Below is the latest urgent action alert from the independent human rights organization Rights Action in Honduras about the ongoing crisis in the country after the illegal coup that toppled the democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya almost two weeks ago. Tomorrow on WBAI's Wake UP Call, we will have an update on the crisis with several guests, including the co-director of Rights Action.
HONDURAS COUP ALERT #19 – July 9, 2009
- URGENT ACTION: Father of boy, who was shot and killed by army during Sunday’s pro-democracy protest, has been detained by police!
- THINGS OF NOTE (from the streets of Honduras)
- CALLS TO ACTION for U.S. and Canadian citizens. Our governments must move from rhetoric to concrete measures
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URGENT ACTION - Illegal Detention
This morning (July 9, 2009), Jose David Murillo Sanchez came to a leading human rights group COFADEH (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared) to give testimony about the death of his 19 year old son, Isis Oved Murillo Mencilla, who was shot and killed by the Honduran army during the Sunday July 5th pro-democracy march, at the “Tocontin” airport.
In the COFADEH offices, he gave his testimony to the DGIC (Honduras police investigation unit). He left COFADEH at 1130am, to go home to Olancho. Witnesses came running to COFADEH soon after to say that police, in civilian clothes, detained Jose David Murillo Sanchez, put him in an unmarked car, and took him away.
COFADEH has confirmed that the DGIC detained him, for some trumped up charges from 2 years ago. Jose David Murillo Sanchez is a member of MAO, a campesino, environmental defense organization in Olancho. The DGIC seemingly agreed to take his testimony about the killing of his son as a trap, so as to detain him … part of an on-going crackdown in Honduras against members of the social movement.
Please denounce this terrible abuse, as part of your on-going activism related to the military coup in Honduras.
- More information in English: Sandra Cuffe, tel:  9525-6778, email@example.com
- More info en Espanol: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.
cofadeh.org, email@example.com, 8991-0259, 220-7147
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THINGS OF NOTE
The pro-democracy marches continue daily. The movement is pacing itself. After the marches of 100,000 or more, last Friday, Saturday, Sunday, there have been daily marches of thousands in Tegucigalpa, Monday through Thursday. Smaller marches are occurring throughout the country. They are building towards more marches all around the country.
The pro-democracy movement has little faith in, but are respecting the "negotiations" in Costa Rica. This is not surprising. Inside Honduras, the rhetoric of the powerful pro-coup sectors (army, economic elites, hierarchy of the catholic church, most of the media (written, radio and TV) remains incredibly fixated on not giving in an inch. They have the wealth, the means of communication and the army and police. President Zelaya has stated publicly that he is "negotiating" only one thing - the date of his return, with all his powers and authority as President and with his entire government, and how the 'de facto' regime will cede power and how they will be dealt with.
Following on the decision of the U.S. government to take away recognition and diplomatic privileges of Roberto Flores Bermudez, Honduran ambassador to the United States who justified the military coup, the U.S. government has now suspended $16.5 million in military assistance programs to Honduras (according to the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa). From Reuters, the U.S. embassy in Honduras also said “a further $180 million in aid for Honduras could also be at risk as a result of the June 28 coup which toppled President Manuel Zelaya.”
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CALL TO CONTINUE PRESSURING CANADIAN & U.S. GOVERNMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CONCRETE SANCTIONS
UNITED STATES Call to Action:
Support House Resolution on Honduras! Urge your Representative to become an original co sponsor of House Resolution demanding reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras!
[This action alert comes to you from the Alliance for Global Justice and its member projects, the Nicaragua Network, the Campaign for Labor Rights, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, and the Respect for Democracy Campaign.]
Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Delahunt (D-MA) have sent out a Dear Colleague letter to the other members of the House of Representatives asking them to sign on as original co- sponsors to a House resolution calling for the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. See text of the letter and of the House resolution below. Call your Representative and ask him or her to sign on! The Capitol Switchboard number is: 202-224- 3121. All original co-sponsors need to be added before 5pm today. Here is some suggested language for your call:
"Please tell Representative _________________ that I urge him/her to be an original co-sponsor of the McGovern/Delahunt resolution to oppose the military led coup in Honduras. The resolution calls for the reinstatement of democracy in that country. Please contact Cliff Stammerman or Ben Dailey in Delahunt's office before close of business today as that will be the closing of original cosponsors."
