Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Police arrested her accusing her of being "rustler" of the resistance


Three police officers illegally detained María Yolanda Chavarria and transferred her to a dark room of a police post, while being told  in  the patrol  that she was a  Cuatrera(rustler) of the resistance and that they had her pictures, last Dec. 22 in the vicinity of the center of Tegucigalpal.
To the Resistance she is known as the "Grandmother Two", she is  Teacher Maria Yolanda Chavarria, a 70 year-old woman  who since  June28th  is in the streets demanding a return to constitutional order and the return of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales . Her persistence has attempted to be broken by her  being  detained in a dark room of a police post, on  December22nd.
Chavarria is a Liberal Party member since the 50s and has suffered political persecution and abuses to her dignity on several occasions, including in 1963 by the army and the dreaded National Bureau of Investigation, which  today these structures have been renamed but not for practices that violate human rights, which have been honed through "training" by students of the School of the Americas, now called the Institute for Security Cooperation.

The Grandmother filed a complaint to the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, Cofadeh, which on Tuesday  Decembe22nd when she came near the center of the city, three armed policeofficers  surprised her  ordering her  to show them her wallet and then accompany them, they  put her  a police patrol and took her to the Fourth District police station in Belen Comayaguela. 

"When I was inside the patrol I  prayed Psalm 23 and  the police told me I was crazy because rustlers talk to themselves, when we reached the Fourth Station they took me down and I was not allowed to look back to see the number of the  patrol, what I did notice is that it had no license plate, "said the grandmother.

As in the worst periods of repression, they took her  into a darkened room, but for the same fate came a police lieutenant who was her pupil in school and she told him  that there was no order to arrest  her, "he told the policemen who arrested me that he didn't  give those orders to capture anyone let alone a lady of the elderly ". The officer took her away from the police post and took her home.

It is likely that the room where she was taken  is a quarter where they torture people, they are being used against detainees in the National Crime Squad, ID, where their nails were removed and  they are subjected to cruel taunts and have left public light under the coup.

The criminalization of public protest by the state security bodies has become very common since 28 June, people are arrested, tortured, disappeared or killed for participating in peaceful protests against the coup perpetrated by military in collusion with businessmen and politicians against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
The police and soldiers captured everybody suspected or  who they  might have pictures or videos of. The teacher  Chavarria told defensoresenlinea.com  the policedisrespecting her told her "and you know old daughter of .. We  have you  in Photos" and pushed.
The disrespect of human rights since 28 June has increased, during the weekend three youths were arrested, including a child under 17 years old, police went to a room where they were and brought them  accusing them of  them shouting at them "golpistas".
In this case there were two actions violating guarantees of citizens, one is the illegal detention that violates the Constitution of the Republic in its Article 98 "No person shall be detained, arrested or imprisoned for obligations not coming from crime or offense," also Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights Sushumna, among others.

Military kidnap and torture independent journalist

Since the beginning of the dictatorial regime in the country several social communicators have been assaulted and tortured , who have been denouncing the atrocities of the state security forces have committed against the citizenry that demands Roberto Micheletti dictator to relinquish power .
Yesterday morning journalist Cesar Silva was kidnapped by the army, an active member of the Popular Resistance Front , he was heading to his workplace.  

According to reports that transcended the early hours of Tuesday, Silva was detained in a military unit located in San Lorenzo, southern region, where he was taken by military intelligence members of the Armed Forces.
Ramiro Archaga, spokesman of the military  had reported at that time that  in the last hours they had not arrested social communicators and said that  the battalion facilities were open to agencies defending human rights who are free to confirm the presence of Cesar Silva .
However, the general coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) Bertha Oliva,said  the military spokesman denied saying that  Silva was detained without cause for more than 24 hours and during that period he was tortured by his captors ,  was already held by the institution, after having denounced the action taken by military intelligence.
This is the second time that the journalist in mention is repressed by the security forces in the service of the dictatorship headed by Roberto Micheletti and Romeo Vasquez. In the previous August, he was attacked brutally by members of the National Preventive Police while covering a demonstration of the Resistance Front in the center of the capital and damaged his work tools.  

Police and military assault editor of The Liberator

Once again, a member of this company is a victim of the brutality with which the state security agencies have been operating outside the law, which in the past six months have been devoted to suppress and kill the people who oppose  the dictatorial regime led by Roberto Micheletti.
Come down the taxi, bastards! Thus began the attack carried out by troops of the National Police and Armed Forces to the editor of this newspaper, Rene Novoa with someone else, who prefers for safety reasons to omit his name.
Verbal abuse is not enough, they proceeded to torture in public  the two people headingdowntown to perform personal errands, when boarded the transport unit, Rene Novoa said: "We fell violently in the taxi, and we were suppressed without justification, I was hit in the side with the butts of their weapons . When I wanted to check on my other companion, a soldier suddenly gave me a sharp blow in the pit of the stomach (epigastric) left me breathless on the floor for a moment. "
Also, the editor of this medium shows that the police and military over the place without saying a word, so it proceeded to retreat to their dwellings, without help from bystanders who witnessed the abuse by "representatives of law and order ".
THE LIBERTADOR since the coup of June 28th , has been subjected to harassment and death threats. In the first instance, its director Jhonny Lagos was threatened by dictator Roberto Micheletti  and  the de facto Vice Chancellor Martha Lorena Alvarado, forcing him to move towards secrecy.
 Photojournalist Delmer Membreño was also assaulted  three months ago, when he was abducted and tortured by the security forces,  had to go into exile, and second last time, the offices of the newspaper came under assault, taking computer equipment and cameras  and threatening  staff at: so far no justice operators have given an explanation.   

