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Home About Us Equipo Sur Stories of Honduras Freedom and Justice for Chabelo Morales
Freedom and Justice for Chabelo Morales PDF Print E-mail
October 2012 Radio Progreso Editorial*

Isabel Morales –Chabelo—is a young man; he turned 36 last August. He grew up in the community of San José de la Montaña, in the municipality of Ilanga, on the Left Bank of the Aguan River, in the state of Colon. Chabelo is a prisoner in the Penal Center El Porvenir in La Ceiba. Exactly four years ago, he was imprisoned and accused of crimes he did not commit. Just a few weeks ago, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison without a trial, without his lawyers being informed, and with rigged evidence.

Why is Chabelo Morales imprisoned?

Everyone in his agricultural community of Guadalupe Carney knows it. All the organizations that defend human Rights and natural resources know it. We in ERIC (the Jesuit Team for Reflection, Investigation, and Communication) know it.

Chavelo is prisoner because of a political decision by the large landowners in the Aguan and because the justice system in Honduras imprisons those who the powerful decide should be prisoner. Chabelo Morales is prisoner because he has been a defender of the land rights of his community and of the Campesino Movement of the Aguan.

Four years ago, Chabelo Morales was confined to a dark cell. He had all of his body parts. Today, Chabelo Morales has forever lost the sight in his right eye. The blade of the machine with which he was cutting the grass inside the prison broke and penetrated his eye without pity. The government of Honduras, instead of responding for Chabelo`s health, continued drowning him in prison and even sentenced him to 20 years.

Chabelo Morales is prisoner because government authorities colluded with the large landowners against the land rights of the Guadalupe Carney community in the state of Colon. Chabelo is blind in one eye because government authorities didn’t take responsibility after the accident he suffered when he was working in compliance with government orders.

Many organizations have expressed their solidarity with Chabelo Morales and demand his immediate and unconditional freedom. The Supreme Court of Justice has the responsibility to annul the sentence he was given after an unjust and arbitrary process. And the government has the obligation to compensate for the harms that Chabelo Morales has suffered during his four years of captivity.

*Radio Progreso is a Jesuit radio station in El Progreso, Honduras.  This is a translation of the statement they published in October 2012 on the Fourth Anniversary of Chabelo's imprisonment.


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