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 
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.
telefax: 504-24541513 / 504-24490003 / / / 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:; Tel. (504) 2783-0817;; 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.
¡In the face of more repression, more struggle and organization!
¡We are sons and daughters of Lempira!

Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras COPINH
Bo. Las Delicias, Intibucá, Intibucá;  Blog:; Tel. (504) 2783-0817;; 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.

¡A más represión! ¡Más lucha y organización!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Action Alert and updates for Honduras!

Witness for Peace Southwest has published the following action alert and updates for the Honduras Solidarity Network There are three sections. 

Military Police inside Honduran Congress 
Action Alert
  1. Honduran LIBRE congress members brutalized and teargassed by military police inside congressional building. 
  2. Honduran Social Movements en route to march on the Capital 
  3. Congressional Dear Colleague Letter on Honduras now with 67 signers. Has your Rep. Signed?
Click Here to ask your Representative to support Human Rights in Honduras
Calls and emails needed to the State Department and US Embassy in Honduras demanding the US denounce the violent treatment of Honduran congress members at the hands of the Honduran Military Police.

Sample script: "Madam, Are you aware that just recently Honduran military police broke down doors at the Honduran National Congress and subjected elected congress persons to violence, beatings, and teargas forcibily ejecting these elected officials from their congressional posts? Has Secretary Kerry or US Ambassador Kubiske condemend this violent use of force against elected officials of the Honduran congress?"

Call and email State Department- Honduras Desk: 
Kelsi Cambronne call: 202-647-3505
Email US Embassy: 
Amanda Johnson Miller, US Embassy Human Rights Attache-
Click Here to ask your Representative to support Human Rights in Honduras

Honduran LIBRE congress members brutalized and teargassed by military police inside congressional building.

Video here of military police repressing congresspersons inside and outside congressional building.

Video of two women LIBRE congesspersons overrun and trampled by military police.
LIBRE Congresswomen pushed and hit by police

"The Order From the National Congress Was to Repress All Action by the Opposition."  
Marvin Palacios, May 13, 2014.  Defensores en Linea (COFADEH)
The President of the National Congress, Maurico Oliva, gave the order to brutally repress the opposition party Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE)  and the activists and leaders that were demonstrating peacefully below the National Congress.

The order of the day was repression and violence, said the congressmembers from LIBRE.  The violent actions led by agents of the State left several congressmembers hospitalized and dozens of demonstrators with serious blows/injuries, produced by the brutality with which riot troops and military police acted.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon a strong contingent of military police, police from the Special Operations Command (COBRA), and military troops entered into the hall of sessions of the National Congress, occupied strategic positions inside the big hall, surrounded the congressmembers of LIBRE and began to use batons, tear gas bombs, and shields to assault, push and mistreat and beat the representatives of the people.

There was no consideration for anyone, including congressmembers such as Claudia Garmendia, congressmember from the department of El Paraíso, who suffered the charge of the military soldiers, in which she was surrounded on the floor, and rescued by one of her congressmember companions.
Ex-President Zelaya, upon being expelled with shoves and blows from the second level of the National Congress, where he presides over the bench of the 36 congressmembers of LIBRE, said `those who are governing Honduras are beasts.'

Later he added sadly that `it's only taken 100 days for president Juan Orlando Hernández to show us his fangs; he will not be releected to govern because the Honduran people reject his dictatorship.'

In the streets of the historic center you could breath smoke and pepper gas in industrial quantities, and while people covered their mouths with scarves, others were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform. The central park was once again the scene of battle between demonstrators and police, but in disproportionate conditions.  Many of the protesters were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

Congressmember Claudia Garmendia was hospitalized because of the blows and gases she received inside the hall of sessions of the National Congress; also the congressmembers Elvia Argentina Erazo (Copán) and Audelia Rodríguez (Atlántida).

Congressmembers Hari Dixon, Rafael Alegría, and Wilfredo Paz were beaten.  The Red Cross transfered several disheartened and injured people to the Hospital Escuela.

Several days ago LIBRE called for a peaceful demonstration underneath the National Congress [Transl:  the building is sort of on big stilts, with an open area on the first floor; the actual congress is on the second floor], demanding that, because LIBRE is the second political force in the country, with 36 congressmembers, it be represented in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.  The demand was met by a response from the President of Congress Mauricio Oliva that LIBRE had to obtain 86 congressmembers in order to be included. And the other response from Oliva was made this afternoon, in ordering a brutal repression against the opposition politicians, activists, and leaders of LIBRE.
The situation is worrisome to human rights bodies, considering tomorrow environmentalists will arrive at the National congress tomorrow to demand an end to concessions for extraction of the country's mineral resources.
The Honduras Solidarity Network has set up an emergency fund for Hondurans who need emergency medical help, relocation for security reasons and for the families and victims of human rights abuses and assassinations. Please support the Honduras Emergency Fund if you are able.
Honduran Social Movements en route to march on the Capital

Campesinos, Indigenous peoples and members of the social movements launch a “caminata” march across the country with demands for “Dignity and Sovereignty”.
For the complete communique, demands and list of organizers s click here.

