Saturday, December 5, 2009

Close the School of the Americas- Honduras Presente!






Honduras Presente!: Report from the Close Down the School of Assassins (SOA) 2009

November 21 and 22, 2009: For the 19th year, anti-war, social justice, solidarity and human rights activists gathered at the gates of the School of Americas (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) at Fort Benning, Georgia to demand that this military training School of Assassins be shut down once and for all. This year Honduras was strongly represented, because the military officials in command of the coup d’etat of June 28, 2009 were trained at the SOA and the Honduras military has long history of training at the SOA.

The significance of the coup in Honduras as a set back for human rights in Latin America was highlighted by several speakers and a key note speaker during the weekend was Berta Oliva, the founder and director of the Committee for the Families of the Disappeared and Detained In Honduras (COFADEH). Berta spoke at the rally on Saturday and the vigil for the fallen and disappeared on Sunday. She also was the speaker at a standing room only workshop Saturday evening

Berta spoke of the history of human rights violations by the U.S. trained Honduran military going back to the 1980’s and even before, including the case of her husband Tomas Nativi who was disappeared in 1981. She spoke of the disappeared, detained and murdered Honduras since the coup d’etat this year and the situation of a human rights crisis in which the coup government elections on November 29th would take place. She emphasized the concerns of COFADEH that the human rights violations by the government will increase during and after the elections. She called for continued solidarity and action from activists in the United States in support of the Honduran people and the resistance.

In the closing vigil on Sunday, the names of the dead and disappeared in Honduras were joined with the names of hundreds of people from all over Latin America. !Honduras Presente! Close the SOA!

November 29th - Chicago Emergency Action





On Sunday, November 29th, 50 people protested the illegal elections in Honduras and held a vigil for the fallen in the resistance to the coup d'etat in front of the Honduras Consulate in Chicago. (Photos by J.F. Gomez)

The press release for the event is below.

For Immediate Release Emergency Action

Honduras: De Facto Elections Equal a De Facto Government, Not Democracy!

We Are All Honduras - Chicago VIGIL - 3pm to 5pm

Sunday, November 29th

In front of the Honduran Consulate at 4439 West Fullerton

Join us in a vigil to protest the illegal elections organized by the coup government - in the midst of a growing human rights crises - and to honor the assassinated and imprisoned members of the anti-coup resistance.

At 4 pm, there will be a ceremony marking the closing of the polls and the attempted murder of democracy in Honduras.

Sunday, November 29, 2009, the de facto Honduran government installed in power through a military coup on June 28, 2009, will hold its illegal elections under conditions of a human rights crisis in which the army and police forces have murdered more than 30 resistance members, and there are ongoing detentions and repression. The military coup and the military-political dictatorship have been condemned around the globe. The de facto elections have also been declared to be illegitimate by governments and international organizations including the Organization of American States. The resistance movement, which includes organizations representing teachers, workers, community groups, students, women, indigenous people, and more, has called for a boycott of the de facto elections. More than 100 candidates of parties participating in the elections have announced their withdrawal from the elections in protest of the continuation of the coup. Human rights organizations have issued alerts warning of the danger of even more massive and violent violations of human rights by the army and police. [See the attached alert from The Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH).]

Unfortunately, one of the only governments to consider recognizing these elections as legitimate is the United States. However, the on-going violations of human rights clearly show that conditions for free and fair elections do not exist in the country.

November 25 - November 29: Call-In for Honduras

Call the White House: (202)-456-1111 or (202)-456-1414

(to email go to www.whitehouse.gov)

Call the State Department (202) 647-4000 (to email go to www.state.gov)

Contact members of your Congressional delegation:

TELL THEM: “I AM contacting you TO INSIST THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT NOT RECOGNIZE THE MILITARIZED DE FACTO ELECTIONS OF NOVEMBER 29th"

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Human Rights Alert from COFADEH, Honduras – November 21, 2009

DE FACTO REGIME PREPARES REPRESSION LEADING UP TO ILLEGITIMATE ELECTIONS

The Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) expresses its concern to the national and international community regarding the deterioration of the human rights situation in Honduras, which is deepening each day.

A new wave of violence includes death threats, political persecution, illegal detentions, tortures and the militarization of sectors of principal cities. Of particular concern is the incursion of vehicles without license plates, darkened windows, driven by heavily armed agents with hooded faces into neighborhoods identified as allied with the Resistance against the coup and self declared as “free of political propaganda.” These actions follow the creation of lists profiling leaders of the resistance movement by order of the military and police.

The overall environment that has been created is one of repression and uncertainty. This was reinforced by a statement issued on November 16, 2009 by the Sub-Secretary of the Service Networks of the Ministry of Public Health that orders the preparation of a CONTINGENCY PLAN for provision of health services for 24 hours per day from November 19th thru December 4th, 2009. According to statement No. 1055-09-SSRDS, the plan must include: Anticipated Suspension of Activity without putting the health of patients at risk, Re-scheduling of Surgeries during these dates and supply of medicine and equipment necessary for the plan.

