectuado contra la comunidad e Río Chiquito en la localidad de Río Lindo, en el departamento de Cortés, en el cual aproximadamente 100 policías, 20 efectivos de la policía militar, 10 del ejército y varios de la DGIC invadieron el territorio recuperado por 150 familias, en el cual más de 75 habían construido sus casas con los materiales y esfuerzos que han podido obtener.

El desalojo se produjo al medio día de hoy, utilizando tractores y maquinaria pesada para destruir las casas de madera en las que han vivido desde hace casi 2 años los compañeros y compañeras organizadas en el COPINH, dejándoles sin un techo con qué protegerse. De igual manera se destruyó la huerta y sembradíos de la comunidad, arruinando con tractores las plantaciones de yuca, caña, plátano y pequeñas milpas, violando cualquier tipo de derecho. Incluso se destruyó un horno artesanal que tenía la comunidad y mataron unas gallinas pertenecientes a la comunidad. 

La comunidad de Río Chiquito ha protegido su territorio desde que le fue donado a las mujeres de la misma, sin embargo, han sido atacados por las autoridades municipales, en especial por el alcalde anterior, que utiliza 3 testaferros para despojar a los compañeros y compañeras, y vender la tierra.

El compañero Nelson García fue un activo militante del COPINH, en la defensa del derecho a la habitación, lo recordamos por su activa participación en el proceso de recuperación de la tierra y la fundación de la comunidad de Río Chiquito. Lamentamos esta nueva muerte a 13 días del vil asesinato de nuestra coordinadora General Berta Cáceres.

 El asesinato de nuestro compañero Nelson García y el desalojo de la Comunidad de Río Chiquito se suman a la guerra en contra del COPINH, que busca acabar con su labor de defensoría, resistencia y construcción de más de 22 años.

 Estas agresiones del día de hoy se suman a la gran cantidad de amenazas, agresiones, asesinatos, intimidaciones y criminalizaciones dirigidas en contra del COPINH.

Desde el asesinato de nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres hemos sido objeto de una gran cantidad de incidentes que demuestran el nulo interés por parte del Estado hondureño por garantizar nuestra vida y la labor que desempeñamos. Así como su irrespeto a los mandatos de la CIDH en cuanto a la aplicación de las medidas cautelares que se nos han otorgado.

Las medidas cautelares fueron emitidas el días 6 de marzo y hoy 9 días después nos asesinan un compañero. ¿Cómo se supone que confiemos en el proceso investigativo del Estado si a la coordinación de la organización se le hostiga criminalmente mediante el llamado a declarar investigando su presunta participación en el asesinato, mientras no se investiga a las fuentes de las amenazas? ¿Cómo se supone que se haga justicia en el caso de nuestra lideresa Berta cuando no se garantizan las medidas necesarias para la protección de su familia, y las hijas y compañeros de nuestra compañera Berta han sido perseguidas por un hombre armado en la ciudad de Tegucigalpa en medio de los encuentros con autoridades?

 

Desde el mismo día del asesinato de Berta, las instalaciones del COPINH en La Esperanza han sido vigiladas por personas desconocidas, intimidando a quienes permanecemos en resistencia, siguiendo el legado de nuestra lideresa.

De igual manera los compañeros y compañeras de la comunidad de Río Blanco han sufrido agresiones de persecución cuando se trasladaban a la ciudad de Tegucigalpa para exponer su caso ante entes como el Ministerio de Gobernación y los representantes del grupo de representantes diplomáticos del G16.

Además de un incidente en el cual los compañeros de la comunidad se trasladaron al Río Gualcarque y fueron agredidos por los guardias de seguridad del proyecto hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca, mediante disparos de escopeta, que afortunadamente no hirieron a ningún miembro de la comunidad.

Todas estas agresiones hacen parte de un plan de exterminio en contra de nuestra organización y hacemos un llamamiento a la solidaridad nacional e internacional para luchar en contra del mismo. 

Exigimos que cese la persecución, el hostigamiento y la guerra en contra del COPINH.

Exigimos que el Estado hondureño responda por la muerte de nuestros compañeros y compañeras y no exista más impunidad.

Exigimos justicia para nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres.

Con la fuerza ancestral de Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, se levantan nuestras voces llena vida, justicia y paz.

¡¡¡Berta Vive, la lucha sigue!!!

La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Dado a los 15 días del mes de marzo 2016.

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Enough is Enough! 

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras [COPINH] makes known to public opinion today’s assassination of our comrade Nelson García, of the community of Río Chiquito in the department of Cortés, at the hands of two unknown assailants.

We regret to have to say that comrade Nelson García was assassinated when he arrived at the house of his mother-in-law to eat lunch, after having spent all morning helping to move the belongings of the families being evicted in the community of Río Chiquito.

The assassination took place in the context of the eviction carried out against the community and Río Chiquito in the locality of Río Lindo, in the department of Cortés, where approximately 100 police, 20 members of the militarized police, 10 soldiers, and several members of the DGIC [investigative police] invaded the territory that had been recuperated by 150 families, where more than 75 of them had built their homes with the materials and efforts they had been able to gather.  

The eviction happened at mid-day today, using tractors and heavy equipment to destroy the wooden homes where the comrades organized in COPINH had lived for nearly two years leaving them without a roof over their heads. The garden and plantings of the community were also destroyed, the tractors being used to ruin the cultivations of yucca, cane, plantain, and small milpas, violating any concept of justice. The community’s artisanal oven was also destroyed, and chickens belonging to the community were killed.  

The community of Río Chiquito had defended their territory ever since it was given to the women there; nonetheless they were attacked by the municipal authorities, especially by the prior mayor, who used three front men to evict the comrades and sell the land.

Comrade Nelson García was an active militant of COPINH, defending the right to habitation; we remember him for his active participation in the process of recuperating the land and founding the community of Río Chiquito. We lament this new death thirteen days after the vile assassination of our General Coordinator Berta Cáceres.

The assassination of our comrade Nelson García and the eviction of the community of Río Chiquito are additional elements of the war against COPINH that seeks to end our more than twenty-two years of work defending, resisting, and constructing. Today’s aggressions are additional elements of the large quantity of threats, aggressions, assassinations, intimidations and criminalizations directed against COPINH.

 

Since the assassination of our comrade Berta Cáceres we have been the target of a large number of that show there is zero interest on the part of the Honduran state in guaranteeing our lives and the work that we perform, as well as disregard for the mandates of the IACHR in terms of the application of the precautionary measures that have been granted us. The precautionary measures were granted March 6th, and now, nine days later, they’ve killed one of our comrades.  

How could anyone expect us to trust the investigative process of the state that criminally harasses the leadership of the organization by announcing that it is under investigation for presumed participation in the murder, while not investigating the sources of the threats?

