June 2019 Honduras Coup Update
28 June 2019 is the 10 years anniversary date of the atrocious military coup in Honduras. Throughout June 2019, the strike and barricades of the education and healthcare sectors that began at the end of April 2019 continued, accompanied by the heavy cargo transport sector, paralysing the highways across the country and drying out petrol and electricity, driving into desperation the JOH (Juan Orlando Hernández – second term president by electoral fraud in 2017) dictatorship regime; this regime which only wants to keep privatising and repressing. This desperation translated into severe repression where gunshots were fired in many barricades on different dates and places wounding and on several occasions killing protesters.
1 June 2019
In Colón, in Guadalupe Carney, the campesino communities have a very long history of land struggle, recuperating land that had been occupied first by US military, and subsequently by palm giants. There, the protest in struggle for education and healthcare was heavily militarised including with low flying military helicopters and state security forces attacked and evicted the communities with gunshots, beatings and teargases, wounding several there. Ezequiel Urrea Sagastumen (aged 58) was gunshot wounded. When Jairo Leonel Hernández Ramírez (aged 24), Merlin Ignacio Hernández Hernández (aged 19), Snaider Cruz and Lilian Urrea went to help Ezequiel after he was shot, police threw three teargas bombs at them to impede them. Others wounded were Jorge Sorto Portillo (aged 15), William Aron Ruíz Zanches with a fractured right hand (aged 8), Edwin Manuel Morales, human rights defender Pedro Ulloa with a rock launched into his right arm, and Pedro’s son Obed Ulloa, who the soldiers bashed and snatched his notebook and mobile phone. Pedro and his son had already been recently attacked in repression before this. The police and military also damaged people’s cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. In addition, campesino leader Adolfo Cruz’s family home was raided and death threats were given to him and his family. People observed that not only Honduran police and military forces were there repressing them but also Israeli and Colombian paramilitary, serving the business interests of the region: Standard Fruit, and palm oil companies of Dinant, René Morales and Reinaldo Canales. Despite the high level of repression, people continued the barricade and struggle.
Also in the Colón region in Sabá, late in the evening, people barricading a major road there as part of the strike were viciously attacked. Military and police gave an eviction threat and afterwards shot gunshots, at the bodies.
In Danlí, the police repression was also heavy. People wounded and beaten up included Kevin Josue Ortiz Sevilla, Miriam Guerrero, and some human rights observers there.
From the healthcare sector, IHSS social security workers, who are 5300, announced they will join in the strike on Monday.
2 June 2019
From the day before, the repression in Guadalupe Carney in Colón further intensified as the police in their massive attacks against people, managed to lose a gun on that day before and had returned this next day to arbitrarily raid all the homes, to ‘find the gun’. The air-level intimidation also intensified with several police and military helicopters and small planes of Standard Fruit hovering over and firing gunshots from the air terrorising the communities. These hovering helicopters landed on the community’s football field that morning. Once on the ground, the police, military and paramilitary people chased people and fired gunshots towards them as they chased. The repression only stopped at about 5pm.
In San Pedro Sula, trees fell in front of the Multiplaza shopping centre due to heavy rains and electric storm, causing congestion in the area near the shopping centre. People commented that this is nature participating in the national strike!
3 June 2019
In La Paz, the teachers, healthcare workers and youths of La Paz and Comayagua barricaded the CA5 highway to La Paz and were attacked brutally by a contingent of 300-400 agents who arrived in 6 commandos, 12 police patrols, and 2 military trucks. The agents attacked those barricading with beatings, rubberbullets, teargas bombs and stone launcher, and arrested several youths. Amongst the people beaten up, fractured and affected by gases was the San José village school principal whose left arm was fractured from the police brutality. Many fled repression by running into the forest or under the bridge. Having fled frantically, some people don’t know where some others were, and were stressed that something may have happened to them.
In Tegucigalpa, near the teaching university UPNFM, there was repression against the mobilisation with tear gas bombs and rubber bullets. Nurse Karen Díaz was hit by rubber bullets shot by soldiers at her in the chest and in the face where she suffered a deep open wound. Karen only realised she had been wounded in the face when she felt her shirt blood drenched and started to feel pain in her chest and she also felt heat and burning in her face and felt a tooth move. Karen said she will keep fighting. She was strong and stayed on her feet when wounded and asked her daughter to take a photo of the injuries to keep evidence of the attack.
Heavy storms caused damages to the infrastructure of schools in Tegucigalpa and surrounds. For these to be fixed, for teachers´ rights to be respected, and for quality free education are some of the things the strike is fighting for.
There were also highway barricades at Cerro de Hula, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, and in Siguatepeque where people also spelt Get out JOH with lots of clothes on the highway. People also occupied the Roatán International Airport on the Bay Islands in protest.
There was talk about teachers having signed onto a negotiation; those who are in struggle have not signed anything because to have done so was to have sold out, because the regime is not agreeing to all the demands, and are bribing leaders to sign agreements. There were some who have sold out but they do not represent people who continued and continue the barricades.
On this date, political prisoner Romel Valdemar Herrera Portillo was transferred from Tamara prison to La Tolva maximum security prison in El Paraíso.
