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Guatemala held elections last Sunday that were marred by the interference of the powers controlling the country in the electoral process. The primary anti-corruption candidate, who had been leading in the polls, fled to El Salvador after receiving a death threat earlier in the campaign season, as did the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal threw various obstacles in front of one of the indigenous parties, MLP, to limit its ability to campaign and to limit the number of votes for its candidates. One of its candidates and two of its campaign committee members were murdered. Neither of the two Presidential candidates who won the most votes and will have a run-off election in September have promised to support the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG), and so it will cease operations in September 2019.

Nevertheless, indigenous and progressive parties did better than usual in this election, and the population in general is outraged at official corruption. Below is a more detailed report on the election results by our friends at the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA.

 

Guatemala’s June 16th General Elections:

Parties implicated in corruption will face off for the presidency, dominate congress

Strongest showing yet by opposition parties

 

GHRC

June 18, 2019

As expected, Sunday’s general elections in Guatemala resulted in a run-off for the presidency between former First Lady Sandra Torres (National  Unity of Hope – UNE – party) and four-time presidential candidate Alejandro Giamattei (Vamos Party).  The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) reports that Torres took the lead with close to 26% of the vote and Giamattei followed with just under 14%. The run-off will take place August 11. Elected candidates will take office January 14.

The TSE reports that UNE won 53 out of 160 available congressional seats, up from 28 in the last elections.  UNE’s congressional showing alone makes it the dominant political force. Vamos took 16 seats.  During the outgoing Congress, UNE often voted with the“Pact of Corrupts,” an informal coalition that promoted laws favoring corruption and impunity, of which Vamos was considered an ally.

Maya Mam community organizer Thelma Cabrera (Movement for Peoples’ Liberation – MLP – party) came in with 10.5% of the vote, making her the highest polling indigenous presidential candidate ever in Guatemala, a majority indigenous country.  She came in a close fourth place behind Edmund Mulet.  Cabrera’s newly created MLP party issued a statement late in the day on Monday, rejecting the TSE’s official reports.  The MLP reports that local TSE officials refused to provide copies of the official acts registering polling station results as required by law, in some districts the MLP’s symbol was omitted from the ballot, the TSE did not provide MLP with its legally mandated publicity budget, and the TSE blocked MLP locals from opening bank accounts.  Concern regarding electoral irregularities has been heightened since the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes, Oscar Schaad, resigned his post and fled Guatemala five days before the elections in response to death threats.   Leopaldo Guerra, the Director of the TSE’ Citizens Registry, which oversees the registration of candidates, also took a leave just days before the elections citing health reasons, while the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity (FECI), Juan Francisco Sandoval, is also reported to be on vacation.

Rural political observers note that during the campaign president Jimmy Morales’ principal anti-poverty initiative, a bag of foodstuffs known as “bolsa solidaria”, was handed out in many areas by UNE political operators.  This suggests an alliance between the outgoing FCN party and UNE.  Over seventeen years and one presidency, the UNE party, created to sponsor Torres’ former husbandÁlvaro Arzú [CRLN note: her former husband was Álvaro Colom] unsuccessful 2003 presidential bid, has built a voting base in rural areas where political clientelism dominates communities plagued by extreme levels of poverty.  Analysts also questioned Giammattei’s presidential showing, noting the Vamos party had no structure in the countryside and in the city polled similarly to Cabrera and Mulet.

On February 27 the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) and its counterpart in the Public Prosecutors office, FECI, asked the Supreme Court of Justice to remove Sandra Torres’ political immunity, which derives from her status as a candidate, to face indictment for crimes related to illicit campaign financing during her last presidential bid in 2015.  This impeachment request is currently pending before the Constitutional Court. Torres could still face charges. Guatemalan press revealed that the charges against Torres were held up in the Attorney Generals’ Office until after she had gained immunity by registering as a candidate.

