Sunday, July 6, 2014

COFADEH: Aguan Accion Urgente - Urgent Action Aguan

En Español Aquí
July 3rd violent eviction of campesinos in the Aguan.

 URGENT ACTION
The Committee of the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras
(COFADEH) expresses its total repudiation of and concern for the violent eviction that was carried out on Thursday July 3, 2014 by members of the Joint Task Force Xatruch III of approximately 350 families of the "Gregorio Chavez" Movement from the Paso Aguán farm, located on the left bank of the Aguán River in the municipality of Trujillo, Colón, according to the following facts:
1. The action took place at about 11:00 A.M., when approximately 300 police and military members of JTF Xaltruch III violently invaded the farm, and indiscriminately fired tear gas and live bullets at those present, including children and elderly people.
2. As a result of this operation, campesinos José Sánchez Méndez and David Ponce were seriously wounded and transferred to the hospital in Tocoa, where they are receiving medical care. Mariano Baquedano and Roger Rodríguez were also injured with a blunt weapon. They were also transferred to this hospital to receive medical attention.

3. Moreover, seven people were arrested during the eviction, including among them a minor, a woman, an elderly person, and a member of the Permanent Observatory of Human Rights in the Bajo Aguán. Although they were arrested at 11:00 A.M. the army did not turn them over to police custody until 4 P.M. exceeding the time allowed by law for a report to be issued to the Fiscal.

4. Those detained are: Jorge Meléndez (46); Moisés Meléndez (56); Gloria Enamorado; Jeremías Cruz; José Chavez (60); Hernán Ricardo Omar Ocampos and Ricardo Rodas (16). According to available information, these people will be prosecuted and charged with the crime of usurpation.

BACKGROUND:
The Panamá Finca had been occupied by the "Gregorio Chavez" campesino group since July 4, 2012, after DINANT Corporation private security guards disappeared the independent campesino Gregorio Chávez Aranda, who was later found buried on the farm of industrtial farm magnate Miguel Facussé Barjum. The campesinos were evicted in May 2013, after an exhumation was conducted by forensic anthropologists on April 25, 2013, during which the body of independent campesino José Antonio López Lara was also found.

Since then the families of the town of Panamá have been repeatedly evicted. On one such occasion four soldiers and twenty security guards illegally entered the parcel of José Chávez Aranda’s , brother of Gregorio Chávez, and stole a large part of the crops he had on his land. José Chávez is one of the seven arrested on July 3.

It is also known that Deputy Comissioner Santos Núñez, member of the JTF Xatruch III, has previously intimidated the Coordinator of the Permanent Observatory of Human Rights in the  Bajo Aguán, (OPDHA), Martha Arnold, asking her who they thought they were to document facts, and that although they are supported by international and national human rights organizations, “that doesn’t mean anything.” He also required them to submit documents related to their legal status, not taking into account the International Conventions and Treaties for the Defense and Protection of Human Rights. Similarly, intimidation from members of the JTF Xatruch III, headed by Jovel Martínez, is directed at campesino leaders in the department of Colón, like the case of Agrarian Platform in the Bajo Aguán coordinator Jaime Cárcamo, who stated that soldiers have singled him out and on some occasions have pointed him out as a “land invader.”

PETITION:
We ask the national and international community to request that the State of Honduras take the necessary steps to ensure and protect the integrity and life of the campesinos in the Bajo Aguán, who are active in the defense of the struggle for land. We ask that they perform proper investigations, identifying those responsible for the events described above.

