Friday, November 5, 2010

Union leader suffers murder attempt after participating in demonstration

Murder attempt from motorcycle on President of SITRAPANI

THURSDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2010 10:33 
By Dina Meza

Pedro Vicente Elvir, president of the Union of Workers of the National Children's SITRAPANI
A man who was traveling on a motorcycle shot Elvir Pedro Vicente, president of the Union of Workers of the National Children's Foundation, SITRAPANI, after the unionist participated in a march on Wednesday November 3, against the Labour Code Reform being formulated  in Congress.
Since the coup, SITRAPANI has been subjected to various forms of repression, including a machine-gun attack on the building of the National Children's Foundation, PANI, where the headquarters of the union are located, threats, surveillance and monitoring against members of the organization.
Elvir told that after participating along with all the union in the march, he traveled to the offices of SITRAPANI, waited there until about ten past six p.m. to then head home, when he was about  to open the door of his house, a man on a motorcycle stopped in front of him and after asking for directions, pulled a gun, but the president of SITRAPANI dropped to the floor and began rolling and shouting to attract attention from neighbors.
"When I saw that  he took out  the gun I dropped to the floor and started rolling and screaming for him to believe that I was wounded, he became very nervous and fled in his motorbike," said the union leader, while warning it will not be with attacks that they are going to prevent him to keep fighting.
According to what he confirmed with PANI guards, the same man of thin build, tall, with a half helmet and a red bike was the same one who prowled the building where the SITRAPANI is located before attacking Pedro Elvir.

The SITRAPANI held a rally in solidarity with their leader
On Thursday morning, SITRAPANI held a rally in solidarity with their leader, where they expressed to him sentences of support and  the ratification that they will remain in the streets, where they have remained for decade and that it is not the first time that  they suffer repression. They  recalled that because of this struggle, Gustavo Morales, who then ran the union, was forcibly disappeared by the repressive forces of the State.
The attempt on his physical integrity happens  at a time when  the Truth Commission is in the country, where Pedro  Elvir as well as several SITRAPANI leaders will go to denounce the attack that he suffered.
A delegation of the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH,  came to show solidarity with Pedro Elvir and all SITRAPANI, where he said that he will denounce this new act of repression.
"We know who is responsible and all members of the SITRAPANI are threatened because this is not for fellow Pedro Elvir, but for the entire organization, everyone knows that the SITRAPANI is belligerent, on television the only blanket that appeared is that of SITRAPANI, this is why we are all marked and they have records of all members, but this threat should not scare us, because if we keep quiet they will break our organization, "said one of the unionists.

The SITRAPANI united will never be defeated, and union members chanted, while on a solidarity rally.
"I remember years ago when the union was being persecuted by the police and other repressive bodies. The union's life has always been brutal, many comrades have died, have been jailed and now what happens to Pedro Elvir  goes against the rights of workers, "said another union member.
Juana, a trade unionist, said that   several comrades from other unions have been killed, now it is against the SITRAPANI. Remember that we all walk in the streets, I have no fear because since the 80's we walked in the streets, now it's up to us. We must be careful because there are many suspects all around the institution, remember that success is close, we will die but other generations are coming behind us.
What happened to comrade Pedro is a cruel and cowardly act because they haven't been able to defeat us and they want to achieve it by generating terror, that we do not go out into the street, but they already opened files on all of us, we have to take to the streets whether we want it or not, because here  a general chaos is being created  because there is impunity here. 

The SITRAPANI united will never be defeated,  union members chanted while on a solidarity rally.
"We know that each of us is  at risk but we should not cease the struggle, I hope that this attack would serve to strengthen this organization, those who still are not convinced that we're touching the oligarchs' interests  now become convinced and that we define ourselves consciously in the struggle , "said a trade unionist.
"May the flame not turn off  because there  will always be something to fight for," is the slogan that  SITRAPANI has on the building's entrance, this is why we must fight. If  life has to be given away to make changes in this country, then  we have to do it,  said Marco, one of the unionists who were at the rally, vehemently.

Pedro Vicente Elvir went to the police to report the criminal attack, but there they refused to receive it(the complain), arguing that the police station has no system(network).
So far, during  the present regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the following trade unionists have been murdered:  Julio Funes Benítez, killed a few blocks from his residence after attending a meeting of his union, the SITRASANAA.
Vanessa Zepeda, thrown out  from a moving vehicle several hours after she disappeared, she was affiliated with the Union of Social Security, SITRAIHSS.
Juana Bustillo, killed by strangers after she left a meeting with the union at night, she was president of the branch number two of SITRAIHSS.
Last year  Jairo Sanchez, president of the Union of Workers of the National Vocational Training Institute, INFOP, was also killed when police fired at  a demonstration where he was  at close range, other people were also wounded by gunfire.
Also watched and harassed have been the unionists of STIBYS, headquarters of the resistance. Its leaders have been seriously threatened. Armed men entered the headquarters of this organization in San Pedro Sula, where  one of its members was gun wounded, among  many other acts of repression.

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