How could anyone expect there would be justice in the case of our leader Berta, when the measures necessary to protect her family are not guaranteed, and the daughters and companions of our comrade Berta have been followed by an armed man in the city of Tegucigalpa during their meetings with the authorities?

Since the very day of Berta’s assassination, the installations of COPINH in La Esperanza have been under surveillance by unknown persons, intimidating those who remain in resistance following in the footsteps of our leader.

In the same way the comrades of the community of Río Blanco have suffered aggressions and persecution when they went to the city of Tegucigalpa to make their case in front of entities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the diplomatic representatives of the G16.

Also there was an incident in which the comrades of the community went to the Río Gualcarque and were assaulted with shotgun blasts by the security guards of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca, fortunately without injuring any members of the community.

All of these aggressions are part of a plan for the extermination of our organization and we call for national and international solidarity to fight back.

 We demand an end to the persecution, harassment, and war against COPINH.

We demand that the Honduran state answer for the deaths of our comrades and that there be no more impunity.

We demand justice for our comrade Berta Cáceres.

With the ancestral force of Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, our voices rise full of life, justice, and peace.

Berta Lives On, the Struggle Continues!

La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Done on the 15th day of the month of March, 2016.

Webinar: Justice & Solidarity for Berta Cáceres & COPINH

Join us in this webinar on Wednesday – Please note to participate you just need to either call in using the number below or sign in online with the link provided below 

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Webinar: Justice & Solidarity for Berta Cáceres and COPINH

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

6:30pm – 8pm (CST)
Hosted by: Witness for Peace, Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) & SOA Watch

TO JOIN ONLINE: https://www.anymeeting.com/695-383-182

TO JOIN CALL ONLY:
Dial: 213-416-1560

PIN: 122 085 956#

You are invited to a special webinar to mobilize a US campaign for justice and solidarity for Berta Cáceres, our beloved and missed sister, and the organization she co-founded. COPINH is one of the strongest indigenous organizations in Honduras and it is now more than ever, facing incredible repression.

On the agenda:

Summary of context and what has transpired since Berta’s assassination

Key demands from Berta’s Family & COPINH

Campaign actions & follow up

For more information and the latest WfP action alert, please visit:

http://witnessforpeace.org/

Demand Justice for Berta Caceres, Assassinated Lenca Leader — Honduras

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Last week, Berta Cáceres Flores, Lenca leader who fought with such dedication for the preservation of her peoples’ natural and ancestral resources, was tragically murdered by at least two individuals who broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying in the Residencial La Líbano in La Esperanza, Intibuca.

Since 2006, Berta and COPINH have been entrenched in a struggle with DESA, a private Honduran company, building the Agua Zarca dam in Rio Blanco, Honduras. The project has been plagued by human rights abuses from its inception, when it bypassed a consultative process with the affected communities before breaking ground. The last protest that took place on February 20, 2016 was accompanied by Witness for Peace, where we witnessed excessive and unnecessary militarization, along with a lack of respect for the Right to Assembly and Freedom of Speech. At the protest, members of COPINH were blocked from protesting by a tractor, and protesters were threatened with arrest.

We are profoundly concerned that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with DESA’s Social Investment Programming through the MERCADO project, linking US taxpayer dollars to the repression and violence against COPINH.

We strongly condemn the role in Rio Blanco of Los TIGRES, a Honduran specialized police unit, which is funded and vetted by the United States, in defending the private interests of DESA.

We demand that the U.S. Embassy not only offer “all the resources of the United States Government to assist in bringing these criminals to justice” as they have stated that they have done, but rather support an independent international investigation and DEMAND that both the intellectual and material authors of the murder be prosecuted. We also call for all legal and political measures possible to guarantee the immediate and ongoing protection of the witness Gustavo Castro Soto, as well as all members of COPINH.

We further demand that the United States government recall its ambassador to Honduras for consultations until such time as concrete action to end impunity in the murder of Berta Cáceres Flores has taken place, and institutional measures to protect human rights have materialized.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-the-state-department-and-usaid-justice-for-berta-and-policy-change

 

 

Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Download event flyers: sf event flyer nov 20, 2014LA event flyer nov 22, 2014

Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Thursday Nov 20, 2014 730-930pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

 

diputadas Honduras-military policeSaturday Nov 22, 2014 330-430pm
220 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA

 

In the past year Witness for Peace Southwest has sent 37 delegates on fact finding solidarity delegations to Venezuela and Honduras. Join us to hear this eyewitness testimony as we build solidarity with resistance movements in Honduras challenging US funded repression and as we stand for sovereignty of the Venezuelan people as they face US sanctions. In addition you will learn about travel opportunities to Cuba, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries similarly affected by US policies, in 2015, as we continue the struggle for an end to the US blockade on Cuba and Freedom for the Cuban Five and the sovereignty of all peoples

Venezuela: Three delegations traveled to Venezuela in May, June and July this 2014 in the aftermath of violent opposition led street protests and one year after the passing of Venezuela’s beloved President Hugo Chavez. Delegates learned about the Afro-Venezuelan movement and identity, met with Venezuelan doctors practicing universal healthcare, mingled with Venezuelan students attending free universities, and conversed with campesinos and urban farmers maintaining their country’s food security.

Honduras: WFPSW sent election monitors to Honduras in November of 2013 for Honduras’ historic elections and another delegation in August of 2014 to accompany communities facing violence at the height of the child migration crisis. Delegates heard first hand testimony of the roots of the migration crisis. Delegates will report on the fraud that took place during the elections and the violent repression of Honduras’ new resistance party in the elections aftermath. We will hear delegate reports from the Afro-Honduran, Indigenous and campesino communities fighting for land rights against international mega-projects, oligarchs and drug traffickers.

San Francisco Panelists:

Venezuela Delegates
-Jeanette Charles- May delegation leader and Telesur English writer
-Claudia Chaufan- June delegation co-leader and Associate Professor UCSF
-Tanya Cole- May delegation and Witness for Peace Southwest organizer
-Tim Tendick -July delegation and Travel blogger

Honduras Delegates
-Tanya Cole-Election observer, August delegation and Honduras Solidarity Network member

Cuba
-Malia Everette- Cuba travel coordinator for Altruvistas and WFPSW

Los Angeles Panelists:
-Jeanette Charles- Venezuela delegation leader and Writer for Telesur English
-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegate to Cuba Solar Conference Havana, Cuba
-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Enjoy music, refreshments and good company!

sponsored by Witness for Peace Southwest.

SF event Endorsed by Altruvistas, Taskforce on the Americas, Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), Honduras Solidarity Network, Alliance for Global Justice.

LA Event Endorsed by the Honduras Solidarity Network and the Alliance for Global Justice.

SF Facebook event

LA Facebook event

More info contact: 805-669-VIVA or southwestwfp@gmail.com. Www.wfpsw.org

http://www.facebook.com/wfpsw


 

Informes de Venezuela, Honduras y Cuba.

Jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014
7:30pm-9:30pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014 3:30pm-5:30pm
Multicultural Artists United (MCAU)
220 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Bajen volantes:

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español LA evento nov 22, 2014

El año pasado Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste ha enviado a 37 delegados en las delegaciones de solidaridad a Venezuela y Honduras. Únase a nosotros para escuchar este testimonio de los delegados como crear solidaridad con los movimientos de resistencia en Honduras y como defendemos la soberanía del pueblo Venezolano. Además usted aprenderá acerca de oportunidades de viajar a Cuba, Venezuela y otros países latinoamericanos, igualmente afectados por las políticas de Estados Unidos.

Venezuela: Tres delegaciones viajaron a Venezuela en mayo, junio y julio este 2014 durante las protestas violentas de la oposicíon y un año después de la muerte de amado presidente Hugo Chávez. Delegados aprendieron acerca del movimiento Afro-venezolano, reunieron con los médicos venezolanos practicando atención médica universal, se mezclaron con los estudiantes venezolanos que asisten a las universidades gratis y conversaron con campesinos y agricultores urbanos que están mantenimiento la seguridad alimentaria de su país.

Honduras: WFPSW envió observadores electorales a Honduras en noviembre de 2013 para que las históricas elecciones de Honduras y una otra delegación en agosto de 2014 para acompañar a las comunidades enfrentando a la violencia del estado y de grandes terratenientes. Delegados escucharon testimonios de las raíces de la crisis de la migración. Los delegados presentará un informe sobre el fraude que llevó a cabo durante las elecciones y la violenta represión de nuevo partido de resistencia Honduras tras las elecciones. Escucharemos delegados con informes de los Afro-Hondureños, las comunidades indígenas y campesinas que luchan por el derecho a la tierra contra la mega-proyectos internacionales, los oligarcas y los traficantes de drogas.

Cuba- informe sobre la protección del medio ambiente y energía en Cuba. También aprendan sobre las oportunidades de viajar a Cuba en 2015.

San Francisco Panelistas:

Delegados de Venezuela
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de la delegación en mayo y escritora de Telesur Inglés
-Claudia Chaufan-co líder de la delegación de junio y profesor asociado de UCSF
-Tanya Cole-delegación en mayo y organizadora de WFPSW
-Tim Tendick-delegación de julio y blogger de viajes

Delegados de Honduras
-Tanya Cole-Observadora electoral en 2013,co-líder de la delegación en agosto y miembro de la Red de solidaridad con Honduras (HSN)

Cuba
-Malia Everette – Directora de Altruvistas y WFPSW y coordinadora de viajes a Cuba y Venezuela

Los Angeles Panelistas confirmadas:
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de delegaciones a Venezuela Y escritora para Telesur Inglés

-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegada a Conferencia de Cuba Solar en Habana

-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Disfrute de música, refrescos y buena compañía!

SF Facebook evento

LA Facebook evento
Más info contacto: 805-669-VIVA o southwestwfp@gmail.com. http://Www.wfpsw.org, http://www.Facebook.com/ wfpsw

San Francisco Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Altruvistas, Grupo de trabajo sobre las Américas (MITF), BALASC, Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Los Angeles Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Honduras Today: 5 Years and 5 Actions to Take for Honduras

 

Honduras Today: 5 Years and 5 Actions to Take for Honduras

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June 28, 2014 (declaración en español abajo)

STATEMENT AGAINST VIOLENCE AND FOR THE DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HONDURAS

FNRP-Libertad Y Refundación, LIBRE Party Department 19/US-Canada and the Honduras Solidarity Network USA/Canada

 

We Honduran immigrants, residents in USA-CANADA organized in Collectives of the FNRP / LIBRE Party, and we, members of the Honduras Solidarity Network in the US and Canada on this June 28, 2014, the fifth anniversary of the military coup in Honduras, reaffirm our commitment to continue fighting, hand in hand with our brothers and sisters in Honduras who struggle for the fundamental, urgent and necessary changes in Honduran society.

 

This June 28 we also pay tribute to the martyrs of the resistance, brave men and women, who have offered their lives to defend the right to be a free, sovereign and socialist county. We are here to tell the bloody oligarchy of Honduras, that Morazán walks with the Honduran people  and that the country will be liberated.

 

Since the brutal military coup of 2009, the suffering of the Honduran people has been exacerbated by the continuing violations of human rights, killings, state repression, mass exodus of migration (including children), theft of public funds and impunity. Honduras tops the list of the most violent countries in the world where 22 Honduran citizens are murdered every 24 hours.

 

Thousands of Hondurans have left the country in search of better opportunities, fleeing violence and inhumane living conditions, even at the risk of being killed or being mutilated by the train known as the Beast in the crossing. According to public statistics, since 2013, Honduras is the Central American country with the highest numbers of migrants and sadly also the country with the largest number of deportees from the United States.

 

This June 28, we condemn the murders of leaders and members of FNRP / LIBRE Party, the social movements and Honduran society in general and the abuses by the army and military police against the Congressmen and Women at the National Congress of Honduras on May 13.

 

We urge the National Resistance conformed by all sectors of Honduran society (unions, peasants, women, youth, students, LGBT Community, indigenous groups, Human Rights Defense organizations, Social groups, Garífuna, political parties, immigrants, intellectuals and media) to close ranks and fight together against the want-to-be dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernández, puppet of the Honduran assassin oligarchy and international power groups conjoined with the international right.  We hold the current fraudulent regime (a continuation of the military coup) accountable for the widespread violence in the country; we demand an end to the violations of human rights, justice for the victims and punishment for the guilty.  

 

As residents of the United States and Canada we condemn the policies of those governments that have in the past and continue in the present to support dictatorship in Honduras and which, along with corporations from those countries impose their anti-people and anti-environment agendas with violence and corruption. We support the right of the Honduran people to struggle against oppression and abuse and we stand in solidarity with  them and with their organizations. 

We resist and we shall overcome!

 

5 Actions you can take for Honduras.

1. Get Educated
2. Educate Others
3. Become and eyewitness in Honduras
4. Pressure the US Government
5. Take it to the Streets

1. Get Educated- Get yourself informed on the situation in Honduras. Join a live video webinar on Honduras this Sunday June 29th at 5pm EST. Also Email us for our resource list on Honduras including articles, websites, books, films, listserves and recommended Facebook pages.

2. Educate Others- Host an event at your home, school, community center, or faith community. You don’t have to be an expert on Honduras to host an event. Show one of our recommended films or videos on Honduras followed by a discussion or contact us for a list of Honduras speakers available in your area.

3. Become an eyewitness in HondurasJoin a travel delegation to Honduras this August 11-20, 2014. Learn first hand from Hondurans about their struggles and resistance. Click here for the delegation description, application, and a list of FAQs.

