Rosie’s 5th Honduras coup report. Opalaca opposes dam-we wait w Zacate G-lgbti comm demand justice 4 Walter
Opalaca is one of many communities that companies are taking action to impose hydroelectric dams in to privatise water and make profits, plunder, it will destroy the rivers and local environment, in the name of producing ‘clean’ energy…much of it for the north.. Opalaca is historically strong, being a first Indigenous community in Honduras to fight for and have won recognition as a municipality.
On a Sunday morning 9 January 2010, in Opalaca near la Esperanza, Copinh (Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations in Honduras) came to a community meeting where community members began to express their thoughts and feelings about the proposed-to-be-imposed hydroelectric dam..
Some of what they said:
‘We have to struggle for what we have… we talk with our children, families, -what will we be left with? How sad it will be that we won’t be owners of the land…We are not going to sell ourselves’
‘Without water none of us will live’
‘This is affecting our people, our culture, everything for our body…it affects us’
‘The resources that we have we must defend to the end, to the end of us. It’s our children and grandchildren who will suffer the consequences…Lets defend the rights that belong to the people, our richness – we have the mother earth. If we sell it what are we going to do?
‘We have talked a lot, lets start to plan some action’. And they will too. Planning is in the works. Opalaca will not accept this imposition.
Zacate Grande – protesters accused of ‘disobedience’
On Tuesday 11 January delegations of national (including human rights organisation COFADEH) and international observers visited boiling hot Zacate Grande on this day of hearing of charges against 14 people who protested the illegal eviction of their neighbour a long term and legitimate resident in the context of large landholder’s conquest to appropriate all land of Coyolitos Zacate Grande. Coyolitos is where there is a resort for the elite, and a community struggling to defend their land. Eviction orders are sent by HSBC bank for presumed defaults on mortgages but the mortgagee in this case appears to not exist and is instead a false name likely to cover for agroindustrial business person Miguel Facusse.
The case is proceeding in the Amapala Court that you have to take a boat to. On arrival, the sign in the picture says: ‘Welcome to Amapala, from HSBC bank’. HSBC bank’s guards also participated in the violent eviction against protesters, along with the navy, police, army, …
We arrived at 10am and many community members also came and sat across the court in extreme heat. This case was not heard until after lunch, and when it was heard, it was suspended for the case to return to court on Friday. Below is a photo of the court.
Update: On Friday, the judge decided that the 14 were guilty of disobedience for impeding the illegal eviction – apparently if they were to find these unguilty then they had to also return the house to the man illegally evicted. The Amapala court gave the order of auto prison while sentencing finalises, and COFADEH placed an appeal so the 14 instead of going to prison now have to sign at the court every 15 days – the appeal generally takes 6 months to finalise, and is now at Choluteca Court (the next level of appeal will be Supreme Court). They can also plead guilty and ask for ‘pardon’ instead but the implication of this other than that they have committed no crime and shouldn’t have to do such a thing, is that this will lead to evictions going ahead against everyone – what Miguel Facusse wants. If you wish to take action eg by writing a letter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and when further information is available about where and how to send pressure, I’ll pass on.
Reinforcing Impunity and Defencelessness – arbitrary closing of corruption case against ex president Carlos Flores and Cardenal Oscar Rodriguez
Spokesperson of Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) Victor Fernandez in a press conference made public denouncements about the the state of impunity the Department of Public Prosecutors is strengthening. MADJ/COFADEH initiated a case that this president Flores corruptedly legislated for 100,000lempiras (1 dollar =20lempiras) to be given every month to the Catholic Cardenal like a stipend, from state funds, from 2001. President Zelaya (deposed by coup in 2009) stopped these payments but they resumed following the coup. This case denouncing corruption was proceeding only to be stopped by the Public Prosecutor asking for the case to be closed due to ‘insufficient evidence’. But there is evidence – the payments were legislated and published in the Official Gazette, and is illegitimate use of state monies.
13 January 2010. Lgbti community and supporters demand justice, 13 months after killing of human rights defender Walter Trochez and many others of the community. At the Department of Public Prosecutors, death squad vehicles also paraded as usual.
What do we want?
For Walter Trochez!
As we arrived outside the Department of Public Prosecutors (Ministerio Publico) there was this contingent of police with shields.
At the protest as well as HIV/LGBTi organisations, present was the resistance collective of Plaza La Merced, human rights organisations Ciprodeh and Cofadeh, alternative (an mainstream manipulative) medias, …
Another thing people were yelling out was, why are there so many vehicles without numberplates???? Below, 2 police vehicles without numberplates
Here is below someone who came from the DPP building filming the protesters, presumably to collect intelligence for political persecution.
The parking area of the DPP guarded by police is high traffic with most or at least half the vehicles being without numberplates and with tinted windows. Below are many examples, and by no means all we saw, it was constant, and me and my camera are both a bit slow to capture the images most of the time. People said before the coup, it wasn’t like this, the official vehicles had numberplates. Protesters assured that at night it is these same vehicles that go out and kidnap and kill resistance members including of the LGBTi community.
Slow reflex means sadly didnt capture what happened here. This one parked in front of DPP and out came 4 people including one woman carrying weapons, they came out and went inside the DPP.
Protesters announced: we have no fear. We know that you are watching us, and that you will kill us, but we will not be silenced. We demand justice, this impunity must not go on.