Saturday, February 27, 2010

Changing the face of the same coin: Lobo dumps Military Chief Involved in Coup and replaces him with another high military officer charged by the authorities of the same

While the mass media is happily reporting that Lobo fired the military leaders responsible for leading the coup against then-president Manuel Zelaya last June, it is not reporting that 

General Carlos Cuéllar was one of the Generals charged by the Honduran Public Prosecutor with exiling President Manuel Zelaya Rosales on June 28, so its hard to see how moving from one golpista General to another is actually a response to international pressure to not have anyone associated with the coup as part of the Lobo Sosa government, but maybe its the degree to which Romeo Vasquez Velasquez is linked to the coup that necessitated his removal. In any case, this is not a radical change

General Vázquez Velázquez,  Venancio Cervantes Suazo (subjefe del Estado Mayor), Carlos Antonio Cuéllar Castillo (inspector general de las FF.AA.), Luis Javier Prince Suazo (jefe de la Fuerza Aérea), Miguel Ángel García Padgett (jefe del Ejército), y Juan Pablo Rodríguez Rodríguez (jefe de la Fuerza Naval), were prosecuted  by the authorities and later given amnesty to for crimes like abuse of authority and expatriation harming the State of Honduras. 

What's more, the same military junta that executed the coup is now intact with the exception of Vásquez Velázquez absence:

The Junta of Comandantes is integrated by six officers that are currently the Chief   Carlos Antonio Cuéllar Castillo; el subjefe del Estado Mayor, general de división Venancio Cervantes; el comandante de la Fuerza Aérea, general Javier Prince; el comandante del Ejército, general Miguel Angel García Padgett; el jefe de la Fuerza Naval, capitán de navío Juan Pablo Rodríguez y el Inspector General de las Fuerzas Armadas, cargo que está vacante porque hasta ayer lo ocupaba el hoy jefe del Estado Mayor.

ALL of these Military Chiefs are the SAME ones accused of having executed the coup and the same chiefs during the 28th coup and after. ALL OF THEM. The military junta now is the exact same one who executed the coup and media is reporting that Lobo "dismissed them all involved in the coup". 

In fact, they were the only eligible ones according to reports days before Cuellar Castillo was chosen Chief:

List of  de general proposed to substitute   Romeo Vásquez Velásquez

NombrePromociónCargo que ocupa
Gral. Venancio CervantesXVISub jefe de las FFAA
GralCarlos CuellarXVIIInspector de las FFAA
Gral. Luis Javier PrinceXVIICte. Fuerza Aérea
Gral. Miguel Ángel GarcíaXVIICte. Del Ejército
Contra almirante Juan Pablo RodríguezXVIIICte. Fuerza Naval

There is no doubt that international media does all it can to wash the face of the coup and report false information, this is just one evidence of the many lies reported by them, something  we Hondurans have witnessed since the events of June 28 th started to take place.

Also, it was obviously a crime  when Zelaya destituted Vásquez Velásquez before the coup, but it was UNDOUBTEDLY LEGAL when Lobo did the same. Crimes are not crimes if the right people do it.