4. Pressure the US Government- Just this month an unprecedented 108 members of the House of Representatives signed a Dear Colleague letter on human rights in Honduras. Because of the continuing record of human rights abuses by the Honduras military and police, members of congress have repeatedly called for a cessation of US funding to Honduran security forces.
Contact your Representatives to thank them for their signature on the June Schakowsky Dear Colleague letter or ask them to join the growing movement in congress for an end to US military and police aid to Honduras.

Click here to see the list of signers and to send a message to your representative.

5. Take it to the Streets: You can organize or participate in a public vigil, protest or memorial for the victims of the Honduran coup. Contact us for a list of victims names and photos for a memorial display or funeral procession. Go to the Honduras Solidarity Network’s website for a list of June 28th actions across the country. (www.hondurassolidarity.org).

 

FNRP-Partido Libertad y Refundación, LIBRE
Departamento 19/EE.UU—Canadá y la RED de Solidaridad con Honduras

COMUNICADO CONTRA LA VIOLENCIA Y LA DEFENSA A LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN HONDURAS

28 de junio de 2014

Los inmigrantes hondureños/as residentes en EEUU-CANADA organizados en Colectivos del FNRP/Partido Libre y la RED de Solidaridad con Honduras, este 28 de junio de 2014, quinto aniversario del golpe de Estado en Honduras, reafirmamos nuestro compromiso de seguir luchando de la mano de nuestros/as hermanos/as hondureños/as por los cambios fundamentales, urgentes y necesarios que requiere la sociedad hondureña.

Este 28 de junio también rendimos homenaje a los mártires hombres y mujeres valientes, que han ofrendado su vida por defender el derecho a ser un pueblo libre, soberano y socialista. Estamos aquí para decirle a la oligarquía sanguinaria, que Morazán camina con el pueblo hondureño y que el país será liberado.

Desde el fatídico golpe de Estado del 2009, el sufrimiento del pueblo Hondureño se ha agudizado, por las permanentes violaciones a los derechos humanos, asesinatos, represión estatal, éxodo masivo de migración (incluido niños/as), robo del erario público e impunidad. Honduras encabeza la lista de los países más violentos del mundo en donde 22 ciudadanos/as hondureños/as son asesinados/as cada 24 horas.

Miles de hondureños han abandonado el país en busca de mejores horizontes, huyendo de la violencia y las condiciones inhumanas de vida, aun arriesgándose a morir o quedar mutilados en la travesía por el tren conocido como La Bestia. Según estadísticas públicas, desde el año 2013, Honduras es el país de Centro América con mayor número de migrantes y tristemente también es el país con mayor número de deportados desde los Estados Unidos.

Este 28 de junio, condenamos los asesinatos cometidos contra dirigentes y miembros del FNRP/Partido Libre y la sociedad hondureña en general y los atropellos por parte del ejército y la policía militar contra los Diputados del Congreso Nacional de Honduras el pasado 13 de mayo.

Exhortamos a la Resistencia Nacional conformada por todos los sectores de la sociedad hondureña (sindicatos, campesinos, mujeres, juventud, estudiantes, profesionales, comunidad LGBT, grupos originarios, organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos, grupos sociales, garífunas, partidos políticos, inmigrantes, intelectuales y medios de comunicación) a cerrar filas y luchar unidos frente al aprendiz de dictador, Juan Orlando Hernández, títere de la oligarquía asesina hondureña y los grupos de poder confabulados con la derecha internacional. Responsabilizamos al régimen fraudulento actual (continuador del golpe de Estado) por la violencia generalizada, corrupción e impunidad que vive el país, demandamos un alto a la violación de los derechos humanos y exigimos justicia para las víctimas y castigo a los culpables.

Como residentes de los Estados Unidos y Canadá, condenamos las políticas de los gobiernos que en el pasado han apoyado y en el presente continúan apoyando a la dictadura en Honduras y que, junto con las empresas de esos países imponen sus agendas antipopulares y anti-medio ambientales con la violencia y la corrupción.
Apoyamos el derecho del pueblo hondureño a luchar contra la represión y el abuso y nos solidarizamos con sus organizaciones.
¡Resistimos y Venceremos!

 

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014 “Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

 

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014

Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

Caribbean coast

Caribbean coast

Witness for Peace Southwest, US-El Salvador Sister Cities and School of the Americas Watch will be hosting a trip to Honduras, from August 11th to the 20th.

This delegation aims to continue the spirit of international solidarity between Honduras and the United States, and in this case with several Salvadorans that will be on the delegation as well. This triangular model of solidarity allows us all to learn from each other and support each other in the struggle against injustice in Honduras.

Since the 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras that ousted elected President Mel Zelaya, communities and movements seeking democracy and human rights in Honduras have come under attack. Hundreds have been assassinated, received death threats, evicted from their communities and beaten by Honduran military and police. Yet during this time a massive movement of resistance has grown from the Indigenous communities of Intibuca, to students movements in Tegucipalpa, to LBGQT movements in San Pedro Sula and campesinos movements in the Aguan Valley. The resistances movements formed the first ever popular leftist political party in Honduras and in only 2 years managed to gain 28 seats in congress and dozens of local level posts in the November 2013 elections. Since the contested November Presidential elections in 2013, right wing National Party leader Juan Orlando Hernandez has taken up the new Presidency, which has continued to see assassinations of journalists and the May 2014 beatings of opposition congress members inside the National Honduras Congress. Continued international solidarity is critical at this time to maintain pressure on the Honduran state to respect human rights and communities fighting for dignity and the right to live. International observers are needed to document human rights abuses, to accompany communities in resistance and to pressure the US and Honduran governments to respect and adhere to international human rights law.

This delegation program will include:

  • Qualified on the ground trip leaders experienced in leading delegations in Honduras.

  • A visit to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to meet with youth resistance organizations, the LBGQT movement, members of the Honduran congress and to advocate with the new US Ambassador to Honduras.

  • Travel to the beautiful mountainous region of Intibuca where the Lenca indigenous peoples have existed for centuries. We will stay 1-2 nights with the Lenca community of Rio Blanco where the community has been actively defending their river from being privatized and sold off to a private hydroelectric damn company.

  • We will visit the Northern cities of San Pedro Sula and El Progreso to learn about the plight of journalists in Honduras, where more journalists have been assassinated than any other country of the world.

  • Witness the beautiful northern Caribbean coast to hear from the Afro-Honduran Garifuna peoples as they fight to keep their lands from international tourism developers.

  • Spend 3-4 nights staying with campesino communities of the Aguan Valley where campesino organizations are fighting for land rights. Hear testimonies of resistance from campesino leaders and families as they go up against multi-million dollar agro-business companies dominating the landscape with African Palm oil production.

