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!!
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:
Script for Emails: (English translation below)
Secretaria Oralia Linares
Secretario Jose Ramon Cruz Ferrera
 FAX: 2275-3176
Secretarias de Presidente de CS:
María Ercilia Landa Ferrera;
Olga Raquel Funez Zapata;
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.
(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.
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.

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.