Resisting the coup in Honduras – November summary – fears of massive repression

The national elections set for Sunday 29 November will be fraudulent, militarized with threatened massacres, and if recognised will legitimise the military coup regime.
These proposed elections will not be free and transparent unless the constitutional president is first reinstated, and these elections postponed for a proper period.
The level of violence to be unleashed is uncertain; people are expecting the worst, with memories of the atrocities against humanity of the 1980s in Central America. People had really hoped that these were history, never to be repeated.
Leading up to the elections:
  • Some army officers have leaked to the Resistance plans for the army to massacre the democratic movement, particularly leaders of the resistance, on the day of the elections. Prominent human rights organisations in Honduras including CODEH (Human Rights Defence Committee), COPINH an Indigenous organisation, and COFADEH (Committee for the Families of the Disappeared) have condemned these plans.
  • Mass and extreme repression is expected before and during the election, targeting social activists, oppositional parties and human rights defenders
  • People believe the leaders of the Resistance are under close surveillance by the military. The army sent letters to Mayors last month requesting lists of people within their municipality who have been working against the coup. The letters also asked for telephone numbers to be included, to be put together immediately and advised Mayors that they will be visited by the army.
  • The Resistance has called for a civic strike for the whole week before the elections, for protests, and maintained its call to not vote on the Sunday, and to stay home to avoid great loss of human lives at the hands of the army.
  • Micheletti has initiated a ‘reflection period’ where he steps down from 25 November and returns to power on 2 December with no one to substitute him although he said he may return early at any moment. There are concerns that this is a strategy to absolve himself of responsibility for the mass repression and assassinations he has ordered.
  • Channel 36 is again taken off air through signals interference.
  • There was an international observer mission on the human rights situation in Honduras 23-30 November
  • Heavy militarisation – About 12,000 soldiers and 5,000 reserves, 14,000 police and 500 paramilitaries have been placed all over the country in preparation for controlling the election and repressing any dissent. These are the same forces that have inflicted the murders, bashings, rape, etc, since 28 June 2009.
  • At the same time Micheletti announced the immediate confiscation of all arms other than of his forces, including from those who have licences for these arms.
  • Micheletti has also ordered for hospitals to keep their beds empty and postpone operations, in expectation of military casualties arising from resistance by the unarmed civilian population.
  • Security forces have received a US $12 million water cannon which uses chemicals that mark people, to be used against protesters for prosecution purposes.
  • OAS is divided. Some conservative states aligned with US conservative politics such as Panama and Colombia have announced they will recognise the elections. The US will recognise the outcome too. But most will not recognise it, including Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Brazil and Spain.
  • Electoral observers (350) will be sent not from the usual sources, who refuse to recognise/legitimise these elections. They will come from US republican and democrat sectors, Partido Popular Europeo (conservative party), conservative sectors endorsing these elections from the Americas and around the world.
Some of the repression reported
  • More illegal detentions and disappearances reported especially in the night, and of young people. The husband of Wendy (killed by gases in September) was amongst some people captured on one march.
  • 8 agents without ID identified as from the Criminal Investigation Unit invaded a family home and tortured, beat, and humiliated the parents and their adult son. They are against the coup and sell promotional materials against the coup (8/11/09). They called the police but they never came.
  • Another leader of the resistance, Luis Gradiz, a retired teacher, was kidnapped on 23/11/09 by paramilitaries and he was found dead in another town.
  • Journalists representing the coup-supporting media take photos of marchers – not to publish but to give to police for persecution of members of the resistance.
  • 400 reported cases of abuse against women by the regime, including 7 of sexual assault/rape
  • Police have announced that local leaders expressing opposition to participating presidential candidates may face imprisonment – people attempting to boycott the election can be sentenced to 4-6 years of jail (28/10/09)
  • More people were fired by the regime, including a historian Yesenia Martinez, on 13 November.
  • Up to 3 November, 48 peaceful protests were repressed by the military and police, reported COFADEH, with at least 9 marchers killed during protests.
Political Agreement broken agreement as planned – used by US to endorse fraudulent 29 November election
  • 5 November was the deadline for forming the Government of Unity with joint cabinet. Masses of people from different parts of Honduras gathered outside the Congress and waited. No vote was taken by the Congress, instead of reinstating Zelaya, Micheletti sent Zelaya a letter asking for his nominations for the cabinet, and proclaimed himself as the head the Government of Unity (abusing the agreement that does not state who has to head it). US under-secretary of state announced they will recognise the November elections now that the agreement is signed, whatever happens now (with or without restitution of Zelaya)
  • 2 December – AFTER the elections – was announced as the date when the Congress would vote on the restitution of Zelaya
  • US Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, said that the people of Honduras must not be denied their right to vote (8/11/09).
  • (9/11/09) Independent candidate Carlos H Reyes formally resigned his candidacy. Election Boycott campaign begins countering the regime’s campaign to legalise and legitimise the coup regime through the election under current conditions (without restitution of constitutional president, and under repression and militarization). The regime’s campaign is supported by the US, as they are not threatening not to recognise the elections now even without the restitution of Zelaya.
  • Hans van Baalen (from Holland), the President of Liberal International, rewarded Micheletti with vice-presidency of Liberal International.
Here is a reply from someone we sent our resolutions to following the Latin America Emergency Meeting 21.9.09 in Sydney:
Dear Compañeros/as of Australia:
We are infinitely grateful to you for your solidarity with my Honduran people; today more than ever, we are ready to offer our lives if this were necessary to achieve the re-building of our State, today more than ever, with the betrayal of the UD Party our people, we feel betrayed, although it is this bitter swallow today that we are left with, the history gives our reason to stay strong and firm in our positions.
Hugs, (Honduran, woman, unemployed social worker)
TAKE ACTION
  • Sign this petition to say no the fraudulent elections, http://www.iacenter.org/honduras/rejecthonduranelections/
  • Organise and attend marches/vigils (a protest is being organised, tba)
  • Donate to the resistance in Honduras (help pay for necessary phone calls, medical attention for victims, photocopies, transport, etc). There is someone in Sydney collecting funds for San Pedro Sula of Honduras (email to ask), and http://www.rightsaction.org will take donations from credit card; there are other ways too.
  • Write to your prime minister/president and demand non-recognition of the elections and pressure to US, denounce the repression and plans to massacre.
  • Write to Ban Ki-Moon, Rudd and Obama asking them to take action to protect human lives now with knowledge about the Honduran regime forces’ planned to massacre and repress.
  • Volunteer, coordinate, get involved, share ideas, receive information, be notified of actions, etc . Get in touch: latinamerica.emergency@gmail.com
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General, United Nations, email: ecu@un.org
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister, Australia, http://www.pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/contact_your_pm_form
Barack Obama, President, United States,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
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