Note from HondurasResists: To understand the struggle of the peasant political prisoners it is important to point out that the National Agrarian Institute they were occupying and defending from the coup government is the Honduran institution which houses the land titles that had been attained by small rural farmers and communities through years of struggle, many of which were finally granted under the Zelaya administration, angering the powerful landholders who are responsible for the coup and now want to halt and reverse the process of land reform in Honduras.
The 38 peasants who were sent to prison declared themselves on hunger strike at noon on Thursday demanding a fair trial and respect to their personal integrity, declared Ramòn Adalberto Díaz, who was named the spokesman of the strikers.
On Wednesday September 30th the National Agrarian Institute, INA, was assaulted by police who came breaking doors and windows and captured 55 people, among them two minors and six women. From them the two minors were send to the Renaciendo internment center and 38 men to the National Penitentiary. All of them had been participating in a peaceful occupation of the institution since the 28th of June when the coup d'etat against President Manuel Zelaya Rosales took place, carried out by military in collusion with the powerful groups of Honduras.
In a visit carried out by the Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH, on Thursday evening, he confirmed the physical conditions of the cells where they were before at Metropolitan Police District No. 1, where the detained stated that they were in inhumane conditions, that they hadn't been allowed to bathe since their capture, that several were suffering health problems and are sleeping overcrowded on the floor, so much so that not every one fit on it when they all tried to lay down and many were standing with no space, all of which are human rights violations.
They stated that they are taking the measure of a hunger strike because they consider themselves defenseless before a judicial system that doesn't allow them to defend themselves equally and that has unjustly accused them of the crime of Sedition without any corresponding evidence.
Due to the overcrowded conditions they are in, the chief of the Metropolitan Police José Ventura Flores Maradiaga, asked before the judge for the detained to be transferred to the National Penitentiary. The request was accepted and the peasants were sent last night to that jail, where they will be for six days according to law, until the next hearing that will take place Tuesday of next week [today, Tuesday 10/6], where the Judge can send them to prison for longer or give them provisional freedom.
As of the declaration of the hunger strike there are eight sick:
1. Benedicto Flores, suffering from respiratory problems
2. Santos Israel Rodríguez, has problems with blood pressure, takes April and only has two pills left. He also has problems with Uric Acide.
3. Ramón Gómez, has stomach problems
4. Santos Ventura, has stomach and bone pain
5. Roberto Reyes, has itchy eyes and fungus on his feet
6. Osman Díaz Tiene, stomach pain and fungus on his feet, and has been vomiting since this morning.
7. Justo Leonel Cruz Padilla, pain in the left knee
8. Edmundo Flores has strong pains in the stomach and head and diarrhea
The political prisoners have formed committees which are: Discipline, Food, Health and Press.
The general coordinator is Leonel Cruz Padilla and the spokespeople are Ramón Gómez and Ramón Adalberto Díaz.
The 38 detained are part of several peasant organizations amongst which are FECADEH, UCDAH-MUCA, ANACH, ACAN and CNTC, which are part of the peasant confederations: COCOCH, CNC y CHMC.
These 38 political prisoners are in addition to three more: the teacher Agustina Flores López, Antonio Porta Alvarez (of Spanish nationality) and Santos Reynaldo García who were sent to prison by another judge for the crimes of sedition. There are more than 40 people who are not in prison but have also been accused of sedition and damages and are facing trials that have developed in complete inequality violating international agreements and Human Rights treaties and the Honduran Constitution.
List of the hunger strikers:
1. Roberto Reyes López (59 years old), from Yoro
2. Ramón Gómez Núñez (54 years old), from El Progreso, Yoro
3. Edmundo Flores (58 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
4. José Modesto Bautista (49 years old), resident of El Progreso, Yoro
5. Benedicto Emérito Flores Rodríguez (48 years old), resident of Morocelí, El Paraíso
6. Santos Lemus (39 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
7. José Antonio Fonseca Martínez (29 years old), resident of Morocelí, El Paraíso
8. Nicolás García Martínez (48 years old), resident of Villa de San Antonio
9. Adry Laínez Ramírez (25 years old), resident of Potrerillos, Cortés
10. Jesús Portillo Amaya (46 years old), resident of Potrerillos, Cortés
11. Juan Ernesto Cabrera Sarmiento (18 years old), resident of Potrerillos, Cortés
12. José Irene Murillo (69 years old), resident of Río Bijao, Choloma, Cortés
13. Carlos Roberto Santos López (25 years old), resident of San Nicolás, Santa Bárbara
14. Luis Gustavo López (19 years old), resident of Comayagua
15. Pedro Alberto Serrano García (20 years old), resident of the Atlántida department
16. Fredy Adán Aguilar Hernández (29 years old), resident of Potrerillos, Cortés
17. Santos Israel Rodríguez (39 years old), resident of Valle de San Francisco
18. Jorge Luis Enamorado (22 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
19. José Alejandro Benítez (57 years old), resident of Las Flores, Comayagua
20. Justino Cruz García (57 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
21. Fernando Magdiel García Moreno (22 years old), resident of the Palermo neighborhood, El Progreso
22. Darwing Alexander Padilla Sánchez (23 years old), resident of the Río de Piedras neighborhood, Cortés
23. Santos Lemus (39 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
24. Santanito Pérez Cárcamo (50 years old), resident of Bonito Oriental, Colón
25. José Adaliel Colindres Rodríguez (27 years old), from San Antonio de Oriente, Francisco Morazán
26. Venturas Santos Colindres Rodríguez (28 years old) resident of the Montes de Maraita cooperative
27. Justo Cruz Padilla (41 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
28. Marcos Nicolás (47 years old), resident of Comayagua
29. José Marcos López (40 years old), resident of San Jerónimo, Comayagua
30. Fausto René Matute Banegas (49 years old), resident of El Progreso, Yoro
Ramón Adalberto Díaz (43 years old), resident of Barrio La Concordia
31. Osman Obeniel Díaz Mejía (29 years old), resident of Lomas del Carmen, San Pedro Sula, Cortés
32. Wilfredo Padilla Santos (47 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
33. Demetrio Martínez Ávila (59 years old), resident of El Chagüite, San Antonio de Oriente, Francisco Morazán
34. Gustavo Adolfo Matamoros Ruiz (39 years old), resident of Santa Rita de Yoro
35. Gerson Adolfo Fajardo Chavarría (24 years old) resident of San Manuel, Cortés
36. Leocadio Aguilar Hernández (56 years old), resident of Comayagua
37. Carlos Humberto Rodríguez Andino (50 years old), resident of El Zamorano
38. Pedro Cárcamo (52 years old), resident of Tocoa, Colón
By Dina Meza