Honduras Coup, Act V, Day 40
Posted by Charles II on November 29, 2009
Update2: Since the election is irrelevant, the spin adopted by the Western media is probably what matters. It looks to me as if they will ignore the police riot in San Pedro Sula and other examples of human rights violations. They’re ignoring turnout so far. For what it’s worth, Scoop says:
Despite protestations to the contrary by the international corporate media, there is a wealth of photographic and first hand accounts from the polls – including documents shown to international observers by polling booth staff – that the turnout was considerably less than 50%, and in the northern part of the country, less than 20%.
CNN is outright lying, claiming that turnout is “high”:
Zelaya had called for a boycott of Sunday’s vote, but electoral observers said a turnout of more than 60 percent was expected.
Let’s just say, I don’t think so. In the last election 46% showed up. In this election, I would guesstimate at least 30% abstention, and a turnout of maybe half the remainder, or roughly 35% overall. If they achieve 40% with all the threats they’ve issued, they can call it a victory. As much as forty percent of the population too stupid to realize what they’re getting into or too scared to fight back would amaze me. But 30% turnout would sound more plausible: the Greenburg-Quinlan-Rosner poll said 42% regarded any elections under Micheletti as illegitimate.Turn out 2/3 of the remainder and you still only get 38% turnout.
Anyway, I’ve worked enough on this for today. Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully a better one.
Update: BlueButterfly at The Seminal links to an article on VoltaireNet saying (correctly as it turns out) that Colonel Richard A. Juergens is the Commander at Soto Cano. It further says that he was involved in kidnapping Aristide, which I haven’t verified. I’ve seen this before, but never found solid sourcing for the story. I found a source that I will be reading closely. It comes from the website of CEDOH, and sources to Observatorio de Medios UTPBA which includes Amy Goodman on its masthead. It looks to be worth a look.
TeleSur: Tear gas and beatings in San Pedro Sula. Turnout is light nationally (TeleSur shows a completely empty voting site. At another, there might have been half a dozen people). The report on the police riot in San Pedro Sula is here. The protestors marched to the Cathedral, sang the national anthem, and were promptly tear-gassed. Don’t want to vote? No problem! The Supreme Electoral Court will extend the voting time until you do want to vote!
Radio Globo is still off the air.
HONDURAS: EL PAIS EN DONDE NO PASA NADA
Translation of reports on human rights violations on Vos El Soberano (in process):
MONITORING OF THE REPRESSION: Denunciations, Alerts, and reports of everything in the country
Saturday, 28th of Novermber, 15:21
12.00 Cobra Soldiers [i.e., militarized police] are ready to repress demonstrators of the National Popular Front (FRNP) who began a peaceful march through Pedro Sula and are found around the market.
The resisters of the National Front are posted around the market in peaceful action, without weapons. While the soldiers are there with provocative attitudes spoiling for repression.
11:00 AM We have been informed that in the community on Tall Grass Island, the population of 800 families have been obliged to vote by armed subjects dressed as civilians. 24 leaders of the community are being persecuted by the army, which has engaged in home invasions and terror reigns in the communities.
10: 00 A.M. Persecution in Gualala. In Gualala, Santa Bárbara, the opponents of the de facto government are being pursued and harassed. Leonel Arturo Enamorado, Carlos Antonio Bulnes, Kelin Dario Trejo and Alexander Trejo, the latter part of FIAN Honduras and assigned to comply with the tasks of human rights procurator, were seen fleeing from the police who pursued them without justification. Yesterday, their houses were raided and their relatives threatened. The police and members of the army have sowed panic in the population with their constant patrols with the obvious aim of frightening people.
9:00 A.M. Police beat Fausto Arrazola with excessive force, who gave out flyers with the emblem “No to the Elections” in the voting centers of the Republic of Peru school, located in the colonia El Pedregal de Comayagüela. After being beaten severely, he was taken at 8:25 Am in vehicle number 543 of HONDUTEL, with plates 08720. His whereabouts are unknown.
