HSN Letter of Solidarity with Honduran Student Movement

English version follows Spanish

IMG_8134

 

 

 

 

 

8 de abril 2015

Para: Estudiantes Secundari@s y Universitari@s de Honduras,

En nombre de más de 30 organizaciones de Estados Unidos y Canadá, la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN) extiende sus mas profundas condolencias a los familiares, compañer@s, y amig@s de los cuatro estudiantes – Soad Nicole Ham Bustillo, Darwin Josué Martínez, Elvin Antonio López, y Diana Yareli Montoya – que fueron asesinados el 24 y 25 de marzo 2015 en Tegucigalpa.

Condenamos las matanzas – que fueron a modo de los escuadrones de la muerte – de los cuatro estudiantes de la educación media que habían participados en las protestas estudiantiles en los días previos a sus asesinatos. También estamos indignado y indignadas por la compaña de terror y represión que los estudiantes y los movimientos sociales en el país se enfrentan por organizar protestas en las calles para oponerse a reformas neoliberales a la educación pública. Estas reformas – el cierre de escuelas técnicas y enseñanza, la extensión el horario de clases y la eliminación de las clases nocturnas, entre otros – están siendo implementadas por el gobierno hondureño con el financiamiento directo y con el apoyo del Banco Inter-Americano de Desarrollo (BID), el Banco Mundial, el Fondo Monetario Internacional (IMF), y la Agencia del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID).

Como una red que se opone al imperialismo estadounidense y canadiense en Honduras, expresamos nuestra indignación frente el apoyo incondicional de los gobiernos norteamericanos al gobierno hondureño y a las fuerzas del estado que cometen violaciones de los derechos humanos con total impunidad, en particular denunciamos la agresión contra los niñ@s y los jóvenes. Condenamos la participación de John Kelly, el comandante del Comando Sur y Erin Logan, un alto representante de la Casa Blanca en el “Conferencia de Centro América sobre Seguridad Transnacional” en Tegucigalpa el 25 de marzo – evento que se realizó el mismo día que surgieron las noticias que se habían asesinado cuatro estudiantes. Sabemos que la participación de los gobiernos de Estados Unidos y Canadá en la “seguridad” en Honduras y Centroamérica no produce calles más seguras o reduce los altos niveles de violencia en el país. En realidad los EE.UU. y Canadá financian y entrenan fuerzas de seguridad hondureñas para reprimir estudiantes que protestan, comunidades indígenas y Afro-indígena protegen sus recursos naturales y territorios, mujeres, la comunidad LGBT, y campesinos, entre otros.

Estamos en solidaridad con el movimiento estudiantil hondureño, la Plataforma del Movimiento Social y Popular de Honduras (PMSPH) y el Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) para exigir justicia de los cuatro estudiantes asesinados, y su lucha por una educación pública, gratis, universal, y accesible en Honduras.

Sinceramente,

La Red de Solidaridad con Honduras

***********************************************************************

April 8, 2015

To: Honduran Public High School and University Students in Resistance,

On behalf of over 30 organizations from the United States and Canada, the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) extends its deepest condolences to the family members, peers, and friends of the four students – Soad Nicole Ham Bustillo, Darwin Josué Martínez, Elvin Antonio López, and Diana Yareli Montoya – who were murdered on March 24 and 25, 2015 in Tegucigalpa.

We condemn the death squad-style killings of these four high school students, who had been involved in student protests in the days leading up to their murder. We are also outraged at the repression and terror campaign that the student and social movements face in the country as they organize street protests across the country to oppose neoliberal reforms to public education. These reforms – including closing teaching and technical schools, extending class times, and eliminating night classes, amongst others – are being implemented by the Honduran government with direct financing and support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States government’s Agency for International Development (USAID).

As a network that opposes US imperialism in Honduras, we express our shame in the US government’s unconditional support for the Honduran government and state forces that commit gross human rights violations with complete impunity, against children and youth. We condemn the participation of John Kelly, the Commander of the US Southern Command and Erin Logan, a high-level White House representative in the “Central American Conference on Transnational Security” in Tegucigalpa on March 25 – the same day that news surfaced about the murder of the four high school students. The involvement of the US and Canadian governments in “security” in Honduras and Central America is not producing safer streets or reducing the high levels of violence in the country. Instead the US and Canada trains and funds Honduran security forces to repress protesting students, indigenous and Afro-indigenous populations protecting their natural resources and land, women, the LGBT community, and campesinos, amongst others.

We stand in solidarity with the Honduran student movement, the Plataforma del Movimiento Social y Popular de Honduras (PMSPH), and the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) in demanding justice for the four murdered students, and their struggle for free, universal, and accessible public education in Honduras.

Sincerely,

Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Two Upcoming Delegations to Honduras!

 HSN and Member groups’ delegations to Honduras to accompany the resistance movement and human rights defenders. 

4VmXjrcpIImoyFAt1hfap-lkV_BgQPWMRH8mqFl2ses,mpRWSHmXdHStU4i5rVOz6Z1-7cznP8BQJI1KtaGjPrYUpcoming:

HONDURAS: LABORATORY FOR RUTHLESS GLOBALIZATION
 Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, May 22nd to 31st, 2015 & INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DISAPPEARED, HONDURAS !PRESENTE! 2015 May 23-June 1, 2015,  La Voz de los de Abajo. 

More information below.

