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Last Tuesday, May 13, Honduran MPs from the Libertad and Refundación (LIBRE) Party decided to carry out a peaceful sit-in aiming to denounce violence and the state’s harsh suppression of peoples´ movements, demanding that their party be involved in the Electoral Supreme Court and that the National Congress Directive Board considers the bills submitted by LIBRE. The response by the government was to repress the measure inside the Congress.
Rafael Alegria, who in addition to being a member of LIBRE is a leader of La Via Campesina Honduras and Central America, said in an interview with Real World Radio: “we were attacked by a specialized counter-insurgence unit developed by Juan Orlando Hernandez (Honduran President), called the Military Police. We were attacked with pepper spray; we were beaten; I was injured in my right arm during the beatings, I have pulmonary obstruction caused by the pepper spray and wounds in my stomach due to the military police kicking us”.
MPs Audelia Rodriguez, Claudia Garmendia and former ousted president Manuel Zelaya Rosales were also hospitalized. Zelaya was hit directly in the face by a pepper spray can. The people present in the Congress to support the peaceful measure were also repressed by the police.
“Mobilizations will continue to take place every day”
Meanwhile, Honduran organizations continue to mobilize. While Rafael was being interviewed by RWR, a march organized by different peasant groups was traveling from Zambrano municipality to the Honduran capital city, Tegucigalpa. In addition, La Via Campesina organizations will fast for over 48 hours outside National Congress to demand the passing of the Bill of Integral Agrarian Reform with Gender Equality for Food Sovereignty and Rural Development, submitted by Rafael.
Also, the peasant leader and MP denounced that “the National Civil Registry was taken in several departments of the country, and its offices have been militarized in other departments since the aim is to manipulate this institution with electoral purposes”. For this reason, movements of La Via Campesina and the National Popular Resistance Front “will be alert” in order to carry out demonstrations, said Rafael.
A government without popular support
When assessing the permanent state of repression experienced in Honduras, the leader said: “This is a government that usurped power. The winner of the latest elections was Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, but the Electoral Supreme Court granted power to the current president. This administration holds less than 35% of the support and therefore its only strength lies with the Military Police”.
And Rafael concluded: “The social struggle will be strengthened, but the open repression by the government will also get stronger. That is why it is important to have the solidarity of the international community”.
Imagen: Via Campesina Honduras
Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) ya tiene una delegación en Ginebra, Suiza, para dar muestras a una nueva sesión regular del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas (ONU), que va del 6 al 23 de junio, del respaldo popular a las negociaciones del tratado vinculante sobre transnacionales y derechos humanos, que se negocia en ese marco multilateral.
Esta edición de nuestro programa semanal abre con la flamante coordinadora general del COPINH, Berta Zúñiga Cáceres, con quien profundizamos en las luchas de ese movimiento indígena, el caso legal por el asesinato de su madre, Berta, y las principales preocupaciones.
La presión en el marco de Naciones Unidas (ONU) a favor de los principios rectores sobre empresas y derechos humanos es muy grande, reconoció la presidenta de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI), Karin Nansen. Pero esos principios no funcionan en los hechos y nunca lo harán, aseguró, por su carácter voluntario, que no obliga a las corporaciones a respetarlos.
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