Repression continues under new Honduran government

february 26 2010
Death squads appear to be operating freely in Honduras, in spite of claims by the United States and Honduran leaders that the election of President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo of the conservative National Party on November 29 would produce peace and normality.
Unions and peasant and other popular organizations have stayed mobilized to be able to respond to efforts to roll back progressive changes instituted by former president Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, such as increases in minimum wage, labor and women's rights and land reform.
On Thursday, February 25, parties unknown murdered an activist of the left wing resistance movement that arose after the April 28, 2009 coup d'état that overthrew Zelaya.
Claudia Larisa Brizuela Rodriguez was shot to death in front of her home in the northern city of San Pedro Sula. The killing happened in broad daylight and in full view of her children, ages 2 and 8. 
Ms. Brizuela Rodriguez was an active member of the National People's Resistance Front (FNRP) and the daughter of the host of pro-Zelaya Radio UNO, Pedro Brizuela. The radio station and its staff have been the target of numerous threats because of their opposition to the coup.
She is the third resistance leader to be murdered in this fashion since Lobo was sworn in as president on January 27.  On February 3, FNRP activist Vanessa Yaneth Zepeda was kidnapped and later found murdered, her body thrown from a moving vehicle by unknown parties. She too was a mother of three children.  At the time of her murder Zepeda was 29 years old and was considered to have great potential as a future mass leader in her country.
The third person to be murdered, on February 15, was Julio Funes, a labor leader in the Water and Sewage Workers Union (SITRASANAA) and also a resistance activist, was shot down by four unknown men who came up to him in a taxi, in the town of Comayaguela.
There are numerous other reports of threats, beatings, rapes and other attacks on people associated with pro-Zelaya and anti-coup unions, civic organizations organizations and media entities. The FNRP says that the total number of such incidents is now in the hundreds just since Lobo took power.  The Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared People in Honduras (COFADEH) says that several hundred people have had to flee the country because of persecution.  However, Honduran police sources claim that there is no proof that any of these incidents are politically motivated; pointing out that the crime rate in the country is very high.
Most countries in the region are still not affording diplomatic recognition to Lobo's government because of the dubious way the election was carried out, with a coup regime in power and troops in the streets repressing its opponents. The U.S. government has been focusing on getting the Lobo regime recognized as well as promoting a "truth commission" headed by former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein to find out why the coup happened. Yet, many organizations oppose this, pointing out that the reasons for the coup are hardly a secret, and that the coup leaders have already arranged pardons for themselves while continuing to demand prosecution of Zelaya and several of his cabinet members.  The resistance is focusing on the fight for a constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran constitution to allow for much more mass participation in governance.
The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is asking that people in the U.S. call the State Department Bureau of Human Rights at 202-647-4000 to ask that the U.S. government exert pressure on the Honduran government to put an end to these abuses.  Details can be found on the CISPES website.

122 dead in Chile after 8.8 magnitude earthquake: Pacific nations brace for tsunami

