Thursday, April 28, 2011

Director of Radio Uno Survives Assassination Attempt


(Versión original en español, haga clic aqui)

The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH by its Spanish initials), urgently denounces that at 11:30pm on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, around ten armed men wearing ski masks attempted to assassinate Arnulfo Aguilar, the Director of Radio Uno in the city of San Pedro Sula, in front of his house.

Aguilar told COFADEH that he succeeded in locking himself into his home while the men surrounded the house trying to jump over the wall. He reports that he called the local Police Division #1 where he was told they would move immediately, however it was a full hour before, in a very indifferent manner, officers of Patrol #123 did no more than escort Aguilar to the central boulevard and left him there.

The General Coordinator of COFADEH, Bertha Oliva, attempted a series of calls to high-ranking officials of the police, even with the very Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, where she was told that their mobile phones were turned off and that the minister has left orders to not call him after 10 pm.

Arnulfo Aguilar has protective measures granted by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights resulting from the series of attacks that he and his team at Radio Uno have suffered. The attacks include death threats, harassment and attacks against the radio equipment itself, all taking place since Aguilar and the entire radio collective assumed a position of opposition to the coup d'etat of June 28th, 2009.

Aguilar denounced that in the last few months, various members of the collective have been victims of kidnappings and attempted kidnappings.

Aguilar told COFADEH that, “tensions have risen since April 26th when we began tackling the subject of the Armed Forces involvement in supplying weapons to the drug cartels.”

According to a US Defense Intelligence Agency report leaked by WikiLeaks entitled “Honduras: Military Weaponry Feeding the Black Weapon Market”, serial numbers found on anti-tank weaponry discovered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and San Andrés Island, Colombia, match the serial numbers of weapons that had been sold to Honduras. Beyond the weapons, the US authorities confiscated a series of M433 grenades from criminal organizations in Mexico, which can also be traced back to the Honduran military.

For COFADEH this latest attack against Arnulfo Aguilar is very worrying and, once again, places the State of Honduras in a delicate position given that it has done nothing to protect the lives of Aguilar or the Radio Uno collective. We have already seen the serious consequences that come when the state doesn't urgently implement these measures. Such as the case of the journalist Nahum Palacios, who also received protective measures from the IACHR and yet was assassinated by numerous masked men armed with AK-47s, shot dead while heading to his home in Tocoa, Colon on the night of March 14th, 2010.

For all the reasons described above, we demand immediate actions to protect Aguilar, who succeeded in saving his life, but he has told COFADEH that he has concerns further actions could be carried out against him,



Committee of the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras


Tegucigalpa, April 27th, 2011

--originally posted by the Friendship Office of the Americas

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Bloodshed in Aguan

No end to the violence and repression against the campesino organizations

By Gilberto Rios –FIAN Honduras (Communique)

The lifeless bodies of Tarin Daniel Garcia Enamorado, 26 years old and three children, found decapitated – and his father-in-law, Mr. Carlos Alberto Acosta Canales, five children, with his hands tied, both campesinos members of the Movimiento Autentico Campesino del Aguan (MUCA), were found in Ocotes Altos, on the left bank of the Aguan River in the municipality of Trujillo.

Tarin Daniel was a member of the cooperative, Productores de Colon, one of the four that make up the settlement La Concepcion.

According to the spouse of one of the victims, they had left to go fishing on Thursday, April 14th at 3 pm with the promose to return the next day. Since they did not return on the agreed upon day, their families and friends opted to communicate with the police in Tocoa, Trujillo and in La Ceiba to find information, but it wasn’t until yesterday, April 19th that they found their cadavers.

There are reports from neighbors in the locale that say the victims had been captured by security guards of Reynaldo Canales and Rene Morales precisely at the place where the lands of these businessmen meet the Aguan River.

Poor residents and campesinos that belong to the campesino cooperatives in the region express that they are living in a state of permanent terror, fearing for the loss of their lives, because so many dead and mutilated people are produced; a precise count can’t be made because some of these acts are not even reported by the communication media.

