Category Archives: Press release

En Defensa del Padre Melo – In Defense of Father Ismael ‘Melo” Moreno

En español aquí

Statement by the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

Our network emphatically rejects the recent accusations against Padre Ismael “Melo” Moreno made by the Rector of the National Autonomous University Julieta Castellanos on July 25, 2017 in which she accused the Padre and members of the Jesuit organizations in Honduras, as well as members of electoral opposition parties LIBRE and PINU of being responsible for the current crisis at the UNAH and of “fomenting anarchy”.

Members of the HSN are very familiar with the work of Padre Melo, Radio Progreso and ERIC-SJ over many years. That work has always been to understand the problems and needs of the majority of Hondurans, to give them a place in which to express themselves, and to advocate for solutions that would strengthen democracy and end conflict and violence – not foment it.

Ms. Castellanos’ assertions that Padre Melo is responsible for the crises and violence in the University is not only absurd but dangerous. It is part of a campaign to discredit critics of the Honduran regime and its officials; it seeks to intimidate free speech and political opposition and puts these defenders and communicators at risk for their lives. There is a pattern of such accusations by government officials and friends of the regime against Honduran and international DDHH groups and against Hondurans . Other well known targets of these inflammatory accusations have included Berta Caceres of COPINH (assassinated in 2016) and recently her daughters, as well as Berta Oliva of COFADEH. In Honduras, where impunity and human rights violations are endemic, these kinds of accusations are in fact threats and put the named defenders at a clear risk for physical violence, and even death.

Calls for the Rector and government to dialogue in good faith with the students, to comply with previous agreements with the students, and to end the criminalization and state repression against the student movement are necessary and legitimate activities for human rights defenders and for Honduran society.

We also are watching, with profound concern, the violence against the students. We condemn the selective assassinations of students and their family members, and the militarization of university campuses around the country that has been ongoing for many months. We have not forgotten the assassinations of other student activists in recent years such as 14 year old Soad Nicole Ham Bustillo, murdered in March of 2015 after denouncing President Hernandez on national TV.

We also condemn the general impunity for crimes against defenders of the environment, indigenous rights and land rights, of journalists and of those opposing the regime that include Berta Caceres Flores, Margarita Murillo and the hundreds more murdered since the coup in 2009.

The US and Canadian governments continue to provide substantial money, training and resources to the Honduran Security and Police apparatus. We continue to observe that this assistance only facilitates and helps to perpetuate human rights violations and state violence against the people of Honduras. This aid must be ended – or that reason we support the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act introduced in the US Congress on March 2, 2017.

We hold the Honduran government responsible for the safety and liberty of Padre Melo and the entire team of Radio Progreso and ERIC-SJ.

Honduras Solidarity Network in North America (HSN) July 31, 2017

online references

https://www.facebook.com/people/Ismael-M-P-Melo/100012362883051

https://youtu.be/qbzqYojZbXM

https://www.facebook.com/unahmeu/

PADRE MELO

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1299

https://schakowsky.house.gov/press-releases/schakowsky-statement-on-the-threats-made-to-berta-caceres-family/

https://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-ellison-statement-on-threats-to-berta-c-ceres-family

https://kaptur.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/kaptur-statement-threats-human-rights-defenders-honduras

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Honduran people demand an end to corruption, impunity, and militarization