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Another young member of resistance Renán Fajardo Argueta found dead

Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) dnounces crime committed against Renán Fajardo Argueta

The Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Dsiappeared in Honduras,COFADEH, denounces the crime committed Teusday afternoon against the young man Edwin Renán Fajardo Argueta (22), an active member of the Resistance. His body was found this past December 23rd in the afternoon after a constant search by family members and friends worried about his absence as he was supposed to travel on Wednesday to Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, for Christmas with his family. 

COFADEH received the information about finding his body in an apartment in the San Rafael neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, in the Villar Rosales Building, where he had lived for a long time. There was a cord found around his neck and a broom stick behind his head and there were signs of violence as everything was strewn about. The act may have occurred between four and five in the afternoon on Tuesday December 22nd.

His killers tried to simulate a suicide but his body was found in a small closet of his apartment bleeding from its nose and his body was dirty like it had been tied up according to the neighbors who saw the scene of the crime. The people responsible for his death took his camera and a computer.

On Monday of this week he had communicated to friends that he was very worried because he felt pursued because he had received text messages in his telephone and didn't want to leave for 
Roatán where his family was because of the danger of being in public places and that's also why he didn't want to go see friends who wanted to meet up.

Several neighbors said they had seen suspicious cars without license plates and with tinted windows circulating around the area in recent days, this has generated much fear because since August strange things have been seen.

His die-hard activism in the National Front of Resistance included participation in marches, sit-ins, and all the activities by that organization of which he was always in the front lines and where he took photographs with the camera that they stole from him. He also traveled to different places around the country to raise consciousness about the need for a National Constitutional Assembly.

Edwin Renán was a very admired young man in his neighborhood for being so respectful and responsible. The apartments he lived in were very secure, nobody could enter if they didn't live in them.

An agent of the investigation manifested that the autopsy will determine the causes of his death and added that in his neck was the cord and the broom stick behind his head and that, "it would be hard for it to have been a suicide because the broomstick would have broken with the weight of his body," he said. A vigil for Edwin Renán will happen in the building where he lived and his body will be taken to Roatán at seven in the morning.

COFADEH condemns this new act of violence that blinds the life of a young man with a promising future for Honduras. The killings of active members of the Resistance have increased in recent days in a selective way, using simulations of criminal violence to cover up the deaths.

We make an urgent call to the international community and especially to human rights organizations to carry out urgent necessary actions to stop this human hunt against the Honduran population who continues in resistance since the 28th of June when the military-political-business-imperialist coup was perpetrated.


Commitiee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras, COFADEH
Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 23rd, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rights Abuses Persist in Wake of Honduran Elections

Rights Abuses Persist in Wake of Honduran Elections

Repression continues unabated following Honduras’ U.S.-recognized Nov. 29 elections, according to human rights groups and other observers on the ground in Honduras.
A report, slated for release Dec. 17, by the Honduran Women’s Rights Center and other rights’ groups documented at least 235 separate human rights violations—the group had to stop counting—during the 10-day period immediately before and after election (Nov. 25-Dec. 5). Cited abuses included illegal searches of alleged resistance members’ homes, illegal detentions, police and military surveillance of resistance members, voter deterrence efforts in resistance-heavy neighborhoods, and five confirmed resistance-related deaths.
Women’s Rights Center director Claudia Herrmannsdorfer said members also reported an increase in generalized militarization on the streets, with previously unseen equipment including armored Humvees with mounted Galil machine guns, the sights of which were actively following suspected resistance members as they made their way through the streets.
After a 10-day visit to Honduras during the election period, Amnesty International issued a call on Dec. 3 for an independent investigation of human rights abuses in the country since the June 28 coup.
Javier Zúñiga, head of the Amnesty delegation, drew attention to one of many issues with the military and police conduct during his visit, saying, "Not only did police use gas against peaceful protesters and in enclosed buildings, doctors were not given information about the chemical substances used in the cans to enable them to treat victims properly."   
Additional reports since that time period confirm Herrmannsdorfer’s feeling about the level of repression. On Dec. 5, masked gunmen forced their way into the offices of pro-resistance newspaper El Libertador, sequestering employees in a bathroom while they searched personal and company property. A camera and a production computer containing the paper's forthcoming edition in its entirety were stolen.
El Liberatador Director Jhony Lagos reported having seen police vehicles, as well as vehicles with dark-tinted windows and no license plates casing out the publication’s offices—which had been secretly relocated because of previous threats—for a week prior to the invasion.   
The Organization of American States Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, less-than-forcefully echoed by the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, denounced the El Libertador action, as well as consistent local and national jamming of Canal 36’s main news program, Así se Informa, as inconsistent with Article 13.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights, of which Honduras is a signatory.
On Dec. 6, five men—Isaac Coello, Roger Reyes, Kenneth Rosa, Gabriel Parrales and Marco Vinicio Matute—were shot and killed by unknown gunmen in a moving car. Wendy Reyes was also injured in the incident and taken to the hospital.
According to a neighbor who requested anonymity for security reasons, the victims "were active members of the resistance, having organized the committees in the Honduras and Victor F. Ardón neighborhoods to recruit neighbors to the resistance cause." El Libertador reported that double-cabin pickups, such as the one that reportedly had been observing the victims the night of the murders, have been seen frequently following resistance members.