4 June 2019
In Colón, in Sabá, the community barricaded the bridge over Aguán river. Military and police attacked the barricade firing gunshots, chasing and arresting anyone they could. Three people were gravely wounded from the military and police attacks, including a minor named Jonatan from the Montefresco neighbourhood, and a man named Ronco.
Also in Colón, in Guapinol, Tocoa, the people’s barricade was invaded by police and military forces which arrived firing gunshots, and chasing people to their homes in their community and into palm plantations. Some people have been wounded. Many are at risk. Some were lost to their loved ones for a long time. People were worried about possible deaths.
In Atlántida, Tela, the protests were being violently repressed by the police. About 11pm, journalist Leonardo Guevara was covering the repression for Radio Progreso and the head of police Mario Alexander Oliviera responded to his reporting by trying to snatch his microphone and mobile phone while other police attacked him with teargas. Leonardo held onto his phone and microphone good and left the area. As another bolt of repression was being unleashed Leonardo began to record that and another police tried once again to take his mobile and microphone off him from behind, but they also didn’t manage to. Ironically, Alexander Oliviera is the police assigned to be protecting Leonardo as a persecuted journalist, and was not supposed to be persecuting him.
In San Pedro Sula, in Rio Blanco, the young people of the community were in protest when police opened gunfire against these and chased and hunted them down.
At the protests in Cortés, in the La Paz neighbourhood in Lima, police arrested four people including one child aged 12.
In Zambrano/Durazno, police arbitrarily arrested and beat up student Edgar Noe Acosta Ortega (20), who was to be released 6am the next day.
In Tegucigalpa, masses of people were in mobilisation, including intern patients of the HEU teaching hospital who joined the people outside. Near the ENEE state energy company building, police threw teargas bombs and arrested four youths: Emerson Cruz, Jorge Andrés Torres Martínez, Sergio Daniel Juárez Flores and Cristofer Nolasco, and locked them up at the Kennedy police station. At the mobilisation a large group of at least 50 infiltrators carrying weapons arrived in three cars when the mobilisation was in UNAH, and attacked the international correspondent of Hispan TV Dasaev Aguilar, who threw his camera off a bridge destroying it. At this point, the mobilisation dispersed to regroup later.
5 June 2019
In the midst of massive insurrectionary movements in Honduras with these traffic stopping strikes, over 300 US marines of the Special Purpose Marine Aero Ground Task Force of the South Comando arrived in Honduras. Their pretext was ‘to train regional forces to deal with natural disasters’.
In Atlantida, Tela: the protest was being repressed, and Wilson Adonay Alvarenga of Jilamito, Arizona, was passing through when he was targetted by police. Wilson was hurt and hospitalised for days at Mario Catarino Rivas hospital.
In Tocoa, people in protest and in land recuperation struggles were being threatened with eviction by the presence of many tanks.
In La Lima, there were barricades that paralysed transport there. There were also actions in San Pedro Sula, assemblies in many provinces, and in Mosquitia, enraged people in land struggle burnt down the government building of Gracias a Dios in the Puerto Lempira municipality.
6 June 2019
In San Pedro Sula, outraged people took the risky action of setting some 50 vehicles of the privatised electricity company EEH on fire.
In La Paz, Marcala, students occupied the 21 de octubre school building, and were threatened with that if they didn’t vacate, they would be charged.
The political prisoner Rommel Valdemar Herrera was hugged by his dad for the first time after his arrest six days before, when he appeared in court this day and was given a little time of contact with loved ones. His friends and compas placed pressure on the courts in solidarity with him outside the court. His next hearing date was 24 June 2019.
8 June 2019
In Guapinol in Tocoa, in Colón, the community that had for many months upheld resistance against mining companies in defense of the Guapinol river was raided by military police without a court order to do so. The military police force arrested a youth named Marlon Figueroa, along with other youths. Their families fear for the lives of the arrested youths. It turned out that they were released that night, but not without threatening them first, saying that what had happened was only to give them a glimpse of what can happen to them for their persistance in defending the rivers.
People have long known that the JOH regime contracts staff of its political party and obligates these to turn up to protests in support of the JOH regime. Now the shamelessness had gone further as to send these government staff to plant trees for public relations sake, while the regime’s ally industries burn forests.
9 June 2019
Hedman Alas bus company announced that buses were going to be cancelled the next day because of protest roadblocks.
10 June 2019
in Intibucá, a group of school students aged 9-13 were participating in the protests when a group of national party activists accompanied by police and military agents attacked them, yelling ‘kill them!’ and humiliating, abusing, threatening them and was going to arrest them. Salvador Zuniga the founder of Cinph Indigenous Grassroots Power Coordinator intervened immediately to defend the school children when the group then responded attacking Salvador throwing punches at him and tearing the shirt he had on.
In Danlí, people barricaded the highway exit for El Paraíso.
In Choluteca, in El Estadio, youths put up barricades and were attacked and chased by four police patrols.
12 June 2019
In Tegucigalpa, a group of human rights defenders began a hunger strike on 10 June 2019 demanding freedom of all political prisoners. In the midnight hours on 12 June 2019 a group of attackers arrived where the hunger strikers had set up, and proceeded to break the sticks and tubes of the tent where the hunger strikers sheltered, and tore up any fabric, knots and wires that sustained the structure. While those on hunger strike felt threatened and are sure their attackers are sent by the JOH government, they had people trying to repair the tent, and moved to refuge in the Copemh teachers union building, and continued with strength and determination, on their hunger strike.
