News Release

Repression Increasing One Year After Honduras Coup


One year ago today, Manuel Zelaya was overthrown as president of Honduras. A general strike and other activities are expected today.

Assistant professor of anthropology at American University and author of Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras, Pine has been in Honduras for the last month. She just wrote the piece “Honduras celebrates tense anniversary of unresolved military coup,” which states: “Much is at stake on this Monday’s first anniversary of the coup — or, as it is also called within the broad-based resistance movement, ‘the awakening of the people and the death of the two-party system.’ Ongoing efforts — led by Hillary Clinton — to secure Honduras’s reentry to the Organization of American States and other regional bodies like the Central American Integration System, depend on a narrative of stability and reconciliation. … But opposing narratives come from all sides, and carry the weight of the bloody evidence accumulated in the months since the inauguration of president Pepe Lobo. …

“Since January, nine journalists, most of them critical of the coup and its beneficiaries, have been killed in targeted assassinations. Death squads have disappeared, tortured and killed dozens of resistance leaders and their family members. Photographic evidence of this circulates among the population, provoking widespread fear and fury — pictures of the mutilated body of Oscar Geovanny Ramirez, an unarmed 16-year-old land worker killed a week ago in an ongoing land dispute between indigent members of several land cooperatives and multi-millionaire coup financier and large landowner Miguel Facussé, by police and military working on behalf of Facussé, are among those recently making the rounds.” See photos.

Suyapa G. Portillo Villeda is at the Central American Studies Program at California State University, Northridge and is originally from Honduras. She said today: “One year after the coup d’état, Hondurans are living in a threatening environment where human rights violations have doubled; we are talking about persecution, selective kidnappings, torture and assassinations circa the 1980s. The cases are not investigated nor pursued and there is no justice for victims of the heinous attacks against their constitutional civil guarantees. Campesino leaders, teachers, labor union members, Garifuna communities, LGBT communities and women are the most vulnerable sectors, many of them receiving threatening phone calls, death threats via phone text; many have had to flee their homes when military police dressed as civilians hunt them down and interrogate their neighbors. The Honduran people know this is not democracy nor reconciliation government; anyone perceived to be a sympathizer of the resistance to the coup has been fired from their post, exiled or persecuted.

“What we are seeing that is positive is the organizations of popular groups, the consolidation of transnational networks and peaceful responses to a threatening environment; the biggest challenge now is to continue to organize towards a National Constitutional Assembly.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167