On Dec. 11, activist Corrales García was found decapitated 30 miles east of Tegucigalpa, according to Human Rights Defense Committee (Codeh) Director Andrés Pavón. García had been detained by five men in official National Criminal Investigation Directorate uniforms and armed with machine guns, and he showed signs of being tortured.

The week’s bloodshed culminated on Dec. 12, when GLBT activist Walter Trochez was shot in the chest by a motorized assailant and died in the hospital a few hours later. Amnesty International reported that Trochez, who had taken an active part in the resistance, had contacted the agency after escaping an attempted kidnapping attempt on Dec. 4, during which he was interrogated about resistance members and beaten.

On Dec. 16, four hooded men captured two members of the United Peasant Movement of Aguan and took them away in a dark vehicle without plates. Rights group Committee for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared said it fears for their safety while in custody and further intimidation and harassment of indigenous leaders.

Although the level of repression since the elections has remained consistent with what was happening before Nov. 29, there are signs that the tactics are working. “The goal of terrorizing [the populace] has been achieved,” Herrmannsdorfer said, citing as an instance feminist groups with which she had previously collaborated that have shut down their operations in fear of retaliation.
“You don’t see the mass [street] mobilizations that you did before the elections,” she continued. “You can attribute part of that to the holiday season, but people are scared—that’s the biggest difference.”
A former government official, who is not affiliated with any political party and requested anonymity, said that the repression occurring today is reminiscent of that which occurred in the 1980s, but is “more subtle in some ways.” In contrast to the '80s, he said, it is more likely today that the those who carry out the most severe violence are not part of the armed forces or police but hired guns (sicarios) carrying out acts of violence and intimidation—including kidnapping and assassination—at the behest of powerful individuals both inside and outside of the government.
Herrmannsdorfer echoed those sentiments, saying that targeted repression today is more disguised, since some of the actors are not police or military agents. But she also noted that there is currently a far greater level of militarization—generalized rather than targeted—than in the past, which she attributed to the fact that today's resistance movement is far more broad and unified than the social movements of the '80s.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has done little to acknowledge or respond to ongoing repression, even as it is executing a new outreach campaign redefining Latin American and human rights policy. Recent statements by the State Department have hailed the Honduran election a success, with many points of their analysis far more optimistic than that of popular groups and rights defenders.
“The Obama administration has been disturbingly reluctant to comment on the extremely serious human rights abuses and violations of civil liberties taking place in Honduras," Lisa Haugaard, executive director of the NGO Latin America Working Group, said. "While the U.S. Embassy in Honduras has posted a statement on its website, the State Department itself remains practically mute. Having brokered the deal in which elections went forward without a reinstatement of the democratically elected government in the interim, even for a brief period, the State Department has an absolute obligation to press the incoming Lobo administration for a full restoration of the civil liberties and human rights that have been so seriously eroded."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has indicated a desire to "be on the side of the Honduran people" and for a continued U.S. involvement, but has been unclear on specifics.

EU reminds de facto government of its "responsibility to protect human rights,"



The European Unioncondemned  today the recent murders committed in Honduras against activists and journalists, and reminded the 'de facto 'government of  its' obligation to protect human rights "of the Hondurans, and require an investigation," transparent "about what happened.
In a statement on behalf of the Twenty, the Swedish EU presidency referred specifically to the death last December 13, Walter Tróchez - a defender of Human Rights of the gay and lesbian and member of the National Resistance Front - and the murder of a sixteen-year-old daughter of a journalist close to the government coup.
The Twenty-emphasized the importance of these murders are investigated "promptly and transparently and comprehensively." In addition, the Honduran authorities recalled their "obligation to protect human rights, including freedom of expression, and individual security of all people in Honduras."
The EU also urged "all" political parties "to refrain from acts of violence" and urged the de facto government to "do everything in its power" to ensure the safety of activists and warned that the principle of non-discrimination should assist all citizens regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


Individuals armed at service of Miguel Facussé and Rene Reynaldo Canales Morales are threatening to violently evict families belonging to the Unified Movement of Peasants Aguan (MUCA).


(Food First Information & Action Network) 

International Rights 
The Human Right to Food

Thousands of families grouped in the peasant movement MUCA occupying lands of Mr. Miguel Facussé, René Reynaldo Canales Morales and are suffering constant attacks by members of the police and military forces sinceDecember 9th. 

In the last hours is known that these gentlemen are preparing for a violent eviction on December 24 to be executed by armed individuals.

 the authorities of the Public Prosecutor alerted to conduct investigations relevant to this complaint and to end the crisis itself that originates in the historical failure of the various state governments to expeditiously resolve the constitutional rights of farmers to access to land and avoid violence that unfortunately there are cases resulting in deaths and injuries.

We demand immediate halt to arbitrary arrest warrants against Dagoberto Torres, Alfonso Hernandez, Evaristo Avila, Raul Mejia, Maribel Mejia, Miguel Angel Fúnez, Jorge Antonio Rivas, Pedro Marcial Zambrano, Luciano Erazo, Angel Maria Ramirez, Magdiel Lopez, Jose Castillo, Pedro Castillo, Santos Menjivar and Perfecto Domingo Moreno.

From now we hold the Public Ministry and the National Agrarian Institute (INA) responsible for its inability to guarantee the human right to food, health, employment and security agencies for the physical, mental and moral, security of  family farmers who now occupy those lands that are protected by international treaties to which Honduras is a party.