8:00 A.M. Another bomb exploded in the school Perfecto H. Bobadía, located in Chamelecón, San Pedro Sula. Thi school is another strong voting center.
There are also reports of electric power flow cuts in the interior of the country, specifically in the town of El Paraíso, [in the state of] El Paraíso.
The young man, Gencis Mario Orlando Umanzor Gutiérrez, was held this morning in the colonia Centroamericana de Comayagüela, around 2:30 AM.
He was detained by soldiers and later transferred to Patrol M03-03, in which he was taken.
Other media monitoring the situation in real time.
Honduras en Resistencia: http://www.hondurasenresistencia.com
Following the journal of the Popular Resistance.
La Haine.org http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=3177
Allegations through 8 AM, 11/29
Ana María Ríos, president of the union of San Pedro Sula threatened employees with firing if they didn’t vote for her, she being a candidate in the elections.
In the Minerva school, the people tending the ballot boxes aren’t civilians. They’re soldiers.
In El Progreso, nor in San Pedro Sula, there’s no public transport.
The vecinos [a word that is often applied to indigenous people, though it means "neighbors"] stay home in observance of the call of the resistance.
In the school, Lizandro Quezada of the central flock, the members of the Liberal Party did not appear at their table.
There are around 200-300 soldiers approaching Guadalupe Carney in the community of Jerico and in the Hacienda of Henri Osorto.
STIBYS (the beverage workers union) was occupied militarily last night. 200 soldiers attacked the union site. This morning they have a tank guarding it.
The employees of EMBOSA denounces that the bottler has threatened the employees that don’t go to vote. Jorge Canahuati, owner of Emobosa is a financier of the coup.
Source: Centro de Prevencion, Tratamiento y Rehabilitacion de las Vcitimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares
3:00 A.M. Gusts of shots and explosions in the exit of Olancho, at the peak of the Cerro Grande. Explosions are reported in the airport area.
The young man Gencis Mario Orlando Umanzor Gutiérrez, was detained this morning in the colonia Centroamericana de Comayagüela, around 2:30 AM. He was detained by soldiers and later transferred to the Patrol M03-03, in which they took him.
1:00 A.M. Shots and explosions were heard in the Pedregal area, Airpory and San Francisco of Tegucigalpa.
Marcos Cortés and Gustavo Adolfo Cortés arrested in Cortes. People have also been arrested in Copán.
11:00 P.M. – 12:00 A.M. Reports of persecution, home invasions, and arrests in various parts of the country….
Home invasions and detentions continue in Tegucigalpa On Radio Gualcho, vecinos of the Reparto denounce home invasions seeking young men, shooting [down] the door and firing shots. Sunday 12:05 AM
In Danli, they invaded the home of Victor Corrales, which Andres Pavón confirmed on Radio Gualcho: they knocked down the door, fired shots, took captive the son and others… there is a recording of the deed because from within the house, they talked with him before being taken prisoner. They are members of the resistance.
A few minutes ago, it was reported from Gualala, Santa Bàrbara comrades in Resistance were found sheltering from the latent threats of the repressive forces against them and their families.
The siege of the Guadalupe Carney community continues.
Things explode various places in San Pedro Sula.
9:20 P.M. Comrades in the colonias Kennedy and El Pedregal denounce: the police arrest people WITHOUT WARRANTS thanks to the “state of emergency.” They are taking people who are stopped [to somewhere].
8:30 P.M. Radio Globo says that over 200 soldiers are approaching the farming community Guadalupe Carnegie [Carney?], in Colón. This community has remained permanently in resistance.
7:00 P.M. A joint force of the army and police surround the house of Prof. Martha Silva dwelling in sector 3 of the Colonia El Sitio in front of the roundabout. The professor is a leader of the resistance in Conia and luckily was not present there.
It was learned that half an hour ago, the computer center SELCON was invaded by the police, property of the Treasurer of the Joint National Directorate of the UD, Gregorio Baca, with the pretext of seeking material that could be used to boycott the elections of tomorrow. Humberto Castillo, a disabled person who is an employee of this business, was detained. If anyone has better information, please send it to this address.