HONDURAS: LABORATORY FOR RUTHLESS GLOBALIZATION
Sponsored by Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity
May 22nd to 31st, 2015.
What happens when you take out all the stops of democracy and economic sovereignty and give free rein to militarists and global corporations? Since the 2009 coup, the Honduran government, backed by the U.S. the IMF and other International Financial Institutions, has become a laboratory for ruthless neoliberal experimentation. The government’s Model Cities program is carving off chunks of territory to surrender to foreign corporations. Against the odds, Hondurans are resisting. Join The Cross Border Network for a ten day delegation focusing on their resistance, examining the impact of these policies and investigating who’s behind them. This delegation will be lead by Karen Spring of the Honduras Solidarity  Network. Delegation dates are May 22nd to 31st. Cost is $950 (does not  include international travel). For more information, please contact CBN Coordinator, Melissa Stiehler at (816)308-2687 or melissastiehler@gmail.com

For a flyer go to
http://www.crossbordernetwork.org/international-delegations.html

International Week of the Disappeared in Honduras 2015
May 23-June 1, 2015
Join La Voz de los de Abajo in Honduras for the International Week of the Disappeared (Semana Internacional de los Desaparecidos) May 24 – June 1 2015.  Forced disappearances by death squads and security forces are a global problem that has reappeared  in Honduras since the June 2009 coup that created a human rights crises including a new wave of forced disappearances that rivals the situation in the 1980’s. Our delegation will participate in activities with the Committee of the Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH) and other human rights defenders  in commemoration of the disappeared both past and present.  This year’s week to commemorate the disappeared occurs as we see the number of desparecidos and desaparecidas increasing alarmingly in Central America and in Mexico; there is an urgent need to understand what is happening and to build solidarity and resistance together across borders.   The delegation will visit communities and organizations in Honduras in the countryside and cities that are a part of the resistance and social justice movement.  We will participate in activities for the International Week of the Disappeared in the Tegucigalpa area including participating in  traveling the Path of Memory (Ruta de la Memoria) that includes locales that in the 1980’s housed clandestine  cemeteries and  detention and torture centers and a day of presentations, discussion and sharing in  COFADEH’s Hogar en contra el Olvido (House against Forgetting/Oblivion) outside of Tegucigalpa .
Delegation fee: $950 this covers in-country transportation, at least 2 meals a day, hotel and other lodging, spanish/english interpretation and logistics. It does not cover airfare into and out of Honduras.  
For more information: vickicervantes@yahoo.com

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

HSN: Against US Interference in Venezuela

english follows the spanish statement

Declaración de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras en solidaridad con la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. 

Contra la injerencia de EE.UU en la República Bolivariana de Venezuela Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN), D19/FNRP-Partido, LIBRE—EE.UUCanadá

Nosotros ciudadanos de Estados Unidos y Canadá, organizaciones integradas en la Red Nacional de Solidaridad con Honduras, (HSN) e inmigrantes hondureños residentes en EE.UU y Canadá organizados en Colectivos del Partido Libre y el FNRP bajo el nombre Departamento 19.

En conmemoración al segundo aniversario de la desaparición física del presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, condenamos la campaña mediática abierta y encubierta en contra del proceso de cambio social en favor de las mayorías, que el pueblo venezolano con mucho éxito lleva acabo junto a su líder, presidente Nicolás Maduro.

Le recordamos a la actual administración del Presidente Obama, que lasintervenciones de los Estados Unidos en otros países solo han llenado de dolor y luto a los pueblos en proceso de su autoderminación, tal como Iraq, Livia, Palestina, Afganistán, Honduras, etc.

Recordamos y reconocemos, que el gobierno de Venezuela dio comienzo a una iniciativa de gran trascendencia en desarrollo económico sostenible en América Latina, la creación de Petro Caribe y La Alianza Bolivariana de la Américas (ALBA) que dio como fruto que miles de personas de escasos recursos se beneficiaran y se benefician incluso en suelo norteamericano.

Hacemos un llamado al Pueblo de los EEUU, y a todos los pueblos del mundo, amantes de la paz, el respeto a los derechos humanos, la soberanía y autodeterminación de las naciones, a ponerle un alto a las políticas injerencistas del gobierno de EE.UU. A que condenemos todos unidos a la derecha violenta y sanguinaria que busca mediante el terror desestabilizar el gobierno democráticamente electo de Venezuela que con mucho sacrificio trata de encaminar un proyecto en beneficio de las grandes mayorías desposeídas de Venezuela, con un claro propósito de impulsar la unidad de los países latinoamericanos y la solidaridad con los pueblos del mundo.

EE.UU/Canadá—Jueves, 5 de marzo de 2015

************************************************************************

HONDURAS SOLIDARITY Network

Against US intervention in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN), D19 / FNRP-LIBRE Party-USA-Canada.

We citizens of the United States and Canada, members of the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) and Honduran immigrants in the US and Canada organized in collectives of LIBRE Party and the FNRP under the name Department 19 declare the following:

In commemoration of the second anniversary of the passing of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, we condemn the overt and covert media campaign against the process of social change in favor of the majority which the Venezuelan people, with much success, leads together with their leader, President Nicolas Maduro.

We remind the current administration of President Obama that US interventions in other countries have only brought pain and grief to the people in processes for self-determination, such as Iraq, Libia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Honduras, etc.

We remember and recognize that the government of Venezuela began an initiative of great importance in sustainable economic development in Latin America through the creation of Petro Caribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) which benefited and continue to benefit thousands of poor people even on US soil.