Deadline to apply: July 11th

Delegation Price: $950 not including airfare (includes all in-country transport, most meals, lodging, preparation materials and translation services). **Some scholarships available**

Apply online here.

For more information and for applications, please contact Tanya at southwestwfp@gmail.com or Cori at cori.sistercities@gmail.com or brigitte@soaw.org

see our list of Frequently Asked Questions about Travel to Honduras

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

Rio Blanco

Rio Blanco

 

Honduran congress members brutalized by military police, Social Movements march on the capital

honduras tear gas congress

 

Click Here to ask your Representative to support Human Rights in Honduras

 

Calls and emails needed to State Department and US Embassy in Honduras demanding the US denounce the brutal attacks that took place at the Honduran congress.

Sample script: “Madam, Are you aware that just recently Honduran military police broke down doors at the Honduran National Congress and subjected elected congress persons to violence, beatings, and teargas forcibily ejecting these elected officials from their congressional posts? Has Secretary Kerry or US Ambassador Kubiske condemend this violent use of force against elected officials of the Honduran congress?”

 

CONTACT:

Call State Department- Honduras Desk: 

Kelsi Cambronne 202-647-3505

Emails to State Department and US Embassy: 

Kelsi Cambronne, Honduras Desk Officer- CambronneKL@state.gov

Amanda Johnson Miller, US Embassy Human Rights Attache- Johnson-MillerA@state.gov

 

Honduran LIBRE congress members brutalized and teargassed by military police inside congressional building.

diputadas Honduras-military police

Video here of military police repressing congresspersons inside and outside congressional building.

Video of two women LIBRE congesspersons overrun and trampled by military police.

 

“The Order From the National Congress Was to Repress All Action by the Opposition.”  

Marvin Palacios, May 13, 2014.  Defensores en Linea (COFADEH)

The President of the National Congress, Maurico Oliva, gave the order to brutally repress the opposition party Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE)  and the activists and leaders that were demonstrating peacefully below the National Congress.

The order of the day was repression and violence, said the congressmembers from LIBRE.  The violent actions led by agents of the State left several congressmembers hospitalized and dozens of demonstrators with serious blows/injuries, produced by the brutality with which riot troops and military police acted.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon a strong contingent of military police, police from the Special Operations Command (COBRA), and military troops entered into the hall of sessions of the National Congress, occupied strategic positions inside the big hall, surrounded the congressmembers of LIBRE and began to use batons, tear gas bombs, and shields to assault, push and mistreat and beat the representatives of the people.

There was no consideration for anyone, including congressmembers such as Claudia Garmendia, congressmember from the department of El Paraíso, who suffered the charge of the military soldiers, in which she was surrounded on the floor, and rescued by one of her congressmember companions.

Ex-President Zelaya, upon being expelled with shoves and blows from the second level of the National Congress, where he presides over the bench of the 36 congressmembers of LIBRE, said `those who are governing Honduras are beasts.’

Later he added sadly that `it’s only taken 100 days for president Juan Orlando Hernández to show us his fangs; he will not be releected to govern because the Honduran people reject his dictatorship.’

In the streets of the historic center you could breath smoke and pepper gas in industrial quantities, and while people covered their mouths with scarves, others were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

The central park was once again the scene of battle between demonstrators and police, but in disproportionate conditions.  Many of the protesters were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

Congressmember Claudia Garmendia was hospitalized because of the blows and gases she received inside the hall of sessions of the National Congress; also the congressmembers Elvia Argentina Erazo (Copán) and Audelia Rodríguez (Atlántida).

Congressmembers Hari Dixon, Rafael Alegría, and Wilfredo Paz were beaten.  The Red Cross transfered several disheartened and injured people to the Hospital Escuela.

Several days ago LIBRE called for a peaceful demonstration underneath the National Congress [Transl:  the building is sort of on big stilts, with an open area on the first floor; the actual congress is on the second floor], demanding that, because LIBRE is the second political force in the country, with 36 congressmembers, it be represented in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.  The demand was met by a response from the President of Congress Mauricio Oliva that LIBRE had to obtain 86 congressmembers in order to be included. And the other response from Oliva was made this afternoon, in ordering a brutal repression against the opposition politicians, activists, and leaders of LIBRE.

The situation is worrisome to human rights bodies, considering tomorrow environmentalists will arrive at the National congress tomorrow to demand an end to concessions for extraction of the country’s mineral resources.

The Honduras Solidarity Network has set up an emergency fund for Hondurans who need emergency medical help, relocation for security reasons and for the families and victims of human rights abuses and assassinations. Please support the Honduras Emergency Fund if you are able.

Honduran Social Movements en route to march on the Capital

caminata en camino honduras 2014 caminata honduras 2014

Campesinos, Indigenous peoples and members of the social movements launch a “caminata” march across the country with demands for “Dignity and Sovereignty”

 

Funds still needed for food, housing, transport and medical support for the dozens of organizations participating in the “caminata”. Donate here to the caminata. 

 

National Mobilization of the Territories 

May 14 and 15 join the grand national mobilization of the Territories “For Dignity and Sovereignty” 

We are mobilizing to demand the immediate liberty of our political prisoner compañero, José Isabel Morales, “Chabelo”, whose complete right to prove his innocence has been violated, unjustly condemned to 17.5 years in prison, because of the power of political interests, in complete violation of his rights as a citizen and of the Constitution of the Republic. 

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the Law of Agricultural Modernization and for the approval of the Decree of the Law for “Integral Agrarian Reform with Gender Equity for Food and Development Sovereignty”

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the mining law and the exit of the Hydroelectric and Mining Projects from the Territories

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the Law that puts into effect the Special Development and Employment Zones (ZEDE) or what is called Charter Cities, and we demand the resolution of the suit challenging its constitutionality in the Supreme Court of Justice by representatives of organizations from the Social and popular movement. 

We are mobilizing to demand the investigation of the femicides at the national level by the State and the punishment of those who, protected by the impunity that prevails in the Justice system, continue to commit barbaric acts. 

More than three months after the takeover of City Hall in San Francisco de Opalaca, COPINH demands that the State of Honduras respect the process of the Indigenous Lenca Government of San Francisco de Opalaca, respect the Indigenous and legitimate Mayorship, for its ancestral and historic authority, unrestricted respect for its self-determination, territories and natural goods. We demand the official removal of the Imposed Mayor.

The Mobilization will begin on Wednesday, May 14th in the morning, leaving from the community of Zambrano. 

Arrival in Tegucigalpa is planned for Thursday the 15th and we call for participation from the Popular Resistance; FNRP Collectives; Base Organizations of the Social and popular urban movement,  artists, writers, feminists, Youth, Leftist Political Organizations; LGBT Organizations and all the organizations that are in the struggle against the oppressor system and the continuation of the Coup d’E’tat of 2009, organizations in struggle against neoliberal policies, imperialism and the patriarchy. 

