Saturday, December 23, 2017

No to US support for electoral fraud and repression by Honduran dictator!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Open Letter to the People of the U.S. from Opposition Alliance Coordinator and Ex-President Manuel Zelaya Rosales

Open Letter to the People of the United States
People of the United States:
 
For the past century, the owners of the fruit companies called our country "Banana Republic" and characterized our politicians as "cheaper than a mule" (as in the infamous Rolston letter).
 
Thousands of Hondurans protest at U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa

Honduras, a dignified nation, has had the misfortune of having a ruling class lacking in ethical principles that kowtows to U.S. transnational corporations, condemning our country to backwardness and extreme poverty.
We have been subject to horrible dictatorships that have enjoyed U.S. support, under the premise that an outlaw is good for us if he serves transnational interests well. We have reached the point that today we are treated as less than a colony to which the U.S. government does not even deign to appoint an ambassador. Your government has installed a dictatorship in the person of Mr. Hernández, who acts as a provincial governor--spineless and obedient toward transnational companies, but a tyrant who uses terror tactics to oppress his own people. Certain sectors of Honduran private industry have also suffered greatly from punitive taxes and persecution.

You, the people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy, transparency, freedom and human rights in Honduras. But the State Department and Heide Fulton, the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires who is serving as de facto Ambassador to Honduras, are supporting blatant electoral fraud favoring Mr. Hernández, who has repeatedly violated the Honduran Constitution and (as noted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) basic human rights. He is responsible for the scandalous looting of USD $350 million from the Honduran Social Security Institute and while he lies to you shamelessly that he is fighting drug cartels, he has destroyed the rule of law by stacking the Supreme Court with justices loyal to him.

The people of the United States have the right to know that in Honduras your taxes are used to finance, train and run institutions that oppress the people, such as the armed forces and the police, both of which are well known to run death squads (like those that grew out of Plan Colombia) and which are also deeply integrated with drug cartels.

People of the United States: the immoral support of your government has been so two-faced that for eight consecutive years the U.S. Millenium Challenge Corporation has determined that the Hernandez regime does not qualify for aid because of the government’s corruption, failing in all measures of transparency. With this record, the Honduran people ask: Why is the U.S. Government willing to recognize as president a man who the Honduran people voted against, and who they wish to see leave office immediately?

People of the United States: We ask you to spread the word, to stand up to your government’s lies about supporting democracy, freedom, human rights and justice, and to demand that your elected representatives immediately end U.S. support for the scandalous electoral fraud against the people of Honduras, who have taken to the streets to demand recognition of the victory of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship and of President-Elect Salvador Alejandro César Nasralla Salúm.

We can tolerate difference and conflict, seeking peaceful solutions as a sovereign people, but your government’s intervention in favor of the dictatorship only exacerbates our differences.

The electoral fraud supported by the U.S. State Department in favor of the dictatorship has forced our people to protest massively throughout the country, despite savage government repression that has taken the lives of more than 34 young people since the election, and in which hundreds of protestors have been criminalized and imprisoned.

We stand in solidarity with the North American people; we share much more with you than the fact that the one percent has bought off the political leaders of both our nations.

As descendants of the Independence hero Morazán, we want to live in peace, with justice and in democracy.

The Honduran people want to have good relations with the United States, but with respect and reciprocity.

Tegucigalpa, December 21, 2017

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Constitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras 2005-2010
Chief Coordinator, Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"This is an insurrection" - Honduran journalist Sandra Maribel Sánchez

This is an insurrection
Interview with Sandra Maribel Sánchez
Introduction and interview: Melissa Cardoza
Translation: Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle
Photo: Chris Jeske during La Voz de los de Abajo human rights delegation
For those who don’t know her, Sandra is a journalist who has worked political beats for decades and for very challenging outlets for someone of her profession. Her columns and opinions question and influence. They share characteristics that are scarce in Honduran media: responsibility, ethics, veracity and tenacity.

What is going on today, December 19th, 2107 in Honduras?
What is happening is that the formal institutional framework is a hollow shell, which recognizes Juan Orlando Hernández as President of Honduras at the same time there is a majority expression by the people in the streets resisting that statement and the possibility of this man staying in power. This is because people feel violated, abused, robbed by the Honduran authorities and also by those organizations that send observation missions. The people know who they voted for and that’s what they talk about in their barrios, their communities, in the public spaces.

With all of the evidence that has come to light about the process it is evident that Nasralla won the elections, and even people who didn’t believe in him, in this moment they are defending the will of the people who voted for him and their struggle against the fraud. Here they have stolen everything from us, education, healthcare, highways, but the people feel that this is their limit, this has them mobilized and it has the businessmen afraid. Those who supported Juan Orlando threw gas on the fire and now they ask for everything to be resovled with dialogue. They are the ones who created the conditions for this to happen.

I have hope that out of this the possiblity of dialogue will arise, but not the one they call for, but rather a National Constitutional Assembly where all actors can be on a level playing field and where we reach a true social pact. Because the 1982 constitution was a pact between political and military elites, the people had no voice in it. Now the people like never before have the level of consciousness needed to pursue that end and they are willing to do anything. I cannot help but be a little afraid, but insurrection is a right that the constitution guarantees, and that is where there is an opening for people not to have to live under governments imposed through force, and that is what is happening in the country. The electoral tribunal can prounounce him President, but he is being imposed through force, he is imposing himself through force, through the military police and the army. They build that police force to act as a political police exactly as it is behaving, and they gave the military a lot of rewards in exchange for their loyalty.

The tribunal declaring him winner is irrelevant to everybody. What the people are afraid of is the participation of the military, because they aren’t just going after those they think commit crimes when they protest, they are going to people’s homes, launching tear gas, attacking little boys and girls, the elderly, without any regard, that is what they were trained for. We are at that moment. The people who had taken no position to this point are now raising their heads and joining the expressions of the majority that are taking place in the country.

What is the most striking thing that you see in the streets, in these times?
Photo/  foto: Chris Jeske
The people say that if they haven’t killed you through hunger, they will still kill you after the dictator is installed, that they have no doubt that if he consolidates his power he will have them killed. Terrible- one young man said it just like that, that what might change is the moment he dies, but that this government will kill him, because its military targets are the poorest barrios. That is where they are most vicious,  because that is where the people from whom this government has stolen everything live. That’s the dimension of people’s determination.