El español sigue el ingles
The statement below from the Honduras Solidarity Network was delivered to the US Embassy by the HSN member, Alliance for Global Justice, delegation the morning of Friday, July 31, 2015. The delegation presented the letter in a meeting with the Deputy Political Counselor, the Deputy Director, INL and the Director of the USAID/Honduras program office in order to express the HSN member organizations’ stand in support of the Honduran people and against US policy in Honduras. 
Statement from the Honduras Solidarity Network  of North America
Honduran people demand an end to corruption, impunity, and militarization
As members of The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) of North America, we declare our solidarity with the many thousands of Hondurans who have been protesting for months with vigils, marches with torches, and an ongoing hunger strike. We support their demands for the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez; the installation of an international independent commission (CICIH), to investigate the government corruption after the massive theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS) by the ruling National Party; and a thorough investigation into the more than 3000 deaths in the health system during this crisis. This is a peoples’ movement in which the political opposition, the social movements, and the majority of the society are confronting obstacles to a better future for their country. 
We recognize that this outrageous and extraordinary corruption is one more example of actions outside the law, and against all the democratic principles committed by the Honduran political and economic elite, supported by the US government, which began with the 2009 military coup, and has continued with the subsequent coup governments. The most recent corruption scandal comes after 6 years of attacks against human rights defenders, agrarian and indigenous activists, and the entire political and social opposition movement. It comes as part of an attempt to consolidate illegitimate power that includes the removal of more independent Supreme Court justices in 2012 when the current president was the head of Congress and the subsequent decision, after Hernandez came to power in 2014, by the new court to declare null and void the anti-reelection clause of the Honduran constitution.
We strongly condemn the fact that the US Government’s support for the regime in Honduras continues. In fact as corruption was devastating the public health system, creating conditions in which thousands of people died; as the Honduran people and a diverse political opposition united their voices demanding President Hernandez’s resignation, the US Ambassador announced, “Our relationship (with the Honduran government) has never been better”. We are deeply concerned that the very few statements/actions by the US government about impunity and corruption, such as the agreement brokered between Transparency International, Association for a More Just Society, and the Honduran government,  are aimed at  whitewashing the crimes of the Honduran regime with token investigations and the possible prosecution of a handful of officials in order to gain support in the US for the so called “Alliance for Prosperity” — the $1-billion dollar package proposed for the countries of the Northern Triangle under the Biden Plan in the U.S. Congress. The rise of the recent movement against corruption is a demonstration of the failure of the existing agreement.  
We reject the common agenda the United States government  shares with international corporations, the IMF and the Honduran oligarchy represented by Juan Orlando Hernandez.   That agenda is an aggressive neoliberal program to privatize education, health care, and infrastructure while putting the country’s land and resources in the hands of foreign mining companies, hydroelectric, and mega-touristic projects, and powerful agribusiness interests.  This agenda is backed up by the US economic and military power. As if to make clear its support for the regime the US recently sent another group of 300 Marines to Honduras and conducted military helicopter exercises even as the corruption scandal was being revealed. 
We stand in solidarity also with the call from the indigenous, campesino, and trade union organizations, and other social sectors for solutions to the labor, agrarian, and territorial crises that affect their vulnerable members and communities. We are outraged and concerned about the criminalization of their movements and the ongoing violence against them which is the responsibility of the Honduran State. 
We are profoundly concerned with the continuing attacks on, and obstruction of the work of human rights defenders and journalists, without whom the population is totally defenseless against impunity and corruption. 
We support the demands of the Honduran people and we demand that the US government stop supporting militarization and impunity in Honduras now: 
1. That President Obama and the US Congress immediately stop military and police training, and military aid to Honduras!
2. That the US Congress not pass or fund the Alliance for Prosperity or other taxpayer-funded schemes that further militarize governments and increase human rights violations. 
3. That the US Embassy stop lending verbal and material support to the illegitimate government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez and instead demand of his administration an end to impunity and criminalization of human rights defenders and social movement leaders.   
4. We continue to demand an investigation for all of the assassinations committed in Honduras since the military coup of 2009, and punishment for the both the intellectual and material authors of those crimes.
July 30, 2015
Honduras Solidarity Network USA/Canada

 

Español

La declaración que sigue fue presentada a funcionarios en la embajada norteamericana en Tegucigalpa el dia 31 de Julio por una delegación de la HSN dirigida por Alliance for Global Justice. El proposito era de expresar bien nuestra posición en solidaridad con el pueblo de Honduras y nuestra inconformidad con la política de los EEUU en Honduras. 

