Tag Archives: CPTRT

[en] Human Rights Platform: Prevent Intensification of Violence in Aguan Region

Press Release

We Must Prevent the Intensification of Violent Incidents in the Lower Aguan

The Human Rights Platform, in its travels to learn in situ about the conditions of violence in the Aguan Valley and the conditions in which the families organized in the Aguan Unified Farmworkers’ Movement (MUCA) live, visited the La providencia de la Concepción, La Aurora, La Confianza and Los Camarones cooperatives, located along the right-hand riverbank, and the Guanchías cooperative along the left bank.

From this visit, we summarize our report in the following points:

* The facts learned refute the media campaign that criminalizes the actions taken by MUCA, relating them to guerilla groups advised by foreigners who supposedly operate in the region;

* We confirmed the presence in the land occupations of families including children (including infants), pregnant women, seniors, disabled people, living in deplorable conditions;

* The Human Rights Platform has documented complaints that reflect a state of distress, helplessness, and anxiety, caused by the presence of groups armed with sophisticated military equipment (weapons with laser beams and night vision) that harass the population in the area, violent evictions, and constant death threats against members of the different cooperatives;

* The testimonies highlight that various people have been injured as a result of the violent evictions and acts of intimidation, and that a series of anomalies has taken place during illegal detentions: arrest and detention of minors (children between 5 and 8 years of age); confinement in places of detention with no legal authorization (a case in which detainees were held in military facilities in the region); the supposed authorities did not identify themselves at the moment arrest, and did not read the detainees’ rights or inform them of the supposed charges.

* We denounce the precarious situation of the families claiming their right to land in the lower Aguan. Among our discoveries in the settlements, we found that there is little food, serious signs of malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, huts made of palm fronds and/or plastic, where entire families live, and ontop of all of this the lack of medical attention that may cause problems in the children’s development. Furthermore, the Human Rights Platform is concerned about the impossibility of obtaining a working income while the crisis continues.

* In the case of the Guanchías cooperative, the families occupying the property are living in warehouses with toxic waste, which represents a threat to their health. Ontop of this, ten people with rabies due to bat bites have been identified.

* Apart from the violations of the rights to life and to physical and psychological integrity, the rights to education, health, and food are being violated.

As the Human Rights Platform, we declare ourselves in constant vigilance with respect to the situation in the lower Aguan, taking into account that it demands prioritized attention in terms of human rights.

We demand that the Special Attorney’s Office on Human Rights pay close attention to the conflict posed in this region and we encourage the national and international community and international human rights organizations to issue statements with regard to the observations presented in this release.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 24, 2010.

CDM-CIPRODEH-CODEH-COFADEH-CPTRT-FIAN

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[es] Plataforma de DDHH: Impidamos la profundizacion de hechos violentos en el Bajo Aguan

Comunicado

Impidamos la profundización de hechos violentos en el Bajo Aguán

La Plataforma de Derechos Humanos en su gira para conocer in situ las condiciones de violencia en el Valle del Aguán y las que viven  las familias campesinas agrupadas en el Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán  (MUCA), visitó las cooperativas La providencia de la Concepción, La Aurora, La Confianza y Los Camarones, ubicadas en la margen derecha, y Guanchías en la margen izquierda del Rio Aguán.

De esta visita resumimos nuestro informe en los siguientes puntos:

  • Los hechos conocidos desmienten la campaña mediática que criminaliza la acción de MUCA, relacionándolos con grupos guerrilleros asesorados por extranjeros que supuestamente operan en la zona;
  • Constatamos en las tomas de tierra  la presencia de familias que incluyen niños y niñas (recién nacidos), mujeres embarazadas,  personas de la tercera edad, discapacitados y discapacitadas viviendo en condiciones deplorables;
  • La Plataforma de Derechos Humanos ha documentado denuncias que reflejan una condición de zozobra, estados de impotencia y ansiedad, causada por la presencia de grupos armados con equipo militar sofisticado (armas con rayos láser y visión nocturna) que hostigan a los pobladores de la zona, violentos desalojos, y constantes  amenazas a muerte a integrantes de las diferentes cooperativas
  • Los testimonios destacan que producto de los violentos desalojos y acciones de intimidación han resultado  varias personas heridas, detenciones ilegales en donde se incurrió en una serie de anomalías como son: captura y detención de menores (niños entre 5 y 8 años); confinamiento en lugares de detención no autorizados por la ley (caso en el que se menciona privación de libertad de los detenidos en una unidad militar de la zona); la supuesta autoridad no se identificó al momento de la captura, y obvió la lectura de derechos y supuestos cargos.
  • Denunciamos la precaria situación en que se encuentran las familias que demandan su derecho a la tierra en el Bajo Aguan. Dentro de nuestros hallazgos encontramos que en los asentamientos humanos hay escasa alimentación, severos cuadros de desnutrición, insalubridad, chozas hechas de ramas de palma y/o plástico, donde viven familias enteras; todo esto sumado a la falta de atención médica oportuna puede causar problemas en el desarrollo de los niños y las niñas. Además, preocupa a la Plataforma de Derechos Humanos la imposibilidad de adquirir ingresos por su trabajo mientras permanece la crisis.
  • En el caso de la cooperativa Guanchías, las familias que ocupan esta finca se encuentran viviendo en bodegas con residuos tóxicos lo que representa un atentado contra su salud. Sumado a esto, se han identificado 10 personas, entre campesinos y campesinas, con rabia producto de mordidas de murciélagos.
  • Además de la violación a los derechos a la vida, a la integridad física y psíquica,  se violan los derechos  a la educación, la salud y la alimentación.

Como Plataforma de Derechos Humanos  nos declaramos en constante vigilancia ante la problemática surgida en el Valle del Bajo Aguán habida cuenta que demanda atención prioritaria en el tema de los derechos humanos.

Exigimos que la fiscalía de derechos humanos le preste especial atención al conflicto que se plantea en esta región y alentamos a la comunidad nacional e internacional y a los organismos internacionales de derechos humanos a pronunciarse en relación con las observaciones expuestas en este comunicado.

Tegucigalpa 24 de marzo de 2010.

CDM-CIPRODEH-CODEH-COFADEH-CPTRT-FIAN

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[en] Human Rights Platform concerned about potential eviction in Aguan Valley

Human Rights Platform warns of possible violent eviction of farmworkers’ settlements in the lower Aguan

The Human Rights Platform informs the national and international community of the possible violent eviction of the families organized in the Aguan United Farmworkers Movement (MUCA) engaged in land occupations in the Aguan Valley. According to reports received about the current state of the negotiations, the designated governmental commission will present a written proposal to the farmworkers’ movement today.

MUCA has announced that it will analyse the proposal with its members and will then make a declaration on the subject. The concern is that if the farmworkers’ response does not please the landowners, the latter may proceed to an eviction using the traditional violent methods that, given the current circumstances, could result in deaths and injuries.

According to formal complaints obtained in the region, heavily armed uniformed groups aided by special equipment for nocturnal operations patrol the areas surrounding the farmworkers’ settlements in a threatening way.

The Human Rights Platform believes that the necessary precautions should be taken to avoid potential violence, which would once again endanger the physical and psychological integrity of thousands involved in the conflict.

The Honduran State is responsible for preventing and guaranteeing that citizens’ human rights are respected and for punishing the perpetrators of crimes against the physical integrity of others. It is also responsible for ensuring that farmworkers have access to land and other resources to live decently.

We demand that the Special Attorney’s Office on Human Rights pay attention to events in the region and take measures appropriate to the particular conditions there in order to avoid greater trouble.

We ask that international human rights organizations, populations, and governments demand of Porfirio Lobo Sosa the immediate dismantling of paramilitary squadrons and a halt to actions of repressive State forces biased in favour of the landowners.

Tegucigalpa, MDC, Honduras, March 24, 2010

CDM, CIPRODEH, CODEH, COFADEH, CPTRT and FIAN

[translation from the original Spanish version by Sandra Cuffe]

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[es] Alerta de la Plataforma de Derechos Humanos sobre el Bajo Aguan

Plataforma de Derechos Humanos alerta frente a un eventual y violento desalojo de los asentamientos campesinos en el Bajo Aguán.