These measures appear to be related to the conduction of the illegal electoral process on November 29, which is proceeding in an irregular manner and reflects the militarization and para-militarization of the country. The military reserves have been mobilized to support the 16,000 members of the armed forces and 14,000 police already mobilized in the distribution of ballot boxes.

In departments in the western part of the country, army reserves distributed fliers to intimidate the population in resistance, characterizing members of the resistance as irrational delinquents and discrediting marches and protests as inhumane and uncivilized behavior. This activity parallels the “anti-communist” campaigns of the 1980’s.

The military control advances and consolidates as Michelleti announces a “strategic departure” from the country between November 25th and December 2, 2009. The security forces equip themselves with new repressive tools. An armored vehicle has been added to the Secretary of Security for dispersing protests. The anti-riot units are equipped with video cameras and high-pressure water cannon and a mechanism that marks anyone who comes in contact with the water for 48 hours. The armed forces have begun conducting selective checks along major roads in the country and departments in the Atlantic zone of the country have experienced military over flights.

COFADEH communicates its concern to all Human Rights institutions and the international community regarding the safety of social activists who struggle for the reestablishment of democratic order.

COFADEH asks the international community to be on alert regarding the human rights situation in Honduras and to demand that the Honduran state guarantee the right to life and integrity of the Honduran population and foreigners living in the country.

COFADEH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. November 21, 2009

Report from Ceriboya - Delegation to Honduras








Report from the Northern Atlantic Coast Garifuna

La Voz de los de Abajo Delegation to Honduras


We arrived in La Ceiba in the late afternoon on Saturday, October 24 and were met by staff from the Foundation for the Health of the People (Luaga Hatuadi Waduhenu). This foundation, headed by Dr. Luther Harry Castillo, works with the Garifuna communities building and operating the first and only Garifuna hospital in Honduras, located in Ciriboya close to Iriona. They talked about the history and significance of the hospital project for the communities living in the poor region, in particular for the Garifuna communities that make up the majority of population. The hospital serves approximately 30,000 persons and has treated close to 200, 000 adult and pediatric cases, including traumatic accidents, snakebites, complications of chronic illnesses and acute sicknesses of all types. They also serve as an important maternal health resource for pregnant women.

The Foundation staff also talked about the situation at the hospital, as well as in La Ceiba, since the coup. In La Ceiba, the anti-golpe resistance has a smaller percentage of the population than in Tegucigalpa and some other parts of the country. None-the-less, it has mobilized demonstrations and is an active part of the national anti-coup movement. Organizations and individuals in the resistance have received threats, including death threats. After one demonstration, for example, threats were made stating that “some of the people you see here (at the march) will be found with cotton stuffed down their throats” - a reference to the death squad style killing of people by suffocating them. Hospital staff have been threatened and the coup government has attempted to close the facility. We heard more about the defacto government’s repression against the hospital when we travelled to Ciriboya on Sunday, October 25.

Ciriboya is one of many small Garifuna communities on the Atlantic coast in Colon and Miskitia. We reached the hospital there after a 5 hour drive from La Ceiba, including more than two hours on unpaved, rutted road which passes through beautiful countryside full of banana and coconut palms, small creeks, and lush greenery and flowers, often just a very short distance from the sea. Along the road, people walk carrying loads of firewood and water (there is no electricity and shortages of drinking water in most villages).

The hospital is a beautifully constructed, yellow building with a veranda on the second floor, located in a clearing, with its own electrical power and water pumping system for water for cleaning and bathing. We were met at the door by Dr. Wendy Perez and other hospital staff. Dr. Perez, like Dr. Castillo, is one of the Honduran doctors trained in Cuba who along with volunteer Cuban doctors and locally trained nurses’ aides make up the medical team for the hospital.

Our delegation to the hospital had two missions. La Voz de los de Abajo was committed to a mural project at the hospital to be completed in the 3 days we were there (see the photos for the finished project) and we were carrying out the Todos Somos Honduras delegation’s mission of interviewing the community and documenting the situation since the coup. To that end we interviewed hospital staff, members of the community support committee for the hospital, Garifuna activists working to defend the culture and rights of their people, members of women’s organizations, patients from the hospital and other community members.

We were told that the hospital projects originally faced harassment and problems from government officials and regional powers, as well as the Honduran medical elite because of the hospital’s dedication to serving and empowering the Garifuna community and because all care is absolutely free to all its patients, without discrimination of any sort. The situation improved during Mel Zelaya’s presidency and the hospital was formally opened in December of 2007. Zelaya and his Minister of Health visited the hospital before the coup and committed government support for the project. Dr. Castillo was appointed Director of International Cooperation for the Ministry of Health.

