April 2018 Honduras Coup update

April 2018 Honduras coup update

Five months on from the beginning of the fraudulent re-election of JOH and the fiery struggle to stop this dictatorship, the dictatorship continues to be such and is attacking anyone still resounding the words ‘Get out JOH’ and chasing others they remember as having been loud in this struggle. Similarly it has under siege farmers who are continuing their years of struggle for land and justice, journalists and environmental defenders are similarly persecuted for continuing to tell the stories and for being there to stop mines and dams. An ex police who joined the struggle against JOH was threatened and now assassinated.

Continued attacks againt people calling for JOH to get OUT including an assassination against an ex-police

While there isn’t currently a blockade in every highway from early every morning to stop the JOH regime that has assassinated many for participating in exactly this before, the JOH dictatorship continues to act with brutality and severity against those who keep the fire burning.

On 31 March 2018, José Duarte was murdered (40th person killed by the JOH fraud dictatorship regime). José was a police agent, but he quitted and joined in with the struggle on the streets and in social media. Before having been killed, he was seen on UNE TV speaking up about being persecuted by the police force for having taken up a position of struggle for justice.

On 3 April 2018, in Tegucigalpa, young Jorge Espinal was somewhere writing ‘Get out JOH’ when a military police launched into brutally beating him to the point of leaving him disabled.

On 4 April 2018, in Choloma, police proceeded without any capture orders to arrest 13 youths who regularly participated in the protest marches.

On 18 April 2018, in Marcovia, Choluteca, people were protesting against the fraud and calling for an end to corruption, when the protest was met with repression and some youths were arrested.

On 22 April 2018, in Tegucigalpa, at night time, lawyer Claudia and her spouse were illegally arrested by police when they were found with a flag of the Libre party – Claudia had been at a protest outside the presidential house with a placard saying ‘Get Out JOH’. As well as arresting them police tried to plant (literally) a marijuana plant in their backyard to then sue them for the possession of drugs.

On 23 April 2018, in Las Vegas, Santa Bárbara, police arrested Darwin Pacheco, who is active in the struggle against the fraude and dictatorship. He is falsely accused of having participated in the burning of the local police station during the antifraud protests there.

Also on this date, one of the over 20 political prisoners of the JOH regime Jhony Salgado, was finally released after having been imprisoned for almost 4 months. He is granted bail to continue the court case outside the prison. The charges he faces are: carrying of commercial weapons illegally, and undue use of police uniform.

The defence lawyer taking his case is Merlyn Bonilla who is herself the parent of a victim of an extrajudicial execution in Agua Blanca El Progreso.

Just to push the point further that the JOH dictatorship regime is very touchy about being told to get out, back in December 2017 when there was a campaign to write ‘get out JOH’ on the money notes of Honduras as one means of protest. THe Central Bank of Honduras president Manuel Bautista warned that all notes intentionally damaged with ‘offensive’ writings on them won’t be received by the banking institutions saying they will ‘lose their value’.

Farmers and land under siege

Especially at the region occupied by palm oil giants such as Dinant in Bajo Aguán, but also in other regions such as La Paz, farmers have faced this month sieges, threats, intimidation and arrests.

On 1 April, the Paso Aguán farm in the Panamá community in Trujillo, Colón, in Bajo Aguán had been told they will be evicted. In addition, people heard that the army will use strategies like planting weapons and drugs and then ‘finding’ these in raids in order to arrest farmers and warp public opinions, and planting infiltrators within the movement. They are resorting to these measures as they had found that farmers’ land struggles keep on going despite violent eviction, teargases, killings, threats and persecution. Back in October and November, during the soldiers’ occupation of the farm, farmer José Alfredo Rodríguez and the 13 year old Mancias were murdered on this farm.

On 5 April 2018, in Paso Aguán, voluntarily withdrawn from areas where farmers organise were Dinant guards and Xatruch army agents who have occupied there since May 2014 – but as these left in their trucks they took away with them people’s work tools, tractors, horses, etc. Farmers also point out that of the region, the area farmers occupy is small in comparison with the area Dinant and the military occupied there.

This withdrawal was not a sign of better times ahead. The very next day on 6 April 2018, the Xatruche operation arrested there Ariel Chávez at 5pm. Ariel is a son of Gregorio Chávez – the name of the farmers movement there because Gregorio was a farmer activist there who was murdered on 2 July 2012. Ariel was selling what he had harvested that day from the land he worked that he inherited from his dad. When people approached police to ask for information about the arrest of their compa Ariel, security agents threatened these, getting their weapons ready and pointing these at the community members, including at the Aguan Agrarian Platform coordinator.

Elsewhere, in Lepaguare, Tutule, La Paz, on 11 April 2018, police captured Arturo Salinas when he was on this way to work. Arturo belongs to the farmers group 8 de febrero and the group is associated with CNTC – national federation of rural workers. On his capture order it says he is accused of usurpation of land.

Another farmers group of Bajo Aguán was undersiege on 14 April 2018 – the La Concepción MUCA settlement in Tocoa, Colón. A heavy military and police contingent arrived to the home of Lazaro Peralta and of some other neighbours there, this military occupation started at 5am, without announcing what their intentions were. People feared Lazaro would be arrested because back in 2016 there was a similar operation against him in which him and his dad were arrested. Four hours on, Lazaro Peralta was arrested, as were Diego Ruiz and Bairon Peralta, all MUCA campesino leaders. All three were charged with the supposed illegal possession of weapons – Lazaro and his dad faced this charge too back in 2016 (he was found not guilty then for lack of evidence). The three were meant to have hearing for the arrest on 14 April at 8am on 15 April – however they were surprised with a new charge of attempt of assassination which caused the hearing to be suspended and moved onto 30 April. This delay meant that the three were imprisoned for 8 days before being granted bail after the new charge was dismissed for lack of evidence. The weapons possession charge remains – the regime is using his charge lots against activists at the moment as part of their strategy. Lazaro is amongst MUCA leaders who since over 2 months ago have been pushing for a MUCA assembly to elect a new directive committee for MUCA because the current one is imposed by a paramilitary group – something that would have singled these out for persecution, in a context with many farmers charged, others assassinated, some both.

Communities and advocates defending indigenous territory and nature against mines, dams and megaprojects also being attacked..

On 4 April 2018, Eulogia García who has received a chain of threats spoke up about new threats she is receiving from an identified National Party activist. Eulogia is a defender who actively opposes a mining company, and who defends indigenous and women’s rights as a Lenca indigenous woman. She is of the San Antonio Chuchiltepec community in the Zacapa municipality in Santa Bárbara. She belongs to MAS – Santa Barbara Environment Movement.

On 5 April, the El Triunfo community of Choluteca were protesting and calling on the mining company that wants to impose itself there to leave, when the company’s agents fired gunshots against women there. In response to the gunshot attack, people threw stones at the attackers.

On 12 April, in San José, La Paz, two police armed with guns and bulletproof vests arrived at the door of Liliam López and her children, asked her son at the door for water and then used that as a pretext to enter the house and once inside they began threateningly searching the house. Liliam’s son asked to see the search warrant saying they can’t do that without one, the police ignored him and continued searching, raiding. When they were done and had found nothing incriminating, they took a photo of the son and left without saying anything, and fled by flagging down a moto-taxi. Liliam López is the women’s coordinator of the indigenous organisation Copinh. When a complaint was placed at the police about the raid, police said they have no record of themselves doing that. Not only was the raid itself a grave violation, it is also a sign that the lives of those targeted in this attack are at risk.

On 14 April, the Pajuiles sector is on alert as they are taking direct action to blockade the Hidrocep company from moving in their machinery to imposing and building the hydroelectricity dam Los Planes. If this project goes ahead, the water source of the community is threatened. The community blockading the machines from the area are at risk of attacks from the company and state.

This same day, in La Paz, Lenca indigenous leader Hilario López has been released after having been found not guilty for the charge of homocide, however, the charge and hearing continue for the charge of illegally carrying weapons.

On 30 April 2018, in Arizona, Atlántida, mayor Arnoldo Chacón is being charged and threatened for accompanying communities in opposition to mining and hydroelectric projects there on the Hilmaito river. The Hilmaito river is the main water source in the area. He is doubly charged with defamation and usurpation of land, together with 4 community leaders. Through Radio Progreso, concerns are raised too about possible plans to assassinate him, given that his lawyer Carlos Hernández has been assassinated.

Against students

On 5 April 2018, at night time when students who work during the day took night classes, hooded police and military under the direction of a prosecutor surrounded the Genaro Munoz school and entered it en-masse and in the name of a prevention operation. They began to search all the students, in some cases taking advantage of the situation to sexually harass – to touch the intimate parts of some female students’ bodies.

In Costa Rica, the student activist and Honduran refugee Eduardo Urbina who has been detained for a few days by the Costa Rican migration authorities (where he was living and seeking asylum), was finally granted refugee status as a politically persecuted person in Honduras and released from immigration prison.

On 19 April 2018, police and cobra squads violently evicted launching teargases repeatedly against students protests at the UNAH campus in Tegucigalpa. There was one protest in solidarity with a UNAH-VS student who has been raped on campus, demanding a safer environment to study in. Another protest was of the MAU broad university movement commemorating the 30th anniversary of the capture and subsequent disappearance of Roger Gonzáles.

Threats and intimidation against journalists

On 23 April 2018, Noti Omoa owner, and Omoa Cortés correspondent for HRN radio and Sinprodoh TV, Mauricio Ortega, received death threats on a facebook message. The message read: “Mauricio no te metas donde no te incumbe x andar ese micrófono diciendo lo que no podes quedar con el osico llena de moscas malparido” – which is something along the lines of – Mauricio you and your microphone, get out of what is none of your business or you will be dead and have flies covering your body. The message was sent from the facebook name of “Mgp Capitan Barcaza”. The same day he got this threat, he was followed in the car at night by a black van without numberplate when he was driving home with his spouse and daughter after having gone to a family gathering.

On 24 April 2018, in San Francisco, La Paz, Olancho, journalist Carlos Roberto Flores was filming a car accident scene involving the police patrol PN-614, in which the police was arresting a motorcyclist, when police threatened the journalist carrying credentials to stop recording or have his camera confiscated. When he continued the police approached him to hit at the camera and at the same time, touched the gun the police carried. The footage of this was put on San Pancho TV.

On 25 April 2018, in Choluteca city, Mega Red Nacional (national mega network) journalist Johana Arecely Contreras was intimidated for the fourth time this year by state security agents. This time, she was covering police repression at a protest in which police launched peppergas at young people who had to flee and find refuge, when she was attacked by police. The video showing what happened is here: https://www.facebook.com/MegaRedNacional/videos/2037652866450046/ – it shows the police tried to hit Johana with a baton and then started to film her face – and immediately at least 5 uniformed agents ambushed her to intimidate her and invade her space, yelling at her, ‘look for something else to do, its better if you go to sleep’. Johana was filming police repression in which they launched pepper gas at young people and they had to flee and find refuge. Previously, back in January, soldiers on patrol 6314 obstructed her work twice, and on 28 March 2018 motorised police officer Moran attacked her directly when she was covering a protest – she was on a motorcycle and officer Moran aggressively forced her off the motorcycle and snatched and threw away her mobile phone with which she was transmitting live and beat her.

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March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update

 

 

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update

3 March 2018

In Tela, Yusa, 16 communities gathered organising against mining and extractivism, and chanting, Berta Caceres presente, on this 2 year anniversary of her assassination.

5 March 2018

In Namasigue, Choluteca, the community camp Rancherías was set up to oppose the imposition without consultation of a solar park project by the Norwegian company Scatec Solar (that operates as Energías Solares in Honduras). On this date, four unidentified men on motorcycles set on fire this camp including a hut people built. They away the flag and yelled abuse at the villagers. ‘We hold the company and the two people the company has contracted to be responsible for this and any other attacks, because they have been following us and taking photos of us and abusing community leaders.’ The camp is mostly women, this struggle has been for over 2 years.

Around this 2 year anniversary of the murder of well-known indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, on this date, one more was arrested for her murder -Roberto David Castillo. Roberto David Castillo is an electrical engineer and graduate of US military of West Point, who has been dam company DESA’s Board of Directors president and legal representative since 7 November 2011 and granted power of administration for DESA since 1 December2011. He is also the president of Panama based PEMSA -one of two main shareholders of DESA. He has also been the Management Control Coordinator of ENEE (state electricity company) since 14 January 2018. Prior to DESA, he was the second lieutenant of the Honduran army’s military intelligence. His arrest is significant, however, the masterminds of the assassination remain untouched.

6 March 2018

Unidentified persons raided the office of Grupo Sociedad Civil (Civil Society Group) and stole only documents. The group’s director Jessica Sánchez and her team has been accompanying the MAS – Santa Bárbara environmentalist movement, as well as work in defence of women’s rights, demanding the end to femicides in Honduras. This raid happened shortly before International Women’s day, and just days before the election of new representatives on the Protection Mechanisms Board.

This day was last day and day four of the hunger strike of political prisoner Edwin Espinal at the military run maximum security prison La Tolva. He started the hunger strike to demand medical attention for him and other prisoners who had caught a virus going around in this part of the prison where 200 are locked up together and at least 20 caught the virus affecting their respiratory and digestive systems. He had to end the hunger strike as his illness got to a dangerous level. At the same time, prisoners are also denied their basic rights to water in this prison – there are 1000 prisoners in this prison and they are given 5 minutes in which to flush and use toilets, to get and store drinking water, and to shower – water mains are shut off at other times and plastic bottles are somehow prohibited, making it impossible for inmates to store drinking water that they need for the day. When the water was shut off after five minutes this day, inmates began to bang on the walls and make noise. In some parts of the prison, in retaliation, prison guards shot teargas into common areas shared by 200 inmates. Prisons in Honduras are already horrendous, military maximum security prisons means additional access barriers for national and international human rights organisations.

And Edwin is one of many political prisoners captured in this time of antifraud insurrection. There is one more from Tegucigalpa, 11 from Pimienta, 9 from Choloma, and 6 from El Progreso. They don’t formally belong to organisations. They are marginalised and had access to very little education. A lot of their families are working with the human rights organisation Cofadeh to pressure for their freedom. Some human rights organisations and independent lawyers have taken on some of their cases, but them being fairly invisible in the public eye means there are not many advances in the courts. Most relatives have been able to see their loved one only once since their being captured. Speaking with them is very expensive, people have to buy $5 calling cards to speak for 10 minutes. Prisoners are given very poor, bad smelling, portions of rice, beans and two tortillas. Every 2 or 3 days, the soldiers let them out in the sun for only 10 minutes. All prisoners are given only five minutes to wash themselves and drink water in. Soldiers also torture inmates by banging on the metal doors at least twice each night to interrupt their sleep. Guards again dedicate themselves to harass prisoners at the time when guards change over. Inmates are exhausted, dehydrated and psychologically traumatised.

9 March 2018

Early in the morning this day, the Chiquita Banana Company, Honduran Industrial Relations Department and JOH dictatorship regime joined forces to violently evict the Chiquita workers on their 71st consecutive days of being on strike. Security forces fired live gunshots at people and used teargas bombs against them, wounding a number of workers and their children. Police captured two workers who were subsequently de-arrested by their comrades. For being involved in the strike, Chiquita fired 77 workers and suspended 700 more. The workers went on strike demanding that the collective contract be respected and defending their access to local healthcare as workers. They may have been evicted, but the workers are not going back to work and are preparing renewed protest actions. Because of which, they ask those following their situation from anywhere to remain alert. Chiquita is an US company based in Florida.

10 March 2018

In the Florida Sector on the Atlantida coast, around where a mining project is being imposed, soldiers are moving around the area asking people for and about Ubaldina Santos, the National Coordinator of MADJ (Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice), who is always organising in defence of natural resources in the area.

15 March 2018

Since this night, police and military surveillance has under siege the indigenous Lenca community of Reitoca, which has maintained a blockade of about a hundred people every night since 14 January 2018 defending their territory against the imposition of a hydroelectricity dam by the Progelsa Company. The community is protecting the Río Grande river and their water source from exploitation and environmental degradation. Damages caused already by the building include water contamination, reduced water flow, death of flora and fauna, deforestation, and impact on people’s health with cuts on the skin and infections and viruses. The community has kept up the blockade despite the intimidation, surveillance, attacks and harassment they have received from military police, police, army and Progelsa contracted private security guards. Past attacks include repression by military police on 30 January 2018 on which occasion community members Miriam Geraldina Osorto and Andrés Gutiérrez were gunshot wounded and continue to recover.

21 March 2018

On this date, MASSVIDA (Social Environmentalist Movement of the South for Life) coordinator Germán Chirinos Gutiérrez was granted protection measures from the Inter American Commission of Human Rights following persecution and recent death threats against him. Germán was on 6 January 2018 kidnapped from his workplace in Nacaome by unknown persons using his own vehicle who were going to kill him – he was saved by the sounds of people approaching which scared his attackers into throwing him out of the car into the fence, then fleeing. Following this attempt he began to notice people watching him, and he started getting text messages of death threats on his mobile phone. MASSVIDA organises against mining companies. Others of MASSVIDA face repression also and charges.

22 March 2018

Olivia Marcela Zúniga Cáceres received death threats through messages on facebook. Olivia is one of the daughters of Berta Caceres Flores, indigenous feminist anticapitalist activist who was assassinated in March 2016. Olivia is also a parliamentarian of the opposition party Libre. The death threats are aimed at silencing her political discourse in the parliament, ‘keep talking and keep judging without knowing what you are getting into, you got to the congress to say that JOH and (nationalist parliamentarian) Elden killed your bitch mother haha, join everyone, invite the gangsters those of Opalaca, we have put up with too much of your shit already, you wanted war well you just wait, we at 3am we are going to smash you hypocrite.’ Olivia has been the coordinator of CInPH, one of the organisations defending indigenous rights in the region.

24 March 2018

Coordinator and defender of MAS – Santa Barbara Environmentalist Movement, Betty Vasquez, had her image was attacked on TV by 2 Nationalist parliamentarians of Santa Barbara. Betty and MAS accompanies the Chinda people in opposing the installation of the Hydroelectricity dam el Tornillito, and the indigenous lenca people of Zacapa, San Francisco de Ojuera, in opposing mining projects. MAS is also in solidarity with those charged for protesting against the fraud, and with other organised activists in Santa Barbara.

