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.

[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.

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.
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.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Roots of the Exodus: from the Honduran political crisis to the Refufee c...

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"The struggle for justice for Berta Cáceres and the Lenca people isn't over" - Statement on today's conviction by COPINH, Berta's family, Gustavo Castro and the legal team

Statement by Berta's Family, COPINH, Gustavo Castro and the legal teams regarding the conviction of Sergio Rodríguez, Mariano Díaz, Douglas Bustillo, Elvin Heriberto Rápalo, Edilson Duarte, Oscar Haroldo Torres and Emerson Duarte

November 29, 2018

[Original en español]

The verdict that was just released DOES NOT satisfy our demands for justice as victims in the assassination of Berta Cáceres and the attempted assassination of Gustavo Castro.

The decision that has been made in the 1st District Sentencing Court condemning the group of hitmen and their intermediate structure related directly to the DESA corporation does not mean that justice has been obtained.

The structures and people who gave the money for these criminals to assassinate Berta Cáceres are still free and able to continue carrying out crimes like this one with impunity.

Since the beginning of this process - almost three years ago now - it has been clear that the assassination of Berta Cáceres was planned by the leadership of the DESA corporation and then  carried out by hitmen linked to the Honduran Armed Forces. Nonetheless, the full truth surrounding this crime and all of those responsible for it has been limited to those who were just condemned through intentional obfuscation by the Honduran state via its Attorney General and courts. They seek to deny access to the truth, which is part of true justice.

What has become even more clear during these legal proceedings, from which we have been expelled due to our refusal to be silent in the face of the daily abuses in the court room, is that the Atala Zablah family, who have an ownership stake in the DESA corporation, are behind the entire plot of persecution, intimidation, attacks and threats that led to the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

Our participation as victims is a fundamental part of the judicial process and the State, by systematically excluding us, perpetuates the impunity that inundates this country and causes so much harm.

During the trial we, along with international observers, diplomats and the press, bore witness to the telephone communications that show this participation. This also made it clear that the criminal acts committed by the DESA corporation under the leadership of this family go beyond the assassination and comprise a series of crimes carried out against Berta Cáceres, COPINH, the Lenca people and the public administration and state of Honduras.

We ask the state and its institutions, what interests are at stake that motivate you to behave in a way that protects the masterminds whose names are no secret? Why, despite clear evidence of their participation, have they still not been charged almost three years after this hideous crime? What are you waiting for to carry out your responsibility??

We demand that all of those responsible for the assassination of Berta Cáceres be brought to justice and not just those who were paid by DESA to carry our the crime.

The struggle for justice for Berta Cáceres and the Lenca people does not end with the chapter that closes today, the convictions of the lowest layer of the criminal structure, with which the Honduran state seeks to silence the demand for justice. On the contrary, we are deepening our efforts.

These convictions are the first step in the search for justice and the family, Gustavo Castro, COPINH and the legal teams have been accompanied by those who believe in Berta Cáceres, in her words and actions and we know that they will continue to make a principled stand on the side of truth and justice in the battles to come, which we will wage with complete determination.

The impunity that the masterminds of this crime continue to enjoy is part of the plot of corruption and violence that sustains the model of extraction that plunders our peoples. As victims, and other people, communities and organizations we commit to continue confronting it, like Berta Cáceres did, until dignity, truth and justice prevail in this case and in all of the struggles that are being waged right now throughout Honduras and the world.

We and the entire Honduran people are still owed a debt of justice!

Written in the city of Tegucigalpa on the 29th day of the month of November in the year 2018.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Call to Solidarity - One Year Later - Un Año Despues

Statement by the Honduras Solidarity Network November 28, 2018

Un año después - Un llamado a la  solidaridad.
El régimen hondureño usa la violencia contra su gente; Estados Unidos usa la violencia contra los refugiados que huyen de Honduras.
English follows the Spanish