Right after the coup, the defacto government began to harass and threaten the hospital and the community. The physician appointed to head the defacto Ministry of Health by Michiletti was previously the head of the Honduran physicians’ organization that attempted to block the Cuban trained Honduran doctors from being licensed to practice medicine in Honduras. The coup government revoked the hospital’s permit and ordered it to close. Dr. Castillo and the Foundation refused and the military came to the hospital and attempted to seize control. The reaction from the local community and from national and international human rights organizations forced the military to withdraw. Dr. Castillo and the other staff began receiving threats right after the coup and human rights organizations in Honduras declared the threats against Dr. Castillo to be credible and serious, including a plan to assassinate the physician. On October 6th the military again sent troops to the hospital, entered it forcibly and searched it. At the same time the coup government has cut Health Ministry operations that were cooperating with hospital staff to extend services to even more remote communities and recently re-wrote an agreement for regional collaboration to eliminate the participation of the Foundation and the hospital.

The community members we interviewed talked about the climate of insecurity and fear in the region due to the military activities and threats, and the feeling of being isolated and vulnerable to any paramilitary or military violence against the community, its leaders and the hospital. The Garifuna organizations we spoke with stated that the coup has set back their progress in health, education and economic services and projects desperately needed for the survival of the people and culture.

Pictures: Meeting with the Foundation staff in La Ceiba; meeting with the community committee in Ceriboya for support of the hospital. Delegation member with community; finished mural with Dr. Perez and community children, mural with Cuban medical personnel; children’s mural painted by local children.

La Voz de los de Abajo Delegation to Honduras Report






From October 24 to October 31, La Voz led a delegation of 14 people from Chicago to Honduras. The participants included members of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America; Teachers for Social Justice; La Otra Chicago; Producciones EN EL OJO; and La Voz members. Delegation members visited organizations and communities in resistance to the coup in Ceriboya and Gudadalupe Carney, Colon; Siguatepeque; El Progreso; La Paz and Tegucigalpa.
The delegation met with the National Front of Resistance;COFADEH;CNTC, the teachers' unions; COPINH; OFRANEH;Radio Progreso; Radio Realidad; Red Comal and many other individuals and groups and accompanied the marches and public activities of the resistance as human rights observers. After participating in the October 29th resistance march that was brutally repressed by the army and police, the delegation met with the human rights officer of the U.S. Embasy in Tegucigalpa to express our concern for the human rights situation and to insist that the U.S. government take a strong stand against the human rights violations and against the coup itself.
After returning to the Chicago, delegation members have held public "report back" meeting to share our experiences and to provide the facts about the situation in Honduras that are not being published in the mainstream media.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conferencia de Prensa en Chicago - Stop the attacks against the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras



The message follows in English

Comunicado de Prensa La Voz de los de Abajo y Casa Morazan

A la Comunidad y Medios de Comunicación Nacional e Internacional

A pesar de los arrestos arbitrarios y la represión sistemática las protestas se han incrementado considerablemente, en tomas de carreteras, en los barios, en la capital y en muchas otras ciudades la represión, en vez de atemorizar a los manifestantes, les ha reafirmado su decisión de lucha. Ante eso reafirmamos que TODOS SOMOS HONDURAS.

La Voz de los de Abajo y Casa Morazan los invita a participar en el Acto de Solidaridad

Consulado General de Brasil en Chicago

401 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Hora de 4:00pm a 5:00pm


1. Demandando el retorno inmediato a la institucionalidad y la restitución del Presidente José Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

2. Un alto a la represión y violaciones a los derechos humanos. Un respeto a la vida.

3. Alto a la militarización y empleo de armas químicas y electromagnéticas contra civiles.

4. Apoyamos la Resistencia Pacífica del Pueblo hondureño a través de Frente Nacional Contra el golpe de Estado.

5. Rechazamos y condenamos el proceso electoral como producto de un régimen de facto y apoyamos la voluntad soberana del pueblo a decidir su destino por medio de una asamblea nacional constituyente.

Nota: La carta entregada al Consulado de Brazil sigue en el ingles despues del comunicado en ingles.

Press Release: September 29, 2009

La Voz de los de Abajo and Casa Morazan Contact: Alexy J. Lanza (312) 656-8655

For Immediate Release

Honduran Crises Deepens

The Honduran crisis continues. The de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, installed by a military coup on June 28th, is threatening to invade the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa to seize the elected president of Honduras, Manual Zelaya Rosales who has been given sanctuary by the Brazilian government.

On September 27th, Micheletti announced that the Brazilian government has 10 days to surrender Zelaya or he will send in troops. Meanwhile the Honduran military and police are using chemical weapons, high decibel audio weapons and tear and pepper gas against the embassy, endangering the health and lives of its occupants and of the people who live in the surrounding buildings.

On September 27th the Micheletti government also signed a decree revoking the constitutional right to freedom of expression and expression in the country, but despite the arbitrary arrests, violence and repression, the protests continue to grow and the crises deepens daily.