Declaración de la Red Norteamericana de Solidaridad con Honduras

El Pueblo hondureño exige un alto a la corrupción, a la impunidad, y a la militarización

30 de Julio, 2015

Como miembros de la Red de Solidaridad norteamericana con Honduras (HSN por sus siglas en inglés), nosotros declaramos nuestra solidaridad con los muchos miles de hondureños que han estado protestando por varios meses con vigilias, marchas con antorchas, y con una huelga de hambre indefinida. Apoyamos las exigencias de la renuncia del Presidente Juan Orlando Hernández por parte del pueblo; y la creación de una Comisión Internacional Independiente que investigue la corrupción gubernamental después del masivo y descarado robo de cientos de millones de dólares de los fondos del Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS) que fueron usados para financiar la campaña presidencial del Partido Nacional actualmente en el poder; y también una profunda investigación de los casos de más de 3000 personas beneficiarias de este sistema de salud que murieron durante esta crisis. Este es un movimiento del pueblo en el cual los grupos de la oposición política, los movimientos populares y la mayoría de la sociedad hondureña está enfrentando muchos obstáculos para lograr un futuro mejor para su país.

Reconocemos que esta intolerable y descarada corrupción es un ejemplo más de las acciones fuera de la ley, y contra los principios democráticos encabezados por la élite política y económica de Honduras, apoyada por el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos que se inició con el golpe militar del 2009, y ha continuado con los subsecuentes gobiernos golpistas. El escándalo más reciente de corrupción se da después de 6 años de ataques permanentes contra los defensores de los derechos humanos, contra los indígenas y trabajadores del campo, y contra todo el movimiento politico y social de oposición. Todo esto surge como parte del intento de consolidarse como un poder ilegítimo quebrantando la actual Constitución para lograr la reelección.  Este proceso se inició con el despido injustificado de varios magistrados independientes de la Corte Suprema de Justicia en el 2012 cuando el actual presidente era el líder del Congreso Nacional, y la subsecuente decisión, después que Hernández por medio de un fraude electoral se convirtiera en el presidente de Honduras en el 2014. La actual corte suprema de justicia  actuando fuera de la ley, invalidó y declaró nula la cláusula de la anti-reelección de la constitución hondureña.

Con mucha firmeza condenamos el hecho de que el apoyo al régimen de Honduras por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos continúa. Es más, mientras la corrupción devastaba el sistema público de salud, lo que creó las condiciones por las que muchos miles de personas murieron; mientras el pueblo hondureño y una diversidad política de oposición unían sus voces exigiendo la renuncia del Presidente Juan Orlando Hernández, el embajador de Estados Unidos anunció: “Nuestra relación con el gobierno de Honduras nunca ha estado mejor”

Estamos profundamente preocupados por las declaraciones/acciones por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos acerca de la impunidad y la corrupción, como el caso de la ruptura del tratado entre Transparencia Internacional, la Asociación por una Sociedad más justa, y el gobierno de Honduras, están dirigidos a encubrir los crímenes del régimen hondureño con investigaciones de fachada y el posible juzgamiento de unos pocos oficiales para ganar apoyo en los Estados Unidos para el programa denominado “Alianza para la Prosperidad” – El paquete de un billón de dólares propuesto para apoyar los Países del Triángulo Norte como parte del Plan presentado por el  vicepresidente Biden ante el Congreso de los Estados Unidos. El incremento del movimiento de protesta contra la corrupción es una muestra de que la existencia del presente acuerdo ha fallado.

Repudiamos la agenda común que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos comparte con corporaciones internacionales como el Fondo Monetario Internacional y la oligarquía hondureña representada por Juan Orlando Hernández. Esa agenda obedece a un programa neoliberal agresivo que busca privatizar la educación, la salud y la infraestructura mientras ponen la tierra del país y los recursos naturales en manos de compañías mineras extranjeras, así como los proyectos hidroeléctricos y los proyectos Mega-Turísticos y los poderosos intereses de la agro industria. Esta agenda es respaldada por la economía estadounidense y el poder militar. Para demostrar su apoyo al régimen de Juan Orlando, el gobierno de los Estados Unidos recientemente envió 300 Marines más a Honduras y han realizado maniobras militares usando helicópteros incluso, a pesar de que el escándalo de la corrupción ya había sido revelado.