It is important to count on the solidarity of the citizenry in general, to bring water, basic grains (beans, rice, etc.) fuit, vegetables, mattresses, blankets and medicines for during the march and especially for the indefinite vigil that we will maintain beginning May 15 in the plaza below the National Congress. 

 

 “Listen People and Join in the Struggle!”

Liberty for Jose Isabel Morales Chabelo Now!

For an Integral Agraria Reform: Raise the Banners of Struggle!

Mining and Hydroelectric Projects: Out of Honduras!

Sovereignty YES! ZEDE or Charter Cities NO!

Justice! Justice! Justice!…Stop Stop the Femicides!

CONVOCAN:

Plataforma Regional Agraria del Aguan,  (MOCRA, MARCA, MUCA, MCA, Empresa Asociativa Rigores, Empresa Asociativa Vallecito, Empresa Asociativa Gregorio Chávez, Empresa Asociativa Salado Lis Lis. Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación, ERIC.  Asociación Intermunicipal y Vigencia Social de Honduras (AIDEVISH), Organizaciones de la Plataforma del Movimiento Social y Popular; Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo, CNTC, Región Norte, Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan COPA,  Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras, COPINH, Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras, OFRANEH,  Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia, MADJ, Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos,  Instituto Ecuménico de Servicios a la Comunidad (INEHSCO) 

Red de Comercialización Comunitaria, Red COMAL.  

Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP.  

Capítulo Honduras – Articulación de Movimientos Sociales hacía el ALBA, ALBAMOVIMIENTOS

Regional Agrarian Platform of the Aguan )MOCRA, MARCA, MUCA, MCA, EARigores, EA Vallecito, EAGregorio Chavez, EA Salado Lis Lis)

Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication (ERIC)

Intermunicipal Association and Social Force of Honduras (AIDEVISH)

Organizations of the Platform for the Social and Popular Movement

National Center for Rural Workers (CNTC), Northern Region

Coordinator of Popular Organizations of the Aguan (COPA)

Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)

Fraternal BLack Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)

Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ)

National Network of Human Rights Defenders

Ecumenical Institute for Community Services (INEHSCO

Community Commercialization Network (Red COMAL)

National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP)

Honduran Chapter – Grouping of Social Movement to ALBA, ALBAMOVIMIENTOS

 

Honduras: New Congressional Dear Colleague Letter open for signers. Ask your Rep to sign on!

 

Honduras Dear Colleague letter now with 67 signers! Has your Rep. Signed?

Rep. Shakowsky’s Dear Colleague letter on human rights in Honduras now has 67 signers. See the list below to see if your Rep. Has signed on yet. Click here to send a letter thanking your Rep for signing on. If you Rep has not signed click HERE to send a letter asking them to sign on by the letter;s deadline Wed May 21st.

Click HERE to Thank Your Rep or Ask your Rep to sign the Shakowsky Honduras Letter.

Schakowsky Honduras Letter Current Signers / May 12, 2014 – 9:00 am EST

1.         Schakowsky (IL)

2.         Johnson (GA )

3.         Farr (CA)

4.         Miller (CA)

5.         Grijalva (AZ)

6.         Kaptur (OH)

7.         McGovern (MA)

8.         Lee (CA)

9.         DeLauro (CT)

10.       Michaud (ME)

11.       Tierney (MA)

12.       Conyers (MI)

13.       DeFazio (OR)

14.       Takano (CA) *

15.       Capuano (MA)

16.       Keating (MA)

17.       Waters (CA)

18.       Welsh (VT)

19.       Moore (WI)

20.       Speier (CA)

21.       Pingree (ME)

22.       McDermott (WA)

23.       Bass (CA)

24.       Polis (CO)

25.       Cicilline (RI)

26.       Huffman (CA) *

27.       Nadler (NY)

28.       Van Hollen (MD)

29.       Slaughter  (NY)

30.       Brady (PA)

31.       McCollum (MN)

32.       Neal (MA)

33.       Honda (CA)

34.       Waxman (CA)

35.       Matusi (CA)

36.       Bera (CA) *

37.       McLeod (CA) *

38.       Pocan (WI) *

39.       Kind (WI)

40.       Ellison (MN)

41.       Tonko (NY)

42.       Lynch (MA)

43.       Hastings (WA)

44.       Castro (TX) *

45.       Blumenauer (OR)

46.       Langevin (RI)

47.       O’Rourke (TX) *

48.       Grayson (FL) *

49.       Cleaver (MO)

50.       Braley (IA)

51.       Jackson-Lee (TX)

52.       Garamendi (CA)

53.       Lewis (GA)

54.       Holt (NJ)

55.       Chu (CA)

56.       Kennedy (MA) *

57.       Brownley (CA) *

58.       Pascrell (NJ)

59.       Clark (MA) *

60.       Beatty (OH) *

61.       Swalwell (CA) *

62.       Gutierrez (IL)

63.       Enyart (IL) *

64.       Bonamici (OR)

65.       Shea-Porter (NH) *

66.       D. Davis (IL)

67.       Wasserman-Schultz

 

 

 

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED!
Contact the Foreign Policy Staffer in Washington DC Office of Your U.S. Rep in Congress!

We need your help! On Monday, April 28, 2014, Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) began circulating a sign-on “Dear Colleague” letter in the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of State John Kerry addressing Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras. Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Farr and Hank Johnson (D-GA) have joined as initial co-signers. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) have also joined as initial co-signers.

The letter states that “egregious violations of human rights continue” almost 5 years after the coup. It raises concerns about militarization of the police, and the failure to investigate or prosecute human rights abuses, including in the Aguan Valley. The letter also raises concerns about freedom of speech and associations, and questions whether the November 2013 election was not free and fair.

The letter asks State Department to:
Pay close attention to these issues and strictly evaluate U.S. support for Honduran security forces, in accordance with conditions placed on the aid in the 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act.
Fully enforce the Leahy Law, which prohibits U.S. assistance to any individual or unit that has committed gross human rights abuses and is not being brought to justice.

The deadline to sign on is May 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM eastern time.

We need your help in securing the signature of your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives on this letter. Only members of the House can sign the letter.

To sign on to the letter (or if the staffer wishes an official copy of the letter), your Rep’s staffer must contact Andrew Goczkowski Andrew.Goczkowski@mail.house.gov in Schakowsky’s office. (NOTE: please do not contact Schakowsky’s staff yourself, but ask the staffer to do so).

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, give them the name of your Rep, then ask to be connected:
(If you do not know the name of your Rep, please go to http://www.house.gov/ and enter in your zip code at the upper right).

When you call, ask to speak with the aide who handles Foreign Policy. Use the script below in speaking with the aide. If the aide does not recall seeing the letter, ask for the aide’s email address so that you can forward a copy of the letter.