Please direct calls, emails and/or faxes to the following authorities.
OSCAR FERNANDO CHINCHILLA 
Attorney General’s Office. 
Fax (504) 2221-5667 
Tel (504) 2221-5670 2221-3099 

ARTURO CORRALES ALVAREZ 
Secretary of State in the Ministry of Security 
Tel: (504) 2229-0003 
E-mail: medidgeovanny@yahoo.com  

KARLA EUGENIA CUEVA 
Sub-Secretary Justice and Human Rights 
Tel: (504) 2231-1542; 2232-0231 
Fax: (504) 2232-0226 
E-mail: karlacueva144@gmail.com 

ROBERTO HERRERA CACERES 
National Commissioner for Human Rights 
Tel: (504) 2220-7648; 2232-0433 

JOSE ANTONIO MARADIAGA 
Public Ministry Coordinator 
Trujillo, Colon 
Fax: (504) 2434-4061 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Urgent Action for the Lenca Community, San Francisco de Opalac

By June 24th - Call and E-mail the Honduran and US authorities  to demand the charges against the Lenca leaders of San Francisco de Opalaca be dropped! 

Urgent Action Information provided by B. Gynther, SOAW

 foto Honduras Tierra Libre
Leaders of the Lenca people of San Francisco de Opalaca are facing charges of sedition for standing up against the fraudulent imposition of the ruling party Mayor in their municipality. For 5 months, they have prevented the corrupt government imposed Mayor from taking office and selling off their natural resources an instead elected their own democratically chosen Mayor and authorities in a massive Indigenous Assembly. Now, over 30 community leaders -- including the Indigenous Assembly elected Mayor and Municipal Corporation, community leaders, a correspondent for Radio Progreso, and community radio communicators -- have to appear in court this Tuesday (June 24) to face charges of sedition and usurpation.  Call and e-mail the authorities below today to urge them to drop the bogus charges against the Lenca people and leaders. Sample scripts for calls and e-mails are below the contact information:

Ministerio Publico: Oscar Chinchilla, Fiscal General, Phone: 011-504-2221-5670 or 011-504-2221-3099,  E-mail: denuncias@mp.hn
Office of the President: Roger A Ordóñez, Assistant to JOH, E-mail: rogerodonezf@yahoo.com, Phone: 011-504-9970 6001

Secretariat of Human Rights, Justice, Government, and Decentralization: Karla Cueva, Under-Secretary for Justice and Human Rights, Phone: 011-(504) 2231-1542 and 011-(504)- 2232-0231, E-mail: karlacueva144@gmail.com
First Court of Letters of Intibuca: Phone: 011-504-2783-0084

US Embassy: Amanda Johnson-Miller, Human Rights & Labor Officer.  E-mail: Johnson-MillerA@state.gov

Sample phone script for calls to Honduran authorities:

Estoy llamando desde YOUR STATE OR ORGANIZATION para pedir un fin a la criminalización del pueblo Lenca de San Francisco Opalaca y exigir que retiren las acusaciones de sedición y usurpación contra sus lideres eligidos en asambleas Indigenas y los comunicadores sociales. Le pido que el estado de Honduras respeta al Convenio 169 de la OIT sobre pueblos Indigenas, incluso el derecho de tener su propio sistema de gobierno. Les insto retirar los cargos contra los mas que 30 lideres del pueblo de San Francisco de Opalaca quienes han sido citado para una audiencia el 24 de junio, incluso Entimo Vasquez y Jesus Rodriguez. Gracias.

Sample e-mail for contacting the Honduran authorities:

Estimado NAME,

Le escribo desde YOUR STATE OR ORGANIZATION para expresar mi preocupación ante la criminalización del pueblo Lenca de San Francisco de Opalaca como resultado de su lucha para la autodeterminación Indígena. Les insto retirar las acusaciones contra los y las 30 líderes Indígenas y comunicadores sociales por cargos como sedición y usurpación de los bienes del estado.

Como sabe usted, Honduras ha ratificado el Convenio 169 de la OIT sobre Pueblos Indígenas y les pido respetar los derechos del pueblo Lenca de San Francisco de Opalaca, incluso el derecho de tener su propio sistema de gobierno.

Si hay alguien que debe ser enjuiciado en San Francisco de Opalaca, son los empleado de la Corporación Municipal del gobierno quienes dispararon contra Irene Meza el 25 de Mayo de 2014. Pero el pueblo Lenca y sus autoridades Indígenas llevan al cabo una lucha pacifica y esto debe ser respetado.

