Wednesday, July 3, 2019

"The coup d'état transformed into a dictatorship that cruelly and clearly creates the migrant exodus." -Gathering of Black and Indigenous Women of Honduras


Honduran Women's Manifesto of Rebellion
In the rebel Garífuna territory of Vallecito, Iriona, Colón, Honduras, surrounded by elements of nature that nourish life and hope, 1,200 women and approximately 350 children gathered and embraced each other with life and words, arriving from Choluteca, El Paraíso, Copan, Olancho, Valle, Francisco Morazán, Gracias a Dios, Colón, Yoro, Cortes, Atlántida, Intibucá, Lempira, La Paz, Comayagua, and Santa Bárbara.
We felt ancestors Margarita Murillo, María Enriqueta Matute, Berta Cáceres, Magdalena Morales and aunt Macucu with us in all of our actions as spirit, as thought and as strength. We felt the energies of our peoples, of the Tolupán, Lenca, Misquito, Garífuna, Pech, Maya Chortí and all other peoples in struggle, coming together after ten years of the coup d’état and the resistance of the Honduran people, of the women of Honduras.
The gathering salutes the strength and rebelliousness of women, those present, those who could not come, and those who are no longer physically with us. Despite the wounds and pains from violence and oppression visited upon our bodies, territories and organizing processes, we have enormous conviction and dedication to continue thinking, creating and acting together.
The strength of the worldview of indigenous peoples was present and manifested through spirituality, wisdom, experiences of resistance and forms of relating to nature and life. Through debate and conversations during meals, breaks, and work, we assembled these words, which we now share.
The coup d'état transformed into a dictatorship and continues to deepen the extractive model that threatens the livelihood of women and indigenous peoples. This is a regime that plunders the common good, identities, bodies, wisdom, spirituality; that is sustained by corruption, impunity, drug trafficking, militarization, persecution, criminalization of our sisters who struggle throughout the territories of Honduras.
We are living through an humanitarian crisis produced by that plunder, which cruelly and clearly creates the migrant exodus by our sisters and brothers, an exodus which empties our territories, with disastrous results for our people and the community social fabric, benefiting the extractive projects that have less and less opposition to confront.
We call upon all of us to respond to the urgent necessity of reclaiming and multiplying autonomous practices and envisioning sovereign alternatives that are anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, inclusive and diverse, due to the evident failure of masculine exercise of power based on the colonial electoral democratic model, which threatens women and indigenous peoples.
The increasing normalization violence against the bodies of women worries us. Our bodies become a territory for the expression of machista and hetero-patriarchal culture and frustration, often perpetrated by men from the social movements and exacerbated by the increase in militarization and religious fundamentalism. The role of women in the struggle has been at once set back and strengthened, with better political clarity, wisdom, ability to mobilize and inspire in diverse struggles where we have been putting forth our thought, voice, bodies and action. No violence will hold us back.
From this gathering, we commit ourselves to continue coming together in collective rebellion, to embody each other’s struggles and to envision a Honduras without dictatorship, with autonomy and sovereignty for the people, for women.
After 10 years of the coup, we continue to struggle together.
For a Honduras without dictatorship.
Vallecito, Iriona, Colón, Honduras, June 29th, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Guadalupe Carnay Community Faces Siege by Honduran Security Forces for Participation in Protests Defending Healthcare and Educaiton against the U.S.-backed Dictatorship



Condemnation and Solidarity in the face of Human Rights Violations
 
The Municipal Committee in Defense of the Common Public Good in Tocoa, given what has happened in the community of Guadalupe Carney, declares:

That today, June 1st, the community of Guadalupe Carney has suffered the gravest of abuses and violations of the rights granted by the constitution of the republic and international law, solely due to the struggle for the human right to healthcare and public education. It is under a siege that even includes helicopters flying over the community.

As a social movement we united with the public denunciation by many solidarity organizations in holding the security forces of the police and military responsible for having entered the community launching teargas on girls, boys, youth, women and elderly people.

We demand justice for 24 year old Jairo Leonel Hernández Ramirez, 19 year old Nerlin Ignacio Hernández Hernández, 58 year old Ezequiel Urrea and minors 15 year old Jorge Soto Portillo and 8 year old William Aron Ruiz Sánchez, all of whom are victims of the regime of Juan Orlando and the police and military forces assigned to the Aguan region.

We denounce the direct persecution by these repressive bodies of the State against peasant leader Adolfo Cruz who, along with his family and neighbors was victimized by teargas launched directly into his house as a clear message of intimidation and aggression, with his family placed at risk by the Honduran state.

We also denounce the attack on human rights defender Obed Ulloa, who had all of the equipment he need to carry out his work as a human rights defender taken by the police. According to the human rights defender about 9 people have been wounded by the police during the community's protests in defense of healthcare and education.