Tegucigalpa, December 21, 2009

Gilberto Rios
Executive Secretary
FIAN Hondura

Suspect who murdered daughter of journalist captured

Tegucigalpa - For the crimes of murder and attempt of  murder, the suspect was forwarded to the National Penitentiary in Tamara, Francisco Morazán, Elmer Josué Tercero Lagos (21), aka "Sangre", whom the police accused as one of the responsible for killing the child Kathleen Nicolle Rodriguez Cabrera (16) and left seriously injured two others.

"Sangre" was arrested by agents of the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DGIC) and officers from the Special Investigation Unit of deaths among women of the Special Prosecutor for Women, on Saturday afternoon  , after doing several searches in this sector and in the Colonia Las Torres de Comayagüela.

After the capture of the alleged murderer of the daughter of journalist Carol Cabrera, the prosecution presented the young man at 7: 00  pm before the Courts of Crime in this city, and after concluding the hearing of statement of accused, The presiding judge referred the matter to find evidence of PN for participation in the death of the girl and seriously wounded comrade to leave home for it and a friend of both.

A criterion of DGIC, the death of the young Rodriguez Cabrera, who was in her eighth month  of pregnancy was due to problems in football clubs bars of the Ultra Feel (Olimpia), because both the perpetrators as one of the occupants of the vehicle, had problems with each other for this.

Following the death of Rodriguez Cabrera, doctors extracted a baby who was still in serious condition yesterday in the intensive care unit of the Maternal and Infant and under medical observation for 24 hours a day and night.


On the subject, the head of the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DGIC), Commissioner-General, Francisco Murillo Lopez, said Joshua Elmer capture was made after a thorough investigation and to take testimony from protected witnesses to  identify him as one of the perpetrators of the crime.

The police official added that it is on the trail of a second person who also participated in the killing of Kathleen Nicolle, who already have identified their identity and will be captured  in the coming hours.

According to Murillo Lopez, Tercero Lagos and his buddy - who's fugitive investigation and that for reasons not given his name - were driving a motorcycle last Wednesday, intercepted and shot the vehicle where Kathleen Nicolle and his two companions were, who  protects his identity for security reasons.

"The two young men (perpetrators) are members of the bar Ultra Fiel, and one that was in the vehicle also belong to the same bar and said they had friction between them, there is sufficient evidence against the accused, which in the present courts, "said Francisco Lopez Murillo.

DGIC chief also said that major progress in investigations into the death of the head of the Directorate of Drug Trafficking (DLCN) Julian Aristides Gonzalez, as well as the son of Edwin journalist Kanak, who had the same name.


Initial hearing against Elmer Josue Tercero Lagos (21), aka "Sangre" will be held on Thursday of this week, where prosecutors asked that he decides to order the prison and continued imprisonment in the National Penitentiary in Tamara, Francisco Morazán ( PN).

Fonte: Diario Tiempo (Honduras).

Investigators ruled out a political crime regarding Kathleen Nicolle's murder


Problems between bars of football teams, drugs and gangs are investigated around the death of the daughter of journalist Carol Cabrera, Kathleen Nicolle Rodriguez Cabrera (16), who was part of precautionary measures of juvenile courts, at social risk. 

Rodriguez Cabrera died last December 15th after she was shot in the dark and lonely road that lies between the neighbourhoods   Cerro Grande and El Chile in Comayagüela, which also seriously injured her partner, also under age. 

She was in her eighth month of pregnancy, so that when she was dying, the doctors extracted her baby, who is in serious condition in the intensive care room of Hospital Materno Infantil. 

The same was done with  smaller bullet wounds to the unhurt driver of the car brand Honda Accord, dark green, owned by journalist Cabrera. Police names  are omitted for security reasons. 

Following the death of the young child daughter of  journalist Cabrera  that the criminal attack came from members of the National Front of Resistance Against the coup, his position in favor of current chief executive, Roberto Micheletti. 

However, investigations by the Police state that the criminal act could be linked by the social situation of irrigation in the lowest lived. 


According to investigative records held by the Office for Children, Kathleen Nicolle had precautionary measures of social risk, after his mother, Carol Cabrera sought assistance from the Public Ministry (MP), because the behavior of the young woman had gotten out of control "and was with people of ill repute who were linked to gangs, drug use and who were followers of the football bar Ultra Fiel (Olimpia), said an interviewee who investigates the case. 

The informant, who is an official of the MP, adding that while the girl was never found to have consumed some type of drug, the fact of walking with people who did put themselves at risk, so the Juvenile Court imposed as precautionary measures to withdraw from these bad friends and be under the tutelage of her mother, among others. 

"At the moment we investigate various scenarios, and the only one which was ruled is that the death of the girl is not political or that it has anything to do with the resistance, it is not our intention to reveal  her flaunting behavior because she is dead, unfortunately, but there is always research outcome and what we have so far is that the problem may have arisen due tothe friendships that she had when she was at social risk, "said the interviewee. 

On those responsible for this crime, the police captured  Hermes Josue tercero  (21), better known as "Sangre", who is fully identified as the driver of the motorcycle with another person walking fugitive, who  killed the young girl and wounded two other people. 

The capture of the "Blood" was held last Saturday afternoon , after several raids on private homes and yesterday, the Research Unit of Death of Children, the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DNIC) carried out further raids in search of the second offender. 

On this subject, one of the twelve members of the DNIC investigating the case told Diario Tiempo that the perpetrators are known by their victims and that there were problems, but so far unknown what was the real cause of death the girl, because the detainee refused to talk and there are details that can not be revealed, while  the second suspect is not apprehended. 