Les pido retirar los cargos contra los 30 líderes de San Francisco de Opalaca y respetar su Alcaldía Indígena.

Gracias. 

Sample e-mail to US Embassy:

I am writing because I am extremely concerned about the criminalization of the Lenca people of San Francisco de Opalaca, who have been standing up for their rights as autonomous Indigenous people.  30 Lenca leaders have been summoned to present themselves in court on Tuesday, June 24th, facing charges that include sedition and usurpation. In reality, the Lenca people have been exercising their right to self-determination and Indigenous forms of government, as protected by ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  They do not recognized the government-imposed Mayor but instead have elected their own Indigenous Mayor and authorities in a massive Indigenous Assembly.  

I urge the US Embassy to contact the Honduran authorities and ask them to respect the rights of the Indigenous Lenca people to self-determination, including to their own forms of government.  Most importantly, please express your desire for the charges against the Lenca leaders -- which include community radio leaders and a correspondent for Radio Progreso--  to be withdrawn. 

It is also important to encourage the Tribunal Superior de Cuentas finish its audit of Mayor Socorro Sanchez in an impartial way and that there be accountability and charges if merited for mis-use of public funds in San Francisco de Opalaca.  That would be an important step towards addressing corruption and impunity in Honduras.  

Thank you,
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

COFADEH Urgent Action and Campesino Evictions

Honduras Resists publishes below an urgent action issued by COFADEH regarding the continuing threats and intimidations aimed at the human rights defenders in Honduras. La Voz de los de Abajo strongly supports COFADEH and we hold the Honduran government responsible for the physical and emotional integrity of COFADEH's staff, volunteers and the citizens who use the office and come there looking for help.

Eviction in Comayagua June 5, 2014
At the same time we dennounce new EVICTIONS of CAMEPSINOS of CNTC affiliates in Comayagua and MARCA members in the Aguan.  On June 5th the CNTC community in Ajuterique, Comayagua was evicted  by large force of police and military. 120 men, women and children  of the campesino group La Brea lost the land they have lived on and cultivated for 5 years and the coffee, corn and bean crops that were growing in their fields today. The campesino community was accompanied by members of the National office of the CNTC, Via Campesina and also had the presence of international human rights observers from PROAH. On May 21, 2014, at 6.00 a.m.  four military commandos and four police patrols, arrived at the area that 300 families affiliated with MARCA have occupied since July 12, 2012 with an order granting right of possession from the appropriate authorities based on a June 29, 2012 ruling from the Court of Trujillo. The police launched tear gas and fired rifles and captured 16 campesinos including 3 leaders who have protective orders from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. Several campesinos were injured and denied medical care. One pregnant woman who was detained miscarried later. 
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COFADEH Urgent Action: June 9, 2014

URGENT ACTION
The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) expresses its concern, to the national and international public, regarding a series of events that have occurred systematically in recent weeks; events that occurred immediately after COFADEH registered formal complaints.

Since February 2014, various types of surveillance have been documented including stationed vehicles without license plates, vehicles circulating in front of COFADEH’s facilities at night and presence of vehicles that coincide with the departure of employees. These vehicles move slowly even when there is no heavy traffic, making several laps around the perimeter. Some of these vehicles park in the vicinity of the building and others pass by, making it clear that they are observing movements.  Unknown persons are strategically located on corners opposite the building in order to monitor the office’s movements. 

As of May 13, 2014, a private vehicle, red Toyota Corolla sedan with a black stripe and dark, tinted windows, has been observed parking daily at 7:00 A.M. in a suspicious manner (no one exits nor enters the vehicle). This vehicle parks at the same time and in the same place, usually located to the left of the entrance of the building coinciding with the hour that COFADEH personnel enter work. 

On May 29, 2014 at 10:00 A.M., a tall stocky man with dark skin and short hair, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, took photographs of the COFADEH facilities. When he realized that he was being watched, he left the perimeter walking unhurriedly.

Also, at the end of May 2014, the General Coordinator of this institution observed during morning hours, a suspicious man carrying a firearm suspiciously located on a sidewalk near COFADEH, exactly opposite the Building of Women in the Arts.

