Monday, December 23, 2013

Update: The Case of Jose Isabel Morales and Injustice in Honduras

There has been increasing attention to the case of campesino activist, Jose Isabel "Chabelo" Morales from international and Honduran human rights and social justice organizations. This has led to a review of his case by the Honduran Supreme Court and an order for a new trial and his release pending that trial. However the court authorities in Northern Honduras in concert with the powerful land owners in the Aguan region have delayed his release so that at this time it looks as if he will remain unjustly imprisoned. Below is a statement from the Permanent Observatory for Human Rights of the Aguan.

For more information and actions for Chabelo go to these sites maintained by Greg Mccain in Honduras. 

The Permanent Observatory for Human Rights of the Aguán informs the organizations of the Social and Popular Movement, National and International Human Rights Organizations and the Honduran people:
Since the beginning of our focus on the human rights violations in the agrarian crisis in the Aguán, we have accompanied the process of arrest and wrongful imprisonment of compañero José Isabel Morales, better known as "Chabelo," member of the Guadalupe Carney community who has been held for more than five years in the El Porvenir prison farm in the department of Atlantida, fighting for his freedom at a disadvantage against a justice system that continues to serve the interests of the regional economic power (Colon) and whose acts we denounce in the following:
1. After the defense filed an appeal before the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, this judicial body ruled in favor of that appeal, annulling the sentence condemning Chabelo and ordered a new trial during which, campañero Chabelo must regain his freedom because there is no judgment against him. What happened was that when returning the case to the trial court of Trujillo, the defense presented the request based on the law for a hearing to change the preventative detention that Chabelo is currently burdened with. Such a hearing, according to the law, should have been performed forty-eight hours after the request. However, the Court evidently threw out the request and instead set a date for trial while keeping Chabelo a prisoner.
2. Because of this, the defense proceeded on Tuesday the Seventeenth of this month, to bring a writ of Habeas Corpus before the Second Court of Appeals based in La Ceiba, to which, in support of the action, they appointed as Executive Judge the Coordinator of Prosecutors in Trujillo, José Antonio Maradiaga who has deliberately delayed the resolution of the appeal and refuses to provide information to the Defense Lawyer and to Human Rights organizations, arguing that the case is in under secrecy and that he may not resolve it until he sends the report to the court in La Ceiba. We also denounce his willful, intransigent and disrespectful attitude of the law. As a law officer, he is a public servant and should give information when it is requested especially to family members and to the legal defense as well as to local, national, and international human rights organizations.
Therefore, we want it noted that we know that the intent is for campañero Chabelo to remain illegally detained since the law states that pretrial detention should not exceed two years and the compañero has served five years and two months.
We call upon the organizations of the social and popular movement, peasant organizations of the Aguan and of the country, and national and international human rights organizations to be more aggressive in our call for justice for our friend Isabel Morales.

Immediate Freedom for Chabelo!
Dignity and Justice for the Campesino Movement of Honduras!!

The Permanent Observatory of Human Rights of the Aguán

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Today in the Streets of Tegucigalpa: Anger & Mourning!

The national mobilization called for by Xiomara Castro on Friday night became a massive, angry funeral procession today in Tegucigalpa. Last night two members of LIBRE were murdered in Tegucigalpa, there were unconfirmed reports of another in Olancho and a bomb was set off at another resistance locale. Today's march accompanied the coffin of Jose Antonio Ardon, "Emo 2" from the Pedagogic University to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and then to his wake at the national teachers union (COPEMH) hall.  President Xiomara Castro, ex-President Zelaya, and other leaders from LIBRE and the National People's Resistance Front (FNRP) spoke angrily of the fraud, lies and violence and called on people to take the streets agains after this "ballot box coup" as they did after the June 28, 2009 coup.

Thousands of marchers chanted, sang and shouted emotionally, carrying LIBRE flags, and hand-made signs. Person after person told our team that Juan Orlando Hernandez and the National Party are usurpers and not the legitimate government. LIBRE is filing a formal challenge to the announced results and has vowed to fight in the courts and international bodies as well as the streets.

Photos by E. Torres, V. Cervantes

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