If the foreign policy aide is not is not available, ask to leave a message on his or her voice mail. Be sure to get the name foreign policy staffer so you can follow up.

Script: “My name is _____. I am a constituent from (town / city) in (your state). I am calling to ask Senator _____ to sign the Jan Schakowsky letter on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras. Has Representative­___ seen this letter? Can I count on him/her to sign on? Please call me this week at (_your phone number_) to let me know if you have seen the letter, and if Representative _____ will sign it.”

In your phone conversation, you might highlight why this letter is important to you, especially if you have travelled to Honduras or heard a Honduran speak in your community.

PROMPT FOLLOW-UP:

It’s useful to follow up with an email to the aide. You can ask whoever answers the phone what their email is and/or use this formula if you know how to spell their name correctly (the person who first answer the phone can spell it for you): Firstname.Lastname@mail.house.gov, e.g. Jane.Doe@mail.house.gov
In an email, you can just ask them to sign the letter, and then if you like send some information.

Here are two useful general articles, and the recent statement from Reps. McGovern, Schakowsky, and Farr.

1. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/honduras-the-thugocracy-ext-door-103883.html
2. http://sojo.net/magazine/2014/04/crucible-courage
3. http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/statement-by-reps-mcgovern-farr-and-schakowsky-on-the-murder-in-honduras

If you learn that your Congressmember has agreed to sign, please notify me, Gary Cozette at cozettelada@ameritech.net, so we can confirm the signature with Rep. Schakowsky. Please contact me if you want to know if your representative has signed on. I will circulate updated lists of signers whenever we receive them from Rep. Schakowsky’s office.

NOTE: Please DO NOT send the letter to the media in either the US or Honduras until the letter has secured all signers and is formally delivered to the State Department with all signers and a press release. Also once again, please do not contact Schakowsky’s staff yourself, but ask your rep’s staffer to do to become a signer.

Gary L. Cozette
Honduras Solidarity Network – Congressional Working Group
Cell: 773.350.3518

Date: 4/28/2014
Join Letter to the State Department Urging Action to Protect Human Rights in Honduras
Current Signers: George Miller, Sam Farr, Henry C “Hank” Johnson, Raul Grijalva

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in signing the attached letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging action on the ongoing human rights situation in Honduras.

While a new Administration has recently been sworn in, grave concerns remain over the human rights situation. Vulnerable groups continue to be targets of intimidation and violence, military forces continue to be utilized for policing, and human rights abusers continue to operate with impunity in the region. The 2013 elections in Honduras were preceded by the assassination of several opposition candidates, and questions remain about discrepancies in the vote.

We hope you will join us in writing to Secretary Kerry to ensure that the State Department continues to urge the Honduran government to protect fundamental human rights in the region, end the use of military forces for law enforcement, investigate and prosecute abuses, and restore the rule of law.

If you have any questions, or would like to sign onto the letter, please contact Andrew Goczkowski in Rep. Schakowsky’s office at 202-225-2111, or by emailing Andrew.Goczkowski@mail.house.gov

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jan Schakowsky Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Sam Farr
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress

May XX, 2014

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We write to express concern about the ongoing human rights situation in Honduras. As a new President and Congress have recently taken office, we ask the State Department to use its leverage to urge the Honduran government to protect the fundamental human rights of its citizens, end the use of military forces for law enforcement, investigate and prosecute abuses, and, more broadly, restore the rule of law.

Almost five years after the 2009 coup ousting President Zelaya, egregious violations of human rights continue. The Associated Press has documented ongoing death-squad style killings by Honduran police. Independent media and human rights organizations continue to report that vulnerable groups, including members of the LGBT community and indigenous and campesino activists, are being targeted and killed. Basic labor rights are routinely violated and union leaders have received increased death threats in recent months.

Instead of implementing reforms to address those pervasive problems, the Honduran government adopted policies that threaten to make the human rights situation even worse. The former and current administrations have promoted the militarization of police forces and use their armed forces for domestic law enforcement. In August 2012, a new Military Police was created, with a projected size of at least 5,000. That force has committed human rights abuses while engaged in policing, such as the October 2013 raid on the home of opposition activist Edwin Espinal. Members of the armed forces are also implicated in the killing of Tomás Garcia in July 2013. Because of a continuing record of human rights abuses by the Honduran police and military, Members of Congress have repeatedly called for a cessation of U.S. aid to the country’s security forces.

Those and other human rights abuses have not been effectively investigated or prosecuted in recent years. According to the National Commissioner for Human Rights, during the last administration, dozens of lawyers and journalists were killed and 97 percent of cases regarding these suspected human rights abuses remain unpunished. The non-governmental group Rights Action cites allegations of almost 100 killings of lands rights activists in the area of Bajo Aguán. According to a Human Rights Watch study, there is “virtually complete impunity for crimes” believed to be associated with land conflicts in that region of the country.

We are also concerned about recent developments impeding Hondurans’ freedom of speech and association. In the first two months of 2014, the Honduran government published a new decree revoking the legal status of over ten thousand non-profit organizations, including a wide range of opposition groups. Those groups include women’s and environmental organizations, a prominent group that regularly reports on press freedom issues, and schools.

Finally, we are concerned about reports that last year’s election in Honduras was not free and fair. The human rights group COFADEH reports that at least 18 members of the leading opposition party LIBRE were assassinated in the lead-up to the election, with an additional six LIBRE-affiliated individuals and a well-known progressive journalist killed in the weeks after. Election observers documented widespread vote-buying activities, acts of intimidation, and cases of citizens’ names being eliminated from voting rolls. Challenges by opposition parties regarding discrepancies in the vote were not transparently addressed by the Supreme Electoral Council.

We ask that you pay close attention to those issues, strictly evaluating U.S. support and training for the Honduran police and military in accordance with human rights conditions placed in the 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations law. We also ask that you fully enforce the Leahy Law, which prohibits assistance to individuals or units of any foreign military or police body that commit gross human rights abuses with impunity. The State Department, along with our embassy in Honduras, must take a consistent and public stance supporting those threatened with human rights abuses, and strongly encourage the investigation and prosecution of those perpetuating crimes, including state agents.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

Honduras: Carlos Mejia of Radio Progreso assassinated.

radio progreso press conference carlos mejia carlos mejia

Witness for Peace Southwest first met Carlos Mejia of Radio Progreso in 2011 during our delegation’s visit to his radio station in El Progreso, Honduras. We found out that he was coming for trainings at the Los Angeles radio station KPFA in which we greeted him again in Southern California a few months later. Carlos was a kind and gentle person who was dedicated to the Honduran resistance movement fighting for human rights and democracy in his country. We commend his life and condemn his assassination. WFPSW reaffirms its commitment to solidarity, justice and human rights in Honduras.

Español abajo

Press Statement by Padre Melo on the assassination of Carlos Mejía.