We remind the Honduran state that the community of Guadalupe Carney has been a beneficiary of collective protective measures since the year 2003 and that the public protest it has been engaged in along with the teachers and medical associations in the area is a constitutional right that all communities and people have when fundamental rights like the right to healthcare and education are under attack.

We encourage the rural communities, the teachers unions, the doctors and nurses, the students, the mothers and fathers, the communities fighting for water and the environment and to protect their territory and all social movement organizations to stay firm in the struggle. The truth and human rights are on the side of the people.


We alert the human rights defense organizations nationally and internationally to stay tuned to what is happening in this region of the country and especially to what is happening in the community of Guadalupe Carney.

Tocoa, Colón, June 1st, 2019
Tocoa Municipal Committee in Defense of the Public Common Good

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Report from Emergency HR Delegation on Criminalization and Political Prisoners

March 26 - April 2, 2019La Voz de los de Abajo with Alliance for Global Justice and CODEPINK, all members of the Honduras Solidarity Network sent an emergency human right delegation to Honduras focused on following up on criminalization and violence since the November 2017 electoral fraud crisis began. 

We visited political prisoners, Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez, indigenous and campesino communities criminalized and attacked for their struggle, human rights organizations, families and supporters of murdered and criminalized journalists. 

LINK TO REPORT IN ENGLISH- El informe en español estará publicado pronto.

Support for political prisoners  and against criminalization of
protest at a vigil in front of the US Embassy

Nacaome REDEHSUR human rights defenders with delegation after a vigil
for assassinated journalist Gabriel Hernandez

Two of the three political prisoners being held pre-trial in prisons
Edwin and Raúl 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Miriam Miranda and other OFRANEH leaders detained this morning in Saba, Colon


Miriam Miranda is one of the most well-known human rights defenders and organizers in Honduras. She is the leader of the Organización Fraterna Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH – the Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras) and was a close friend and collaborator of assassinated indigenous leader Berta Cáceres. She has faced repeated death threats, criminalization, persecution, harassment and intimidation for her continued and fearless work in defense of the human rights of the Garífuna people. The Garífuna are descendants of marooned Africans and indigenous peoples and have resisted and resided on the Caribbean coast of Central America for close to 500 years. Their territory, culture and survival are under continued threat from national and transnational tourist corporations and developers who for years have been working to take over the entirety of the North coast of Honduras, the ancestral home of the Garífuna people. Under the present day illegitimate U.S.-backed regime of dictator Juan Orlando Hernández, whose brother is in a Miami prison facing charges as a top drug trafficker and whose 2017 election was denounced internationally as fraudulent and illegal, the threats and harassment against Miriam and other human rights defenders have intensified. We have translated the below statement from the Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras (National Network of Women Defending Human Rights in Honduras) denouncing the arbitrary and illegal detention this morning, April 19th, 2019 that was just the latest development in the ongoing persecution faced by Miriam and OFRANEH. We call on all people of conscience of the world to denounce this situation and continue to accompany Miriam, Aurelia, OFRANEH and the Honduran people in their struggle.


ALERT: HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS MIRIAM MIRANDA AND AURELIA ARZÚ ARE DETAINED ONCE AGAIN IN SABÁ, COLÓN, HONDURAS
[Denuncia original]

 

Today, April 19th, at the Elixir community in Sabá, Colón, Honduras, the National Police and Military Police detained the vehicle in which human rights defenders Míriam Miranda and Aurelia Arzú were travelling as they were en route to attend to an emergency situation facing the Organización Fraterna Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH – the Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras).

The police and military forces stopped their vehicle at 9am and held onto the personal documents of these human rights defenders and the OFRANEH team that was travelling with them.


Miriam and Aurelia state that they are still stopped after 45 minutes, waiting for contact with a prosecutor on call and they point out that no other vehicle travelling through the area has been stopped.
As the Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras (National Network of Women Defending Human Rights in Honduras) we are worried about Miriam Miranda being repeatedly stopped despite having been granted protective measures from the Mecanismo Nacional de Protección (National Protection Mechanism).

We call on the National Protection Mechanism to implement the protective measures that were granted to these human rights defenders.


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UPDATE: Miriam Miranda and Aurelia Arzú were finally released after being held up over an hour. They call on the national and international community to denounce the continued harassment, threats and persecution that they have faced as defenders of the Garífuna people and human rights in Honduras.
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What can I do?

 One of the most effective ways that people in the United States can show solidarity and hold the Honduran regime accountable for these ongoing human rights abuses is to pressure for an end to U.S. economic support of the Honduran security forces who continue to kill, harass and detain Honduran human rights defenders with impunity. Please call and write your representative to ask that they sign on to the Berta Caceres bill for Human Rights in Honduras.
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