La Plataforma de Derechos Humanos pone en conocimiento de la comunidad nacional e internacional el posible desalojo violento de las familias del Movimiento Campesino Unificado del Aguán (MUCA) que realizan ocupaciones de tierra en el Valle del Aguán. De acuerdo con reportes obtenidos sobre el estado actual de las negociaciones, la comisión gubernamental nombrada para tal efecto, presentará este miércoles una propuesta escrita al movimiento campesino.

El MUCA ha informado que analizará con sus bases dicha propuesta y se pronunciará al respecto. La preocupación está en que si la respuesta de los campesinos no complace a los terratenientes, éstos podrían proceder al desalojo utilizando las modalidades violentas tradicionales que en las actuales circunstancias podrían resultar con saldos de muertos y heridos.

Según denuncias recabadas en la zona, grupos uniformados, fuertemente armados y auxiliados por equipos especiales para operaciones nocturnas, patrullan en los alrededores de los asentamientos campesinos en actitud amenazante.

La Plataforma de Derechos Humanos cree que deben tomarse las previsiones necesarias para evitar eventuales escenas de violencia, que pondrían en peligro nuevamente la integridad física y psíquica de miles de personas involucradas en el conflicto.

El estado de Honduras es el responsable de prevenir y garantizar que se respeten los derechos humanos de los ciudadanos, así como de castigar a los perpetradores de los delitos que atentan contra la integridad física de las personas; también de velar porque los campesinos tengan acceso a la tierra y otros recursos para vivir decorosamente.

Exigimos a la fiscalía de derechos humanos esté pendiente de los sucesos en esa región y tome las medidas apropiadas a las condiciones particulares que se viven ahí para evitar males mayores.

Pedimos a los organismos internacionales de derechos humanos, a pueblos y gobiernos que exijan al régimen de Porfirio Lobo Sosa el desmantelamiento inmediato de escuadrones de paramilitares; y la suspensión de acciones de las fuerzas represivas del estado parcializadas a favor de los terratenientes.

Tegucigalpa MDC, 24 de marzo de 2010

CDM, CIPRODEH, CODEH, COFADEH, CPTRT Y FIAN

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[en] Rights Action: Day 132 of Honduras Coup Resistance – Failure of “Guaymuras Accords”

Day 132 of HONDURAS COUP RESISTANCE – FAILURE OF “GUAYMURAS ACCORDS”
(November 6, 2009, Honduras Coup Alert#87)

(131st day of peaceful resistance to the coup regime. Photo, Karen Spring, November 5, 2009, Tegucigalpa)

BELOW:

  • COPINH (Civic council of popular and indigenous organizations of Honduras) analyses the failed “Guaymuras Accords”
  • CPTRT (Center for the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture) summary report on use of torture by oligarchic-military regime

TO DONATE FUNDS – SEE AT BOTTOM

Please continue to financially support the pro-democracy, anti-coup movement in Honduras.  This extraordinary struggle, to defeat the oligarchic-military regime and to remake their constitution and country, will continue well into 2010.

VIEW The Real News

“Nothing resolved in Honduras: Widely-celebrated, US-brokered agreement looks to have strengthened coup instead of reversing it”: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4431

HUMAN RIGHTS DELEGATION TO HONDURAS, November 24–December 1, 2009

Consider joining a Rights Action delegation to Honduras.  For information: Grahame Russell, info@rightsaction.org, 1-860-352-2448

FOR INTERVIEWS & MORE INFORMATION

* * *

COPINH – CIVIC COUNCIL OF POPULAR AND INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF HONDURAS
The indigenous-campesino organization COPINH denounces the “Guaymuras Accords”

In the face of the signing of the accords to seek a solution to the crisis generated by the military coup d’etat against the people of Honduras, COPINH emits the following communiqué:

1. We have no trust in the negotiating commission of the coup regime, given that they have never demonstrated a willingness to reinstate the constitutional president of the republic.  Its only purpose is to buy time to consolidate the objectives of the coup d’etat in looting the national treasury and imposing neoliberal projects of privatization of natural resources and state institutions.