And women?


Photo/foto: Chris Jeske
On the front line. Everywhere I have gone they have been there. The cameras go to places to take pictures where there are fires or striking images, but women’s attitude is incredible. They have tremendous strength confronting tear gas, and they go right up to where the police are, even though they have their helmets and sheilds, their gas masks, they don’t care. The women go with their children because they have to watch out for them, and they go out with them. It isn’t because they are irresponsible like some say. They are in ther barrios, their homes. The women go out with them to save them. In my whole professional life, in my personal life, I have never seen people so willing to be in the street, any government with the least amount of sense would have to see what is happening and act based on that criteria.

What is sustaining the dictator for this to be able to happen?
The true rulers of this country. Although they are wavering because they are losing a lot. We’ve been told that in Trujillo the ships that get to the port to pick up bananas go back empty because on the roads between Colón and Atlántida there around 320 banana shipments that have not been able to get through. This is happening in many places. Look, yesm there are people that commit crimes, that are looting and breaking windows, but that is part of the fury in people. The media try to conflate the gang members with the people who are in the streets, but even the gang members are the product of the system. They are the product of the deprivation that the system subjects them to. They are Hondurans, and they live here. You and I have may have been able to go to school, pay for a house, go out to get food and take care of things, but there are people here who have none of that. It is impossible to wrap your mind around how a family of six could survive on a salary of $340 / month [Honduras’s minimum wage].

And the embassy?
That’s another major actor, not just the U.S. one that always holds us down, but all of them because the European Union is playing a role, which at the beginning seemed separate from that of the U.S.. But it was an illusion, the chief of the mission who supposedly is a progressive woman said some strong things at one moment that generated certain confidence and expectations, but then since that they have not questioned the status quo. There is a level of collusion between those embassies, they see the country on fire and people killed and don’t even really care.

With regard to the latest from the OAS secretary, who we have no reason to trust, at least they offer a proposal for a way out. But these guys are dead set on staying in power. There is known scientific evidence that there was fraud, but in the face of scientific evidence they close their eyes and deny the political reality. I think that Almagro in the short term wants to justify intervention in Venezuela and he needs to clean up his image, and the gringos themselves may have given him the go-ahead, but we have seen statements from the State Department that say that the Opposition Alliance has five days to submit objections to a tribunal that lacks legitimacy. In this country neither the healthcare system nor the educational system are functioning, the police exist to attack the population not protect it, here a minority makes the political and economic decisions and they want us to believe in that set of institutions, to rely on them to take our objections to these processes. That can’t be.

I have faith that the people who took to the streets in 2009, who spent over 150 days in the streets resisting the coup and due to bad decisions by some politicians did not end up with a constitutional assembly, may now be able to get one. I think of that as just a tool to build a social pact, it isn’t the final objective, but I hope that the pressure on this man achieves at least that. Despite the millions that have been spent on tear gas they have not been able to defeat the population, yesterday in Villanueva they ran out of tear gas, of the barrels full of tear gas bombs they were carrying. The smoke was rising from in between houses, the white gas of their bombs. What kind of government is that?
This is an insurrection, and which way it goes I am convinced is influenced by the Alliance leadership, because some saw in them a path towards some light, but it goes beyond that; it is in the communities where orgaznied people amongst themselves are discussing what they are going to do and testing leadership, observing it and monitoring it.


That is wonderful.
Photo: Chris Jeske during La Voz de los de Abajo human rights delegation


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Social Movement Platform of Honduras: "The people’s victory is close and depends solely on the decisive, courageous and heroic struggle of the people in resistance"

COMMUNIQUE IN RESPONSE TO DECLARATION OF JUAN ORLANDO HERNANDEZ’S AS WINNER
The Platform of the Social and Popular Movement of Honduras communicates to the Honduran people, in this moment of grave national crisis, where again they seek to impose a coup d’état, this time in the form of a fraudulent presidential re-election, the following:

  1. We repudiate the resolution of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal that declared Juan Orlando Hernandez the president-elect and, therefore, we reject the widespread fraud orchestrated by the National Party, the national oligarchy and the government of the United States through their chargé d'affaires in Honduras.
  2. We demand the immediate resignation of Juan Orlando Hernández and all the members of his cabinet, who make up a spurious, illegal regime and are the face of an oligarchic dictatorship that seeks to impose itself through brute force against the interests of our people.
  3. We reject the ambiguous and complicit attitude of international organizations that have tried to protect and prolong a criminal dictatorship responsible for the murder of hundreds of our sisters and brothers, and the repression and torture of thousands of people throughout the whole country.

Through this means, we call on local organizations and the people of Honduras to:

  1. To take the streets, roads and public plazas. In the strategic areas, establish checkpoints that are set up with sufficient distances to wear down the military or police repression, until the fall of this spurious regime.
  2. Maintain control over our territories, guaranteeing respect and safety for our brothers and sisters in cities and communities throughout the country. Fight smartly, with determination and without unnecessary risks to the lives of all those in the popular struggle.
  3. To guarantee the sustainability of the struggle, by planning the distribution of food and all the necessary resources that will permit us to maintain what will likely be a prolonged resistance.
  4. To create teames in each community in resistance to document, make videos and denounce all the human rights violations committed by the dictatorship.
  5. To break the media siege by all possible means, using social media and especially our community radios throughout the national territory. We ask that when publishing notes or reports about th estruggles that we avoid giving names and filming the faces of comrades in the shots.
  6. To hold with dignity and bravery every takeover site or popular checkpoint. The people’s victory is close and depends solely on the decisive, courageous and heroic struggle of the people in resistance

Only the people can save the people!
Down with the dictatorship!


December 17th, 2017

COORDINACIÓN NACIONAL
Plataforma del Movimiento Social y Popular de Honduras





Monday, December 18, 2017

COPINH: For the blood spilled by Berta Cáceres and all of our ancestors, we demand the downfall of the murderous regime!

