10 Years After the Coup

June 28, 2009 – June 28, 2019

Declaracion en espa~nol

Statement from the Honduras Solidarity Network

Right now, Hondurans in the cities and countryside are still in nonviolent resistance to the continuation of the June 28, 2009, coup. Under the regime of Juan Orlando Hernández, the economic and political crisis has deepened. Since the coup poverty has increased by at least 10%, schools have been closed and the health care system nearly destroyed by outright theft of public funds and privatization. Violence by government security forces and death squad type groups have killed hundreds since 2009 and that political violence has increased again since the 2017 election fraud, when the current president Hernández was re-elected against the constitution and Honduran democracy. Criminal violence has also increased with the destruction of the rule of law and the growth of a narco-state. 

On June 28, 2009: Only hours before a scheduled non-binding national referendum on beginning the process of a constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a coup d’etat, led by the right-wing Honduran oligarchy, its ultra-conservative, corrupt politicians, and the military command, sent  the military and police to arrest elected President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Zelaya had moved away from dependency on the US economically and militarily, and aligned himself with progressive governments in South America. He implemented or proposed reforms to the minimum wage, access to land for small farmers, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.  The United States under President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to support the restoration of President Zelaya and democracy in Honduras. Since then, the main economic and political support for the continuing dictatorship is from the US government, the Canadian Government and business interests. 

In May, protests became bigger across Honduras in reaction to a new law that would have further decimated the public education and public health sectors. Teachers unions and Health Care unions began national strikes that were then supported by the majority of Honduran people and other organizations. At this time, there has been more than 40 days of non-violent massive protests and road takeovers, as well as civil dialogue assemblies defending public health and education and demanding that Juan Orlando and his regime leave power. Protests continue despite a violent repression from police and military with at least 5 people killed since May. 

It is no surprise that the economic and political crisis in Honduras means that migration has turned into a flow of refugees fleeing an unlivable situation. The reaction of the U.S. government and the Honduran government has been to blame the refugees, to accuse humanitarian and journalist accompaniment of being “traffickers”, to increase border militarization and try to make the problem belong to Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador. The US is blatantly violating its own regulations, as well as international law in its separation of families, child detentions, negation of legal and human rights  and ongoing violence against migrants and refugees. As long as the crisis continues in Honduras, refugees will flee. 

The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America was founded almost 10 years ago in order to articulate actions in solidarity with Hondurans resisting interventionist policies in defense of life and its sovereignty. Today, 30 organizations from the United States and Canada stand with the Honduran people in demanding that the US and Canada stop supporting dictatorship and militarization in Honduras.


Honduras 10 Years After the Coup – The Uprising You Are Not Hearing About

For 10 years, Hondurans have maintained a powerful resistance to demand real democracy, community based and driven development and a “refounding of the country. Today, Teachers and Health Care workers have ignited the latest upsurge as they refuse to accept the regime’s dismantling of public education and health care. Join HSN in this webinar to find out the latest news on this uprising that is not being covered in mainstream media. Learn about the support the Honduran dictatorship gets from the US and Canada and how you can support the Honduran People.

Register Here for a free Webinar on June 19th at 5:30pm Pacific, 6:30 Mountain, 7:30 Central and 8:30 Eastern.


Press Release: June 6, 2019


A human rights delegation organized by HSN members and others was in Honduras at the time of the tire burning at the US Embassy and massive protests against the Honduran government and issued this press release about criminalization and intimidation of protest. For the link to the original press release and more information go to the organization Cross Borders                                                                                          

For immediate release June 6, 2019                                                                                                                    



A group of fifteen American and Canadian citizens traveled to Honduras this past week to investigate why thousands of Hondurans are fleeing their home country. On Friday June 1st, we met with U.S. Embassy representatives Dana Deree – Consul General and Acting Charge’ d’Affaires, and Nate Rettenmayer – Human Rights and Migration Officer, on the topic of migration and ongoing human rights abuses.

During our meeting, protesters outside the embassy set fire to a stack of tires at the entrance of the building.The embassy went into full alert. Sirens blared and speakers bellowed: “Duck and cover!” Our delegation was required to remain in the conference room, then the hall, until we were escorted out by a helmeted soldier. At no time, however, did any of us feel that we were in any danger. When we emerged, we found our Honduran friend who was waiting for us with eyes were streaming from tear gas and three kinds of Honduran police.

Subsequently the Consular Section cancelled all visa interviews for a week, stating it was “Due to the damage done by these criminals.” Almost immediately, the Honduran government arrested Rommel Valdemar Herrera Portillo, a 23-year-old activist, son of two teachers, and charged him with aggravated arson and property damage and shipped him off to the La Tolva maximum security prison.

As U.S. and Canadian citizens, we are appalled, and we protest. First because it now appears the whole incident was a setup. Unknown agents diverted a march headed for a Honduran human rights office to the embassy grounds where unknown parties had

conveniently positioned the tires. Second the La Tolva prison is a U.S.-style hellhole where political prisoners Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez, are awaiting trial since January 2018 for property damage caused during a demonstration against electoral fraud. They, along with Herrera now are housed alongside convicted violent criminals. On a visit the previous day to La Tolva we witnessed multiple instances of cruel and unusual punishment. Third, we can’t help but notice that the U.S. refused to protect the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. from attacks by the Juan Guaido forces, thus violating both Venezuelan sovereignty and the Vienna Convention. However, in Tegucigalpa the Embassy’s own private security forces lounged in the courtyard at a picnic table inside while Honduran police conveniently absented themselves on the outside just as the demonstrators were tricked into marching to the Embassy. Yet the Embassy issues a statement calling protesters criminals for throwing tires on a fire set by provocateurs.

Surely we don’t like or approve of property damage, but we are concerned that protesters involved in damaging property get prosecuted while police and military who kill protesters don’t even get investigated. We think using live ammunition to shoot down dozens of protestors in the streets, as the Hernandez government did after the 2017 election fraud, and throwing them away into inhumane prisons is far worse than burning some tires, and we expect our government to think so too and do something about it.


Protests are growing nation-wide against the privatization of healthcare and education and the increasing illegitimacy of the Juan Orlando Hernandez regime. As our group traveled from San Pedro Sula in the North to near Danli in the Southeast we saw marches, highway blockages, and burning tires just about everywhere we went. Honduras is increasingly torn apart by a government that provides not a shred of public accountability and is corrupt from the Presidency down to small town mayors. In our investigation we found not, as President Trump declares, that criminals are leaving Honduras for the U.S. Rather, that people leave so that they will not be forced to become criminals or be killed for refusing. Youth, like Herrera, protest the injustice and are criminalized in a system that no longer offers them any future.

In the privatization standoff, the U.S. is calling for dialogue with military assassins and drug traffickers. Last week the New York Times reported that President Hernandez is under investigation for drug trafficking as his brother awaits trial for the same. People are fleeing for their lives but Consul Deree said a major reason they leave is “climate change.” We wonder if Trump would agree.

The Cross Border Network is a Kansas City based non-profit that supports human rights of immigrants and across borders.