The situation here continues to deteriorate. For the last week nearly every day there have been reports of police and military attacking unarmed protesters. Our delegation just returned from San Pedro Sula, where there was an unprovoked attack on a peaceful march on Monday. Over 2000 protestors had organized a caravan in San Pedro Sula calling for an end to the coup and the restoration of democracy. When the military cordon began advancing on the caravan, protest leaders called on the people to withdrawal. Police and military then attacked retreating protestors with bully clubs and whips.
Police also severely beat and arrested people who had nothing to do with the march. They even aimed their weapons and assaulted the judge assigned to review the cases of people who had been detained when he came to the police station. People report that the police seem to be on drugs because of the excessive and uncontrolled way in which they are acting. Later that day, over 4000 people spontaneously gathered in the park of San Pedro Sula in repudiation for the repression that occurred earlier.
Join our delegation interview with the lawyer representing those arrested. He talks about the police violence unleashed against a normal protest:
One journalist we interviewed was beaten up and arrested both in Comayagua last week and again on Monday in San Pedro Sula. Police busted out every window in his truck which was clearly identified as “press.” Police dragged him out of the truck and beat him. When he pleaded for them to stop explaining that he had had back surgery, police threw him on the ground and jumped on his back.
We heard story after story like this in San Pedro. However, everyone we talked to, despite having been beaten and arrested, were undaunted stating that under no circumstances will they back down their resistance to the illegal coup.
A request from the Armed Forces has gone to CONATEL (FCC of Honduras) for the closure of Radio Globo, one of the few remaining media outlets that has been able to provide some news converge of events inside Honduras was shut down by the National Commission of Telecommunications at the request of a lawyer for the Armed Forces of Honduras.
The Honduran social movements have called for a week long National March in opposition to the coup, August 5 -11. Our delegation will continue to report on events here in Honduras each day.
International organizations are calling for Global Day of Action for Honduras on August 11, in solidarity with the historic nonviolent struggle being waged by the people of Honduras. Please organize an action in your local area.
In Nicaragua, the Ecumenical Committee of US Citizens and the Nicaragua Social Movements are organizing weekly protests in front of the US Embassy.
Today our delegation is meeting with the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa to present our concerns.