25 March 2018

In Choloma, volunteer reporter of Mega Red Nacional, Carlos Wayne, was covering and live streaming the protest and police/military brutality (beatings, gas and gunshots) early this Sunday, when, to stop him from transmitting, the police/military snatched his equipment and bashed him. He was left with bruises in his chest and dirt all over his face, hands and clothes. They also confiscated his press vest. Lots of protesters health were affected by the teargases. And the gunshots frightened everyone.

In Tegucigalpa on a highway that goes towards Danli, Libre party activist Hector Nuñez noticed soldiers in Mexican uniforms there and was surprised and began to take photos of these. The soldiers bashed him in response to his photography. It showed that Mexican soldiers of the Peña Nieto adminsitration are supporting the JOH dictatorship in Honduras, and were ready to help repress the highway occupations and protests over Easter. A month before, a boatload of US Comando Sur soldiers arrived at the Cortes port as well – having come to train the military police, on the pretext of coming as a medical brigade and humanitarian aid, but they came and trained soldiers and brought arms and are about to go home because they finished that. There is also knowledge of thousands of Colombian soldiers in Honduras.

27 March 2018

In the Choluteca city this night, young people were protesting near the Fausto Flores stadium, when a police patrol slowly drove by and began shooting at protesters’ bodies, and were backed up by more uniformed agents arriving and being and arresting youths. Seven were arrested – three of these were wounded with gunshots and two with severe beatings in the face – José Ruiz Madariaga, Fernando Jacobo Vásquez, Elki Daniel Hernández (aged 15), Justin Ariel Espinal, Cristian José Paz (aged 16), Pedro Pablo Matamoros, and Carlos José Baca Alvares (aged 16). Despite the severity of their wounds they were taken into custody immediately rather than being given immediate medical attention. Journalist Mauricio Rivera of UNE-TV went to the hospital emergency department and livestreamed on his own facebook account following the 16 year old Yorvin Quiroz, who had a bullet perforate the top of his left shoulder.Yorvin was at the protest against JOH with his friends and they were there for 2 hours when the slowly moving police patrol by the street of the stadium started to shoot. Journalist Rivera went onto the police buildings to try to report on the 7 arrestees but police impeded access to the journalist.

30 March 2018

In Comayagua, Marlón Galeano, had during this religious festival of Easter written with colourful religious crafty material that people wrote Easter messages with, ‘FUERA JOH’ – get out JOH. JOH ordered that Marlón be fired from his job – from the Unit of Supervision and Local Control of Water. As well as being fired he is receiving death threats.

31 March 2018

Ofraneh (Black Fraternal Organisation of Honduras) coordinator Miriam Miranda was passing through a checkpoint when police agents forced her to get out of the car, treated her like she had committed a crime, and threatened her with being imprisoned together with her companions. Ofraneh struggles defending Garífuna ancestral territory and the environment, against mining projects and work to demand justice in cases of social and community activists being assassinated.

February 2018 Honduras coup again update

February 2018 Honduras coup again update

The repression against those struggling against the JOH dictatorship continues to be grave. There continues to be resistance, but the rage and immensity of it all is far greater.

1 February 2018

There were hooded persons seen lurking around in front of the home of an activist, Miguel Briceño.

2 February 2018

The city of Nueva Ocotepeque woke up militarised. People see the military presence as a message of fear and warning against those whom oppose the dictatorship imposed by JOH and National Party.

Human rights defender Pedro Ulloa was finally freed, having been captured accompanying the Honduran women’s day march on 25 January 2018 in Tocoa, his initial hearing was scheduled for 31 January 2018 in Trujillo Colon,. His case was dismissed in the courts for lack of evidence from the prosecution. The human rights defender was accused of robbery and of having assassinated more than 10 people on 3.8.09 – something that involved the killing including of an organised farmer of Siete de Enero, Arnulfo Guevara, that farmers assure was killed by the security guards of Coronel Henrry. It is known that the prosecution department had grabbed the lists collected of community leaders in the area and drew out from the list Pedro’s name and that this was how he came to be selectively targeted for persecution.

On the same day, in Comayagua, others arrested and charged and held for protesting against the fraud and dictatorship were freed also for lack of evidence presented by the prosecution for the charges. So the cases were dismissed for Lenín José Guevar, Héctor René Ríos, Luis Enrique Bonilla, and Ludwin Cruz, who were accused of aggravated robbery and an attempt to start a fire. Cofadeh participated as observers in this initial hearing that lasted two days.

3 February 2018

In La Entrada of Copan, a 13 year old child was bashed up and arrested for having been singing the song Fuera JOH! (Get out JOH!), in moments when police agents were doing rounds. The police got off the patrol and began to hurt him when he resisted arrest, protesting, saying he did not commit any crime.

One of the medias that has continued to report news honestly, UNE TV, suffered this day the constant loss of signal.

4 February 2018

The JOH regime threatened NGOs that defend people with the suspension of their constitutionality. The regime made an announcement warning that this can happen to the NGOs that ‘promote the de-stabilisation of the country’, by ‘agitating people’ or ‘misinforming people about companies’ actions for the benefit of the communities’.

5 February 2018

In Choloma, Cortés, Chiquita bananas workers were on strike demanding for the recognition of their rights as per their collective contract. Hundreds of Chiquita workers accompanied by others in the community upheld massive barricades – in addition to blocking the way and placing tyres and setting these on fire, in an epic moment, many people combined their strength and together tipped over a giant cargo truck as part of the barricade that got the company executives’ attention. This was at the Choloma river bridge. As early as 7.45am military police cracked down and repressed heavily with gunshots, launching teargas bombs three times – one hit the roof of a house affecting the breathing including of the children and elderly people inside, putting out the tyres on fire with shots from the water tank.

Some of the gunshots fired hit and assassinated (39th person killed by the JOH fraud dictatorship regime) Ismael Herández (aged 40) – who was hit twice in the back. Ismael was the patronato president of the El Kilómetro community in Choloma, Cortés. He is very well loved in his community. People have no doubt that he was targeted at being shot, that it were not random fatal gunshots. As well as the gunshots he was ferociously beaten by police with batons, so ferociously that his head was barely attached to his body when people lifted his body onto a pickup truck hoping they could save his life.

ismael hernandez

At another person in Choloma was badly beaten by police in the back and was left with marks all over their back. They were advised by the authorities not to place a complaint against the police, for safety. Several journalists who were covering this barricade were also beaten

National Party official puts a bill to ‘regulate’ social media, targeting people who write comments on their social media pages against public officials and power groups.

6 February 2018

Libre (opposition party) politician Heber Esaú Padilla (aged 29) was persecuted back in the 2009 coup, he is now again receiving constant threats. In a recent barricade protest, he saw a police with the surname Gálvez giving orders to shoot, so he approached him and asked why they were doing that when it was not a violent protest, Heber was then yelled at by the police saying he was sick of them (protesters), and then ‘we have got you checked already, and the next time you come, I won’t be coming to throw gas at you, I will come to break you’. ‘Are you threatening to kill me’ Heber checked, and the police answered, ‘this is what I am telling you, if you come back again, I am not coming to play’ – 5 military police and 20 soldiers. On another occasion, Heber was at a protest against the re-election of JOH when the military police arrived and began acting violently against protesters – people wrapped up the protest to go home as did he, but on his way home he saw the sirens of a military police patrol, and saw they slow down and start to fire gunshots towards him – he continued his way home and the military police parked outside his home watching and intimidating for about 20 minutes. His neighbours have also seen at other times police and army agents in front of his house taking photos of the street and his home. Most recently his image appeared on a social media smear campaign that singled him out as an organiser of the barricades in the region.

7 February 2018

Activist Miguel Briceño made a statement that he is at a high risk of being assassinated by the JOH regime. That in recent times, he counts three occasions in which hooded un-uniformed persons have been right outside his home, and another three occasions in which the military police have also intimidated and posted themselves outside his home.

9 February 2018

In Choloma, Cortés, military police evicted the barricades against the fraud and JOH dictatorship firing live gunshots, and then proceeded to launch teargas bombs into people’s homes there, leaving including many children crying unable to breathe and with their eyes burning from the teargas.

At about midnight, Franklin Almendares was on his way home from a meeting when a new black double cabin Hilux reached him, rammed into the back of his car with the intention of stopping Franklin. When they saw that he was not stopping, they drove in front of him to block the way and bashed his car on the driver’s door, to force him to stop. The attackers forcefully dragged him out of the car and searched him and his bag the way a soldier or police would, taking his diary, a little money and a bottle of water – almost all that he was carrying – however they did not take his good watch or good backpack that actual robbers would have taken. Franklin Almendares is the general coordinator of CNTC – National Central of Rural Workers. There were police around afterwards who were suspiciously offering to do something with him to find the attackers but of course he had no reason to trust them and went home.

10 February 2018

In Potrerillos, Cortés, in the stadium, people were having a fundraiser soccer game in solidarity with a young guy who was wounded in the protest, but the game was raided by military police which surrounded the stadium, people fear for what can happen to the young ones and children inside. It was reported that three persons were arrested.

11 February 2018

Choloma, Cortés is on alert. Militarisation.

In El Progreso, Yoro, people are seeking solidarity of lawyers to free political prisoners there, having eight who have been imprisoned since December 2018.

12 February 2018

Melvin Osorto Aguilera’s brother was arrested and beaten all over the body and face for protesting, a rib is wounded and his back was in pain, his two mobile phones and cash were taken off him, the the burnt tyres were used as evidence against him for his ‘crime’.

13 February 2018

Police sees an attacker stab journalist César Omar Silva when he was transmitting live his program at the protest – the police intervened but let the attacker go as if they hadn’t done anything. César Omar Silva works for UNE TV, the only TV financially independent from the JOH regime. César Silva has a very long history of journalism that is on the side of people and truth and of being politically persecuted for such.

15 February 2018

Officially formed this day is a committee to defend political prisoners in Honduras made up of activists of human rights, teachers, farmers, union and other organisations. From this period since November of fraud and dictatorship, there are twenty-two people in four prisons who are political prisoners whom are indefinitely imprisoned. Sometimes on arrest political prisoners start with charges like ‘illicit association’ and sedition, but these are quickly dropped so that only charges like robbery and attempts to start fire remain – this is so official data can be used to back up the regime’s shameless claims to the media that ‘there are no political prisoners’, when it is clear each person was arrested for their participation in protests.

There are political prisoners and the below is the list published by human rights organisation Cofadeh:

In the Tela prison:

1. Lourdes Johana Gómez Núnez. Lourdes is imprisoned with her little daughter and partner. She is from Pimienta.

In La Tolva high security prison, held in solitary confinement are:

2. Edwin Robelo Espinal

3. Raúl Eduardo Alvarez…

Edwin has such limited visiting rights he only been allowed to see his lawyer.

In El Progreso, imprisoned are:

4. Arles Saúl Cardona Saavedra.

5. Gustavo Adolfo Cáceres Ayala.

6. Jhony Andrés Salgado Fuentes.

7. Dany Javier Banegas Reyes.

8. Olvin Nahúm Villanueva Avilés.

9. Omar Enrique Velásquez Yánez.

10. Antony Reynaldo Acosta.

11. Néstor Armando Almendarez Rodríguez.

12. Marvin Antonio Godoy Arias.

And in Ilama prison known as El Pozo, ten people from Pimienta:

13. Daniel Eduardo Santos Ordóñez

14. José Orlando Santos Ordoñez

15. Edwin Nahún Amaya Sánchez

16. Mynor Ariel Reyes Mejía

17. Roque Jacinto Alvarenga Corea

18. Wilfredo Cáceres Sagastume

19. Francisco Miguel Gómez Martínez

20. Melvin Mauricio Chávez Pérez

21. Jonathan Ricardo Perla López

22. Santos Ramón Paredes Quiroz

On this day there was a barricade at the exit to Marcovia in Choluteca.

16 February 2018

In the López Arellano neighbourhood in Choloma, Cortés, there was an alert sent out that there was there a white Hilux with no numberplate that had hooded men inside going around looking for people who participated in the protests. Words are out that state has ordered death squads to search for protesters. There were reported afterwards protesters arrested.

In the neighbourhood Modesto Rodas Alvarado, at 10.20pm on this Saturday night, in the context of a protest against the JOH dictatorship, Sergio Borjas was arrested by military police and in custody in the El Manchén police station in Tegucigalpa. He was held at least overnight, at least until appearing before an executor judge the next morning.

This night the Francisco Morazán Boulevar was barricaded with tyres, fire and bodies.

18 February 2018

The state based MACCIH Mission of Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, might be folding after much publicity about how a member Juan Jiménez Mayor (ex peruvian PM) and a few other members of its international panel had resigned from the mission due to the lack of real support from the UN and OAS. For ‘having shaken’ the image of Honduras in this way, Juan Jiménez Mayor has received death threats.

19 February 2018

This morning, the body of (40th person killed by the JOH dictatorship regime) Samuel Edgardo Martínez López (aged 33) was found, having been killed. Samuel is the president of the ‘9 de Julio’ farmers group in Las Huertas community in Tutule, La Paz, one of the most heavily attacked zones of land recovery by police, military, court and elected authorities. Samuel Martínez was born on 16 February 1985. This young person not only had to carry with him charges that he has had since 20 July 2010, but was locked up for 4 months in the La Paz prison together with another land defender Carlos Eduardo López, accused of usurpation of land. The authorities try to pass off his killing as a traffic accident, which is suspicious, since he is on bail and has on a long term been heavily persecuted. His comrades know his wishes to be farewelled with a music band, so they organised this for him, along with the tears, flowers and memories. The members of this farmers group have lived, struggled and worked together for eight years. A comrade said, ‘We used to talk about what would happen if one of us were gone, but we didn’t imagine it could be so soon, and this hurts, a brother is taken from us.’

In Ceiba, the executive director of human rights organisation Ciprodeh, Wilfredo Méndez, was driving in La Ceiba for work to present a report on corruption and human rights in Honduras, when he was intercepted and threatened by armed men from a vehicle at about 5pm during peak hour. They drove beside him and a passenger pointed a gun at him from inside the car. They kept following him and then stopped and followed again, and when they were beside him again, the drive pointed a gun at him. They did this for 10 to 15 minutes before stopping. Wilfredo is committed to continuing the struggle for human rights despite the threats.

This day also marks a year of Omar Suazo being held political prisoner. Omar Suazo is from Sambo Creek. Omar is a Garífuna musician and someone who has clear ideas about defending his culture and identity and is a protector of ancestral territory there. He is an activist who opposed the building of a hydroelectricity dam over the Cuyamel river. Omar is imprisoned with an accusation of assassination against a hitman who had stabbed Omar four times in the back with a knife.

21 February 2018

In Gualala, Santa Bárbara, (41st person killed by the JOH fraud dictatorship regime) 16 years old Luís Fernando Ayala was reported disappeared on 20 February 2018 and on 21 February he was found assassinated – his hands were cut and there were many signs that he was tortured before he was killed. This child and his family are active members of MAS Santa Barbara Environmentalist Movement. At just age 16, he was someone who had a lot of conviction in the struggle to oppose mining on their territory. Him and other youths have been charged by military police too before that for participating in protests against the fraud and dictatorship of JOH following the election.

In Luzon, Colón, where palm plantations overrun, there is an alert that on this day that there is an eviction order against the farmers group Unidos Lucharemos (Together We Struggle). There were grave concerns because the community is surrounded by authorities and also by a group that previously possessed and sold the land in the 90s.

In Locomapa, Yoro, the indigenous Tolupan people of the San Francisco tribe were being threatened, at a time when this community is holding an active camp in place defending the forest and territory through the organisation MADJ (Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice). There is harrassment coming from Noe Rodriguez, the president of the Xicaques tribes federation.

22 February 2018

In Arizona, Atlántida, attacks against the members of MADJ continue. At 6am, police and investigative agents raided the home of MADJ activists Aquilina Mejía Guerra and Luís García searching their house and arresting the environmental defender Aquilina Mejía Guerra, accusing her of allegedly having two molotov bombs found (which is said to have been planted there by the same raiding authorities, something which happens often). The couple has been persecuted by investigative police agents for some time now. The charges against Aquilina are possession and fabrication of ‘war weapons’. She was imprisoned for five days and finally freed on 26 February, free of the charges.

23 February 2018

The protest caravan against the JOH dictatorship in Villanueva Cortés was repressed with teargas bombs. In Dos Caminos, the military police, cobras and police fired gunshots and launched teargas at the bodies of the barricade there. The human rights defender and MADJ member Fany Beatriz was driving when her car was shot twice as well as being filled with teargases, forcing her to jump out of her car and flee when it was still in motion.

Report released this day: Melon workers of the transnational Fyffes (company recently acquired by the Japanese giant Simitomo), had women workers intoxicated while working because of the use of toxic substances on the plantations back in December. The workers had just entered when they smelled a strong chemical smell – some fainted and others began to vomit and others had parts of their bodies go to sleep. The women were taken to a doctor contracted by the same company, where they received injections, were oral rehydration and some pills and only 3 days of rest. On the following days, some of the workers’ faces swelled up. Others felt a very bitter taste of the inhaled chemicals, others continued getting very dizzy. Most of the workers were single mothers whose families depended on their jobs. The Industrial Commission came to investigate the attack against the workers, but they only met with the administrators and bosses of the company, that said the women had a virus, that they weren’t exposed to toxic gases. The union had trouble getting testimonies – 13 women were affected but only 2 would give testimonies, because they were all threatened with losing their jobs. This intoxication incident is not an isolated case, there were also cases in the farmers Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz in Marcovia.

25 February 2018

Human rights defender Joaquín Mejía received death threats against himself and his family. Joaquín is also a member of ERIC (Jesuit radio). The latest threats had come in the context of his participation in being a travelling guest speaker in different US cities, as organised by Alianza Americas, in speaking about the political situation in Honduras. On this day, the death threats calls to him and calls of extorsion against his family started up again. As well as for going on the speaking tour, the death threats are also because of the investigative and media work he does in relation to human rights violations in light of the JOH fraud dictatorship regime. Joaquín’s work also goes towards the litigation against the Honduran state in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights – the commission of which had recently granted him protection orders – although that state never complies with such.

27 February 2018

In La Paz, over 50 indigenous campesinas and campesinos have capture orders and charges of land usurpation. Before this, already, their daily lived reality included being harrassed, being followed, being threatened and abused, and already before this, also judicial persecution. The targeted community has lived and defending the land from dams and mines for over 40 years. In this province, there are currently 700 farmers facing charges who are on bail. There are two farmers imprisoned without bail – one in La Paz and another in Comayagua. There could have been more but the human rights organisation Cofadeh had pressured for others to be freed.