Today, the campesinos of the cooperative La Confianza denounce that they have been followed when they took money out of a bank, by three cars, all Toyota 3.0, one white, one cream, and one grey. Mario Mejia, a campesino from another settlement was followed on the 14th of this month when he withdrew money, by three carrs of cimilar colors, from which they fired guns and one of the bullets hit him in one of his ankles.

The people dennouncing the events do not believe that these actions are the result of common delinquency, but rather are actions of intimidation by the big land owners with whom they are in conflict.

Fian International, Honduran Section, expresses its indignation for the impunity that prevails in all of the country and is especially dramatic in the Lower Aguan since the initiation of the agrarian conflicts that are publically known both nationally and internationally.

Translated by VC from FIAN Communiqué from here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

COPINH: Where are the negotiations for a new agreement heading?

Position of the Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) regarding the negotiations held by Chávez and Santos

versión original en español

In light of the news of negotiations for an accord to reintegrate Honduras into the Organization of American States, we express the following position:

As a part of the Honduran people in Resistance we are surprised by the meeting of President Hugo Chávez with Mr. Juan Manuel Santos and the coup maintainer Porfirio Lobo Sosa in Honduras, a meeting that takes place in a context characterized by heavy repression of the people. Let us not forget occurrences such as the following: the killing of hundreds of people in the struggle against the coup d'etat, elements of the army and police firing live ammunition against protesters from the Bajo Aguán, the killing of the teacher IIlse Velásquez during violent repression of a peaceful protest in defense of public education, repressions that have become a habit of this dictatorship such as the use of toxic gasses, rubber bullets, high-caliber arms and detention of youth, persecution against community radios and those who work in them, such as the case of the sisters and brothers of the community radio station "The Voice of Zacate Grande" who live through judicial persecution, the attempt to burn down the homes of those responsible for the Garífuna community radio station in Triunfo de la Cruz, massive firings of teachers who have protested in defense of public education, an increase in femicides and the brutal death of people of diverse sexualities. All of this plus the growing North American military invasion through the increase in troops in the military bases at Palmerola, Olancho, Karatasca and other territories of Moskita and the construction of the new base in the Island of Guanaja in the department of Islas de la Bahía.

As an organization, we profoundly suspect and do not
recognize an agreement promoted by Juan Manuel Santos who has carried out crimes against our sisters and brothers of the social movements of Colombiaas part of the policy of "democratic security." We consider that these negotiations coincide with the strategy of the U.S. State Department just like the negotiations of San José or those that produced the failed agreement of the Guaymuras dialogue.

We warn that no agreement should be validated by the Honduran people in Resistance if it doesn't end the reign of impunity in this country where those responsible for the killings, for the repression and the coup d'etat are those who are in power and keep the Honduran people subjugated to the manipulations of imperialism and the oligarchy.

We call on the Honduran people to reject any manipulation that attempts the reintegration of the Hondura
n state into the Organization of American States while those who have continued the coup d'etat remain in power, while repression, militarization and impunity continue to reign. Our efforts and actions should be to strengthen the struggle for the Re-foundation of the country.

We urge international solidarity to accompany us in our struggle to end the coup d'etat, the repression and the impunity through an emancipatory process, and we call on you to participate in the campaigns for the coup regime to not be recognized by any democratic country and to not return to the O.A.S. while judicial proceedings have not begun against the human rights violators responsible for the coup and democracy has not been reinstated through the convening of a national democratic and popular constitutional assembly.

There cannot be reconciliation and peace while in the country impunity and persecution continue to reign, and social struggle is criminalized while the oligarchy takes over the natural resources and deepens its exclusive, exploitative and privatizing economic model illegally and illegitimately.

Finally, COPINH, a modest organization integrated amongst the Honduran people in resistance, regrets that these negotiations took place without consultation and without acknowledgment of the agreements of the National Assembly of February 26th and they try to drag the National Front of Popular Resistance into recognizing a criminal regime and participating in an electoral circus in which there will just be more of the same.

COPINH calls on the leadership of the FNRP and its coordinator and sub-coordinator to convene as soon as possible a broad, transparent and democratic Assembly to tackle this subject.

