Honduras: popular organizations resist coup in courts and streets

The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) has filed a legal case with the Specialized Prosecutor for Organized Crime against the coup plotters and perpetrators. The complaint demands “that the investigation of these crimes proceed immediately, that the people responsible for their commission be identified… that orders for imprisonment be issued, and [that] the national police and Interpol be instructed regarding their immediate detention.” (Rights Action, July 14)

A new National Front Against the Coup d’Etat (Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado) has been formed, and issued a communique protesting the murder of two opposition activists. The statement pledges continued protests: “We reiterate our demand to unconditionally restore the institutional order in the country, at the same time we re-affirm our willingness to continue with a process that leads us to the installation of a National Constitutional Assembly that allows the re-founding of Honduras.” The statement concludes: “We put out a call to the whole population for us to continue the struggle and demand the restitution of individual guarantees…” (Honduras Resists, July 14)

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the Indigenous Coordinating Body of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean (CIMCA) and Moskitia United (MASTA) haveall issued statements opposing the coup. Edgardo Benitez Maclin, a Tawahka leader and regional coordinator for CIMCA, says representatives from the Lenca, Miskitu, Tawahka, Pech, Maya-Chorti, Tolupan, Garifuna, Creole, Nahoa and Chorotega peoples each contributed the group’s statement entitled “Political Position of the Peoples”—which especially emphasizes the demand for a constitutional reform: “We will never give up our historic struggle for reform of the political constitution of our country, in which it recognizes the multicultural and multilingual Honduras; the particular rights of our peoples; for a participative and inclusive democracy; the right to the free, prior and informed consent of our peoples…as is established in Convention 169 [Internaitonal Labor Organization] and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The CIMCA statement points out that the current repression is a throwback to a darker time in Honduran history: “The military during the ’80s lead abominable operations against the civil populations, as is being done now by coup President Micheletti who is calling on these same men to be his advisors. This means that there is a latent and serious danger to the lives of all indigenous leaders and those of others in the social movements.” (Indian Country Today, 13)

See our last post on Honduras and the world indigenous struggle.

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