In Lepaguare, San Pedro de Tutule, 8 capture orders had been emitted against leaders of the farmers group 8 de febrero. They have been recovering land for some years. Police raided the home of 8 de febrero farmer Yesenia Padilla trying to arrest her. ‘Where is the capture order or raid order?’ She and others demanded. She escaped arrest this time but is being charged with usurpation of land against Rosario Dominga Reynoso who claims to be the landowner. Yessenia is now one of three women of the 8 de febrero group who since has a capture order against her.

28 February 2018

Javier Trejo Licona, a leader of Cofradia community in Cortés, and a leader of Vida Nueva of the Libre and Alianza parties, was arbitrarily captured and charged, ultimately for his activism. There are National Party activists who serve as witnesses against him and give fake testimonies, and who have been granted the status of protected witnesses.

 

 

 

Part 5: Honduras Coup Repeat Update: 16-31 January 2018

Part 5: Honduras Coup Repeat Update: 16-31 January 2018

Backdated news

On 7 January 2018, Oscar Antonio Flores, a small business person who buy things in El Salvador and sells them in Tegucigalpa, was travelling towards San Salvador and ended up in the police cell in Pespire, Choluteca where he died a death made to look like a suicide. He left Tegucigalpa on 4 January 2018. In Choluteca, where he was on 6 January 2018, there were barricades, and a police report said that he was ‘disturbing the social order’ and villagers had tied him up by feet and hands and then called the police and had him arrested. This version was created in the context of the protests. And seeing news on social media, people who were in the protest there recognised him and said he was at the protest. His sister, however, denied to Radio Progreso that he ever participates in protests or has any political affiliations or convictions.

16 January 2018

In the north, at about 5pm, around 50 FUSINA security agents ambushed the home of Francisco Godinez – the regional secretary general of national rural worker federation (CNTC). Francisco Godinez, and other CNTC organisers Sergio Godinez, Pedro Sánchez, and José Godinez were shown capture orders against them. They ran for their lives, and the agents chased them. Francisco had already received death threats by telephone. They knew this was to terrorise them for participating in anti-JOH actions.

A youth, Raúl Eduardo Alvarez had his home raided in Comayaguela, and he was arrested as a suspect for setting Hotel Marriott on fire in Tegucigalpa on 12 January 2018 following the heavy repression with gunshots, teargas and beatings against protesters.

In Villanueva in Tegucigalpa, a black out that night had people feel terrified about possible raids, this neighbourhood having been brutally repressed a few weeks back for barricading.

In Cofradía, San Pedro Sula, six military police patrols persecuted leaders of Alianza party.

144 police agents who were on strike previously – they resigned from the repressive state forces. Some soldiers did as well.

Meanwhile, teacher Agustina Flores who in September 2009 was beaten by the polices Esther Ponce and Arecely García and was subsequently illegally detained for 21 days in maximum security prison for women, for having participated in protests, brought this case to the courts. It is the first case against police from the 2009 coup to make it to the courts, yet, it hasn’t made it yet – the hearing was again cancelled this day, because the defence of the police did not come.

17 January 2018

In Cofradía, most of the communities had been militarised, with the area being saturated with over 30 motorised military police – 20 police patrols and 10 military police patrols. Squads of military police swarmed the streets.

In Tegucigalpa, in several neighbourhoods, people saw soldiers go around in white double cabin cars without number plates. El Rincón neighbourhood was also heavily militarised.

18 January 2018

As the last congress session prior to the imposing swearing in of the new congress was being held, the streets near the streets near congress were heavily militarised.

19 January 2018

The general strike started on 20 January, so the night of 19 January 2018, barricades started everywhere. Many bus companies announced that services were cancelled for 20 and 21 January. There is a sentiment with the general strike that, with some having resigned, there are 25000 police and soldiers in Honduras. If barricades are everywhere and many in Honduras, repressive forces cannot be everywhere and people can win.

At 8.45 pm near the Cristina bus company in Comayaguela, Edwin Robelo Espinal was riding on his motorcycle when he was arrested by military police. A resistance activist, Edwin Espinal, who has been on the news since 2009, first for losing his partner who was also a fully determined resistance activist – Wendy Avila (then a 25 year old law student) – to the repressive forces’ teargases and hospitals with orders to be negligent so resistance participants’ lives were not saved. And subsequently, different episodes of persecution against himself over the following years – raids, torture, arrests. Edwin was last arrested and beaten by police on 8 September 2017 in the Kennedy neighbourhood accompanying a local environmental protest – a police who self-identified as ‘Brad Pitt’ threatened him, saying he has Edwin’s profile compiled, before then releasing him. In the recent wave of state driven smear campaigns on social media, Edwin has also been a target, accused along with others of ‘terrorist’ acts. Edwin often over the years has accompanied different grassroots struggles in solidarity. It is in this context that the regime targeted him and framed and accused him as being another ‘leader’ accused of breaking the windows and starting fires at Hotel Marriott following the 12 January 2018 repression nearby outside the Presidential house with gunshots, bashings, and teargas bombs. The night of 19 January 2018 as he was being arrested, people around tried to film but were intimidated to stop. Edwin’s motorcycle was left on the street. As he was taken into custody, they took photos of him for the press to show he is taken prisoner, and used the pretext that he was carrying two mobile phones (normal practice in Honduras – one phone for each major telecommunications network) and some money (lempiras equivalent to about $200) as reason to treat him as a dangerous person, that with the unfounded charges of ‘aggravated damage’ and more severe charges of terrorism and illicit association that the state wanted to push through, Judge Claudio Aguilar in the General Cabañas Cuartel ruled not only to deny Edwin bail but to imprison him in the maximum security prison known as La Tolva, in Moroceli, El Paraíso. Cofadeh human rights organisation coordinator Bertha Oliva said that by sending anyone to La Tolva arbitrarily like that they are in another way killing them.

Two youths (one aged 14) who clean windows of cars on the corner Bancafeh in Tegucigalpa, David Josue Maldonado Avila and Moises David Avila Garcia, were beaten and arrested by police out of the blue in this context of the repression, they were taken in patrol 232.

A number of banana farms in different provinces have been paralysed as the workers on these farms complete more than 20 days of strike against the transnational banana company ‘Chiquita Honduras’. 2800 workers were on strike demanding the reactivation of the medical assistance plan for their families that are closer for them to get to and gives a better health service and that has given them this service for 40 years, than the new medical centre assigned to providing them health services. The farms they have stopped are: Indiana, Mopala, Santa Rosa, Limones, Laureles, Ceibita, Corozal 6 and 7, which are in La Lima, and Omonita farm of San Manuel, Cortés, and the Cob farm in El Progeso, Yoro. The workers on strike are intimidated and threatened with being fired or with the company closing and moving, and people know the company has been plotting to declare the strike illegal. Workers on strike will take their protest to the next level, occupying public buildings and highways, if their demands are not met.

20 January 2018

This first day of the national general strike against the JOH fraud dictatorship regime was met with repression all over with the military police set out to repress all protests even if people were protesting on footpaths. Despite which, people did stop the economy this day, there were barricades just about everywhere.

….

Don Telmo.

There was also another assassination! (34th person killed by this JOH fraud regime) Don Telmo Villareal, an old man who travels around on a bicycle, was gunshot wounded at the barricade of Sabá in Colón, he was losing a lot of blood and he is remembered saying, ‘compa, help me,’ people took him to the hospital but he died before they got to the hospital. Here is a narrative of someone writing about what happened to Don Telmo:

The assassination of Don Telmo has moved a lot of people. To favour the truth and to be true to social conscience, it is important to clarify what happened. He was not an old man who happened to be passing through near the protest and suddenly was wounded by a misguided bullet. I understand that sometimes people apply a way of dramatising the political repression of the government with the creation of a surreal victim, like that of an old man who had nothing to do with politics. This for me is to reaffirm the right-wing discourse that criminalises social protest. Because, in a way, it is as if we would be saying that the assassination of a person protesting is less grave or that it can be somehow justified. To deny the social conscience of Telmo and his active participation in the protest, and the wish to build around his assassination greater indignation by exploiting his supposed lack of political sense, we would be following the game of the right. The counterdiscourse, then should be for there to not be assassinations against Hondurans, MUCH LESS against Hondurans who protest. Because protesting is one of the most basic and important social rights for the development of a society’s democracy.

Don Telmo, an older adult or someone elderly, he was not at the front of the barricade – space held by the youngest members of the Sabá movement against the dictatorsip. He stayed at a prudent distance, knowing that at age 72 he could not keep up the same frenetic rhythm of the tireless Honduran youth. Minutes before the soldiers’ starting to shoot, however, he had showed his support of the protest. He was telling off the soldiers good. After, surely tired, he had withdrawn to a less conflictive position within the protest group. Within minutes the repression unleashed. The teargas bombs did not chase away a people who had inherited the historical banana industry workers struggles, who are used to decades of brutal punishment. Nor did they chase away Don Telmo. It was in desperation and frustration that the soldiers, who had come to evict several points of Colón and failed, started to fire gunshots. One of such gunshots reached don Telmo, other gunshots have reached others, wounded two other persons – these two others in the contrary, were staying in their homes and not participating in the protest, checking outside once in a while to keep track of what is going on. Of the three wounded, only don Telmo died.

Including after having wounded don Telmo, the soldiers realised another round of gunshots that luckily did not wound anyone else. The reaction of the people was heroic. Instead of being intimidated, they responded with the only thing that unarmed protesters have: stones. The soldiers fled, without having been able to carry out the eviction but this time they left a trail of blood and grief over a whole people. Because of this today more than ever, don Telmo must become a symbol of a struggle against the dictatorship. Not because it would be a low blow to allow that his assassination remain in impunity. It’s more, that he deserves to be reivindicated as a political assassination of JOH. He is an example of the reason that we cannot keep being politically apathetic, and leave the institutions, that cost us so much money, in the hands of morally bankrupt persons who don’t have the minimal respect for other people’s rights, rights including to the life of the person next to us.

….

In Danlí, El Paraíso, protesters against the fraud – Brian Eduardo Rodríguez Sánchez and Héctor Natividad Godoy Ramos were arrested.

In Tegucigalpa, the central park was militarised by a massive contingent randomly there.

In the Cabaña neighbourhood near Hospital Viera, soldiers gassed protests, attacking the breathes of women, children, and council workers there repairing the street.

In El Pedregal neighbourhood near the airport in Tegucigalpa, there was salvage repression with death threats against people barricading.

In Río Lindo in Cortés, hooded soldiers raided homes and in Peña Blanca, Cortés, they arrested Juan Carlos Espinoza (35) and Denis Salazar (42) for holding up placards that say ‘Get out JOH!’ – they additionally arrested for protesting José Rogelio López (25, civil engineering student at UNAH-VS), Luís Alfonso Melgar (34), and Rudy Wiliam (25).

At El Hato Enmedio, the barricade that stretched late into the evening was repressed with police teargases – the gases were heavily felt even in parking lots where no people were around.

In Comayaguela, the protests that went into the evening were met with militarisation in the hours of darkness. At 8pm, military police arrested 17 year old Sadan Josúe Gutiérrez when he was on a mototaxi, carrying tyres for a barricade. He was taken to the 4th police station in Belén market area of Comayaguela. Also, patrol 7032 was repressing there and threatening with firing live gunshots, and a police patrol M1-39 arrived to repress the protest there and arrested Elmer Omar García and two others unidentified persons and held these at the same Belén police station. People tried to intervene and de-arrest but were attacked with gas and chased. Three others were arrested for protesting in the Las Crucitas neighbourhood. Some other known names of political arrestees held at the 4th police station in Belén that night were Julio Cesar Arevalo Rubio, Edgardo Colindres, Anyison Rolando Funez Sosa and Yamir Melgar Ramos.

In Villanueva, Tegucigalpa, in mid morning, the protest there was repressed with a massive amount of teargas bombs. The bombs paused and resumed as Ex president Manuel Zelaya arrived on the scene and international TV – Hispan TV team – began to interview him live, when a teargas bomb was launched directly at Hispan TV journalist Dassaev Aguilar, fracturing his leg and he was taken to hospital. Hispan TV equipment was also damaged and the live transmission interrupted. The photo of Dassaev Aguilar hospitalised was subsequently used against Dassaev in a smear campaign by the regime, putting a caption on the photo that said that he was injured in an accident while throwing molotov bomb at a bus full of people and circulating that in social media. Later the same morning, Danny Josué Flores Rodríguez was arrested in Villanueva, but people went looking for him in all the police stations panicking only to finally find that he was at Manchen police station. On this day, repressive shots fired shots directly at homes and towards protesters in this neighbourhood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Y5NcJNkkk&feature=youtu.be. In the afternoon, in Villanueva, police arrived to raid residential home where uni leader Nery Jeancarlo Cruz was and proceeded to handcuff him by hand and feet. Nery pleaded to to the people around him to not let the police take him, because they were and will be hurting him. So people in the house asked the police to let Nery go, saying the student protests because it is his right and duty. Police responded denying that it had to do with his activism, saying it was for vandalism acts. Nery was taken to CORE 7 police cells, this arbitrary arrest took place amidst a day of very heavy repression against protests. Nery was one of the people who was driving the hunger strike at the uni in June 2017 calling for the resignation of uni director Julieta Castellanos. The next day there was news that he was released and okay.

In Telica, there were arrests against people who barricaded, and when human rights defender Luís Fernando Hernández went to the police station and confronted the police there asking what crimes were committed by the protesters that day, Coronel Gálvez threatened him, pushing him and tried to grab his mobile from him, on top of which, Luís could tell Coronel Gálvez was drunk.

In El Sitio, some youths – Dorian Joel Barahona and Edwin Francisco Valeriano, were arrested. Edwin’s grandfather was especially worried. Edwin was seen by Univision cameraperson getting beaten by police at the barricade.

In San Juan Pueblo, Atlántida, people were doing a 1.5km walk on the roads protesting the JOH regime, and were hit with a brutal repression by police, who chased and gassed people continuously for 40 minutes and from 100 metres away fired live gunshots at people. Arrests were made against Teodoro Santos Carbajal and the youths Maynor Machado and Edgar Henriquez, who were taken away in police patrols. Days later, the charges against them of aggravated damages were dismissed by the judge. Also repressed there were children, old people, and entire families who were part of this walk and struggle.

In San Pedro Sula, at the 33, at about 7pm, the military police of JOH arrested youth and beat them, they also stole mobile phones from a few youngsters near a protest.

In El Progreso, at the barricades, Gladys Menjivar was arrested. People identified infiltrated police in the marches attempting to profile people, and protesters took these to the police station.

In Sector Tres, police and military tried to arrest youths on the barricade but people resisted and defended each other from the arrests. Police and military then tried to confiscate tyres from a workshop there. They also didn’t manage to do that, people stopped them, holding their ground.

In Villanueva, at the protest, 16 year old Kelvin Ernesto García Martínez was arrested and taken into custody handcuffed in a police pick up truck.

In Guadalupe Carney of Bajo Aguán, the hills were surrounded by military, militarised.

In Ajagual San Ramón in Copán, there was repression against protests and plain clothes police were identified.

In cyberworld on facebook, Allan Torres – member of Redehsur human rights organisation received threats for their human rights work by someone using the facebook name Marlón Mejía. Allan belongs to Adepza and to the community radio La Voz de Zacate Grande in Amapala Valle.

Somewhere in Honduras, Libre parliamentarian Jari Dixon was participating in a protest when someone tried to burn his parked car – a security guard saw this and put out the fire but couldn’t identify the attackers.

In the sea, the brave navy force of neighbouring Nicaragua highjacked the Honduran navy boat in solidarity.

In Siguatepeque, the Libre back-up parliamentarian Ronald Panchame who had for 3 days been watched and followed by people on motorcycle had his home raided this morning. The attackers broke in and suspiciously stole 2 computers and searched papers. In Siguatepeque it is documented that there is a squad dedicated to intelligence against activists and opposition.

This day in Tegucigalpa, military police also invaded building of Banco Central de Honduras – the staff was worried. Who knows what went on.

21 January 2018

Repression in the neighbourhood Valle de Sula, 27 calle by the intersection, about from 9.30 at night military has been shooting teargas inside the houses and has fired live gunshots against protesters. neighbours say 15 had been detained, including minors.

In Pooler, the turnoff to 36 Guaymas, the anti-JOH barricades have been surrounded by hundreds of police and soldiers since the early hours. Police were firing shots everywhere and chasing people.

In Tegucigalpa near the congress building, Alejandro Josué Corea González was captured by military police on this second day of general strike, initially people did not know where he was taken. He was held for some hours but was later released and home with his family.

Also in Tegucigalpa, human rights defender Pedro Amador of OEIDH organisation, was accompanying protests when he was wounded in the leg by the state forces and taken to Hospital Escuela.

In La Laguna, Comayaguela, José Francisco Matamoros Maldonado was at 9pm arrested and taken in patrol 6662.

In San Juan Pueblo, Atlántida, the police and military unleashed a heavy repression against people in protest and people fled to refuge inside theirs and others´ houses. As MADJ leader Martín Fernández and others with him fled to his house, a soldier pointed a gun to his head and to inside the house where other defenders were refuged. Police and military surrounded his home in intimidation, and armed men broke the windows of Martín’s car. Martín and his brother Victor had been under attack in social media, and the buildings of MADJ and Radio Dignidad had also been raided.