COPINH DOES NOT recognize the decision of the electoral tribunal, calls for grassroots mobilization

[Original en español]

The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) DOES NOT recognize the statement made yesterday by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) which claims  Juan Orlando Hernández as the winner. This decision represents the final consummation of the electoral fraud through which they seek to make a mockery of the Honduran people’s will expressed on November 26th, which is to expel the dictatorship and its corrupt cabal from the presidency. The fraud carried out throughout the process is clear and evident, starting with the illegality of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH)’s candidacy itself and especially in the hours following the closure of the polls when the opposition’s victory became apparent. With their timid statements the OAS and EU have corroborated what the people have already declared in the streets - all of the irregularities of the corrupt electoral process and Honduran state make clear that this is the imposition of a dictatorship. The statement by the TSE is yet another affront to the Honduran people and we denounce that all of its members who were involved should be prosecuted.

*COPINH calls for the permanent mobilization and organization in the streets of the Lenca and Honduran people as a whole to make the legitimate demand that JOH immediately step down, or, short of that, for there to be a new electoral process with guarantees and transparency, supervised by the international community, beyond the OAS and also including representation of the Honduran grassroots social movements.

*COPINH demands that the armed forces and Honduran police immediately cease their repression against the Honduran people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest a government based on imposition!

*COPINH calls on the international community to denounce the violent and murderous actions by agents of the state’s repressive forces, which have already taken 22 Honduran lives, and to push for the governments of the world to refuse recognition of the criminal declaration by Honduras’s TSE.

*COPINH and the Lenca people are rising up, not in defense of a party or a candidate, but rather in defense of dignity itself.

For the blood spilled by Berta Cáceres and all of our ancestors, we demand justice! We demand the downfall of the murderous regime!

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Iselaca, Etempica and Mota we raise our voices full of life, justice, dignity and peace.

December 18th, 2017
La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras

Open Letter to US government: NO to the recognition of electoral fraud, NO to more support for state terror

An Open Letter to the US Congress and US State Department


As US-based human rights, grassroots organizing, solidarity, and other civil society organizations, we are outraged that presidential candidate Juan Orlando Hernández was declared the winner in the Honduran presidential elections, amid serious and pervasive reports of election fraud and human rights violations.
We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, NOT to recognize the results announced by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
After the initial release of official results in the Honduran presidential election showed the opposition candidate leading by approximately 5 percentage points based on more than half the returns, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (or TSE, by its Spanish initials, which is controlled by the current administration) did not resume releasing presidential election results for more than a day. For comparison, in the 2013 presidential election, the winner was declared with a similar proportion of the returns in. Once the updates resumed, the incumbent, President Hernández, gained ground at a surprising rate and, quickly passed the opposition candidate, according to the TSE’s numbers. The long delay, and the dramatic shift in the tendency of the vote count reported before and after that delay, raise serious doubts about the integrity of this election.
In addition, international delegations from La Voz de los de Abajo, Code Pink, and Witness for Peace witnessed and heard testimony of violent beatings of civilians, the ongoing intimidation through use of security forces, including US-funded security forces, as well as numerous incidents of fraud and violence at polling places. On December 1, a presidential decree suspended Constitutional rights, imposed a curfew, and there have been multiple reports of security forces using live ammunition and violence toward civilians during anti-fraud protests around the country, resulting in at least 22 deaths of protesters at this point.
The US government has been an ongoing supporter and financial backer of the Honduran government, including supporting the 2009 coup which led to the right-wing National Party taking power, with Hernández as President of the National Congress from 2010-2013. Furthermore, the US has pushed forward the disastrous, failed Plan Colombia model for Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in the form of the “Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle” aid package. This 750 million-dollar project dressed up as an anti-drug initiative, has been used to create “favorable” conditions for outside investors, at the cost of militarization, violence and corruption that have actively contributed to the kind of deterioration of democracy we are witnessing in Honduras today. Just two days after the Honduran elections the US State Department certified that the Honduran government is meeting human rights and anti-corruption conditions, clearing the way for Honduras to receive millions of dollars in US aid. The circumstances around the election and beyond demonstrate clearly that the Honduran government is not at all meeting those conditions.
If the US has a genuine commitment to democracy, it must:
  • Not recognize the announced election outcome due to widespread reports of state involvement in electoral fraud and violence;
  • Revoke the State Department’s certification that the Honduran government is meeting human rights and anti-corruption conditions.
  • End US security aid to Honduras, including police and military aid, and support for Honduran security forces though the so-called “Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle” program; Pass HR 1299, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act and its companion bill in the Senate.
  • Condemn the Honduran government’s violent crackdown of protesters and suspension of Constitutional rights, and demand the the Honduran government immediately cease using live ammunition against civilians and remove the military from the streets;
  • Extend Temporary Protected Status for the more than 57,000 Hondurans currently in the United States; and
  • Respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples (including Garifuna communities) and peasant communities organizing to defend and protect ancestral territories, land, water and Mother Earth in the face of militarization and repression by the current Honduran regime.
At this defining moment for the people of Honduras, we urge you to be on the right side of democracy and history, by urgently addressing the fundamental demands outlined in this letter. Thank you for your attention at this critical time.
Signed,
Grassroots International
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Honduras Solidarity Network
Witness for Peace
La Voz de los de Abajo
Additional signers can be found here.
A press release can be found here.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

National Call-in Day against U.S. support for Fraud and Repression in Honduras

Honduras Solidarity Network Issues National Call-In Day to Stop U.S. Support for Electoral Fraud & Repression in Honduras

On November 26, 2017 Hondurans went to the polls. The election was irregular from the start, with President Juan Orlando Hernández running for re-election in violation of the Honduran constitution. His main opponent was Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, and when the first results were released, with close to 60% of the vote tallied, Nasralla was ahead by 5%. One of the electoral tribunal magistrates along with statisticians, observers and analysts, declared his lead “irreversible.”

But then the system “went down” for eight hours and when it came back online, an implausibly large percentage of remaining ballots went to the incumbent.

Hondurans are outraged. They have taken to the streets in mass numbers throughout the country to protest the electoral fraud. They were met with live fire from military police, beatings, tear gas, and hundreds of detentions, as outlined in a recent report by the Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared.

We are calling on all people of conscience to call the State Department and your Senators and Representative this Thursday December 14 with the following demands:

1. Cut off all U.S. political and economic support to Juan Orlando Hernandez

2. No recognition of any regime imposed through fraud and repression

3. Immediately cut off U.S. security aid to Honduras

Take Action!