2. We denounce the malicious and intentional attitude of the government of the United States of America, that takes ambiguous positions but, behind the scenes, has supported the coup-makers and, if not, how can they explain that in the kidnapping of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales they used the [U.S. military’s Honduran] Palmerola base?  If the yankees had so much political will to contribute to the resolution of this crisis, why so much tolerance, patience and complacency with the coup-makers in lending themselves to a dialogue where they present deceiving agreements as a solution?

3. We call out people not to rest until we achieve the convoking of a popular and democratic national constitutional assembly, which should be made up of the different social sectors of the country such as women, feminists, youth, indigenous and black peoples, workers, the LGTB community, community councils, representatives of marginalized neighborhoods, teachers, artists, peasants, honest business people, intellectuals, professionals, the informal economy sector, alternative media, among others.

4. We urge the National Front of Popular Resistance to raise an initiative of dialogue and negotiation towards more dignified agreements in which the mediation shouldn’t be to the liking and oversight of the yankee government, which has helped drive the coup d’etat against our people, but instead by people like Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, democratic countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA) and UNASUR, foundations like the Carter Foundation, social movements of the countries of Latin America and the world like the Landless Peoples Movement of Brazil, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo of Argentina, the Scream of the Excluded, Jubilee South, the Convergence of Popular Movements of the Americas, the School of the Americas Watch, the platforms of solidarity with the Honduran people and others.

For this the front should name a negotiating commission that understands that the coup-makers are perverse and that the State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. government in general are driving the coup d’etat and proposing, as key points, the restitution of the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to govern for the time that the coup-makers robbed of his governing period, the installation of a national constitutional assembly and the dissolution of the coup congress, of the coup supreme court, of the coup public ministry, the reduction and purging of the armed forces, the definitive purging of the national police and the punishment of the people involved in the coup d’etat and the violation of human rights.

5. We urge once again to the candidates of the Democratic Unification Party, the Popular Independent Candidacy, the PINU party and the Liberals, who are in resistance, to be consistent and renounce, once and for all, participation in the electoral farce set up by the coup-makers.  To our people we urge you not to participate in the electoral circus and to boycott that act of the coup-makers.

6. To the international solidarity we invite you to strengthen the support to the Honduran people not just as a principle of solidarity but for reasons of self-defense since if the coup-makers consolidate in Honduras the democratic spring of the peoples of the world and particularly the peoples of our America will end.

With the ancestral force of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices filled with life, justice, dignity, freedom and peace.

HERE NOBODY IS GIVING UP / AQUI, NO SE RINDE NADIE

* * *

INTRODUCTION TO CPTRT’S RECENT REPORT DETAILING THE USE OF TORTURE BY THE COUP REGIME

By the CPTRT (Center for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and their Families).  Complete report in Spanish:  http://www.cptrt.org/pdf/Tortura_Represion_Sistematica_GolpeEstado.pdf.  Translated by Patricia Adams of the Quixote Center, www.quixote.org)

The political military coup in Honduras, which took place on June 28, 2009, has special characteristics … .

The first component is the participation of the old followers of the National Security Doctrine that have continued practicing torture with impunity since the 80’s and who are the principle military and police advisors of the de facto regime.

The second component is the strategy of low intensity conflict, psychological torture, state terrorism, total suspension of constitutional guarantees, the state of siege and the presence of national and international hired assassins.

The third element is that the coup is taking place in the country where one of the most important US military bases exists [Palmerola, 40 minutes north of Tegucigalpa, the capital city] and where international military trainings and maneuvers occur frequently.

The fourth element is the alliance of economic, media, political, judicial, and religious powers in the country, that openly denies the coup, referring to it as a ‘constitutional succession.’ An alliance which also proclaims and justifies this military coup in the name of the law of God, peace, and democracy, all while keeping silent about murders, torture, and human rights violations.

The fifth component is the condemnation of the coup as a military coup, by almost 100% percent of the world’s countries, with the exception of United States, which condemns it as a coup but does not consider it to have been military in nature.

The sixth component is that the coup is considered as being not only against Zelaya but against the entire people of Honduras, and is a threat to the stability of some Latin American governments.