22 January 2018

This second day of the general strike started with relatives and friends of arrestee Edwin Espinal, journalists and human rights defenders gathering outside the gates of General Cabañas cuartel some way out from Tegucigalpa – the military cuartel building was cordoned off by soldiers so people couldn’t get past the 1km mark towards the building. Inside the building the hearing all these people were blocked out from was held. No bail granted still, the guarantee Cofadeh offered to pay was rejected. The prosecution tried to put against him a charge of attempt of assassination against some almost hundred people but this had to be dropped because it was ridiculous. What remains are accusations of damages to private property (Hotel Marriott) – and there are threats to charge him with terrorism and with illicit association. Amongst the people not allowed in was an Amnesty International representative who came as an observer. The family, friends, journalists and observers stuck waiting outside were additionally subject to having their lives endangered, because death squad vehicles constantly moved in and out of the cuartel and some people inside some of these anti-human vehicles have taken photos of the people there for Edwin and took to profiling them. At La Tolva maximum security prison he has very limited rights to visitors and only one hour of sunlight a day. They ultimately attack him in this way because he is a known relentless social activist who constantly supports grassroots struggles, known first and foremost as someone who lost his partner Wendy Avila to teargases of the coup regime in September 2009. With many attacks against MADJ and activists in the region, MADJ leader Martín Fernández and others are now in hiding because they have no choice.

ramon 22 jan 2018

In Arizona, Atlántida, people from Arizona and Pajuiles communities barricaded the CA-13 highway since 8.30pm, and it was about 10.30pm when a military and police commando arrived to ruthlessly repress firing gunshots, launching 5 to 8 teargas bombs and chasing people for a long 2 km stretch. The military police bullets hit (35th person killed by the JOH fraud regime) Ramón Fiallos (65), who was taken to hospital in San Juan Pueblo gravely wounded, and died there at 11.30pm. Ramón’s friends called him Moncho. Moncho was someone very actively as a leader of MADJ in the El Retiro community, in defending common and natural resources, and was someone very humble about this. Moncho also accompanied the camp in defence of the Jilmaito river in Tela. In this military police shooting against the barricade, two youths were also wounded and hospitalised.

wounded 21 jan 2018

In San Pedro Sula, Cortés, in the neighbourhood Valle de Sula, a 17 year old youth was taken by the military from a house he was taking refuge in. They broke the door to break in. They beat him with guns and with helmets. His wounds – that are in the eye, head and other parts of body, look bloody, gruesome and painful.

In Panamá community in Trujillo, Colón, military arrived at the protests and brutally attacked the community chasing people, they captured Eric Roberto Ventura as part of this attack against protesters.

23 January 2018

At midnight, the Arizona barricade continued firm where Moncho was just assassinated, it was until 3am that people dispersed. Sometimes between 3.30am and 4am, the military and police arrived at the home of (36th person killed by the JOH fraud regime) Geovany Díaz Cárcamo (aged 35) in the Pajuiles community and took him by force from his home, having identified as him as a youth who participated actively in the community camp and protests against the dam that started back on 22 March 2017. His body, having been killed, appeared the next day. Geovany was someone who participated in the struggle with a great deal of conviction – first defending the local river and mountain ranges, and on these dates against the JOH dictatorship regime.

jose armando 23 jan 2018.jpg

This day, in San Pedro Sula, in the neighbourhood Sandoval Sorto, (37th person killed by the JOH fraud regime) José Armando Mariona (aged 21, known affectionately as Titi) died instantly in a shooting by unidentified persons, a month ago he was taken by force by police and soldiers as well from his home – this was confirmed by his family – who contacted human rights organisations that pressured for his release and he was released the day after. He was arrested participating in activism. And days before his subsequent assassination, him and his family saw army and police vehicles going past their homes suspiciously and made notes of these. Right-wing news try to frame the assassination as conflict between gang members, or as attack against an lgbti person, but his family is certain the state is behind this, that they targeted him for protesting. He had a lot of conviction to change Honduras.

In the Colón region, about 1000 hooded and heavily armed soldiers marched through the area in two very long lines. It was in this context that at 5.30am this morning a heavily armed military and police contingent at the command of Coronel Hugo Coca and Juan Adolfo Zapata invaded the La Lempira settlement lived in by 120 farming families since 2009 which is organised through the MUCA farmers movement, with a list of 12 farmer leaders on their hands ready to raid homes and capture people. Later that day in Sabá a violent eviction was carried out and agents arrested three protesters. Just minutes after the Sabá eviction, the barricade in Cayo Campo was invaded by hooded and heavily armed soldiers. It was reported without further details that there were wounded people and even several deaths from the brutal repression using gunshots, teargas and batons there that day, and that once evicted, protesters were chased and followed and had homes raided and at least five people who were very dedicated to demolishing the dictatorship were arrested there including Jairo Messen and Yoni Elvir.

Inside a congress session in Tegucigalpa, when some politicians protested the swearing in of the directive committee of the congress headed by Mauricio Oliva, Libre parliamentarian Juan Ramón Flores who was protested had his mobile stolen from him then and there. Similarly, journalist of UNETV, Cesar Silva arrived at the congress with his journalist credentials and he was told be soldiers and security guards that they had orders from above to not let him enter. He was similarly refused entry to cover the last session of congress of the 2014-2018 period

24 January 2018

In Villanueva, Cortés, military police arrested leaders of the Alianza party, whose names are Norman Gamal, Zuriel Oviedo, and Javier Rubi (councillor).

Also, same place, from police and army raids of homes this day, they captured the youths Cristian Abel Amador Hernández, Wilfredo Antonio López Padilla, José Carlos Cruz Rosales, Maynor Orlando Sorto Palma, José Manuel Palma Suazo and Josué Antonio Pineda Beltrán – these together with Javier Rubí were accused of burning down a police station, and aggravated damages, use of explosive material and vandalism acts during protests against the JOH dictatorship and fraud. They were held as political prisons in ‘El Pozo’ maximum security prison in Santa Bárbara, and only on 31 January, a week later, were released as the court dismissed all charges against these protest participants, because of lack of evidence against them. Their family and friends were in joy that they were being released and anguished at the same time for what they had to go through. To date, Cofadeh human rights organisation counts approximately a thousand people who have been arrested in these protests against the fraud, and adds that the arrest also represents risk of further prosecution because they would have been profiled in the arrest process.

25 January 2018

In Bajo Aguán, a member of the Aguan Human Rights Observatory, Pedro Ulloa, was arrested when he was accompanying the march of Honduran Women’s Day. He is facing charges for several crimes. Hearing was to start on 31 January 2018.

In the central park of Tegucigalpa, council permission was denied to women artists wanting to perform there on the Honduran Women’s day. The whole city area was militarised and cordoned off presumably to stop women marching through. It was overheard that on military radio there are orders to arrested youths with faces covered at the La Olla neighbourhood. In El Hato de Enmedio in Tegucigalpa, there was heavy repression.

In San Pedro Sula, journalist Ely Vallejo was sitting at a bench on the central park near activities of the council’s taking of possession and women’s day protests – when he was suddenly harassed verbally and physically by a cop who threw food at the journalist, kicked his feet, and held his gun in a threatening way. Ely has been threatened in the past and has had to seek asylum. He is a correspondent of Radio Globo and Canal 36 and JBT Noticias.

26 January 2018

As the illegal taking of procession ceremony was to be held the next day, people massively took to the streets, concentrated especially in the cities including to blockade the ceremony of the dictatorship regime from happening. It was originally to be held in the football stadium so the multitude of people focussed their presence in the areas surrounding it, in response to which, the ceremony was moved to the Central Bank of Honduras with the stadium open for people to watch it on the big screen – something that might explain why days before the military police went to occupy this bank. So this dictatorship regime went to celebrate their imposition of power over everyone inside a bank building and broadcasted it.

In San Pedro Sula, (38th person killed by the JOH fraud regime) a youth in struggle against the fraud and dictatorship, Felipe Zelaya was fatally hit by at least one gunshot of military police during a brutal repression against a barricade this night.

There is a video on this article of Felipe when he had just been killed: http://www.lechuguinos.com/policia-honduras-asesina-joven/

In Tela, one political assassination was reported, no further information found. In Pajuiles community nearby, at 9.30pm, soldiers came and without trying to explain themselves began chasing youths on the streets and launching teargas bombs, forcing some people to flee their own homes to take refuge from the gases.

In Tegucigalpa, just as people are barricading everywhere and had caravans of cars to protest and impede the taking of possession ceremony that was to be held the next day there, military police militarised just about the whole capital city, and shuffed in with the caravans a death squad vehicle with five men inside – a white Hilux with dark windows and no numberplate. In Oriente, hundreds of young ones were in confrontation with soldiers and police. The security forces attacked people with gases. One youth was wounded in the face. Several wounded by rocks or bombs. In the Villanueva neighbourhood that has a road to Oriente, a police-military contingent attacked protests with teargas bombs, and soldiers fired gunshots and wounded a young person protesting. There was also one youth wounded in the protests in the Morazán neighbourhood. In the Kennedy neighbourhood, people including women and children were taken into police custody. In El Pedregal neighbourhood, military police also attacked people there. In the Morada neighbourhood, people were protesting on the footpaths and even then military police came and heavily repressed people – they wounded Mardin Renán Iglesias, beating him with a baton in the head – leaving him a wound that needed four stitches. The military then threatened to beat Mardin’s pregnant sister-in-law, and with coming back at 9pm. They bashed Juan Angel García Castejón, and tried to bash 18 year old 7 months pregnant Dayana Figueroa in the face – luckily she escaped the blow. Juan García aged 63 was beaten in his arms when he was going to the corner shop. People in protest were cornered in a deadend street there and surrounded by military police.

In El Progreso, ten people were reported disappeared this day. At night, journalists Dunia and Bartolo Fuentes had their home raided by motorised police. The police entered abruptly. They didn’t say why they were there, they didn’t even make up a pretext. They threatened to kidnap Dunia’s brother and threatened her children and mum pointing their weapons. One of the police there this night was Carlos Alberto Arzú, who on 1 September 2015, in another act of repression, physically abused Dunia and Dunia placed charges against him for that.

In Cayo Campo, Tocoa, army and police ambushed the CA13 highway barricade from both directions against the people of Lempira settlement in protest. People had to flee to the farms, there are two comrades captured and tortured.

People heard words that the cuartels were going to unleash the soldiers against them at 3am

In Ocotepeque, 14 people were arrested, 2 were minors.

27 January 2018

On this last day of general strike, this day of the imposition of the taking of possession of the fraudulent dictator president, and this day when Hondurans declare themselves in moving onto the next stage of struggle of insurrection.. check out this Real News video The Real News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asOb7iErcAQ that takes us to this day.

barric

In Ocotepeque, the whole of Ocotepeque, the place was converted into a war zone. All the neighbourhoods there were gased. There were confrontations between youngsters and police and soldiers – the latter firing more than 500 gunshots in total all around the city. In Sinuapa one youth was killed in these confrontations, a police had been as well. Military police attacked people’s houses directly. They arrested a number of people in protest including Denis Eduardo Enamorado Ríos, a youth Juan José Reyes Figueroa (taken by military police patrol 6318 at Plaza Miraflores), Selvin Emigdio Osorio (a minor), Jesús Isidro Lopez and Yefrin Enrique Gamoneda Ramos – Yefrin for filming the repression there. People could hear screaming that come from the inside of the police station where people were in custody.

In Ocotepeque, mass arrest of people protesting for ‘bad manners’ – 3 minors Manuel Josue Fajardo (aged 17), Edy Estuardo García (aged 17), Juan Antonio Vásquez (aged 17), Juan José Miguel Portillo (aged 22), Josue Ramirez Ramirez (aged 23), Nixon Avelardo López (23), José Carlos Herrera (20), José María Peña Trigueros (29), Fredy Ramirez (28), Edgardo Ramirez (26), Francisco Antonio López (24), Jose Luis Quintanilla (23), Julio Cesar Mejia Cribas (28), and Daniel Maldonado (19), those who are underage were released that night to their families, and others were released 8am the next day

In Tegucigalpa, thousands were in protest on the streets, distraught with the taking of possession ceremony taking place in that day, but determined to struggle. The city airs were filled with smoke, clouds of toxic gases, tyres, broken glass, blood trails, eyes reacted to the substances in the air. The gases completely filled a tunnel of the city that protesters were going through, which made it hard for them to breathe. Military police attacks all over those mobilised in opposition to the dictatorship, as they attacked people with masses of teargas, people responded with throwing stones – not only were the stones thrown back at people, but military police fired gunshots. An AFP photojournalist, Orlando Sierra, who was covering the mobilisations in Tegucigalpa, was gunshot wounded in the head through the military-police repression against the protests against the JOH dictatorship, his scalp was bleeding from the wound. Also some people got arrested by police.

In San Pedro Sula, in the Guillén neighbourhood on the 33rd street, three compañeros were captured including Henry Quinanilla, the arrestees of protest were finally released through pressure from human rights organisations.

In Danlí, Paraíso, military police arrested Raylin René Isaula Castellanos aged 17 and Duner Aviles Alonzo, accusing them of damages to public property (charges made by 101 infantry brigade.

In Bajo Aguán, farmers organised in the farmers movement MARCA began to recover possession of lands that they were dispossessed of violently by the state and private guards in 2014, as an act of rebellion against this dictatorship regime. Also in Bajo Aguan, the case against Pedro Ulloa went to court, the police prosecutors and police lied and kept changing their testimony and were using fake evidence.

28 January 2018

bryan fabricio robledo 27 jan

At night, in Hato de enmedio neighbourhood, Brayan Fabricio Robledo was participating in a protest against the JOH dictatorship when he approached the military police to say something to them and they savagely bashed him. Brayan was gravely wounded, he was taken by friends and relatives to hospital, who were terrified that he was losing his life. Luckily he did survive and began to recover.

In Comayagua, arrested in protest were Lenín Guevara, Lowing Cruz, Hector Ríos and Luís Enrique Bonilla. Police confiscated their phones and bottles with petrol. They accuse them of belonging to a delinquent gang. People gathered outside the court in solidarity with the four. There is a heavily armed military cordon in the area surrounding the court to intimidate people demanding the release of those arrested protesting.

In Jacaleapa, Danlí, Jasnery Guzman was participating in the protests, when they suffered a ‘car accident’ and was hospitalised but is recovering to continue in struggle with everyone.

In Bella Vista, there was repression against the barricade facing the 4th police station.

Arrested and released, were, Miguel Angel Gomez, Amilcar Josue Torres and Nelson Josur Zavala.

In Intibucá, National party activists arrived with police to evict people who have barricaded the La Esperanza highway.

There was a vigil held outside US embassy against the JOH dictatorship and its accomplices – there is a cordon of police and military around the US embassy threatening people.

January 29 2018

In Siguatepeque, a report was made of suspicious cars profiling and following people involved in protests, and of infiltrators in the protests, not just on this day but backdating.. the security forces are trying to terrorise people to break down this insurrectional force around the country.

30 January 2018

In Reitoca, Francisco Morazán, the Lenca indigenous people there were defending their territory and the Petacon river, in opposition to the building of the PROGRESAR hydroelectricity dam of Jack Arevalo. People were there trying to stop the company machine to protect the river. When police arrived to evict people, they came firing gunshots and teargas bombs – people were left gunshot wounded, beaten, bruised, gassed, and an out of control fire. Amongst those wounded were Mirian Osorto and Andres Gutierrez who were hospitalised and being examined.

31 January 2018

In Arizona, people defending the Jilamito river against a hydroelectricity dam company are constantly offered bribes, but people in the community never accepted such bribes as they value their waterways. The bribes are such that they are offering a back-to-school kit for every child who starts years four, five and six – locals refused it, the school principal rejected the bribe too, but they went up to the District Director of Education which accepted the bribes against the community’s will.

News leaked about the military taking orders directly from JOH dictator president

Ex-captain of Armed Forces of honduras Santos Orellano Rodríguez, told the press that right now the intelligence and counterintelligence units are being activated, that they receive direct orders from JOH. He explained that it is unofficial and nobody inside would admit it, but that the president can call anyone to give orders – from the head of intelligence, a commander, a lieutenant, to a soldier. Santos Orellano Rodríguez was himself fired for informing the press that the brother of JOH was being investigated by US DEA for drug trafficking. He exposed that all the vandalism acts and all acts of repression would have been planned by the army. Head of Army intelligence is Coronel Germán Alfaro, who has been investigated for human rights violations and for drug trafficking. He explained that the army is a hierachical organisations, and because the commanders of today are serving the president, the president becomes head of armed forces. His knowledge of what goes on inside indicates that everything has been planned – eg the sabotage against Marriot hotel – to try to create the image that it is the opposition and not the government that is damaging the country. He explained that there is a group within army that does the ‘dirty work’, which is managed by head of intelligence that gives the orders. Leaders of barricades and organisations, etc, are chosen as targets and orders are given to kill these. Smear campaign also comes from army. He has been in army 23 years, to know that the military studies points of sabotage against people – eg identify medias to attack such as Radio Progreso. He told that the Honduran army has support from the Colombian and US armies and intelligence.

 

 

 

Part 4: Honduras Coup Repeat Update 1-15 January 2018

Some backdated news that appeared later first:

Back on 1 December 2017, at the López Arellano neighbourhood barricade in Choloma Cortés where several people were assassinated in the state repression, Escarleth Potter (23) was inside her home when she heard the gunshots, in response to which she and her dad ran to the gate to close it. They had not imagined that the military police was at their gate already pointing the gun at them. A military police rudely asked her, ‘is it true that you were at the protest, daughter of a bitch?’ and without more words the military police fired four shots at the body of Escarleth. She was taken to the plundered IHSS hospital, where even six days later she had not received any medical attention. She has several bones destroyed by the gunshots.

On 13 December 2017, Movimiento Independiente Lenca de la Paz Honduras Subcoordinator Martín Gómez Vásque had only just returned to Honduras the day before after him and another comrade having been invited to Europe by Amnesty International to receive an award in recognition for their human rights defence work, when his brother Enrique Gómez Vásquez (42) and niece Reina de la Paz (4) suddenly vomited and died an hour after eating chicken and tortilla. They must have been poisoned, but the authorities have not investigated or given any statements. Martín is traumatised as is the family. He knows it is probably because he spoke up in Europe against Honduran politicians, mayors, parliamentarians, police and nationalist activists and JOH that someone must have done that, while still completely shocked and traumatised that somebody could have done that. Enrique, known as Quique was a dad to five children including Reina de la Paz. The partner is now left to care for the remaining four (aged between 2 and 10) by herself. The family lives in extreme poverty, and they are kept in the dark as to what had happened.

On 16 December 2017, Diego Daniel Aguilar of Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y Justicia (MADJ) was present as a human rights defender at a barricade at the height of Agua Tibia in la Masica when he was brutally beaten and tortured by repressive security forces. Also, during December, the homes and shops of MADJ members Silvia Flores Chacón and Oscar Alexi Guillen were raided illegally in Arizona, Atlántida.

On 20 December 2017, lawyer Priscila Alvarado who defends people arrested for protesting the fraud regime had her office raided.

On 27 December 2017, singer songwriter Nilo Espinal put on facebook that their concerts are being cancelled on them because they protest against the JOH regime.