On Tuesday, June 3 of this year at about 8:00 A.M., Mr. José Ricardo Castillo Molina was murdered just 100 meters from the offices of COFADEH, as he emerged from his vehicle to go to his business: La Casa de las Velas (The House of Candles).  Two armed men driving a motorcycle shot him at close range. According to information provided by the family, the businessman had no personal enemies and his family was not aware that he had received any threats or was the object of extortion.

Events on Thursday June 5 of this year also alarm us. At about 7:40 A.M., immediately after the aforementioned red car left, a blue car with no plates parked in the same place, stayed until 8:45 A.M., and no one left the vehicle. However, it was apparent that there was a person inside of the vehicle with a cell phone in hand, apparently filming.

On June 4, 2014, at 3:00 P.M. one team member was temporarily kidnapped in a taxi in which there were four people: the driver, two women and a man, supposedly passengers, who detained her for two hours during which time the vehicle circulated throughout different zones of the city, including secure neighborhoods.  During this time she was assaulted, beaten severely in the face, suffered a strangulation attempt, and injuries from a pen stabbing her in the legs, neck and left hand.  This incident happened after leaving an event on “Forced Displacement due to Violence” which was held in the capital.

COFADEH is a beneficiary of protective measures issued by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), however the state has not adopted effective measures to dissuade insecurity. 

In May, this institution presented a report on findings regarding the Human Rights situation prepared by the Delegation of Spanish Parliamentarians that visited Honduras at the beginning of April, 2014.  The General Coordinator also spoke in Canada during April and in May, participated in the IEDDH 2014 Forum, speaking on the issue of “Arbitrary and Summary Executions and Forced Disappearance” at the invitation of the European Union in  Brussels, Belgium.  Her interviews were reproduced in the international news media. 
Recently, 108 U.S. Congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry to express their concern about the current human rights situation in Honduras.  The letter which referenced COFADEH as a source of information, expressed concern that the human rights situation has worsened under the government of Juan Orlando Hernández, asked the State Department to demand that the government of Honduras protect the fundamental rights of citizens, end the use of military forces for public policing, investigate and prosecute abuses and restore the rule of law.  

In Honduras, human rights defenders continue to be intimidated, persecuted, criminalized, censured, threatened and stigmatized. 

REQUEST:
We request that the national and international community communicate with the State of Honduras to ask that it take necessary measures to guarantee and protect the lives and integrity of the staff of COFADEH. 

That it guarantee the universally recognized right to defend human rights, as established in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights Defenders approved in 1998 and the OAS Resolutions of 1999 and 2000.  

Remind the State of its obligation to conduct effective investigation and make public the results, to identify those responsible for the acts described above. 
Request the State to effectively carry out the protective measures issued to COFADEH by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Please call the following authorities. 

OSCAR FERNANDO CHINCHILLA   
Fiscal General de la República/Attorney General.
Fax (504) 2221-5667 
Tel (504) 2221-5670  2221-3099        

ARTURO CORRALES ALVAREZ
Secretario de Estado en los Despachos de Seguridad/Secretary of State
Teléfono: (504) 2229-0003

KARLA EUGENIA CUEVA
SUB-SECRETARIA JUSTICIA Y DERECHOS HUMANOS/Sub Secretary Justice and Human Rights
Tel: (504) 2231-1542; 2232-0231
Fax:  (504) 2232-0226

ROBERTO HERRERA CACERES
COMISIONADO NACIONAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS/National Human Rights Commission
Tel: (504) 2220-7648; 2232-0433
Fax:
E-mail:

Tegucigalpa, MDC., June 9, 2014.




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Attacks on the Lenca and Garifuna Communities

Urgent Action Request 
Murder and Repression Target Lenca Communities in Resistance 

On May 26th  community leader, Irene Meza was killed In San Francisco de Opalaca where election fraud in November installed a ruling party (National Party) mayor who was not accepted by the town; the indigenous council then led a takeover of the municipality. A National Party gunman opened fire on Mr. Meza and also wounded another activist. National Party thugs then attacked the car taking Mr. Meza and the other wounded man to the hospital.