In Tegucigalpa, during the day, people again protested at the Toncontín International airport. Police attacked, beat up and chased people, amongst the people attacked was teaching student Paola Pineda who was ganged up against by a dozen police. One police grabbed her by the hair and another said, ‘grab this daughter of a bitch and beat her up’, ‘why would you do that?’ Paola protested, and the police said smugly, ‘because I wanna’, and took her things and physically and verbally attacked her and tried to arbitrarily arrest her over several minutes. ‘Let her go!’ people around Paola yelled. Journalists of C-Libre, UNE TV and Notifides who tried to cover this ended up attacked by police as well. There was a total of four arrestees from the Toncontín repression, including Alejandro José Zepeda, aged 19, and Edy Orlando Zuniga, aged 22. The four were released hours later. At this mobilisation, also the teachers union president of COLPEDAGOGOSH, Edwin Hernández spoke up about threats and persecution from state security forces, and shortly after that, people spoke about having seen him being approached by unidentified men near the airport, and not seeing him since, and of having called him and his not answering. People were concerned he may have been disappeared.
In El Hato in Tegucigalpa that night, people set up a barricade with a pile of tyres on fire stopping traffic and burning the fire of revolution, with a large banner saying, NO TO DICTATORSHIP.
In Choluteca where people have for many months held protests twice a week against the JOH dictatorship and constantly resist severe repression, people barricaded the Pan American highway and were attacked by police. Metro TV reported that there were arrests and disappearances; Angélica María Galos, a teenager who was filming the police when a woman police snatched her mobile phone and tried to push her into a vehicle, and as she struggled free, police shot her with firearms and presumably wounded her, at that point three hooded men appeared and kidnapped her. Angélica María Galos was disappeared.
In Danlí, in the night, as people of Nueva Esperanza and Cofradía neighbourhoods protested, they were repressed with public security forces’ gunshots. The agents proceeded to chase them to their homes, launching teargas bombs to their backs as they chased.
There were also barricades reported over the San Juan River in Atlántida, as well as in Choloma, Cortés.
In this volatile context, of Valle de Siria in Francisco Morazán, environmentalist leader Santos Isidro ‘Chilo’ aged 40, left home on motorcycle to go to his work as a security guard at Alma Latina High School. When Chilo didn’t come home his spouse became worried and people began to look for him and found him gravely wounded with three gunshots in the chest and abdomen and signs of torture were seen on his body. Chilo subsequently died in hospital. Chilo was a spokesperson for CAVS – Valle de Siria Environmentalist Committee, that has opposed mining in the area for 20 years, in a place internationally known for the shocking health impact the Entremares open pit mining had caused people who lived there. CAVS has received threats for opposing the projects San Ignacio I, II, and III and for defending the Playa river – they fight because new mining projects would further damage the area already heavily destroyed by Entremares open pit mine.
13 June 2019
In Villanueva, Cortés, from early in the morning, people barricaded at the traffic lights towards San Manuel Cortés. When police evicted them with teargas bombs, people including unionists and teachers started to set up tyres and light fires on them on the CA5 highway to blockade the ways to Tegucigalpa and to San Pedro Sula. Police attacked people with teargas bombs and people determined not to be evicted responded with stones. Police called on reinforcements and minutes later a group of plain clothes police were arriving and launched masses of teargas bombs forcing protesters to back into roads of nearby neighbourhoods. Police with bullet proof vests, helmets and riot shields chased and pushed people and kept hitting them with gas. Police also fired gunshots at protesters, one gunshot hit teacher José Ramón Salina in the back. José was critically wounded and was struggling for his life. It did not finish there, around 200 soldiers and police went onto chasing young people to their homes’ doors, ready to assault the homes and hunt down the youths. Later, thankfully, news came from José’s colleagues that he was stable.
In San Pedro Sula, teachers and students were in protest as well.
In the 6 de mayo community in Santa Barbara, teachers and parents held a protest demanding free access to quality healthcare and education. Suddenly, a contingent of military police and riot cops arrived and pulled out their guns firing shots and shooting teargas bombs at protesters and chasing them. One teacher and uni student being chased and bashed and sprayed with peppergas was 28 years old Bayron Roberto Rodríguez. ‘(Don’t hurt me), I am a teacher,’ he pleaded, and ‘they told me that I was nobody, and they kept bashing me.’ He ran and was practically pushed into the river. His compas rescued him. Afterwards, he said, ‘I appeared in a river, and a muchacho took me to the clinic, they said I had concussion, and I forgot afterwards what happened.’ As well as being hurt, he was in a lot of shock and the doctors helped stabilise him. Byron had red marks all over the body from where he had been hit. In addition, he had received some psychological beatings and is tormented by nightmares and bad memories and fear. On the other hand, he had felt very warmly the solidarity of his compas, family, friends and human rights defenders who have all been a huge support. Byron himself finds atrocious the conditions of the school where he teaches, with the roof, fences, entrance and bathrooms all in desperate need to be repaired. It is just wrong how neglected the education and healthcare sectors are. Byron feels strongly the importance of fighting for the common good, and not for some political party. Byron reflects back to the time when the coup started, 10 years ago in 2009, him and his compas were graduating from their teacher training then. They were ‘products’ of the coup, he felt, and now he falls victim to its repression.
