URGENT ACTION: Free José Isabel Morales Lopez (Chavelo) of MCA Now

Below is an English translation (by La Voz de los de Abajo) of an Urgent Action for Chavelo Morales, a member of one of the campesino movements of the Aguán (MCA) who has been in prison for 3 years in La Ceiba without being formally sentenced, and as a result of proceedings that have not followed due process. The action was sent out by COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) and has initial support from the Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MCA); Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), Italy-Central America Collective (CICA); Insurrectas Autónomas; Jesuit Reflection, Investigation, and Communication Team (ERIC-SJ); Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH); and Broadbased Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ).

Compañeras y compañeros,

This is a campaign in support of compañero Chavelo del Movimiento Campesino del Aguan, MCA; we hope you will all support this action in the form of signing on to the communique. We also ask that you send this communique to the addresses that we listed below and that you call the telephone numbers for Appeals Court in La Ceiba demanding immediate liberty for Chavelo.

Please send your sign-on to: copinh@copinh.org


To the Appeals Court in La Ceiba

To the Honduran Government

To the Honduran People and to International Solidarity

The people and organizations that support this communique believe in the necessity for the impartiality of justice and its fulfillment for all human society and for Honduran society in particular. We consider that it is part of our struggle to denounce situations of human rights violations and aggression against the liberty of people and of national organizations. For this reason we are speaking on the case of our compañero José Isabel Morales López of the Campesino Movement of Aguan (MCA), a prisoner for more than three years in the prison of El Porvenir in La Ceiba.

In 2008 as a result of the struggle for land in the zone of Aguan compañero Morales Löpez was detained and accused of ten assassinations, attempted murder, a homicide, aggravated robbery and aggravated arson. Finally he was condemned for a homicide, but to date and despite the fact that the final verdict was given on June 25, 2010, his sentencing has still not occurred. During the court proceeding irregularities were apparent among others the fact that the witnesses against him had contradictions in their stories and changed their testimony from previous versions.

On the other hand the illegality of preventative imprisonment is evident, according to the regulations established by the Penal Process Code, it can only last, at a maximum, for two years;if no sentence has been given in that period of time, imprisonment must be replaced by alternative measures. And, as we have reiterated, the fact that as of  this moment no sentence has been given is shameful and alarming.

Based on these circumstances the defense lawyers of compañero Morales López have on three occasions solicited the substituion of preventative imprisonment from the sentencing Tribunal and on three occasions it has been denied. They also filed a habeas corpus to the Constitutional Court (Sala de lo Constitucional) for it to declare the illegality of deprivation of liberty, given that the limits established by the law have already been exceeded. This habeas corpus was declared to be without standing seven months after the filing.

During his incarceration he was denied permission to attend the funerals of his daughter and his father, who died at different times. His health during his imprisonment has been damaged by an accident that caused the loss of an eye, and his state of emotional health is gravely affected by the series of events and conditions described above.

Due to all of this and more, we are completely in solidarity with José Isabel Morales López, compañero Chavelo, a fighter for the land for the rights of the Honduran campesinos.

We dennounce the Court of Appeals in which the appeals  are held, the same appeals that have not been resolved due to one of the appeals having been presented during the trial and it is precisely its lack of resolution that has impeded the sentencing.

We hold the judicial apparatus of the country responsibly for the violations of human rights and the denial of access to justice for José Isabel Morales López.

We demand immediate freedom for José Isabel Morales López.

Calls and forwards of the communique should go to:

Abogado Celino Aristides Aguilera Amador
Presidente de la Corte de Apelaciones de La Ceiba
, Sala #1
Telefono (00504) 2441-4172 ext. 1064

Marlene Suyapa Perez Valle
Magistrada Propietaria

Ext. 1054
Carlos Eduardo Castelar

Magistrado Propietario
Ext. 1061
Dianey Cruz Recarte

Magistrado Integrante
Ext. 1053

Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés
Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia
Tel (504) 2269-3000  2269-3069
Mail: cedij@poderjudicial.gob.hn

Sr. Porfirio Lobo Sosa
Presidente de la República
Casa Presidencial
Boulevard Juan Pablo Segundo
Palacio José Cecilio del Valle
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Correo: pepe@pepelobopresidente.com
Fax: + 504 2239 3298

Luis Alberto Rubí
Fiscal General de la República.
Fax (504) 2221-5667
Tel (504) 2221-5670  2221-3099
Mail: lrubi@mp.hn, suazog@mp.hn

Sra. Ana Pineda
Secretaría de Justicia y Derechos Humanos
Col. Lomas del Mayab, Ave. República de Costa Rica
Correo: anapinedah@hotmail.com
Fax: +504 22358379

Please also send a copy to:
Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras, COPINH