by David Batty

Islands evacuate coastal areas as Chilean president declares state of catastrophe after deadly quake of magnitude 8.8A collapsed highway near Santiago after an earthquake hit Chile
A collapsed highway near Santiago after an earthquake hit Chile. Photograph: David Lillo/AP
A wide array of Pacific nations, including the US, Australia, the Phillipines to Japan, are bracing for potentially devastating tidal waves after a massive earthquake in Chile triggered a tsunami which is radiating across the ocean.
The quake, with a magnitude of 8.8, has already killed at least 120 people in mainland Chile and prompted the evacuation of coastal areas on Easter Island – famous for its monumental stone statues – as well as Samoa and American Samoa.
Countries across the Asia-Pacific region are readying emergency measures drawn up after the Indian Ocean quake of 2004, with the tsunami expected to hit in the next 24 hours.
Michelle Bachelet, the outgoing Chilean president, declared a "state of catastrophe" in central Chile and said a huge tidal wave had swept into the Juan Fernandez Islands. Local radio stations reported serious damage on the archipelago, which reputedly inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe.
The president-elect, Sebastian Pinera, said more than 120 people had died in the quake, and the toll was rising quickly. Bachelet said there were more than 85 deaths just in the Maule region, at the quake's epicentre.
"We have had a huge earthquake with some aftershocks. We're doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately. Without a doubt, with an earthquake of this magnitude, there will be more deaths," Bachelet said.
Chile's interior minister, Edmundo Perez Yoma, said: "It has been a devastating earthquake. The death toll will continue rising."
Warnings of tidal waves were issued in 53 other countries. The Pacific tsunami warning centre said the quake had generated a wave that could cause destruction along nearby shores "and could also be a threat to more distant coasts". It issued a tsunami warning for Chile, Peru and Hawaii, while Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica are also on alert.
"Chile probably got the brunt force of the tsunami already. So probably the worst has already happened in Chile," said Victor Sardina, geophysicist at the centre. "The tsunami was pretty big too. We reported some places around 8ft. And it's quite possible it would be higher in other areas."
The centre warned that waves up to 4.8 metres high could hit the coasts of the Hawaiian islands, with the first reaching Hawaii at 9pm GMT. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property," the centre said in a bulletin. "All shores are at risk no matter which direction they face."
It said the first waves after a quake were not necessarily the largest, and wave heights were difficult to predict because they can vary significantly along a coast due to the local topography.
Chile's navy said officials had lifted the tsunami warning in southern Chile, local radio reported. The Joint Australian tsunami warning centre warned of a "potential tsunami threat" to the states of New South Wales and Queensland, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.
The quake, which shook buildings as far away as Argentina, was centred 200 miles south-west of Santiago at a depth of 22 miles, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). It reported 11 aftershocks, five of them measuring 6.0 or above, in the two and a half hours following the quake. The epicentre was 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile's second largest city, with a population of about 670,000.
The USGS warned that an earthquake of magnitude 8 or above could cause "tremendous damage". The quake that devastated Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, in January was magnitude 7.0.
Santiago's international airport was forced to close, a highway bridge collapsed and rubble from damaged buildings fell on to the streets. Speaking to a local television station in Temuco, one witness said: "Never in my life have I experienced a quake like this, it's like the end of the world."
Chile is at a high risk of earthquakes because it lies on the boundary between the Pacific and South American tectonic plates. According to seismologists, there is usually about one quake of magnitude eight or more a year, and one reaching 8.8 would be expected only every few years.
Dr Brian Baptie, of the British Geological Survey, said: "In global terms this is a very rare quake. Chile has experienced some very big quakes in the past. It was about 124 miles north-east of the largest earthquake ever recorded – 9.5, in 1960 – which resulted in a destructive tsunami that killed many thousands of people around the Pacific."
He said a 1.3-metre tsunami wave was observed at Valparaiso about 20 minutes after the earthquake. "Tsunami waves in the deep ocean travel about the same speed as a jet plane and would take about 15 hours to reach Hawaii and about 20 hours to reach the other side of the Pacific," he said.
Dr David Rothery, senior lecturer at the Open University's department of earth and environmental sciences, said the tsunami was "now radiating away from the epicentre and travelling at several hundred kilometres per hour across the Pacific ocean".
The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile on 22 May 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1,655 people and left 2 million homeless, and caused a tsunami that killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.
That tsunami was about one to four metres in height, according to Japan's meteorological agency. It said the tsunami from today's quake was likely to be much smaller.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Regime orders militarization of Resistance march

Dina Meza
The march was massive
The march of the resistance on Thursday 25 February, where thousands used their voice as a weapon, the feet of thousands of members of the National Front for Popular Resistance FNRP were hungry for justice , but  boots, rifles, batons, shields,  hundreds of riot police patrols, and had orders to generate fear in people to dismantle the resistance.
The mass mobilization called by the FNRP left the National Pedagogical University towards the presidential palace, intending to reach Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who represents the regime, product of  militarized elections, yell at him to not be a liar regarding talks of a Truth Commission integrated by coup leaders.
Under the slogan Constituent Yes, Golpistas No, men, women, youth and children, enthusiastically marched through the streets of the capital, first trying to get to the Presidential Palace and then to Congress.
The march was militarized
By a house near the Presidential Palace a man who had foreign features, but who wore a uniform of the traffic police was  vigilant, but hid his face with a cap and avoided appearing in the video footage and photographs. According to reports from people who came to the Presidential Palace  where the dictator Micheletti usurped the presidential chair, there were several men who were not from  Honduras, in uniforms of the Armed Forces of our country.
The current regime repeats the same strategies as Roberto Micheletti Bain, who usurped power since June 28 when he ran the coup against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
The pattern is modeled, the denial of the facts, the militarization of peaceful demonstrations and a cynic speech calling for reconciliation, intended to be carried out at gunpoint, are the tools   Lobo Sosa is using to wash the dirty image he has.
Four youths were about to be caught by police, simply by going through the streets shouting the truth, the courage of about eight women prevented them from becoming  their prisoners.
These policemen were the ones who kidnapped the cameramen Ricardo Rodriguez and Manuel Murillo. They infiltrated the march
The generation of fear to the resistance had no effect, the call to mobilization was a success.
The rejection against the so-called Truth Commission and the slogan "Resistance is alive," were present.
Gunmen infiltrated the march, but were spotted by protesters, amongst  them  the recently kidnapped  cameramen  Ricardo Rodriguez and Manuel Murillo, also walked calmly.
The impunity in which this man is moving  is dangerous, monitoring  actions against the march, which then is handled information to act against members of the resistance they identify as their targets.
In this march he joined   the cops who spoke with him as if he were one of them. He drove a motorcycle without license plates and with the same characteristics as those used by police patrols.
The video were this stranger was  shown was   released Thursday afternoon in programs Interpreting the News and Noticiero Mi Nación that airs on TV Globo, which are monitored by state security bodies.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Murdered daughter of a member of the resistance in San Pedro Sula Wednesday February 24, 2010