We call on the people of the US, and all peoples of the world, lovers of peace who respect human rights, sovereignty and self-determination of nations, to put a stop to the interventionist policies of the US government and to unite to condemn the violent and bloody right wing that uses terror to destabilize the democratically elected government of Venezuela that with much sacrifice is leading a project to benefit the dispossessed masses of Venezuela, with a clear goal of promoting the unity of Latin America countries and solidarity with the peoples of the world.

USA / Canada. Thursday, March 5, 2015

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Honduras Solidarity Network Statement on the “Alliance for Prosperity”

el español sigue el ingles
Honduras Solidarity Network

 February 12, 2015

On January 29th, the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times referencing the “migration crisis” and supporting a new plan for Central American development. This plan is known as the Alliance for Prosperity and the Obama administration is asking the US Congress for 1 [one] billion dollars to fund it.   According to the White House fact sheet on the proposal (November 2014) the purpose of the plan is  “1) Promoting prosperity and regional economic integration; 2) Enhancing security; and 3) Promoting improved governance”.  Biden also made clear the relationship of this proposal to what he termed the successes of Plan Colombia.

Biden’s references to Plan Colombia make it very clear that this new “alliance” is the same old story in which the U.S. government and various elites in Central America improve the efficiency and prosperity of their exploitation of the region’s resources while militarization, with all of its human costs,  is used to control the people, land and natural resources.

On the economic front, the emphasis is on economic integration and the continuation of the free trade agreements. In the case of Honduras, free trade agreement policies in conjunction with unprecedented levels of privatization, reduction of government services, hundreds of mining and other extraction concessions (more than 35% of the national territory), and the “charter city” or ZEDES (Special Economic Development Zones) are aimed at regional economic integration and prosperity for the multinational companies and regional oligarchs, not ordinary citizens.

The interest in improved governance would be easier to take seriously without the cynical praise for Juan Orlando Hernandez in Honduras. Hernandez is widely seen in his country as an updated version of the military dictatorships of the last century, installed through fraud in the continuation of the military coup of 2009, and responsible for the ongoing violence and impunity. While his program of privatization and the slashing of public services and elimination of thousands of jobs in the public sector meets with the approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US, it is deepening poverty and displacement in Honduras.

The most chilling aspect of the new plan is the parallel with Plan Colombia. Joe Biden concluded his New York Times Op-Ed with extravagant praise for the successes of Plan Columbia, a US funded program that was supposed to bring an end to narco and political violence and bring peace and prosperity to the Colombian people. Instead Plan Colombia militarized the country even more and deepened the violence for many years.  Social justice movements, trade unions, and virtually all political opposition was criminalized and accused of being “guerrilla” or narco, while a narco-government and armed paramilitaries ran wild.

According to Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory there are at least 220,000 casualties from this violence with at least another 92,000 people disappeared (Red Cross statistics). Another 5 million people were displaced, especially from the countryside, and the violence and displacement were concentrated in areas where there are natural resources targeted for private development. Despite the existence of armed insurgent groups, between 70%-80% of the violence was perpetrated by Colombian Armed Forces or the paramilitaries and four of every five deaths were civilians.

No wonder that Honduran social analysts and human rights defenders have spoken out against the proposal; Rodolfo Cortes in Radio Progreso, for example, stated that, “Therefore we are sure that once the Plan Alliance for Prosperity is put into place, the criminalization of the social and popular struggle, low-intensity war and violations of human rights will multiply in our countries”.

Therefore, the Honduras Solidarity Network, a network of more than 30 organizations in the US and Canada dedicated to solidarity with the Honduran people, rejects the Biden Plan for Honduras and continues to call for an end to US military and police aid and training, an end to the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and support for human rights and democracy defenders.

Honduras Solidarity Network USA/Canada

——————————————————————————————

Declaración de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras sobre la “Alianza para la Prosperidad”

Honduras Solidarity Network

12 de febrero, 2015

El 29 de enero, el vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos, Joe Biden,  publicó una opinión en el periódico New York Times que hace referencia a la “crisis migratoria” y apoya un nuevo plan para el desarrollo centroamericano. Este plan se conoce como la Alianza para la Prosperidad y la administración de Obama está pidiendo mil millón de dólares del congreso estadounidense para financiarlo.   De acuerdo con los datos diseminados por la Casa Blanca sobre la propuesta (en noviembre del 2014) el propósito del plan es “1) Promover la prosperidad y la integración económica regional; 2) Mejorar la seguridad; y 3) Promover mejores formas de gobernar.”  Biden también esclareció la relación entre esta propuesta y los supuestos éxitos del Plan Colombia.

La referencia que hizo Biden al Plan Colombia ilumina claramente que esta nueva “alianza” es el mismo cuento de siempre en que el gobierno estadounidense y los varios élites de Centroamérica mejoran la eficiencia y la prosperidad de su explotación de los recursos de la región mientras la militarización, con todos sus consecuencias humanas, se usa para controlar el pueblo, la tierra y los recursos naturales.

En lo económico, se enfatiza la integración económica y la continuación de los tratados de libre comercio. En el caso de Honduras, las políticas de libre comercio junto con niveles sin precedente de privatización, reducción de servicios públicos, cientos de concesiones de minería y otros recursos (más de 35% del territorio nacional), y las “ciudades modelos” o ZEDES (Zonas Económicas de Desarrollo Especial) tienen el fin de fomentar integración económica regional y prosperidad para las empresas multinacionales y los oligarcas regionales, no para el pueblo común.