Congressional Switchboard (for both Representatives and Senators): 202-244-3121

Call the Call the Western Hemisphere Bureau of the State Department: Acting Assistant Secretary Francisco L Palmieri: 202-647-8387

Tweet US Charge d'Affaires Heidi Fulton in the US Embassy to Honduras: @USAmbHonduras

More info and email form to send to congress: click here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Military Police Detain, Follow COPINH, including general coordinator Bertha Zúniga Cáceres

COMMUNIQUÉ December 12th, 2017



[Versión original en español]


While in Honduras peaceful protests are being violently repressed, outside of the country the work in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and the Honduran people in general is gaining recognition.

In the early hours of the morning, around Siguatepeque, the Military Police illegally and in violation of the right to freedom of circulation and expression stopped the bus carrying members of COPINH who were mobilizing to express our repudiation of this dictatorship.


During the illegal stop the military took photos of the ID documents of each one of us, for which reason we hold the government and its repressive forces responsible for any action against our lives and safety.

Nobody is detained any more, but they kept the car that our coordinator Bertha Zúniga Cáceres was traveling in and the military police ignored the mediation of the protective mechanism. The area continues to be heavily militarized.

We thank the quick response and so many shows of solidarity and we ask you to continue to be alert because we are alert her until the fall of this dictatorship.

With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota, Iselaca and Etempica we raise our voices full of Life, Justice, Freedom, Dignity and Peace.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Red de Solidaridad con Honduras: No a la dictadura / Honduras Solidarity Network condemns dictatorship

[Scroll down for English]

¡No al apoyo a la dictadura! ¡Sí al apoyo de los hondureños!
Declaración de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras sobre las Elecciones en Honduras 8 de diciembre de 2017

La Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN por sus siglas en inglés) de Norteamérica condena de la manera más vigorosa posible la violencia y represión de los hondureños que están defiendiendo sus votos y
derechos humanos frente al fraude y la dictadura. Una delegación de observadores de derechos humanos, miembros de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (La Voz de los de Abajo Chicago, CODEPINK y Grupo de Trabajo sobre las Américas del Condado de Marin) acaban de regresar de Honduras, en donde estuvieron acompañado a los hondureños antes, durante y después de las elecciones del 26 de noviembre. El HSN entiende que la crisis electoral del 2017 es el resultado de la continuación del golpismo en Honduras desde el 2009, el cual fue apoyado por los gobiernos de E.U.A. y Canadá. En los 8 años y medio desde el golpe, el HSN se ha unido a organizaciones nacionales e internacionales para demandar un alto al financiamiento y capacitación en seguridad que ofrecen E.U.A. y Canadá al régimen, así como la asistencia de USAID. El HSN y nuestra delegación de derechos humanos han sido testigo de cómo estos años de apoyo al régimen han sido utilizados para reprimir y aterrorizar a los hondureños y al país para que acepten la elección fraudulenta. La certificación en Derechos Humanos que el Departamento del Interior de E.U.A. (U.S. State Department) le dio al régimen el 30 de noviembre es otro intento indignante de encubrir a un gobierno represivo en medio de una crisis política y de derechos humanos.

El HSN fue testigo de innumerables abusos de derechos humanos cometidos en un estado de impunidad. La organización hondureña de derechos humanos, el Comité de Familiares de Detenidos y Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), sacó a la luz un reporte el 6 de diciembre de 2017 que destaca los abusos cometidos por las fuerzas estatales de seguridad. COFADEH ha documentado 14 asesinatos (cometidos principalmente por la Policía Militar), 51 personas heridas (7 de gravedad) y 844 detenciones desde las elecciones del 26 de noviembre. Así como ocurrió con el golpe de 2009, estas violaciones masivas de derechos humanos no serán castigadas, mientras que nuestros gobiernos, como ha ocurrido hasta la fecha,
no dirán nada acerca de la violencia, la represión y los abusos cometidos bajo el gobierno de Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) en contra de la población hondureña.

El día de las elecciones, nuestra delegación fue testigo de la compra de votos y recibió, de parte de ciudadanos, reportes de fraude e intimidación. Uno de los equipos de la delegación fue sujeto a intimidación y amenazas de activistas pagados por el Partido Nacional (PN) en un centro electoral; y cuando un custodio electoral y un agente de policía intervinieron, también fueron amenazados por activistas del PN.

Reportamos esto para señalar la atmósfera represiva existente durante las elecciones, y por ende, la fuerza y valentía impresionantes manifestadas por las personas que desafiaron esta intimidación entonces y las de quienes siguen haciéndolo. El 28, 29 y 30 de noviembre, los miembros de la delegación fueron testigo y se vieron afectados por la represión masiva de la policía y el ejército en contra de las protestas no violentas afuera del lugar en donde se estaban contando los votos. Se disparó gas lacrimógeno indiscriminadamente y la policía y los militares golpearon violentamente a los protestantes, arrastrando a algunos de ellos adentro del lugar. Más aún, los agentes de policía reportaron haber recibido órdenes para abrir fuego con munición real en contra de los ciudadanos desarmados durante las movilizaciones masivas.

En base a los reportes de nuestra delegación, las organizaciones de derechos humanos y justicia social, y los medios independientes, así como los testimonios de las víctimas, añadimos nuestras voces al llamado vigoroso que demanda un alto a todo tipo de apoyo políticos y económico al régimen hondureño, un alto a la represión y el fraude continuos, y al no reconocimiento de cualquier régimen que se imponga a los hondureños.

No Support for Dictatorship! Support the Honduran People!
Honduran Solidarity Network Statement on Honduras Elections

December 8, 2017

The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) of North America condemns in the strongest possible manner the violence and repression against the Honduran people defending their vote and human rights against fraud and dictatorship. A human rights observer delegation of members of the Honduras Solidarity Network (La Voz de los de Abajo Chicago, CODEPINK, and Marin County Task Force on the Americas) have just returned from Honduras where they were with the Honduran people before, during and after the November 26th elections.

The HSN understands the 2017 electoral crisis to be a result of the on-going 2009 military coup d’état in Honduras, fully backed by the U.S. and Canadian governments. In the 8.5 years since the coup, the HSN has joined national and international organizations in demanding a stop to U.S. and Canadian security funding and training, and other assistance from USAID to the regime. The HSN and our human rights delegation in Honduras are witness to how the years of support for the regime is being used to repress and terrorize Hondurans and the country into accepting a fraudulent election. The US State Department’s November 30th certification of Human Rights is another outrageous attempt to whitewash a repressive government in the midst of a political and human rights crisis.