The Honduran people is who will decide its own destiny and as a part of it, we will be in those battles
until we achieve the Re-foundation of Honduras.

With the ancestral strength of Lempira, Mota and
Etempica we raise our voices filled wtih life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace.

La Esperanza, Intibucá April 17th, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

COPINH chases out coup regime from San Francisco Lempira: "We won't allow the privatization of public education"

COPINH: Action in Santa Rosita and San Francisco Lempira against the traitors


(versión original en español)

Yesterday, Saturday April 9th before 9 a.m. an advanced delegation and some journalists in 10 luxury cars with heavily armed men arrived in the center of the community San Francisco Lempira to accompany Juan Orlando Hernández, president of the congress of traitors and coup-makers and Rosa Bonilla wife of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.The supposed purpose of the visit of these people was to manipulate people with the so-called 10,000 voucher and give crumbs to people from these communities.

The group waited in the soccer field where the helicopter was supposed to land. Facing this threat people from the communities including teachers from the Resistance and members of COPINH mobilized to that field and demanded that the Mayor communicate to the delegation that they had to leave immediately and would not be allowed to promote the privatization of education and that otherwise they would be removed as an exercise in the right to autonomy.

That Mayor is Noel Molina, an enemy of public and community education who is part of those who accuse us of burning schools. Given the firm rejection they found themselves forced to leave towards the community of Santa Rosita, where they would improvise an "act," but five minutes after they got there a group from COPINH and the Resistance showed up indignant and despite the fact that they were at work they did it quickly carrying their farming tools.

Because of this it took less than 10 minutes before the entire "advance delegation" and the Mayor fled.Meanwhile in the center of the municipality of San Francisco Lempira more teachers, parents and militants from COPINH and the Resistance gathered and it turned into an important demonstration.

…Juan Orlando later told the Mayor that the helicopter didn't show up because it had "broken down."

With this the communities have carried out a concrete action of expulsion of the coup-makers and traitors who threaten the human right to public education and it is one more example of solidarity and of joining forces with the teacher's struggle.

La Esperanza, Intibucá, April 10th, 2011.

General Coordination of COPINH

Members of COPINH from San Francisco Lempira.

Friday, April 8, 2011

ALERT: Eviction in the Garífuna community of Punta Gorda, Roatan

ALERT: Eviction in the Garifuna community of Punta Gorda, Roatan.
(Español sigue abajo)

At the request of the Military Social Security Institute [Instituto de Prevision Militar, IPM, which owns several businesses], agents from the Ministry of Security are right now carrying out an eviction in the island community of Punta Gorda, Roatan.
The more than 40 families that are being violently evicted live in the neighbourhood known as Punta Gorda, located in the community of the same name. It is outrageous that that while the State of Honduras boasts about a policy of inclusion and makes an ostentatious show of its celebration of the International Year of Afro-Descendants, the armed forces order the Ministry of Security to carry out an eviction.

As Garifuna, we find ourselves suffering a second expulsion from the Caribbean. In just a few days, on April 12th, the arrival of our People to Honduras will be commemorated, specifically marking our arrival to the island of Roatan, after our forced displacement by the British from the island of Saint Vincent in 1797.
The pressures on our territory that our People suffer are rooted in the speculation by the tourism industry. Projects such as Banana Coast, Laguna de Micos, and in a not-so-distant future the so-called Model City have precipitated an onslaught of evictions in Punta Gorda and in the majority of coastal communities, which are the aim of businesspeople, politicians and armed forces, taking advantage of the vast judicial void that exists in Honduras.

Since the coup d'etat in 2009, the pressures on Garifuna territory have intensified. The eviction in Punta Gorda is part of the "Christian humanism" of the current administration, which uses violence in an attempt to impose its vision of a "democracy" of the few associated with the party in power.

The Garifuna of Punta Gorda lack a land deed for their territory, despite dancing to the tune of numerous governmental administrations over the years - administrations that tend to celebrate the anniversary of our arrival to Honduras in Punta Gorda with rituals of power.