Sería más fácil tomar en serio el supuesto interés en mejores formas de gobernar si no fuera por la alabanza cínica para Juan Orlando Hernández en Honduras. Grandes secciones de la población hondureña consideran a Hernández como una versión actualizada de las dictaduras militares del último siglo, instalado por fraude durante la continuación del golpe militar del 2009, y responsable por la violencia e impunidad continua. Aunque su programa de privatización, recortes a servicios públicos y la eliminación de miles de trabajos en el sector público agrada mucho al Fondo Monetario  Internacional (FMI) y al gobierno de los Estados Unidos, profundiza la pobreza y el desplazamiento en Honduras.

El elemento más preocupante del nuevo plan es su paralelo con el Plan Colombia. Joe Biden concluye su opinión en el New York Times con alabanza excesiva al éxito del Plan Columbia, un programa financiado por los EE.UU que supuestamente iba a acabar con la narcoviolencia y la violencia política y traer paz y prosperidad al pueblo colombiano. En vez de eso, el Plan Colombia militarizó el país aún más y profundizó la violencia durante muchos años.  Los movimientos populares, sindicatos y casi toda la oposición política fueron criminalizados y acusados de ser “guerrillas” o narcos, mientras el narcogobierno y los paramilitares armados hacían lo que les daba la gana sin consecuencia.

De acuerdo al Centro Nacional por la Memoria Histórica Colombiana hay por lo menos 220.000 muertas y muertos de esta violencia con por lo menos otros 92.000 desaparecidas y desaparecidos (estadísticas de la Cruz Roja). Otros 5 millones de personas fueron desplazadas y desplazados, especialmente del campo, y la violencia y el desplazamiento fueron concentrados en áreas donde hay recursos naturales que son blancos para el desarrollo privado. A pesar de la existencia de grupos armados insurgentes, entre 70% – 80% de la violencia fue cometida por las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia o los paramilitares y cuatro de cada cinco muertas o muertos fueron ciudadanos comunes.

Por eso no es ninguna sopresa y los y las analistas sociales y defensores de derechos humanos en Honduras han expresado su oposición a la propuesta. Rodolfo Cortes en Radio Progreso, por ejemplo, declaró que, “Por eso estamos seguros que una vez que el Plan Alianza para la Prosperidad está en marcha, la criminalización de la lucha social y popular, la guerra de baja intensidad y las violaciones de derechos humanos multiplicarán en nuestros países.”

Por eso, la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras, que aglutina más de 30 organizaciones en los Estados Unidos y Canadá en solidaridad con el pueblo hondureño, rechaza el Plan Biden Plan para Honduras y continua su llamado por un fin al financiamiento y capacitación militar y policiaco de parte de los EE.UU, un fin al Tratado de Libre Comercio con Centroamérica, y por el apoyo a las y los defensores de derechos humanos y democracia en la región.

La Red de Solidaridad con Honduras desde los EE.UU y Canadá

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

HSN Solidarity with Gladys Lanza, Human Rights Defender

La Carta en español sigue después del ingles: 

Open letter to Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of the Republic of Honduras and Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés, President of the Supreme Court.

Honduras Solidarity Network               

February 7, 2015

The Honduran Solidarity Network in the United States and Canada (HSN) joins Honduran and International Human Rights Defenders and advocates for women in denouncing the trial and verdict against  human rights defender, Gladys Lanza Ochoa. On January 28, 2015 Ms. Lanza was found guilty by a Honduran court of charges of defamation and slander brought against her by Juan Carlos Reyes, Executive Director of the Foundation for Development of Urban and Rural Social Housing (FUNDEVI). Ms. Lanza and her organization (Women’s’ Movement for Peace – Padilla Visitation) are advocates for human rights and especially women’s rights related to gender violence, abuse and intimidation. In 2011 a victim sought help from them and accused Mr. Reyes of long-term sexual harassment. Ms. Lanza Ochoa and her organization assisted the woman and made public the accusations. The victim won her case initially but it was later overturned. Mr. Reyes then went after Ms. Lanza Ochoa. The sentencing against Ms. Lanza is set for February 25, 2014 and she could receive as much as 2 years 8 months jail time under Honduran law.

Gladys Lanza Ochoa, now aged 73,  is internationally known and respected for her work for social justice, labor and human rights beginning in the 1960’s during the military dictatorships installed in Honduras, and continuing through the decade of the 1980’s when U.S. military-political  interventions in Central America supported a “death squad democracy” in the country. She was the president of the Union of National  Electrical Company Workers (STENEE) and held many other union positions including in the Unitary Federation of Honduran Workers (FUTH). In the 1990’s she began focusing on women’s rights and human rights through the organization, The Women’s Movement for Peace – Padilla Visitation (Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz – Visitación de Padilla). She continues this work today and has been a member of the coordinating body of that organization since 2002. 

Throughout her years of service and due to her fearlessness in providing accompaniment to the Honduran people she has been persecuted,  prosecuted, and threatened by governments, death-squads and those named as abusers by their victims. When she was a union president she was jailed after a workers’ protest and charged with high treason; she was freed due to international and national pressure. She and her organization spoke out immediately against the 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras and their human rights work has continued despite increased repression and threats. In July of 2009 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ordered the Honduran government to protect Ms. Lanza and in September of 2010 the Inter-American Court for Human Rights ordered protective measures (medidas cautelares) for Ms. Lanza.