In 2009 Alejandro Giamattei faced charges brought by CICIG, he was accused of participation in death squad activities while he served as National Penitentiary Director in 2005 and 2006. After first seeking asylum in the Honduran embassy during the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, Giamattei was acquitted in 2011 by Judge Carol Patricia Flores.  Flores is renowned for judicial acrobatics which favor impunity for corruption and crimes against humanity.  In April 2015, CICIG and FECI requested the removal of Flores’ immunity so that she could be investigated for money laundering and illicit enrichment.  Instead she was sanctioned and it was removed from presiding over a high-risk courtroom.

Sandra Torres has also been touched by prison murder scandals.  Her niece was arrested as an accomplice of Marvin “El Taquero” Montiel Marin in the prison murder of Montiel Marin’s rival, Byron Lima, for control of criminal networks in prison.  Montiel Marin is imprisoned convicted of running a drug assassin network responsible for burning a bus, killing all 26 people inside.

In keeping with past elections, TSE reported that approximately 5 million of 8 million registered voters participated and 13% voted null or left their ballots blank.  In the 2015 electoral law time nullified ballots can have legal implications; if over 50% of ballots are annulled the electoral law would mandate repeated elections.

This election was deeply impacted by court decisions.  Torres’ early challenger Zury Rios was removed from the ballot after the Constitutional Court supported the Elections Tribunal’s finding that, as the daughter of military coup author Efrian Rios Montt, Zury Rios is constitutionally barred from the presidency.  Corruption charges generally believed to be politically motivated removed another early front runner from the race, Semilla candidate and former Attorney General Thelma Aldana.  Aldana remains unable to enter Guatemala without arrest.  Mario Estrada, a lower polling candidate but who represented a significant party, UCN, was arrested in Miami on drug trafficking charges on April 17.  Despite the scandal, UCN won twelve seats in Congress.

Left-leaning opposition parties made the strongest showing since the 1950 elections spurred a CIA backed coup that led to decades of extreme violence directed against any opposition to the business-military alliance that ruled the country.  Parties identified with social demands and anti-corruption platforms took 15 seats in Congress; Semilla (7), Winaq (4), MLP (1) and URNG (3).  In the previous congress, they held thirteen seats; URNG- Winaq (3), Convergencia (3), and Encuentro por Guatemala (7).  Nineth Montenegro, human rights activist and congresswoman since 1996, was not re-elected.  Her party, Encuentro por Guatemala, did not win any seats and according to reforms in the electoral law, will cease to exist. Winaq candidate Aldo Davila on Sunday became the first openly gay man elected to congress. Sandra Moran was the first openly gay woman when she won a congressional seat in the 2015 elections on the Convergencia ticket.  She did not seek re-election. Convergencia did not win any seats in congress and will face a similar fate as Encuentro por Guatemala.

TSE results divide the remaining congressional seats between fifteen small, right wing parties.  Like UNE, they generally appear to have ties to corruption and drug trafficking networks, but are more strongly allied with the military, which seeks protection from prosecution for crimes against humanity.  Giamattei’s VAMOS party won 16 seats, while current president Jimmy Morales’ FCN party took only 7 seats.  Zury Rios’ VALOR party won 9 seats. The Humanista party, whose presidential candidate Edmund Mulet took third place with just over 11% of the vote, won 4 seats in Congress. Mulet was accused of collaborating in a child trafficking ring in the early 1980s. Mulet’s newly formed party’s founders came from the government of former President Alfonso Portillo, who served a prison sentence in New York for financial crimes. Portillo’s attempted bid for Congress was barred by electoral laws, his party, BIEN, won 8 seats.

The most significant incident reported at the polls on election day was the arrest of former General Luis Enrique Mendoza Garcia, the father-in-law of Estuardo Galdamez, presidential candidate for the governing FCN party who garnered just 4% of the vote.  General Mendoza Garcia, arrested Salama, Baja Verapaz, is charged with participating in acts of genocide against Maya Ixil communities between 1982-83.  Galdamez, a congressman representing El Quiche, also served as a military officer in the Ixil area during the genocide.  Maya community leaders and authorities from El Quiche reported with concern that during his campaign Galdamez sought to revive networks of military and former civil patrollers by promising payments to war veterans and demanding impunity for crimes against humanity committed by the military against a largely civilian population in the 1970 and 1980s.  Galdamez and seven fellow congressmen are accused of working with then Vice President Roxana Baldetti to pay fellow congressional representatives for votes on law proposals.