6:00 P.M. COFADEH reports the home invasion of households of members of people’s organizations in Santa Bárbara
In Gualala, state of Santa Bárbara, the homes of the young men Alexander Trejo and Leonel Arturo Enamorado, leaders of the Organización Democrática Popular de Gualala, have been raided today without a judicial order by the Policía Nacional Preventiva and of investigation who have intimidated and threatened their families; their homes are watched. This action has obliged more than 20 young men of the youth group to depart their community. (Complete note is below) [Continues here]
Part 3 of Whom the gods would destroy is up.
Radio Globo is down. Channel 36 is down. The El Libertador journalists are in hiding. Tiempo is trimming its coverage (or is simply unable to get reporters out to what is going on) so that the coup doesn’t shut it down. El Progreso is playing bouncy music; no news, since they aren’t genuinely a national radio station. This is the free press under which free and fair elections are being held.
Tamar Sharabi, with NarcoNews, snagged a memo showing that the head of the civil service ordered all employees without exception to attend the closing event of the Liberal Party.
Tiempo does snarkily say that Honduras will be the only country to have three presidents: the one elected today, the one in the Brazilian embassy, and the one imposed by the military.
Radio Progreso is memorializing martyrs of Latin America and of the coup.
According to Amnesty, the shooting at the military roadblock hospitalized Angel Salgado with a head wound. Salgado crashed into a woman, who was also shot.
I was wrong about which borders got closed yesterday. According to ChinaView, it was Nicaragua and El Salvador. Guatemala’s apparently remained open.
Red Comal and the campesino training center ECOSOL,an NGO working with marketing farming goods started by Trinidad Sanchez and Mary Mc Cann when they were with AFSC was raided this afternoon by over 50 soldiers, some of them hooded. Although Red Comal had condemned the coup and has been part of the resistance in Siguatepeque, it has always been pacifist in true Quaker fashion. The military is accusing them of harboring guerrilleros, storing arms and of having a printing press printing anti-election propaganda. This could not be further from the truth. The military has smashed down doors, taken computers and even money. If this is the way the regime is going to conduct elections, God help us.
At Adrienne’s, Oscar says:
The fight to come will be prolonged, just as the crisis will be profound. The government put in place next January will have three alternatives: a new military coup with a barefaced repression that will make these five months look like child’s play; ungovernability leading to its overthrow by the people; and a National Constituent Assembly to establish a new social pact that will bring calm to national political life.
Via Adrienne, Jeremy Kryt has an article at In These Times.
Also via Adrienne, on The Real News, Jesse Freeston has a video piece. Watch it here. The key points reinforce what Oscar said, that the dictatorship has been gathering names in order to conduct a repression once the international community’s eyes are turned away. Gladis Espinado, a teacher, was murdered. The Army has deputized thousands of “reservists,” which is only permitted during times of war.
Amazingly, George Vickers of George Soros’s Open Society has a piece on Foreign Policy:
This election is taking place in a political environment contaminated by repression, violence, and fear. If the U.S. government recognizes the vote, it will grant the de facto regime led by former parliamentary head Roberto Micheletti a legitimacy it does not deserve; it will needlessly lengthen a crisis that is hurting Honduras, its people, and its prospects for real democracy; and it will harm the U.S. image in the region. Most importantly, there is an alternative to this “see no evil” strategy.
TeleSur is carrying a lot of Honduras coverage. The resistance spokespeople are saying that most resistance leaders are in hiding. “Camisas blancas” are going door to door demanding to know whether people have voted, and to see their fingers to make sure they have been marked and threatening them with prosecution. There are home invasions, arrests, helicopters buzzing Tegucigalpa, and other repressive measures. I tried to jot down the incidents but only got a couple: home invasion Francisco Morazan Professor Flores. Home invasion Santa Barbara two youths seized, 20 youths fled the community and no one knows where they are. The Pedregal, a Mr. Barbales captured? killed? Home invasion 2:30 AM a Mr. Gutierrez. A UD man is talking about non-voting. A Demonstration in front of the US embassy. Adriana Sivori
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