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Honduras coup, Act IV, Day 3. State of emergency. Call your congressman.

Posted by Charles II on September 23, 2009

The criminals remain in charge, but tomorrow is another day.
Read Laura Carlsen.

Zelaya wrote to the the UN requesting their support. The UN Mission in Honduras wrote an annoying little piece calling on both sides to show restraint and work toward dialogue.

Brother John got some well-deserved recognition in National Catholic Reporter:

“The issue is not Zelaya,” Donaghy told Catholic News Service in an e-mail Sept. 22, a day after Zelaya’s return. “It’s a system that has kept the poor down for years. Zelaya has been seen by many as a sign that someone in power cared for the poor.”

This was reprinted in American Catholic.

Nell says:

The shameful silence of our own government is now intolerable. If it continues through the end of this day, no one will be able to deny our complicity. There’s already a lot of blood on our hands; please read and act to prevent more.

It was written yesterday and she’s right.

The UN has ceased working with the Honduran electoral commision, saying that there are not conditions for a credible election, according to TeleSur.

Channel 36, amazingly, is back up and Globo is still on the air. Both are carrying complaints of police/military misbehavior, such as live ammunition fired. Channel 36 is showing the Cobras, a black-clad police unit. Then large marches, certainly thousands and probably an order of magnitude larger. Channel 36 accuses Miguel Angel Rodas, president of Conatel for sabotage against the channel. Radio Globo says masked men are at Colonia Kennedy. Five patrols in Colonia Morazan. The coup breaks in to announce the curfew is lifted at 6AM. The ambassador, Dr. Enrique Reina, calls in from Washington and says the resistance should stay strong. He says that the UN has pretty much guaranteed that the elections will not get recognition unless the coup is over and Zelaya is restored to power.

Arnulfo Aguilar, president of Radio One, accused the police of threatening to shut down his company. Black- and camouflage-clad police violently ejected people who had assembled to protect the radio, then tried to sabotage the electrical flow. They raised and lowered power levels to damage equipment. According to Aguilar, this strategy of damaging equipment is formulated inside the electrical company.

La Jornada had a piece by Reuters. It concedes one dead (presumably Francisco Alvarado) and says that helicopters buzzed the Brazilian embassy last night.

65 year old Francisco Alvarado, murdered by an M-16 when he tried to get some food from a local mart

(65 year old Francisco Alvarado, murdered by a shot to the abdomen from an M-16 when he tried to get some food from a local mart. Image from Tiempo)

Radio Globo and Channel 36 silenced? That’s what a headline atAdrienne Pine’s Quotha sats. Channnel 36 has been the target of attacks by government pirates. BUT– I am getting Radio Globo. Zelaya interview. Talking about Marcelo Chimirri and the “gray traffic;” I didn’t understand exactly, but it sounded as if he said the owners of telephone networks, including the most wealthy men in Honduras, created the gray traffic. In March/April, 2006 the coup planning began. Asking about inventory of weapons. Zelaya doesn’t know about that. He hopes that the UN will set an agenda. They ask Zelaya about the report that he will be killed if he resists, and captured if he doesn’t. He jokes about it, basically saying “que sera, sera.” People who leave the embassy are arrested. Ariana says a Martin Sanchez was taken in front of the national cathedral (and she reads more names). The sound cuts out. The police are not letting her say the names. The government inserts a message to the OAS saying foreigners, these events are not your business. It seems to me that the government is monitoring and effectively censoring the signal.

Adrienne headlines that journalist Gilberto Rios says that people in plainclothes in the march approved by the coup were armed and that they may attempt to burst into the Brazilian embassy.

Interamerican Center for Human Rights:

State agents threw tear gas canisters into the headquarters of the Committee of Relatives of Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), at the time that the organization was attending to complaints and witness statements by individuals injured during the repression.

Al Giordano, Narconews. Peru helping coup?:

In neighborhoods like Hato de Enmedio, where a majority of Honduras’ citizens live, you can also see in the video see that not even the main street in the barrio is paved. Many of the homes have dirt floors as well. And if a citizen is harmed by a robber or predator, you can call the police, but they won’t come. People who live in neighborhoods like this only see the police when they invade, like they did yesterday, to enforce an unenforceable curfew on people who, if they obeyed the curfew, would starve of hunger. A curfew is unsustainable on a people that live hand to mouth, day to day.

We can also see in that video the revelation that the tear gas canisters shot by the National Police yesterday were stamped as property of the government of Perú, suggesting strongly that Peruvian President Alan García is a participant in smuggling arms to the Honduran coup regime. Something he will now have to answer for to the Organization of American States in general, and his neighbor Brazil in particular.