The night of May 24th In Rio Blanco, where the community and its indigenous council have been blocking the construction of a hydroelectric project,community activist William Jacobo Rodríguez was murdered. There were also new incidents of threats, detentions, and beatings by the police of community members.

Below in the previous blog post is the recent communique on both incidents from the Lenca organizations, COPINH with the demands of the communities. 

CALLS OR LETTERS ARE NEEDED: The situation in both communities is very insecure and at high risk for more violence against the community members and political opposition. Please contact the US Embassy Human Rights Officer and/or the Attorney General (Fiscal General) of Honduras to express your concern and demand an end to the state sponsored violence, serious investigations of the acts of violence and murders, and an end to the political persecution of COPINH, LIBRE and the indigenous councils in the communities. 

In English:
Amanda Johnson-Miller
Human Rights & Labor Officer
U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa Honduras
(504) 2236-9320 x473

In Spanish
Oscar Fernando Chinchilla          
Fiscal General de la República.
Fax (504) 2221-5667

Tel (504) 2221-5670  2221-3099 
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translation by Marilyn Lorenz

State Violence and eviction in the Garifuna community of Puerto Castilla

Once again the Honduran security forces are using indiscriminate violence against the civilian population, the break-up of a protest demonstration in Puerto Castilla community last Friday May 23 culminated with six children hospitalized in the city of Trujillo.

The use of tear gas as an offensive weapon has become a usual strategy for Honduran security forces, which unfortunately are trained in techniques of aggression rather than deterrence, and have a painful and long history of human rights abuses against the civilian population.

The community of Puerto Castilla is perplexed by the hospitalization of six minors and the evacuation of many of the infants to a ship anchored in front of the community, so as to avoid the poisoning caused by the pepper spray and tear gas bombs. The recent events have given rise to widespread protests among the Garifuna village in the absence of human sensitivity on the part of the repressors and the inability to dialog shown by the Empresa Nacional Portuaria (EPN) and state officials.

The use of chemical weapons for "crowd control¨ 
The use of chemical weapons to dissolve protests and demonstrations has increased in recent years on the planet, especially after the collapse of the world economy of 2008. In Honduras tear gas became part of the usual menu for the Honduran people after the coup.

In Puerto Castilla hundreds of gas bombs CS (clorobenzilideno malononitrilo), which can cause severe lung damage, as well significant damage to the heart and the liver were used indiscriminately. The majority of the bombs of 40 mm were manufactured by ALS Technologies, a company that in its reference sheet on the product indicate that contains a hazardous chemical. In addition to the CS gas, rubber bullets were used by the elements responsible for suppressing in Castilla.

The bombs hit the Garden of Nin@s and insie the community homes, spreading terror among the people before receiving the final onslaught of a disproportionate number of uniformed men.

The civilian dictatorship that Honduras suffers, in addition to the induced failed state, has led to a maze of structural violence, where the claims of the population become a target of criminalization on the part of the State, in addition to a chronic repression.

The community of Puerto Castilla and their historical claims
The Garifuna community of Puerto Castilla received a degree in 1889 from the hands of President Luis Bogran, under the name of "La Puntilla", which included territory12 miles long and three wide. This title was endorsed in 1904 by Manuel Bonilla by awarding the title to the community of Cristales and Rio Negro. Later part of the lands were granted in the year 1921 to the Truxillo Railroad Company and transferred back to the community of Cristales and Rio Negro in 1942. In 1974 General Alvarez Martínez forced the community of Cristales and Rio Negro at gunpoint to lease the land of La Puntilla to the National Port Company (ENP).

Apparently the Garifuna community of Castilla was relocated in 1940 to the south of its original place, for the construction of a US military base, which was returned to Honduras at the end of the war. A number of heliports and moorings (helipuertos y atracaderos) in the US-Honduran military base are currently under construction, part of the metastasis of US military bases on the continent.

