Honduras Report from US Delegation - Day 1

04 August 2009
Article
On Monday morning we went to the two locations where the wakes were being held for the two teachers who were killed in the last few days. One teacher was shot on Thursday, and died on Saturday from gunshot wounds to the head. Another was stabbed on his way home from the Saturday wake. At the press conference/rally which was held before his funeral, teachers declared that they would strike all week this week to protest the deaths of these two teachers. Until now, teachers had been striking two days a week in support of the national strike against the coup regime. UNICEF today rebutted the coup government’s claim that UNICEF was participating in government investigations of absentee teachers, quoted in La Tribuna, August 1st. UNICEF clarified that the organization does not participate in investigations of absent teachers. In a meeting this afternoon with the respected Human Rights organization COFADEH, they reported an attack in San Pedro Sula, in which a caravan of 500 vehicles was attacked by military and police forces. Having fled their vehicles, people in the city center of San Pedro Sula, were met with tear gas. There are reports of at least 50 detained, 39 whose names are confirmed. Early reports indicated at least 8 wounded and hospitalized. In the city of Juiticalpa, Olancho, union members and campesinos who had taken over the National Agrarian Institute in protest of the coup government were forced out by military and police forces under the orders of the Olancho governor Oscar Augustin Colindres. It was also reported that there was a violent attack on protestors in Comayagua on Saturday. Human rights organizations report that popular organizations against the coup, rather than feeling defeated by the coup’s repression of popular resistance, continue to take to the streets throughout the country every day, demanding Manuel Zelaya’s unconditional return. This Wednesday, a national march is expected, with marches from many provinces setting out for the cities of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. This delegation’s plans for the coming days include going into the interior of the country to investigate claims of violent repression, and observation of Wednesdays planned marches. We have requested a meeting at the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday to report our findings thus far and get the embassy’s perspective on the situation and the role of the U.S. government. Emergency Delegation of Solidarity, Accompaniment and Witness Sponsored by the Quixote Center, Hyattsville, MD 20782 USA Since Sunday August 3, there are eleven members of the Delegation in Honduras