July 31 Press Release By the International mission for Solidarity, Accompaniment, and Observation in Honduras

Crisis in Honduras deepens
–    violence erupted again in Tegucigalpa yesterday
–    Honduras now in a state of brutal dictatorship
–    international attention and solidarity needed to restore democracy  and human rights in Honduras

Yesterday, Thursday 30th July political violence returned to  Tegucigalpa, the capital of the Central American state, Honduras, as  police started fire at a peaceful demonstration in support of the  deported president of the country, Manuel Zelaya.

In the attack on the demonstration one person,  Roger Abraham Vallejo  Soriano, a 38 years old teacher, was shot in the head from close  distance. He undergone immediate surgery but his condition remains  critical. Nine more persons were taken to the local hospital for  medical treatment, including Carlos H. Reyes, a coordinator of the  national front against the coup d’etat and chair person of the trade  union STIBYS,
and an official, non-party candidate in the presidential elections  scheduled for November this year. Reyes was treated for a fracture of  one arm and sown with ten stitches in the head near the left ear. In  the afternoon members of the mission met Reyes in the hospital. Reyers  seemed to have recovered well and was given interviews from a  stretcher there.

Members of the mission could also yesterday visit inside the jail of  the fourth police district in Tegucigalpa. At least 80 persons from  the demonstration had been detained, many of whom had been beaten with  sticks with bad bruises. Some where covered with blood on their head  and clothes, others were in a shock. Three women we talked with  complained about sexual harassment. At least five children and  youngsters were among the detained persons. Juan Barahona, another  leading figure of  the national front against the coup, was also among  the detained.

The demonstration in Tegucigalpa yesterday continued an unbroken  series of 33 days of peaceful  popular manifestations and resistance  against the presidency of Roberto Micheletti that was installed after  the coup. During the past month parts of the country have been heavily  militarized. The border area of El Paraiso next to Nicaragua, visited  by the mission on Monday, is partly under marshal law, with heavy  presence of the army and also police forces. According to several  civil society sources and individuals other areas of the country, such  as Copan, have also been militarized with road blocks under army  control, detentions and curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Thursday marked the return of violence to Tegucigalpa, where  demonstrations have proceeded peacefully since the clash at the  airport when Zelaya tried to return to the country by air.

Interviews and observations in public places made by the members of  the mission during the past week show severe limitation and abuses of  basic human rights including state violence against innocent people  and severe restriction on the freedom of movement and expression,   imposed by the Micheletti regime.

According to written documentation and reports from interviews that  include, among others, interviews with two parliamentarians from the  Liberal Party (the party of both ousted president Zelaya and the  president of the coup regime, Micheletti) and two MPs from the  opposition party Partido Unificacion Democratica there are major  irregularities in the parliamentary procedures. Severe allegations are  made against the Supreme Court of the country, but under the current  circumstances, when there is no confidence in the capacity of the de  facto government to provide credible information, these remain  extremely difficult or impossible to verify.

The mission also notes the occurrence of obscure, extreme violence  that, as many individuals we have talked with independently interpret  it, seems to be the expression of the new strategy of terror imposed  by the coup government.
    Rodrigo Trochez, an MP from the liberal party testifies that while he  was with a delegation to Washington to lobby for US support of the  reinstallation of Manuel Zelaya his son, Juan Carlos Tochez was the  victim of an armed attack on a petrol station. A car drove up beside  the car of Juan Carlos Trochex, shooting 40 bullets, four of which hit  ands injured him severely. Juan Carlos Trochez is not criticall  wounded but receives medical treatment in a hospital in Santa Barbara.
    According to reports from the police in the capital of Tegucigalpa,  gathered by the Hondurian human rights organization, CODEH, there were  62 people murdered here during the first 28 days after the coup.  According to the director of Codeh, Andres Pavon, many of the victims  have been shot dead with bullets of the same caliber as is used by the  police and the armed forces. The body of one young man dressed in a  t-shirt defending the democratically elected president was found in a  garbage bin in the streets says Andres Pavon.

The International mission for Solidarity, Accompaniment, and  Observation in Honduras must in the light of the observations made  here during the last week conclude that Honduras has entered into a  brutal dictatorship.

Despite prolonged peaceful resistance the situation has worsened  during the past week. Popular mobilization to restore the democratic  government of Manuel Zelaya still continues here, with more  manifestations announced at least for today by the popular front of  movements, trade unions, indigenous groups, farmers, artists,  concerned citizens, student’s movements, and others.

The international mission condemns the repression by the dictatorship  and appeals to the international community to take all measures to  promote the restoration of democracy and human rights in Honduras.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Members of the International mission for Solidarity, Accompaniment,  and Observation in Honduras include:

Nora Cortiñas, Madres de la Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora
/ Jubileo Sur (Argentina)
Thomas Wallgren, member of the city council in Helsink (soc.dem) /  Finnish Refugee Council /  Coalition for comprehensive
democracy – Vasudhaiva kutumkakam (Finlandia)
Mauricio Valiente, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado-CEAR (España)
El padre Efrén Reyes, from Servicio Internacional Cristiano de  Solidaridad con los Pueblos de América Latina Oscar Romero -SICSAL (El  Salvador)
Claire Chastain, International Relation, Communist Party of  France-European Left Party,
Martha Figueroa Mier, World March of Women, (México),
Bernadete Esperança Monteiro, World March of Women, (Brasil), and Tom  Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción/Transnational Institute (España).

The International mission for Solidarity, Accompaniment, and  Observation in Honduras is an initiative by the network for regional  cooperation between Europe, Latin America  and the Caribbean region,  ‘Enlazando Alternativas’.

For more information from Honduras:
 +504 – 898 52 607 / +504 – 964 23 566 / +504 – 965 93 265
/ +504 965 91 621
 Ecologistas en Acción", agroecologia@ecologistasenaccion.org