Join La Voz de los de Abajo, Casa Morazan, and other concerned organizations in Chicago in an act of solidarity with the Honduran people and in defense of Brazilian solidarity with democracy in Honduras.

Brazilian Consulate in Chicago

401 North Michigan Avenue

Thursday, October 1st: 4:00pm a 5:00pm

We demand

· The immediate return of constitutionality and the restitution of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

· An end to the militarization and the use of chemical, electromagnetic, and high decibel weaponry against the Brazilian embassy and the people’s peaceful protests.

· An immediate end to the repression and violations of human rights

We Support

· The peaceful resistance of the Honduran people through the National Front Against the Coup

· The rejection and condemnation by the Honduran resistance of the electoral process controlled by the de facto government and

· The sovereign right of the people to decide its destiny through a national constituent assembly.

Note: Below is a copy of the letter delivered to the Brazilian Consulate on October 1st.

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La Voz de los de Abajo

PO Box 7684, Chicago, IL 60680

lavozchicago@yahoo.com

Chicago, IL

October 1, 2009

To the Consul general for the Government of Brazil in Chicago

Honorable Consul,

The Chicago community members, activists, and organizations present here today would like to express our most sincere appreciation for the honorable actions of your government regarding the current crisis in Honduras. The political support of the Brazilian Government since the day of the coup, against the violations of human rights and international law, for the restoration of the constitutional 9order and the return of President Manuel Zelaya, is invaluable for our brothers and sisters in Honduras, who are in resistance to the violent and illegitimate de facto government.

We also hold in the highest regard the courageous and dignified assistance towards the resolution of the crisis of your government today as President Zelaya finds harbor in our embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, in spite of the threats of the usurper President Roberto Micheletti and the violence of the army and police forces sent by the golpistas against your diplomatic offices. Those inside the facilities have already suffered the effects of the tear gas and other chemicals, as well as other weapons including high frequency noise and cutting the water and electricity. We wish to strongly denounce this aggression against Brazil and against the Honduran people.

We thank you and we are sure the people of Honduras will always remember your help during these dark days. Your help is not only already a historical event but also an example to all the world leaders today.

Please share this letter with your government and with the Brazilian people.

Sincerely,

Signed by representatives of La Voz de los de Abajo; Casa Morazan, Chicago Religious Leadership Network for Latin America, Neighbors for Peace, ChicagOtra, and other community members.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

22 de Septiembre - Accion de Solidaridad en Chicago

The message is in english below

El 22 de septiembre en Chicago, un group de 30 personas participaron en un acto de solidaridad con el pueblo de Honduras y de denuncio de la violencia golpista, al siguiente es el comunicado que fue mandado a la prensa y repartido al publico en el centro de la ciudad.

Comunicado de Prensa:
Acto de Solidaridad y Conferencia de Prensa
Martes, 22 de Septiembre a las 4pm en la Plaza Federal en el centro de Chicago
Contacto: Alexy Lanza
La Voz de los de Abajo - (312) 656-8655

A la comunidad y a los medios de comunicación nacional e internacional

Lunes 21 de septiembre arreador de las 2 de la tarde, el Presidente constitucional de Honduras, Mel Zelaya Rosales apareció en la embajada de Brasil en Tegucigalpa, Honduras, después de su llegada clandestinamente a su país para reclamar en persona su restitución y la salida del poder del gobierno ilegal y golpista de Roberto Micheletti.
El Pueblo Hondureño, en masa, empieza a llegar a la embajada para festejar el regreso de Zelaya y para protegerlo. También, desde todos los rincones del país, miles de personas en resistencia en contra el golpe empiezan a viajar hacia la capital.

Por su parte, el gobierno golpista declara un toque de queda comenzando a las 4pm y extendido hasta las 7pm del martes. Micheletti insistió que el gobierno de Brasil entregase al Presidente Zelaya al gobierno golpista -un reclamo que ha sido fuertemente rechazado por el Presidente Lula de Brasil. También el gobierno golpista moviliza efectivos del ejército y la policía hacia el área de la embajada y a las entradas principales a Tegucigalpa para bloquear el acceso. A la hora de escribir el presente comunicado, el pueblo esta en pleno desafió de la orden de toque de queda por el gobierno ilegitimo golpista a pesar del peligro de una represión sangrienta por el ejercito. Todas las organizaciones de la resistencia están en alerta y llaman al pueblo del mundo a mostrar su apoyo frente a esta situación.

La Voz de los de Abajo y Casa Morazán queremos destacar lo siguiente:
1. Que el regreso de Presidente Manuel Zelaya Rosales es por la voluntad del pueblo, quien ha estado en resistencia del golpe del estado por 86 días a pesar de la represión y flagrante violaciones de los derechos humanos.

2. Que ninguna amenaza, acto de represión o violencia en contra del Presidente Zelaya o en contra del pueblo y sus organizaciones debe ser permitido o tolerado por la comunidad internacional.