"We have to do a profile of all involved in this; of the partner of the dead girl, he's all tattooed, they call him El Sampedrano, who came seven months ago to live in Tegucigalpa, comes from  San Pedro Sula and belongs to the Ultra Fiel, where there are always internal conflicts "Investigator of the case.


"They tried to kill me" - the escalation of violence and repression in Honduras continues

With Nectaly Rodezno

by Giorgio Trucchi - Rel-IUF

The coordinator of the Front of Attorneys Against the Coup ,Nectali Rodezno,denounced Sirel he underwent an assassination attempt, fortunately foiled by the intervention of citizens who managed to stop the murderous hand of a right-wing National Party activist, directly linked to the mayor Tegucigalpa,Ricardo Antonio Alvarez and the candidate for deputy, Ramón Blas, both staunch defenders of the coup.

 the wave of violence and repression against members of the Resistance in Honduras continues. During the last week, several human rights organizations in the country have denounced the disappearance of young Abner Hernandez-member of the  Disciplinary Committee of the Resistance, who was last seen together withWalter Tróchez, human rights defender assassinated on  December 13th- by Carlos Turcios Maldonado-vice president of the resistance movement of Choloma, Department of Cortez, and murdered in Tegucigalpa with a gunshot to the head Karen Jessenia Hernandez Mondragon, wife of a member of the Resistance. 

Furthermore, masked men wearing the uniform of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DGIC) detained and kidnapped Osman Aléxis and Mario René Flores Ulloa Ayala Hernandez, peasant leaders both belonging to the Unified Movement of Peasants Aguán (MUCA), who recently along with more than 500 families, recovered 800 hectares of state land benefited by Decree 18-2008, an initiative that seeks a solution to the issue of agricultural dwelling. 

The land claimed by the MUCA is currently held by landowners Miguel Facussé Barjumand René Morales  , the latter leading producer of African palm in Honduras. 

According to the newly formed Committee on Prisoners, Persecuted and Political Exiles of the coup, there are more than 130 people with lawsuits, including five still in custody, over 100 with alternatives to prison and more than 30 in exile .

The last episode is reported assassination attempt against the coordinator of the Front of Lawyers Against the Coup, Nectali Rodezno. Sireltalked to him to know what happened and to make a point on the situation on the wave of repression that has rammed Honduras.

- What happened on  December15th? 
"I walked to my car and  was on my way to  my house in a place where taxis are parked. It was then that Pedro Gomez, National Party activist, vice president of the Association of Taxi Interdepartmental Points of Honduras and close friend of the mayor of the capital, Ricardo Antonio Alvarez, and candidate for deputy Blas Ramos, recognized me and began to insult me because of being of the Resistance.

Suddenlya taxi in the street blocked my way  to not let me through and Pedro Gomez approached my vehicle, he hit me on  the face and pulled a revolver to shoot.

Fortunately other taxi drivers intervened and blocked it, while I took advantage of the confusion to get out of my  car and head towards policemen who were nearby. The police intervened and arrested him. Gomez, however, immediately called the Mayor and when I arrived at the police station found the candidate for deputy Blas Ramos talking with prosecutors to have him released. And he did. Virtually rejected the accusation of attempted murder and was only referred to the courts for illegal carrying of weapons. I have no doubt that in the initial hearing will be definitively dismissed Gomez.

- How do you evaluate this episode?
"It's part of a real offensive against the Resistance, and they are using the same methodology of the '80s. The day Walter Tróchez was murdered   many bodies throughout the city appeared, and this is exactly as it was in those years, ie, killed common criminals  to assassinate members of popular movements, disguising these political murders as if they were criminal cases. They want the people to  become accustomed to these facts, to not realize that it is exerting a systematic repression against members of the Resistance. 

"After this episode, are you taking some measure of security?
"Everybody knows me and knows where I live. I thought it is better to not hide or fail to do my job because that is how I survive with my family. Also, for me the work that led me to the front of Lawyers Against the Coup is fundamental and I can not give up that fight. However, if something happened to me I blame this coup system and   the Mayor Ricardo Antonio Alvarez, who has made real persecution squads  against members of the Resistance. 

From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez - Death is not in vain

Honduras Resists preface: In recent days repression in Honduras has continued to escalate. With the eyes of the corporate press off of Honduras, the extreme right, who has seen Honduras as a strategic staging ground for their counter-offensive against the rise of grassroots alternatives to capitalism in Latin America, is now attempting to eliminate the unexpectedconsequences of the coup. The Honduran government, with financing and collaboration from the U.S. and from the extreme right throughout the hemisphere, has resorted to extreme force, disappearances and assassinations. But this desperation is a sign of weakness and fear, not strength. It is precisely the growing force of the resistance in Honduras, the deepening of their dreams that are the dreams of oppressed peoples everywhere for a system based on popular participation and social and economic justice, that worries the oligarchy so much they feel they must escalate already horrendous repression. But this resistance grew out of a deep sense of possibility and a defiance of misery and oppression and every attempt to consolidate the coup through repression has been and will be met with a deepening of that resistance. The following commentary, commemorating two of the youth killed in the struggle against the coup, makes this point beautifully. It is from one of the leaders of a youth movement in Honduras called Los Necios that has been integral to the National Front of Popular Resistance.

From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez
Gilberto Ríos

Those of us who, alongside hundreds of thousands of other Hondurans, witnessed Isis Obed's death announced by Oscar Andrés Rodriguez the Saturday before the tragic afternoon at the airport, during the first frustrated return of President Manuel Zelaya, and seven days after the military coup, have fresh memories of his blood.

