Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Declaration by COPINH:Impunity and Human Rights Violations Reign in Honduras

Versión original en español

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) makes the following declaration in view of the sistematic repression and human rights violations which have been manifested recently through the following condemnable acts:

1. The assasination of Nery Orellana, community broadcaster, manager of Joconguera Community Radio and correspondent with Radio Progreso, who was killed by multiple bullet wounds on Thursday, July 14th in the municipality of Cadelaria in the department of Lempira.

2. The assasination of our Luis Alonso Ortiz, president of the Marañones peasent cooperative, and Constantino Morales, director of the Isla I peasent cooperative. Both were leaders of the “Left Bank” (Margen Izquierda) of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan (MUCA), and these assasinations bring the total number of murders by hired criminals believed to be connected with business magnate Miguel Facusse and other large landowners in the region to 45.

3. Faced with constant death threats, citizens connected with the popular resistance movem

ent for the refoundation of Honduras continue to leave the country. This list now includes Father Fausto Milla and his assistant Denia Mejía.

4. The detention of Enrique Flores Lanza, former Minister of the Presidency under the constitutional government led by Manuel Zelaya Rosales, member of the Political Commission of the National Front of Popular Resistence (FNRP), and party to the Cartegena de Indias Accords. This is no less than “judicial work for hire” that reflects the political persecution carried out by t

hose behind the coup, who continue to control the powers of the state.

5. The detention of Carlos Amador, environmentalist and leader of the Siria Valley, who was freed, but along with many other leaders in the region who also oppose mining giant Entre Mares, has charges pending against him for opposing forestry exploitation that will further d

evastate life in that region of Honduras.

6. Impunity and injustice against Edwin Róbelo Espinal, victim of numerous detentions, threats and torture carried out by repressive state forces. Edwin remains in a state of defencelessness before the justice system along with its other victims.

7. New threats of community evictions and legal proceedings against dozens of peasents on the peninsula of Zacate Grande who are struggling to preserve the lands where they were born and continue to live.

8. The repeated deportation of catholic priest Andrés Tamayo, who has struggled for the defense of community forests in the department of Olancho and against the coup d’état.

9. The murder, under suspicious circumstances, of singer and popular movement activist Daniel González, better known as Jeronimo.

10. Concessions of natural resources of various indigenous communities in Honduras in the interest of the construction of hydroelectric dams, mineral exploitation, tourism investments, charter cities, forestry exploitation, privatization of forests for carbon capture (REDD) and the sale of oxygen, and other

capitalist projects. All this has been done without consultation, and with or without decree work is being carried out towards these ends, all in clear violation of Convention 169 of the ILO, the historic rights and autonomy of Indigenous Peoples, and various community and municipal agreements that express the clear rejection of these projects of domination and looting. We denounce that the responses of the community when faced with this have bee

n met with militarization, threats, arbitrary detentions and other persecution.

While the human rights violations and repression persist, those responsible for the coup d’état continue to calmly occupy their positions of power and enjoy the privileges of private security for themselves and their families, security which costs the state of Honduras millions of lempiras and includes designing strategies of persecution against victims.

COPINH denounces these acts and warns that the situation in Honduras is getting worse and there exists very real possibilities for it to culminate in further crimes – the political crisis is already at the point in which the President is denouncing death threats.

COPINH urges the international community to remain alert to the events in Honduras and to demand an end to the repression and human rights violations.

COPINH expresses its solidarity with all brothers and sisters who suffer repression as a result of their struggles and makes a call to the international community to strengthen its solidarity with the Honduran people.

COPINH holds the Organization of American States (OAS) responsible as an accomplice in human rights violations since the state of Honduras was reincorporated into its membership, despite not having demonstrated any advances in the defence of and respect for human rights and, on the contrary, continuing policies of repression.

Finally, COPINH makes a call for unity in the struggle of the Honduran people, so that we do not remain defenseless in the face of brutal repression and human rights violations.

Declared in La Esperanza, Intibucá on the 18th of July, 2011.

¡With the ancestral strength of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempic

a we raise our voices full of life, justice, liberty, dignity and Peace!

¡Lempira is not just a name, Lempira is an entire people!

Lempira lives and is with us until the end.


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