April 12, 2014

Assassination of Carlos Mejia Orellana, Manager of Marketing at Radio Progreso. Carlos enjoyed along with other fellow radio co-workers protectionary measures enacted by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).

The Organization ERIC (Reflection, Research and Communication), held a press conference this Saturday, April 12 condemning the crime. Below the news from the Diario Tiempo:

‘The assassination of the manager of marketing of Radio Progreso, Carlos Mejía Orellano, found lifeless in the interior of his house on Friday night, is a direct blow to the work we do as Radio Progreso’ said the Jesuit priest Ismael Moreno, director of the prestigious station, at a press conference on Saturday.

‘It is a direct blow, not only to the life of our colleague and his family, but also to the work we do as Radio Progreso and (ERIC),’ Moreno said.

Mejía Orellana served as head of marketing and sales of our institutions and was one of our colleagues who the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) had required the protection of his life and integrity, said in a statement read at a press conference for local media.

The protective measures were enacted on the following dates: June 2, 2009, April 26, 2010, May 3 and June 2 the same year and on May 27, 2011.

‘ His murder is another example of the failure of a security policy by the Honduran State and its lack of political will to adopt effective protection measures established by the IACHR’, criticized the radio announcer.

‘ We demand a serious investigation in where both the material actors and the intellectuals authors of the crime are brought to justice ‘, Moreno said, reporting that this violent act violates the work of journalism, the right to freedom of expression and the lives of the members of the radio.

‘It is highly suspicious that this criminal fact occurred on the eve of Holy week when everyone retires to their respective holidays and especially the entities responsible for justice and when unfortunate acts like these get pushed to the background’, they criticized.

When asked about the context of the assassination of Mejia, the priest revealed that there are no outward signs that the doors of the house have been forced and that’s a question they will make to the relevant authorities, he said.

Meanwhile doctor and specialist in human rights, Joaquín Mejía, said that ‘many of the people in Honduras who opposed the coup d ‘ état (June 2009 ) have received threats as well as institutions, around more than 15 partners of Radio Progreso and ERIC received these same threats during the time of the coup which continued to be repeated in the following years’.

Mejía added that unfortunately the State of Honduras has ignored the requests of the IACHR and ‘the death of Carlos is the example of this lack of political will’.

He said that the Honduran State must comply with the instructions requested by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights at the time they are requested to be able to stop these threats against all media actors.

‘The police believe that someone close to him killed him in the neighborhood Suazo Córdova, that is the information that is being provided by the police.’ said one of the journalists who attended the conference.

‘We have information that the murder was in the neighborhood Suazo Córdova, he was stabbed by a sharp object with motives unknown, we reaffirm the call of this press conference because we do not accept at this time unsustained rumors that are not based on a process of investigation that needs to lead to the identification of the executors of this murder and the motives that led to it’ said Ismael Moreno, also known as ‘Father Melo’.   Español   Conferencia de Prensa con Padre Melo sobre el Asesinato de Carlos Mejía. 12 de abril, 2014   Asesinan a Carlos Mejía Orellana, Gerente de Mercadeo de Radio Progreso, quien gozaba junto a otros de sus compañeros de la radio de Medidas cautelares decretadas por la CIDH. El Equipo de Reflexión Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC), realizó este sábado 12 de abril una conferencia de prensa condenando el crimen. Abajo la noticia en Diario Tiempo: “Asesinato de Mejía es un golpe directo al trabajo que realizamos como Radio Progreso” El asesinato del gerente de mercadeo de Radio Progreso, Carlos Mejía Orellana, encontrado sin vida en el interior de su vivienda la noche del viernes, “es un golpe directo al trabajo que realizamos como Radio Progreso”, señaló este sábado en una conferencia de prensa, el sacerdote jesuita y director del prestigioso medio, Ismael Moreno. “Es un golpe directo, no solamente a la vida de nuestro compañero y de su familia, sino también al trabajo que realizamos como Radio Progreso y como Equipo de Reflexión Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC)”, señaló Moreno. Mejía Orellana se desempeñaba como responsable de mercadeo y venta de nuestras instituciones y era uno de nuestro compañeros para quien la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) había requerido la protección de su vida e integridad, rezaba el comunicado leído en la conferencia a medios locales. Las medidas de protección fueron decretadas en las siguentes fechas: 2 de junio de 2009, 26 de abril de 2010, 3 de mayo y 2 de junio del mismo año y el 27 de mayo de 2011. “Su asesinato es una muestra más del fracaso de la política de seguridad del Estado hondureño y de su falta de voluntad política para adoptar medidas efectivas de protección establecidas por la CIDH, criticó la emisora. “Exigimos una investigación seria donde se juzgue tanto a los responsables materiales como los intelectuales”, dijo Moreno, al tiempo que denunció que este hecho violento vulnera el trabajo de comunicación y el derecho a la libertad de expresión y a la vida de los integrantes de la radio. Es altamente sospechoso que este hecho criminal haya ocurrido en las vísperas de semana santa cuando todo mundo se retira a sus respectivas vacaciones y especialmente los entes responsables de justicia y cuando los hechos lamentables como estos pasan a un segundo y tercer término, criticó. Ante la pregunta acerca del contexto del asesinato de Mejía, el sacerdote reveló que no existen señales externas de que las puertas de la vivienda hayan sido forzadas y que esa es una pregunta que ellos le hacen a las autoridades correspondientes, acotó. Por su parte el Doctor y especialista en derechos humanos, Joaquín Mejía, expresó que “muchas personas en Honduras que nos opusimos al golpe de Estado (junio de 2009) recibimos amenazas e incluso instituciones y, alrededor de más de 15 compañeros de Radio Progerso y el ERIC recibieron estas amenazas en el contexto del golpe mismas que se repitieron en los siguientes años”. Mejía añadió que es el Estado de Honduras lastimosamente ha ignorado las peticiones de la CIDH y “la muerte de Carlos es el ejemplo de esa falta de voluntad política”. Dijo que el Estado debió acatar las medidas solicitadas por la CIDH desde el tiempo en que fueron solicitadas para poder frenar esas amenazas en el marco del ataque de todos los comunicadores sociales. “La policía maneja que fue una persona cercana a él quien lo mató en la colonia Suazo Córdova, esa es la información que está dando el ente policial”, consultó uno de los periositas que asistieron a la conferencia. “Nosotros tenemos la información de que el asesinato fue en la clonia Suazo Córdova, asesinado con arma blanca y los móviles son desconocidos, por eso mismo ratificamos la convocatoria a esta conferencia de prensa porque no aceptamos que en este momento haya un tipo de rumor que no se sustente en un proceso de investigación y que lleve a indentificar a los ejecutores de este asesinato y los móviles que llevaron al cumplimiento del mismo”, concluyó Ismael Moreno, conocido como “Padre Melo”.