The Silenced Human Rights Violations in Honduras
While analysts, diplomats, politicians and the general population are discussing whether the coup suffered in Honduras on June the 28th was Hugo Chávez's fault or not, Human Rights Organizations are calling out to the world to turn its head on more important matters: abuse of power and human rights violations.
Just recently, the Committee of Families of those Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras, COFADEH) issued a report in which they denounce many cases of serious human rights violations by the new imposed government of Micheletti.
The report describes 1,161 cases of human rights violations, including violent detentions, excessive use of force, brutal repressions, abductions, threats, grave lesions and attacks, coercion of the media and executions.
Micheletti has imposed two curfews so far, and suspended constitutional and individual guarantees temporarily by Executive Decree 011-2009 (against the protocol specified in art. 187 of the Constitution), persuading the population to regain calmness and bring the country back to the stability it greatly lost after June 28th.
COFADEH has also reported that a diversity of testimonies by local authorities and community leaders state that people are defenseless against the military forces in the zone, who are constantly detaining protesters (including underage citizens) and undermining them.
Local majors have also been threatened with death and are facing persecution and house raids, and some have handled their major’s seat to the military. More over, non-official news media has suffered censorship and even expulsion from the country, as happened to South American news media TeleSur in recent days. Other news media that have faced censorship, threats, power outages or even complete shut-downs are Honduran Radio Globo, Cholusat Sur, Radio Juticalpa, Radio Progreso, Radio Marcala, Canal 36, and Associated Press.
As the coup was taking place on late June, Honduran population too went through telephone cuts, internet cuts and blackouts, followed by national television chains filled with propaganda, misinformation and psychological manipulation.
Hondutel, a telecommunications company, was banned for three days; the Empresa Estatal de Comunicaciones suffered the same fate; control towers were militarized, as were all transmissions. The congress, Public Ministry and the Supreme Court were all taken by the military too.
Then on July the 5th, a protest held in Toncontin Airport against the de facto government ended in dozens of injured and one dead, which prompted the golpistas to announce a change in the curfew deadline to 6.30pm, while the protesters were still inside the airport.
Isis Obed Murillo
The 19-year-old man was killed by the military, which randomly fired at people to end the protest. He, as were some 100.000 protesters that day, was demanding the return of Manuel Zelaya, but instead received a bullet in his head. Four days later his father, José David Murillo, was seized by agents of the DNIC (Dirección Nacional de Investigación Criminal). Why? Because there was a pending case against him for “being a rebel”. Murillo, an environmental activist, was detained just minutes after he testified in front of the Fiscalía de Derechos Humanos in relation to his son’s death.
He is currently in jail.
Journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega was also killed by unknown men on July the 3rd. He was known for denouncing suspicious massacres and informing about the failed survey which was to take place on June the 28th, the day of the coup. Other journalists, such as Rommel Gómez Mejía, Jorge Orlando Anderson, César Silva, Nahúm Palacios, Carlos Lara and many others have been silenced and threatened by the military.