Press Release: Delegation Witness to Violence


The fifth delegation of international human rights observers maintaining presence in Honduras since the coup of 28 June denounces the many and grave human rights violations perpetrated by the state security forces, including the national police, the Command of Special Operations COBRA, and the national army. 

On the forty-sixth day of peaceful and nonviolent resistance against the de facto government, the armed forces and the police repressed protesters with excessive force.  Hundreds of police and military occupied the city of Tegucigalpa yesterday, throwing large quantities of tear gas, pepper gas, and live bullets.  They also attacked the protestors and uninvolved bystanders with tubes, punches, and kicks. 

The five teams of international observers present in different parts of the city center verified that the reaction on the part of security forces was excessively violent.  When the march was moving along peacefully, it came up upon multiple squads of police and military, which quickly surrounded the march and began repressing it without noticeable provocation.  They detained and beat dozens of people inside the National Congress and the Universidad Pedagógica. 

From what was observed by this delegation, and according to the testimonies of victims of the repression, we can verify that there was physical aggression against journalists carrying press credentials; and that uninvolved people passing by were beaten, detained, and wounded.  People from organized indigenous communities were detained as they were walking and met up with the march.  Minors were detained as well as elderly people.  Army monitoring of STIBYS, the base of the resistance movement, was reported; as well as a drive-by shooting at the offices of Via Campesina, and other still-unverified intimidating acts of repression.  The march in San Pedro Sula was also met with strong and violent repression on the part of state security, where an estimated 300 people were detained, many beaten and wounded. 

A week ago, the fourth delegation of international observers presented a setter to the Attorney General of the Republic, Luis Antonio Rubi, documenting a great number of violations of human rights and constitutional rights of the Honduran people, and requesting that he verify the steps being taken to resolve the situation and properly process those responsible.  We still have not received any response from the Attorney General regarding his actions addressing this situation of general violations. 

We are extremely worried about this situation of the rapid and accelerating deterioration of human rights in the country and for the well being of the many detained people.  We demand that the authorities release the list of names and placement of these people, as well as their state of physical well being.  We are also worried this worsening situation of violence, as well as the possibility of the passing of a obligatory military service law, and the refusal of this de facto government to maintain coherent diplomatic relations with international bodies such as the OAS. 
Today at 3pm, we will hold a press conference in conjunction with COFADEH in their offices. 

Contact the delegation at: (504) 8985.2607, 9642.3566, 9659.1621, or