The seventh component is the existence of the popular response by the National Resistance Front Against the Military Coup, which has been protesting continuously for more than 120 days, despite the massive repression by brutal military and police force, the use of toxic gases, chemical weapons, intense noises, murders, persecution, political imprisonment and massive use of torture.

The eighth component is that the coup has occurred in the context of an electoral process which censors and gags the freedom of expression, in which the de facto government has fierce control of more than 90% of the communications media, and through which a variety of media outlets and journalists were militarized and repressed, including Radio Globo, Cholusat Sur, Diario Tiempo, Canal 11, Radio Progreso and the newspaper El Libertador.

The ninth element in that candidates from the opposition parties for the upcoming presidential, congressional, and mayoral elections have been subjected to torture, to being followed, to violent trauma and to murder. These facts are indicators of the restrictions on freedom and the civil and political rights of an electoral campaign process.

The tenth component is a 60% increase in femicide, the violations of the rights of trans-gender people, as well as the persecution and racism against the indigenous and the Garífunas. In this context, it is especially important to mention that since the sixth of October of 2009, 12 people affiliated with the Lenca indigenous organization COPINH have sought political asylum inside the Guatemala Embassy, that Augustina Flores, sister of COPINH leader Berta Caceres, was tortured by the police forces, and that the Lenca resistance leader Antoio Leiva was murdered.

Additionally, on the 21st of October, Day of the Forces that are Armed against the people, the criminal policies of the de facto regime resounded clearly when the repressive forces of the Direction of Criminal Investigation were ordered to break in, terrorize and silence the language and culture of our brothers and sisters of Radio Flumabimeto and Radio Duruugubuty, radio stations of the Garífuna peoples in the regions of Triunfo de la Cruz and San Juan, in the Bay of Tela, terrorizing 46 communities.

The murder of leaders of the teachers movements has been another characteristic of this military coup: Roger Vallejo, Martín Rivera, Mario Fidel Contreras, and Eliseo Hernández, as well as Jairo Sánchez, the President of the Union of INFOP Workers (SITRAINFOP), who was shot and eventually died from the wounds he sustained.

Lastly, we wish to point out the enormous risk of human rights defense work: our staff has been threatened, followed, and shot at, and their phone lines have been tapped and cut.  We are grateful for the international solidarity and support and for our organization, particularly we are thankful for the Research Centre for Torture (RCT DANIDA).  This report is a product of team work and the vocation to ethical and responsible service of the CPTRT.

We also take this opportunity to publicly recognize all the human rights organization, national and international, who are against the military coup.

Juan Almendares
Executive Director of the CPTRT

RISE IN REPORTS OF TORTURE AND CRUEL, INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT

Tegucigalpa November 2, 2009: The CPTRT reports that the number of cases of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading (TCID) treatments has risen at an alarming rate and has become of means of political repression in the wake of the coup d’etat.

Throughout these four months, the CPTRT alone has registered 475 cases of torture and TCID. Nonetheless, it is estimated that the number of total cases in considerably higher given the tendency of under-reporting for fear of reprisal or lack of trust in the judicial system.

Between 2007 and the first half of 2009, CPTRT saw an average of 2.5 cases of torture each month, compared with 118.75 cases per month in the current context.

The majority of victims of torture seen by CPTRT have been protestors that have shown a serious opposition to the coup, although members of Congress, advocates of the 4th ballot box process, and journalists have been targeted as well.

[Translators note: The possible presence of a 4th ballot box was the subject of the non-binding survey President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya tried to carry out on June 28th 2009, the day of the coup d’etat. If the results of the non-binding survey would have been positive, Zelaya could have used them to back his proposal to Congress for the presence of a 4th ballot box in the November general elections. If the Congress approved the presence of the 4th ballot box, the Honduran people would have been able to vote for the creation of a Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new Constitution.]

The torture has been physical, psychological, and sexual and has been almost exclusively committed by the police and military. The torture has included both traditional and new methods, such as viscous blows to the body and throat, burns via the application of lit cigarettes to the body and genitals, use of gas, deprivation of water and food, humiliation, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, the threat of death, the threat of disappearance, and the threat of the use of electric shock, among others.