3. Que las entidades y los gobiernos internacionales deben seguir insistiendo que los golpistas salgan del poder ya.

4. Que el pueblo tienen pleno derecho de decidir si quieren o no cambiar su constitución sin amenazas, golpes, o represión.

Chicago, IL 21 de Septiembre a las 11:51 pm


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On Tuesday, September 22, 30 people participated in a solidaridad action in downtown Chicago against the latest violence by the coup government against the Honduran people.

Press Release: September 21, 2009

Todos Somos Honduras - Solidarity Action and Press Event

Tuesday, September 22, 2009, beginning at 4pm

To the International Community and Communications Media

Monday, September 21 at approximately 2pm, the constitutional president of Honduras, Mel Zelaya Rosales appeared at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras after returning to his country clandestinely to demand, in person, restitution to his elected office and the end of the illegal coup government of Roberto Micheletti.

The Honduran people, in mass, began to arrive at the embassy to celebrate the return of Zelaya and to protect him. At the same time, from every corner of the country, thousands of people began traveling towards the capital.

For its part, the coup government declared a curfew beginning at 4pm on Monday and extending until 7pm Tuesday. Micheletti insists that the government of Brazil turn President Zelaya over to the coup government, a demand that President Lula of Brazil has strongly rejected. Michelletti has mobilized army and police troops around the area of the embassy and at the principal points of entry into Tegucigalpa with the intention of blocking access.

At the time of this communiqué, thousands of Hondurans are defying the curfew order despite the danger of bloody repression. The situation is tense. All the resistance organizations, ask that people and organizations around the world show their support in the face of this situation.

Our organizations, La Voz de los de Abajo and Casa Morazan wish to emphasize the following:

1. That the return of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is due to the will of the people who have been in resistance to the coup for more than 86 days, despite the repression and flagrant violations of human rights.

2. That no threats or acts of repression or violence against President Zelaya or against the people of Honduras can be permitted or tolerated by the international community.

3. That the international entities and governments must continue to insist that the coup government and its forces leave power immediately.

4. That the people of Honduras have the full right to decide whether or not they wish to change their constitution without threats, coup d’etats or repression.

Monday, September 7, 2009





Beginning August 11, the National Front Against the Coup in Honduras called for a week of resistance. Thousands of people mobilized from all over Honduras to participate in protests in Tegucigalpa and elsewhere. Below is a report and photos from Alexy Lanza member of La Voz and the independent media, Producciones En El Ojo Productions, who was in Honduras for 2 weeks in August.

Report on a Week of National and International Resistance
I arrived on August 11th, the National and International Day of Resistance and protests against the coup d’etat in Honduras that occurred on June 28th. It was another day of resistance, there were protests across the country, civic work stoppages, takeovers of highways, and in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, there was a massive protest, during which a bus and a fast food restaurant, Popeye’s, were burned. According to the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d’etat, these last actions were taken by agent provocateurs - police who had infiltrated the protest and the actions brought a brutal repression against the protesters.

There have been infiltrations continuously in the mobilizations by provocateurs producing vandalism in the city; they have also infiltrated with the goal of identifying the leaders and filming the protests with the aim of distorting the image of the marches. I ran into trouble myself at the beginning in documenting the events, because I was without a press credential and I was confused with an infiltrator.

My First Day of Protest
Wednesday, August 12 at 9 am, I joined in the protest in which there were 15,000 people. It was a peaceful protest until the military and police forces repressed it brutally. At around 1pm we were arriving at the Congress and I was at the front of the protest where I was witness to the army’s attack against the peaceful protest. Congressman, Marvin Ponce, who I had just greeted was grabbed by 8 or more soldiers who beat him brutally, and on all sides they were attacking the protesters; dozens of tear gas bombs were launched against the protesters, who were arrested, beaten, humiliated and tortured. 26 were arrested right there, among them, 2 minors, 2 women, and medical students. The soldiers dedicated themselves to arresting and beating everyone they found in the street, so that some of those 26 arrested weren’t participants in the march. In fact, one of those detained was a golpista (supporter of the coup); they also arrested a Colombian tourist who was born in Venezuela but raised since an infant in Colombia - just like the others, he was subject to blows and humiliations.

Save yourselves, those who can.
In the face of this brutal repression, the march dispersed. I had to take a taxi to the Pedagogic University where it was expected people would be arriving since this had been the meeting place for the marches. Arriving at the university with my lungs full of smoke and my face and eyes burning, I rested for a moment and was drinking water when various compañeros began shouting, “run compañeros run, the soldiers are coming”. I got up and saw the arrival of the soldiers, shooting and throwing tear gas bombs, they shouted, “get them, and get these dogs”. Again there was no choice other than to run ---approximately 200 soldiers entered and took over the University. As I ran I saw them shutting the university’s gates so that no one else could leave; inside there were 40 people who were arrested. They had been resting and eating in the basement of the auditorium; I had been on my way there to eat, but had not gotten to the basement; otherwise I would have been one of them.