On 28 December 2017. JOH rejected Organisation of American States’ request to send a human rights representative to investigate the human rights situation and generally rejected other such requests.

Since 29 December 2017, Carlos Díaz Avila Zelaya, better known as Ingrid, aged 52, has been disappeared. Ingrid was last seen in an action against the dictatorship in the city centre near the Finlay park. She is a stallholder with 2 stall spots in the market near the Carias bridge. She lives in Tegucigalpa, and is from Sabanagrande. Her friends have looked for her in hospitals, morgues, detention centres, and have gone to different organisations, and have not found any signs of her.

1-15 January 2018

1 January 2018

wilmer paredes

Sometimes between 8am and 8.30am this new year’s day, (32nd person killed by the JOH regime) Wilmer Paredes was riding to his mum’s home on motorcycle when he was intercepted just one block from arriving. Wilmer was shot at 13 times by killers in a grey van. Wilmer was a local youth who thoroughly impressed everyone at the local barricade with his bravery. This remarkable strength of his was unfortunately not unnoticed by nationalists who were at barricades taking photos of people and profiling them for targeting. It is known that the state had a list of the youths who are leaders in the barricades in San Juan Pueblo. Others who know they are on this list fear for their lives – more so now that Wilmer had been killed. Wilmer ended up afraid too, but there had been times like a recent time at a barricade, which had people telling a story about him over and over again about his strength.What happened was, Wilmer and others confronted a police who was trying illegally to make someone pay him, and they ended up dispossessing the police of his rifle and handcuffs, handcuffing this police and taking him to the police station handcuffed. Before Wilmer’s assassination, Wilmer and others have been persecuted and attacked for their protests against the JOH dictatorship regime – on 7 December 2017 Wilmer and others were captured and attacked by military police during an eviction against a barricade at San Pedro Sula – they were brutally beaten. Again, on 16 December 2017, Wilmer was barricading with 200 others, mostly young ones but all ages, when he was repressed together with 9 other youths. In front of everyone, they were yelled at, beaten, given tazer shocks, and pointed at with guns. They were yelled at, ‘where is your united people? Get them together fast, to make tortillas, they’d be super chilled out in their homes. Here we don’t want any trouble, slackers.’ As the agents yelled they filmed with their mobile phones. This beating, kicking, spitting, throwing sand in their eyes hair and body went for about one and a half hours. From this violence, Wilmer was bedridden for 3 days. After this, Wilmer expressed publicly that he was in fear for his life, and had stopped showing up at protests. He was constantly followed by death squad vehicles. On 29 December 2017 Wilmer sought out support from MADJ coordinator Martín Fernández to help reach out to institutions for protection. They contacted the police contact of the Inter American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) that MADJ was given for negotiating their protection measures. The police was dismissive and denied that police was involved in persecuting protesters and said he would take down reports but offered no support. They contacted the National Protection Mechanism lawyer Laura Rivera who said there is no order from IACHR to protect Wilmer Paredes so refused to help prevent Wilmer’s subsequent assassination. When Wilmer’s mum Adriana heard the gunshots outside, she wondered who was killed that new year’s day. It destroyed her to hear people scream it was her son. She touched his body still warm, but he had died.

Some of the first political prisoners for protesting this electoral fraud and dictatorship began on this day – eleven have been arrested accused of stripping naked and beating up three police agents in Pimienta, Cortés, who participated in repressing people. The authorities arbitrarily had the arrestees’ heads’ shaved against their will under custody. There is no evidence that justified their capture for this crime. They are mostly youths and had been in custody for days and were forced to go without food for days. They are charged with aggravated damages, setting on fire, other ravages and aggravated attempt against police agents. The media headlines smear them. Their names are: José Orlando Santos Ordóñez, Daniel Eduardo Santos Ordóñez, Roque Jacinto Alvarenga Corea, Lourdes Johana Gómez Núñez, Wilfredo Cáceres Sagastume, Jonathan Ricardo Perla López, Maynor Ariel Reyes Mejía, Santos Ramón Paredes Quiroz, Francisco Miguel Gómez Martínez, Melvin Mauricio Chávez Pérez and Edwin Nahún Amaya Sánchez.

3 January 2018

In the neighbourhoods El Hato, Villanueva, and El Pedregal, military police went out at night to intimidate people carrying lists of protesters.

4 January 2018

In the El Hato neighbourhood, in the earliest of hours, several military trucks have been on the highway next to the neighbourhood. In the night the soldiers abused the neighbours there, out of frustration, because El Hato has one of the strongest protest bases in the city. The soldiers invaded the homes and intimidated youths – and they also did the same in El Pedregal and Oscar Castro. People did not know if there were arrests this night.

In Choluteca, from early in the day, dozens of military police have been threatening protesters and have been repressing people at barricades, to the extent of using live gunshots against protesters and ignoring people’s screams to not to fire shots at them. The military police was under the command of Héctor Espinal, who ordered the agents to use gunshots against people. They chased and arrested people throughout the day. Five people including one minor have been arrested and charged with ‘attempt’. They included Obeth Isai Tercero Santos, Jesús Fernando Portillo Osorto, Ramón Alexis Amaya Aguirre, and Carlos Alfredo Trejo Ordoñez. All were covered in bruises and wounds. One arrestee had a forearm fractured from state violence. He asked to be taken to hospital but was ignored – so he was detained without medical attention. They were later released on bail under the pressure of lawyers. The cameraperson Kevin Castillo of Televida tried to cover the repression and arrests, but soldiers beat him in the hands with batons and in the back and stomach, forcing him to lose hold of the camera, which they threw to the ground and broke it like they hated it. If his head wasn’t covered by a motorcycle helmet, he was sure they would nave beaten him in the head too. Two of his colleagues were also beaten. The barricades and repression continued into the early hours of the next day.

5 January 2018

People in many different barricades around the country report that there are lists going around of leaders who participate in the protests. Also, police walk around with paper and pen in hand, writing down numberplates of motorcycles and cars parked at protest actions.

From 8pm hooded military police that arrived in a black pick up truck went onto repressing the neighbourhoods El Sitio and Santa Maria. They arrived to each block arresting people, searching them and barking like dogs. They forced people to get out of their cars. They held a checkpoint until almost midnight.

6 January 2018

At least 3 buses of people from Santa Bárbara going to protest in San Pedro Sula were stopped by a military police checkpoint on their way. They were stopped for a tense while.

At 10.15pm, some youths protesting at the highway that encircles Tegucigalpa were arrested.

8 January 2018

santos alvarados 9.1.18

In Montefresco neighbourhood in San Pedro Sula, (33rd person killed by the JOH fraud regime) teacher Santos Edelmiro Alvarado Córdova (53) had two armed people break into his home by force, go inside the room and shoot and kill him. Santos was an active member of the resistance, of the Libre party, and of the Copemh teachers union. His 33 year old son said he used to spend all his time with his dad, that he was such a good dad, and was there lots giving advice always. He was also a very well liked teacher by students and colleagues. Police is trying to say that while it may be related to his political involvement that it may also be related to a custody battle. Of course police and media would try to make everything look like its not political persecution.

desaparecido nery velasquez

Since this date, of the Lean community, Nery Velásquez, aged 31, has been disappeared. People saw them taken by police and went to look for them in all the police station and haven’t found Nery in any of them.

At 11pm, a heavy contingent of military police – some in cars and some standing around, surrounded the home of another teacher Geovany Martínez in intimidation. Geovany was for this election a parliamentarian candidate for Alianza.

In Lomas de Occidente and El Hospital neighbourhoods in Choluteca, uniformed national police in patrol 6314 went around brutalising at night. They carried automatic weapons and fired gunshots at unarmed people, wounded, followed, beat up and arrested people, without any judicial order. There were wounded arrestees who were denied assistance of Red Cross paramedics.

9 January 2018

For having published information about a meeting between Nationalist parliamentarian Oscar Nájera and members of Alianza party in Tocoa city, journalist Cesar Obando Flores received death threats. Cesar works as a correspondent of Radio Progreso and a TV co-presenter of the program ‘The Owners of the Hearing’ of Canal 37. He was called from the number 98518886 by someone who self-identified as Francisco Díaz, saying he wanted to talk urgently with a journalist, but then said, ‘I tell you in good faith – don’t go around publishing photos of our party or you will very see quickly what happens’. Only minutes after the call, at the park, someone came out of a car threatening him – they took a photo of him and said, ‘don’t you dare publish the photo and video, you won’t live to tell the tale’ in a threatening tone.

10 January 2017.

A number of homes have been raided in a number of neighbourhoods in Teguicgalpa. In these targeted neighbourhoods which are also strongholds with barricades and protests, people often hear between 11.30pm and 2am the sounds of dogs barking desperately, of sirens, and screams of, ‘let them go! Let them go!’.

Cesar Vindel of Alianza party was grabbed at the market, his attackers bashed him, and kidnapped him in a red toyotal Hilux.

At night, motorcyclists protested in the Centro América boulevarde, against the congress trying to impose a curfew on motorcyclists. The protest was repressed, there might have been arrests.

In Choluteca, journalist Jairo López was granted protection measures of National Mechanism of Protection, but police refused to implement these. He is a victim of threats from National Party groups, people linked with congress president Mauricio Oliva, and certain coronels of the Honduran army, and smear campaigns too.

Priest Ismael Moreno is being attacked with smear campaigns on social media that associate him with violent actions.

There was an alert in Colón, as people protested in Tocoa city and also barricaded the highway by the Guadalupe Carney community as part of the national protest actions against the JOH dictatorship regime. It was concerning that as soon as the barricade began, the security institutions had issued a report saying that ‘a group of about 100 people headed by Adolfo Cruz blocked the highway protesting in favour of ALIANZA. There were fears for the safety of the mentioned campesino leader and of all people involved in the barricade.

11 January 2017

On the second day of the above barricade of the Guadalupe Carney community, at 4am, heavy military contingents of at least 400 military agents with batons and shields closed in onto the barricade from both directions. The protest was evicted and dispersed, during which people heard soldiers mutter that human rights are trouble makers.

There are 10 environmental defenders of the Pajuiles community in Tela who have been waiting since August for the hearing. It was postponed in August, and was set for 15 January 2018, but another postponement was announced this 11 January 2018. The justification they gave was that the ombudsman had not been notified of the hearing. Dragging out the hearing process not only prolongs anxiety, but extends the vulnerability of the Mezapa river and Nombre de Diós mountain ranges that the community seeks to defend from the Hidrocep hydroelectricity company. The company is supposed to hold off building as agreed, but there are two machines up there that have been up there for three months now. The community’s clean water to bathe in and drink is very much on the line.

12 January 2017

In Tegucigalpa, thousands protested marching from the teachers’ university to the Presidential house – they felt surprised by the lack of police and military for most of the way, but when they arrived at the Presidential House and people headed for the entrance, there was a heavily armed contingent of military, military police and police who brutally and suddenly attacked people immediately ruthlessly firing gunshots with long rifles and shotguns and launching teargas. In this attack, wounded were José Luís Hernández, Victor Benítez, Ever Sierra, Alberto Alvarenga, Víctor González González (aged 17), Carlos López Ortiz (visitor), and a girl carrying a placard that said ‘Get out JOH’ – she was ambushed, held, and beaten with batons on her chin and sprayed twice by pepper gas tanks. Many were arrested – the whereabouts of some who have been held were unknown. Also attacked were the journalists César Silva and Rony Martínez of UNE TV, who despite being surrounded and cornered by soldiers who were beating them, did not stop the filming for a second, until the soldiers gravely wounded their cameraperson Pedro Amador and destroyed the camera. Soldiers also attacked journalists of TV Azteca and HCH tv channel. And Claudia Mendoza, correspondent of Primer Impacto of Univisión, was beaten by soldiers who tried to snatch from her the phone she was recording with – she was sure that the soldiers were drugged up, with the way they acted. Also attacked were journalists of TV Azteca and HCH TV. Libre parliamentarian Jari Dixon tried to intervene to stop the brutal beating by soldiers against a protester, the military responded by brutally beating him and throwing him to the ground. Ex President Zelaya also tried to get the military to calm down – they then shot teargas at him and proceeded to remove him by force. It was following this shocking repression that the nearby Marriott Hotel was then strangely unsurrounded by public nor private security and had its windows and foyer physically attacked – could be furious protesters, but could be orchestrated and carried out by state agents to then accuse protesters.

Meanwhile in Bajo Aguán, an army contingent of about 25 Xatruch heavily armed agents under the command of Hugo Coca, proceeded to arrest campesino leaders Santos Torres and Selvin Alvarado of the Gregorio Chavez farmers cooperative

While UNAH CURLA campus director Gioconda Lee and head of security Manuel de Jesús Antúnez are not facing hearings for the disappearance of university worker Donatilo Jiménez Euceda who has been disappeared since 8 April 2015, instead, Donatilo’s sister Jacqueline Jimenez and his spouse Sonia Martínez faced initial hearing this day charged with defamation for having accused Gioconda Lee and Manuel de Jesús Antúnez of the disappearance of Donatilo. The hearing continues on 31 May and 1 June 2018.

13 January 2018

In Choluteca, people in barricades were chased by repressive forces with live gunshots.

On the web live news broadcast space that journalist Cesar Silva was transmitting protests on, someone using the name of Hugo Cancino made in the commentary a death threat against Cesar.

Ever Vilmer Varela (US based Honduran) became missing – he was last seen in protest in Tegucigalpa on 12 January 2018.

14 January 2018

Military police were seen trying to appear as labourers on ladders in midnight hours, when they were still being military police, trying to get rid of evidence of gunshots on city walls to try to complement the lies FUSINA is putting out in the media saying they don’t fire gunshots at protesters.

The brothers Martín Fernández and Víctor Fernández, leaders of MADJ, and lawyers for many in social struggle, who fight for environmental and human rights would have been horrified when they saw the pictures going around in social media (including Whatsapp) that pointed to them as having contracted hitmen to murder the activist Wilmer Paredes for refusing to comply with an order to kill – not only would they never do something like that, Wilmer turned to Martín three days before he was murdered seeking his help to obtain protection through state authorities. Martín accompanied Wilmer to make the phonecalls but it was the state authorities that were unwilling to help. Martín wanted to organise somewhere safe for Wilmer to stay too, we are not sure what happened with that. Wilmer’s life was lost. Now Víctor and Martín’s are further at risk because the regime has historically followed such smear campaigns with either murder or attempts at political imprisonment. The brothers did only just meet Wilmer since the post electoral protests and recognised his leadership straight away and were very impressed by him. People of MADJ rushed to arrive on the scene when they heard something happened to Wilmer, hoping to take him to hospital, but as they arrived, realised he had died immediately after being shot. The state being complicit is very clear. Prosecutors did not come to collect evidence on the crime scene.

It is notable that Atlántida had been very heavily repressed because important highways for the economy get blocked there. A number of the murders of this dictatorship regime have been in this province.

Another journalist Ariel de Vicente is also smeared in social media, accused of generating acts of violence.

So many broken lives with the assassinations, threats, wounds, bodies imprisoned, people tortured in this regime with the imposition of power of JOH, but, of course, the media and people who don’t care about people is a lot more concerned about the broken glass windows of Hotel Marriott.

Some other news..

There was an action outside US embassy for their complicity with the JOH regime, in which people gathered a lot of rubbish and threw it all outside the US Embassy, gathering there, expressing their anger.

Another ex-police blew the whistle – Aldo Oliva, who was General Police Commissioner, spoke up about how orders of assassination of identified important persons in Honduras had come directly from the Presidential House, he said he has all the documents to prove it. Investigative journalists at the same time have been investigating the current use of death squads, and have found that today, compared to the eighties, the death squads are supplied with more sophisticated technologies and vehicles to have the capacity of carrying out killings without leaving evidence as to who did it. They also observed that people who get killed tend to have their bodies dumped in four main points of the city for all to see and be terrorised. Also that they tend to be dumped near police and military stations showing that they are either part of a police or military operation, or at least know they won’t get into trouble. A while ago another ex police Alfredo Landaverde, before being assassinated, gave declarations to the press about the death squads system. He declared that targets have included politicians, journalists, lawyers, officials, drivers, police and military with information, those who protest and organise, people with information, witnesses, etc. He said death squads can be made up of hitmen, soldiers, and police.

People have been suffering from inflation of prices, especially of eggs, and held a boycott for a week, 8-12 January, of not buying eggs to bring the price down.

27 January 2018 is the swearing in date of the dictator JOH. The week 20-27 January 2018 has been declared a general strike. To barricade everywhere. There are messages to boycott coke and pepsi, to give refuge to those seeking protection escaping persecution, to not go to church, to not pay tolls, to not do banking, not buy this or that. To participate, talk to neighbours, speak up and share about human rights violations. To not use public transport. To prepare for all the food and water each home needs for 15 days in preparation. The determination – no to dialogue with JOH, free all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience at any costs, mobilisation, and general strike.

Part 3: Honduras Coup Repeat Update 15 December 2017 to 31 December 2017

Throughout, people are blocking highways everywhere, burning tyres and stopping vehicles from passing through, with the intention of paralysing the economy and Honduran production until the JOH dictatorship regime collapses.

15 December 2017

This is especially so on major days of action like this one. It is said that on this date, starting at 6am, there were 95 barricades all around this rather small country on this coordinated day to stop it all. All barricades were repressed by the military. Of these, 7 barricades were repressed with live gunshots, 9 people were wounded by these gunshots, and 10 people had been arrested.

 

15 de diciembre

At the Guacamaya neighbourhood, Dos Caminos, Villanueva, Cortés, (19th person killed by the regime in this fraud) David Octavio Quiroz, aged 32, was participating in the blockade protesting the fraud of JOH when the military fired gunshots at the protesters. People ran fleeing gunshots at the military. David didn’t escape being shot, a gunshot went in his left arm and went diagonally through his body, inside and through his chest. He was taken to hospital but him, his family and visitors were constantly harassed by soldiers who stayed beside his hospital bed the whole time taking photos and videos against those who visited him – some of these being protest participants. It was in the midnight hours the next day that he died, his heart had stopped as a result of the gunshot wound. The hospital Mario Catarino Rivas had minimal resources because of the corruption of the JOH regime. David was a humble, responsible person, he worked as a welder and was a church leader. He was one of millions of Hondurans sick of the corruption and of the governing delinquent politicians.

