|Resistance and Repression in Honduras|
|Written by Kristin Bricker|
|Sunday, 28 June 2009|
An unknown number of Hondurans have taken to the streets today in an effort to stop the coup that the military, in league with Congress and the Supreme Court, has carried out against democratically elected President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.
Due to intermitant power outages and heavy rain, independent media within Honduras has had extreme difficulty transmitting news. This means that while there's been plenty of news in the mainstream media about the actions people with a lot of political power have been taking--from Chavez and the ALBA nations to the Organization of American States to the United States--there's been very little reported about what rank-and-file Hondurans have been doing to reverse the coup.
However, it is clear that Hondurans are resisting. People are taking the streets in Honduras despite incredibly hostile conditions created by the military. Radio Es Lo De Menos reports that their colleagues on the ground have been fired at by snipers who are positioned in rooftops around the city. They stress that the gunfire at this point has only been in the form of "warning shots" and no one has been reported injured from gunfire.
The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) wrote in a communique,"We tell everyone that the Honduran people are carrying out large demonstrations, actions in their communities, in the municipalities; there are occupations of bridges, and a protest in front of the presidential residence, among others. From the lands of Lempira, Morazán and Visitación Padilla, we call on the Honduran people in general to demonstrate in defense of their rights and of real and direct democracy for the people, to the fascists we say that they will NOT silence us, that this cowardly act will turn back on them, with great force."
Radio Es Lo De Menos reported that the military has set up roadblocks all over the country in an attempt to prevent Zelaya supporters from reaching the capital. The soldiers are also reportedly attempting to shut down public transportation.
Photos from around the internet show that Hondurans are in the streets resisting.
The pictures above, from Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty, were taken outside the Presidential Palace following the kidnapping of President Zelaya. More photos of outside the Presidential Palace:
(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
photos: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Zelaya supporters took to the streets in an attempt to prevent military reinforcements from arriving at the Presidential Palace:
There are protests all over Tegucigalpa, trying to impede military movements:
(photos: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas)
This man holds a banner in support of a referendum for a new Constitution (AP Photo/Esteban Felix). So soldiers punched him:
People cast symbolic votes in today's controversial public opinion polls. While soldiers seized ballot boxes in many locales, in some towns people managed to rescue the seized ballot boxes from the soldiers and cast their votes:
photo: REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Soldiers have been incredibly hostile to the media that is trying to report the story from the ground:
The Washington Post reports: "Soldiers try to prevent journalists from filming as they patrol the area around the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Sunday June 28, 2009. Soldiers arrested Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn Sunday, his private secretary said. Protesters called it a coup and flocked to the presidential palace as local news media reported that Zelaya was sent into exile." (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) (Esteban Felix - AP). Another angle of the same news crew:
(photo: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido)
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The Spring issue contains mobilizing information for the SOA Watch Border Convergence, which is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, and also focuses on recent developments in Latin America and within the SOA Watch movement.
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As this issue of Presente went to print, our hearts were heavy. The assassination of our dear friend and comrade Berta Cáceres, and the increased repression against social movement groups, have left us shocked and saddened. SOA Watch Latin America liaison Brigitte Gynther traveled to Honduras the morning after she learned about the assassination and has been coordinating SOA Watch’s response together with our partner groups on the ground. If you do not already receive Urgent Action emails from us, please click here to sign up now.
The recent decision by the U.S. judge in North Carolina to extradite one of the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre at the University of San Salvador gives us hope that justice will prevail in the end. It will take all of us to create change! Please join us as we mobilize to the U.S./Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016!
Other articles in this issue cover a protest by SOA Watch in Chile against US bases in Latin America, the FBI surveillance of SOA Watch, updates from Colombia and Mexico, news about the first Border Patrol agent to receive training at WHINSEC, background information about Direct Action, the Youth Encuentro in Guatemala, and more.
Download this issue of Presente here.
Interview with Father Fausto Mila in Honduras
SOA Watch participated in the International Human Rights Encuentro in Honduras in February 2012. Laura Jung spoke with Father Fausto Milla, a religious leader in the Honduran movement who has been persecuted by the State of Honduras.
By Pablo Ruiz, Equipo Latinoamericano of SOA Watch
SOAW Chile achieved an important victory; to declassify the names of over 760 Chilean soldiers who took courses at the School of the Americas/WHINSEC during the past decade.
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