Thursday, December 17, 2009

Report from CODEH, Honduras: Distressed Call

(translated RW)
We have received a call for help from Mrs DORA ALICIA PALMA, she is one of the coordinators of the Resistance in the neighbourhood Venezuela; she has reported to us that the police has visited her on different occasions, she lives just six blocks from the police station. Her voice sounded very distressed, as she commented to us that it has surprised her to see, in these last two days, the presence of strange men passing by in front of where she lives or close to her house, these men that she has never seen before. She has coordinated the resistance actions in her neighbourhood, and at the moment they had thirty-five persons in resistance, whereas a squad of army and police came, with an average of twenty each truckload, displaying their numbers to intimidate and spread fear and terror so that the people will begin to be scared. Today she calls us, since she considers the strange persons that are passing in front of the house look like they have malicious intentions, at this moment she has called us and tells us that there are two men near her house, that she is scared they will do something to her. From CODEH we have expressed in our previous press releases that the duty telephones of the Judicial power have stopped responding to appeals to take action to guarantee people's lives; in one encounter that the telephone was answered, 29 November at 1am, the guy who answered identified himself as a member of the Armed Forces and hung up, and from this moment onwards it has not been possible to present a recourse of Habeas Corpus in Honduras in the night time, the duty telephones of the unified courts are being controlled by the military. If You who are reading our writing knows of a mechanism before some international organism to protect the life and physical integrity of Mrs DORA ALICIA PALMA, please help us, CODEH with 29 years of experience in working for human rights we are feeling that we have exhausted all the possibilities under the framework of this military coup regime; we have presented requests/applications for cautionary measures before the International Commission of Human Rights and we have been surprised by the way they laugh when they realise that the Commission is requiring cautionary measures, how immense are the forces protecting them with impunity; those who are able to write to OBAMA as the nobel Peace prize winner, do it and tell him to investigate for us what forces are supporting this state of impunity in Honduras. Lastly, please guide us as to what we can do other than register cases and produce statistics, press conferences, go to the Department of Public Prosecutor with its coup supporting directors and those who are not coup supporters are terrified before the military aggression, while it remains this way they are killing us an constructing scenarios of fear and terror, we ask for help so that they don't continue assassinating our people for aspiring their right to think differently to the aggressors. Tegucigalpa Municipality of Centre District, 12 December 2009
National Director Executive Commission,
Lets struggle for the peace defending the human rights and the justice

Press release from CODEH 11/12/09 The Forced Disappearances and Political Crimes Reapear

Author: CODEH. Translated: RW.

2. On 7 December this year in its course we had informed about the disappearances of these women: VILMA MARTINEZ, SONIA CASTILLO and 4 other persons; from the Human Rights Committee (CODEH) we clarify that Mrs Sonia Castillo, is not the disappeared person, there has been a confusion of names, the name of Sonia Castillo corresponds with that of Ada Marina Castillo, whom the actors of this criminal act were looking for.

The kidnappings or disappearances took place like this: On the Saturday 4 December at 3pm a blue coloured vehicle Tacoma with 5 people inside, arrived at the neighbourhood la Nueva Capital, the 5 people used balaclavas, uniforms of the DNIC (national Direction of Criminal Investigation), Galil gun and 9mm pistols; they came down and without showing a capture order they detained Mr SANTOS CORRALES GARCIA, who they took to an unknown direction; on Sunday 1am in the morning, another vehicle arrived (probably the same vehicle) at the house of the following people: VILMA YOLANDA MARTINEZ, SANDRA YAMILETH ORDONEZ, LUIS CARBALLO and ISIDRO BACA, whom they removed from their houses, in the process of which they put black bags over their heads to disorientate them, and they kept them in clandestine houses or supposed cells of police, in the interrogations they asked about Mrs ADA MARINA CASTILLO; Mrs Castillo is one of those who has held the responsibility for the storage where the resistance stores their supplies and above all the water for the marchers who have been keeping the resistance going.

On Wednesday, after the press release, they released to liberty Mrs VILMA YOLANDA MARTINEZ, SANDRA YAMILTH ORDONEZ and Mr LUIS CARBALLO, whom were dropped and abandoned at the exit of the nort of the capital of the Republic, with their hands and feet tied, as for Mr ISIDRO BACA they went to drop and abandon him on the outskirts of the Choluteca city almost 120 kims from the Capital of the Republic, where they were kidnapped, when they were released the capturers warned the released that they had 3 days to abandon the neighbourhood where they live of this country.

CODEH's efforts to guarantee the lives of all the disappeared persons did not obtain the fruits in its totality; regretably today the body of Mr SANTOS CORRALES GARCIA was found, in the community of Lepaterique, his body was without his head, and he was taken to the morgue like this, up to this moment his head has not been found.

