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The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) accuses Porfirio Lobo’s coup regime of persecution against social leaders as in “military targets” and of harshening their repression. The group denounces what they call a “Colombianization” of Central America.
OFRANEH works in defense of the community rights of the Garifuna ethnic group in Honduras. The organization’s general coordinator, Miriam Miranda, was detained close to the Honduran city of Tela, while she was taking part in a peaceful demonstration.
The activist was brutally beaten up, injured and taken to the Tela prison. She was accused of sedition and she was later released on parole.
For this reason the organization issued a press release on Tuesday, signed by the activist herself, where she explains what had happened the previous day and provides a view of the current situation in Honduras.
“The operative led by deputy sheriff Victor Sanchez Bonilla, who amid the crowd pointed at me to his subordinates so that they would arrest me, shows the strategy of the forces of repression to frame leaders as military targets”, said Miriam in the press release.
The activist was taken to jail without medical assistance for the injury she had on her stomach as a result of a tear gas thrown by the police and a later breathing condition. Only after a forensic doctor recommended that she would be taken to a health care center, Miriam was taken to the Tela hospital. She was detained for two and a half hours without being read her rights or being even told what she was being accused of.
Miriam explained her situation as “in Honduras the chaos that the country was submerged in after the 2009 coup d’état continues. The coup was perpetrated by the judiciary, the Parliament and the Military, under instructions of the US right-wing and the Pentagon”.
Miriam added that “the criminalization of the social protest has worsened with Porfirio Lobo’s regime”. She explains that she was released as a result of the national and international pressure, “but there are many political prisoners in Honduras.
She claims that the “worsening of the violence against the popular resistance is part of the lecture on security given by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, advisor in the repression” .
“The Colombianization of Central America is furthered by the Merida Initiative (a cooperation program against drug trafficking and organized crime promoted by the United States jointly with Mexico and other Central American countries) and the militarization we suffer”, ended Miriam.
The activist points out that the Honduran garifunas currently suffer an accelerated expulsion from the lands they have lived in for 214 years. “The black and indigenous peoples in Honduras affirm the defense of our territories, the right to self determination, to consultation and we demand the immediate cease of the construction of the dams in river Patuca: a death sentence for the Tawahka people and for the country”, she said.
Miriam ended up making a call “For a free, pluricultural, democratic, participatory, anti-militaristic, anti-racist, and anti-patriarchal Honduras”, while she demanded “a National Constituent Assembly NOW”.