GIVEN THE ABOVE, CPTRT:

Demands that the Honduran state investigate, pursue and penalize those responsible for the crimes of torture and TCID, and demands that attention, reparation, and restitution be provided to the victims.

Offers the reminder that torture is a crime against humanity that is not subject to a statute of limitations and that the passage of time does not make impossible either investigation of the crimes nor penalty of those responsible.

Offers the reminder that the prohibition of torture is an obligation that Honduras assumed on a national level through the Constitution, and through the ratification of international instruments like Convention on Torture, among others.

CPTRT states that the defense of human rights in the country has become a high risk activity for its staff, which has been threatened continuously through intimidation, being fired upon, followed, and threatened. Therefore, CPTRT urges the international community to undergo pertinent actions to protect the life of defenders and also makes a special call to the representatives of the EU to apply the European Guidelines of Human Rights Defenders.

* * *

FUNDS NEEDED to support organizations and people working on human rights issues and with the National Front Against the Coup.  Make your tax-deductible check to “rights action” and mail to:

UNITED STATES:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
CANADA:  552-351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
CREDIT-CARD DONATIONS:  http://rightsaction.org/contributions.htm

For foundations and institutional donors, Rights Action can (upon request) provide a full proposal of which organizations and people we are channeling funds to and supporting.

WATCH A 2-PART “FAULT LINES” NEWS REPORT ABOUT HONDURAS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYY4vj9ROC0&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upMu_oR2YUU&NR=1

FOR INTERVIEWS & MORE INFORMATION:
In Honduras, Karen Spring, 011-504-9507-3835, spring.kj@gmail.com
In USA, Grahame Russell, 860-352-2448, info@rightsaction.org

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[en] August 6th, 10am, Tufts U, Medford, MA: Panel Discussion on Current Events in Honduras

Protest march against coup in front of "Isis Obed Murillo" international airport in Tegucigalpa. Photo: Sandra Cuffe

Centro Presente and the Honduran Project invite you to a Panel Discussion on current events in Honduras with representatives of Honduran Civil Society and Immigrant Leaders in the U.S.

The delegation of Honduran civil society representatives is sponsored by The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)

Thursday, 6 August 2009, 10:00 am
206 Cabot Hall,The Fletcher School, Tufts University
160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA

For more information contact:
Patricia Montes– Centro Presente, Boston, MA- (617) 959-3108
Tito Meza – Honduran Project, Chelsea, MA – (617) 610-3784
Isabel Lopez – Honduran Project, Chelsea, MA – (617) 306-1365

Panelists will include:
Dr. Juan Almendares is an internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner.  He has received recognition for his outstanding and courageous work with victims of torture in Honduras. He is the
internationally chosen recipient of the 2001 Barbara Chester Award for his groundbreaking efforts with prisoners, victims of torture, the poor, and indigenous populations. A torture survivor himself, Dr. Almendares has been targeted by death squads on several occasions.

Oscar Chacón serves currently as Executive Director of the National
Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC). Until
December, 2006, Mr. Chacón served as director of Enlaces América, a
project of the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. Mr. Chacón served for most of the 1990’s as executive director of Centro Presente, Inc, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Chacón served for many years as president of the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN). Mr. Chacón is a frequent lecturer in national and international conferences, as well as a media spokesperson on Latino immigrant issues in the U.S.

Abencio Fernández Pineda is the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Center for the Investigation and Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CIPRODEH, by its Spanish initials) for the western region of Honduras.  Mr. Pineda was previously an attorney for the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODEH) and the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras (COFADEH).

Maria Luisa Jimenez
, a former police officer in Honduras, denounced the widespread corruption in the police force and is now an activist for
transparency in government and women’s rights.  She is currently a
candidate for Honduran Congress with the Democratic Union party (UD).

Dr. Luther Castillo.  Dr. Castillo is a young Garifuna medical doctor and
community organizer who directs the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation (“For the Health of our People” in Garifuna), dedicated to bringing vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. After his 2005 graduation from the Latin American Medical School in Havana, Dr. Castillo returned to the Honduran coast, where he led the Foundation’s construction of Honduras’ first Garifuna Rural Hospital, now serving some 20,000 in the surrounding communities.  The hospital opened in December 2007, a few months after Dr. Castillo was named “Honduran Doctor of the Year” by Rotary International’s Tegucigalpa chapter.