The murderers knocked on the door of the house of Claudia Brizuela Larissa (39) who was shot several times inflicting instant death at about two o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday February 24th in San Pedro Sula, on the eve of a great mobilization called by the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular FNRP in the capital.
She is the daughter of Pedro  Brizuela, a renowned member of FNRP, who noted that the country is a police state that monitors, pursues and kills people who decided to take to the streets to demand the return of institutionalism.
Claudia's murder is already the third one committed under  the regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Vanessa Zepeda, who was murdered on 03 February and Julio Fúnez Benitez, gunned down by paramilitaries.
Claudia was shot in the head, when she was at his house in Colonia Celeo Gonzalez. Her children, Said (2) and Eduard(8)  are now orphaned.
Pedro Brizuela a committed member of the resistance and former union leader, told that the crime of his daughter is a shameful fact that is directly related to their participation in the FNRP.
Claudia's body is being veiled at  the Sindicate of the Municipality of San Pedro Sula, moved to where dozens of resistance members can offer their condolences to his father.
According to data provided by neighbors, a woman who saw the criminal act was arrested by the police and even in the early hours of the afternoon no one knew her whereabouts, the suspicion is that they  may  disappear her to leave no traces.
Now the selective repression targets women
Coinciding with the murder of Claudia, the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH, received more than three complaints in the afternoon, they  said women  had received death threats on their cell phone, another was persecuted with a vehicle and three others reported harassment through phone calls.
One of them threatened to kill her son and people very closely related to her.

Opening the door she was shot several times in the head
Another  victim of persecution since Aug. 12 was when some 25 policemen brutally beat her to the degree of crack teeth, hitting her on the face, as  product of that she  lost  sight on her right eye and has serious problems in her spine.
Three more, belonging to the feminist collective of University Women, COFEMUN expressed before COFADEH that even agents of National Bureau of Investigation have called to their phone to ask for clandestine abortion clinics as a way of intimidating their work in defending  women's rights and taking advantage of impunity  of  all sorts of crimes committed  against the people of Honduras by the previous and current regime.

The worrying part is that all this climate of terror has its scene a few hours before the start of a demonstration called by the FNRP starting at eight in the morning on Thursday, and where thousands of people will participate.
But violence against the resistance has increased since January 28 when Óscar Álvarez became the current Security Minister, who stated that the resistance should be dismantled because it has no rationale.
In a press conference on Tuesday,  FNRP rejected the Truth Commission because of it being driven by the coup leaders themselves and has already clear signs that the aim is to leave them with impunity, the human rights violations that only 28 days in the current system run to some 254.
This whole scenario contrasts with the "agility" of the Public Prosecutor in dismissing the cases against the military that violated freedom of expression of Radio Globo in recent months. The prosecutor himself has said that the office will act to close trials for human rights violations, but that they have been established by the prosecution as mere abuse of authority, agreeing with the crimes included in an amnesty decree, which the coup leaders say it applies to President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pepe Lobo’s security forces targeting children of FNRP leaders?