From CODEH we consider that this horrendous crime adds to others that have happened, where the bodies showed signs of brutal torture such as cutting away of the tongue and the ears, we are of the judgement that this aggression, of low intensity, is orientated to construct fear, that those who lead these crimes are doing it mathematically calculated, with the silence of the Hierachy of the Catholic Church, a sector of the Protestants' hierachy, along wit the silence and the justification of the National Commission of the Human Rights. Days before from CODEH we announced the massacre, this has not stopped, what has changed is the method, since they could not do it at the electoral boxes they are doing it in silence and with systematic calculation.

It is necessary for the world to know what happens in Honduras, it is necessary for Mr OBAMA to do something to deserve his Nobel Peace Prize by denouncing to the world what happens in Honduras; how it is possible for the Truth Commission to speak of the systematic violation of human rights, when no country in the world speaks the truth about the war, this needs to end so that there will be peace and truth, in Honduras we will need to put an end to the military regime of Aggression, that today persecutes and assassinates us, so that we can start to dialogue about the truth, the truth of yesterday (80s) and the truth of today, given that those who acted with impunity yesterday are the same who are acting with impunity right now.

From CODEH we ask whoever that reads our writing: tell us what we could do? This is where they laugh at the cautionary measures by the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, there must be some organism that could help us stop this horrendous crime which has as its goal to construct the collective terror, can somebody help us find who is supporting this terror regime? We ask for an investigation that can give us the base with which the world can know who is supporting this regime of death and impunity. But aggression against the humanity needs oto stop already.

Tegucigalpa Municipality of Central District, 11 December 2009
National director of the Executive Commission,
Human Rights, Committee, CODEH

Some articles about latest cases of persecution translated to English.

Police capture and beat a child because he ran due to his fear of them. Wednesday, 9 December 2009 Dina Meza (translation R Wong)

6 agents of the Preventative Police Patrol detained the boy when he was having a cold drink.

6 police that arrived on motor bikes chased after 6 youths who began to run when they saw the motorized patrols arrive and felt fearful of their presence, as they tried to run away the police captured Bryan Alexis, a 13 year old - a police agent loaded and pointed a gun at him, while he ordered Bryan to throw himself onto the ground, on the Tuesday night, in an area in the capital city.

On the way, the agents also took with them a 17 year old youth for having been standing at a corner on the streets in the area, to whom they simply told, 'you walk with us also.'

It was about 7.15pm last night, Tuesday, when Bryan was with 4 friends having a cold drink and some bread at some steps in the Honduras neighbourhood, where they usually meet to chat and pass the time, as a part of their rights to have leisure, freedom of movement and association.

But their peace was interrupted when some 6 agents of preventative police, on motorcycles, arrived in this neighbourhood, the youths fled running out of the fear they felt at the sight of the police, this reaction caused by knowing that on the Sunday night 5 youths were executed, just a few blocks up from where they were hanging out, on that Sunday night, when 4 men dressed as military personnel arrived and killed the youth, according to their families' account.

"I began to run in fear and to arrive home, 2 agents followed me and when I rang the door bell of my house the agent loaded his gun and told me to throw myself on the ground, even though I did what he said he hit me on the back", said Bryan, still full of fear as he looks around his neighbourhood and can see the police.

According to his mother Sandra, she was attending to and combing the hair of a customer at the beauty salon 'when I heard the noise, lifted the curtain and saw my son thrown on the ground, when I went to the door I saw how a police took him by the shirt and arrested him. Frightened and shocked I asked for explanations about the capture, and I explained to them that I was his mother and that my son is a minor,' she said.

However, this was not important to the agents who took the youth almost dragging him, by tugging his shirt from behind, the mother's begging was nothing to them, "we will talk with you when we are at the Kennedy police station", recorded the boy's mother.

Out of fear and concern about the capture and the physical safety and consequences for Bryan, Sandra ran after the police and asked them in what transport they will take him in, and they called a police patrol to take him, when Sandra got into his vehicle with them a female police insulted her and told her to get off and walk, but her maternal courage defied this abuse of authority by the uniformed personnel and stayed in the patrol vehicle and went with her son to the police station.

"When I saw them stick him into the police cell I stressed to them that he was a minor and that they cannot detain him." They left him and the other youth on the corridor, and they left, thanks to the intervention of a neighbour (she is a lawyer).

The boy's mother lodged a complaint at the Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH, an organization that is presenting the same complaint to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

In another article: It was also added that the youth has previously been detained by the police when he was sticking logos promoting the electoral boycott.