Shootings at the Via Campesina Offices
On August 11, a curfew was declared, despite that, late that night, the office of Via Campesina was shot up by unidentified individuals. There were various leaders of the anti-coup movement in the office at the time of the shooting.
Second Day - The Public Ministry
Thursday the 13th another day of began with the protest heading toward the Public Ministry where the repression suffered the day before was denounced to the Prosecutors for the Office of Human Rights. While the people waited outside the offices, a commission from the National Front Against the Coup met with various prosecutors. In the meeting it was agreed to accept (the report of) the irregularities and violations of human rights that the military and police forces incurred. Afterwards the protest headed towards Radio Globo’s building where it concluded. The day’s work ended without major repression by the army or police.
Day Three- the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH)
The conscious people once again shouted, “Present” on Friday the 14th of August. This time the protest left from the Pedagogic University passing through the neighborhoods called “Kennedy” and “Alto” in the direction of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) where another day of work ended, also without repression by the army and police
Day Four - The Airport

Saturday the 15th, the people in resistance began at the offices of the Beverage Workers Union (STIBIS) and moved towards the airport, first passing through the neighborhoods and ending with a mass in memory of the young man assassinated by the army at the airport. On this day there was no repression from the army despite its strong presence at the protest.


Day 5 - Assembly
Sunday, August 16th the National Front Against the Coup d’etat held an assembly. I asked for a brief meeting with the coordinating commission (steering committee) of the Front to let them know about the efforts that different organizations in cities in the U.S. have made (in solidarity). I also let them know about plans to organize a delegation composed of representatives from various organizations in about a month and the intention of the delegation to have discussions with different sectors of the Front and of course to participate in denouncing abuses. The compañeros were glad to receive the information. There was not time for dialogue due to the crowded agenda.
In the assembly it was agreed to continue resisting by all possible peaceful means, it was emphasized that it would be a decisive week because on Monday the 17th the International Commission of Human Rights was expected and also expected during the week is a commission from the Organization of American States (OAS); so another day of resistance was planned for Monday the 17th starting at the Pedagogic University.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

EyeWitness Report - Tegucigalpa - Informe en Vivo






El siguente es un informe y fotos por un compa de La Voz de los de Abajo y periodista de Producciones EN EL OJO Productions quien esta en Honduras haciendo trabajo de periodismo anti-golpistas.
The following is a report from a member of La Voz de los de Abajo and journalist from Producciones EN EL OJO Productions who is in Honduras now doing anti-golpe media work.

The English Follows below


Reporte de un testigo ocular Tegucigalpa - Miércoles, Agosto 12 2009

Represión brutal e Intimidación.


El gas lacrimógeno lo disparaban directamente contra las masas de manifestantes, balas de hule y trinches se usaron para dispersar a los miles de hondureños que habían marchado por la ciudad hacia el Congreso Nacional hoy para protestar en contra del golpe y exigir la restitución de el gobierno constitucional de Mel Zelaya.
Hubo muchos heridos y arrestos. Los soldados y la policía, fuertemente armados y con equipo completo de combate actuaron contra hombres, mujeres y niños desarmados de todas las edades. En un momento inolvidable, mire como fue atacado Marvin Ponce, congresista (Diputado) miembro del partido Unificación Democrática (UD) que esta contra el golpe, por al menos 12 policías que lo golpearon brutalmente. Marvin resulto seriamente herido y fue llevado a un hospital; otros testigos reportaron que en el hospital la policía continuaba golpeando y atormentando a Ponce, interrumpiendo su tratamiento medico.

Mientras la policía aumentaba su violenta asomada sobre el área me uní al resto de los manifestantes que huyeron del ares; tratando de evitar arresto o golpiza o algo peor. Llegue así a la Universidad Nacional Autónoma Francisco Morazán, la cual ha estado ocupada por varias semanas por los estudiantes como parte de la resistencia al golpe. La Universidad también ha sido un centro de organización y de alojamiento para la gente que llega de las áreas rurales para unirse al movimiento de protesta. Cuando llegue a la Universidad, la gente comenzaba a llegar del centro de la ciudad. Vi a uno de los lideres de la organización garifunas (OFRAHNI) quien me dijo que casi todos los compañeros de su organización fueron detenidos en la represión frente al Congreso.

