Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Latest Developments from Honduras: Rights Action

DAY 87 – HONDURAS COUP RESISTANCE = AGAIN, A VICIOUS CRACK-DOWN
September 22, 2009, Alert#69

BELOW:

  • Action requested: Demand for comprehensive economic sanctions & possible “blue helmuts” peace-keeping mission
  • Various information from today’s brutal repressive crackdown
  • How to donate fund for the National Front Against the Coup & what to do?

INTERVIEWS & MORE INFORMATION:

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RIGHTS ACTION COMMENTARY – THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR THE HONDURAN PRO-DEMOCRACY, ANTI-COUP MOVEMENT

In response to President Zelaya returning to Honduras, where he is staying inside the Brazilian embassy, the oligarchic-military regime, headed by Roberto Micheletti and General Romeo Vasquez, unleashed another day of repression against the Honduran people – there are dead, wounded, and hundreds of illegal detained and beaten people.

Again, the Honduran people are staying in the streets and public places, demanding an end to this brutal regime, demanding a return of their democratic government.

(I don’t know how one nominates a people’s movement for the Nobel Peace Prize, but Honduras’ extraordinary pro-democracy, anti-coup movement should be considered.)

Again, the illegal Honduran regime has shown it has no interest in democratic principles, the rule of law, international law and human rights.

There is only one way that this regime can remain in power – repression, repression and more repression.

It is long past time for the so-called “international community” (from institutions like the United Nations and OAS (Organization of American States) to other governments) to stop appeasing the regime and apply direct sanctions and actions.

The so-called “San Jose Accords” – mediated by President Oscar Arias - must be rejected. Calling, again, for negotiations between President Zelaya’s government and the illegal oligarchic-military regime serves, effectively, to help keep the regime in power.

Only concrete economic and military measure from the OAS, the UN and the countries of the “international community”, particularly countries of the Americas, particularly the United States (that for generations has trained, funded and armed the Honduran army and police), can put an end to this brutal oligarchic-military regime.

The “international community”, from the OAS to particular governments of the Americas, must immediately implement comprehensive military, economic and political sanctions, against the coup plotters and perpetrators.

The “international community” must have full discussions, in the United Nations, about sending an armed peace-keeping force to Honduras, to help re-establish the constitutional order, to help facilitate a return to democratic institutionality of the country, and to initiate legal proceedings against the coup plotters and perpetrators.

INTERVIEWS & MORE INFORMATION:

Grahame Russell, Rights Action co-director, 1 (860) 352-2448, cel: 1 (860) 751-4285, info@rightsaction.org, www.rightsaction.org

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Rights Action urges people to act …

DEMAND FOR COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS & POSSIBLE “BLUE HELMUTS” PEACE-KEEPING MISSION

Please write immediately to the member States of the United Nations “Economic and Social Council”, including missions from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and others.

Send copies to your own politicians and media.

Below, you will find a sample letter and contact information for the listed missions.

Demand that the United Nations impose comprehensive economic sanctions against Honduras, which is a demand of the National Front Against the Coup. The General Assembly of the United Nations initiated a session today in New York City.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya yesterday arrived in Honduras, and is in the Brazilian Embassy. The de facto government is attacking protesters who have gathered around the Brazilian Embassy to protect the constitutionally elected President Manuel Zelaya. Dangerous quantities of tear gas are being used around the Brazilian embassy at a level that puts in danger the lives of the Brazilian diplomatic corps, President Zelaya, and neighbors of the Embassy.

Protesters are being rounded up and held in stadiums. Live ammunition along with rubber bullets have been used against protesters, along with extreme beatings. Masked men accompany police and military. The deaths of at least 3 protesters have been reported.

The offices of leading Honduran human rights organization COFADEH (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared) was attacked with tear gas.

A military curfew is in effect and scheduled to begin at 4 pm, and extreme repression during the curfew is expected.

SAMPLE LETTER

Esteemed Ambassador:

I write to request that in your capacity as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council you propose a resolution to obligate members of the United Nations to impose comprehensive economic sanctions against Honduras.