 Funds still needed for food, housing, transport and medical support for the dozens of organizations participating in the “caminata". Donate here to the caminata. 

The Mobilization began on Wednesday, May 14th in the morning, leaving from the community of Zambrano.  Arrival in Tegucigalpa is planned for Thursday the 15th and we call for participation from the Popular Resistance; FNRP Collectives; Base Organizations of the Social and popular urban movement,  artists, writers, feminists, Youth, Leftist Political Organizations; LGBT Organizations and all the organizations that are in the struggle against the oppressor system and the continuation of the Coup d’E’tat of 2009, organizations in struggle against neoliberal policies, imperialism and the patriarchy.

It is important to count on the solidarity of the citizenry in general, to bring water, basic grains (beans, rice, etc.) fuit, vegetables, mattresses, blankets and medicines for during the march and especially for the indefinite vigil that we will maintain beginning May 15 in the plaza below the National Congress. 
  “Listen People and Join in the Struggle!”
Liberty for Jose Isabel Morales Chabelo Now!
For an Integral Agraria Reform: Raise the Banners of Struggle!
Mining and Hydroelectric Projects: Out of Honduras!
Sovereignty YES! ZEDE or Charter Cities NO!
Justice! Justice! Justice!…Stop Stop the Femicides!
May 14th- Dignity and Sovereignty March

Honduras Dear Colleague letter now with 67 signers! Has your Rep. Signed?
Rep. Shakowsky's Dear Colleague letter on human rights in Honduras now has 67 signers. See the list to see if your Rep. Has signed on yet. Click here to send a letter thanking your Rep for signing on. If you Rep has not signed click HERE to send a letter asking them to sign on by the letter's deadline Wed May 21st.
For a full text of the Letter click Here.

Click HERE to Thank Your Rep or Ask your Rep to sign the Shakowsky Honduras Letter.

Monday, May 12, 2014

MAY 14th National Mobilization in Defense of Dignity and Sovereignty

More information coming soon along with actions you can take to support the Honduran movements.

The social movement in Honduras is mobilizing starting May 14th when campesino, indigenous, environmentalist, feminist and more will make a two-day walk from Zambrano, Francisco Morazan to Tegucigalpa where the resistance movement in the capital will join in protests at the Presidential offices (Casa Presidential), the Supreme Court and the National Congress. 

The mobilization has 6 demands:
  • Freedom for campesino political prisoner, Isabel “Chabelo” Morales Lopez
  • Congressional approval of the Law for the Integral Agrarian Transformation proposed by the campesino movement and derogation of the current “Law of Agricultural Modernization”
  • Derogation of the Mining Law 
  • Derogation of the Charter Cities Law (Special Zones for Economic Development-ZEDES)
  • Cessation of the hydroelectric projects in the indigenous territories
  • Investigation and clarification by the government of the femmicides in Honduras.

This mobilization comes a little more than 100 days since Juan Orlando Hernandez from the National Party took power after elections widely condemned as fraudulent. During this first hundred days Honduras has seen an escalation of both militarization and violence and a continuation of impunity and a lack of investigation of the murders of members of the press, environmentalists, and opposition activists including LGBT, campesinos and LIBRE party members. Furthermore the deaths of more than 600 women in 2013 alone continue to be unresolved and largely uninvestigated. The Honduran government has, however, been able to mount prosecutions and harassment against indigenous leaders like Berta Caceres of COPINH and most recently the detention, beating and threatened prosecution  on invented charges of Jose Guadalupe Rueles, director of Casa Alianza which just issued a report critical of

Hernandez and children’s rights and wellbeing. It has also been able to ignore blatant violations of procedure and law to keep a member of the Campesino Movement of the Aguan, Chabelo Morales, imprisoned unjustly. 

Despite this grim situation, the US government continues to praise Hernandez and to provide training, money and support for the National Police and Honduran military. Just this week US Ambassador to Honduras, Lisa Kubiske stated in an interview in El Heraldo on May 11th ,  comparing the new government with previous governments, “The difference in enthusiasm and energy that the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez brings, and it is a positive energy, because he has the idea of government of action to get results…..” 

Well, there is no question that Hernandez is after results, and those results are obviously fulfillment of the neoliberal dream at the expense of the Honduran people.

vcervantes also published today in 

Friday, May 2, 2014

No To Impunity! A Call for Solidarity - The Murder of Carlos Mejía

It has been more than three weeks since Carlos Mejía  Orellano from Radio Progreso in Honduras was murdered and despite the outcry both inside and outside of Honduras there is silence from the officials on the progreso of the investigation. Below is the latest statement (April 29, 2014) from Father Ismael “Melo” Moreno Coto, the Jesuit priest who is the director of Radio Progreso and of the social research organization ERIC-SJ. 