Byron was by far the only person hurt in the repression of this day. Many went into hiding running from gunshots and teargases. Many were affected by teargases. A youth named Erick Zerón was arrested – people were worried not knowing which police station he was being taken to. Many more were hurt, but they did not speak up out of fear.
14 June 2019
In Tegucigalpa, Ruy Díaz and Wilton Gómez continued their hunger strike at the Copemh teachers union building demanding freedom for the political prisoners Edwin Espinal, Raúl Alvarez, Gustavo Cáceres and Rommel Valdemar, and there was another attack. This time three men on a dark pick up truck tried to take the tent, but the security of Copemh saw this and intervened quickly. Ruy and Wilton’s lives are at risk.
In Choluteca, people organised a large mobilisation, barricade, and truckdrivers helped make the barricade even stronger by parking a truck across the highway. Frustrated police chief Roberth Nahin Nuñez threatened to burn businesses like petrol stations and houses of protesters. Police contingent proceeded to chase protesters and ended up launching teargas bombs inside a petrol station. Petrol station employee and fire safety delegate Ariel Baquedano was wounded with burns from the two teargas bombs launched by police – his leg caught fire.
In Villanueva, Cortés, the people organised a barricade which was savagely repressed by police, with teachers beaten up, wounded, and suffocated with teargas and peppergas. Those in struggle didn’t call it a day though, they regrouped and mobilised towards San Pedro Sula.
In Francisco Morazán, at the Panamerican highway, people barricaded the turnoff for Reitoca. Police attacked people on the barricade with teargas bombs, affecting many including children and elderly people.
There was also a barricade in Atlántida.
And in this heated context, another assassination. Indigenous Tolupan ex leader Miriam Mercedes Burgos was killed, in the Jicaritos village in Cuyamapa.
15 June 2019
In Atlántida, teachers and community members of Arizona and Esparta barricaded the CA-13 highway barricaded at the Ramón Fiallos bridge over Lean river.
A preliminary report was released by local human rights organisation Cofadeh of the repression between the second week of May until 9 June 2019. It gave the following overview: 42 protests and 136 points of protests had been repressed by state forces in 11 provinces in Honduras. There has been reports of infiltation by parapolice-paramilitary. 4 dead by firearms. 33 wounded by rubberbullets and other objects. 36 beaten. 3 tortured. 48 illegal detentions. 32 death threats. 1 political prisoner.
16 June 2019
Heavy cargo transport workers have already been part of this strike, but on this date, they announced a national level strike. Their demands: renewal of operation permits, as well as joining in with actions in defence of health and education sectors.
In Tegucigalpa, where Ruy and Wilton continued their hunger strike inside the Copemh teachers union building, just after midnight, a group of unidentified people arrived in a truck and started to knock loudly on the doors in intimidation. They sounded as if they were done, but after a short silence, they were heard hammering over a long time. The next morning people saw a motorcycle parked there of numberplate MPA3833 at the gate of Copemh. Police patrol PN631 then took this motorcycle.
Late this late, people observed and shared and warned others that the regime had transported and placed war equipment along the CA-5 highway for repression.
17 June 2019
In Tegucigalpa, uni students of UNAH began indefinite occupation of their campus as part of the strike for education and healthcare. Repressive forces threw teargases to inside the campus, especially affecting where there is an experimental children’s education centre, with small children inside receiving the classes, inside the campus.
In Colón, communities barricaded roads in Corocito, Bonito Oriental, and Guadalupe Carney community, Trujillo.
In Choluteca, people barricaded roads and in this afternoon, military police arrested six protesters. They seemed to have been released the day after under pressure of human rights defenders.
18 June 2019
It’s a day of actions and barricades organised by people in just about everywhere – Tegucigalpa, Cortés, Yoro, Atlántida, Copán, Santa Babara, Boulevard San Lorenzo of Valle, CA5 entrance to Tegucigalpa blocked with heavy cargo trucks, the front of the Las Cascadas Mall in Tegucigalpa, highways of Colón. And on top of that, you have the trucks of the heavy cargo transport workers. In the Olancho province, it was confirmed that the petrol stations in most of the province was left without petrol, with some having a little and being forced to ration out – an impressive result of weeks of constant barricades between Juticalpa and Catacamas by those in struggle. Similarly, many petrol stations in Tegucigalpa the capital city had run out of petrol with some that have some rationing, up to US$10 worth of petrol per vehicle. But, action, reaction, lots and high intensity of both.
The Cobras specialist police force had decided to go on strike. But while Cobras are not repressing, many military police are.
At the Quebrada Seca bridge in Yoro, people barricaded the bridge and there were also protests in the Las Minas and La Sarrosa villages where people blocked the paths towards Santa Rita. State security forces repressed with a lot of teargases and a lot of arrests. The teargases inundated including the Berlin health centre and some homes in the area, where babies rushed from their homes to emergency included one that was one month old and another about 5 months old. The health centre had children and adults inside including women giving birth who were affected by the teargas. The seven arrestees from the Quebrada Seca repression were Fernando Betancourt (34), Jerson Gustavo Araon (28), Cristian Rodríguez (26), Osman Romero (47), Julio Chacón (37), Marvin Bonilla (54), and Tomás Guzmán. Plus two arrestees from Las Minas village Lucas Cárdenas (37) and Jorge Espinoza.
