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"The Only Crime": Testimony of Marcial Hernandez, beaten, detained, and hospitalized in Honduras
Text, translation and photos by Sandra Cuffe
San Pedro Sula, Honduras, August 15th, 2009.
Repression against the national movement against the military coup in Honduras has become a daily occurrence. All over the country, police and the army are using tactics of terror and violence to disperse protests and illegally detain demonstrators.
Nevertheless, the resistance actions coordinated by the National Front of Resistance to the Military Coup in Honduras (FNRCGE, for its acronym in Spanish) continue to grow across the nation.
On August 14th, organizations and citizens in resistance from the northwestern region of the country mobilized in Choloma, blocking vehicle traffic along the highway between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés. It was a very strategic choice of location, along the main highway leading to the country's main port. Puerto Cortés has a great volume of exports, principally to the United States, of textile goods from the maquila factories in the northwestern region, as well as the fruits of the Tela Railroad Company, subsidiary of the transnational banana company Chiquita.
Soon after the highway blockade began, there was a negotiation between resistance leaders and police officials, supposedly in order to avoid yet another violent eviction. According to witnesses, a verbal agreement was made between the two parties to allow the protest to continue for another hour and peacefully disperse.
Police brutality, militarization, torture, political murders, disappearances, injuries, tear gas, illegal detentions, State forces' use of sexual and gender violence, intimidation, paramilitary activity, death threats, censorship...
...are all becoming DAILY OCCURRENCES IN HONDURAS.
Ongoing international solidarity needed. Now.
Political upheaval continues in Honduras, after liberal leader Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup in late June. It is a battle that has played out not only in the streets of Honduras, but also on television screens and over radio waves across the world.
Some, including U.S. President Barack Obama and the Organization of American States, have condemned the ouster of the democratically-elected president, saying it was unconstitutional, illegal and a threat to democracy.
Others point out that Zelaya was pushing ahead with a referendum on term limits that Honduras’ Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional, and consider his removal the result of healthy checks and balances.
The Honduran military has clamped down on pro-Zelaya channels in the country and blocked the signal of Telesur, a left-leaning television network based in Venezuela. Other state-run media across Latin America have broadcast programs in support of Zelaya.
Worldfocus.org’s weekly radio show on explored the coup in Honduras and how Latin America’s media industry — from state-run stations to independent websites — has become a political battleground.
Worldfocus anchor Martin Savidge hosts the following panel of guests:
Sandra Cuffe is an independent journalist and photographer from Montréal, Canada. Sandra has reported from Latin America for several years and is the Honduras correspondent for UpsideDownWorld.org.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.