De pronto un gran número de soldados bien armados llegaron y atacaron con gas lacrimógeno y balas de goma y toda fuerza para entrar a la universidad. Comenzaron a arrestar y a golpear a los estudiantes y lograron tomar control de cuando menos una gran parte de la universidad. Mientras el ataque continuaba, fui forzado a correr fuera del alcance de las tropas y logre escapar.
El día de hoy era el segundo día de movilizaciones masivas que comenzaron ayer. Miles de hondureños respondieron al llamado para aumentar la movilización andando hasta por 5 días desde los rincones rurales más lejanos de Honduras para llegar a alguna de las dos ciudades principales: Tegucigalpa o San Pedro Zula. Las protestas de ayer no fueron reprimidas pero hoy fue ya otra historia. Ha habido también mas ataques de tipo escuadrón de la muerte. Hoy hable con Rafael Alegría de Vía Campesina en Honduras quien me dijo que anoche (Agosto 11) después del primer día de movilizaciones, cerca de las 11:30 PM, el centro de Vía Campesina fue chorreado por balas disparadas por hombres que llegaron frente al centro en camionetas civiles. Nadie fue herido pero el mensaje era claro. Vía Campesina es otra organización que ofrece sus oficinas como centro de organización y albergue y Alegría fue detenido y luego liberado, ahora tiene otra amenaza de detención en su contra.

El gobierno de facto del golpe y su ejercito están aumentando la violencia una vez mas para tratar de terminar con el movimiento de resistencia del pueblo de Honduras que es el único verdadero obstáculo en su camino a realizar los planes de la oligarquía. El Frente Nacional de Resistencia en Contra del Golpe llamo a las movilizaciones para mañana comenzando a las 8 AM.

Todo mundo desde las organizaciones sociales hasta el pueblo en las calles que no pertenecen a ninguna organización, llaman a la solidaridad internacional para salir en su ayuda en cualquier forma posible. Han estado en lucha por más de 40 días y necesitan toda nuestra ayuda para continuar.
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ression and intimidation


(Translated from a telephone report filed at 9:35 pm Chicago time - translation by La Voz de los de Abajo).

Tear gas was fired directly into the crowds of protesters, rubber bullets and truncheons were used to disperse the thousands of Hondurans who had marched through the city to the National Congress today to protest against the coup and demand restitution of the constitutional government of Mel Zelaya.

There were many injuries and arrests - The soldiers and police, heavily armed and in full combat gear acting against unarmed men and women of all ages. In an unforgettable moment, I watched as a congressional Deputy from the anti-coup leftist party the Democratic Unification (UD), Marvin Ponce was attacked by at least 12 policemen and brutally beaten. He was seriously injured and was taken to the hospital; witnesses reported that at the hospital the police continued to beat and torment Ponce, interfering with his medical treatment.

As the police increased their violent sweep of the area I joined the rest of the protesters in fleeing the area; trying to avoid arrest or beatings or worse. I made my way to the Francisco Morazan National Autonomous University, which has been held by the students as part of the anti-coup resistance for weeks. The University has also been an organizing center and has provided shelter for people coming in from the rural areas to join in the protest movement. When I got to the University, people were trickling in from the downtown area. I saw one of the leaders from the Garifuna organization (OFRAHNI) who told me almost that a large number of compañeros from their organization were detained in the repression at the Congress.

Suddenly a large number of heavily armed soldiers arrived and attacked with tear gas, and rubber bullets forcing their way into university. They began arresting and beating the students and were able to seize control of at least a large part of the university. As the attack continued, I was forced to run from the troops and got away.

Today’s mobilizations were the second day of massive peaceful marches that began yesterday. Thousands of Hondurans responded to the call for increased mobilization by walking for as many as 5 days from the farthest corners of rural Honduras in order to get to one of the two major cities, Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Zula. Yesterday’s protests were not repressed but today was another story. There have also been increasing attacks of the death-squad type. Today, I spoke with Rafael Alegria from Via Campesina in Honduras who told me that last night (August 11th) after the day of mobilizations, at about 11:30 pm, the Via Campesina center was riddled with bullets fired by men who pulled up in front of the center in a civilian SUV. No one was injured, but the message is clear. Via Campesina is another organization that has offered its offices as an organizing center and shelter and Alegria has been detained and released and now has another threat of detention against him.

The defacto coup government and its military are increasing the violence again to try and do away with the resistance movement of the Honduran people who are the only real obstacle standing in the way of the oligarchy's plans. The National Front for Resistance Against the Coup has called for the mobilizations to continue tomorrow beginning at 8 am.

Everyone from the social organizations to the people in the streets who don’t belong to any organization, are calling for international solidarity to come to their aid in any way possible. They have been in the struggle for more than 40 days and need all of our help to continue.

International Day of Action Against the Coup - Chicago

La Voz de los de Abajo and other activists in Chicago joined in the International Day of Action Against the Coup on August 11th with a letter writing, emailing campaign to demand from President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Illinois congressional delegation that the US stop its de facto support for the de facto government of golpista Roberto Micheletti. More tha 100 letters were sent to President Obama (some paper copy and some electronic); and email messages to Clinton and the Congressional delegation. At the event on August 11th, videos about the history of Honduras and the struggle for social justice were shown and the evening ended with a call to Radio Globo in Honduras where we were able to send our solidarity shout out to the Honduras people and their resistence organization live on the air.