By Arturo J. Viscarra
Elizabeth Gutierrez Reyes is the coordinator of the National People’s Resistance Front (FNRP) for Puerto Cortés, the port city a half hour to the north of Honduras’s industrial capital, San Pedro Sula. She has also championed maquila workers’ rights through the labor federation FESITRADEH, and the working women’s collective COMUTRA. In 2009, Elizabeth spoke throughout the US regarding the sorry state of labor rights in the Honduran maquila industry.
Elizabeth was an attendee at the FNRP’s first ever National Assembly in Siguatepeque, held February 12-13. The assembly produced the documents that outlined the Resistance’s organizational values, goals and working structure. Siguatepeque was a tremendous success that showcased the FNRP’s incredible abilities to overcome internal differences and the constant threat of politically motivated violence – a threat that once again was acted upon when Resistance member Hermes Reyes was attacked by right-wing extremists during a break from the assembly. Elizabeth almost missed the historic gathering due to another incident of political violence.
On Thursday, February 11, 2010, Elizabeth’s 14 year-old daughter [name withheld] was following her usual routine when she was savagely attacked by a group of “well-dressed” adults.
As passengers began to board the bus that takes Elizabeth’s daughter home from school, an approximately 30-year old man in a collared shirt pulled her close to him and said something along the lines of, “Be careful not to scream, or I will kill you.” She noticed that he had a handgun in a holster under his jacket. Once they had their young victim isolated, the gun-toting man and several women dressed in business suits began to assault the teenager while yelling profanities at her. The violent group disparaged her mother repeatedly during the 10-15 minute long assault. The teenager immediately sensed that the ambush was related to her mother’s involvement in the FNRP.
Elizabeth’s daughter was left with several bruises on her body and severe scratches all over her face. Three days after the attack, I was able to personally confirm the existence of numerous long and deep scratch marks that covered parts of her forehead, cheeks, nose, and the areas around her mouth and eyes. It was apparent from her injuries that the 30-something year-old women who attacked the teen purposefully attempted to inflict psychological and physical harm by targeting the teenager’s face.
Ms. Gutierrez Reyes looked very upset as her daughter recounted the incident in a Puerto Cortés café. Elizabeth believes the assailants meant to prevent her from attending the FNRP’s National Assembly, which was set to begin in Siguatepeque the day after her daughter was attacked. Elizabeth was undeterred, and attended the assembly while friends and family members cared for her injured daughter.
The persecution of activists’ family members is a well-known (and often effective) strategy of right-wing extremist groups in Central America. Armed with the knowledge that some resisters will not be deterred by any violent means short of assassination, police, military and paramilitary groups cowardly target their loved ones in an attempt to guilt them into silence. Elizabeth is well aware of this strategy and has discussed the risks associated with her activities with her family. They have decided that they have no choice but to continue to fight for justice in Honduras. When asked if she believed in the Resistance’s cause, Elizabeth’s strikingly beautiful young daughter did not hesitate to answer yes.
The family reported the shameful incident to several state and non-state human rights organizations. Elizabeth and her daughter had an appointment with the state’s Human Rights Commission last Monday. Despite attempts to follow up on the outcome of the meeting (as well as the family’s condition), it is uncertain what steps the authorities were planning on taking in order to apprehend the assailants. Prior to the meeting, the family expressed little confidence in the will of Pepe Lobo’s Human Rights Commission to truly investigate the brutal crime.