Por Ismael Moreno Coto SJ,  29 de Abril

Exigimos resultados de las investigaciones

Ya se cumplen tres semanas del asesinato de nuestro compañero de equipo, Carlos Mejía Orellana, y nadie de entre las autoridades responsables de las investigaciones se ha dignado en dar a conocer los resultados de las mismas. Uno de los investigadores llegó incluso a decirnos que los resultados iban por buen camino porque la Embajada Americana estaba presionando, quizá para dejar el consuelo de esa varita mágica de que si el gobierno de los Estados Unidos estaba detrás, los resultados serían efectivos. Tres semanas después, la varita sigue sin su “mágica” respuesta.

Nada de nada se nos dice, ni a nosotros ni a la familia. Todo va quedando en la penumbra. Y esto es altamente preocupante porque la experiencia en nuestro país nos dice que los crímenes alborotan por unos días a las autoridades, pero todo se va quedando luego en el olvido; los archivos se van empolvando con tan diversos argumentos, desde falta de pruebas hasta las carencias logísticas. Esto se llama impunidad. Y nos aterra que el asesinato de nuestro compañero sea un número más en esa interminable lista de casos perdidos en los archivos de los empolvando órganos responsables de perseguir y contrarrestar el delito.
Entendemos que las investigaciones tienen sus recovecos y que no se trata de llegar a cualquier conclusión con la intención de los investigadores de parecer eficaces ante quienes exigimos justicia. Los llamados investigadores locales decidieron quedarse con la más fácil de las hipótesis de crimen pasional, como en el primer momento lo difundieron algunos medios de comunicación sin duda alguna con la morbosa intención de desviar la atención y alimentar la homofobia extendida en muchos círculos sociales, entorpeciendo así una investigación profunda que conduzca a conocer la verdad, capturar y enjuiciar a los responsables materiales e intelectuales del crimen contra nuestro compañero Carlos Mejía.
Hacemos un vehemente llamado a nuestros amigos y amigas que se han hecho presente con tanta muestra efectiva de solidaridad y cercanía tras el asesinato de nuestro compañero Carlos Mejía. Seguimos necesitando que nos apoyen en esta exigencia de justicia. Sabemos que contamos con ustedes, tanto dentro del país como de muchos organismos internacionales. Pero lo decimos con humildad y franqueza: nos angustia quedarnos solos con nuestro grito, porque la impunidad es factor infalible para más violencia y criminalidad. Tenemos la obligación de luchar porque se conozca la verdad de lo que ocurrió y que se proceda contra los responsables de este crimen. Por la dignidad de nuestro compañero asesinado, por su familia, por nosotros, y porque este crimen no quede en la sombra de la impunidad, ¡¡exigimos prontitud y efectividad sobre los resultados de las investigaciones!!
We demand results in the investigation
It has already been three weeks since the assassination of our colleague, Carlos Mejía Orellana, and no one from the authorities responsible for the investigations have seen fit to make known the results of those investigations.  One of the investigators even came to tell us that the results were going well because of pressure from the the American Embassy, perhaps this was to be the consolation of the magic wand, if the government of the United States is behind it the results will be effective. Three weeks later, the wand continues without  any  “magic” answer. 
Nothing about nothing is told to us, neither to us, nor to the family. Everything remains in the dark. And this is very worrisome because the experience of our country tells us that crimes excite the authorities for a few days but then everything is forgotten; the files get dusty for a variety of reasons, from the lack of proofs to a shortage of resources. This is called impunity. And we fear that the murder of our compañero will be one statistic more in the interminable list of lost cases in the files of the unproductive agencies responsible for pursuing and stopping crime. 
We understand that investigations have their complications and that it is not about coming to just any conclusion with the investigators trying to look effective to those of us who are demanding justice. The so called local investigators decided to stick to the easiest hypothesis, a crime of passion, as they told some of the media in the first moments  with the morbid intention of distracting attention and feeding the homophobia that extends to many social circles, hindering in that way any deeper investigation that would lead to knowing the truth, and to the capture and trial of the material and intellectual authors of the crime agains our colleague Carlos Mejía
We make a vehement call to our friends who have been present with so many effective gestures of solidarity and closeness since the assassination of our compañero Carlos Mejía. We continue to need you to support us in this demand for justice. We know that we can count on you, both those inside the country and those from many international organizations. But we say with humility and frankness: we are anguished to remain alone with our cry, because impunity is an unfailing factor for more violence and criminality. We have the obligation to struggle so that the truth about what happened is known and that those responsible for this crime are prosecuted. For the dignity of our murdered compañero, for his family, for ourselves, and so that this crime doesn’t remain in the shadows of impunity, we demand speed and effectiveness in the results of the investigation!

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