The HSN has witnessed countless human rights abuses committed in a state of impunity. Honduran human rights organization, the Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared (COFADEH) issued a report on December 6, 2017 that outlines the abuses by state security forces. COFADEH has documented 14 assassinations (primarily by Military Police), 51 people injured (7 seriously), and 844 detentions since the November 26 elections. Just like after the 2009 coup, these mass violations will likely go unpunished and our governments, to date, have said nothing about violence, repression and abuses committed under the command of Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) against the Honduran population.

On election day our delegation witnessed vote buying and received reports from citizens of fraud and intimidation. One delegation team was the subject of intimidations and threats from the paid National Party (PN) activists at a polling station and when an official electoral custodian and a police officer intervened they were also threatened by the PN activists. We report this to highlight the repressive atmosphere during the elections, and therefore, the impressive strength and courage of the people defying this intimidation then and now. On November 28, 29 and 30th the delegation members witnessed and were affected by mass repression by police and military against non-violent protests outside the ballot counting facility. Tear gas was fired indiscriminately, and police and military beat protesters violently and dragged some people inside the facility. Furthermore, police officers report that they received orders to open fire with live ammunition on unarmed citizens during the massive mobilizations.

Based on our delegation reports, testimonies from victims and human rights and social justice organizations and independent media, we add our voices to the outcry demanding an end to all support, political and economic to the Hernandez regime, an end to the repression and continuing fraud, and no recognition of any regime imposed on the Honduran people.



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Human Rights Organizations of Honduras "warn of the consolidation of a dictatorial regime that ignores the people’s will and imposes itself through force."

Mesa Nacional de Derechos Humanos
National Human Rights Coalition
Press Conference

Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Saturday – December 3
Morning after first night of curfew – “La Noche Negra”


Opening: Lighting of Candles

We’re going to get started with this symbolic act. Today we turn on the light of our hearts. The fire which symbolizes hope in the midst of the darkness that envelops us. With this light we wish to illuminate the path of solidarity and respect for human rights in Honduras.

Thank you for being here with us. For being part of this struggle against the dictatorship that is being imposed in this country.

The Constitution of the Republic [states]:

Republic of Honduras, Title 1: State. Chapter one: Organization of the State. Article three: Nobody owes obedience to a usurped government or those who assume functions or public employment through the force of arms or using means or procedures that break what this Constitution and the laws establish. The acts edified by said authorities are null. The people has the right to recur to insurrection in defense of the Constitutional order.

And as fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic, we have Article 68 which “guarantees the liberties of association, meeting, as long as they are not against public order and good custom.”

Of the inviolability of the Constitution . Article 375. This constitution does not cease to apply or to be implemented by acts of force or when it was supposedly modified or ignored by any other medium or distinct procedure from that which it itself proposes. In these cases, all citizens, invested with authority or not, has the responsibility to collaborate in the maintenance or re-establishment of its effective application. Those responsible for the acts mentioned in the first part of the previous paragraph will be judged according to this Constitution and the laws and procedures therein. Likewise for the main functionaries of the government that subsequently organizes itself if they do not contribute to the immediate re-establishment of rule of the constitution and of the authorities constituted in accordance with it. The Congress can decree with the absolute majority vote of its members, the seizures of all or part of the goods of these same people and of those who have enriched themselves as a result of supplanting popular sovereignty or usurpation of public power to compensate the Republic of the prejudices that have been committed.

Thank you very much. Thanks for coming.

Press Conference

Honduras suffers serious setbacks to democracy,
Illegal declaration of state of siege enables public forces to violate human rights

Multiple human rights abuses and violations have been committed in Honduras in the context of the recent protests realized in 17 of the 18 states of the country. The “State of Siege” declared by the government is illegal, and becomes a means of repressing the political dissent, imposing an electoral fraud and instilling terror in the population in order to stop the protests.

Honduras is today living through serious democratic setbacks in violations of human rights due to the manipulation of electoral results on November 26th. The political crisis generated by the State, has unleashed a wave of protests nationall demanding respect for the popular will and ratifying the rejection of the imposition of the re-election of Mr. Juan Orland Hernández who is in violation of the Constitution of the Republic.

The excessive use of force has become State terrorism through the different repressive forces especially the Military Police for Public Order (PMOP), the Tigres Police, the army and the National Civil Police, against peaceful protests, resulting in the arbitrary detention of protesters and political opposition. We point to the existence of patterns of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Mesa Nacional de Derechos Humanos (National Human Rights Board) expresses its preoccupation for the assassination of two people and at least two dozen people wounded by bullets just in Tegucigalpa. The strategies employed by the authorities in response to the protests come at the expense of the rights and liberties of Hondurans.

The organizations that make up the National Human Rights Board, additionally document the attacks against journalists and media workers carried out by the security forces who seek to impede the coverage of the protests, the threats to close media, and the increasing climate of intimidation.

The human rights situation is increasingly more critical since the beginning of the protests, in which increasing levels of repression of the political opposition by the national security forces are observable alongside the stigmatization and persecution of people perceived as Government opponents.

Because of this, we insist that the Honduran authorities abstain from classifying the protesters and media workers as enemies and terrorists – words that do not help to lesson the context of violence and polarization and that, instead, further exacerbate it.

The information compiled by the Human Rights Board and other public information available indicate that the anti-riot tanks utilized by the Military Police for Public Order regularly launched hundreds of teargas bombs at the protests on November 30th and December 1st, including directly at the body of people, counter to all action protocols for the security forces. This situation has been aggravated by the decision of the Executive to usurp the powers of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE in Spanish), slowing the transmission of fraudulent results. Despire the partial information published by the TSE, President Juan Orlando Hernández declared himself President-elect immediately, at the same time as members of his party made calls for their followers to take to the streets and defend the results, still unknown, provoking violence with the opposition.

The Mesa Nacional de Derechos Humanos further reiterates that the candidacy of President JOH is illegal and unconstitutional, given that a suit filed by the former Nationalist President Rafaél Leonardo Callejas, only opened the possibility of speaking about re-election and not registering for it.

The highly questionable action of this Tribunal, despite the explicit prohibition of re-election, as a maximum guarantee of democratic principle, entering into full contradiction with the Constitution of the Republic.