The State Department helped some Zelaya staff leave the Brazilian compound.
The night was filled with gunshots, as Oscar documented for Adrienne. The “curfew” was lifted from 10AM to 4PM. Adrienne says that this is to stage a pro-coup demonstration.

Image by Paul Carbajal
(Image from Paul Carbajal at Adrienne Pine’s of captives from yesterday’s arrests)

Channel 36: Complaints of water having been shut off. Allegation that the sound weapon deployed by Honduran army was used by the US in Iraq and was banned by the United Nations; it is called LRAD and is intended to rupture eardrums and cause deafness. It is an illegal weapon of war. [LRAD does exist in a configuration that could be consistent with the device shown. There’s no question that some kind of sound attack was deployed yesterday. But I can find no evidence that this has been banned.] A complaint that in Travesia there has been no water and no cable since Sunday. Announcer: “Nothing’s happening here. It’s a paradise!” Channel 36 has been shut off in the state of Ocotopeque(?)

Brazilian newspaper The World: Lula drew strobg applause at the UN when he said that Zelaya must be returned to power. Zelaya alleged in an interview with TeleSurthat there was a plan to assassinate him.

Honduras Coup 2009 has several articles.
1. RNS: A spokesman for the military says it wants to talk, according to Tiempo.
2. RAJ rewrites AP mediawhore copy so that it resembles reality.
3. A report from the ground.

From Jeremy Kryt, Narconews:

The offices of the Committee for Detained and Disappeared Persons of Honduras (COFADEH) were attacked without provocation, when police fired tear gas canisters at the building.

“They want us to give up our investigations,” said COFADEH Director Bertha Oliva, “because they’re scared of the evidence we have against them.”…

Later that day, Oliva told me that COFADEH alone had documented 36 injured people on Tuesday, many bearing severe welts and scalp lacerations from police batons. She also reported at least two deaths. Congressman Ponce believes put the total number of wounded at 172. Independent reports indicated about 350 people were also arrested and detained in the Villa Olympica soccer stadium….

I spoke by phone with Father Andres Tamayo – Catholic priest, and leading figure in the anti-coup movement – who was trapped with Zelaya inside the Embassy. “There are police in front of the building, and all of the surrounding houses. The government is also listening in, and blocking our calls,” he said, just before the line went dead.

5 Responses to “Honduras coup, Act IV, Day 3. State of emergency. Call your congressman.”

  1. Nell said

    IPS report that documents Lobo’s efforts to distance himself and National Party from the coup has some off-putting passages, particularly the end.

    Obama takes his oh-so-clever rhetorical jab global: “Make no mistake: this cannot solely be America’s endeavor,” Obama said. “Those who used to chastise
    America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone.”

    • Charles II said

      The coup is sending mixed messages, probably deliberately to create the illusion that there is some reasonable party to talk to.

      As for Obama, he is hoist on his own petard. Brazil and to a lesser extent Venezuela have become hemisphere-wide heroes precisely becayse they haven’t been standing by and waiting for the thoroughly-corrupt US political establishment to do the right thing. As I conveyed to my congressional delegation, even viewed from the nationalistic standpoint of preserving American power, the failure of the US to act has been disastrous to US prestige, influence, business interests–and even military interests. The whole American continent cannot but regard us as duplicitous.

      • It was so sad to see Obama come out strongly against the coup at first, then back off once Hillary’s good friend Lanny Davis started frowning. And did you get a load of the cadena nacional held in English? As Al G. said, they apparently didn’t have time to translate Lanny Davis’ talking points into Spanish.

  2. Charles II said

    I saw your comment and wanted to ask about it. Isn’t it possible that the press interview was held in English because the reporters were from English-language sources? I didn’t see/hear the presser but, frankly, in response to Al Giordano’s characterization of it as “bizarre,” most of what both sides are saying is pretty repetitive and delusional. The left thinks the coup is on the verge of falling (fat chance of that as long as the army and the oligarchy remain in favor) and the right thinks it can do absolutely anything and get away with it (not entirely unreasonable considering that the US just allowed Micheletti to metaphorically slap its diplomats around). And it could easily take until spring before the economy collapses completely (anything short of that and the oligarchy can cope).

    An interesting exercise BTW is to go to Google maps and type embassy Tegucigalpa. The US embassy is right around the corner from the Brazilian, and presumably got a front row seat for the sound blasting and tear gas.

    • As a cadena nacional broadcast by law on every Honduran radio and TV station, it’s obvious that the primary audience was indeed intended to be the mass of the Honduran people. Furthermore, all previous pressers were held in Spanish, regardless of the nationality of the reporters.

      The sudden departure from past practice, even if for innocuous reasons, does lend itself to the construction of a picture that shows the golpistas as being not a popular junta, but one propped up by outside interests, primarily US ones.

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