A relative of the victim: They want to terrorise the people with the execution of the youths. Wednesday, 9 December 2009, by Honduras in Resistance. (Translation, R Wong)

With the executions of the youths they want to terrorise the population, what they are giving out is rage, this will suddenly break down, we are a pacific people, we have had many deaths, it is a terror that they want to hit the country with, but the ones who die are from the marginalised neighbourhoods, said a relative of the youth Gabriel Parrales this Tuesday; Gabriel was one of the youths who was executed by armed men in the Honduran capital city.

This took place on Sunday night, when 6 persons (5 youths and 1 woman) were at a corner of the neighbourhood Villanueva, 4 armed men dressed in speckled clothes, arrived there and ordered everyone to throw themselves onto the ground after which they riddled them with bullets, at least 50 bullet shells of official arms were found dispersed here. See the case in this news.

On the day wakes were being held in different places for 3 of the executed youths, 2 of them in a church, Gabriel Parrales and Issac Enrique Coello had their wakes in a church in the Kennedy neighbourhood of Tegucigalpa, while outside 2 strangers with a camera watching the place and at who was arriving. There, the consternation and family and friends was very strongly felt, at the cemetary where the bodies were buried those family and friends were united in tears, "We are in a very regretable moment in our country Honduras. I can see they are hitting us with a repression, a terror", expressed a mourner.

The interviewed person who said he was very fearful and for this reason asked that no identifiable details that can be used by the assassins be recorded, expressed that "we cannot see a friendly government appearing, those who could have made this happen did not do it, they have left us to fend for ourselves, here there are israelis, there is a man called Billy Joya, who belonged to the 3-16, an assassin, now he is here in the capacity of an assistant, everyone knows this man, who belonged to the 3-16, who is a repressor.

When I asked him if all the victims went to the marches of the Resistance, he said yes they went, they had a right to be against something that is wrong, whether or not they belonged to the resistance is not a reason that they can use to kill them, because they have to care for their country, reclaim their rights and there are no reasons to kill them when they are out on the streets, unarmed, when they were assassinated none of them were armed.

He/she added that this type of violent act against the persons has as its primary objective to plant the seeds of terror in the country, "here only the poor die, in the neighbourhoods where the capitalists live over there, there is not a single case, unlike in the marginalised neighbourhoods, where this happens".

She/he asked the human rights organisms to investigate why most of the youths are dying and put as an example this weekend. There were 45 youths in the morge. About the police spokespersons' claim that these deaths were of revenge between enemies, he/she said that "if you ask me it is the military who did this, they have had a lot of practice, having made this their career."

Gabriel was bringing a motor for a small compressor, another came and parked the car, the other, Isaac, was going to cross the street, this was how they happened to be together, when they came with balaclavas, bullet-proof vests, and speckled military wear, and told them to lie down on the ground for a body search and they shot them with high powered guns, with 9mm pistols, this happened at 8.30pm at night.

When I asked her/him what reason the executors could have for what they did, he/she responded that it is to intimidate the people; if there were more people there we would have had more deaths, "and if my son went to the marches this was no reason to die".

She/he argued that those responsible for so many deaths in Honduras are seeking the reaction of terror, of fear, because they have never heard gunshots like this in this very quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, 'I don't know how far they will go with this situation.'

Meanwhile the relatives of Marco Vinicio Matute, who had his wake in the Villanueva neighbourhood, appeared extremely fearful. Out of this fear they did not want to discuss the case with the international journalists who arrived this morning, together with a delegate from Rights in Action, a human rights organisation based in Canada.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

young human rights defender killed

In the fasting tent in the Central Park of Tegucigalpa, I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of amazing people, and forgotten many of their names..
One of them is young Walter. People are so humble. He didnt' introduce himself as an important and wellknown gay and lesbian human rights activist, I only knew he worked with human rights, he had a t-shirt that says human rights, he worked with young people and he worked with AIDS. He was really nice and committed and just a really good person, just from the memory of one conversation I've had with him.
In the last days I have read that on 4th of December he was kidnapped and tortured and he'd bravely jumped out of the car and escaped, drenched in his own blood. He was on the streets again soon after, with the resistance.
On 13th December at night on the street a vehicle driving pass shot and killed him.
I have only spoken with him once. He is a really beautiful person. His death saddens immensely everyone who knew him.
I hold the coup regime responsable for his death.
This is just one of way too many unacceptable stories. This is the underrated word 'repression'. This is what they use to terrify people and maintain power and control the resources of the country and of its labour using arms.
This persecution must stop it must stop immediately those responsable must be brought to justice denounce it because we are all part of humanity and we are responsable for making the world a humane place.
Deep condolences to all of Honduras.
Please get in touch if you'd like to take action. I can pass you contact details of someone near you, I'm based in Sydney myself.

Please have a look/listen at this link for more information about Walter Trochez,1585?lang=en