How will the State of Honduras and its kindred organizations explain this eviction at the Afro-Descendant summit they plan to hold this August? Basta Ya - enough! -

of the expulsion of the Garifuna People of Honduras.

La Ceiba, April 7, 2011.
OFRANEH - National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras

Alerta: Desalojo en la comunidad garífuna de Punta Gorda, Roatán.

Efectivos del Ministerio de de Seguridad, a petición del Instituto de Prevención Militar (IPM), están en este momento efectuando un desalojo en la comunidad insular de Punta Gorda, Roatán.

Las más de 40 familias que son violentamente desalojados, habitan en el b

arrio conocido como Punta Gorda, ubicado en la comunidad del mismo nombre.

Es inaudito que mientras el Estado de Honduras se jacta de una política de inclusión y celebra con boato el Año Internacional de los Afrodescendientes, los militares ordenen al Ministerio de Seguridad una orden de desalojo.

Los garífunas nos encontramos padeciendo una segunda expulsión en el caribe. Precisamente en pocos días se conmemora, el 12 de abril, la llegada a nuestro pueblo a Honduras, específicamente a la Isla de Roatán, después de haber sido expulsados por los Británicos de la isla de San Vicente en el año de 1797.

Las presiones territoriales que padece nuestro pueblo, se originan en la especulación causada por la industria turística. Proyectos como Banana Coast, Laguna de Micos, y en futuro no muy lejano la supuesta Ciudad Modelo, han instigado una arremetida para desalojar en Punta Gorda y en la mayoría de las comunidades de tierra firme, que son objetivos para empresarios, políticos y militares los cuales aprovechan el enorme vacío jurídico existente en Honduras.

A partir del golpe de estado del año 2009, se han intensificado las presiones territoriales sobre el pueblo garífuna. El desalojo en Punta Gorda es parte del "humanimo cristiano" de la actual administración, la que a garrote pretende imponer su visión de una "democracia" de las minorías asociadas al partido en el poder.

Los garífunas de Punta Gorda, carecen de un titulo de su territorio, a pesar de haber bailado para las administraciones gubernamentales de turno, que suelen celebrar en Punta Gorda con rituales de poder los aniversarios de nuestra llegada a Honduras.

Cómo explicará el Estado de Honduras y las organizaciones afines este desalojo en la cumbre que piensan efectuar de Afrodescendietenes en el mes de agosto de este año.

Basta Ya de la expulsión del pueblo garífuna de Honduras.

La Ceiba 7 de abril de 2011


Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Teléfono (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba, Honduras,

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March of the Drums: There is nothing to celebrate

The following statement was released during a mass march of black and indigenous peoples in Tegucigalpa on April 1st, 2011 commemorating 214 years since the arrival of the Garífuna people in Honduras.

March of the Drums: Position of the organizations that make up the 2-14 Alliance


In the glorious Month of African Heritage we commemorate one more year in which this land was blessed. Blessed because more than two centuries ago the African plant set foot on it bringing with it the richness that decorates it today.

Today after 214 años, our own drums, symbols of resistance, powerful arms of struggle, urgently call us to deeply reflect on our historical reality.

In the midst of the commemoration of the Month of African Heritage in Honduras, we want to emphasize the term commemoration. We commemorate, we do not celebrate. Because we cannot celebrate the infamous inhumane and genocidal exile that our ancesters suffered from San Vicente, a flagrant violation of the most elemental human rights that even today the aggressor powers refuse to repair.

To celebrate would be an affront to the memory of our ancestors, mutilated brutally in the crossing from Africa to St. Vincent, from St. Vincent to Balliceu and from Balliceu to Port Royal, Honduras. The memory of the more than 3,000 Garífuna brothers martyred in Balliceu, plus those who gave their lives in the battle for dignity against the English army and the millions who were murdered in the crossing from Africa plunging into the depths of the ocean invite us to reflect about this term. Let us remember today that occasion that left an un-erasable impression on the historic destiny of our people.