At least two candidates were murdered during campaigns, a mayorial candidate with the FUERZA party and a municipal corporation candidate with MLP.  The MLP also reported the murder of two campaign committee members in the Peten department.  The MLP killings are the latest in a series of murders that target successful Maya-led political projects. Thelma Cabrera represented the newly formed MLP party, the political arm of CODECA, a grassroots indigenous campesino community development organization.  A second successful community development organization, CCDA, brought important support to the Convergencia party. CCDA’s former National Coordinator, Leocadio Juracan, was a high profile congressman who from congress visibly promoted indigenous and campesino rights.

Last year, as planning for campaigns began, CODECA reported that six local leaders were murdered; the CCDA reported three. In 2019, CODECA reported the murder of a community organizer. All of these killings remain in impunity.  Cabrera’s relative success has caused reactions from the business sector. Juan Carlos Telef, president of Guatemala’s largest business association, CACIF,expressed concern that someone with Thelma Cabrera’s political perspectives could gain 10% of the vote.

Given Cabrera’s successful campaign, the increased show in congress, and the violence against MLP, CODECA and CCDA, it is concerning that attacks against parties with strong indigenous and campesino ties could increase in coming years.


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CRLN board member, Sidney Hollander, and program director, Gary Cozette, are currently in Honduras on human rights delegation with our partners,


La Voz de los de Abajo

a Chicago-based group. Yesterday, on the anniversary of the coup, the group attended the Resistance March in Tegucigalpa, in solidarity with the Resistance movement and in protest of the on-going human rights abuses committed under coup-successor, President “Pepe” Lobo. Below is a letter from Gary and pictures from the march.
Dear CRLN Members and Friends,

Yesterday, our Chicago delegation accompanied the lively, diverse Resistance March in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Sidney Hollander, the CRLN Board member on this delegation, calculates turn-out by about how many people can fill a baseball stadium, which he estimates at 40,000. His guess? A shade under 40,000. Others estimated as high as 100,000.   We heard unconfirmed reports that some buses coming to the march were not allowed to enter Tegucigalpa. The reason the numbers were lower in Tegucigalpa than in previous major marches is in large part because the Frente has decided to decentralize them. Subsequently, major marches took place in all parts of the country yesterday. In Tegucigalpa, I was amazed by the great number of young people, ages 14-25, participating with great creativity. We hope to have pictures on our web site soon. In the mean time, you can see pictures from one of the web sites noted below in today’s


Hemispheric Brief


coverage of the coup anniversary.

On a negative note,


Berta Caceres,


a key leader of COPINH, the national indigenous organization of Honduras, was taken captive by military police in the town of La Esperanza. After the local population mobilized at the police station and an urgent action alert went out, Berta was released several hours after her capture. However, the police confiscated from Berta 400 signed affidavits seeking a national Constitutional assembly. The Resistance Front is organizing across Honduras to secure over 1 million signed affidavits to convene a national constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution to replace the current one drafted in 1982 amid the Cold War violence of the 1980s.  Diverse sectors of Honduran civil society in the resistance movement tell us that the current Constitution is privileging the interests of the oligarchy, the elite and transnational corporations seeking to “loot” their national resources.


Gary L. Cozette, Program Director

Hemispheric Brief – June 29, 2010 / Excerpts covering Honduras

In Honduras, more on the one year anniversary of the coup.