At the blockade where David Octavio Quiroz was killed, at Dos Caminos, where the repression started with teargases and ended with bullets, at least eight people were wounded altogether – 3 more by gunshots and others by rocks. Those also gunshot wounded are Denis Josué Reyes (34), José Cruz Orellana López (56) and Héctor Hernández (32) – the last one was taken to hospital with David. It was one of those protest where afterwards, protesters picked up bullets around the streets to keep as evidence that soldiers were using gunshots against people.

Another place where the repression was especially brutal this night with gunshots and gases around the midnight hours was Río Blanco, in San Pedro Sula. (The 20th person killed by the regime in this fraud) Brayan Noé Mejía Gonzales, aged 26, was at this blockade, when he was killed by the military.

Other places where in the midnight hours there was very brutal repression with gunshots and gases were in Fesitranh and Juan Ramón Molina in San Pedro Sula. But many other parts of the country too.

At a barricade of a highway that links La Esperanza Intibucá to Siguatepeque, people were attacked with rocks, teargas, batons and were being chased by soldiers. To escape the persecution, people had to run into the mountains and go into hiding. For a time, nobody had seen or heard from or knows what happened to Berta Zúniga Cáceres or Salvador Zúniga, who went into hiding after being chased for a long stretch by soldiers. Berta Zúniga Cáceres is the daughter of Berta Cáceres, the well known indigenous, environmentalist, anticapitalist and feminist activist who was assassinated in March 2016, Berta the daughter had assumed her mother’s struggle and position as the coordinator of the indigenous organisation Copinh. Salvador is her dad and her mum’s ex partner and is also an indigenous leader.

In San Marcos, Ocotepeque, the authorities cut off the electricity at 6.30pm to carry out the violent eviction. Without any warning they turned up and attacked. They shot 3 teargas bombs inside a shop. People wounded and hospitalised there were: Pablo Fuentes, Angel Omar Mejía, and people gravely wounded were Buenaventura Gavarrete, José Alfredo Maldonado, and Wili Merari Serrano.

At the Jerusalén neighbourhood in La Lima, security forces repressed people, and people fled and responded throwing stones.

In Nacaome, Valle, soldiers entered homes of some protesters to try to arrest people from their homes. But people were brave and defended one another and resisted. Frustrated, police and soldiers reacted by launching teargas bombs at the homes.

In El Progreso Yoro, after taking the Los Castaños bridge, people were evicted, beaten and chased by soldiers – they captured and beat Oscar Fabricio, a youth of the Libre opposition political party.

Each thing that happened carried with it the things that happened before. At 6am, tyres were already on fire and sticks, cement bases and whatever else they could find to block the road were at the 23 de febrero neighbourhood. While the press ignored a youth who approached them speaking up about what happened there three days before, the press was busy ignoring him and covering the ‘heroic work’ that the police and soldiers were doing repressing people and removing obstacles people place on the road. What did happen three days before? 9.30pm at night people were making noise protest with cacerol dishes out on the street as another action calling on the JOH dictatorship to get out, when a group of soldiers suddenly arrived and began shooting at people who were making sounds with cacerole dishes. People then fled into their and their neighbours’ homes for refuge and soldiers continued to attack with gunshots. One home, but not the only one, had bullets hitting the door, the floor and a fan in the living room, in this tiny house that has only one bedroom and had two little girls sleeping in the living room. The little girls screamed when they heard the gunshot, yelling, papi! Mami! What is happening? Their parents ran to save and hug the children and put them in the room, while the pet animal remained in the living room hiding under a furniture to protect itself. The children live with this trauma forever having almost been killed by soldiers. The youth told the press, ‘this looks hard, but if people don’t protest, they won’t let live on the streets, and then we will live under a dictatorship for the rest of our lives.’

At another neighbourhood, 21 de febrero in Tegucigalpa, it was about 11am, the barricade there suffered heavy gassing from some 46 police agents who were there repressing. Glendy Gisell Montoya Aguilar (19) and Freddy Varela ran desperately to flee but they were being chased and ran into a dead end road, so they got caught. The police having caught them starting beating them, they beat the forearm of Glendy and pulled her by the hair and asked her if she was paid to be there, she said no, that it was their free choice to protest for their rights. Against Freddy they beat him all over until he fainted and then dragged him onto the police patrol. The two were arrested and taken to the Belén 4th police station and charged with ‘scandal on a public road’. Human rights organisation Cofadeh came to accompany these and they were finally released at 5pm.

Overall in Tegucigalpa there were many blockades to start with, but as the day developed people concentrated on three important and crucial points of their geography in this city. One of these places was El Carrizal, in which after some teargas bombs from the army side, an army truck was set on fire, after which, immediate repression followed. Soldiers accused protesters of setting the army truck on fire with a molotov bomb. Protesters said, no, it was the teargas bombs that had set it on fire. As they argued, soldiers proceeded to arrest the youths Jorge Luís Sánchez and Mario Josué Anduray. The latter was not even participating in the protest, he was just passing through going to work, with a packed lunch in his backpack. It’s never very clear who is behind such attacks on army and business structures – are they people putting these on fire in rage fearlessly because of the killings and plunder that the army carries out and conserves? Or is it the army doing it themselves to present a story and convince people they need to act with the gunshots, teargas bombs, beatings, and arrests that they do? There is photographic and witness based evidence around for example that the state security forces transport people around who carry out the looting of shops.

The other hotspots in Tegucigalpa were Villanueva and Santa Rosa. In Villanueva people resisted military repression, defending and attacking with rocks to resist and continue barricading. In Santa Rosa people received gunshots from soldiers but luckily nobody was wounded or killed there. Some barricades held ground from 6am to midday.

16 December 2017

In the 10 de enero neighbourhood in Brisas del Valle, Cofradía, San Pedro Sula, Cortés, (21th person killed by the fraud regime) Delmer Josué Medina, aged 28, was travelling in a pickup trailer when soldiers fired shots at him from their vehicles. One gunshot hit his face at the top of his nose, another in one of his legs. The people around him tried to get him medical attention, but because of shameless military intervention, they couldn’t and Delmer died. Delmer has been participating in the resistance protests.

At San Juan Pueblo, Atlántida, late at night, soldiers brutally evicted the barricade with teargas, and then as people ran to shelter in their homes, soldiers shot teargas into the homes, forcing people to then flee their homes and then chased and arrested several of those who did run outside.

TIGREs elite police unit was seen at the southern exit of Tegucigalpa repressing a barricade there. The TIGRE agents were armed with heavily weapons, teargas canisters hanging from their chest, and fire extinguishers. They are a US trained and funded police unit that was created in the name of fighting drug trafficking and organised crime, so people questioned, what are they doing there repressing protesters already repressed and beaten?

17 December 2017

In Choluteca, (22nd person killed by the fraud regime) Jarol Uriel Garcia (36), was killed. No further details are known about this killing, but we know this night in the midnight hours in Choluteca, there was repression against the protests against the fraud. Soldiers threatened people with being ‘taken off the streets’. Military police captured about 20 youths who were protesting. Some time later, some of the arrestees had been released and had gone home since, but the whereabouts of some others were then unknown. The media was blowing the protesters’ action out of proportion there – protesters burnt a tyre, and the press said protesters set a media channel on fire and burnt it down. The protest barricaded a highway that goes from the city of San Marcos de Colón to the border with Nicaragua at El Espino.

At 11pm near the Lomas del Norte neighbourhood, an 11 year old girl told her dad José Luís Borjas Lagos (41) that she felt like a soft drink so he agreed to go out looking for one with her. The only place open with soft drinks for sale in this hour was a local chicken shop so they went there. There were three youths hanging at the shop: Brayan Josué Oseguera Flores (18), Jacqueline Vanessa Flores Flores (22), and Gerson Alexander Flores Valle (25). Military police suddenly turned up at the shop and started their harrassment by asking the young people to remove the rocks that were left there by protesters – they obeyed – but the military police proceeded to search all five people there and arrested all five including the 11 year old girl arbitrarily accusing them of ‘extorsion’. They were not freed until 4pm the next day. From the time of arrest, police drove all around the capital city to display to everyone their arrests, and insulted and beat people including hitting one youth in the face. They spent 4 hours trying to placate the 11 year old in this terrorising situation. They were then held in the cells of CORE 7 until release.

Another known case is of Alejandra Saravía. Her family, mum and especially her aunt were attacked by staff of the regime – around 20 gunshots were fired at their home, guns were pointed directly at the mum and aunt. She placed this complaint on facebook and had intentions on placing formal complaints at the authorities the next day. She said if anything happens to her or her family, this regime is responsible.

18 December 2017

18 and 19 December 2017 were intense days of protest and repression, because on the 18th, the public official Gazette published JOH as the winner of the election, and on the 19th, JOH himself went out to the press to announce himself as the president re-elect.

As confrontation heightened between protesters and military police at the highway intersection barricade at the Felipe Zelaya neighbourhood in San Pedro Sula, Cortés, military police fired a gunshot into the head of (23rd person killed by the fraud regime) Cristian Fernando Hernández Yánez (24) and it was not long before he died. People around him tried to help him. Someone next to him was heard begging, ‘you can’t die, I’m your mate! Your can’t die, ..your daughter! Old man…’ The military police that killed Cristian was under the command of Coronel Oscar Reyes Paz, who in turn is under the command of JOH.

cristian fernando 2017

At the same site, which is also in front of the factory gates of Lear Factory, a white van coming through had three men come out of it and fire shots at protesters wounding a child and a pregnant woman. These three men shot repeatedly at protesters wounding several of these, and were seen later entering the Lear Factory using the same van – white Ford Escape, without realising people were observing this. The three man are identified as two other security guards of International Security Sistems company led by the parliamentarian elect Bernardo Enrique Yllescas of Alianza Patriótica party of Romeo Vásquez in Cortés, who also owns the company International Security Sistems. The security company is contracted by Lear.

The barricade near the Garífuna community Sambo Creek was violently evicted by military police using teargas, following where over 50 military police agents invaded the Sambo Creek community firing live gunshots, wounding one garífuna youth. They broke the homes to get in, and chased people without caring if someone was too old or too young to be attacked.

In Villanueva there was news going around that a six months old baby died from teargases, that the mother was carrying the baby in their arms and that they were coming from los Pinos. We don’t know if it happened for sure or not but many assassinations do happen that don’t make it into being public knowledge.

In El Hato de Enmedio, there were gunshots fired by security forces against protesters in the midnight hours. Similarly, in El Pino and in Atlántida, people had been wounded. On the eastern exit of Tegucigalpa, protests were repressed with teargas bombs, there were children choking and suffocating from the teargas.

As the broad-scale direct action of barricades everywhere was being felt, four airlines announced the cancellation of flights that day.

An anonymous testimony came out from technical staff who worked on the system for processing election results. They admitted being ordered to put a stop on the system. At the time they thought it was strange but followed the order. Subsequently they were ordered to stop updating the database and to manipulate the votes so that votes in favour of JOH suddenly and steadily increase. They were ordered, to do it, or they or their relatives would be killed, and so they carried out this order.

An anonymous youth had for participating in protests against the dictatorship received multiple death threats by hooded military police. One time he was leaving work and two soldiers stopped him. The soldiers were on a motorcycle marked ‘PM’ (stands for military police) but had no numberplate on it. They said to him, ‘son of a bitch, don’t go around on strikes, because we are going to fuck you up.’ Days before he already did notice being followed, but he ignored it. Each time he was threatened, he knew that the threats were made by the same people despite their faces being always covered, because he recognised the shape of their bodies and their way of talking. Like him, there are many others at risk of losing their lives at the hands of military and police agents.

19 december 2017

On 7 Avenida, Comayaguela, Francisco Morazán, (24th person killed by the fraud regime) Juan Carlos Flores Silva (26) was passing through the market area doing errands when he was hit by a bullet and died – soldiers were there ‘intervening’ in a case of shops being looted. Juan Carlos was a Liberal Party activist. He died in hospital

In the López Arellano neighbourhood in Choloma, Cortés, (25th person killed by the fraud regime) Katerine Nicole Bonilla (14) was participating in the road blockade at her neighbourhood when military police fired gunshots that killed her. There is a video of other youths there carrying her body. Her family is enraged. Katerine’s mother is a humble woman who worked as a school cleaner at a local public school.

Nicol asesinada.png

 

At Río Blanco Zapotal, San Pedro Sula, Cortés, (26th person killed by the fraud regime) Marlón Evelyn Mendoza Herrera (24) was travelling through the site of the blockade there when he was persecuted and shot many times with gunshots, and died. A doctor on the scene was also wounded. This is a blockade on which on the previous day people were playing football at the blockade.

In Villanueva, Cortés, people tried to occupy the police station, and police fired shots against seven people. There was a callout to help with transport.

In Villanueva, Tegucigalpa, a woman was hurt and detained. People were calling out ambulance but a cop had her under custody.

At the eastern exit of Tegucigalpa – teargas bombs were launched. People were worried about little ones affected by the gases.

On the other side of a Honduras/El Salvador border at El Poy, people of the Movimiento Popular de Resistencia – 12 de Octubre (MPR-12) blocked the passage for 3 hours in solidarity with the Honduran people against the JOH fraud imposition. Many Honduras approached to express their gratefulness for the gesture and to also protest and chant together in an act without borders. Honduran soldiers and police on the other hand didn’t dare cross the borderline with all the rocks thrown in their direction, but Honduran security forces did launch teargas across the border at them.

In Cofradía, Cortés, soldiers were attacking people inside their own homes.

For the suspected burning of the military truck back on 15.12.17 in El Carrizal, Tegucigalpa, the Honduran state suddenly issued a capture order against Eduardo Enrique Urbina Ayala – but human rights organisation Cofadeh refuted any possibility of his involvement because he had come to Cofadeh on 10.12.17 to report on the persecution he was suffering related to his student activism at UNAH, and was advised to exile and put on an international bus the same day to flee from Honduras because of the level of danger he was in.

At the 105 Brigade of San Pedro Sula, there was an emergency meeting involving JOH and Chambers of Industries of Cortés, in which the resolution was to repress protesters at all costs, and orders were given then and there to assassinate.

20 December 2017

In Choluteca, soldiers were firing live gunshots at protesters. A protester was filming this for a minute when the soldier saw them doing that and went to knock over the camera and attack the cameraperson. There is also video footage from this date showing soldiers firing gunshots at protesters in Río Blanco, San Pedro Sula. And there were photos going around showing police transport, let off and pick up people who loot the shops, who are infiltrators.

In the Centroamerica Oeste neighbourhood, Fernando Madrid and Bryan Gutiérrez were arrested.

In Comayagua, security forces attacked protests with teargas, hurting a woman and child.

21 December 2017

At the Cuyamel River at Sambo Creek, Garífuna community leader Luís Enrique Garcia, an ex-president of the neighbourhood and member of Libre party, was at 8pm attempted against.

22 December 2017

FUSINA security force not only assassinates people, but it charges people, and was from this date offering money in exchange for information about protesters, playing on the hunger that the same government had generated in people.

23 December 2017

Amidst all this judicial persecution with invented charges, a couple more people were charged, Johnny Andrés Salgado Fuentes, charged with ‘undue use of police uniform’, and Gustavo Adolfo Cáceres Amaya, charged with carrying explosives of material of war or of combat. Hearings began 27 December 2017.

24 December 2017

In Peña Blanca, Cortés, (27th person killed by this fraud regime) Walter Daniel Lemus Ramirez (38) was at his road stall stand close to his home selling merchandise and listening to music of the Libre party this Christmas Eve and had resolved to not head home until he had sold all the produce, when at 8pm, two people on a motorcycle shot at him without saying anything. As Walter realised that he was wounded he ran to his home to ask his partner, Nely del Carmen Gómez, for help. Seeing what had happened to her partner, she ran out onto the street to scream for help – it was frightening especially because the street was very quiet and no cars or taxies were passing. Within minutes though, someone did pass in a van and reversed to answer her call for help and take Walter to the clinic. Having been given the lift, he was able to walk into the hospital. Nely pleaded for the doctors to not let him die, to please do something, but Walter told her, ‘leave it, it’s in the hands of the doctors now.´ It seemed that they did restrain from treating him and let him die. He was admitted in the Santa Cecilia clinic with a gunshot on the right side of the body, and died hours after being admitted. Nely had to leave the home as it was too painful to live with the memories that the house is associated with, and of the promises left hanging, with the blood of her partner spilled about there – there was a trail from the stall stand to the house of his blood. She was annoyed at him for putting on Libre music when it was Christmas, something that would have made him a target. That and his Libre flags – he had one in the workshop and another on the motorbike he rode. Nely went to the workshop the next day and saw footprints of someone having had been there, who must have pulled the flag from its place because it appeared to have been thrown onto the ground. Walter leaves behind his partner, a 13 year old daughter and a 6 year old son.

26 December

This ‘boxing day’ was a day of ‘casual assassinations’, casual, in that they did obviously happen in relation to the protests, but they were not so openly blatant as people in uniforms having fired the shots in plain view.

In the Toronjal neighbourhood in La Ceiba, Atlántida, (28th person killed by this fraud regime) Julio Alexander Funez Rodriguez (22) was on his motorcycle on the highway, where there are some blockades against JOH, when an unidentified person (according to La Prensa) riding a motorcycle fired gunshots at him and killed him. Julio was a law student.

julio alexander funez

At Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, at 4pm, (29th and 30th persons killed by this fraud regime) Héctor Napoleón Guevara (30) , known by his friends as ‘Teto’ and another youth with him – name unreported, who had both participated at the antifraud protests locally, were riding together on a motorcycle on his way to ‘Vega del Perico’ where he goes everyday to look after cattle, when both were shot at. Their bodies were found with gunshot wounds (Héctor had one in the head), as well as stab wounds in the neck and face. Héctor’s friends said he was someone who was very loving, a good friend, a good dad, and a dedicated uni student. At age 30, he worked with cattle and had always identified with the social struggles within his community. He was involved in the highway blockades against the fraud that the community had self organised.

hector

It was also informed that at Aldea Los Naranjos, in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, the compa – name unpublished – (31st person killed by this fraud regime) who organised the blockades in the area was similarly ‘casually assassinated’.

27 December 2017

On both 26 and 27 December 2017, there were many cases of raids against homes in the municipality of Pimienta in the province of Cortés – from these raids, 14 people had been arrested and accused of various crimes. From these, 11 were sent to prison, while 3 were given bail. Another raid was in El Progreso, Yoro, where 5 were arrested and accused of robbery, damages, and starting a fire. The right wing newspaper, La Tribuna published a headline article entitled ‘Torturers of police, burners of police stations, also fallen there are looters of shops’, criminalising and smearing names of protesters and trying to make people think they ‘deserved’ to be arrested.

