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Indigenous Peoples' Struggle in Honduras
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News From Honduras
August 13, 2013 - Radio Interview on the Human Rights situation in Honduras with Greg Mccain and Brigitte Gynther on the Hemispheres show hosted by Irene Rodrigueze on KGNU Independent Community Radio http://www.kgnu.org/hemispheres/8/13/2013
Interview with Campesino leader Rafael Alegría by Dick Emanuelsson, 07/16
How is the situation? How's the mood? How is the motivation of the people? They say some 5,000 people have taken over this point that is located practically in the fields outside of Tegucigalpa, very far from the center of the capital and where there are kilometers of lines of cars and trucks.
RAFAEL ALEGRÍA (RA): All of the commercial gas traffic is held up. People get off and take another route. Our objective isn't to block the transit of people because this is a peaceful protest. That's how the police understood it and we agreed it would be peaceful and that they wouldn't displace us. The thing is that it's not just in Tegucigalpa, this mobilization is at a national level and now they have told us that in San Pedro Sula, at the the bridge to Puerto Cortés they have extended the takeover for 72 hours in that strategic bridge where merchandise goes from Honduras to the world. On the other side we know that in Boston the port workers didn't unload guayaba fruit coming from Honduras and that will continue. They have called us and told us from Holland that they are ready to refuse to unload Honduran merchandise in other words that there could be an international blockade of great proportions.
DE: The Central American unions have also declared a 48 hour blockade in the borders.
RA: They already told us that the mobilization between Nicaragua and Honduras have grown a lot, they are doing the same between El Salvador and Honduras and Guatemala and Honduras, that is very important because the solidarity is no longer just a declaration or a document, but something concrete, physical and very important.
DE: What type of confidence do you have about results in the encounter in Costa Rica on Saturday (between Zelaya and Micheletti)?
RA: Out resistance is peaceful. But within that resistance is precisely the idea of blocking commerce, gas and all of that to force the coup government to leave power and give it to Manuel Zelaya Rosales so that the institutional order of the country returns. That's how it is, we are doing it with great success. Already yesterday Mr. Micheletti announced that he could renounce power but with the condition that Zelaya not return. Well, next it could be that, that Zelaya come back and that we return again to normality and to discuss and debate among Hondurans. We are all Hondurans, the problem is that the country does not just belong to a few people but belongs to everyone and amongst us all we discuss a strategy of development to make a normal institutional order, achieve the return of President Zelaya and afterwards we'll talk about the historical path of our homeland.
DE: El Heraldo [the Honduran newspaper] is talking of a supposed plan "Operation Caracas." The same is said by the police spokesman Héctor Mejia who supposedly has knowledge that they are going to make various attacks, and that this morning or last night a bomb exploded in a McDonald's. But is that part of the psychological war against the people?
RA: Yes, taking into account that right now the person advising Micheletti on the theme of security is a citizen with a dark past, a violator of human rights responsible for disappearing people, this man's name Billy Joya and that is exactly what they would do in the 80's, they planted bombs, they blamed them on the popular movement and the Honduran left and that justified the persecution, the disappearance of people in the country. They are employing the same strategy now.
We have invited the police to verify whether in these protests there are groups of foreigners carrying out other missions. You are journalists, but they are saying that there are Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, armed groups of Venezuelans, that Chávez wants a massacre, a blood bath. What they are doing to the people is terrible, but it didn't believe that, that is a psychological politics of intimidation so that the people don't go out into the streets. The people go out into the street because the people don't want to continue with the coup d'etat and the police realized that it is completely peaceful and told us that actually they are glad there was no agression, no violation so that's what we're doing.
We denounce some Venezuelan and Cuban citizens of Miami that are here provoking, they are defending strategies of support for Micheletti; in the protests done by the whites (the coup makers) which is what we call them here, they organize the chants they advise the mobilizations, they definitely do that.
DE: If Zelaya is detained when he gets back to the country in the next days, what will be the response of the people, because up till now the resistance these 18 days has been completely peaceful. But do the people have the right according to the third article of the constitution to rebel?
RA: Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic says that nobody owes obedience to a usurping government and that they have the right to insurrection. There's no doubt of that, we could cover ourselves under that principle and constitutional article, the insurrection could be peaceful or armed, we have been for the peaceful.
DE: Doesn't that depend on the resposne of the adversary?
RA: Now the social movement is for the peaceful form but we won't be responsible in the future if there are people that want to struggle in another way and that will not be our responsibility but that of Mr. Micheletti and the coup-makers of this country.
DE: If the circumstances don't allow for a peaceful struggle?
RA: It will turn into a violent struggle but nobody wants that. That's why we've made a call out to the army of the powerful group.
DE: The military and police are tired and you can see in the faces of the uniforms on the highway that they're wore out.
RA: And they said that they've been there hours and hours without relief. That definitely means that the army should really reflect.
DE: And it's just the beginning?
RA: Yes it's just the beginning
DE: And Mel hasn't even come back yet?
RA: No, and we're not even tired enough to think of retreating. This will continue. So solidarity is tremendously big all over the countries of the Americas and here the resistance continues, so all that is left is for Mr. Micheletti to announce today that he is willing to allow with the army and others for Mel to come back so we solve the instituional problem of the country.
Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres from Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) First interview / Primera entrevista: English - Español Recent Speech / Discurso Recién: English - Español
Rights Action has been doing good reporting and commentary as events unfold and has people on the ground monitoring the situation. They are also a reliable vehicle through which to get money to the organizations fighting for the restoration of democracy in Honduras.
Defensores en línea is the best (Spanish-only) online source for regularly updated information on the violation of human rights in Honduras.
Honduras Laboral is a regularly-updated blog in Spanish with the latest news coming out of Honduras, published by Community Communications.
School of the Americas Watch has good background information on the coup-plotters training at the Georgia-based School of the Americas / (also known as the School of Assasins) as well as news updates on the coup and a call to action.
Honduras Habla is a citizen-media project of Honduras with a variety of news updates and links to good, current information (in Spanish) about the resistance to the coup.
La Voz de los de Abajo is a Chicago-based organization that has been working to organize solidarity with the Honduran resistance and to denounce the coup from within the U.S.. This blog (Honduras Resists) is published and maintained by La Voz de los de Abajo members.
Americas Policy Program have some good coverage and some English translations of interviews, statements and documents about the coup, the international response and the resistance.