Today as we did also 214 years ago we have had to once again embark on the crossing not of the Caribbean sea but of the battered paths and roads of fifth class that lead to and from our communities throughout our Honduras, from Plaplaya in the department of Gracias a Dios and Masca in the department of Cortes, we have come early in the morning to find ourselves here in Tegucigalpa the capital of the country, here where they decide our future and our destiny, in most cases without taking us into account, without consulting us, or believing that with one telephone call or one text message sent from the private telephones of mercenaries, infamous traffickers of the ignorance and misery of our people, this action is more than sufficient to decide if we continue living or die.

Because of this all of the organizations and sectors that make up the 2-14 Alliance and to the sound of the ringing of the drums, the maracas and the Garífuna conch say with one voice... de los tambores, las maracas y el caracol garífuna planteamos y decimos a una sola voz…There is nothing to celebrate...

There is nothing to celebrate..

Because the spirit of our ancesters orders us today to reorient the steering of the destiny of our people, to re-take the true leadership of Satuyé and Barauda. A leadership able to differentiate talk from practice, inescapably linked to the people, for the people and by the people. And not the remote control pseudo-leadership exercised from the comfort of the big cities, completely disconnected from the daily reality of a community that is bleeding and agonizing through the systematic loss of its ancestral richness.

There is nothing to celebrate

Because Satuyé and Barauda left us an orphan leadership of small-minded interests and personal ambitions, crustacean culture perpetuated by a sys

tem that divides us with crumbs and then with shameless audacity demands of us and calls us to unity. Today our people is victim of pseudo-leadership imported from western models, converted into instruments of destruction, division, effervescence of small conflicts, directed at weakening the harmony, the peace and the co-existence of solidarity inherited from Satuyé, Barauda and Wamulugu.

There is nothing to celebrate

If our Garífuna people is victim to torture. We cite the recent brutal and repressive breaking up of the peaceful march at the community Triunfo de la Cruz, when our sister Miriam Miranda, president of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras was captured, tortured and illegally jailed, as a result of a state policy of racial intolerance that replaces dialogue with the baton and the tear-gas bomb.

There is nothing to celebrate

When our beaches after the death of coconut are devoured by coastal erosion and there is no concrete strategy for mitigation and adaption to climate change, leaving our communities in absolute vulnerability.

There is nothing to celebrate

Because due to the stubbornness of the current regime in maintaining a model as exclusive as the neoliberal one, more than 200,000 brothers and sisters have had to emigrate from our communities risking their lives to go in search of an uncertain destiny, leaving behind parents, children, grand-children and other loved ones, when our youth find themselves forced to emigrate due to the absence of opportunities and the blackmail that says if we don't give up out territory it is because we are opposed to "development."

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because even though the United Nations has declared the language, the music and the dance of the Garífuna people as a Oral Master Work and Intangible Asset of Humanity on May 18, 2011 and declared 2011 as the International Year of the Afrodescendants the State has not made any effort to support the strengthening of our culture which it instead commercializes and labels as national folklore at the same time that it promotes cultural homogenization through the media dictatorship taking place in Honduras.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because the attacks and threats against community media violate the right to free expression and thought and the right that our people have to create their own alternative media as is established in Covenant 169 of the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Declaration about Indigenous Peoples.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because the the government is working to make its racist policies prevail by denying the incorporation into the country's health services network of the First People's Garífuna Hospital, a monument that dignifies the struggle for survival of our people that ancestrally has suffered abandon, invisibility and exclusion, this center which is the first of its kind in 214 years of Garífuna presence in Honduras, even though it provides free service to the historically forgotten population, flagrantly violating what is established in ILO Convention 169 in Articles 24 and 25.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because after 214 years of submission to a colonial education system from which ignorant functionaries graduate, people who cut themselves down carrying the cross of self-denial, who with more education feel ashamed of speaking their own language, of their cuisine and their philosophical and theological worldview. After 17 since the creation of the Intercultural Bilingual Education program we have as a result the most alarming loss of the language in our modern history, but the Secretary of Education and the cooperating authorities who financially sustain this program and reflect in their reports the utopic vision that this program is a complete success.