IPS has a good report

from Thelma Mejía who says “defacto” military veto power in the country continues to block any possible political or electoral reforms in the country.  The story comes after the head of the Honduran Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) said the possibility of ending the military’s role as the transporter of ballot boxes during elections was being considered.  Just days later, however, the TSE changed its tune entirely after a meeting with senior military officials.  According to IPS, the TSE now it “will seek to ‘expand’ the functions of the military [in the electoral process], including the possibility of allowing members of the armed forces to vote. According to Leticia Salomón, an expert in military affairs, one of the most significant consequences of last year’s coup has been the growing role of the military in the public sphere.  The country now has “highly politicized security forces, and in the case of the military, the leadership has become a decision-making body, says Salomón.

The pro-coup


El Heraldo


reports on FNRP protests yesterday, saying only about 2000 individuals showed up for marches in the capital commemorating last year’s coup.  I haven’t seen figures from the FNRP itself yet but

Vos el Soberano

does have photos. Pro-coup

La Tribuna

, meanwhile, reports on FNRP marches in San Pedro Sula where some 3000 resistance members took a bridge for nearly three hours.  Meanwhile, the FNRP announced it had collected

some 600,000 signatures

in favor of holding a constituent assembly.  For his part, Mel Zelaya watched events from the Dominican Republic.  In a letter released on the coup’s anniversary, Mr. Zelaya’s harshest words were saved for the United States, which, he now claims, was “behind the coup.”  As the

AP

reports, Zelaya cited what he called the “public support the United States wound up giving to the coup.”  And RAJ at

Honduras Culture and Politics

has a list of recommendations about what the Lobo government could do to start a process of real national dialogue.  I recommend reading in-full.

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El viernes, 16 de diciembre, CRLN, La Voz de Los de Abajo, y varixs compañerxs de Chicago llevaron 200 cartas de Navidad firmadas por residentes de Illinois hasta la oficina local del Senador Durbin para urgir que ponga un alto de inmediato a toda la asistencia militar de los EE.UU. a Honduras hasta que cumplan con estándares internacionales de derechos humanos.

Miembros y amigxs de CRLN hicieron posible este esfuerzo por sus firmas en las cartas al Senador, quien tiene una posición de alto rango en el Subcomité de Defensa del Comité de Asignaciones. Con esta posición él tiene el poder de suspender la asistencia de seguridad a Honduras dado las violaciones graves y consistentes en contra los derechos humanos en Honduras. Nuestro equipo llevó las cartas a la oficina del Senador y se reunieron con el personal de su oficina, quienes expresaron preocupación por la situación en Honduras y nos prometieron pasar nuestras peticiones al Senador. En este momento, no pudieron darnos una respuesta fija sobre el asunto de la suspensión de la asistencia de seguridad.

Seguiremos presionando el Senador Durbin en el año 2017 y esperamos trabajo duro para ganar el apoyo también de la Senadora-elegida Duckworth.


Estas 200 firmantes también aparecieron en cartas a los miembros de Illinois de la Cámera Baja pidiendo que apoyen H.R.5474 El Proyecto de Ley “Berta Cáceres” de Derechos Humanos en Honduras, una ley que también suspendería la asistencia militar y policiaca a Honduras.

En este momento, siete de los diez Demócratas de Illinois decidieron co-patrocinar H.R.5474, un gran triunfo que no habría sido posible sin la presión de base que por ustedes.


Berta Cáceres

, co-fundadora del Consejo Cívico y Popular de Organizaciones Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), fue asesinada el 2 de mazo de 2016 y en los nueve meses que han pasado desde su asesinato, las carpetas del caso fueron robados y su familia ha sido excluida completamente del proceso judicial. En julio,

Nelson Garcia

, miembro de COPINH, fue asesinado y

Tomás Gómez Membreño

, Coordinador General actual de COPINH quien visitó a la oficina de Senador Durbin pidiendo que suspenda la asistencia de seguridad en junio del 2016, sobrevivió un intento en contra su vida.

