Saturday, September 17, 2011

Update: (10pm Mon.) The Honduras Solidarity Network delegation just issued the following:

"Beginning at 1pm today a helicopter started flying very low over Rigores taking pictures of the community.

"At approximately 4.30 the attack on the community began, some people ran into hiding. Troops came in and started tearing things up, breaking dishes, throwing peoples things around, hitting people, they grabbed a young girl by the hair, threatened people, and then grabbed Santos Bernabe Cruz Aldana, the 16 year old son of the president of the Movimiento Campesino de Rigores, and dragged him into the bushes, also taken was 15 year old Darwin Leonel Cartagena, it is believed that maybe six people have been taken. A helicopter with armed men hang out of it was hovering very low as if they were going to land, the people are terrorized."

Update 9/20: I should note that I have recently become aware that several pro-coup newspapers in Honduras have printed unverified reports that the violence is in response to deaths of two soldiers of the Honduran military in the region, which the military attributes to armed insurgents and the camposinos attribute to a grenade going off in the vehicle. It is difficult to verify what happened because of the disinformation that is common in these matters, as such incidents are commonly used to justify such reponses, a response that would constitute a human rights violation even if such an attack took place, and considering that pro-coup papers have already reported the canard that the camposinos have the military support of Venezuela and Nicaragua. Also, you would expect an automatic weapon attack to murder any possible witness of such an attack. I just pass this on.

Update 9/27: "Campesinos denied from the beginning that there was an ambush and suggested that a drunken soldier accidentally detonated a grenade inside the vehicle. Vitalino Alvarez, a spokesperson for the Unified Campesino Movement of the Agu├ín (MUCA), told Honduran media that the road is straight where rebels allegedly ambushed the patrol vehicle and that there aren’t enough trees and bushes there to provide cover for attackers. Alvarez says he went to the hospital right after the attack and saw injuries that were consistent with a grenade explosion, not an assault with rifles."

Previous: A recent symptom of the past 80 years of foreign intervention in Honduras is the US-funded massacres and torture of peaceful camposino activists in the Aguan Valley, on behalf of the richest man in Honduras, Miguel Facusse, who a new Wikileaks cable reveals has been using the area for drug running, covered up by the US State Department. Good background articles on the camposino movement in the valley can be found here and here, a declaration by Honduran artists and intellectuals can be found here. Here's a video about it if you want to watch one:

I am posting this in advance because right now, a large group of camposino activists have been rounded up by the Honduran military/police, possibly with the help of paramilitaries imported from Colombia, and are being detained at the Tocoa police station, and some well meaning folks who don't work for a paper that covers up this sort of thing want the word spread. AU professor Adrienne Pine says "It is feared that the detained are being tortured, also we fear for the safety of the campesinos still seeking refuge, in other forced evictions in the region campesinos have been killed and rapes reported." She reports that last night Dana Frank "said (she) was a journalist and human rights worker, calling about the situation of the detained campesinos. She said, and I heard it exactly and correctly: "Dile que han matado todos los campesinos" [Tell her they've killed all the campesinos]. I said, excuse me? and she laughed with someone else, and hung up." Then Frank called back and asked "how the campesinos from Rigores were being treated. After some back and forth, during which she seemed to be evading the question (I had to repeat myself two or three times) she responded "como perros"—"like dogs." I repeated her words and asked, "are they being tortured?" She laughed at that and said "ojala y fuera asi"—"if only that were true." She told me, in response to my question about when they would be released, that they'd let them out when they damn pleased, and then told me she didn't have time to be bothered and hung up." If you'd like to practice your Spanish with the friendly folks from the Tocoa police station, you can call:

Posta – Comisario Diaz / Colonel Espinal
00 504 2444-3101
00 504 2444-3105

Your federal tax money is paying for this in the form of annual assistance for the Honduran military in the millions, and Obama's support for the practices of the illegally elected government that carries out these human rights violations is well documented. You can thank Obama for bringing back the death squads at 202-456-1414, and email addresses and phone numbers for the State Department and embassy, as well as reliable background information, can be found here.

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