In this way the non-recognition of the de facto regime, that came to power through a military coup on June 28, 2009, will be made effective.

Today the coup regime is undertaking a direct attack on the Embassy of Brazil, where the constitutional President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya is located. They are using dangerous levels of tear gas, and have fired live ammunition; acts that put at risk the lives and wellbeing of members of Brazil’s diplomatic corp and thousands of people in the street and homes around the embassy.

This repression is the latest in 88 days of repression by the coup government.

For this reason it is urgent that comprehensive economic sanctions be imposed and that the possibility of a United Nations “blue helmuts” peace-keeping mission be discussed.

Sincerely,

* * *

MISSIONS IN THE “ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS”

CANADA:
canada@un.int
prmny@international.gc.ca
tel: 212-848-1100
Fax: 212-848-1195, -1192, -1128

UNITED STATES
http://www.archive.usun.state.gov/Issues/contactus.html
Tel: 212-415-4062
Fax: 212-415-4053

UNITED KINGDOM
UK@UN.int
Tel: 212-745 9200
Fax: 212-745 9316

FRANCE
france@franceonu.org
Tel: 212-702 4900
Fax: 212-421 6889

GERMANY
http://www.new-york-un.diplo.de/Vertretung/newyorkvn/en/Kontakt.jsp

INDIA
India@un.int
Tel: 212-490-9660
Fax: 212-490-9656

NETHERLANDS
Tel: (212) 519-9500
Fax: (212) 370-1954
netherlands@un.int

NEW ZEALAND
Tel: (212) 826 1960
Fax: (212) 758 0827
nzmissionny@earthlink.net

NORWAY
Tel: 212-421-0280
Fax: 212-688-0554
delun@mfa.no

SWEDEN
sweden@un.int
Tel: 212 583-2500
Fax: 212 583 2549

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INFORMATION

One can get up-to-the-moment information (when the regime is not cutting off broadcasting) from:

Honduran radio “Radio Globo”: http://www.radioglobohonduras.com/
Telesur TV: http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/canal/senalenvivo.php
Radio Progreso: http://radioprogresohn.com/
TV Canal 36, Cholusat Sur: http://www.cholusatsur.com/

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Day 87 - VICIOUS CRACK-DOWN

THE INFORMATION BELOW IS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES, INCLUDING RADIO GLOBO, TELESUR TV, AND PHONE CALLS WITH PEOPLE IN HONDURAS.

  • Today’s out break of repression began around 5:00am. President Zelaya is in the Brazilian embassy.
  • There are some 300 people in the embassy, including Catholic priest Father Tamayo. The regime recently took away Tamayo’s nationality (an illegal executive decision), as he is a priest who has spoken out against the regime.
  • Most of the country is militarized. Freedom of movement has been suspended – military road blocks are stopping vehicles. Pro-democracy, anti-coup people are apparently moving on foot towards Tegucigalpa and the Brazilian embassy.
  • There is an all-day, all-night military state of siege throughout the country; the regime has suspended all civil rights.
  • One can see (Telesur’s live streaming) that masked soldiers and police have the Brazilian embassy completely surrounded.
  • Today, soldiers/ police opened fire with rubber and live bullets on peaceful protesters in front of Brazilian embassy.
  • They have armored, water trucks. Tear-gas canisters have been fired on top of the embassy. The water truck is firing hi-powered water jets against protesters.
  • The regime is blasting noise (hi-pitched screeching sound) throughout the neighborhood, around the Brazilian embassy.
  • Police and military helicopters are flying over-head.
  • The regime is not permitting the entry of food and water into the Brazilian embassy.
  • The soldiers and police are using force to move journalists away from the area around the Brazilian embassy
  • Allegedly 3 people have been killed; apparently, one is a child who was affixiated by tear-gas. Dozens are wounded – some have gone to hospitals; many are hiding, afraid to get medical treatment for fear of detention.
  • 100s have been detained . Detention camps [“campos de concentration”, such as the “Chochi Sosa” stadium, such as the “Lempira Reina” baseball field] have been set up, where people are detained with no rights.
  • The four airports of the country have been shut down.
  • Radio Globo and channel 36 are regularly being taken off the air = their electricity is being cut off, all while Honduras’ mainstream radios and TV stations (owned by the coup perpetrator oligarchic elites) are broadcasting regular programs and shows – anything but covering the repression in the streets.
  • Despite the military state of siege, many people are in the streets - they are acting on the basis of Article 3 of the Constitution – that they have no responsibility to listen to or obey a “usurper” regime.

