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Social movements and organizations commemorated on June 28th the 5th anniversary of the ousting of Honduran President Juan Manuel Zelaya by the coordinated forces of Roberto Michelletti.
The National Popular Resistance Front, a movement that was created to struggle against the coup, organized mobilizations in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, and in different departments. “Our assessment is that the people continue taking the streets, rejecting the Coup, and especially now, after the five years we´ve been suffering the negative consequences of the coup with more poverty and systematic human rights violations” said the leader of the Front and former vice-president candidate for the Libertad y Refundación Party(LIBRE) Juan Barahona to Real World Radio.
Barahona made reference to the economic consequences of the coup: “Neoliberal measures have been deepened: all State companies and natural resources are being privatized, sold and granted in concessions. They are even giving our sovereignty away with the so called “model cities” or “development areas”, directly selling parts of our territory”.
Another of the problems denounced by the Honduran resistance is the unemployment levels. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) the country is eighth in the region in terms of unemployment, almost reaching 6 per cent. In terms of the working class, Barahona denounced the systematic persecution of unions in the country. “The rights of union leaders are permanently violated. Employers even resort to courts to suspend leaders”.
There is also political persecution: “the workers who were active in the resistance or members of the LIBRE party have been fired and persecuted”. “The unions are being attacked, peasants are murdered, teachers, who have always been a strong sector in the resistance, are being fired or can´t be members of organizations. The situation of unions in Honduras is completely unfavorable”, said Barahona.
“We have a militarized society, but crime levels continue to rise”
Legal work, social communication and the defense of human rights in general have become extremely dangerous tasks in Honduras. According to Juan: “These were sectors that didn´t have problems before the coup, but as now are identified with the resistance and the social struggle and transformation in Honduras, they are being persecuted, threatened and murdered”.
The State ruled by Partido Nacional (the main driver in Zelaya´s ousting) is hiring more military police officers, taking the armed forces to the streets, “but crime levels continue to rise. Here, young people and women are murdered on a daily basis”, said Juan Barahona on the increasing importance given by the State to repressive forces.
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