In the Atlántida province, on the CA-13 highway, people organised simultaneously at least 10 barricades, including on the bridge above Dante river, in Jutiapa, and in La Ceiba, in Pajuiles and Toyos, where people blocked roads burning tyres, and a Coca Cola vehicle was used to block the road. Some bus companies like Transportes Mirna decided to suspend their operations for now with the highways blocked. In Jutiapa, in the midnight hours, where people were protesting and barricading and stopping traffic, the driver of a vehicle that was blocked came out of the car and fired gunshots at barricade participants – from this round of gunshots, Eliud Orellana and another compa (name unpublished) were hospitalised and died in hospital, and another two were wounded.
In San Pedro Sula, at the Mario Catarino Rivas hospital, in the context of the struggle for free and quality healthcare and education, people spoke up that the hospital’s conditions are such that two patients are placed per hospital bed. Meanwhile, in Choloma, ‘public transport’ workers also joined the strike, protesting highly dangerous work conditions, their colleagues, a driver Melvin Joel Medina Benavides, and his helper ‘El Flaco’, were doing their last round in Lopez Arellano neighbourhood, when two people who had boarded the bus pulled out their weapons and shot both of them dead, and fled. El Flaco will be remembered by his relos and ex classmates, as a guy who is ‘calm, happy and a good friend’. Melvin will be remembered as friendly and polite with a timid smile that won the trust of those around him.
In Colón, there were barricades in Tocoa, in the Cayo Campo community and in the Prieta community. In Cayo Campo police and soldiers were firing live bullets at protesters. In Prieta, police evicted protesters in the mid morning.
19 June 2019
Petrol continues to be scarce in cities like Tegucigalpa and Olancho. Heavy cargo transport workers have been on strike since Monday. There are again barricades all over, in Tegucigalpa on the eastern exit, and at many different points of the CA5 that connects Tegucigalpa (the political capital), with San Pedro Sula (the industrial capital), and to the ports of the north and south coasts, as well as on the Panamericana highway in Valle, and on the highway between Tegucigalpa and Choluteca in the south where heavy trucks parked across the highway. That night, in El Hato, Tegucigalpa, the fiery image stuck – tyres on fire in the night, and a banner in front, ‘This is the moment. Get out JOH’. It was hot. It was, it is, the moment.
The Tigres police squad joined the Cobra special forces in announcing their strike of ‘fallen arms’, in protest for their own rights and also saying that they disagreed with repressing the protests. However one evaluates this situation, and even with some armed confrontation between the forces on strike and those upholding the status quo, there was still heavy and bloody repression by national and military police (with a squad of 7500) against people in protest unleashed this date. So around Tegucigalpa, there were confrontation between the police/special forces at the police buildings in the Kennedy neighbourhood and in the Belén neighbourhood and others and people heard gunshots and teargas bombs in these buildings. The military police in turn assaulted the Cobras police cartel. No spokespeople were on the news telling people what was happening. Noticing what is happening around there, people spontaneously started to barricade bridges, streets and highways and were repressed by national and military police forces. In the last hour of this day, in the midst of all these, mysteriously, six officiers of the presidential honour guard were arrested at JOH’s home and taken prisoners.
From the Kennedy neighbourhood protests in Tegucigalpa, Luis Enrique Maldonado, aged 29, was attacked by gunshots of the military police during the protest, one gunshot hit his head. He was gravely wounded, taken to Hospital Escuela where neurosurgery specialists tried to save his life and couldn’t. He was killed.
From the El Pedregal neighbourhood protests also in Tegucigalpa, Erik Peralta, aged 38, was participating in the protest when he was stabbed by soldiers and assassinated.
This extreme repression in Tegucigalpa was all carried out in the late evening hours by the military police – Cobra and Tigre police forces on strike did not appear then to defend people. At least 11 (some reports say 25) others were wounded by gunshots and taken to emergency and surgery departments in the hospitals of Tegucigalpa, and at least 20 wounded overall of all injury types from the repression. Most of the people hurt participated in the protests, others were passing through. One was working at someone’s house doing some landscaping and received a gunshot in his abdomen. Another was going to drop someone near a petrol station and seeing how protesters just holding up their barricade and not attacking were attacked with gunshots when he himself was then suddenly hit with 50-60 gunshots in the arms, head, back and leg. He observed that police was using non police cars to try to make it look like that attacks were not by police.
Earlier that day, apparently some Cobra police arrested and locked up two police infiltrators in the protests when they were in a corner making calls. And at 5.15pm, near the Finlay park in the city centre, police repressed the protest with gas and at least 10 police agents beat up Roberto Ismael Núñez Castellanos (36) and hit his back with a rubber bullet. They arrested him and accused him of ‘public scandal’. Roberto was lcoked up in El Manchén police station and released the next morning. He is a micro business person who supports social struggles, and who wants the country to be free of dictatorships, for his children, for his partner.
In Ciudad Nueva in Choluteca, employee of telephone company Claro, Iván Elías Palma, aged 19, was going to work when he yelled ‘get out JOH’ and was arrested for that. The police dispossessed him of two mobile phones and the keys to his motorcycle!