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UNITED STATES & PRESIDENT OSCAR ARIAS TREAT ‘DE FACTO’ REGIME AS EQUAL PART TO PRESIDENT ZELAYA’S GOVERNMENT

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Oscar Arias are again using the manipulative argument of calling on “both sides” not to use violence.

Only one side is using violence, since June 28.

They are again calling on “both sides” to negotiate a solution to the situation.

One side – the de facto regime – has rejected all aspects of the negotiation established by President Arias.

In effect, the United States and President Arias are again empowering the de facto regime by treating it as some sort of equal part in the problems in Honduras, and not treating it as an illegal, military backed, repressive regime.

ASK THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST MILITARY REPRESSION IN HONDURAS

From: Alexis Aguilar, Asst. Professor, Salisbury University, MD [cocobila@gmail.com]

The Honduran military has moved in against peaceful demonstrators in Honduras with tear gas, water cannons, shrilling noise, batons, and rubber and live bullets. Two people have reportedly been killed by the military. Yet, the U.S. remains silent.

Please take a couple minutes and call the State Department at 202-647-4000 to deliver the following message: "Demand the unconditional immediate reinstatement of President Zelaya, demand that the Honduran military STOP repressing the people and that they do not move against President Zelaya, and ensure that the coup plotters will be held responsible for their actions. This and any future bloodshed is on the hands of the coup government and security forces."

Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 with the same message.

State Department and Congressional Contact Information:

State Department Honduras Desk: Rebecca Valerin, 202-647-3482
Office of Central American Affairs: Director Christopher Webster, 202-647-4087
Secretary Hillary Clinton, 202-647-5291

Find your Congressperson’s Contact Info Here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt

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SPEAKING TOURS: “RESISTANCE TO MILITARY COUPS & GOLD MINING DEVASTATION IN HONDURAS & GUATEMALA”

In October, activists with Rights Action will be on speaking tours in Ontario, Quebec and eastern Canada, and north-east USA, showing slides and short documentaries and speaking about the on-going pro-democracy, anti coup movement in Honduras and about indigenous and community resistance to Goldcorp Inc.’s open-pit, cyanide leach mines in Guatemala and Honduras.

Karen Spring (spring.kj@gmail.com) in Ontario
Francois Guindon (francois.guindon@gmail.com) in Quebec and eastern Canada
Grahame Russell (info@rightsaction.org) in north-east USA

AMERICANS & CANADIANS should contact our members of congress, senators & members of parliament every day, day after day, send copies of this information, and demand:

  • unconditional and public support for the return of the entire constitutional government of President Zelaya
  • an immediate suspension of the release of all international funds and loans to the regime
  • unequivocal denunciation of the military coup and no recognition of this military coup and the regime of Roberto Micheletti and General Romeo Vasquez
  • no recognition of the November 2009 elections, that candidates from the traditional Nationalist and Liberal parties are campaigning for, even as the country is militarized and repression is widespread
  • concrete and targeted economic, military and diplomatic sanctions against the coup plotters and perpetrators
  • application of international and national justice against the coup plotters and perpetrators
  • reparations to the victims for the illegal actions and rights violations committed during this illegal coup

TO DONATE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE FUNDS to the people’s pro-democracy movement in Honduras, make check 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/contributions.htm

For foundations and institutional donors, Rights Action can (upon request) provide a full proposal of which organizations and people we are channeling funds to and supporting.

Thank-you for your on-going support for our work and for this struggle.