En octubre,

Jose Angel Flores

, Presidente de la organización campesina MUCA (Movimiento Unido Campesino del Aguán) y

Silmer Dionosio George

, otro miembro de MUCA, fueron asesinados por hombres armados mientras salían de una reunión de miembros de MUCA. Más activistas y defensores de derechos humanos fueron

detenidos y amenazados

por fuerzas de seguridad Hondureñas mientras manifestaban pacíficamente en contra de la privatización de las autopistas. El reporte más reciénte sobre derechos humanos en Honduras de la Asociación de Participación de los Ciudadanos aclaró

que en 2016 hubieron 32 asesinatos

de defensores de derechos humanos, activistas ambientales, y defensores de derechos campesinos e Indígenas.


A pesar de estos ataques, acusaciones creíbles de la complicidad del estado Hondureño, y un nivel de impunidad de 95%, los EE.UU. ha mandado $200 millones en la forma de asistencia militar y policiaca desde el golpe de estado en el 2009. Además, el mes pasado, el Departamento del Estado certificó—con poca o sin evidencia—que el gobierno Hondureño cumplió con condiciones de derechos humanos puestas por el Congreso Estadounidense, así soltando $55,000,000 en asistencia de seguridad.

Como respuesta, aproximadamente 200 residentes de Illinois fueron representados en la entrega de las cartas de navidad a la oficina del Senador urgiendo que use su, “poder para suspender la asistencia de seguridad hasta que la policía y ejército Hondureño cumplan con los estándares internacionales de derechos humanos. Nuestros impuestos ya no deben apoyar las fuerzas de seguridad Hondureñas con los recursos materiales y legitimidad internacional para poder cometer violaciones de derechos humanos con impunidad.”


Mientras la Sesión 114va del Congreso ya se terminó para el 2016, seguiremos apoyando nuestrxs compañerxs en Honduras y presionando al Senador Durbin y todxs los oficiales elegidxs para suspender la asistencia de seguridad Estadounidense a Honduras. Seguiremos exigiendo que respondan a los asesinatos y violencia en contra de lxs defensores de derechos humanos en Honduras.

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More Death Caused by Honduran Military and Paramilitaries

CRLN’s partners, La Voz de Los de Abajo, report on their blog about the latest military and paramilitary violence in Honduras.  Media, newspapers, radio stations, and journalists have been targeted for repression, abduction and execution; this latest episode included a police attack on Radio Uno in the town of San Pedro Sula.  At least one death was reported.  For more information, check La Voz de Los de Abajo’s blog Honduras Resists at

http://hondurasresists.blogspot.com/

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Honduras es el país más peligroso del mundo para ser un activista ambiental y uno de los más peligrosos para ser periodista, miembro de un sindicato o miembro de un movimiento social opuesto a las políticas actuales de la administración hondureña. Los miembros del ejército y la policía han sido implicados en actos de violencia contra los miembros de estos grupos, incluyendo asesinatos. El 97% de los crímenes cometidos en Honduras quedan sin resolver, y sin consecuencias para los perpetradores.

En este contexto, les damos las gracias por sus firmas apoyando el Proyecto de Ley de Derechos Humanos en Honduras Berta Cáceres (H.R. 5474). Las firmas ayudaron a CRLN a convencer a 7 de 10 representantes demócratas de Illinois en los Estados Unidos a copatrocinar esta importante legislación presentada por el representante Hank Johnson. A finales del 2016, el proyecto de ley, que suspendería la ayuda de seguridad de los Estados Unidos a Honduras en espera del cumplimiento de las normas internacionales de derechos humanos, reunió un total de 52 copatrocinadores en todo el país.

Debido que la sesión del Congreso número 114 terminó el 3 de enero y cualquier legislación que no llegó a la Cámara y el Senado para su votación terminó con ella, el Proyecto de Ley H.R. 5474 tendrá que ser reintroducido en la sesión del Congreso número 115 que va desde ahora hasta finales de 2018. El representante Hank Johnson planea reintroducir este proyecto de ley.

