URGENT ALERT: Disappearance of journalist and member of FNRP and MUCA in Honduras

 
Urgent message from Karen Spring of Rights Action in Honduras at 1:00PM Sunday, January 9. If you speak Spanish, please take action NOW:
 
Juan Chinchilla (photo from http://www.defensoresenlinea.com)
 
A member of MUCA, Juan Chinchilla was disappeared last night close to Tocoa (see the communique below). Juan made phone calls to friends before he was disappeared, saying that he was being followed. Later his motorcycle was found with two bullet holes on the road.  I spoke with Joni Rivas from MUCA, who says that they have not heard anything from him and he has NOT APPEARED. They hope he "turns up alive and is not being tortured."
 
Juan is a JOURNALIST in charge of the media relations for MUCA. He has participated in the majority of the negotiations and meetings in Tegucigalpa that MUCA had/has with government. He is in charge of the MUCA blog and normally is the person that sends out info, communiques and photos from the region. He is well known within the resistance and campesinos movements as well as to the authorities. Last year (I can't remember exactly, maybe July/August), he was detained and held over night in Copan for not wearing his seat belt. He is high profile, well known and a target of the police and military.
 
Tocoa is still heavily militarized. Campesinos continue being threatened by police/miltiary/private security forces the last two incidents that I know of occurred last Tuesday (harassing MCA member on side of road close to Guadalupe) and January 2 when two youth/campesinos were brutally beaten. 
 
Please call the police stations and the DNIC in Tocoa & Trujillo and ask about Juan Chinchilla's whereabouts and what they are doing to investigate his disappearance. Mention that you are concerned for his life. 
 
1) Police station, Tocoa, 011-504-2444-3101
 
2) DNIC, Tocoa, 011-504-2444-4038
 
3) Police station, Trujillo, 011-504-2434-4038 (try this number last as I have been unable to get through to this one).
 
 
An English translation of the communiqué from the FNRP, and the original communiqué in Spanish is below.
 
 

Translation of Communiqué:

URGENT COMMUNIQUÉ
Translation: Luis Granados Ceja
 
We demand Juan Chinchilla be returned alive!
 
On Saturday, January 8th, our comrade Juan Chinchilla was kidnapped, he is a member
of the Executive Committee of the National Front of Popular Resistance as the
representative of Youth in Resistance and the Unified Campesino Movement of Aguan
(MUCA in Spanish).
 
Juan has become known for his belligerence in the struggle for the right of the
campesinos to work the land, something that has meant a permanent situation of
harassment and threats from the large landowners, Miguel Facussé, René Morales y
Reinaldo Canales, who with the collaboration of the de facto regime of Porfirio Lobo,
maintain a state of savage repression again the people of the Aguan valley.
 
The kidnapping occurred at 8:00 pm on Saturday January 8th, on the road to the
campesino settlement La Concepcion, in the municipality of Tocoa, while Juan was
on his way home. Moments before his kidnapping, he made a phone call in order to
denounce that a motorcycle and a car were following him. Afterwards, gunshots were
fired but when others arrived, they found only his motorcycle with bullet holes in it.
 
We vehemently condemn this act. We demand respect for the life and physical integrity
of our comrade, who has demonstrated an extraordinary amount of valor in the struggle
for the re-founding of Honduras.
 
We alert all the national and international human rights organizations so that they
may put pressure on this repressive regime that speaks about a false reconciliation and
national unity, meanwhile it continues to endorse and participate in crimes against people
and popular organizations.
 
The NFPR will immediately establish pressure actions in order to secure the liberation of
Juan Chinchilla.
 
We Will Resist and Succeed!
 
National Front of Popular Resistance
National Front of Youth in Resistance
 
 
Comunicado Urgente

¡Exigimos la aparición con vida de Juan Chinchilla!

El sábado 8 de enero fue secuestrado el compañero Juan Chinchilla, miembro del Comité Ejecutivo del Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, como representante de las Juventudes en Resistencia y el Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA).

Juan se ha destacado por su beligerancia en la lucha por el derecho de los y las campesinos a trabajar la tierra, lo que le significó un permanente hostigamiento y amenazas por parte de los grandes terratenientes de la zona, Miguel Facussé, René Morales y Reinaldo Canales, quienes con la colaboración del régimen de facto de Porfirio Lobo, mantienen una represión salvaje contra la población del valle del Aguán.

El secuestro se dio a las 8:00 de la noche del sábado 8 de enero, en el desvío al asentamiento campesino La Concepción, en el municipio de Tocoa, cuando Juan se dirigía hacia su casa. Momentos antes de ser secuestrado, él llamó por teléfono para denunciar que una moto y un carro lo estaban siguiendo. Después se escucharon disparos, pero cuando las personas llegaron, sólo encontraron su moto con dos impactos de bala.

Condenamos vehementemente este hecho. Exigimos el respeto a la vida y la integridad física de nuestro compañero que ha demostrado un extraordinario valor en la lucha por la refundación de Honduras.

Alertamos a las organizaciones de derechos humanos nacionales  e internacionales para hacer presión sobre este régimen represor que habla una falsa reconciliación y unidad nacional, mientras continúa avalando y participando en crímenes contra personas y organizaciones populares.

El FNRP establecerá de inmediato, acciones de presión para lograr la liberación de Juan Chinchilla. 

¡Resistimos y Venceremos!

Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular
Frente Nacional de Juventudes en Resistencia

Tegucigalpa 9 de enero de 2010
 
 
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