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Become an original co-sponsor of a resolution opposing the coup d'état in Honduras
Deadline is close of business Thursday, July 9, 2009
We ask you to join us in co-sponsoring the resolution below condemning the coup d'état in Honduras, demanding that Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be returned to office, and welcoming the mediation efforts of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. As you are no doubt aware, an internal political dispute in Honduras degenerated into a coup d'état on June 28, 2009, in which the democratically-elected President of Honduras was seized by the Honduran military and sent into exile. This move was swiftly condemned by the United
States, the Organization of American States, the European Union, and the United Nations, all of whom have demanded that President Zelaya be reinstated to office.
It is critical that Congress be crystal clear that coups are unacceptable. This is particularly important in Latin America, a region which has suffered greatly in the past from military interference in politics but over the last 30 years has generally moved towards democracy. To accept the overthrow of a democratically-elected government is to wipe away the progress that has been made - progress that has been supported by both Democratic and Republican Presidents and Congresses.
Sincerely, Bill Delahunt, James P. McGovern
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CANADA Call to Action:
CUT AID TO ILLEGAL HONDURAN GOVERNMENT
Call the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), Peter Kent, to demand that the Canadian government immediately suspend aid to the de facto government of Honduras. Democratically elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup on June 28th, and the de facto government has categorically refused to allow his return to power, threatening instead to arrest him if he sets foot on Honduran soil. Zelaya attempted to return to his country on Sunday, but his plane was unable to land after the Honduran military placed vehicles on the runways of the international airport. Meanwhile, at least two peaceful protestors have been killed and others injured, civil liberties have been suspended, and journalists have been harassed and detained by the current authorities.
The Canadian government has denounced the coup. However, its position remains ambiguous. Canada has not cut aid, including military aid, to the illegal government that assumed power following the early morning kidnapping of President Zelaya ten days ago. Honduras is the largest recipient of Canadian aid in the Central American region. The suspension of aid would further isolate the illegal regime that has taken power in Honduras.
Already, the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), European Union and others have condemned the coup and called for Zelaya's return. The OAS has expelled Honduras, European and Latin American nations have withdrawn their ambassadors, and multilateral financial institutions including the World Bank have frozen loan payments.
We stand in solidarity with the thousands of Hondurans risking their lives in the streets to demand that their voices and their votes be respected. We join the Honduran and other Latin American communities in Canada in demanding that the Canadian government move beyond words in this urgent situation and take strong action against the illegal government that has taken over in Honduras. Call Minister Kent today!
Take Action! Call, fax, or email Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), Peter Kent at Tel: 613-992-0253, Fax: 613-992-0887, Email: Kent.P@parl.gc.ca. Use the call script below.
Call, fax, or email your MP (click here to contact your MP using your postal code) to demand that the Canadian government:
- unequivocally denounce the military coup
- refuse to recognise any ‘de facto’ government in Honduras
- insist on the unconditional reinstatement of the legitimate Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya
- cut aid to the illegal Honduran government
- demand respect for safety and human rights of all Hondurans
- demand justice and reparations for the illegal actions and rights violations committed during this illegal coup
SUGGEST PHONE CALL SCRIPT: I urge Canada to take strong action to reject the military coup in Honduras. In keeping with the Canadian government’s stated condemnation of the coup, please demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of legitimate Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, as our European allies have already done.
I know that Honduras is the largest recipient of Canadian aid in the Central American region. Please also cut all Canadian assistance to the de facto government, including military aid. Canada must immediately back up its words with actions to further isolate the illegal government in Honduras.
For more information: http://www.barrionuevocanada.
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FOR INFORMATION FROM HONDURAS, CONTACT: Grahame Russell (Rights Action co-director): firstname.lastname@example.org,  9630-9507 & 9507-3835
WHAT TO DO
FUNDS ARE NEEDED FOR THIS ON-GOING, ‘PRO-DEMOCRACY’, EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN HONDURAS
Rights Action staff in Honduras are providing emergency relief funds, every day, to community development, campesino, indigenous and human rights organizations for: food and shelter, transportation and communication costs, urgent action outreach and human rights accompaniment work.
Make tax deductible donations to Rights Action and mail to:
UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
CANADA: 552-351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
CREDIT-CARD DONATIONS: http://rightsaction.org/
AMERICANS AND CANADIANS SHOULD CONTACT YOUR OWN MEDIA, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, SENATORS & MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, TO DEMAND:
- unequivocal denunciation of the military coup
- no recognition of this military coup and the ‘de facto’ government of Roberto Michelletti and the unconditional return of the constitutional government
- increasing economic and military sanctions against the coup regime
- respect for safety and human rights of all Hondurans
- the application of international and national justice the coup plotters, and
- reparations for the illegal actions and rights violations committed during this illegal coup