WE express our most serious worry about the complicity of the Supeme Electoral Tribunal in not carrying out the exigencies that allow for a guarantee of maximal transparency in the process and we exhort it to carry out a public recount of the vote tallies.

We have received denunciations of infiltration to de-legitimize social protest, which has caused the looting of businesses in different parts of the country. We lament the omissions by the National Police regarding its responsibility to guarantee citizen security.

We demand that the Honduran state and in particular the forces of public security and defense to respect the right to peaceful protest, remembering the obligation to serve and protect the Honduran people.

We demand of the National Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists, Social Reporters, Human Rights Defenders and Operators of Justice to initiate an independent and effective investigation of the violation of human rights presumably committed by the security forces and of the abuses that have been attributed to the armed collectives or to violent protesters. This includes the guarantee that the investigations initiated by the Attorney General during the period proceed in a scrupulous and utterly impartial manner.

The Mesa Nacional de Derechos Humanos will continue to be vigilant and in communication with its member organizations and partners in Honduras for the necessary activities of denunciation.

We call on international cooperation, diplomatic missions, and friendly governments to be alert regarding violations of human rights and demand that the State of Honduras fulfill its duties under all pacts, treaties and international agreements. To the Honduran population we call for vigilance and denunciation of human rights violations in any part of the country.

In the midst of the continuing economic and social crisis of the country and the increase in political tensions, there is an elevated risk that the situation in Honduras will deteriorate even more, for which reason we declare ourselves to be on permanent alert and we announce that we will carry out the necessary international denunciations and will publish a broad report of these denunciations in the coming days.

TO the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nationals on Human Rights we make an urgent call for statements demanding that the State of Honduras respect and protect human rights in Honduras.

Finally we warn of the consolidation of a dictatorial regime that ignores the people’s will and imposes itself through force.


Partial Transcription of Press Conference Q+A

First Speaker

…that the decree would come out, be published, or disseminated through which constitutional rights are being restricted. We have expressed that the issuing of this decree was illegal and unconstitutional for various reasons. One of these reasons is that the government has invested many millions of lempiras (Honduran currency) in this country to guarantee security for its citizens.  This has not been the case during the protests. The state has the obligation to guarantee citizens ability to demonstrate without acts of violence occurring. The state has not guaranteed citizen’s security. Secondly, yesterday it was made clear that in this country there is an absence of representation in the executive branch. Mr. Ricardo Alvarez illegally assuming and usurping the functions of the presidency of the republic has committed a crime. We urge the Attorney General to initiate investigative due diligence and send to apprehend Mr. Ricardo Alvarez because he violated the constitution of our republic. He assumed the Presidency of the Republic without the president of the republic being outside the country. Mr. Ricardo Alvarez, violating article 245 of the Constitution of the Republic, assumed a presidential function that involved signing a decree of executive powers to restrict constitutional guarantees without having the authority to do so. We have two presidents in this moment, one Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández and another Mr. Ricardo Álvarez – which implies a kind of de facto presidency because he signed a decree to restrict constitutional guarantees in an illegal manner. Because of this, this restriction of constitutional guarantees is unconstitutional. On Monday we will present our respective resources before the Supreme Court of Justice and demanding that the National Congress publically control these abuses because it is the National Congress’ responsibility to control these decrees that restrict constitutional guarantees. We fight for Democracy and we make these demands of our Institutions — the institutions that are, in this moment, not permitting the Honduran state and society to move forward making a democratic state. That is why we are in this situation. Additionally, it is important to make known the fact that before the elections, during the elections, and after the elections we have been documenting all the acts of invasiveness, threats, and intimidation against laws that pertain to the freedom of the press. Especially, very recently, we have documented aggressions and threats of closures of media entities like UNE TV. We are calling on the authorities to cease these restrictions on journalists, media entities. Freedom of speech in a context of political crisis is one of the rights that should be the most protected, guaranteed, and we should fight for the upholding of this public right. Thank you. 

(passes the microphone)

(A woman calls on a journalist to ask a question)

Woman: Jorge Burgos of Criterio HN.

Burgos:

Good day. Social media has been inundated with videos of injured people, soldiers and police chasing people, firing upon them with live rounds. When will the Human Rights Organizations represented here deliver a report in order to inform the world of what is happening in Honduras and how Hondurans are suffering this crisis?

Woman in Black:

These organizations that are part of Mesa de Derechos Humanos are… (interrupted)

…individual human rights organizations that are part of the Mesa de Derechos Humanos are following the various acts of resistance that the people are enacting all over the country, and in addition to the continuous human rights violations. It is not an easy exercise, because, as you all know, these actions have multiplied, and generally all these actions are accompanied by repression, persecution, indiscriminate and invasive use of tear gas, illegal capture and detainment of people with the withholding of any information for their family members. Also populations that have not even been part of the public demonstrations but who were coincidentally in certain areas have been detained. This morning, precisely, it was said on Radio Progresso that more than 40 people were detained in the Core 7 (police station). There were interviews of family members, almost all women—wives, mothers—of those people who are detained. Information is not being given to family members. These people have been through torture, these mothers, these wives and there at Core 7 (police station) they are withholding information from them. Many of those detained are underage, even under sixteen years of age and thirteen years of age. We hope to have an initial report of these human rights violations within the week. That is not easy homework because not only are we documenting, but we are involved in many simultaneous actions, but we believe it is our duty as human rights organizations to document in the most accurate way and to deliver a report to the media and to other national and international human rights organizations, and demand sanctions against the Honduran state for these grave violations. So we hope to have, maybe, within one week to have a preliminary report.

(passes microphone to sitting man)

Wilfredo Méndez:

I want to confirm that, in effect, we have developed working groups to communicate fluidly with the international community, Jorge. We are clear: the international human rights community is fundamental to us and the diplomatic core. By way of luck and global solidarity, we have received many communications from Europe, the United States, throughout the Americas. From all these countries we have received messages of solidarity for Honduras, and additionally of protection for the defenders that are in the country. And we are in continuous, for example, right now, this very report is being transmitted to the international community… That is one of our points because we all know very well that on the level of diplomacy this government is launching out to the world a diplomatic offensive against human rights composed of lies.
(passes microphone)

Journalist identifies herself as Adrian:

(inaudible)…How do you think this situation can be resolved? In your opinion, what are the causes of all this crisis? How is democracy involved in all of this?