An entire generation in revolt awoke on June 28. Those who were minors during war, those born in the midst of an unequal democracy perfected through the years by the Honduran oligarchy and imperialism. Everyone subdued by the hopes of consumerism, in voluntary submission to exploitation, controlled by the mirage of a free market economy, prison of the soul, of the 
imagination and of humanity: we Hondurans used to live in peace.

Suddenly consciousness has come, youth take their freedom seriously; the country lives daily a dizzying process of consciousness and struggle; injustice is rejected and now we easily associate the two party system with the oligarchy, injustice with capitalism, Coup d’état with fascism, hypocrisy with Obama and imperialism with underdevelopment.

Only a few months ago “National Identity” was an indescribable paradigm of confusing dreams imposed by a pro-oligarchy civil society; the Copan ruins are more known in situ by foreigners than by nationals; the national soccer team built out from private owned clubs that deprive the majorities from access to sports leaving them with only expectation. Today the popular national identity is fully summarized in one word: Resistance.

Historical Memory was the memories of American trilogies and canned TV series that we associated with stages in our lives and a television schedule. '82 was the 
year of the World Cup. Today 1982 is for all the memory of the worsening of the national security doctrine; the people who disappeared in the 80’s now reappear in our conscience and Historical Memory is a concept filled with peasant struggles against rancid landlords and ranchers, workers against oligarchs, students against imperialism, women for peace and human rights organizations versus the fascists of capitalism.

Popular Culture was Britney Spears, the Spicegirls, Michel Jackson and a group named Rebelde (above all rebellious to art and intelligence). 
Modern formulaic pop echoing the emptiness of the alienated youth of the North without substance, leading to ingenious suicides and massacres. Today Popular Culture is Café Guancasco, Nelson Pavón and his el "perro feliz," Tito Ochoa’s Memory Theater and its superb cast and all the artists in resistance. Art of freedom that liberates and democratizes culture, nourished by popular applause and humble smiles. Revolutionary artists that craft technique with rigor and life with joy; producers and multipliers of the collective imagination.

Women, who have struggled historically to be taken into account, took into account the streets, the walls, the fight against police officers, repressive men, the very reproducers of the patriarchy they live through in peacetime. Husbands with uniforms; a bit more of the same. In [the banana strike of] 1954 they also created a space, the result of which was the recognition of the right to vote less than a year later. Now? Perhaps they should take into account their absolute majority, as absolute as it has been in the streets and in the struggle.

Hoarse cries of women, men that walk in curves, multicolored flags. Men or women? No, neither one nor the other. Human beings with the sexuality they feel, no prejudices, no labels. They discovered freedom of sex and sexuality, they march asking for democracy and a little respect for their intimacy and decisions. They 
exceed us in diversity, discipline and courage. With them, Walter Trochez releasing political prisoners, denouncing abuses, fighting in the frontline against brutality. Tortured, he goes back to the streets and falls to the bullets approved by [U.S. ambassador] Llorens in his yearly budget.

Honduras continues its path of liberation while it reflects on and is surprised by the real underdevelopment in which it lived, the few conscientious Hondurans of that time would be amazed at the tortuous and difficult process lived through today by the people of Morazán facing such small and historical battles because we lived in the middle ages and it is difficult to overcome, nonetheless beyond resisting barbarity without a doubt we are advancing and we will win.

From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez, death is not in vain. 

Gilberto Ríos Munguía

*Secretary of Political and Ideological Education, Los Necios Political Organization

Honduran Election Results Still Need To Be Scrutinized, State Department Dashes Hopes that a Transformative Latin America Policy Has Been Born

Honduran Election Results Still Need To Be Scrutinized, State Department Dashes Hopes that a Transformative Latin America Policy Has Been Born
by COHA Staff