Tan pronto como esto ocurra, CRLN se pondrá en contacto con los y las representantes de Illinois para pedirle a los firmantes (Schakowsky, Gutiérrez, Davis, Rush, Quigley, Lipinski) que firmen de nuevo. Nos pondremos en contacto con aquellxs de ustedes en sus distritos para que contacten a sus representantes, se identifiquen como miembros de CRLN, les agradezcan por su copatrocinio el año pasado y pedirles apoyo para que vuelvan a firmar.

Para aquellos de ustedes en los distritos cuyos representantes no fueron co-patrocinadores, vamos a construir nuevos argumentos por los cuales deben ser co-patrocinadores y nos pondremos en contacto con ustedes en el momento apropiado para recolectar firmas de nuevo para mostrar el apoyo que hay en sus distritos para este proyecto de ley. Además, tenemos una nueva oportunidad de hablar con los representantes elegidos en noviembre (Brad Schneider en el Distrito 10, que reemplaza a Bob Dold, y Raja Krishnamoorthi, que reemplaza a Tammy Duckworth, ahora una de los Senadores de Illinois en el Distrito 8).

Es de vital importancia para las personas cuyas vidas están bajo amenaza en Honduras que Estados Unidos deje de suministrar armas y entrenar a las fuerzas de seguridad bajo la autoridad del actual presidente hondureño, Juan Orlando Hernández, cuyo partido utilizó y privó ilegalmente al público de los fondos designados para la el sistema de salud para financiar su última elección y que acaba de orquestar un cambio a la constitución para reelegirse como presidente en el 2017. Bajo su administración, fuerzas militares y policiales han sido desatadas para actuar violentamente en contra de quienes se oponen a la corrupción y las maniobras antidemocráticas de muchos de los que actualmente están en el poder.

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ARCHIVE:

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Given Honduras’ human rights situation, CRLN will provide for its members a monthly update on human right issues afflicting the country.


(Español aquí)

  • The Honduran authorities arrested

    another suspect of the assassination of Berta Caceres, Henry Javier Hernandez Rodriguez

    , a former member of the Honduran military, in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Berta’s family demands the arrests of those that planned the murder. However, the Honduran authorities don’t seem to be making any effort to prosecute the real intellectual authors of Berta’s assassination.
  • Gustavo Castro, who survived an assassination attempt when Berta Caceres was murdered,

    filed a formal accusation against the Honduran State for human rights violations.

  • Global Witness released a report that denounces

    , after a two-year investigation, that 120 environmental activists have died since 2010 in Honduras and that at the heart of the conflict are the rich and powerful elites, among them members of the political class. The Guardian analyzed the Global Witness report, focusing on the involvement of politicians and the business elite in the murder of the environmental defenders. Global Witness also denounces that the U.S. continues to provide security aid to Honduras despite the continuous human right violations by the state. Just this week, the U.S. gave

    the first Alliance for Prosperity funds

    ($125 million) to the Honduran government.
  • President Juan Orlando Hernandez is seeking a reform to the Penal Code and introduction of new legislation which would provide more power to the security forces of the country. Also, with this legislation, police, military and security forces who kill or injure civilians in “defense” would be exempt from justice.

    CARITAS Honduras

    said this legislation would bring the country back to the 80’s when the opposition and media were persecuted and practices of forced disappearances occurred regularly.

    Amnesty International, among other international and national organizations, is critical of this reform of the Penal Code.
  • Miriam Miranda and other members of the Afro-Honduran Garifuna cultural group OFRANEH were harassed and threatened by the Honduran Police in early January. The police wanted to illegally detain Miranda and three other human right defenders, during a checkpoint in La Ceiba. Miriam has protective measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).
  • Journalist Igor Padilla, was assassinated in the Northern part of Honduras. Honduras is one of the most dangerous and deadliest countries in the world to be a journalist. Padilla became the 63rd media worker to be killed since 2003. 50 of the 63 murders took place since 2009 and 24 alone in 2014 and 2015.
  • OFRANEH is fighting against Indura Hilton, which wants to build resorts on their ancestral lands in Northern Honduras, and denounces the role of the Attorney’s General Office in granting access to that land to Indura Hilton
  • Honduras celebrated National Women’s day this past January 25

