Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Interview with Augustin Ramos Montes, General Secretary of the National Center of Rural Workers (CNTC)

Today, concerned about the grave situation arising from the military's eviction of the campesinos occupying the National Agrarian Institute of Honduaras, I had the opportunity to interview leadership from the CNTC, Agustin Ramos. Our organization, La Voz de los de Abajo, has worked for more than 11 years with the CNTC, and we have been very worried about the situation they are confronting. We continue to raise the same call that we did the moment of the coup d'etat on June 28th, "We Are All Honduras!". We continue to call for sending letters to our representative denouncing the violations of human rights by the de facto government and demanding that the Obama government not only make pronouncements, but take a firmer position, cutting off all aid to the coup government. We call on all honest hearts to take action in cities around the world in solidarity of the Honduran people.
Alexy J. Lanza, La Voz de los de Abajo

September 30, 2009 Interview with the General Secretary of the National Center for Rural Workers (CNTC), Augustin Ramos Montes, by Alexy J. Lanza of La Voz de los de Abajo. Translation by La Voz de los de Abajo.

Interview with the CNTC: We are Living through Difficult Times.

La Voz: Augustin, tell us what the situation is at this moment in Honduras.

A: Look Alexy, the situation here is very hard, just now we were brutally repressed with tear gas. We were in front of Radio Globo, which was just shut down because of the decree that the coup government made last week-end which suspended the (constitutional) guarantees of liberty of expression, personal liberty, liberty of association, assembly and the right to free transit. The objective of the golpistas (coup makers) is to annihilate the peaceful resistance of all the people. Just a few minutes ago they brutally beat various comrades and dispersed a peaceful march in front of Radio Globo.

Supposedly Congress is not supporting this decree that suspended civil guarantees, and it is said that the usurper, Micheletti, has retracted it, but how true is that? Congress and the Supreme Court of Justice are negotiating with Micheletti to suspend the decree, because even some who are members of the coup government say that this (decree) is counter-productive for the elections --- that the (constitutional) guarantees cannot be suspended at the time that the elections are called for. What is for sure, is that they continue to repress the people, using this decree as an excuse, Radio Globo and Channel 36 continue to be closed, and the peaceful marches continue to be brutally repressed, and teachers, students and leaders are being arrested.

La Voz: What is the current situation after the army’s violent eviction of the people occupying the National Agrarian Institute (INA)?

A: The repressive coup government entered the INA around 5 in the morning, violently attacking the take-over that had occurred right after the coup d’etat and arresting everyone who was inside the building. There are 58 people detained, among them women and children. 7 of the arrested are members of our organization from the region of EL Progresso. The de facto government had imposed a new Minister of the INA, who was not recognized by the peasant movement. Their objective (the coup government) is to erase all the decisions (of the agency) concerning the legalization of land titles for the campesinos and in this way to put into motion the disappearance of the campesino movement.

La Voz: How is the state of siege being implemented?

A: The capital is militarized, the curfew is the order of the day, when they repress the protests they set the curfew earlier. Sometimes they set it to begin at 4 or 5 in the afternoon, this is to crush the response from the movement. Other times they set it to begin at 9. We are imprisoned, they want to corner us so that we can’t do anything and the media that belongs to big business doesn’t say anything.

La Voz: Finally, what are the next steps for the resistance movement against the coup?

A: To resist, despite the repression that every day is making our work harder. That is why it is more necessary than ever that the organizations at the international level exercise pressure on the coup makers for the restitution of President Zelaya and for the return of constitutional order.

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