ON-GOING REPRESSION OF TEACHERS & PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT
On Behalf Of Caitlin Power Hancey
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:30 PM
Subject: 8:30PM Honduras: Police are currently surrounding and gassing COPEMH building
Radio Globo in Honduras is currently reporting that police have surrounded about begun throwing tear gas bombs inside of the COPEMH building in Tegucigalpa. COPEMH is the association of secondary school teachers in Honduras. They are reporting that there were approximately 27 teachers and parents inside, eating and resting. Representatives of human rights organizations and the subdirector of the FNRP are on site.
The public offices of the Truth Commission are also located in the COPEMH complex. There are two buildings side by side that are part of the same complex, COPEMH occupies one and the Truth Commission office is located in the tower next to it, which COPEMH rents out. Teachers organizations and the FNRP are calling for a national civic strike tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23.
Please stay tuned for more information.
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On Behalf Of Karen Spring
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:47
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Rights Action holds Canadian and American politicians and government officials partially responsible for the on-going repression in Honduras. This State repression - predictable and systematic since the June 28, 2009 military coup - is a logical, brutal response by the military and police-backed Honduran regime that is supported and politically-backed most strongly by the governments of the USA and Canada.
Most governments in Latin America do not recognize the legitimancy of the regime in Honduras.
Since the June 2009 military coup, Honduras has not been allowed back into the OAS (Organization of American States).
There is no end in sight to State repression in Honduras. The military and police backed regime is illegitimate, coming to power in fraudulent elections after the June 28, 2009 military coup.
The governments of Canada and USA must change course. In the measure that they continue with "business as usual" with the Honduran regime, promoting "free trade" agreements and North American investor and business interests (mining, sweatshops, tourism, etc), they will help keep in place this repressive, undemocratic regime.
On request, Rights Action can provide extensive background about the on-going State repression in Honduras.
José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General
Organization of American States (OAS)
1889 F Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20006, USA
Sr. Felipe González, President
Inter-American Commission for Human Rights
1889 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20006, U.S.A.
Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés
President of the Supreme Court of Honduras
Tel (504) 2269-3000 2269-3069
Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
Barrio La Plazuela, Avenida Cervantes, Casa No. 1301
Apartado Postal 1243
Fax:+504 2220 5280 (ask for: "tono de fax, por favor")
USA & CANADIAN REPRESENTATIVE TO THE OAS:
H.E. Allan Culham
Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the OAS
Phone: (202) 682-1768
Fax: (202) 682-7624
H.E. Carmen Lomellin
Ambassador, Permanent Representative
Phone: (202) 647-9430
Fax: (202) 647-0911 or (202) 647-6973
The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) is requesting that letters be written to leaders at the Organization of American States (OAS) and Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the current human rights crisis in Honduras, including threats and attacks against specific human rights defenders and violent repression of public protest, as outlined below in the following sample letter:
It has come to my attention that the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) has made an urgent call to the international community to demand that Mr. Porfirio Lobo's regime cease it's repression and continued criminalization of peaceful protests taking place in Honduras.
On March 17th, in the cities of Tegucigalpa, Comayagua, and Danlí, the preventative police as well as men in civilian clothing driving cars without license plates repressed peaceful demonstrations of teachers and members of the National Front of Popular Resistence (FNRP). According to a preliminary report, as many as 50 people were detained, wounded, and beaten in those demonstrations.
On March 18th, there was another violent eviction of protestors in Tegucigalpa, which resulted in the death of teacher Ilse Ivania Velásquez Rodríguez, who was a founding member of COFADEH.
Earlier the same week, COFADEH released an urgent call-out denouncing "harassment and death threats against human rights defenders, including Blanca Azucena Espinoza, president of the Buenos Amigos peasant cooperative in the Aguán Region; Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, former Human Rights Commissioner of Honduras (CONADEH); Pedro Vicente Elvir, Dagoberto Posadas and Eduardo Argueta Santos, labour union activists; Kenia Oliva and Karol Cardenas, human rights lawyers at COFADEH; Trinidad Sánchez, director of the Alternative Commerce Network (Red COMAL); and Héctor Renán Soto, director of the Civil Society Group (Grupo Sociedad Civil)."
Considering the above mentioned cases, and numerous previous demouncements, we call on the OAS to maintain Honduras' suspension from the organization, and we call on the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights to institute effective measures to ensure full respect for all human rights in Honduras.
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