El lunes 26 de noviembre de 2018, las autoridades hondureñas dispararon enormes cantidades de gases lacrimógenos y dispararon balas vivas en contra de una gran marcha de protesta en Tegucigalpa para conmemorar el primer aniversario del fraude electoral de noviembre de 2017. Al menos 3 personas resultaron heridas, una de ellas, Geovanni Sierra, trabajaba como reportero para UNE-TV cuando recibió un disparo. Esto sucedió un día después de que la Patrulla Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos disparara balas de goma y grandes cantidades de gas lacrimógeno -a través de la frontera hacia México- a la Caravana de Refugiados, la mayoría huyendo de Honduras, a quienes se les está impidiendo ingresar a los Estados Unidos. Sólo 2 días antes de este incidente, el hermano del presidente de hondureño de facto, Juan Orlando Hernández, fue arrestado en el aeropuerto de Miami por ser integrante del crimen organizado, con vínculos con el narcotráfico, en Honduras. Estos tres incidentes en 4 días son únicamente la punta del iceberg de la crisis de las políticas estadounidenses en Honduras y de un régimen dictatorial, con en su violencia y corrupción.

El 26 de noviembre de 2017, Honduras acudió a las urnas en una elección en la que se enfrentaron la derecha con el Partido Nacional y el presidente JOH a la cabeza (quien se postuló para la reelección de manera inconstitucional), y Alianza, una coalición entre el anti-golpista/resistente Partido LIBRE y miembros del Partido Anticorrupción. Estas elecciones, en vez de permitir a Honduras tomar un nuevo camino para restaurar la democracia y hacer que el país sea habitable para el pueblo, un flagrante fraude electoral, una nueva ola de represión, y la continua impunidad y corrupción sumieron al país en una crisis aún más profunda.

La crisis que comenzó con el golpe de estado de 2009 respaldado por los Estados Unidos, seguida de las elecciones de 2017 -también respaldadas por los Estados Unidos-, es más profunda y más amplia que nunca. Es esta crisis la que está expulsando a miles de hondureños de su país.

Mientras el pueblo hondureño continúa organizándose, nosotros respondemos con un llamado a la solidaridad para apoyar al pueblo que lucha por el cambio en Honduras y al pueblo que lucha por sobrevivir en el éxodo de refugiados.

Exigimos que los Estados Unidos y Canadá detengan todo apoyo al régimen hondureño. Apoyamos las demandas de libertad para todos los presos políticos y de justicia para todas las víctimas del régimen hechas por el pueblo Hondureño. Exigimos que los Estados Unidos detengan la represión contra los refugiados, que abra las fronteras a quienes están siendo expulsados de sus países, y que ponga fin a la militarización de la frontera y a la violencia contra todos los migrantes y refugiados.

28 de Noviembre 2018
Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

One year later - A Call to Solidarity 
Honduran regime uses violence against its people - US uses violence against refugees fleeing Honduras.

On Monday, November 26, 2018, Honduran authorities fired massive amounts of tear gas and opened fire with live bullets on a large protest march in Tegucigalpa to mark the one year anniversary of the November 2017 election fraud. At least 3 people were wounded, one of them, Geovanni Sierra, was working as a reporter for UNE-TV when he was shot. This happened one day after the US Border Patrol shot rubber bullets and quantities of tear gas across the border into Mexico at the refugees, most fleeing from Honduras, who are being held back from entering the US. Only 2 days before that incident the brother of the defacto president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez was arrested at the Miami Airport for being part of the narcotics trafficking organized crime in Honduras. These three incidents in 4 days, are just the tip of the iceberg of the crisis of US policy, and a dictatorial regime and its violence and corruption. 

On November 26, 2017, Honduras went to the polls in an election that was a face off between the right wing National Party sitting president JOH (who ran for reelection unconstitutionally) and the Alianza, an alliance between the anti-coup/resistance Party LIBRE and members of the Anti-Corruption Party. But, instead of the election allowing Honduras to take a new path to restore democracy and make the country livable for the people, blatant election fraud,  a new wave of repression and continuing impunity and corruption plunged the country even deeper into crisis.

That crisis began with the US backed 2009 coup, and after the 2017 election (also supported by the US), it is deeper and broader than ever before. It is this crisis that is pushing thousands of Hondurans out of their country. 
As the Honduran people continue organizing, we respond with a call for solidarity to support the people fighting for change in Honduras and to support the people fighting for survival in the refugee exodus. 

We demand that the US and Canada stop all support for the Honduran regime. We support the Honduran people’s demand for freedom for all the political prisoners and for justice for all the victims of the regime. We demand that the US stop the repression against the refugees, open the borders to those being pushed out of their countries and end the militarization of the border and violence against all migrants and refugees. 

November 28, 2018
Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

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