The inhabitants of Puerto Castilla face a huge overcrowding, given the absence of available land for the expansion of the community. The village has been demanding for a field of five manzanas, loaned to Mr. Jose Mauricio Weizemblut Olive, representative of Intermares, a Japanese company that tried to establish in Honduras in the 90s. The land in question is apparently for sale by Mr Weizemblut Olive, who has assumed be the purported owner.

Among the commitments cyclically signed by the ENP, is to provide a share of jobs to the inhabitants of Puerto Castilla, point that has never been fulfilled by the company, which has been involved in numerous cases of corruption. There is also an increase in racism toward the Garifuna staff working in the EPN, which in many occasions suffer from harassment, especially those individuals allegedly associated with the community claims.

The dispossession of the Garifuna communities and the territorial claims 
The violent incursion of the security forces in Puerto Castilla are not helping to solve the severe problems faced by their inhabitants . The security policy of the club applied by the current "nationalist" administration resembles more each day the dictatorships of beginnings of the last century, which dilutes the creation of an effective rule of law in Honduras.

In spite of the intensive campaign of the Administration of Juan Hernandez to eradicate the image of a violent country controlled by political narcos, the attack on the civilian population, in particular the fatal assault that led to six juveniles at the hospital as a result of the use of chemical weapons, and the evacuation of a large group of children to a barge to circumvent the effects of pepper spray, increases the image of a failed State where the dialog has been supplanted by the pepper gas, moving away from possible and awaited foreign investment.

Our organization condemns the barbaric actions, and we demand the fulfillment of the accords that have been signed between the National Port Authority (ENP), with the inhabitants of the community of Puerto Castilla, as well as the return of land to the Garifuna community, which by right of ancestral possession belongs to them, which was ratified in the recent hearing held in San Jose Costa Rica before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in relation to the case of Triunfo de la Cruz.

Sambo Creek, 27 de Mayo del 2014
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Sambo Creek, Atlántida.
Honduras
telefax: 504-24541513 / 504-24490003
email:garifuna@ofraneh.org / ofraneh@yahoo.com
http://www.ofraneh.org /http://www.ofraneh.wordpress.com / Twitter:@ofraneh

Monday, May 26, 2014

Declaration from COPINH on New Murder and Repression in San Francisco de Opalaca and Rio Blanco


El español sigue el ingles
English translation followed by the Spanish original of COPINH's comunique about yesterday's repression in San Francisco Opalaca and Rio Blanco.  From Brigitte Gynther of SOA-Watch

Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH
Bo. Las Delicias, Intibucá, Intibucá;  Blog: copinhonduras.blogspot.com; Tel. (504) 2783-0817; http://copinh.org; FB: Copinh Intibucá; Twitter: @copinhhonduras

Murder and repression in San Francisco de Opalaca and Rio Blanco executed by the fascist forces of the National Party and the National Police   
Irene Meza 
To the national and international community, COPINH denounces and condemns the murders, murder attempts, and repression perpetrated yesterday against the Lenca people, acts that are motivated by the repressive policies of the State of Honduras, led by Juan Orlando Hernandez: 

Yesterday, after the conclusion of an important Indigenous Assembly in San Francisco de Opalaca - the purpose of which was to socialize the findings of the Audit demanded by the Lenca people and carried out by the Superior Accounting Tribunal as well as to make decisions in the context of the construction of the Indigenous Government - employees of the ex-Mayor that the National Party has tried to impose appeared in a private vehicle and Mr. Hugo Sánchez,  without saying a word, took out a pistol and fired on Irene Meza and Plutarco Bonilla.  Irene Meza is the husband of the 3rd Councilwoman of the Legitimate Mayor's Office, Ada Elizabeth Méndez,  who was in charge of reading the Audit report in the Assembly yesterday. Plutarco Bonilla is a well-known compañero in the struggle against the coup d'etat, in the resistance movement, and both are part of the LIBRE party. Additionally, both compañeros had been participating in all of this most recent struggle in San Francisco Opalaca. 