A growing number of nations in the international community have decided to recognize the recent Honduran elections administered by the country’s unlawful de facto government, citing high rates of voter participation as evidence that a “free and fair” election had taken place on November 29. Believing a basis now exists for national reconciliation, the United States, Panama, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and El Salvador have all accepted the electoral results. However, their decisions have been based on inaccurate and deceptive electoral figures released on the day of the election by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Honduras.
Initially, the TSE claimed a voter participation rate of over 60%. However, a U.S.-backed Honduran civil society coalition, Hagamos Democracia (Making Democracy, HD) submitted a report to the TSE on election night, estimating that the voter turnout was, in fact, only 48.7% of the population. Although the TSE has since revised its official estimates down to 49%, the damage had already been done. The original release of the higher turnout figure came at a critical time and was widely publicized by some of the international media and a number of foreign governments as thoroughly reliable.
In the de facto regime’s quest for legitimacy, establishing a high rate of participation is a crucial step towards its recognition by the international community. Prior to the election, Manuel Zelaya and his supporters called for the ballot to be boycotted, as a scant voter turnout would demonstrate widespread support for the ousted president. Further obfuscating the scenario, the key institutions normally involved in observing elections, such as the UN, OAS, and the Carter Center, all declined to send monitoring teams to Honduras. Without the valuable testimony of well-trained and impartial international observers, validation of the election results hinges on the potentially biased oversight of Honduran election observers in what was bound to be a highly contentious election.
Still, some countries and international organizations are accepting the de facto government’s original reports of high voter participation despite significant evidence to the contrary. However, these governments and organizations should instead be calling for an in-depth analysis by independent electoral monitoring groups to convincingly verify the actual voter turnout rate. Accepting the Honduran government’s findings, as they were presented, will set a dangerous precedent for legitimizing a compromised election that could jeopardize the vitality of democratic regimes throughout the region.
Official numbers and Conflicting Statements by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal:
Ever since the June 28 coup, the TSE has been steadfast in its support of Micheletti, giving rise to suspicions of impartiality. On July 1, two days after the coup, TSE Magistrate Danny Matamoros defended the military’s ousting of Zelaya on the basis of his alleged violation of the Constitution. On September 30, the TSE qualified its support for the de facto regime by requesting that Micheletti cancel the decree suspending civil liberties, suggesting it could affect the outcome of the elections. In the days leading up to the election, at least 90 members of the TSE resigned in protest of alleged corruption behind the Tribunal’s support for the de facto regime. On October 22, tribunal president José Saúl Escobar stated, “If there is a massive participation of Hondurans at the polls, the international community will have to interpret that [as an] expression of sovereign will.” However, the high rate of voter participation that was hoped for never materialized, except in the imagination of those who wanted to throw the election.
On the night of the November 29 election, the TSE released an initial voter turnout figure of 62%, effectively legitimizing the election of Porfirio Lobo to the presidential post. Later that same night, Hagamos Democracia reported a lower rate of 48.7%, claiming 99% accuracy. While TSE publicly acknowledged this lower, more accurate figure, the following day the TSE experienced technical difficulties that “impeded the second verification of the data.” This major gaffe ran contrary to the TSE’s assurances that accurate and efficient tallies would allow the country to know the exact outcome of the election within hours of the close of the polls. In a video newsclip issued by The Real News, highly regarded journalist team composed of Jesse Freeston and Paul Jay asked a high-ranking TSE official where the figure of 62% had originated. The official, who insisted on remaining anonymous, stated that the president of the TSE, Escobar, had fabricated the statistic.
The pro-Zelaya National Front of Resistance against the Coup calculated a 65-70% rate of abstention by counting the number of voters entering polling stations and comparing that figure to the number of individuals who were registered to vote. At the press conference announcing the official results, the TSE claimed a preliminary count of 1.7 million votes, which out of 5.07 million registered voters in Honduras, amounted to a turnout of 34%. This would constitute the lowest rate of participation in Honduras’s history, and would mean that Lobo’s 54% victory actually represents only 19% of the voting population. Furthermore, while TSE Magistrate Matamoros described long lines of voters outside the polling stations, reporters on the ground in Honduras, like Joseph Caldwell of Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC), gave accounts of many polling centers being sparsely populated on election day. In its initial report on election night, Hagamos Democracia also acknowledged the “problems that were in evidence – especially abstention” and stated they that further investigation should follow.
Human Rights Abuses
Multiple sources maintain that the coup regime has resorted to gross violations of human rights in a misguided attempt to quell the social unrest resulting from its illegitimate hold on power. Since the June 28 coup, violence and human rights violations have been increasingly commonplace in the country prior to, during, and immediately after the elections. “The crisis in Honduras does not end with the election results, the authorities cannot return to business as usual without assuring human right safeguards,” stated Javier Zúñiga, the head of the Amnesty International delegation in Honduras. The recent murders of Zelaya supporter Walter Trochez and human rights defender Santos Corrales García indicate that the elections have not changed the underlying situation on the ground.
During its visit from November 24-December 4, Amnesty International uncovered substantial evidence of human rights abuses at the hands of the authorities, including cases of excessive force, arrests of demonstrators by the police and military, unnecessary and excessive use of tear gas, violence against detainees, harassment of activists, journalists, lawyers and judges, and political killings. The more conservative human Rights Watch also has issued a series of similar statements, and has called for the international community to look into the many violations that have taken place since the coup. Even Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela admitted at a State Department briefing on December 11, 2009 that the de facto government had been responsible for human rights abuses.
Since the beginning of its enforced rule, the Micheletti regime abruptly curtailed civil liberties and was guilty of repressing the opposition media. Micheletti’s emergency decree, issued shortly after Zelaya’s surprise return to Honduras in September, banned public gatherings, severely restricted the press, and justified arbitrary arrests by the military. The de facto government, in an attempt to silence any voice of the opposition, cancelled a series of critical radio programs including La Bullaraga, Entre Caos, and Tiempo de Hablar on the popular radio station Radio Cardena Voices. In addition, Canal 36, Radio Catracha, Cholusat Sur Radio and Radio Globo, news outlets that are known to support Zelaya’s reinstatement, were also shut down by the emergency decree. As a result, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights identified these as groups needing protection. Leading up to the election, the military restricted marches, enacted national curfews that confined residents to their homes between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and also shut down the country’s borders for 30 out of the 50 during the campaign period.