We believe that this case goes beyond personal revenge by the accused abuser against those who assisted the victim; it is an attack against human rights defenders who fulfill their responsibilities to the victims by receiving testimony and supporting their cases. It is intended to intimidate human rights defenders into silence and thus to silence the victims  and condemn them to isolation at the mercy of their abusers whoever they may be.

Sincerely,

Vicki Cervantes, Coordinator, HSN

HSN is a network of 30 organizations in the USA and Canada dedicated to solidarity with the Honduran people.

HSN es una red de más de 30 organizaciones en EEUU y Canada dedicados a trabajar en solidaridad con el pueblo Hondureño

 www.hondurassolidaritynetwork.org honsolnetwork@gmail.com

Carta Abierta de la Red de Solidaridad de Honduras EEUU/Canada

Juan Orlando Hernandez, Presidente de la Republica de Honduras

Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés, Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia

7 de Febrero 2015

La Red de Solidaridad de Honduras en los Estados Unidos y Canadá (HSN) se une a  las entidades internacionales y nacionales de defensores de derechos humanos y defensores de las mujeres en Honduras en la denuncia del juicio y el veredicto contra la defensora de los derechos humanos, Gladys Lanza Ochoa. El 28 de enero 2015 la Sra. Lanza fue declarada culpable por un tribunal hondureño de los cargos de difamación y calumnia interpuestas contra ella por Juan Carlos Reyes, Director Ejecutivo de la Fundación para el Desarrollo Urbano y Rural de Vivienda Social (FUNDEVI). La Sra. Lanza y su organización (Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz – Padilla Visitation) son defensores de los derechos humanos y especialmente los derechos de las mujeres relacionadas con la violencia de género, el abuso y la intimidación. En 2011 una víctima pidió ayuda a ellos y acusó al Sr. Reyes de acoso sexual por largo tiempo. Sra. Lanza Ochoa y su organización ayudaron a la mujer e hicieron públicas las acusaciones. La víctima ganó su caso inicialmente pero fue revocado más tarde. El Sr. Reyes luego acusó a la Sra Lanza Ochoa. La audiencia de sentencia contra la Sra. Lanza se fija para 25 de febrero 2014 y ella podría recibir hasta 2 años y 8 meses de cárcel bajo la ley hondureña.

Gladys Lanza Ochoa, ahora de 73 años, es conocida internacionalmente y respetada por su trabajo por la justicia social y los derechos humanos y laborales a partir de la década de 1960, durante las dictaduras militares instaladas en Honduras y continuando a través de la década de los años 1980 cuando las intervenciones político-militares por los Estado Unidos en Centro América apoyaban una “democracia de escuadrón de la muerte” en el país. Ella era la presidenta de la Unión de Trabajadores de la Empresa Nacional de Electricidad: (STENEE) y mantuvo otras posiciones sindicales en la Federación Unitaria de Trabajadores de Honduras (FUTH). En la década de 1990 comenzó a centrarse en los derechos de la mujer y los derechos humanos a través de la organización, Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz – Visitación de Padilla. Ella continúa este trabajo hoy y ha sido miembro del órgano de coordinación de esa organización desde 2002.

A lo largo de sus años de servicio y debido a su falta de miedo en el acompañamiento al pueblo hondureño, la Sra. Lanza ha sido perseguida, procesada y amenazada por los gobiernos, los escuadrones de la muerte y los nombrados como abusadores por sus víctimas. Cuando era presidenta del sindicato, fue encarcelada después de una protesta de trabajadores y acusada de alta traición; fue liberada debido a la presión internacional y nacional. Ella y su organización se pronunciaron de inmediato contra el golpe de Estado en Honduras del 2009 y su trabajo por los derechos humanos ha continuado a pesar del aumento de la represión y las amenazas. En julio de 2009, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos ordenó al gobierno hondureño a proteger a la señora Lanza y en septiembre de 2010, la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos ordenó medidas cautelares para ella.

Creemos que este caso va más allá de una venganza personal por el abusador acusado contra los que ayudaron a su víctima; es un ataque contra los defensores de derechos humanos quienes cumplen con sus deberes hacia las víctimas, mediante la recepción de testimonios y el apoyo a sus casos. Es un intento de intimidar a los defensores de derechos humanos para que se mantengan en el silencio y por lo tanto para silenciar a las víctimas y entonces a condenarlas al aislamiento y dejarlas a merced de sus agresores sean quien fueran.

Atentamente,

Vicki Cervantes, Coordinadora,

Honduras Solidarity Network – Red de Solidaridad de Honduras

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Support Solidarity Now!

young boy solidarity sign, NYCDear Friends

On June 28, 2009 gunshots rang out at the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa as the Honduran military stormed his home and kidnapped democratically elected President Manual Zelaya. Immediately the Honduran people took to the streets across the country in the tens of thousands and began a resistance movement that continues today. There was also a quick response to the crisis from solidarity and human rights groups in the United States and Canada. It took only a few weeks for groups to begin coordinating solidarity and by January 2010 the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) was created.

ddIMG_0745HSN member groups have organized many human rights observer delegations that have accompanied Honduran resistance protests as clouds of tear gas filled the streets of Tegucigalpa. We have provided an international observation presence to campesino and indigenous communities in the midst of violent evictions by paramilitary and government security forces.

