COFADEH Alert: Regime prepares repression leading up to illegal elections.

The Committee of Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) expresses its concern to the national and international community regarding the deterioration of the human rights situation in Honduras which is deepening each day.

A new wave of violence includes death threats, political persecution, illegal detentions, tortures and the militarization of sectors of principal cities.  Of particular concern is the incursion of vehicles without license plates, darkened windows, driven by heavily armed agents with hooded faces into neighborhoods identified as allied with the Resistance against the coup and self declared as “free of political propaganda.”  These actions follow the creation of lists profiling leaders of the resistance movement by order of the military and police.

The overall environment that has been created is one of repression and uncertainty.   This was reinforced by a statement issued on November 16, 2009 by the Sub-Secretary of the Service Networks of the Ministry of Public Health that orders the preparation of a CONTINGENCY PLAN for provision of health services for 24 hours per day from November 19th thru December 4th, 2009.  According to statement No. 1055-09-SSRDS, the plan must include: Anticipated Suspension of Activity without putting the health of patients at risk, Re-scheduling of Surgeries during these dates and supply of medicine and equipment necessary for the plan.

These measures appear to be related to the conduction of the illegal electoral process on November 29, which is proceeding in an irregular manner and reflects the militarization and para-militarization of the country.  The military reserves have been mobilized to support the 16,000 members of the armed forces and 14,000 police already mobilized in the distribution of ballot boxes.

In departments in the western part of the country, army reserves distributed fliers to intimidate the population in resistance, characterizing members of the resistance as irrational delinquents and discrediting marches and protests as inhumane and uncivilized behavior.  This activity parallels the “anti-communist” campaigns of the 1980’s.

The military control advances and consolidates as Michelleti announces a “strategic departure” from the country between November 25th and December 2, 2009. The security forces equip themselves with new repressive tools.  An armored vehicle has been added to the Secretary of Security for dispersing protests. The anti-riot units are equipped with video cameras and high pressure water cannon and a mechanism that marks anyone who comes in contact with the water for 48 hours.   The armed forces have begun conducting selective checks along major roads in the country and departments in the Atlantic zone of the country have experienced military over flights.

COFADEH communicates its concern to all Human Rights institutions and the international community regarding the safety of social activists who struggle for the reestablishment of democratic order.

COFADEH asks the international community to be on alert regarding the human rights situation in Honduras and to demand that the Honduran state guarantee the right to life and integrity of the Honduran population and foreigners living in the country.

COFADEH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  November 21, 2009