20 June 2019
It’s another day with barricades all over. To name some, in Ocotepeque, people burnt tyres and barricaded highways at the borders of the country with El Salvador, – El Poy, and with Guatemala – Aguacalientes. People also barricaded the highway that links Tegucigalpa with Nicaragua – Las Manos, and felt tremendous joy and resistance at the barricade. In El Paraíso, people barricaded the highway towards Danlí in the morning. Heavy cargo transport workers were on strike barricading the Cortés port, facing a heavy contingent of police and soldiers ready to repress late at night, anxious about the stopped petrol tanks. Meanwhile, some police maintain their ‘fallen guns’ strike, in San Miguel neighbourhood, some five or six patrol vehicles of hooded police were in caravan, demonstrating their being on strike. At the same time, people reported soldiers wearing police uniform, dressed to repress.
In La Paz, people barricaded the highway turnoff to Yarumela, playing soccer there also, when police and soldiers fired gunshots against and assassinated 17 year old Eblin Noel Corea Maradiaga, a student leader, who was playing soccer there and had spoken up about threats and harassment he had been getting related to his participation in the protests. His family, friends, and community were tremendously enraged and saddened. He was many things to many people. The goalie of Leones de Judá team. A good friend. A singer. Someone who went on the migrants caravan and returned, ecstatic about having been able to know Guatemala and Mexico in this way and for the journey. Someone with Lenca roots. Someone very friendly, happy, good, and respectful. Someone with whom, many shared cherished memories. If only he did obtain asylum instead of being deported on the caravan. That night at 11pm, people expressed some of their rage setting the police station on fire.
In La Esperanza, Intibucá, another place where most people are Lenca indigenous, people, including the very young and the very old, barricaded defending health and education. Police repressed the protests 7am into the afternoon firing live gunshots and gases, including against children. Military police particularly attacked homes of the Venecia neighbourhood using teargases shot inside, as well as live gunshots, and gassed the Enrique Aguilar Cerrato area of the hospital affecting patients inside including pregnant women. They intoxicated the air around the barricade with massive amounts of gases, and arrested including elderly people and minors. One documented arrest was of 17 years old Edwin Cantarero who was arrested accused of supposably breaking a car window at the protest. While under police custody police attacked him with a teargas bomb from which he fainted, they then removed him from the gassed cell and bashed and insulted him, and threatened him with, ‘today you will get to know the devil’, ‘we will throw you to the Saviour to disappear you,’ before releasing him to his mum that afternoon. Edwin is on the Guarajambala community radio team. There were two other young arrestees tortured. Salvador Zúniga was also attacked again after the attack the week before.
In Tocoa in Colón, the barricades of the Guapinol community and of the Cayo Campo community were both evicted by the police with live gunshots. People struggled on and re-occupied the bridge over the Tocoa river.
In Tegucigalpa at the Toncontín International Airport, the immigration office retained Telesur Mexico journalists Eduardo Martínez and Juan Carlos Martínez, telling them that they needed to be invited to come to Honduras and cover news.
Also in Tegucigalpa, people barricaded the street of the Zonal Belén market, and were repressed by police including with gunshots. Uni students protested inside the UNAH campus and were stuck inside, in danger, with police surrounding all exits. There are 2 A4 papers full of names of students inside before sunrise. Meanwhile, it was reported that people saw smoke coming out of the Tizatillo police station, and heard gunshots and screaming that come from inside. People think it was confrontation between on strike Cobra forces and police forces.
In Choluteca, people’s barricades were surrounded by police and soldiers from the morning and were repressed then until midday.
In the entrance of Nacaome, people barricaded the bridge over the Guasirope river in protest for health and education. It was in the evening that police and soldiers suddenly attacked them with teargas and rocks and chased people. As protesters fled to a nearby house they were quickly surrounded by the security forces who launched teargases at the roof and doors of the house, intoxicating people inside including elderly people and children.
21 June 2019
The day before, the state electricity company ENEE issued a communique stating that on the Atlantic coast, due to the highway barricades stopping tanks from arriving to La Ceiba, the Laeisz private company is running out of energy supplies, that from 6am this morning many circuits of electricity distribution will have to be cut off, ‘unless protesters allow the tanks to arrive.’
The barricades continued strong. There were barricades in at least the following places: Limones, Nacaome, Valle, Choluteca, many parts of Colón, Puerto Cortés and Yoro.
In Limones, the military police repressed the barricade and tortured the teacher Carlos Flores.
In Nacaome, Valle, people’s barricade was brutally attacked by the police and military under the orders of police subcomissioner Wilmer Jurandir Pineda Ordóñez, with gunshots, chasing and teargas bombs. The security forces were especially attacking young people, but they also launched teargas bombs at the home where people fled to seek refuge.
In Cuyulapa, the barricade was repressed by soldiers using gunshots, gravely gunshot wounding the youth Manuel Castro Aguilar.
In Colón, where there were barricades by many different communities in different points, soldiers under the command of Subcommissioner Vieda were violently evicting communities at the different points firing gunshots and teargas bombs. The repression was in Guadalupe Carney, La Confianza, Lempira farmers settlement, Guapinol, Prieta and Saba communities in Colón. By 5.30pm, there were at least two youths gunshot wounded, and many others have been tortured.
At the Cortés port, where military police desperately and brutally repressed people, one youth who was hurt was Junior Javier Humaña Gomez, against whom the military indiscriminately sprayed with teargases during the protest repression.
At Quebrada Seca in Yoro, the community barricaded and the police repressed and chased protesters who were barricading. Police captured community member José Gabriel Godínez, brutally bashing him and fracturing one of his arms. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
In Choluteca, in police repression of barricades, police agent Rodríguez of patrol 1103 103 brutally attacked human rights defender Daniel Arturo Betancourt.
22 June 2019
In Colón communities upheld barricades in Guapinol, La Confianza and Guadalupe Carney and probably other points too. Police and soldiers attacked all these barricades with gunshots that morning. In Guapinol the repression continued into the afternoon.
In Tegucigalpa, JOH regime’s political party national party organised a ‘March for Peace’, and journalism student Jefferson Martínez went to cover and transmit it live for the facebook page ‘Somos Periodismo HN’ from 8.40am. At 9.23am, he announced, ‘they are gassing, they are gassing,’ and you could see the nationalist activists fleeing. Some nationalist activists then grabbed him and bashed him in his face and body, he thought he was going to die. Jefferson was then arrested by police when a nationalist activist accused him of throwing the teargas bombs that police would have shot. There were images of him on social media with a bloody noise and bruises all over. Hours later the judge released him having found no evidence against him. Why police repressed the nationalists’ ‘demonstration’ is not known.
23 June 2019
In Yarumela, La Paz, relatives of Eblin Noel Maradiaga – the youth assassinated by police on 20 June 2019, were accompanied by many people, protesting demanding justice for Eblin, confronting the police and military cordone, yelling, ‘assassins! Assassins!’ ‘Study and Learn! Never ever become cops!’
24 June 2019
Major actions on this day included barricading El Danto Bridge in La Ceiba with tyres on fire from 6am, barricade of the Cortés port, and uni student occupations of the UNAH campus in Tegucigalpa and CURLA on the Atlantic coast, and school students’ occupations and road barricades of the main public high schools.
At the Cortés port, soldiers repressed those on the barricades with gunshots and savage amounts of teargas bombs forcing people to flee. Business-state alliances were made obvious as the Standard Fruit company openly dropped off pineables to the soldiers who threatened protesters. There was also a busload of teachers from Yoro who were headed for the Cortés port, but were all arrested by police and never arrived to the port.
The students’ occupation of the UNAH campus in Tegucigalpa was raided by an enormous contingent of military police, police, and Tigres (the ones who didn’t go on strike? Or perhaps the strike was no longer), firing gunshots, teargas bombs and chasing and hitting students, just before 5pm, and continued beyond 7.30pm. From this attack, eight were gunshot wounded by gunshots of the military police and police – six students and two UNAH security guards. Some of the students wounded were Carlos Godoy and Esly Quevado, who were both shot in the legs, Elder Nahúm Pereira, who was shot in the stomach, Josué Rafael Fonseca Mendoza, who was shot in a hand, and Marixa Ardon. Of these, two were gravely wounded. The UNAH director Francisco Herrera said he was surprised the military police contingent invaded given that negotiations were going on.
The Instituto Técnico Honduras (ITH) high school occupation in the Kennedy neighbourhood in Tegucigalpa was attacked by security forces with toxic gases causing students to suffocate. After dispersing the students with teargases, the agents also chased the students with their weapons in their hands.
Also in Tegucigalpa, the school students of Vicente Central highschool barricaded the road with tyres on fire, they were being watched by military police who were in riot gear and filming.
25 June 2019
In solidarity with students of UNAH Tegucigalpa after the grave repression the day before, and in struggle for public healthcare and education, the VS – Valle de Sula campus of UNAH, accompanied by high school students of JTR – Instituto Jose Trinidad Reyes and of INTAE, occupied the uni campus. They were raided by the military also and shot at with gunshots and teargas bombs and were chased and beaten up. There were students wounded by the teargas bombs and by beatings, and one who has respiratory condition had their life put in question by the teargas attack. Infiltrators were noticed on campus also.
In Nacaome, the students of the teaching university also occupied in protest. Police and soldiers tried to invade but the uni’s private security guards managed to impede them. The police and soldiers did, however, shoot rubber bullets and teargas bombs inside the campus, launched from outside.
In Choluteca, people barricading were repressed with teargas bombs and were chased from two directions. People were wounded. One of the people wounded was a Wendys employee who was giving out leaflets for the company. REDEHSUR human rights defenders were also attacked and threatened. Marlon Alexander García Gutierrez for example was transmitting live for the facebook page Defensorxs Redehsur when he was shot by police on a motorcycle with a rubber bullet in the chest. Luckily though, Marlon was wearing his backpack on the front so there was padding which reduced the impact of the shot.
In Tegucigalpa, the barricade of the high school students of ITH was attacked again this morning by military police after the attack the day before. The attack was worse this day, as military police used gunshots. ITH students were supported by students of Instituto España Jesús Milla Selva (JMS). Many students covered their face to avoid being profiled.
Also in Tegucigalpa, the students occupying Instituto Central Vicente Cáceres were once again being watched by military police on motorcycle patrols which militarise the streets around the school, holding weapons and using their phones to film students. Human rights defender Erick Martínez approached a military police and asked for their ID and the military police responded, ‘here, I am the law’ and refused to give his name.