We have conducted fact finding missions and worked to get the truth out about conditions in Honduras, the role of US policy in support of the 2009 coup and how US police and military aid and training helps create the current human rights crises. This crisis has left at least 200 campesinos, 30 journalists, 174 LGBT murdered. Impunity, corruption and militarization have plunged the country into a crisis that led to at least 50,000 Honduran children and youth fleeing the country in 2014.

CrDOPXbRIuteq99xMsDTEvJ9-x6o5lHB_n46oTZGwvgucPivko1LjlBA_002

In 2014 we added our only paid staff, Karen Spring, who is living in Honduras and strengthens our accompaniment delegations. She also investigates crucial struggles like the fight against foreign mining companies and provides the information we need to organize solidarity in the US and Canada.

HSN members also work to change US policy by bringing speakers from the Honduran resistance groups and human rights defenders to the US to speak to the public and to members of Congress. In the past five years this work resulted in 7 letters by members of Congress to the State Department protesting continuing military and security aid in the face of blatant abuse and human right violations by the Honduran government. One letter was signed by 94 members of the House of Representatives.

hDSC_0891
Make a tax-deductible donation now so that we can continue to grow solidarity with the Honduran people in resistance! The violence against activists and movements continues as does the resistance. Our partners put their lives on the line every day to build a just and democratic nation. Our solidarity helps save lives and provides essential support in the US, the sponsor of the corrupt and violent Honduran oligarchy.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Karla Lara on Tour in the U.S.

Respect, Dignity, and Resistance Tour 2014

Karla Lara is a pkarlalara_cropolitical activist, singer/songwriter, and women’s rights advocate from Honduras. She tells the story of many women, and it is her intention for women to see reflections of themselves in her work. Her music portrays the tension between the harsh realities that women face and the hope and persistence required to fight for human rights. She began singing in 1985 with the Choir of the National Autonomous University of Honduras and with the musical group “Rascaniguas.” In 1988 she left Honduras to join the musical group “Cutumay Camones” from El Salvador, a musical group that was very important in the revolutionary music scene during the war of liberation in El Salvador. Karla is part of the National Network of Human Rights Defenders in Honduras and has been a prominent voice in the Honduran Resistance Movement that arose in opposition to the 2009 military coup d’état. Karla returned to Honduras in 2002, but continues to travel the world performing and raising awareness for social justice issues in Honduras and beyond.

For appearance listings and contact info: Karla.Lara.Fall.2014.Tour (2)

HSN member organizations are working with the tour and/or hosting events in several cities:

Portland Info: http://kboo.fm/events/honduranjazzartistkarlalarainportland

Chicago Info: https://www.facebook.com/lavozdelosdeabajo

http://www.crln.org/CRLN-Luncheon/2014/Karla-Lara

 

The information about Karla Lara is from the Student Organization for Latin American Students at the University of New Mexico – one of the groups hosting Karla.
http://www.solasunm.org/events/solas-presents-honduran-musician-and-activist-karla-lara-wednesday-october-29th-700-abq-center-for-peace-and-justice
for more info:  aaronmont@gmail.com     Karla.Lara.Fall.2014.Tour (2)
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Solidarity Action for Chabelo !

The Honduras Solidarity Network is asking for your solidarity with Chabelo and the campesino movement in Honduras with an email and phone campaign from Mon 9/1 – Wed 9/3 to demand from The Supreme Court of Honduras that his conviction and sentence be annulled and Chabelo be freed immediately. Email and phone scripts are below the summary. Even if you don’t feel comfortable calling in Spanish you can still send emails!! QUANTITY IS KEY!!
Summary
Jose Isabel “Chabelo” Morales Lopez, 38, is a campesino (peasant farmer). His family is a part of Honduras’ agricultural communities in the Aguán Valley. They live in the heart of the African palm-producing region of the northern coast. He has been in prison for 6 years, and is sentenced to 17.5 years more, for a crime that he did not commit. His arrest and imprisonment are aimed at punishing and criminalizing the campesino movement in Honduras as well as a product of the well-documented corruption and impunity that has Honduras in its grip. This has contributed to its being one of the poorest countries in the region and one of the most violent in the world. Chabelo is recognized as being unjustly imprisoned by numerous human rights and rural advocacy groups inside and outside of Honduras such as, Via Campesina; SOAWatch; FIAN International; the Committee of the Families of the Disappeared and Detained (COFADEH); and the Jesuit institution ERIC-SJ.
For a complete summary of Chabelo’s case, please click here: 
The Case of Jose Isabel “Chabelo” Morales
We are aiming to saturate the Supreme Court with communications on 2 specific targeted dates: Monday September 1st and Wednesday August 3rd. This way the message will be loud and clear that the international community is united in demanding the immediate freedom of Chabelo Morales.
You can send any interesting responses from the Supreme Court to: greg_mccain@yahoo.com
 
Script for Emails: (English translation below)
 