Martes 11 de Agosto ***Tuesday August 11th

Día Internacional de Acción En Contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras
International Day of Action Against the Coup in Honduras –

The National Front of Resistance Against the Coup is calling for an international day of action on August 11. Join us in supporting the Honduran people.

El Frente Nacional de Resistencia En Contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras llama por un día internacional de Acción en Contra el Golpe. Están invitados a participar con nosotros en un evento en apoyo al pueblo hondureño.

Tuesday – Martes
August 11 de Agosto
6:30-9pm
Decima Musa Restaurant 1901 South Loomis

What will we be doing?
Electronic Solidarity: write a letter and email it to President Obama and Members of
Congress insisting that the U.S. take political and economic action against the illegal coup government of Roberto Micheletti to restore the constitutional system and to end the escalating human rights violations.
Video Showings: watch videos that explain the recent history and the movements for social justice in Honduras.

Can’t make the event on August 11? You can still participate in the day of action. Go to hondurasresists.blogspot.com or lavozchicago.blogspot.com and send a letter to members of Congress and the President.

¿Que Vamos Hacer?
Solidaridad Electrónica: escribe una carta y mandarlo por el correo electrónica al Presidente Obama y el Congreso que insiste que los Estados Unidos toma acción político-económico en serio en contra el gobierno golpista de Roberto Micheletti para reinstituir el orden constitucional y poner alto a las violaciones de los derechos humanos que esta ocurriendo en Honduras.
Videos: Vamos a presentar videos que tratan la tema de la historia reciente de Honduras y sus movimientos por la justicia social.

¿No puede asistir al evento de 11 de Agosto? Todavía puedes participar en el día de acción:
Vaya a: hondurasresists.blogspot.com o lavozchicago.blogspot.com y manda una carta electrónica a los congresistas y el presidente.

Honduran Civil Society Tour In Chicago - Building the Common Struggle -!Todos Somos Honduras!
The August 7-8 visit to Chicago of compas from the anti-golpe resistence in Honduras brought the truth about the situation to a variety of communities and to activists. The members of the delegation, who came to the US and spoke publically at great risk to their own safety, were able to speak with day-laborer organizations, students, immigrant rights organizations, religious leaders, solidarity activists, and community organizers from the diverse communities of Chicago. They were interviewed by local radio stations and journalists from the independent and alternative media in the city. The delegation, accompanied by local activists also visited the offices of Senators Durbin and Burris, who represent Illinois in the US Senate to follow up on previous visits and insist once again that the US government must stop its support for the golpista government and break all relations, stop all aid, and speak out against the human rights violations that are ongoing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Honduran Civil Society Leaders Visit Chicago and other US Cities with U.S. based immigrant leaders to advocate for the restoration of the constitutional government and an end to the escalating human rights violations.

In Chicago
Friday, August 7th: 6:30 - 9:30pm
Depaul University
Schmidt Academic Center (2320 N. Kenmore Avenue)
Room 154
(translation will be provided)

Saturday, August 8th: 7:00pm-10pm
Casa Michoacan
1638 South Blue Island Ave (Pilsen)

There will be a press conference on Friday, 10:30-11:30 am at Casa Michoacan.

Biographical information for the delegation follows:
One month after the interruption of constitutional order in Honduras through a military coup d’état and in the wake of widespread reports of human rights violations harkening back to events of the 1980s, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) is bringing a delegation of civil society representatives from that country to the U.S. to participate in a speaking tour and to advocate for the restoration of constitutional order and respect for human rights. U.S. based Latino immigrant leaders will also join this delegation. The tour began in Washington D.C. with visits to Congressional offices and will be followed by press and speaking events in various U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, and, on August 7-8, Chicago.

The delegation from Honduras consists of well known leaders from non-governmental, human rights and community organizations.

Abencio Fernández Pineda is the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Center for the Investigation and Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CIPRODEH, by its Spanish initials) for the western region of Honduras. Mr. Pineda was previously an attorney for the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODEH) and the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras (COFADEH).

Maria Luisa Jimenez, a former police officer in Honduras, denounced the widespread corruption in the police force and is now an activist for transparency in government and women's rights. She is currently a candidate for Honduran Congress with the Democratic Union party (UD).

Dr. Luther Castillo is a young Garifuna medical doctor and community organizer who directs the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation ("For the Health of our People" in Garifuna), dedicated to bringing vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. After his 2005 graduation from the Latin American Medical School in Havana, Dr. Castillo returned to the Honduran coast, where he led the Foundation's construction of Honduras' first Garifuna Rural Hospital, now serving some 20,000 in the surrounding communities. The hospital opened in December 2007, a few months after Dr. Castillo was named "Honduran Doctor of the Year" by Rotary International's Tegucigalpa chapter.

Gerardo Torres is an independent journalist in Honduras who is also an active member of Los Necios, a grass-roots organization that seeks to change the dominant socio-economic dynamics of Honduras.

For more information or to schedule an event or interview.

Contact: lavozchicago@yahoo.com