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Archive for April 12th, 2010

Honduran dictatorship, day 76: Summary on DailyKos

Posted by Charles II on April 12, 2010

I have presented a summary of the human rights situation here.

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Added: Esdras Amado Lopez of Channel 36 accuses Supreme Court Judge Jorge Alberto Rivera Villes of corruption and of being the primary accomplice in the coup. He points to a State Dept. report talking about judicial corruption. We reporters are at the mercy of the suspension of freedom of the press, he says.

Via Brother John, the Pax Christi report. They say in part:

…deeply troubling are reports of ongoing, targeted human rights violations, fear
and divisions in society, endemic corruption and serious drug-related violence.

3. We saw evidence of a vast non-violent, popular movement in opposition to the coup and
especially to the continuation of social, political and economic structures that exclude a large
majority of the Honduran people….

5. We heard repeatedly about serious, very recent human rights violations, including the
assassination inside the Public Institute of San José del Pedregal of teacher Manuel Flores Arguijo,
a member of the Resistance; the assassination of five journalists known to be sympathetic to the
Resistance; and the assassination of Francisco Castillo, a member of the Resistance from Bajo
Aguán, who was already under the preventive protection of the InterAmerican Human Rights
Commission. Immediately after we left Honduras we received word about another assassination in
Bajo Aguan – of Miguel Alonso Oliva – and about well-founded fear of increased repression in that
area against campesinos, who are immersed in a conflict over land with some of Honduras’ most
powerful …

Given what we have heard, we also urge the United Nations to consider sending a Special Human Rights Rapporteur to Honduras to observe this process [the Truth Commission].

8. We remain convinced that the conflict in Honduras is not only political and are deeply concerned
about the abuse of military and, especially, of economic power that are driving the current crisis….

A desire to reinstate aid out of concern for the suffering caused by its suspension is understandable, but we are convinced that next steps must keep in mind fundamental principles, including concern for the poor, a commitment to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law, and an end to impunity….

13. We urge the Catholic community worldwide and all people of good will to sustain and strengthen
international solidarity with the Honduran people, accompanying those whose basic human rights
are being violated; advocating for truth, justice and democratic participation; and addressing the
many ways in which international greed for minerals and markets, wealth, power and control
provide fertile ground for the suffering in Honduras.

Also from Brother John:

The Canadians intend to invest 700 million US dollars in mining and maquila efforts, according to a report in Honduras Weekly.

The San Andrés, Copán, mine is not far from where I live. Streams near the mine flow into the Rio Lara which is the source of water for the city of Santa Rosa. San Andrés is an open pit mine that uses cyanide leeching as the way to separate out gold. A number of years ago cyanide was released into the stream that led into Rio Lara. Last year a cyanide spill on the mining grounds was supposedly contained. But who knows how much cyanide or heavy metals may be being released into the ecosystem here.

[minor correction, 4/12]Adrienne quotes a communique that says that in:

Trujillo, Colon department, Honduras, informed us that soldiers have surrounded the entire community and have taken over the street in front of where the campesinos and campesinas are. The atmosphere of intimidation is terrible, they have been firing their weapons. –Resistance Front of Colón

The communique also says that judges have been arriving to sign the eviction orders. Adrienne requests that people call State and politicians.

According to El Lib, a judge, Maria Rios, threw out indictments against former Zelaya officials, ENEE (electrical utility) manager Rixi Moncada and former Defense Secretary Aristides Mejia. Moncada did not let a competitive bid for renting the building. The judge ruled she didn’t have to. Rebeca Santos, former Finance Minister, remains under indictment. It’s hard to see why, if the underlying actions were not criminal. And so falls yet another pillar in the accusations against Zelaya.

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