Thousands of members of Black and indigenous groups in Honduras marched on the capital, Tegucigalpa, on April 1, to commemorate 214 years since the arrival of the Garífuna people in the country (following their deportation by the British from St. Vincent), and to protest recent repression by the regime of Porfirio Lobo. Noting that the UN has declared 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent, protesters demanded respect for their territorial rights. “Today there is nothing to celebrate. We come here today to denounce that we are being usurped of our territory and living a second expulsion from our lands,” said Miriam Miranda, president of the Black Honduran Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH). On March 28, Miranda was beaten by police and then allegedly tortured in custody when she was arrested at a march in Tela, Atlántida department. She was held by police for 12 hours before being turned over to a hospital with lesions on her stomach. (KoasEnLaRed, Spain, April 2; Revistazo, Honduras, March 29)
A Honduran supreme court judge on March 25 dismissed three arrest warrants for former president Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a June 2009 coup. The overturning of the warrants could allow Zelaya to return to Honduras from exile in the Dominican Republic. But Justice Oscar Chinchilla made clear that his ruling does not dismiss corruption charges that were brought against Zelaya after the coup. Zelaya has called the charges political. (BBC News, March 25)
See our last post on the struggle in Honduras.