The political military coup in Honduras, which took place on June 28, 2009, has special characteristics which differentiate it from past coups in this country and in the rest of Latin America.
The first component is the participation of the old followers of the National Security Doctrine that have continued practicing torture with impunity since the 80’s and who are the principle military and police advisors of the de facto regime.
The second component is the strategy of low intensity conflict, psychological torture, state terrorism, total suspension of constitutional guarantees, the state of siege and the presence of national and international hired assassins.
The third element is that the coup is taking place in the country where one of the most important US military bases exists and where international military trainings and maneuvers occur frequently.
The fourth element is the alliance of economic, media, political, judicial, and religious powers in the country, that openly denies the coup, referring to it as a ‘constitutional succession.’ An alliance which also proclaims and justifies this military coup in the name of the law of God, peace, and democracy, all while keeping silent about murders, torture, and human rights violations.
The fifth component is the condemnation of the coup as a military coup, by almost 100% percent of the world’s countries, with the exception of United States, which condemns it as a coup but does not consider it to be have been military in nature.
The sixth component is that the coup is considered as being not only against Zelaya but against the entire people of Honduras, and is a threat to the stability of some Latin American governments.
The seventh component is the existence of the popular response by the National Resistance Front Against the Military Coup, which has been protesting continuously for more than 120 days, despite the massive repression by brutal military and police force, the use of toxic gases, chemical weapons, intense noises, murders, persecution, political imprisonment and massive use of torture.
The eighth component is that the coup has occurred in the context of an electoral process which censors and gags the freedom of expression, in which the de facto government has fierce control of more than 90% of the communications media, and through which a variety of media outlets and journalists were militarized and repressed including Radio Globo, Cholusat Sur, Diario Tiempo, Canal 11, Radio Progreso and the newspaper El Libertador.
The ninth element in that candidates from the opposition parties for the upcoming presidential, congressional, and mayoral elections have been subjected to torture, to being followed, to violent trauma and to murder. These facts are indicators of the restrictions on freedom and the civil and political rights of an electoral campaign process.
The tenth component is a 60% increase in femicide, the violations of the rights of transgender people, as well as the persecution and racism against the indigenous and the Garífunas. In this context, it is especially important to mention that since the sixth of October of 2009, 12 people affiliated with the Lenca indigenous organization COPINH have sought political asylum inside the Guatemala Embassy, that Augustina Flores, sister of COPINH leader Berta Caceres, was tortured by the police forces, and that the Lenca resistance leader Antoio Leiva was murdered.
Additionally, on the 21st of October, Day of the Forces that are Armed against the people, the criminal policies of the de facto regime resounded clearly when the repressive forces of the Direction of Criminal Investigation were ordered to break in, terrorize and silence the language and culture of our brothers and sisters of Radio Flumabimeto and Radio Duruugubuty, radio stations of the Garífuna peoples in the regions of Triunfo de la Cruz and San Juan, in the Bay of Tela, terrorizing 46 communities.
The murder of leaders of the teachers movements has been another characteristic of this military coup: Roger Vallejo, Martín Rivera, Mario Fidel Contreras, and Eliseo Hernández, as well as Jairo Sánchez, the President of the Union of INFOP Workers (SITRAINFOP), who was shot and eventually died from the wounds he sustained.
Lastly, we wish to point out the enormous risk of human rights defense work: our staff has been threatened, followed, and shot at, and their phone lines have been tapped and cut.
We are grateful for the international solidarity and support for our organization, particularly we are thankful for the Research Centre for Torture (RCT DANIDA).
This report is a product of team work and the vocation to ethical and responsible service of the CPTRT.
We also take this opportunity to publicly recognize all the human rights organization, national and international, who are against the military coup.
Executive Director of the CPTRT
Full text available in Spanish at http://www.cptrt.org/pdf/Tortura_Represion_Sistematica_GolpeEstado.pdf
Translated by Patricia Adams of the Quixote Center.