Honduran Coup-ordered Attacks on Unarmed Protestors: Women, Children. Journalists Repressed.
Excerpted and reposted with permission from Hermano Juancito (originally posted 7/31/2009 at 1:21 PM). Juancito is an American living and working in Honduras:
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras -- The road block outside Santa Rosa was ended violently this morning abut 11:oo by attacks on the demonstrators by Honduras police.
According to one person, the demonstrators were trying to negotiate with the police and agreed to open one lane of the highway so some traffic could pass.
But about 11 the military began by shooting tear gas into the crowd. People ran. At least 46 were detained by the police. From reports and from television coverage by channel 38 (I believe), police were seen beating with their batons at least two people who were not fleeing; one had her hands behind her back and was beaten on the calf; another was hit while seated on the ground.
Other were injured including at least one young person. Many other showed bruises where they had been hit by batons. I saw a man with his temple bandaged being transported by a police pick up.
A crowd of several hundred was gathered in the main park just outside the police station. Police in riot gear stood outside the station while the detained were being held within.
There are other reports of detentions and use of violence against demonstrators in other parts of the country. An independent candidate for the presidency was beaten and his arm broken.
In the meantime, the de facto president Micheletti accuses the US of meddling, mostly because Hugo Llorens, the US ambassador to Honduras, met deposed president Zelaya in Nicaragua.
Micheletti also now seems to rule out the return of Zelaya as president, even though various news sources were saying that he was trying to convince others to allow Zelaya to return as President with diminished powers.
One note from Wednesday in San Pedro Sula. As I walked out of the hotel I saw a man rummaging through a hole in a black plastic bag outside a restaurant, eating what remnants of food he could find. I have seen dogs eating this way, but never a person. This is the real problem of Honduras.
The violence Juancito reports above was predicted and described by Via Campasina, Nicaragua on Thursday, 30 July 2009:
From Via Campasina:
Today July 30 since the early hours of the morning the combined forces of the Police and the Army have been carrying to most violent repression to date against unarmed protestors. There are many injured people, some very severely, and other being pursued at this moment.
The soldiers have orders to repress journalists and other civilians in the areas of conflict.
The state of barbarism continues, especially in the El Durazno part of the highway leaving Tegucigalpa toward the border with Nicaragua.
We need to activate urgent actions and denounce what is going on the Human Rights agencies, as peaceful protestors are being violently beaten at this very moment in various parts of Honduras.
They are launching tear gas from helicopters and aircraft, and shooting rubber and wooden bullets at the people.
Please send protest messages to the dictator: Roberto Micheletti:
robertomicheletti (at) congreso.gob.hn
with cc to the OAS to see if it's possible to give a bad conscience [sic] to José Miguel Insulza: OASWeb (at) oas.org
Please, we must stop these acts of military violence against the people, to avoid more tragic outcomes as the military attacks the civilian population.
Fausto Torrez ATC-Via Campesina Nicaragua