Secretaria Oralia Linares
olinares@poderjudicial.gob.hn
 
Secretario Jose Ramon Cruz Ferrera
jrcruz@poderjudicial.gob.hn
 FAX: 2275-3176
cc:
Secretarias de Presidente de CS:
María Ercilia Landa Ferrera; mlanda@poderjudicial.gob.hn
Olga Raquel Funez Zapata; ofunez@poderjudicial.gob.hn
Subject: Jose Isabel Morales Lopez.
Estimados Jueces de la Sala de lo Penal de la Corte Suprema,
Le escribo desde______________  (your country and organization, if applicable) para expresar mi preocupación en el caso de José Isabel Morales López. Ante de todos, quiero reconocer la decisión alentadora de los magistrados en el año pasado para anular la sentencia de Señor Morales López. Sr. Morales ha estado buscando la justicia por 6 años, y esta decisión ha sido la primera y unica luz en el largo túnel de la injusticia. La Sala Penal ordenó un nuevo juicio, que comenzó a finales de enero de 2014.
El juicio se vio ensombrecida por la mala conducta de la fiscalía por parte del Ministerio Público de Trujillo y el fiscal Jose Reynaldo Canales. Además, los magistrados del Tribunal aceptaron el testimonio perjuro de Henry Osorto, Subcomisionado de la Policía Nacional. Debido a estos graves violaciónes de la justicia, yo estoy exigiendo que la Corte Suprema, una vez más se anule la sentencia y la condena de José Isabel Morales y que sea liberado de inmediato de la cárcel. Y no mas juicios!
Les pido que aquellos de ustedes en la Sala Penal haz todo lo que puedas para acelerar el proceso. El retraso de la justicia es una negación de los derechos del Sr. Morales. La comunidad internacional va a seguir el caso de José Isabel Morales y espero escuchar pronto de su libertad.
Atentamente,
(sign your name and organization with your city and country)
————————————————–
(What the above says in English (ONLY SEND THE ABOVE SPANISH VERSION)
Esteemed Judges of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court,
 
I am writing from______________ (your country and organization, if applicable) to express my concern in the case of Jose Isabel Morales Lopez. First of all, I want to acknowledge the encouraging decision of the judges last year that annulled the judgment of Mr Morales López. Mr. Morales has been seeking justice for 6 years, and this decision has been the first and only light in the long tunnel of injustice. The Criminal Court ordered a new trial, which began in late January 2014.
 
The trial was marred by the misconduct of the prosecution by the Public Ministry and the prosecutor Jose Reynaldo Canales. In addition, the judges of the Court accepted the perjured testimony of Henry Osorto, Sub-commissioner of the National Police. Because of these serious violations of justice, I am demanding that the Supreme Court, once again annul the conviction and sentence of Jose Isabel Morales and that he be released from prison immediately. And no more trials!
 
I ask that those of you in the Criminal Division do everything you can to expedite the process. Delayed justice is a denial of the rights of Mr. Morales. The international community will follow the case of Jose Isabel Morales and look forward to hearing your freedom.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Script para llamadas (please feel free to put it into your own words)
 
(Please call the numbers in descending order until you reach someone. The first is the most important as it goes directly to the office of one of the judges considering the case. If they are attempting to cut you short, at the least try to say the statement that is in bold below)
 
Oralia Linares, secretaria de magistrado Carlos David Calix
011-504- 2275-7301
Jose Ramon Cruz Ferrera, Secretario de la Sala Penal:
011-504 2275-3124 o 3180
 
Teléfonos de presidencia de Corte Suprema
2275 – 3104 /3107
 
Hola, soy (your name) y estoy llamando de (your country and organization, if applicable). En primer lugar, Quiero reconocer la importancia de la decisión de los magistrados en el año pasada para anular la sentencia  de José Isabel Morales López. La Sala Penal ordenó un nuevo juicio, que comenzó a finales de enero de 2014. El juicio se vio ensombrecida por la mala conducta de la fiscalía Jose Reynaldo Canales. Además, el Tribunal aceptaron el testimonio perjuro de Henry Osorto, Subcomisianado de la Policía Nacional. Debido a las violaciónes graves de la justicia por parte del Tribunal, estoy exigiendo que el Corte Supremo, una vez más anula la sentencia y la condena de José Isabel Morales y que sea liberado de la cárcel inmediatamente. Y no mas juicios! La comunidad internacional va a seguir el caso de José Isabel Morales y espero escuchar pronto de la resolución de su caso y su libertad. El retraso de la justicia es una negación de los derechos del Sr. Morales. Gracias.
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

International Human Rights Observers and Journalists Under Attack

Honduran Article in HN newspaper defamationSecurity Forces Criminalize and Defame International Human Rights Observers and Journalists

For immediate release: August 21, 2014

An eleven-person international delegation, including U.S. and Canadian human rights observers and a journalist with The Nation, visited various regions of Honduras from August 11- 20, 2014, receiving testimony of human rights violations and conducting interviews. Members of the Honduras Solidarity Network, which consists of over thirty organizations from the United States, were part of the delegation.

From August 13- 15, our delegation visited various campesino communities in the Aguán Valley and documented human rights
violations attributed to Honduran state forces and the Dinant Corporation. These violations, based on first-hand testimonies of victims, included a violent eviction of the community La Panamá by the Honduran military on July 3, 2014 involving tear gas, live bullets, and physical aggression in public spaces in close proximity to houses and schools. One man was killed, two were gravely injured, various were beaten, and seven were detained inside their homes, charged, and later released. Various testimonies also drew attention to the direct role of the Honduran military in guarding private land claimed by Dinant blurring the lines between the role of Honduran state forces and private security guards.

The day after our visit to the Aguán Valley, our delegation was accused by Coronel Germán Alfaro of FUSINA (National Inter-institutional Security Force) of “encouraging campesinos to launch attacks” and causing “instability” in the region. He also said the delegation was being investigated for being in “a practically restricted area of the country.” These accusations are similar to those made against human rights defender Annie Bird of Rights Action in December 2013 and July 2014 when Roger Pineda of Dinant and Coronel Alfaro accused Bird of “causing chaos” attempting to “destabilize” the Aguán region and, on a local television channel in Tocoa, Colon, accused Bird of conducting “illicit activities.” We denounce that these accusations and defamation in the press are part of a systemic effort to threaten, criminalize, and silence the documentation of human rights violations by national and international human rights observers, defenders, and journalists.