The brutality with which this crime was perpetrated is so extreme that when Irene Meza, shot with bullets in the stomach and chest, was being driven to the hospital in La Esperanza by his wife and a driver, they were attacked again by a heavily armed group of men at the height of the ascent of the Zarco River, causing the vehicle to crash.  The armed men then proceeded to the site of the crash, shooting 6 more shots at Irene.  In this crime, the two people with him were also injured.  

Plutarco Bonilla
With regards to Plutarco Bonilla, we inform that a bullet hit his hand and he is out of danger. 

On the other hand, in Río Blanco, between Saturday May 24th and Sunday May 25th, while he was returning to his home around midnight, William Jacobo Rodríguez, a struggler in defense of the Gualcarque River against the imposition of the Agua Zarca Hydoelectric Dam, was murdered.  It is worth mentioning that even though somebody already confessed to this crime, the Police forces that are stationed at the DESA installation in Rio Blanco as part of a special operation against the Lenca People, proceeded to break into homes and arbitrarily capture two COPINH members, Lindolfo Benítez and Salvador Sánchez,  and as if that were not enough, they then physically and emotionally tortured both of them, threatened to kill minors that were in their houses, and also threatened and verbally attacked Francisco Javier Sánchez, President of the Indigenous Council of Rio Blanco and Coordinator of Land and Territories for COPINH.  

For all of this, COPINH demands:
  • Effective investigation and immediate application of justice for the murders of William Rodríguez and Irene Meza as well as the attempts against Plutarco Bonilla, Ada Méndez and Pedro Rodríguez.
  • Although Lindolfo Benítez and Salvador Sánchez, in the early hours of today were taken back to Rio Blanco and freed, we demand an investigation and punishment of the repressive forces responsable for their torture and abitrarity, for which COPINH has repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of this police force that only has brought threats and repression to the communities that constantly reject it.  
  • An end to the political repression and criminalization against the Lenca people and COPINH, against the social and political strugglers.  
  • COPINH holds responsible the State of Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernández, the powerful groups, corporations, as well as the army and police, for all the polices of terror and criminalization against our People and organization. 

We declare that all the actions of Indigenous people rising up and defending territory and the common goods of nature, against large predatory capital, for the construction of self-determination, for ILO Convention 169 and Indigenous government continue strong; this will be part of the big Assembly for Territory and Communities that will start tomorrow, May 27 and the 5-department Regional Mobilization in La Esperanza, Intibucá on Thursday, May 29 at 10.00am, all of our actions guided with hope for our ancestral history of rebellion and dignity. 

In Intibucá, May 26, 2014.
COPINH
¡In the face of more repression, more struggle and organization!
¡We are sons and daughters of Lempira!

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Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras COPINH
Bo. Las Delicias, Intibucá, Intibucá;  Blog: copinhonduras.blogspot.com; Tel. (504) 2783-0817; http://copinh.org; FB: Copinh Intibucá; Twitter: @copinhhonduras

