I am not sure if I've already written about these two issues here, but in preparing for a paper I needed to write this week, I had to get this out. I'm not including it there, as it turns out, so I'll put it here instead.
In early 2012 I had a conversation with my friend Marcela, a midwife who had come to visit me for a checkup and massage during my pregnancy the previous year. I asked her why so many poor Honduran women used disposable diapers, when they were so fabulously expensive—even for me, a gringa on a U.S. professor's salary.
HSN Honduras Solidarity Network, USA
February 20, 2013
Statement of the Honduran Solidarity Network (HSN) in the United States
The Problem in Honduras is not the Human Rights Defenders
On February 18, 2013, Infantry Colonel German Antonio Alfaro Escalante, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Xatruch III, which is the ongoing military-police operation in the Aguán Valley of Honduras, convened an unusual press conference. The Colonel, in a verbal and written statement, accused international and Honduran human rights defenders and advocates for social justice movements in Honduras of intimidation and harassment because he received numerous calls regarding the detention of a campesino leader, Juan Chinchilla on February 10, 2013. He listed the names and websites of Honduran human rights defenders and the phone numbers for some of the messages he received from international callers. He stated that the publication of urgent calls for action on human rights is part of “a well conceived disinformation campaign” that “deteriorates the image of Honduras”.
Translation from SOAW volunteers:
Xatruch III, Get off the streets ... Get out of the Aguán ... and give us back our tranquility...!
It is unconscionable for us that we could return to the old ways and the old methods of the 1980s. We were surprised when, during a press conference on Monday, February 18, the Commander of the Xatruch III Task Force, Infantry DEM Colonel German Antonio Alfaro Escalante (based in the Aguán) made accusations against digital media, including defensoresenlinea.com, the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH)’s online newspaper specializing in human rights.
Letter from Charlie Hinton:
As some of you know, on Sunday January 13th, 2013, Honduran national police arrived at a bar called Anubis, frequented by members of the Sexual Diversity Community in Tegucigalpa. They ordered the bar to close early, well before the legal time limit for bar closings at 2:30am. Erick Martinez left the scene as requested, but returned later to document the incident after receiving a phone call that patrons were being attacked. Erick witnessed and documented several detainees who were subject to police beatings, verbal humiliations, and intimidation because of their sexual orientation. A group of national police assaulted Erick and seized his cell phone that was documenting the police abuse. Erick and two others were arrested and taken to the police post in Barrio El Manchen. During this time the contents of Erick’s phone were erased and his car searched and ransacked with items illegally confiscated. Erick was released by 3pm that afternoon, thanks to the intervention of an attorney from CIPRODEH, the human rights organization where Erick works.
Click title for original on AJE with links, pics:
CHARTER CITIES: NEOLIBERAL VIAGRA
By Belen Fernandez
19 Feb 2013
No sooner was the blatantly colonial charter city project in Honduras declared unconstitutional by the Honduran Supreme Court last year than it found itself back on the agenda. The gist of the project is the creation of free-market enclaves on Honduran territory that are unaccountable to national laws and are instead governed by foreign corporate interests.
Well done, compañeras and compañeros. The commander of one of the worst human rights violators in Honduras—Joint Task Force Xatruch—held a press conference today to complain about getting international phone calls at all hours of the night regarding their illegal detention and harassment of prisoners (which they refer to as hostigamiento y amenazas), and for accusing them of other atrocities. Here is their press communique.
CCR has its new Human Rights Report for last November and December on its Honduras Coup page. Meanwhile, in the news from Thelma Mejia at IPS, the good news that Cold War Policies Revived by Honduran Intelligence Law.
Click title for original article in La Prensa with photo.
Translation by Greg McCain, who notes "MARCA has legally sought title to its land. They were successful in doing so. So much so that their Lawyer, Antonio Trejo, was assassinated by Miguel Facussé's paramilitary death squad."
(El original en español está por debajo del Inglés y en el enlace de arriba)
Since the below statement was issued by MUCA yesterday evening, Juan Chinchilla has been released, but has been placed on probation, including a requirement to check in with a local judge weekly and a ban on leaving the country. This is just another example of the ongoing repression, intimidation, and criminalization of campesinos in the Aguán valley by Facussé and other landowners, and the state forces they control.
Continued criminalization of peasant struggle in Lower Aguan
With the clear involvement of state institutions.