The need to expose human rights violations in the Aguán Valley is urgent and the violations we heard while in La Panamá and the Aguán were similar to others that have been widely documented by human rights organizations such as Rights Action, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries. Over 100 campesinos have been killed in the Aguán Valley since 2009 and very few cases have been investigated and tried. Accusations of abuses and violations committed by Honduran state forces and Dinant against campesino communities in the Aguán also led the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of the World Bank, to initiate an internal audit of their 30 million dollar loan to Dinant.

Additionally, during our visit to La Panamá on August 15, 2014, we heard gunshots in close proximity to where we were taking testimonies, and later discovered that four community members had been detained by the Honduran military. At this moment, we notified the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa of our location and concern for the safety of members of La Panamá. We were also deeply concerned for our safety particularly since international delegations have previously experienced intimidation by Dinant’s private security guards who fired shots at close range in the direction of delegates and the campesino community.

The defamation and attacks against against international observers, human rights defenders, and journalists investigating human rights abuses in the Aguán Valley is an attempt to cover up the human rights violations committed by Honduran state forces and Dinant in the Aguán Valley. We demand:

1. An immediate end to the campaign of criminalization and defamation against international and national human rights defenders and journalists in the Aguán and other regions of Honduras.

2. An end to all US aid to Honduran security forces, especially in light of the on-going and well-documented abuses of the Honduran military in La Panamá and the Aguán Valley.

3. That the Honduran-government appointed Unidad Especial de Investigacion de Muertes Violentas en el Bajo Aguán (Special Unit for the Investigation of Violent Deaths in the Lower Aguán) be accompanied by an independent, impartial, international commission with investigative and forensic experts in investigating assassinations and human rights abuses. 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Declaration for Justice for Child Refugees from Central America

TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA: DON’T DEPORT THE CHILD REFUGEES!

Sign on to the HSN petition here

 

childrefugees

 Honduras Solidarity Groups Demand Justice for Child Refugees from Central America

July 14, 2014: The Honduras Solidarity Network, a network of over 30 US solidarity organizations, and Department 19, a network of Hondurans living in the US and Canada, members of the FNRP/LIBRE Party, are appalled and saddened by the refugee crisis on the US border. Children fleeing military and police, drug cartel, corporate violence and extreme poverty in Central America, to reunite with family members in the United States, cannot and must not be viewed through a nativist lens as illegal aliens, but rather as the refugees that they are.

We are ashamed that the response of our political class and the Obama administration to this crisis is to call for yet more militarization of the border and quicker deportation processes with a complete lack of acknowledgement of the responsibility of the US government for creating this crisis over both the long and short term. 

The problem of the child refugees is in part blowback from US policy in the 1980s when our government trained and funded Salvadoran and Guatemalan military and police to prevent popular revolutions, and more recently when the US supported the coup against President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.  US foreign policy, anchored in the militarized Drug War and pursued by both the Democratic and Republican administrations, has only empowered brutal and corrupt armies and police forces, particularly in Honduras and Guatemala.

US so-called free trade and structural adjustment policies have required the countries of Central America and Mexico to cut social services and credit to small farmers while wiping out local producers with a flood of low-cost, US taxpayer-subsidized products from US agribusiness. These policies have increased poverty and desperation in Central America and Mexico and created a fertile recruiting ground for drug cartels and criminal gangs.

The Obama administration bears particular responsibility for the influx of refugees from Honduras. The US turned a blind eye to the military coup of June 28, 2009 which overthrew the democratically elected government. After a brief suspension of aid, the Obama administration devoted its full diplomatic weight to return Honduras, under its coup-spawned government, to the OAS and UN despite opposition from most countries in Latin America. US Ambassador Lisa Kubiske was quick to recognize current defacto President Juan Orlando Hernandez’ election last November while credible complaints of massive fraud were still coming in. The Obama Administration has spent millions of dollars since the coup to equip and train Honduras’ murderous and corrupt military and police with the result that massacres of small farmers and political assassinations of reporters, Libre Party activists, human rights defenders, indigenous, labor, women, campesinos and LGBTI activists have skyrocketed. 

We are especially saddened and incensed that President Obama’s $3.7 billion request to Congress for emergency funds to deal with the refugee crisis contains almost $2 billion for more incarceration and removal of minors and refugees, without regard to their due process rights or the root causes of their desperate flight from their home countries. Indeed, in order to speed their deportation, he has called for suspending a 2008 law which requires minors to be transferred out of detention to centers where they can locate family members to care for them. 

We call on the Obama administration and all elected officials to stop playing politics with the lives of children, and we demand:

That the Obama administration abide by international treaties and US laws concerning the treatment and due process rights of refugees claiming asylum and of minor children; and

Stop all deportations until a comprehensive immigration reform bill, based on human rights and family reunification, not militarization of the border, is passed by Congress, and

Thoroughly revise our trade and economic, drug and military policies so that they respect the right of self-determination of the peoples of Central America and Mexico to create alternatives to displacement and migration with living wage jobs, prosperous communities and accountable and democratic governments. 

 Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN)

www.hondurassolidarity.org/

July 14, 2014

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail