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