Our statistics reflect that in the closest communities to the cities 8 or 9 of every ten Garífuna children don't understand nor speak the language, leaving clearly demonstrated that the
underlying purpose of these programs isn't the rescue, preservation nor revitalization of the language but the domestication of our peoples, creating in its citizens cowardly and servile conduct. It is opportune to emphatically pronounce or condemnation of the practice assumed by the current government that has as its end the replacement of Garífuna-speaking teachers with non-Garífuna teachers, political activists and career opportunists. For this reason the strengthening of the National Council of Garífuna Education (CONEGAH) and the creation of the first Intercultural Garífuna University (UGI) is imperative.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because only in Valle de Sula, the most rich zone of the country which produces 60% of the Gross Domestic Product of Honduras, there are more than 50,000 Afro-descendant inhabitants, where they are a fundamental pillar for the creation of that richness, but that contribution is not proportionately reflected in the investment of capital in the black communities of that region.

There is nothing to celebrate.

When the conversion of the Garífuna community of Rio Negro into "Banana Coast" is the prelude to the expulsion of the Garífuna from Bahía de Trujillo, a process which they seek to replicate in the whole coast in the name of uncertain tourism, a pillar of an economy of dependence, as the agro-export model liquidates food security.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because we unite the voices of the Organizations that today condemn the celebration of a World Summit of Afro-descendants that legitimizes a regime that represses the black communities as it showed the morning of this past Monday March 28th in the community of Triunfo de Cruz, Tela, Atlántida.

There is nothing to celebrate.

Because narco-trafficking is a problem that threatens the country.

The Garífunas present in this march of the 214 drums

We manifest our solidarity with the indigenous and misquito peoples of Honduras who are being the object of repression, militarization and pillaging of their natural resources by the oligarchy and the transnationals, in the same way we manifest our categorical support for the call for the self-demarcation of their territory.

Our solidarity is also with the Honduran teachers in the struggle for the defense of public education and the defense of the Teacher's Statute.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras April 1st, 2011

Alianza 2-14 made up of :

Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH),

Centro de la Cultura Garínagu de Honduras (CENCULGARH)

Comité Cívico del Gran Valle de Sula

Fundación Luagu Hatuadi Waduheñu,

Fundación Mujeres Garífunas en Marcha

Gemelos de Honduras

Delegación Musical «Black Men Soul»

Asociación de Afrodescendientes del Valle de Sula (ASAFROVA)

Enlaces de Mujeres Negras de Honduras (ENMUNEH)

Asociación Hondureña de Mujeres Negras (ASOHMUN)

Juventud Garífuna Luwéyuri Aníchigu (JUGALA)

Organización Nacional de Jóvenes Garínagu

Organización La Esperanza de Mujeres Garífunas (OLAMUGAH)

Sociedad Hondureña Activa en Nueva York (SHANY)

Colaboración Planetaria (COPLANET)

Federación de Patronatos de Iriona,

Patronato de Limón Colon,

Comunidad Garífuna de Plaplaya

Comunidad Garífuna de Batalla

Comunidad Garífuna de Pueblo Nuevo

Comunidad Garífuna Tocamacho

Comunidad Garífuna de Cocalito

Comunidad Garífuna de Sangrelaya

Comunidad Garífuna de Iriona Puerto

Comunidad Garífuna de San José de la Punta

Comunidad Garífuna de Iriona Viejo

Comunidad Garífuna de Ciriboya

Comunidad Garífuna de Cusuna

Comunidad Garífuna de Punta Piedra

Comunidad Garífuna de Limón

Comunidad Garífuna Santa Rosa de Aguan

Comunidad Garífuna Trujillo

Comunidad Garífuna Santa Fe

Comunidad Garífuna San Antonio

Comunidad Garífuna Guadalupe

Comunidad Garífuna Nueva Armenia

Comunidad Garífuna Rio Esteban

Comunidad Garífuna Sambo Creek

Comunidad Garífuna Corozal

Comunidad Garífuna Punta Gorda

Comunidad Garífuna Triunfo de Cruz

Comunidad Garífuna San Juan

Comunidad Garífuna Tornabe

Comunidad Garífuna Bajamar

Comunidad Garífuna Travesía

Comunidad Garífuna Masca

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