WOUNDING & DETENTION OF GARIFUNA LEADER, MIRIAM MIRANDA OF OFRANEH (BLACK FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION OF HONDURAS)
At approximately 6:30 am, March 28th, Garifuna, indigenous and pro-democracy movement leader Miriam Miranda was shot in the stomach with a tear-gas canister and illegally detained by police during a peaceful road occupation in a Garifuna community, Triunfo de la Cruz in Tela Bay, Northern Honduras.
Miriam is currently being detained in the police post in Tela where, within 24 hours of her (illegal) detention, the District Attorney will decide whether to press charges against Miriam for sedition and obstruction of a public roadway.
Since the violent eviction of the road occupation by police, it has been reported that Miriam is experiencing breathing problems, suffering from tear gas burns on her abdomen and has various bruises on different spots on her body.
REPRESSION OF TEACHERS
The peaceful road occupation in Triunfo de la Cruz is one of the many road occupations and actions being coordinated and carried out in solidarity with the public school teacher's movement and the pro-democracy people's movement in defense of public education.
In the last week and a half, public school teachers and the pro-democracy people's movement have faced brutal repression by the post-coup, military-backed regime of Pepe Lobo & state security forces that are trying to privatize public education and weaken the teachers movement, one of the pillars of the pro-democracy people's movement that came together after the June 28th, 2009 military coup in Honduras.
THE KILLING OF ILSE VELASQUEZ
During this mass wave of repression, on March 18th, teacher Ilse Ivania Valesquez Rodriguez was killed during a violent eviction of a protest in Tegucigalpa where she was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fainted and later run over by a car.
During these protests in various places throughout the country, many people have been injured, illegally detained & criminalized. At least four journalists covering the protests and repression have been harassed on separate occasions resulting in two journalists from Canal 36 being hospitalized on March 25 after being fired at by police with tear gas at close range.
Currently there are 22 teachers being held since their detention on March 25th in the National Penitentiary in Tegucigalpa where tomorrow they will go before a judge that will decide whether to press various charges against them including sedition, illicit association and disobeying authority, damages to private property. (Rights Action will be sending an alert out shortly regarding the hearing tomorrow and the detention of the teachers).
Miriam Miranda's detention and the detention of the 22 teachers is once again an attempt by the post-coup regime to criminalize and weaken the pro-democracy and teacher's movement.
REPRESSION & TOURISM
Since the June 28, 2009 coup d'etat, the repression against OFRANEH (of which Miriam Miranda is the General Coordinator) has worsened, as there has been a strong push since the military coup to continue the mega tourist projects that the communities of Tela Bay have strongly resisted.
For more than two decades, OFRANEH and the Garifuna communities along the north coast, including Tela Bay have been under violent & systematic threats of expulsion as a result of the interests of the national & international tourist industry, international financial institutions (including the World Bank and the IDB), Honduran elite & businessmen, Canadian tourists interests, the military and police that are all associated with the construction of the mega tourist projects.
HONDURAN PHONE & FAX NUMBERS:
Yanny Del Cid, Public Defender of Indigenous groups, 011-504-9565-3361
Adonay Padilla, Coordinator of Public Prosecutors, Atlántida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 011-504-9970-4081
Fiscal (attorney) in charge of Miriam's case in Tela: Coritza Vega, 011-504-2448-1349 and 011-504-2248-1752
Oscar Álvarez, Security Secretary, Fax: 011-504-2232-0226
Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés, President of the Supreme Court, Tel 011-(504) 2269-3000, 2269-3069, Fax: 011-504-2269-3114/3060, email@example.com
Luís Alberto Rubí, Attorney General of Honduras, Tel 011-(504) 2221-5670 2221-3099, Fax: 011-504-2221-5667, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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US GOV'T OFFICES AND POLITICIANS
WHITE HOUSE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/, 202-456-1111 , Comment Line: 202-456-1414
CONGRESS: Go to http://www.house.gov/ to get info for your member of Congress, and call: 202-224-3121
SENATE: Go to http://www.senate.gov/ to get contact for your Senator, and call: 202-224-3121
STATE DEPARTMENT: 202 647-8947
STATE DEPARTMENT - Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs: 202 647-0834 , WHAAsstSecty@State.Gov
AMBASSADOR CRAIG KELLY, Principal Deputy Asst. Secretary, Western Office of Hemisphere Affairs:KellyC@state.gov
MARIA OTERO, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs; c/o Laura Pena, Assistant:PenaL@state.gov
BENJAMIN GEDAN, Honduras Desk Officer, (202) 647-3482
DR. ARTURO VALENZUELA: ValenzuelaAA@state.gov
PAUL MONTEIRO, Office of Public Engagement, Darron_P._Monteiro@who.eop.gov
AMBASSADOR HUGO LLORENS, U.S. Embassy in Honduras, LlorensH@state.gov, 011  2236-9320 ext. 4268, 2236-9037, & Silvia Eiriz, Eirizs@state.gov
AMBASSADOR to the OAS, H.E. Carmen Lomellin
Phone: (202) 647-9430
Fax: (202) 647-0911 or (202) 647-6973
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CANADIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT:
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA David Johnston
Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A1
firstname.lastname@example.org, (613) 993-8200 , 800 465-6890
Duncan Mousseau, Director of Policy, Planning and Correspondence, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, DMousseau@GG.CA
PRIME MINISTER Stephen Harper, email@example.com
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon
509-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) Peter Kent
125 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0G2, (613) 992-0253 , firstname.lastname@example.org
Gilles Duceppe, leader, Bloc Quebecois
1200 Papineau Av, #350, Montreal, QC, H2K-4R5
Jack Layton, leader, New Democratic Party
221 Broadview Ave, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, MM-2G3
Elizabeth May, leader, Green Party
Saanich Gulf Islands EDA, Box 20076, Sidney, BC, V8L0in9
Michael Ignatieff, leader, Liberal Party
656 The Queensway, Etobicoke, ON, M8Y-1K7
Bob Rae, Liberal, Foreign Affairs Critic
(613) 992-5234 , RaeB@parl.gc.ca
Francine Lalonde, Bloc Quebecois, Foreign Affairs Critic
(613) 995-6327 , LalonF@parl.gc.ca
Paul Dewar, NDP, Foreign Affairs Critic
1306 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON, K1Y-3B2
Peter Julian, NDP International Trade Critic
Rm 178, Confederation Bldg., Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
John McKay, Liberal, Scarborough-Guildwood
(613) 992-1447 , MckayJ@parl.gc.ca, 613-947-4609
Claire Lehan, Legislative Assistant
(613) 992-6512 , McKayJ8@parl.gc.ca
549-D Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
Kevin Sorenson, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Room 518, Justice Building, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
(613) 947-4608 , SorenK@parl.gc.ca, 613-992-2971
Dean Allison, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson
4994 King Street, Beamsville, ON, L0R-1B0
CANADIAN Embassy in Costa Rica (responsible for Honduras as well)
Ambassador Neil Reeder
(506) 2242-4400, (506) 2242-4411, email@example.com
Honduras Office of the Canadian Embassy
Centro Financiero Banexpo, 3 Piso, Boulevard San Juan Bosco, Colonia Payaquí, Tegucigalpa
(504) 232-4551 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE OAS
H.E. Allan Culham
Phone: (202) 682-1768
Fax: (202) 682-7624
Calls are needed to secure Miriam Miranda's immediate and unconditional release. Demand that all charges are dropped immediately.
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