26 June 2019
The ENEE state electricity company announced blackouts in many areas, in north, central and south part of honduras the next day. Perhaps related to barricades and energy supplies, but no mentions nor pleads were made this time.
In Tegucigalpa, in the Kennedy neighbourhood, the confrontations between ITH high school students and riot cops continued this day with stones thrown from both sides. The road was completely blocked and there was no moving through. When things began to calm down, police launched a teargas bomb into the school corridor forcing the students and teachers to flee. Students went out then to occupy the road and were supported by JMS students. Police and military police attacked them with teargas bombs. ITH authorities announced there were to be no classes on the 27th and 28th June, as authorised by the provincial director of education, with 28 June 2019 being the anniversary date of 10 years of military coup in Honduras.
As high school students of Central Vicente Cáceres also continued their third day of barricade, police and military did move in this day to repress them with teargas and chased the students. Their classes were also to be cancelled the next days.
At the La Tolva prison, political prisoners Edwin Espinal, Raul Alvarez and Rommel Herrera spoke up about death threats against them inside the prison.
In Santa Barbara, Selvin Maldonado, a police judge (presumably there is a court dedicated to judging abuses by police) was assassinated at home that night – several armed people arrived and shot at him without having said anything.
The UNHCHR announced it will deploy special forces to monitor abuses of police and soldiers in the protests in Honduras and observe the human rights situation there.
27 June 2019
American Airlines and United Airlines annnounced that flights to Tegucigalpa on 28 June were cancelled.
In Santa Barbara, the province where student leader Eblin Corea was recently assassinated by police, school students in protest were surrounded by military and police who threatened the students and ordered them to all get on their knees and this image went around – just in case anyone was in doubt that the Honduran regime was a dictatorship.
In Arizona, Atlántida, teachers from Esparta and Arizona barricaded the Ramón Fiallos bridge over the Lean river and were brutally repressed by soldiers with teargases. There were people who had suffocated and fainted. A soldier, of whom there is a photo of in the social media, threatened young human rights defender Marlon Cruz, ‘idiot kid, in the tigres there are gangsters and with them we are going to kill you.’ When Marlon publicly spoke up about this death threat, soldiers shot a teargas bomb at his feet. Another soldier in charge of the violent eviction pushed Marlon and gave another soldier the order to bash him and illegally arrest him. Another soldier gave an order to remove him from the highway barricade and he was pushed by 7-8 soldiers with shields to remove him.
Of Bajo Aguan, exiled human rights defender Irma Lemus received a call from a private number. The caller asked Irma to return to Honduras and to withdraw her charges against mining company Inversiones Los Pinares for having given her death threats – she was offered a large sum of money in exchange. She refused to negotiate and said publicly that if she returns to Honduras it would be to continue struggling against all these projects of death against humanity and fight for justice. She had survived attempts, charges, harassment from military and transnational, and threats and a new attempt against her life on 30/1/19, and a kidnapping attempt on 17/2/19, and constant political persecution since 13/9/12 up to 16/3/19. She’s even had dead animals hung on her door in intimidation. She didn’t survive all this to sell out, she told the world.
28 June 2019
As the militarisation was extreme and the state security forces occupied just about all the strategic points of barricades protesters would occupy before protesters could get there, in anticipation of huge protests this 10 year anniversary of the military coup, so for this day of the month, not many protests were realised, they were impeded.
People in La Esperanza, Intibucá – land of Berta Cáceres, indigneous leader assassinated in 2016, did protest.
The teachers of La Entrada, Copán, mobilised, while 21 teachers were illegally called to meetings about their jobs and weren’t allowed witnesses. One teacher gave statements to the press – many teachers have worked for one year without being paid! She told the press, in argument with the government official in front of the camera. They are not there to have their individual cases resolved. Pay us all, is one of the demands.
In Choluteca, protesters did barricade the exit to Marcovia. Military police and police under orders of sub-official Vallecillo ferociously repressed people firing gunshots and launching teargas bombs at protesters from the wee hours of the morning. A journalist said their cameraperson had disappeared in that context. Also in that context, an old man selling tortillas on bicycle and with an esky had police throw three teargas bombs at him.
29 June 2019
Around lunchtime there were public security forces surrounding the home of organised teacher Genaro Oscar Garcias, looking like they were about to raid his home. There was a callout for support, to place pressure and prevent the raid.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, there was a reminder of the desperation of Hondurans as one Honduran migrant, Saily Yasmín Andino aged 19 was travelling on the La Bestía train trying to make the journey to cross into the US, when she hopped off the freight train to buy something to eat in a moment when it had stopped, the train sn
arted moving. Saily tried to grab onto it and hop back on, but she fell, and she fell under and the train ran over her and she was killed. She is one of many who died on the journey.
30 June 2019
In Tegucigalpa at the Toncontín International Airport, once again, an international journalist is stopped and interrogated. This time it was Juan Pablo Dalence Vidal of Radio Suecia and Sveriges Radio. Juan was held at the airport and interrogated and there were concerns he would be deported to Bogotá.
The workers union of the psychiatric hospital Santa Rosita announced they are joining the strike on the next day 1 July. This struggle of the healthcare and education sectors are carrying on.