    th

    , and

    local women right’s defenders and organizations protested the continuous violence and discrimination against women in the country.
  • President Hernandez is actively seeking an illegal re-election, prohibited by the Honduran Constitution, and is harassing the opposition. In the previous election, the National Party stole funds from the Social Security system, leaving sick and economically poor people without medicine and treatments, in order to finance his political campaign.
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Chile, 1985:


Women soaked by water cannon during a demonstration against Pinochet on International Women’s Day in Santiago. Photograph: Julio Etchart/Julio Etchart

This week, CRLN joins millions of people around the world commemorating the 40th anniversary of Chile’s U.S.-backed military coup, which led to 17 years of dictatorship and tens of thousands of opposition activists murdered, disappeared, tortured, exiled, and imprisoned. Time has healed some, but also brought profound determination for truth and justice.

As more time goes by, the truth of what happened and the full dimension of the violence becomes even clearer, and the country’s institutions are forced to assume their responsibility.

Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman writes in the New York Times about how he survived the bombing of the presidential palace just by trading a shift with a colleague and friend. He also writes about the durable impacts of the coup that have spread throughout the globe:

“The most lasting legacy of Chile’s Sept. 11 were the economic policies implemented by Pinochet. My country became, in effect, a laboratory for a neoliberal experiment, a land of  unrestrained greed where extreme denationalization of public resources and suppression of workers’ rights were imposed on an unwilling populace. Many of these merciless policies were later deployed by leaders across the globe”.

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman interviews Joan Jara, the widow of Chilean singer Víctor Jara,

who has just filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. court against the former military officer who allegedly killed Jara 40 years ago. Jara’s accused killer, Pedro Barrientos, has lived in the United States for roughly two decades and is now a U.S. citizen.”

Jara’s family is suing him under federal laws that allow U.S. courts to hear about human rights abuses committed abroad.”

 

TAKE ACTION! and join SOAWatch in calling for accountability for Victor Jara’s murder by Pedro Barrientos : “Jara was first held and tortured in the  infamous Estadio Chile (since renamed Estadio Victor Jara), which was turned into a nightmarish detention and torture center after the coup. Survivors and other witnesses claim that military officers broke Jara’s hands with the butts of their rifles before mockingly asking him to play his famous songs. Defiantly, Jara sang part of ‘Venceremos’ (We Will Win). His body was later dumped in the street, found riddled with 44 bullets and signs of extensive torture.”

Read a recounting by Hugh O’Shaughnessy, a prize-winning journalist who has written on Latin America for over 40 years, of the days immediately before and following the coup in Chile, where he was working as a journalist:

“As had already been the case after the military coups in Brazil in 1964 and then in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, and as was to be the case latterly in modern Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, the military and police torturers were ready with their electrodes, thumbscrews and waterboarding equipment to defend ‘western Christian civilisation’.”

Many had been brought to a peak of perfection in their
trade in the US itself or in its bases in the Panama canal zone by US instructors.”

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Dada la situación de derechos humanos en Honduras, CRLN proporcionará a sus miembros una actualización mensual de los problemas de derechos humanos que afligen al país.



  • Las autoridades hondureñas

    arrestaron a otro sospechoso del asesinato de Berta Caceres, Henry Javier Hernández Rodríguez, ex miembro del ejército hondureño,

    en Tamaulipas, México. La familia de Berta exige el arresto de los que planificaron el asesinato. Sin embargo, las autoridades hondureñas no parecen estar haciendo ningún esfuerzo para enjuiciar a los verdaderos autores intelectuales del asesinato de Berta.
  • Gustavo Castro, quien sobrevivió a un intento de asesinato cuando Berta Cáceres fue asesinada,

    presentó una acusación formal contra el Estado hondureño por violaciones a sus derechos humanos.