COHA has received firsthand accounts of human rights violations during the elections that detail with great precision the violence that has been taking place in Honduras. Joseph Caldwell from TASSC witnessed the violence firsthand while preparing a report on human rights abuses in Honduras. On the streets of San Pedro Sula Caldwell watched as police tanks, water trucks, and tear gas canisters were used to repel a peaceful march conducted by the resistance movement. As Caldwell detailed in his account, “a Reuter’s photographer was injured in the massive display of repression. Dozens of cells phones captured the police beating anyone they could catch with their batons.” As a result of the widespread violence and repression, Amnesty International’s Zuñiga stated, “Justice seems to have been absent on Election Day in Honduras.” This sentiment also resounded in an article by correspondent Laura Carlsen of the Washington-based Center for International Policy, who said that in her observation of the elections, they were “not free, fair, or peaceful.”
Election Observation
Three crucial organizations that consistently participate as observers in elections throughout the hemisphere—the OAS, the UN, and the Carter Center—chose to abstain from sending delegations to Honduras because the election would take place under an illegitimate coup government. On December 4, Secretary General Insulza of the OAS stated, “an election does not erase, on its own, the forced deposition of the constitutional President, his expulsion from the country and his seclusion, even today, under precarious conditions in the enclosed Embassy of a sister country.” In the same meeting, however, the U.S. and Costa Rican ambassadors to the OAS commended the elections; Carmen Lomellin of the U.S. cited that in her assessment, “nearly two-thirds of registered voters” qualified the election “remarkably free, fair, and transparent.” The Miami Herald reports that the Carter Center opted not to participate because the country had not established a “national unity government” and because the congressional vote to restore Zelaya was not scheduled to take place until after the elections. Similarly, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s official spokesman Farhan Haq told Prensa Latina that it would play no role in the Honduran elections because of the lack of a consensus to finding a resolution to the crisis.
In the absence of formal election oversight, monitoring delegations were mobilized by the far right International Republican Institute (IRI) as well as the more moderate National Democratic Institute (NDI), organizations mainly funded by the U.S. government to purportedly advance democracy and support democratic institutions in the developing world. With grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the IRI and NDI each sent approximately 20 international experts from the United States, Europe, and Latin America to monitor the conduct and proceedings on election day. In a preliminary statement, the IRI praised the “credible and peaceful” elections, as observed by their delegates at over 100 polling stations throughout the country. While the NDI preliminary report also praised the overall transparency and professionalism of the elections, the organization diverged from the IRI on the question of credibility. The NDI was careful to qualify its observations as strictly informal, as their mission did not fulfill the standards of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.
The NDI delegates noted that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal offered funding to many international delegations and, in violation of accepted observation standards, “a number of observers accepted this offer.” The report also made reference to the “forcibly dispersed” protest in San Pedro Sula, which was not included in the IRI report. The NDI mission worked in collaboration with Hagamos Democracia, its civic partner in the region, acting as part of a coalition of Honduran civil society organizations, which altogether organized 1,400 Honduran volunteers to monitor the elections. However, due to the small size and short duration of these missions, their limited observation efforts cannot be considered an authoritative assessment of the elections according to widely acknowledged international standards.
U.S. Response
Despite substantial evidence pointing to deeply disturbing discrepancies in the official voter turnout, State Department officials have continued to cite a 62% voter participation rate, and maintain that the figure legitimizes the election, and should be looked upon as a positive step towards democratic reconciliation. On November 29, the day of the election, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly announced that his agency commended the election. Shortly after the election results began to be released, Kelly speculated, “Turnout appears to have exceeded that of the last presidential election. This shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country.” However, this interpretation of the results rests precariously on the authenticity of elections staged by a coup regime in the absence of formal international observation standards.
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela also has commended the election. On November 30, he stated, “We see this election as a very important step forward for Honduras, and I would like to commend the Honduran people for an election that met international standards of fairness and transparency despite some incidents that were reported here and there.” Valenzuela, who many had hoped would champion progressive policies in Latin America, instead has continued to emphasize the State Department’s line that the election is a step towards democratic reconciliation. “We see, again, the elections as a necessary step forward, but not a sufficient one…because the elections provide the Honduran people for a way out,” said Valenzuela. When asked if the U.S. recognizes Lobo as the president-elect of Honduras, he skillfully sidestepped the question, diplomatically stating that “the United States takes note of the election,” and that Washington recognizes that Lobo won the election.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised what she calls Lobo’s victory, stating that, “We [the United States] stand with the Honduran people and we will continue to work closely with others in the region who seek to determine the democratic way forward for Honduras.” Moreover, State Department officials adamantly stressed that the campaign and lead-up to the election had developed well before the June coup, perhaps a statement meant to provide additional justification for the elections to be recognized.
In an interview with the COHA regarding the discrepancies in the reported abstention rate, a representative from the State Department acknowledged that the agency received its figures from the TSE, but emphasized the informal nature of the numbers they cite. The representative also stated that the number of Honduran nationals who currently live outside of the country significantly added to the abstention rate. Furthermore, the State Department representative recognized that although the official election figures are not scheduled for release until December 30, their sources signal that the NDI, IRI, and other NGOs all agree that Lobo had at least a 15-20% lead against his opponents. Zelaya’s call to abstain from voting in the elections may also have affected the congressional race. The Liberal Party, to which Zelaya and Micheletti both belong, was voted out of its majority in Congress, and now holds a mere 44 seats, compared to 62 after the last elections.
Recognizing elections that the region’s three most respected legitimate and unbiased election observation teams refused to even attend must raise eyebrows. Furthermore, it sets a dangerous precedent in Honduras and for other democratically-elected governments in Latin America. The lack of impartial international observers, the undeniable human rights abuses that took place during the campaigning period and election, as well as the TSE’s apparent fabrication of high voter turnout figures for strategic political purposes, all evidence that the Honduran elections were something significantly less than free, fair, or transparent. The United States and the international community must look beyond selectively chosen information to independently and objectively evaluate the legitimacy of Honduras’s elections. The Obama administration must make a definitive break from the Latin American policy of its predecessors by rejecting the tainted truth offered by elections sponsored by the Micheletti government.: hondurasemb.org