28 December 2017

Another raid by a heavy police contingent was reported to have occurred in the morning hours in the neighbourhood ‘Victor F. Ardón’. They invaded a home in the name of searching for ‘burnt tyres’ and grabbed three youths. They handcuffed these, and afterwards, simply said it turned out that they got the wrong neighbourhood and home, let these go and left without any apologies or explanations. The police go around in this neighbourhood asking for information about people who ‘burn tyres’, like police have done in many other neighbourhoods.

Elsewhere, police chased people who, outraged by the regime’s killing of 3 minors, had set on fire a police station – it is also said that police captured suspects as well suspected of having captured and stripped naked police that were repressing people.

Having been widely accused of assassinations in these dates, military police went out on missions to buy people back by bringing a truckload of nacatamales and coffee onto the street – traditional christmas food in Honduras. They had people line up and receive food from them in two neighbourhoods in Tegucigalpa; one near the university hospital and another a crematorium.

29 December 2017

Persecution with captures and intentions to capture continued:

Kevin Cubas (student), Poleth Cubas (student) and two other youths were captured.

In Gualala, Santa Bárbara, three youths of 3 different communities there were being persecuted by plain clothes soldiers and hooded persons for having protested against the fraud on 15 December 2017. Without any judicial order, these agents wanted to invade their homes. On the desk of the secretary of the National Congress there is a list of people to be captured in the following days that includes the coordinator of MAS social movement and human rights defender in Santa Bárbara.

And, the JOH regime just fired 135 Cobra cops for participating in the strike against the repression and for better salaries.

30 December 2017

A new judge in the southern region, Iris Amanda Hernández, who had only arrived in the region just before the 26 November 2017 election, and who is constantly protected by a contingent of military and navy force, on this date issued eviction notices on fifteen families who have lived for over 30 years on different beaches on the Exposición Island that is within Zacate Grande Amapala, Valle. This is for tourism development, she stated, and that people had to vacate by end of January. People put two and two together and knew by ‘tourism development’, she meant ‘model cities’. People are being displaced, and the island is being handed over to the Suazo Tomé family. Families in other parts of Zacate Grande, an area where families have been defending the territory for decades against dispossession by the ultra rich and by mega projects, they know it is only a matter of time until all of Zacate Grande would be evicted. People are having assemblies and organising to defend their territory.

31 December 2017

The 11 arrestees were officially made political prisoners, as a further hearing was had this date, and the judge had decided to imprison these. Ultimately, for participating in anti-fraud protests.

On these days…

As well as insurrectionary direct action blocking major highways of the country and spectacularly setting tyres on fire, people have organised collections of food items for families of assassinated and wounded people fighting the fraud for christmas. Different neighbourhoods have organised curfew concerts to gather outside and play and listen to protest music and sing and dance in defiance of the curfews. There was a national cacerolazo (noise protest involving the banging of cacerole dishes), at midnight of Christmas. There was a campaign publicising JOH’s different personal and less personal phone numbers for people to call from public phones to ‘congratulate him on winning the election’. And, to say goodbye to the old year, people from many different parts of Honduras made giant puppets of JOH and burnt these as they counted the seconds to the new year.

And an update about disappearance the disappearance of Manuel de Jesús Bautista on 3 December 2017

Previously, it was published here that

Manuel de Jesús Bautista (22) was last seen detained with two comrades by military agents. They were captured after participating in a highway barricade. He is from Naco, Cortés. Manuel is disappeared.

…Manuel continues to be disappeared and his brother and family are in pain not knowing what had happened to him, without any closure as to if he is dead or alive. When Manuel and 3 other youths were arrested they were captured for being out and about ‘in violation of the curfew’. They were all very brutally beaten and were not allowed to speak. They had teargas sprayed in their faces. One of the people Manuel was arrested with was a relative of his, so they know he was beaten at least almost to death. When the others had been released at first they were so traumatised they were not able to articulate anything. It was the next day that they spoke about the beating, and how they couldn’t see much because their faces were so full of blood. One said he saw the soldiers shoot at Manuel from a car and took away his body. Manuel’s family had in pain gone around looking for him in registries of police stations, morgues, hospitals, clinics, military buildings, but he is not registered anywhere, and military police also did not confirm having arrested and held him.

Honduras Coup Repeat Update 26 November 2017 to 14 December 2017

Honduras Coup Repeat Update 26 November 2017 to 14 December 2017

The presidential election in Honduras took place on 26 November 2017, and the counting was supposed to be finished and winner was meant to be announced about 9pm that night. Instead, the last regular announcement updating vote counting results was after midnight when 68.4% of votes were counted; the Electoral Commissioner Marcos Ramiro Lobo Rosales declared to the press that the tendency was irreversible. That last update of who would be the next president was 45.4% to the candidate Salvador Nasralla of the Alliance of Opposition Against Dictatorship, followed by 40.6% the illegal re-election candidate Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) of the National Party, and then 13.77% to Luís Zelaya of the Liberal Party. At this point, Nasralla at 5 points ahead and confirmed irreversible trend, and announced he won. Luís Zelaya recognised that Nasralla won and asked JOH to accept defeat. Somehow, being 5 points behind, instead of insisting he could still win, JOH also announced and celebrated that he had won. A further detail is that JOH should not have been in the running for this election in the first place because of laws against re-election that is not within the power of the congress to change.

Then, people heard that the Electoral Commissioner Lobo Rosales was getting death threats and seeking protection, as well as being threatened with suspension from his position, and from that time people stopped hearing updates of the vote count. So people waited, a large number celebrated Nasralla’s win, to for once break out of the biparty system, and to have someone there whose promises align more – for example to end plans of model cities, to construct a new alternative economic model and revert privatisations. Everything was in slow motion and each hour that passed of silence from the Electoral Commission and authorities not proclaiming who won confirmed more than the last that an electoral fraud was being cooked up.

Demonstrations against the fraud began the next day, on 27 November 2017, and by 30 November 2017 when there was suddenly an official update of the count (saying 94.31% of votes were counted and that JOH was ahead at 42.92% to Nasralla 41.92%), many were outraged by the manipulation and there were spontaneously barricades of highways and bridges all around Honduras. People placed tyres on barricades and set them on fire just about everywhere, and plazas all around were filled with people, screaming ‘Fuera JOH!’ (get out, JOH!).

A brief recap on the election day prior to all the counting

Signs of electoral fraud were already coming in from all the angles. There are many cases where people complained that they turned up to vote only to be turned away being told that they had already voted, that someone had used their name and ID to vote already. There are, like in past years, reports that thousands of dead persons have voted (prior demands to clean up the rolls had been ignored). People reported seeing full ballot boxes being dropped into voting schools (in the case of Alfonzo Guillen Zelaya School near El Pedregal). There were reports in Santa Cruz that there were more vote count documents at the centre than there were boxes so spares could be used to write fake information and swap documents behind closed doors. Nationalists tried to steal ballot boxes in the Torocagua neighbourhood only to be stopped by opposition activists. Voters at El Pericón Tutule were searched by police and soldiers to stop campesinos and indigenous people who have capture orders against them for their environmental activism from voting. There was an instance of 6 heavily armed men going inside the voting centre of Arturo Quezada, Comayaguela, furious about the Alliance winning, and their being there intimidated people who wanted to observe the count. At Instituto España Jesús Milla Selva, the nationalist president of the table took photos of voters and filmed the list of voters, and responded to people protesting this by calling on a shock group, which only calmed down when Organisation of American States international observers turned up. Another mob intimidated the election observing delegation La Voz de los de Abajo with verbal attacks. The delegation La Voz de los de Abajo documented coercion from activist police, things being given away in exchange for votes. There were mobile phones being given away by nationalists in exchange for votes. Journalists of community radio in Zacate Grande were told they were not allowed to be at voting centre; not to report, and not to send food to comrades working at the elections. The community radio had early in the month been intimidated and spied on by the navy. At the José Santos Guardiola school, people saw that Nationalists are voting twice each. The sale of election credentials were spotted in San Antonio Villa Comayagua. There were voting tables without stamps so the votes may not get counted. These were some of the reports. Before the election, the staff at the National Registry of Persons RNP revealed that they saw National Party officials go into the office as the staff finished their work days. They belief that they had gone in these nights to fill out the vote count tables.

27 November 2017

At 7.20pm, there were celebrations of the Alliance of winning the election. Yudy Karina Obando Ponce and her family were driving home with an flag, some Alliance banners, and a photo of Alliance leader Juan Barahona in the car making visible that they were activists of the Alliance. As they were driving through a man stood beside their car, seeing what was inside he tried to stop the car and others with him started surrounding, kicking and bashing the car. They threw a flag pole at her daughter who was filming, hitting her on the left shoulder, and they tried to punch Yudy as well, but she moved quickly to avoid the punch.

28 November 2017

At 3 pm from UNE TV channel building, journalists Jorge Alberto Estrada Baca and Leisy Johana Flores Gáleas saw that at the building site in front of the channel building, there were snipers there pointing their gun towards the channel building and behind them was another individual with a shotgun and some long distance binoculars. The two were just 3 days before followed by two people on a motorcycle, who pulled out and pointed a weapon at them.

29 November 2017

By now protests are building up, especially outside INFOP – the department where votes were being processed inside. On this day at 11.30pm, police began repressing people flooding the area and surrounding suburbs with teargas. Someone was hospitalised with convulsions from the gases. When it was almost midnight, journalists Cesar Silva and Mauricio Rivera who had been there monitoring continuously saw that national and international press and observers were arbitrarily evicted from the votes digitalisation centre. The area was also increasingly militarised, as more military tanks, riot police, police and soldiers appeared.

30 November 2017

This is the date when barricades around Honduras became widespread. It is also when the military began openly killing people in the crowd. In La Ceiba City, at the bridge about Danto River, (1st person killed by the regime in this fraud) José Abilio Soto was part of a group of protesters that blocked vehicles from passing through there, barricading the bridge, when soldiers fired gunshots, which hit and killed José Abilio Soto.

Outside INFOP, at 1pm, a security contingent arrived on the scene attacking protesters outside INFOP and protesters gathered around nearby areas – and repressed using gunshots and teargas and throwing rocks. José Francisco Valladares (28) was gunshot wounded in the right leg and taken to hospital, Mario Reynaldo Betanco (45) was gravely wounded by a rock a soldier threw at his head. A police woman and military officer Sánchez were also injured by stones thrown, and another soldier fainted from the gases their own contingent had covered the area with. A second round of repression came late at night when ex president Manuel Zelaya and president elect Salvador Nasralla came on the scene to accompany the protest and knock on the door of INFOP. Police started firing teargases, which also entered the warehouse where the ballot boxes were, obligating elections observers to leave and leave the ballot boxes unattended. Some infiltrators were identified within the crowds.

Police patrols began randomly picking up and arresting children and youths and accusing them of aggravated robbery out of the blue. They did this to Róger Teruel (28) and at least two other children this night. And others were arrested accused of other things. All taken into custody. Another arrestee was Oslin Josúe Soto Godoy who was taken in for four hours before being released to the international delegation La Voz de los de Abajo.

Around Miraflores in Tegucigalpa, at 3.35pm, repressive forces attacked the place and people with teargases. People reported there were infiltrated persons and some intelligence analysts profiling individuals in the crowd.

Repression was also reported at barricades at La Democracia bridge in El Progreso, in Yoro, and in Lima, Cortés. In Olanchito too, where one person was wounded. There are direct action, major demos and barricades in fourteen of the eighteen provinces in Honduras by this date.

At a protest in another part of Tegucigalpa, in El Pedregal, military police also shot live gunshots that hit and gravely wounded people. At least Arnold Flores (24) and Daniel Isacc Suazo Varela (12) were gunshot wounded, and there seemed to be another who wasn’t identified. Arnold was at the antifraud protest, ‘We were protesting against all the injustices that are seen in our country, for a clean democracy, for a Honduras of peace, free of bloodshed and for all the persons who are at a time when they can’t go out to the street to raise their voice…,’ Arnold explained that the struggle is also for all those people who lives in a similar or worse condition that what he lives in, and for those over 3000 people who died because of the lack of due medical attention because of the IHSS corruption scandal who can’t anymore raise their voices. Arnold described how different military groups were surrounding protesters and coming in from different routes, so protesters tried to split and go in different directions to deflect the repression, as soldiers chased people with batons and shields and weapons and damaged local structures and roofs of local shops and pharmacies. People ran and sought refuge in nearby houses. Arnold was just under three metres from a refuge house when soldiers started shooting at people. Arnold heard the shots and felt cramps in his two legs and the next thing he knew was that he collapsed, so he clambered back to the refuge, where he looked down and felt heat in his legs and saw he was bleeding a massive amount of blood. He panicked and started yelling for help, yelling that he did not want to die, nor for his legs to be cut off, he fainted a few times. Arnold recalled a woman helping him, tying bandages around his legs tightly to control the bleeding. His friends from this house took him and Daniel to hospital. His fears turned out to be very realistic. The gunshot went through his two legs, and broke the biggest artery of his body.

‘Where I live, 3 years ago, a kid was shot there and the kid was only alive for five minutes, and died, he lost too much blood. So the danger with this artery is lethal, the doctors and specialists had seen me, they had said that I am alive by miracle…the doctor when she came to treat me, she says that when she saw me in emergency, the first thing that she said was, ‘ayyy poor thing the kid has lost his legs’ but see, God had the last word and it didn’t end this way.’ Arnold will be seeking justice, for himself and for everyone.

12 year old Daniel was there as he was on his way home from playing soccer.

1 December 2017

A curfew that was for ten nights was announced to start at 11pm until 6am this first night and 6pm-6am for the following nights. They said it is imposed to ‘establish order’. During the curfew, armed forces soldiers and security forces are given absolute power on the streets to commit abuses and with a few official exceptions, nobody is allowed to be out on the streets, where they would be arrested, beaten up or killed. The cities and towns were completely militarised. Banks, shopping centres, and many shops were closed. Tegucigalpa was like a ghost city with drivers filling tanks and police zombies around outside, but there are some resistance groups gathered in places, blocking roads, lighting tyres on fire, being alive in those moment and risking their lives. Before the curfew, at 9am, in San Manuel Cortés, people burnt highway tollbooths that they have always wanted to.

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Just as the curfew started this night and the barricade at the bridge above the Danto river, where José Abilio Soto was shot dead the previous night, had not dispersed, soldiers turned up firing shots, hitting (2nd person killed by the regime during this fraud) José Fernando Melgar (16) who fell off the bridge and died as people were taking him to the hospital.

Also just minutes after the curfew started, in the Tegucigalpa neighbourhood Residencial Honduras, 19 years old (3rd person killed by the regime during this fraud) Kimberly Dayana Fonseca Santamaría went out to look for her brother, not knowing he was at his girlfriend´s home, and as she was passing through where people were protesting, soldiers opened fire into the crowd and shot and killed Kimberly. In this same scene and place and time, taxi driver (4th person killed by the regime during this fraud) Denis Mauricio Oseguera was gunshot wounded, and died in hospital.

In Choloma, Cortés, in the López Arellano neighbourhood, military police opened fire against the barricade, (5th person killed by the regime during this fraud) José David Ramos Lambert (22), (6th person killed by the regime during this fraud) Roger Alberto Vásquez Reyes (35), and (7th person killed by the regime during this fraud) Victor Evelio Martínez Alvarez (23), and (8th person killed by the regime during this fraud) one other unidentified person were hit by these gunshots and died. José’s dad said he was not participating in the protest and was just passing through, and added that very close by at the same time at this protest there were some shops being looted which the military police knew about, that but their absolute priority at this time was firing gunshots at protesters who blocked a road.

When Roger Arias Cárcamo (47) was walking through the bridge Puente de Chile in Tegucigalpa at 3pm, police arrested him, beat him in the head with batons and kicked him in the back as they threw him into the police patrol. The names of the police that beat him are Héctor Rivera and Hernández. He had to go to hospital after that.

The regime absolutely did not want journalists reporting on their killing sprees. So, a few things happened.. cameraperson David Matute of Marte TV was filming the protests when he was attacked by a security agent. He screamed that he was a Marte TV cameraperson, and the agent went, well where is your clearly visible journalist badge? And Telesur cameraperson Antonio Torres accompanied his colleague to immigration department to seek an extension to her stay in Honduras, when some people approached them aggressively for being in the office with camera equipment. He explained that they were from international press. Antonio learnt afterwards that the aggressors were retired army officers.

On this date, some of the documented arrestees were, Roger Osmar Teruel Martinez (28), Angel Velasquez (14), Michael Alexis Lemus (16) .. there were many more though.

2 December 2017

On this second day of curfews, people said, ‘if they stop Honduras from 6pm to 6am, we will do that from 6am to 6pm #GranParoNacionalHn’, with barricades to make sure they can forget ‘business as usual’. The curfews were in place to evict barricades, and people did what they could during curfews – some protested outside during curfew bravely disobeying knowing their lives are on the line, and there was a coordinated effort to make noise protest using casserole dishes (cacerolazo) from inside the homes everyone with screams and beating of pots and pans this night. As well as the noise made collectively, outside, gunshots of repression are heard.

In Comayaguela in the Santa Eduviges neighbourhood, after a day of work delivering bread, high school student Yimi Hernández Mendoza (22) was near a cornershop having some donuts and soft drinks with some relatives, amongst some noise and fire cracker protests, when a group of soldiers and military police opened fire at a group of protesters, and a projectile of the security forces hit Yimi’s face, lodging itself in his left eye causing him to lose vision in that eye. There were also projectiles that lodged into his left waist and right side that had to be surgically removed.

Around the same place and time, 13 year old William Joel Almendárez Cortés was accompanying some chanting of the protests from his front porch, and was also hit and wounded by the security forces’ gunshots in the neck.

After wounding these two, soldiers went to trace their footsteps to pick up any bullets they shot to hide evidence. Relatives of Yimi managed to keep one before they got them though, to use as evidence. The bullet shows that the soldiers and military police were using high calibre weapons that could be R15 or R16. The bullets also hit a home and one was incrusted into the wall.