Estamos en solidaridad también con el llamado de la población indígena, los campesinos, las organizaciones obreras y sindicales, y con otros sectores sociales que buscan soluciones sindicales, agrarias, y a la crisis territorial que afecta a los miembros y comunidades más vulnerables. Estamos muy indignados y preocupados acerca de la criminalización contra sus organizaciones y la continua violencia contra ellos con la responsabilidad directa del Estado Hondureño.

Estamos profundamente preocupados por los contínuos ataques a y la obstrucción del trabajo que realizan los defensores de derechos humanos y los periodistas, sin el trabajo de estos organismos la población estaría totalmente desprotegida contra la impunidad y la corrupción.

Apoyamos las exigencias del pueblo hondureño, y demandamos que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos suspenda la ayuda militar y la impunidad ahora! Exigimos que:

1. Que el Presidente Obama y el Congreso de los Estados Unidos suspendan inmediatamente los entrenamientos militares y policía, así como la ayuda militar a Honduras!

2. Que el Congreso de los Estados Unidos no apruebe el Fondo de la Alianza para la prosperidad u otros planes o proyectos financiados con nuestros impuestos, y que sólo sirven para militarizar más a los gobiernos y el aumento de las violaciones a los derechos humanos.

3. Que la Embajada de los Estados Unidos no siga brindando apoyo verbal y material al gobierno ilegítimo de Juan Orlando Hernández y que en cambio se le exija que ponga término a la impunidad y la criminalización contra los defensores de los derechos humanos y de los líderes del movimiento social.

4. Continuamos exigiendo una investigación exhaustiva de todos los asesinatos cometidos en Honduras desde el golpe de estado del 2009, y exigimos castigo para los autores materiales e intelectuales de estos crímenes.

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Press Release: Observers from the United States and Canada Travel to Honduras for November 24th Elections

For Immediate Release:

Human Rights Crises Continues

Observers from the United States and Canada Travel to Honduras for November 24th Elections

 Organizations from the United States and Canada are taking more than 160 people to Honduras to serve as election observers and human right observers for the upcoming national elections in which a new political party (LIBRE) founded out of the opposition to a 2009 military coup will be participating for the first time. The delegation is organized by the Honduras Solidarity Network – Alliance for Global Justice and the participants come from organizations, churches and communities from more than 8 states as well as from Canada and El Salvador.

 “Our goal is to accompany the people of Honduras in their electoral process and as they seek social justice in their country”, said Chuck Kaufman of Alliance for Global Justice, “ we are very concerned about an atmosphere marked by extreme violence and harassment against the political opposition, journalists, human rights defenders, small farmers and indigenous communities and the role of US security aid in that crises.”

 The elections are taking place at a time when international and Honduran human rights groups are expressing alarm at the conditions in Honduras and for the possibility of fair and free elections.

  • On October 28th Honduran human rights organizations testified at the Organization of American States’ Human Rights Commission on the threats and attacks against their members and on November 4th Amnesty International published a letter sent to all of the presidential candidates in which Guadalupe Marengo the Americas Deputy Programme Director stated that “The human rights situation in Honduras is dire and the future of the country hangs in the balance,”( http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/honduras-elections-should-mark-a-turning-point-for-human-rights ).

Participants are available for interviews. Please contact the press contacts listed above for more information.

In the USA
Michael Bass
Cell: 510-432-2555
Email: michaelbass84@gmail.com

In Honduras
Alexy Lanza
Cell: 312 848-7092
Email: alexyjlanza@yahoo.com

Download PDF: Press-Release-7-Nov-2013

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