Gerardo Torres is a young Honduran journalist who is part of the social organization Bloque Popular, in which he is part of the national coordination. Torres is part of the Politic Commission of the Organization Los Necios that works permanently in the political formation of workers, peasants, student federations, feminist organizations, and that have the responsibility of the coordination of the communication and propaganda matters of the Honduran Popular Movement. He is an active member of  the National Front Against the Coup de Etat in Honduras.

Patricia Montes
Executive Director
Centro Presente
17 Inner Belt Road
Somerville,MA 02143
617-629 47 31 Ext. 211

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[en] Honduras Coup Resistance SPEAKING TOUR July 29th – August 8th, USA

Doctor Juan Almendares Bonilla in his clinic, Tegucigalpa, July 16th, 2009. Foto: Sandra Cuffe[Doctor Juan Almendares Bonilla in his clinic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, July 16th, 2009. Photo: Sandra Cuffe.]

“My heart has a memory / of who the terrorists are. / They are not Muslims, Jews, / Christians, Hindus nor Buddhists. / They are the weapons vendors, / they are the fundamentalists of war, / they are those who sow torture and violence / and imprison the joy of planet earth.”

– Juan Almendares, from the poem ‘El amor sera la fuerza’

****************************************************


HONDURAN CIVIL SOCIETY AND IMMIGRANT LEADERS TO VISIT WASHINGTON DC, NEW YORK, BOSTON, CHICAGO

One month after the interruption of constitutional order in Honduras through a military coup d’etat and in the wake of widespread reports of human rights violations harkening back to events of the 1980s, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) is bringing a delegation of civil society representatives from that country to the U.S. to participate in a speaking tour and to advocate for the restoration of constitutional order and respect for human rights.

The tour will start in Washington D.C. with visits to Congressional offices and will be followed by press and speaking events in various U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, and Chicago.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Wednesday to Friday, July 29-31: Washington D.C.
Saturday to Tuesday, Aug.1-4: New York City, NY
Wednesday and Thursday, August 5-6: Boston, MA
Friday and Saturday, August 7-8: Chicago, IL

MEMBERS OF DELEGATION:

Dr. Juan Almendares is an internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner.  He has received recognition for his outstanding and courageous work with victims of torture in Honduras. He is the internationally chosen recipient of the 2001 Barbara Chester Award for his groundbreaking efforts with prisoners, victims of torture, the poor, and indigenous populations. A torture survivor himself, Dr. Almendares has been targeted by death squads on several occasions.

Abencio Fernández Pineda is the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Center for the Investigation and Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CIPRODEH, by its Spanish initials) for the western region of Honduras.  Mr. Pineda was previously an attorney for the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODEH) and the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras (COFADEH).

Maria Luisa Jimenez, a former police officer in Honduras, denounced the widespread corruption in the police force and is now an activist for transparency in government and women’s rights.  She is currently a candidate for Honduran Congress with the Democratic Union party (UD).

Dr. Luther Castillo.  Dr. Castillo is a young Garifuna medical doctor and community organizer who directs the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation (“For the Health of our People” in Garifuna), dedicated to bringing vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. After his 2005 graduation from the Latin American Medical School in Havana, Dr. Castillo returned to the Honduran coast, where he led the Foundation’s construction of Honduras’ first Garifuna Rural Hospital, now serving some 20,000 in the surrounding communities.  The hospital opened in December 2007, a few months after Dr. Castillo was named “Honduran Doctor of the Year” by Rotary International’s Tegucigalpa chapter.

Gerardo Torres is an independent journalist in Honduras who is also an active member of Los Necios, a grass-roots organization that seeks to change the dominant socio-economic dynamics of Honduras.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Oscar Chacon- Director NALACC- (773) 991-9760
Patricia Montes- Centro Presente, Boston, MA- (617) 959- 3108
Mirtha Colon- New York- (781) 991- 2233
Isabel Vinent-  Florida Immigrant Coalition- (786) 210-8287

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