At the protests near the uni (UNAH) of students, 15 year old Ericson Ariel Pérez Rosales was participating in the students’ mobilisation, when UNAH security guards wounded him by gunshots. As the UNAH private security guards started to shoot, they tried to look like they were shooting in the air and not at people, but Ericson’s left leg was not in the air when it was shot, he was hospitalised in the children’s hospital.

This day there was a total of about 20 who were wounded in the protests. In San Pedro Sula, at night time, 3 were gunshot wounded in a confrontation with military police.

More than 100 were arrested this day in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba, many for ‘acts of vandalism’. Jorge Izaguirre and Francisco Duarte were two of the many arrested this day by cops, and people did not know where they were being taken to. Generally there is panic, when friends and family got arrested, where they were being taken to and what would happen to them. In Cortés, people were blocking a highway of Cofradía when the military arrested 29 people including one woman, and were held in a military building of Tercer Batallón de Infantería. In Copán, a highway blockade was evicted at 3am, state repressive forces arrested 17 including 3 minors, for ‘violating the curfew’.

The repression of protests this day were recorded in Miraflroes, El Hato, Yoro, Arena Blanca, Las Minas, La Guacamaya, Balsamo, Agua Blanca, Santa Rita and Santa Cruz de Yojoa. People who protested inside their homes in the coordinated cacerolazo (noise protests hitting pots and pans in the kitchen), were not safe either, military police went around the neighbourhoods Miraflores, San Angel, Kennedy, Pedregal, Los Llanos, Las Vegas, etc, and launched and aimed teargas bombs and peppergas sprays to inside the homes that were participating in this noise protest during the curfew.

3 December 2017

This night, again at 9pm there was a coordinated effort to from homes yell all at once, ‘Get out JOH’. It was yet another date with many assassinations.

(9th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Erick Javier Montoya Cruz (27), was going to the cornershop in his neighbourhood where protests were going on during the curfewPaseo los Laureles, in Comayaguela, when at 9.20pm, five motorised military police patrols repressed protesters there firing shots. He was hit with two gunshots – one in the side of his body, and another in his abdomen. Erick was taken to hospital but died there. He was a law student at UNAH. His grandma María asked him not to go out saying it was dangerous, but he insisted. He comes from a family of 13 and he was going to not get married and focus on providing for this family. His mother died 4 years ago and his grandma became the mum of the family and she called Erick her son. ‘I didn’t see what happened.. since he went to the corner shop, I sent people to look for him, as it was bedtime, but they didn’t find him, then, they came to tell me that he was down, not sure if beaten or shot, and when I came, to where Eric fell, he was already there face down.. I felt like dying to see my son (dying)…my daughter asked the 2 ambulances because they – the military police – had two with them, and their response was to say – and for what, if this one has already died?’ So a friend took them to hospital but at arrival, Erick died. They live in a gated neighbourhood ‘Francisco Morazán’, on the day of the noise protest, the gate was closed because the protesters felt the presence of military police, but the military police shot at the lock to open it and entered the neighbourhood. María in her 6 decades of life, has never before seen such a violent scenario. Where there are orders to kill whoever is wandering the street. At the entrance, is the writing on the wall ‘get out JOH’ and the image of struggle – Francisco Morazán, with the idea that, ‘if the present is struggle, the future is ours.’

(10th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Raúl Antonio Triminio Sisnado (35) was participating in a noise protest and road block in his neighbourhood – Villanueva Sector 7 – when military police drove in in a police patrol with lights switched off – to drive in without the protesters seeing them coming. On arrival the patrol fired shots at this group of 20 that protested during the curfew. A gunshot hit the head of Raúl, who died in hospital.

(11th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Eduardo Rubén Rivera who is from the same neighbourhood – Villanueva Sector 7 – had been chased. He was outside during the curfew as he was looking for his brother. He had received death threats in for some time now. It has not been identified who had chased him, but his body was very beaten up, and it appeared from the release paperwork he had that he had been in custody. He was a bus driver.

(12th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Mauricio Jonatan Echeverría, aged 29, and (13th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Michael Jair Ponce Sauceda, aged 15, were both killed in the neighbourhood López Arellano in Choloma, Cortés.

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Manuel de Jesús Bautista was last seen detained with two comrades by military agents. They were captured after participating in a highway barricade. He is from Naco, Cortés. Manuel is disappeared.

In Río Tinto Catacamas Olancho, 2 cops died on duty during the curfew. Some police and COBRA police (but not all), had organised and participated in a strike – announced 5 December 2017, from carrying out repression against people protesting the electoral fraud as well as demanding better pay, that is why mostly, the military police and soldiers are repressing. For the boycott, some police are being persecuted by elements of the state. And on this topic, an army sergeant appeared to have committed suicide with a gunshot in the head, holding a gun and a beer, around 13.12.17.

4 December 2017

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In Agua Blanca Sur, El Progreso, Yoro, 15 years old (13th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Yareth Gonzales was checking out what was happening in the protest – a road blockade against the fraud, when police arrived firing shots against protesters, and a shot hit Yareth in the head killing the teenager.

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In Olanchito, the dead body of 32 years old (14th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Arnold Fernando Serrano Moncada was found in La Pradera in Las Vegas neighbourhood. Arnold had participated in various protests of the Alianza de Oposición contra la Dictadura. He received death threats on 2.12.17.

21 years old Raúl Humberto Brizuela Reyes (15th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Colonia López Arellano, Choloma, Cortés

In Azacualpa, Santa Bárbara, when there was a protest at 7pm, a military commando arrived from the Pinalejo Infantry Battalion, and on arrival began to shoot at and chase protesters and fired shots at a car full of people – three people were gunshot wounded inside – Bayron Aguilar Romero aged 23, shot in his right leg, Valeria Cristel Espinoza, aged 19, Bayron’s spouse, shot in the right gluteal, and Josué Castañeda Aguilar, aged 19, shot in the eyelid of his left eye.

In Barrio La Plazuela, in a home where protesters have taken refuge from the repression, six military police forced open the gate and searched the home and stayed inside the house for 5 minutes and 15 minutes on the footpath just outside to terrorise people.

Instead of limiting their stays, the JOH regime had come to refuse entry to and deport international journalists. On this day at the airport, the regime held 3 such journalists for over 24 hours – all freelancers – Reed Lindsay from US, Fahema Abdel Hafiz Sokaika from Great Britain, and Deward Philip Augustin from New Zealand. On 5.12.17, they were officially told that they were being deported by the same airline that they came to Honduras in. The pretext given was that they were being deported because their next destination was Cuba.

Cofadeh human rights organisation tallied that between 30 November 2017 and 4 December 2017, on top of the assassinations – many of which had many witnesses that they were killed by gunshots of the Honduran military, military police or police, there were 51 wounded – 7 gravely wounded, and 844 arrestees – many accused of breaking the curfew, 148 of ‘aggravated robbery’, 3 of terrorism.

5 December 2017

Many ignored the curfew this day, asserting that it was unconstitutional. Some police (1000 of Cobra forces, 12000 of police) have announced their strike. JOH announced more bonuses and benefits to try to talk some of those police out of the strike. There were however this day, two killed and two wounded.

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(16th person killed by this regime during this fraud) 43 years old Jesús de María Sánchez Euceda was going out to buy things at the supermarket for her family In Satélite, San Pedro Sula, when there were gunshots fired that hit her at a protest where police had pulled out their guns.

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(17th person killed by this regime during this fraud) 37 years old Set Jonathan Araujo Andino’s body was found, dumped, hands and feet tied together, he had been strangled and tortured and killed. Set participated in some major protests on 3 and 5 December in the Flor del Campo neighbourhood. He seems to have been kidnapped on his way home after the protest and tortured and assassinated.

At 7pm, as Juan Carlos Perdomo Reyes (45), was gathered with others in the street prior to the cacerolazo noise protest that was at 9pm, police, having been persecuting him, came out of nowhere, and fired shots against him. Juan Carlos was shot in the back, and has been operated on in the hospital.

At 9pm, in the Guadalupe neighbourhood, a youth, Andrés Contreras, was going home after participating in a noise protest / cacerolazo, when he was ambushed by three hooded military police agents. He tried to escaped but they pointed weapons and captured him and in this time drove him from one place to another and kept hitting him with weapons. The patrol was reinforced with three more agents as they continued to bash him and threatened him with killing him if they saw him again in the street. Andrés noticed the helicopters that have been flying in the sky in Tegucigalpa since before the election that have been flying even lower in the last nights that the police must be using to watch people and identify targets.

In the Panamá community in Bajo Aguán where campesinxs are camped, at 3.30pm, a military contingent approached the group that keeps watch at the campesino camp and began throwing rocks at whoever was at the camp. Only minutes later, the contingent – about 60 soldiers and Dinant security guards, began to shoot live gunshots at whoever was there, announcing that they had an order to kill. While shooting at people they burnt people’s things – clothes, pantry goods, pots and pans, homes, etc. They chased anyone there firing gunshots and teargas bombs against the community, leaving no air for people to breathe, affecting children and an old woman, and wounding three youths in their attack. Hours later, 100 soldiers came surrounding the community searching for the leaders of the campesino settlements and captured two campesinos, the soldiers tortured them, but hours later the pair managed to escape.

6 December 2017

In Tegucigalpa, in a number of different neighbourhoods, at least 28 had been wounded – some by stabbing, some by fire arms, others by batons) by police during protests on this day. The 28 include 4 minors who have been gunshot wounded and were taken into the children’s hospital.

In Barrio Morazán, at 5am, military police beat up and terrorised people who lived there. They, with hoods over their faces, captured a number of youths and took them to unidentified places where they kicked them and beat them with rifles.

In Atlántida, in Arizona and San Juan Masica, protests were repressed in the morning.

7 December 2017

This day, curfew had been lifted for 9 of 18 provinces decreed with a state of siege, amongst those that continue to have curfews every night are Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.

At 4am, a group of people barricaded the highway that goes from Tegucigalpa to Olancho to protest the fraud. As they were setting up and had the first tyres set on fire, a white 3.0 and a grey frontier vehicle arrived carrying 3 and 4 people arrived. One of those people looked for Guadalupe Avila particularly and tried to kill her, but fell over a tyre and broke a foot. Then someone else from one of the cars shot at her and a bullet hit her right arm. Guadalupe was taken to hospital, ‘look at the situation we are living in this country. Its dangerous but we keep fighting, against the injustice, against the neoliberal model… we visited the provinces and municipalities in the country, we see that it is grave, the situation we live in, we are against this, so of course we have to protest, because this is the only solution, it’s now or never.’

In Olancho, protests were attacked massively with teargas and gunshots. A newborn was endangered by the teargas, and a pregnant woman was gunshot wounded in her belly by soldiers.

In San Juan Pueblo and Lean, state security agents raided the homes of villagers and members of MADJ – Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y Justicia – and in these raids, they destroyed belongings. Their pretext for the raids was that they were ‘searching for weapons that people would be using in the barricades and public protests against the fraud. Since 30.11.17, there had been brutal repressions against protests in the region with military and police shooting live gunshots against people.

Many were arrested this day, many taken to military installations. Attacking the looting had been the excuse used for the repression against the protests.

In the midst of such obvious attacks against human rights, the US Trump administration made a preliminary announcement that it wishes to certify Honduras’ progress in human rights – if this is approved by US congress committees, this certification would ensure Honduras receives millions of US dollars of funds that are conditional on progress in human rights and corruption. It sounds ridiculous that this certification could be considered, but such is global politics. Human rights certificates become simple creative writing exercises with no references to the lived reality.

8 December 2017

Military police and cobras police force raided the Torogoces finca in San Juan Pueblo in Atlántida – the finca is a place used by MADJ (Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y Justicia) for its members’ workshops and meetings. As the repressive forces raided, they searched for MADJ general coordinator Martín Fernández. Neighbours in the area said that in the days before, there had been military police around asking people about Martín’s whereabouts. There is a long history of persecution against Martín; in 2013 he was arrested by police for his environmental defence work, the agents who arrested him were later found guilty of illegal arrest against him. In 2016 army had raided the same finca and made death threats against him calling in live on community radio Radio Dignidad (run by MADJ). Martín has Inter American Commission of Human Rights ordered protection measures like many other leaders in the area. He had this August been beaten and had his nose injured by people paid by hydroelectricity dam company Hidrocep, for his involvement in organising against the damming of the Mezapa river.

10 December 2017

At midnight, Radio Progreso in Tegucigalpa abruptly went off air while broadcasting about the protests going on there. Two days before, two Conatel (Honduran Commission of Telecommunications) came to the building, claiming that they had to have a look at the radio’s frequency. When they were asked to sign the visitors’ book, they refused. The radio’s technical team investigated why it went off air and saw that their tower and transmission antenna had collapsed, and can only conclude that it was a planned sabotage linked to Conatel which would have made cuts. It’s worth adding that when the curfew was announced, it was also announced that Conatel is empowered by the police and army to suspend any media, that do not ‘adjust their programming according to the present dispositions.’

11 December 2017

(18th person killed by this regime during this fraud) Lesman Anibal Cárcamo Bonilla, aged 18, in Morazán, Yoro

Ocotepeque residents blockaded the Panamericana highway, which connects Honduras with El Salvador and Guatemala. Police arrived to ‘recover order’. Police subcommissioner gave orders to teargas people and threatened human rights defenders there of organisation DEOCODERH. He threatened Néstor Zelaya, saying, ‘much of this shit is yours, i don’t know what you are doing with human rights, since here nothing has anything to do with human rights.’ Others who have received threats were Dr Luz Mata, Pedro Pinto, Marcos Chacón, Oscar Cáceres and Gerardo who had his flags snatched from his car by the police.

In Choluteca, people self-organised a highway barricade on the exit of San Marcos de Colón in Choluteca. Police responded opening fire at people and capturing arbitrarily and loaded onto the police vehicle Melvin Alexander Rodríguez Alvarez and Javier Eduardo Laínez López. People protested the pair being arrested yelling for the two not to be taken, and throwing things. The police brutally beat up the pair, and then from patrol 3397, police fired shots against the multitude. Their gunshots hit a number of cars, including the cars of the journalists Juan Gabriel Mendoza and Nilda Sosa, who are correspondents for Canal 11, who were present covering the protests.

In Nacaome, Valle, people barricaded a highway towards the border going to El Salvador. The military responded evicting these aggressively, wounding Efraín Domínguez fracturing his arm, and arrested him and ten others including three minors: Wilmer Adán Meléndez (16), Oscar Adonis Flores (17), Oscar Alvares (17), Óscar Mejía (18), Wilmer Manuel Meza (23), Jair Peralta (26), David Antonio Velázquez (26), Juan Flores (27), Noe Alexander Flores (29) y Hermes Roney Valdez (33). All were retained for about 24 hours. While in custody, Efraín was refused medical attention.

In Intibucá, protests were attacked with gunshots by state forces.

In San Lorenzo city, community journalist Neptalí Rubí (28), who was covering the protests for Telesur Canal 33, was filming when soldiers captured and arrested him and charged him with ‘disorderly conduct’ arbitrarily. This was the second time he had been arrested – the first was during the curfews of the 2009 military coup, when he was going home from school where he worked as a teacher.

12 December 2017

In Guaymas, where people from the villages Buena Vista, El Negrito and Yoro barricaded a highway that connects El Progreso with Tela, a contingent of 300 police and military evicted these attacking with an exaggerated amount of teargas bombs, live gunshots, tanks and batons against people who live in the area. One person was bullet wounded but luckily the wound was skin deep. A number of people were beaten. Fourteen people were arrested including minors and three women. The contingent shot teargas bombs into the interior of the homes and invaded homes to beat the people inside and arrest them. In at least one case they dragged out a whole family from inside their home. There was a arrested youth who had a baby a few months old that is only breastfed who was not allowed to take the baby with her when she was taken into custody. Human rights defenders and doctors who came asking to see the arrestees were not let in. Dr Francisco was forced to delete photos that he took of police brutality on his phone. All arrestees were released that night through pressure from lawyers. During the repression, some people were about to take off the police a teargas bomb launcher.

A group of Copinh indigenous organisation (whose coordinator was the now assassinated Berta Caceres) were travelling in a bus and car to join in the antifraud protests, when they were stopped by the military. They stopped the bus and retained the car of Berta Caceres’ daughter, Berta Zúniga Caceres, who was told that they can go to the protest on foot, but that they won’t get the car back. Against the people on the Copinh bus, they were all forced to show their Ids and the police took photos of the Ids.

Burning and looting?

The regime and the media that props up the regime say that it is because of all the burning (tyres at blockades) and looting (eg of big shops) that it has to impose the curfew and the repression that involves gunshot, while they had obviously prioritised their repression using gunshots and brutality for those at barricades and those holding protests during hours of curfews. In the systematic way, it is the JOH regime that has been burning and looting Honduras and people have had enough. There are also people pointing out that some of the actions taken of vandalism against structures of the army and regime and Honduran elites’ businesses were actually carried out not by people in struggle but by the regime themselves to justify to the public their repressive actions – but the regime’s concept is ridiculous either ways, that because there are people taking things out of shops, or even managing to burn a military vehicle, that gunshots killing people in barricades are then justified. The real reason why they are shooting people is that so many groups of people all over Honduras are taking direct action and barricading roads and highways that have been effective in stopping business as usual in Honduras, and they are trying to terrorise people into submission but people are connected and the grief only builds on the rage.

Some of the local commentators said:

‘Almost a spontaneous general strike around the country. Highway blocks. Not from the party that just gets votes but doesn’t defend them, it is the people… every hour more towns neighbourhoods, etc.. more bridges and highways paralysed. There’s knowledge that this is the only way. Can’t trust international observers nor OAS nor UN nor US. OAS even threatened Nasralla with charges when he criticised OAS. OAS had never for one moment denounced fraude.’

‘Don’t be mistaken. All this (resistance) is not because Salvador is the best candidate that Honduras has had, or because we all adore him and are in agreement with everything that he does or says, nor because he is our elected president . This is happening through Honduras and through us, the honduran people that is sick of being downtrodden. This happens because the assassinations of innocent people, because of the femicides, because of the environment defenders, for our indigenous people, for our lands, because of the IHSS embezzlement, because of the privatisation of public services, because of the model cities, and mainly, because of that over 60% of our population lives in poverty ‘

To be continued…

15 December was a National Stop Day, and it won’t be the end of this either. A summary for this day is: 95 barricades in different points of this little country Honduras, 7 barricades were repressed with live gunshots, 9 wounded by these gunshots – 2 were assassinated, 10 were arrested

Part 3 is next.