254 human rights violations committed under the Pepe Lobo regime

The news conference was held at the headquarters of Cofadeh

In less than a month of the arrival to power of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, 254   human rights violations were commited, about nine cases per day, which contradicts the discourse of respect for fundamental rights preached  on a daily basis before the international community.
This was informed through a press conference the National Front for Popular Resistance FNRP, where it  participated as a delegate invited to the Platform for Human Rights.
Lobo Sosa, became president product  of the coup of 28 June 2009, through elections that were not transparent, totally militarized and under strong repression of the national resistance that remains standing against the coup and proceeds to action for a Constituent National Assembly.
Jari Dixon, José Luis Baquedano, Rodil Rodil Rivera, Gilberto Rios of FNRP and the Platform for Human Rights, addressed national and international journalists of the dangers of the international community not requiring  concrete things, visible results of Lobo Sosa, whose main objective is to soften the position it adopted since it carried out the coup against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
"With the Truth Commission, which is only going to get the truth from their side, they want to clean a dirty face increasingly getting dirtier  with human rights violations being committed, the objective of the scheme is the international community recognition of the regime, "said Dixon.
He said the goal is clear since 28 June, it wants to dismantle the resistance, but this is not going to divide as they want to, because the people of Honduras have more clarity than ever with regard to progress towards the Constituent Assembly.
Gilberto Rios said that the scheme is expressed by torture, killings and all these scenes of terror mounted by the security minister, whom you know their stage performances since he took the same position in the government of Ricardo Maduro. 
Jari Dixon Spotlight
Now he  threatens to punish  any resistance bastion of adjournment , and he says he will enforce the law, but in the interests of the oligarchy that led the coup, he said.
Mery Agurcia In this regard  told the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH,   arguing Rios approaches in  figures, which stressed that it is true that there is NO respect for human rights.
"We can relate the assassination of Julio Fúnez Benítez and selectivity patterns used from June to November 2009.
Vanessa Zepeda's case is similar to one registered in October 2009, then we see two types of murder, shooting with typical actions of state security elements and  another one which does not seem to take place through  weapons, but where you can find  hallmarks, which could reveal the involvement of  medical corps, "complained Agurcia Mery.
The statistics are handled by the COFADEH that in only 28 days in the current regime there have been 53 illegal detentions, 2 sexual assaults, 2 murders, 8 cases of torture, 2 kidnappings, 14 raids, 23 neighborhoods profiled by security forces as Resistentes  were cateados and after hours.
In addition 150 people have left the country as political refugees to neighboring countries, Canada, USA, Spain and others, 25 have changed the city and 30 have moved to another residence
Meanwhile José Luis Baquedano, said that the repressive state apparatus remains intact and so far the same hierarchy remains in front. "On the early mornings you're getting the youth fear that has been part of the resistance, and militarized society continues.
With regard to the Truth Commission Rodil Rivera, said it is a very important issue for Honduran society but intended to be the same as towards the reconciliation of the Honduran family. 
Mery Agurcia of Cofadeh
"We believe that this is not correct, a Truth Commission to actually give the truth to the Honduran people, with all the detail of the case to publicize what happened before, before and after the coup , to say the names of those who participated in the coup, the Commission should give specific recommendations , "said Rivera.
He wondered how it will be reconciliation after it has been a coup, crimes, persecution, torture, rape as tremendous human rights abuses, when the Supreme Court has cleared the military coup implementers?.
He stressed that without the proper administration of justice there can not be reconciliation, all which will accomplish that "reconciliation" is a National Constituent Assembly to be representative of Honduran society, which will  really restore constitutional order and lay the foundations for development, resolution of major problems "and that reconciliation does not occur by decree."
When asked by journalists in relation to which the international community envisions  to normalize relations with Honduras, Rivera said that it  does not remove the international condemnation of human rights violations, "first there was international consensus that recognized Manuel Zelaya as the sole legitimate president of Honduras until 27 January. "
On the position to have the Platform for Human Rights at the increasing violations of human rights, Gilberto Rios said that "we have taken a position that will investigate the facts, punish the perpetrators and reparations to the victims. "
The essential point that has handled the platform on the position of Pepe Lobo regime and pressure from the U.S. Embassy has made it a condition that this committee, we can not believe a truth commission that will judge a political criminal is armed and who has political power in the country.
Faced with the question of whether it is time that the EU recognizes the government, Rodil Rodil Rivera said no, they should demand more, not just a commission, but that this government really should begin to amend all these atrocities committed , especially on human rights violations, deduct those responsible accountable.
View press FNRP

Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda, 27 year old union leader, mother and nurse assassinated in Honduras 0)
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By Statement of Protest
Presente Honduras
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010

Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda, 27 year old union leader,
mother and nurse assassinated in Honduras
The right to organize is a basic human right of every worker. It is a right defended by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Honduras, that right is being denied on a daily basis.
Since the 1980s, militarists in Honduras have trained paramilitary forces to torture and murder labor unionists and other activists to prevent the people from exercising their basic right to resist exploitation and oppression.
When the U.S.-backed military coup against the legally elected President Jose Manuel Zelaya took place last June,  many of the military participants were the perpetrators of this travesty. They discharged their military, paramilitary and police forces to torture and murder labor union leaders, students, LGBT activists and peasants.
The U.S. government may claim that the election of José "Pepe" Lobo was a "triumph of democracy," but that is an out and out lie. The remnants and new recruits of the genocidal U.S.- trained Battalion 3-16 are still conducting political assassinations in Honduras. 
Since the coup, our fellow labor activists have been murdered at an unprecedented rate, and murdered stealthily in a way that allows the Lobo government to claim that these murders were not political.
But the murder of the  leader of the SITRAIHSS labor union (Workers Union for the Honduran Social Security Institute),  Vanessa Zepeda,  who was abducted when she was leaving a union meeting, leaves no doubt in our minds that this is an OFFICIAL POLICY and OFFICIAL COVER-UP by the fraudulently elected Lobo government.
We the undersigned members of
U.S. labor unions as well as progressive organizations, declare our opposition to this official policy of neo- fascist repression in Honduras, and call upon our own unions to denounce this illegitimate government, and to support our fellow unionists in Honduras. . .
Furthermore, we oppose the enabling role the U.S. government has played in the election and “legitimizing” of the Lobo regime, which is only an attempt to justify and sanitize the criminal coup of June 2009.

Anne Pruden
Bryan G. Pfeifer, Staff Organizer, Union of Part-Time Faculty-AFT, Wayne State University, Detroit*
Gavrielle Gemma
Greg Dunkel, Professional Staff Congress-CUNY
Heather Cottin:  Plainview-Old Bethpage Congress of Teachers: Retired, PSC-CUNY
LeiLani Dowell, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together
Martha Grevatt , Chair, Civil and Human Rights Committee, UAW Local 122*
Milt Rosenberg
Sean P. Schafron, Coraopolis, PA 15108
Teresa Gutierrez, National IAC Coordinator,  Immigrant and Latin American Projects, Co-Coordinator May 1st Coalition
Berta H. Joubert-Ceci, MD, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dave Welsh: Delegate, San Francisco (Calif.) Labor Council
Gloria Rubac, Houston Federation of Teachers, Local 2415, Retired
Joan Marquardt
Leslie Feinberg: Co-founder Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban 5
Mike Gimbel; DC 37, New York City Labor Council Delegate
Michael Kramer, Jersey City, New Jersey, Vets for Peace
Monica Moorehead, Millions for Mumia
Shelley Ettinger, member, AFT Local 3882
Sue Harris, co-director- Peoples Video Network
Wellington Echegaray, Colombian activist
Sharon Black, Bail Out the People Movement Union Coordinator
Joe Piette, Mail Handlers Union, Philadelphia
Brenda Stokely, Million Worker March
Hannah Frisch, Chicago
Mike Gimbel, Local 375 AFSCME Chair of Labor/Community Unity Committee
Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News Wire
Gregory Butterfield, member, National Organization of Legal Service Workers Local 2320, UAW *
Michelle Gore-Butterfield, member, Theatrical Wardrobe Union Local 764, IATSE *
Nayereh Tohidi, Ph.D, Professor,Department of Gender & Women's Studies, California State University, Northridge
Tom Paine Cronin
Chuck Kaufman, Alliance for Global Justice
Andy Griggs, L.A. -United Teachers Los Angeles (NEA/AFT)*, Screen Actors Guild*, Actor's Equity* For identification purposes only
Ron Chew, Oak Park, IL 60302
Maria Urbina Gonzalez
Diana Canales
Dale Sorensen, California, USA
Allan Fisher, AFT Local 2121
Chito Quijano, Auditor, International League of Peoples' Struggle & Lead Organizer, CNA/National Nurses United
Panama Alba
Louis Barrios
Les Blough, Editor, Axis of Logic