Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 3/Update

Posted by Charles II on July 25, 2009

Update: Adrienne Pine reports that the son of anti-coup congressman Rodrigo Trochez was shot twice and is intensive care. The car, in which son Juan and a friend were traveling, was hit 15 times near Toncotin Airport.

On RadioGlobo, interviewer Eduardo [Maldonado] is talking to a general (Romeo Vasquez?), who is BSing too fast to keep up. The interviewer asks if a 24 hour curfew is legal. The general says, gee, look at what happened at the airport when they let people in– a guy got killed! [uhhh… killed by the army]. Why not let the First Lady travel? Well, Zelaya made us responsible for him and his family. And there’s a curfew, no exceptions! Well, actually there are exceptions, General. [One can’t make this stuff up. It’s too strange.] … We have to treat all Hondurans identical. We are soldiers, we respect everyone, we don’t care about socialist, leftist, democratic, they’re all the same. The soldiers are tired, General I listen to my soldiers. They are humble people. If there’s a political accord, do you want to remain boss? ::high speed evasive action:: If Zelaya were here, what would you say? I can’t say anything. I’m a soldier. [In a classic Marshall McLuhan moment, Eduardo puts First Lady Xiomara Castro on the line]. Xiomara asks the General why he sent 300 soldiers to roust them with violence. Article 99 says [don’t use the army for what the police should do]? The General’s voice is reverbing, rising and falling, so that I can’t understand much, but it doesn’t sound like an answer. Xiomara asks repeatedly who gave the arrest order. Article 99 and Article 102. The General says these aren’t issues which are discussed. The reverb is terrible. Extremely high speed BS. Xiomara: Entered the residence at an illegal hour. The order didn’t specify this. Didn’t present the order. Human rights people say that human rights have been violated and there is repression. We want to travel on the roads. What is our condition and our security? We want to meet as a family. My children are weeping after so many days of not seeing dad. [This is an amazing lady.] The General: We don’t control the security situation. The police control that. You can travel by airplane or helicopter. [Xiomara had already rejected this.] Nothing personal you understand. Eduardo: how about a guarantee of free expression for the media? General: There are difficult situations. We will finish the mission. … Eduardo gives them closing statements and gently asks the General about the people who need to eat. The General says something like the soldiers are eating fine. Eduardo says, no no, General. The people who traveled there.

The curfew has been extended in Paraiso.

So Radio Globo wants to talk to the head of the police. There’s a discussion with call ins but I’m not clear on who is on. Teacher Karen Palencia says what Vasquez Velasquez said was false. The military is in charge. She has been out on the roads, she’s mad and she says we’re back in Tegucigalpa to rest up and head back to the streets. Lawyer Hernan Silva Baltoran: all nations of the world have condemned the coup. What the general said was mistaken or Machiavellian. We are friends [everyone seems to be the General’s friend. Eduardo also said the General was a friend]. I doubt his sincerity. (he reviews the illegality of the arrest as outlined by Xiomara). The state is spurious. If Zelaya isn’t president now, he can run for president in the next election. [Har!] I think he also suggested that Xiomara could run. Lawyer Tuki Aguilar. Someone tells the story of the man who was murdered. (I am out of energy. End of transmission)
Thanks to Nell, I finally found Adrienne Pine’s blog, Adrienne is an extraordinary person, an anthropologist who has studied and published on Honduran society and therefore understands its fault lines in considerable detail. Today she has the following important articles:
1. A list of the members of the Parliament who did not support the coup.
2. An eyewitness account to events yesterday in Paraiso province. Radio Globo is occupied by anti-coup citizens, and the roadblock 12 kilometers from the Nicaraguan border that was the site of the violence yesterday is under strong citizen pressure.
3. A debunking of eight lies that the coupistas have put out. It clarifies that the poll Zelaya had proposed would have given Congress the option of establishing the referendum, that the power to establish the process for the assembly did not lie in his hands.

Al Giordano has a disappointing piece questioning Zelaya’s courage. I pointed out that Zelaya walked in under the guns of snipers to a place where he had every reason to expect to be arrested, if not worse. That qualifies as bravery to me. I also pointed out that Zelaya has an intimate sense of the situation, including the attitude of the US, while we are guessing from the outside. And I pointed out that if everyone who bitched would write politely to Hillary, it would probably swing her perception of the situation.

The curfew has been strengthened in the frontier provinces. Telesur says that this weakens the chance that Zelaya can accomplish a peaceful return. [Coddled by our State Department,] the coup is digging in its heels.

Murdered man with signs of torture on the body (Photo by efe)

A man by the name of Pedro Manila of the Colonia San Francisco was reportedly found murdered 300 meters from the police in Paraisa. Telesur reports his name as Pedro Ezequiel. From the ring on his finger, I suppose he left a wife and perhaps children.

Hugo Chavez is talking to on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Constituent Assemnly on TeleSur. It’s pretty windy, but good-natured. Chavez says that Zelaya escaped a trap, both in Las Manos and in Costa Rica. Now on to Las Manos. TeleSur confirms the murder of the young man, saying he had 20 punctures in his body. People say they were imprisoned in El Paraiso and at the frontier they were shot at.

More TeleSur: A lot of the guys on the military side are in balaclavas (black ski masks). These are the uniform of death squads. Zelaya’s jeep is advancing at a microscopic rate. He’s accompanied by a Nicaraguan Minister. Zelaya: My mother and my wife, valiant women, are confronting the bayonet in El Paraiso. People are being humiliated. (someone shouts: Murdered!) He draws on St. Paul: this is a seed that I planted, but you watered. He says that they will be setting up camps, staying there overnight to wait for others who are coming. There seem to be about 300 people around, but it’s hard to say since there are tons of journos and the signal is about 36 dpi. “Do you have faith in God? And in the people?” The crowd yells “Micheletti cabron, detenemos en cajon!” Zelaya: “There’s an elite of 10 families that control the wealth of Honduras.” “Here in Ocotal, Sandino retook the route of Morazan.” Here’s the printed piece.

Radio Globo: The murdered man had 42 stab wounds. There’s a report of a second murder, but not confirmed.

5 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 3/Update”

  1. Thanks for this, Charles. To judge from the murders, I agree with you that Zelaya did the right thing.

  2. Nell said

    Today’s NY Times story about the military’s official statement supporting the San Jose accord (dated Friday, but certainly not released until some point Saturday; who knows) makes me think that this message of Gen. Vasquez’ was communicated to Pres. Zelaya when he spoke to the high command on Friday while in Honduras. It would explain why he immediately began talking about negotiated agreements.

  3. Nell said

    Charles, thanks so much for your translation of the Globo and TeleSur reports. I can only read Spanish, and that haltingly; conversation blows by me. And I’m on dialup, so all these feeds are inaccessible even if I could get much of anything out of them.

    El Patriota has the murdered man’s age as 22. But look at his hands. Are those the result of physical work and poverty, abuse by his captors and killers, or post-mortem effects? Or all three…

    • Charles II said

      Thanks, Nell… caring about Latin America sometimes gets to be a very lonely vigil, so knowing that just one person was assisted in understanding what is going on makes it worthwhile.

      I am hoping beyond hope that Radio Globo will make a transcript of the discussion with Romeo Velasquez available.

      As for the poor guy who was murdered, identified variously as Pedro Ezequiel and Pedro Magdiel Munoz Salvador, my impression was that his hands mostly showed hard labor, though the marks on the backs of the hands could be stab wounds and in one photo there was some discoloration as if his hands had been tied down. There are very graphic photos of the rest of the body….if you can bear it, they are here. I would guess he was dead before most of those stab wounds were made.

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