Asesinato y represión  en San Francisco de Opalaca y Río Blanco ejecutan  Las fuerzas fascistas del Partido Nacional y la Policía Nacional.   
El COPINH ante la comunidad nacional e internacional denuncia y condena los asesinatos, atentados y represión   perpetrados el  día ayer  contra miembros Lencas, hechos que son motivados por la política represiva del Estado de Honduras, encabezado por Juan Orlando Hernández:
El día de ayer, luego de concluir una   importante  Asamblea Indígena en San Francisco de Opalaca,  con el propósito de socializar los hallazgos de la Auditoria exigida por el Pueblo Lenca y desarrollada por el Tribunal  Superior  de Cuentas  y de  toma de decisiones en el marco del proceso de construcción de Gobernanza  Indígena,  se hicieron presente a la Plaza de Monte Verde  empleados del exalcalde que ha pretendido imponer el Partido Nacional,   desplazándose en un carro particular, el señor Hugo Sánchez,  sin mediar palabra  saco una pistola y disparo contra  los compañeros Irene Meza y Plutarco Bonilla, el primero esposo de la  3ra. Regidora de la Alcaldía Legitima  Ada Elizabeth Méndez,  quien fue la encargada de dar a conocer el informe de la auditoria el día de ayer, el segundo, destacado compañero en la lucha contra el Golpe de Estado, de la Resistencia y ambos del Partido  LIBRE, además  los dos compañeros habían estado participando en todo este último  proceso de lucha de San Francisco de Opalaca.
La saña con que fue perpetrado este crimen llega a tal extremo, que cuando era trasladado  Irene Meza hacia el Hospital de la Esperanza, ya que fue impactado por las balas en el abdomen y pecho  y era auxiliado por su esposa y motorista, a la altura de la cuesta del Río Zarco fueron  atacados nuevamente por un grupo de hombres fuertemente armado, provocando que el vehículo se accidentara,  luego  procedieron a bajar al lugar donde quedo el mismo, rematando de 6 disparos más al compañero Irene. En este atentado también resultaron lesionados los dos acompañantes.
Respecto al  compañero Plutarco Bonilla, informamos que el recibió un impacto en la mano y se encuentra fuera de peligro.
Por otro lado, en Río Blanco, entre el día sábado 24 y  domingo 25 de los corrientes, mientras regresaba  a su casa de habitación, a eso de la media noche,  fue asesinado el compañero William Jacobo Rodríguez, luchador en defensa del Río Gualcarque y en contra de la imposición del Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca, cabe mencionar que a pesar que ya hay una persona confesa del delito,  la fuerza policial  que se encuentra asentada en Río Blanco en el plantel de DESA, bajo una operación especial dirigida contra el Pueblo Lenca  procedieron a  irrumpir en  casas de habitación y a capturar de manera arbitraria y violenta a dos  compañeros del COPINH Lindolfo Benítez y Salvador Sánchez,  no bastándoles con lo anterior, posteriormente realizaron  tortura física y emocional a ambos compañeros, incluso amenazaron  de muerte a menores de edad que se encontraban en las casas de habitación, como también amenazaron y agredieron verbalmente al compañero Francisco Javier Sánchez, Presidente del Consejo Indígena de Río Blanco y Coordinador de Tierra y Territorio de la Coordinación General del COPINH.

Por lo anterior el COPINH exige:
-Investigación efectiva y aplicación de justicia inmediata  en los casos de los compañeros asesinados, William Rodríguez e Irene Meza y en el caso de  atentados contra el compañero Plutarco Bonilla, Ada Méndez y Pedro Rodríguez.
-Aunque los compañeros Lindolfo Benítez y Salvador Sánchez, en horas tempranas del día de hoy fueron trasladados nuevamente a Río Blanco y puestos en libertad, exigimos investigación y castigo a la fuerza represiva responsables de tortura y arbitrariedades,  por la cual el COPINH en reiteradas veces ha exigido la salida de este destacamento que solo amenaza y represión  ha llevado a las comunidades que la han rechazado constantemente.
-Fin a la represión política y criminalización contra el Pueblo Lenca y el COPINH, contra los luchadores y luchadoras políticos y sociales.
El COPINH responsabiliza al Estado de Honduras, al Presidente Juan Orlando Hernández, a los grupos de poder y a las empresas como al ejército y policía por toda la política de terror y  criminalización contra nuestro Pueblo y organización.


Manifestamos, que todas las acciones de levantamiento Indígena y defensa territorial y de bienes comunes de la naturaleza,  contra los grandes capitales depredadores, por la construcción de la autodeterminación, por el Convenio 169 de la OIT y gobernanza indígena continúan firmes; las mismas incluyen la gran Asamblea de territorios y comunidades que arranca el día de mañana 27 y  Movilización regional de 5 departamentos en la Esperanza, Intibucá el día jueves 29 a las 10.00am, todo nuestro accionar guiado con esperanza por nuestra historia ancestral de rebeldía y dignidad.
Dado en Intibucá,  a los 26 días del mes de mayo del 2014.
COPINH

¡A más represión! ¡Más lucha y organización!
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