  • Global Witness publicó un informe que denuncia, tras una investigación de dos años,

    que 120 activistas ambientales han muerto desde el 2010 en Honduras y que en el centro del conflicto están las élites ricas y poderosas, entre ellas miembros de la clase política. Global Witness también denuncia que los Estados Unidos continua proporcionando ayuda de seguridad a Honduras a pesar de las continuas violaciones de derechos humanos cometidas por el estado hondureño . Sólo esta semana, los Estados Unidos dio los primeros fondos de la Alianza para la Prosperidad ($ 125 millones) al gobierno hondureño.
  • El presidente Juan Orlando Hernández está buscando una reforma al Código Penal y la introducción de nueva legislación que proporcionaría más poder a las fuerzas de seguridad del país. Además, con esta legislación, las fuerzas policiales, militares y de seguridad que matan o lesionan a los/las civiles en “defensa” estarían exentos de la justicia.

    CARITAS Honduras

    dijo que esta legislación llevaría al país de regreso a los años 80 cuando la oposición y los medios de comunicación fueron perseguidos y las prácticas de desapariciones forzadas ocurrieron regularmente.

    Amnistía Internacional critico las reformas propuestas al Código Penal.
  • Miriam Miranda y otros miembros del grupo cultural garífuna afro-hondureño OFRANEH fueron hostigados y amenazados por la Policía hondureña a principios de enero. La policía quería detener ilegalmente a Miranda y a otros tres defensores de derechos humanos, durante un puesto de control en La Ceiba. Miriam tiene medidas de protección de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).
  • El periodista Igor Padilla, fue asesinado en la parte norte de Honduras. Honduras es uno de los países más peligrosos y mortales del mundo para ser periodista. Padilla se convirtió en el 63º trabajador de los medios de comunicación asesinado desde el 2003. 50 de los 63 asesinatos ocurrieron desde el 2009, después del golpe de Estado, y 24 solo en el 2014 y 2015.
  • OFRANEH está luchando contra Indura Hilton, que quiere construir centros turísticos en sus tierras ancestrales en el norte de Honduras, y denuncia el papel de la Procuraduría General en otorgar acceso a esa tierra a Indura Hilton
  • Honduras celebró el Día Nacional de la Mujer el pasado 25 de enero, y las defensoras y organizaciones locales de derechos de las mujeres protestaron contra la continua violencia y discriminación contra las mujeres en el país.
  • El presidente Hernández está buscando activamente una reelección ilegal, prohibida por la Constitución hondureña, y está hostigando a la oposición. En la elección anterior, el Partido Nacional robó fondos del sistema de la Seguridad Social, dejando a los/las enfermos/as y las personas con pocos recursos económicos sin medicinas y tratamientos, para financiar su campaña política.
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ACTION ALERT!


CRLN and our partner La Voz de Los de Abajo are sending just shy of 30
people to observe the Honduran elections on November 24th.

The current political climate of Honduras has led to the deaths of 18 candidates
from the opposition party as well as dozens of journalists, lawyers and human
rights defenders, of which only a handful of cases have been solved.

As impunity reigns in Honduras and citizens lose faith in their
governmental istitutions,

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia is
circulating a letter to Secretary of State Kerry


demanding that the U.S.

– which has tremendous influence in Honduras –

press the Government of
Honduras to ensure the right of all its citizens to peacefully assemble,
campaign and vote.

Click here to tell your Senator that you want him or her to sign Senator
Kaine’s letter!

Support the Honduran people’s right to a democratic process!
Support the international monitoring efforts!

Click here to make your voice
heard!

You can also call Senator Durbin’s office at 202-224-2152 and ask that
Senator Durbin sign on Tim Kaine’s letter on the Honduran elections. Be sure to
tell them that your friends at CRLN and La Voz de Los de Abajo are going to
Honduras and that you’re looking to your elected officials to support the work
you’ll be doing down there to monitor the November 24th elections.



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