(passes microphone to woman in blue)

Woman in Blue:

We believe that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has in its hands the ability to resolve this problem, but of course, it is readily apparent, right, that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal is in the hands of the current…of Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández because the demands have all been laid out on the table: the revision of more than 5000 ballots, not the thousand or so that…not the thousand that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has said, but many others; the revision of the system, of the hard drive, all of which the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has refused. But it is in the hands of the current government, the government of Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández who wants to stay, definitely. His intention, definitely, is to repress the populace and not resolve the problem. That is apparent because he’s decreed and suspended constitutionally guaranteed rights and that signals to the international community that here there is no desire to resolve this problematic. They don’t want dialogue, they don’t want anything.

(passes microphone back to first speaker)

First Speaker:

The state of democracy is reduced and hinges on this situation. There is an illegal candidacy that the constitution of the republic does not permit. There is no will, no respect for this popular will on the part of officials, and we have at this very moment a candidate for the presidency that is generating this crisis, Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández. Here, those responsible for this situation of democracy in crisis are the three magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the president of the republic Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández, the head of the armed forces of the republic, the head of the national police because they are the people generating repression, the Minister of Security who has been highly questioned regarding acts of drug trafficking, the armed forces with a military police force that has been highly questionable since they appeared in 2013. So the democratic situation here is a structural issue in the country. We will not recover Democracy the day that they declare the results, this democratic situation is structural. So we Hondurans have the opportunity, in this moment, to set out for ourselves the country that we want, the society that we want. This situation is no longer just up to Mr. Nasralla to negotiate because the will of the people is not negotiable. We are the Hondurans of this country who have to lift our voice and say what country we want in this moment. Since the coup d’état, we have lived 8 years during which the political crisis—economic, social, and cultural rights— and the dispossession of communities of life and natural resources has become accentuated. So in this structural situation, democracy will not be restored in this moment by way of the vote.

So Hondurans should continue to lift our voices to set out for ourselves, definitively, the country that we want as Hondurans, which is not a country in which one person can concentrate power and dedicate themselves to dispossessing Hondurans of life.

(passes the microphone)

Wilfredo Méndez:

I want to add an element. We heard this morning that the Tribunal has said that the recount will be done with or without the opposition’s presence. What we have expressed in other moments is that here there is an ongoing process of validating an electoral fraud from the point at which the Electoral Tribunal suspended information, or that the system suspended, to place results in favor of the president of the republic. The Electoral Tribunal has brought upon itself a problem on the order of Dante, and now, independently of the result it can provide, it’s image is even worse than before, and I didn’t even know it could get worse. But in this sense, what we want to draw attention to is that all of the machinery necessary to impose a fraudulent candidate is present. And for all that the opposition candidacy may participate in a recount process—that they’re facing some difficulties in getting and for which they’ve requested a special investigation—we just have to remember how starting Tuesday the electoral process, the computing process, has been manipulated to favor the candidate of the dictatorship. Therefore, we face a vital issue that can only be stopped by citizens wielding their political rights in the form of protest and the international community’s refusal to  recognize a government that imposes itself through fraud.

(passes microphone)

Woman in Black:

Adding a little to what my compatriots have already laid out, I want to say that to speak of democracy in this country is to speak of a chimera. The excipient democracy we had in 2009 finished dissolving with that coup d’état that was not reverted and that marked the ascendant position and the consolidation of control for economic groups over common goods, territories, laws, and institutional norms, bodies, and processes in general – institutional norms, bodies, and processes that is indeed solid and strong when it comes to guaranteeing the interests of those same economic and political groups.

Additionally, what was established yesterday, which we’ve denounced, the curfew, signifies a restriction on the exercise of defending human rights for defenders like us who are here now, and the hundreds and thousands of defenders that are throughout the country doing this important work. Also, the Honduran state supposedly has a law…not supposedly…but has a law that guarantees the right to defend human rights and [the state] is violating it and impeding our exercising of defending human rights. If they encounter us in this work…for example, at night there have been—in that very dark first night, last night and this morning, such a painful morning—so they will also jail us and imprison us and this violates that which the Honduran state has disseminated so much, for example in the Examen Periódico Universal where they celebrated the grand achievement that was accomplished in the approval of this law and in the recognition of the work defenders of human rights do. The Honduran state has at all times violated our exercise and right to defend human rights.

(passes microphone)

Standing woman:

And in the same condition: journalists and social commentators. Andres Molina.

Andres Molina (journalist):

I wanted to ask the leaders of the MESA: the Military Police for Public Order existed throughout 2009, and at that point it was still possible to have dialogue with some, some members of the police and police chiefs. At this moment, there are reports of repression with live rounds in various parts of the capital city, in El Pedregal, El Carrizal…well in multiple parts of the city…there was repression in San Pedro Sula of all places with live rounds, in the north, in La Ceiba, El Progreso, all over the country. How do they valorize this because I’m asking myself, well back in 2009 during the time of the coup, people were able to dialogue with the chief of police, now though people who are protesting are engaged with shooting.

Moderator:

Who will…

Woman in Black:

Carlos.

Moderator:
Carlos del Cid del Observatorio Ecuménico.

(Passes microphone)

Del Cid:

Very well, with respect to the question from our compatriot. Yesterday we made ourselves present to accompany the torch march which convened at five in the evening in the Colonia Kennedy. To our surprise we found two squads of approximately two hundred soldiers, TIGRES (Tropa de Inteligencia y Grupos de Respuesta Especial Seguridad – heavily militarized special forces police) police, military police, already in the area impeding the citizenries ability to express themselves through the torch march. When we approached the official, Salazar, to ask why they were impeding us, he said they had superior orders. The surprise was that immediately, while I was talking to him, a motorized patrol fired live rounds at a youngster who was yelling slogans. When we approached the official and demanded to know why they were firing live rounds at youngsters who were not doing anything more than being present at a march that they wanted to carry out, he said It isn’t my responsibility, those motorized police aren’t in my squad. I went to the other official and again Those people aren’t my responsibility. When I told them that that violated the use of force protocol for the police, he told me Do whatever you want to do about it. So, we are facing police and soldiers who were already emboldened because they knew about the law—the decree—that would be made public before it was made public. Now that it has been made public, with all certainty, we will have soldiers and police that will do what they did last night: fire upon youngsters, fire upon citizens who participate in any act of peaceful protest. We will have, based on what I saw and how those two officials treated me, many dead. We already have many detained, we already have many injured, there are, maybe, four dead throughout the country, and others that we don’t even know what condition they’re in. Today, I’m coming from la posta de Belén (la Unidad Metropolitana de Prevención 2 in Comayagüela) where there were six detained youngters…I went to claim them with first and last names, and they gave me the run around about whether they had them there, about some procedure they were going through, that they would deliver them today, but after 24 hours they still haven’t delivered them to us. And we have to go from station to station without knowing in what condition these youngsters are in, and without knowing what destiny awaits many of the ones who are captured at night. And at the discretion and whim of the official or the police who apprehend them, they might suffer torture, humiliation, and even death.

(passes microphone)

Moderator:

Sandra Maribel Sanchez of Radio Progreso.

Sanchez:

I would like some of your comments about what Article 187 of the constitution of the republic mandates. That in addition to saying that it is the president who must issue the decree of suspension of guarantees, as has already been mentioned by the lawyer Tabora, it also says that by that same decree the National Congress must be convened so that within a period of 30 days they full familiarize themselves with this decree, they rectify it, modify it, or reject it. In the decree that was published yesterday in El Diario la Gaceta (Diario Oficial la Gaceta de la Republica de Honduras – state-run periodical) but that we know was actually made public several days ago, there is no mention of this article, therefore there is a breach of what the constitution of the republic mandates.

Moderator:

Wilfredo Méndez of ciprodeh (Centro de Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos)

(passes microphone)

Wilfredo Méndez:

Well, before answering I would like to mention that we have among us Dr. Juan Almendares Bonilla a man who is an emblem of Human Rights, so that the press knows he’s here with us. If he can get closer…if not, doctor perhaps afterwards the press can get your authoritative take on the moral and ethical dimension at play in our nation.

Actually, that article of the constitution, Sandra, is something that needs to be modified in the future, because how can it be possible to be told that they have up to 30 days when the timespan of the decree is ten days. What we are facing is a complete and absolute irregularity, in which no constitutional precepts are established or respected, rather it is solely used as an instrument of repression. Nor is there any guarantee that the Congress of the Republic will even meet, or restore rights and protections. So therefore, we are, as we’ve claimed among the international community, a situation of defenselessness. That is why we’ve said as human rights organizations, why we have not called, at any time, for people to not protest. We have said that they are well within their rights to protest—in their civil rights, and in their political rights.

Moderator:

Any new questions? If there aren’t any more…Your name please and press affiliation.

(passes the microphone)

Fernando Silva:

Fernando Silva, Contra Corriente. What are the mechanism available to the populace before all this climate of limited human rights, what are the mechanisms available to them after six o’clock to be able to be present, to have protection so that their rights aren’t violated?

Moderator:

Dr. Juan Almendares del CPTRT (Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares)

Dr. Juan Almendares:

It’s a very important question, but we must remember that curfew is a state of exception, meaning a death penalty, which is to say that this electoral coup wants to return with the death penalty. That is in the first place. In second place a mechanism that the populace has is unity, solidarity, strength, but I would also like to say something here that I feel is very important. There are international observers here, and one of them is the OAS (Organization of American States) and another is the policy of the United States. We are a nation militarily occupied by the United States, so we have to say to the international community that the Honduran people are fighting with an extraordinary strength and that is moral strength. But we also have to…I would say that the call of our people should be to international solidarity networks, including the North American populace, because here we have valuable people from the United States that accompany us in these moments, that are in solidarity with the Honduran people. But I want to say something very important. In terms of coups in this country, coups began in 2009. There have been coups in the courts, coups all over the place—the most difficult of which is the moral coup. Something very important that I should say is that this is a project to Hondurize Latin America. Honduras is the primary experiment, and the militarization here is so terrible that it consumes a great part of the national budget and takes priority over health, education, which is to say that the United States is significantly responsible above all else in its interventionist military policy with regard to this country. For that reason I condemn United States policy, not the North American populace.

(Passes the microphone)

Moderator: Are there any last questions? If not we…Your name, please.

Tuscano:

José Alexander Tuscano.

Moderator:

And what is your press affiliation?

Tuscano:

Personal. Personal journalist. Not independent, personal. I just wanted to take advantage of the fact that the press is here, and in view of what has been expressed by Dr. Almendares Bonilla, before the militarization of the Honduran people. The people who are protesting are defenseless. It is only their voice that is heard. Take advantage of this media so that the people who are on the streets define strategies to not risk their lives, define the strategy of this struggle. You mentioned the constitution of the republic, the constitution of the republic in Honduras, in this moment does not exist. The only valid article is article number three which calls for a popular insurrection from the Honduran people where all other rights are violated. My message is clear: to the people who are on the streets, take advantage of this media to define strategies to not risk your lives before live rounds from soldiers and from the security apparatus of this state that, again, goes against the Honduran people. Get organized, protect life, but not to let your guard down in the struggle to restore the constitution.
Moderator: Okay, with this we will give way to…One more? Let’s see, if you please raise your hand.

Person:

As a psychologist and also in the era of communication and democratization through cell phones. I want to say, how can we from within build awareness in the soldiers and the police because I’ve talked to them, and they are aware that they are from the people…

Moderator:

Thank you everyone for your participation, you can approach the different organizations regarding your questions, and we will give way to independent interviews. One last thing from Donny Reyes from Arcoíris (LGBTI organization).

Reyes:

It is important to mention that Honduras has spoken, this populace has said that it is tired. No more violations, no more harm than what they’ve already done. The Honduran community living abroad, in the United States, in Spain, and throughout Europe has come out to the streets to denounce the atrocities that are being committed here.

Please, we believe it is important that the voices, as Dr. Almendares said, that our voice continue to be heard. It is important that we be the means of communication, the voice that doesn’t extinguish this candle, and that you all, we all,  become the voice of this nation. Thank you very much.

Moderator:

Very good, let’s finish with a minute of silence with our candles lit. We conclude this press conference with a minute of silence. Someone please help me with the time. José Luis. For all the deaths that have occurred on this black day.

Press conference Q&A Translation: José Orduña

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Press conference opening translation: Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle
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