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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:37 AM

58 US Congressional members call for Honduran human rights investigation

Source: Associated Press

58 US Congressional members call for Honduran human rights investigation
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
By The Associated Press

Honduran police and military officials should be investigated for alleged human rights abuses, particularly against racial minorities, said 58 members of the U.S. Congress in letters sent to Sen. John Kerry, who is slated to be sworn in as Secretary of State on Friday, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

"We are troubled to hear of the threats and repression targeting Afro-Hondurans who have bravely voiced their alarm over the steady deterioration of democracy in their country," says the letter, originated by democratic congressmen Hank Johnson of Georgia and John Conyers of Michigan.

The U.S. is supporting Honduras in its fight to stop drug traffickers. Last May, DEA agents were present during a raid that left four Honduran villagers, including a 14-year-old boy, dead.

The letter was sent Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Congressional+members+call+Honduran+human+rights/7895756/story.html

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Reply 58 US Congressional members call for Honduran human rights investigation (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #1
John2 Jan 2013 #2
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #4
John2 Jan 2013 #5
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:36 AM

1. "The U.S. is supporting Honduras in its fight to stop drug traffickers." ???

I think maybe the investigation ought to start with an investigation into the ties between the Associated Press and the CIA and the DEA. AP is a propaganda arm of the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs."

We've seen in Colombia how the U.S. "war on drugs" was used to brutally displace FIVE MILLION peasant farmers from their lands, in favor of Monsanto, Chiquita, Drummond Coal, Exxon Mobil and other transglobal corporate malefactors, and the local wealthy criminal elite and their big drug lords. We've also seen this U.S. "war" in Colombia used to slaughter trade unionists, teachers, community organizers, political leftists and other advocates of the poor. The U.S. "war on drugs" has many uses. Stopping the drug traffic is not one of them.

Another needed investigation: WHO has this consolidation of the trillion-plus dollar cocaine revenue stream BENEFITED? (Hint: U.S. banksters and the Bush Cartel.)

John Kerry used to be a tough investigator. I don't know if he is any more. I think he's learned to "play ball," as they say. He's become too much of a "player" to really look into the Honduran coup--or into the crimes by the Bush Junta in Colombia. To become Secretary of State, he surely had to agree to the on-going coverup of Bush Junta crimes of all kinds, including in Colombia. As for the Bush Junta-designed coup in Honduras--one of the biggest blots on the Obama administration, which tried to cover THAT up, with a phony election (under martial law!)--I despair of anything coming from Kerry other than cosmetics on human rights. Human rights don't exist in U.S. "war on drugs" countries. Indeed, that is a major purpose of the U.S. "war on drugs"--to turn human life into landfill.

Furious? Yeah, I'm furious. The U.S. "war on drugs" is the WORST THING THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS EVER DONE.

Forty years of this slaughter and naziism! Filthy, bloody, murderous, corrupt, twisted, upside-down, inside-out "Alice in Wonderland" INSANITY!

So, when AP solemnly intones, "The U.S. is supporting Honduras in its fight to stop drug traffickers," IT IS LYING and they KNOW it.

BILLIONS and BILLIONS and BILLIONS of our tax dollars on this HORRIBLE policy, and what is the end of it? A coup d'etat in Honduras to smoothe the cocaine route for the really big players who were set up in Colombia by the Bush Junta!

Start there, Secretary Kerry! I challenge you! Stop playing games! Be a REAL Secretary of State!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:47 AM

2. Now I hear this

 

criticism about Kerry. Where was this when everybody was saying he was the greatest thing since Ghandi? And why this letter now from those Congress people? They need to attend to civil rights abuses in their own neighborhoods instead of letting their rightwing peers in Congress abuse our rights. Isn't Conyers from Michigan?

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Response to John2 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:26 PM

4. Please take the time needed to know what they're discussing.

That's the absolute starting point for any sane conversation on the subject of Honduras, and what has been happening there, and why the U.S. is supporting this filthy, violent, torture-happy, and murderous right-wing regime in its war against dissent, and against the poor.

The U.S. government financially, materially supports it, and has used it to acquire 3 operating bases in that small country with U.S. taxpayers' hard-earned dollars since the violent and dirty coup several years ago.

Conscientious people feel obligated to inform themselves on subjects like this.

Don't spend your time attempting to discuss a subject you clearly don't grasp, when you could be using that time to learn what has been happening there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:10 PM

5. Your criticism is noted

 

but you are wrong. The questions were inquiring and I'll leave it there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:19 PM

3. Attacks by Police on Civilians Continue in Honduras

Honduras: Human Rights
Attacks by Police on Civilians Continue in Honduras
Posted on January 9, 2012

The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Cofadeh) express our concern for repeated abuse committed by the Honduran police against the population. In the last two weeks at least three people have reported assaults and assassination attempts by police officers.

January 7, 2012, around 8:00 p.m., Gonzalo Cruz, 42 years old and resident of the community of San Antonio, in the village of Taragual, municipality of Iguala, department of Lempira, was returning from buying medicine when he was shot by police officers Amado Jovel Díaz and Danilo Jovel Díaz, who were drinking alcoholic beverages at the time. Both officers demanded that Gonzalo Cruz provide them with more drinks, and since Gonzalo did not have any alcohol with him they repeatedly shot at him. According to reports from physicians who attended him at the Santa Rosa Hospital, he suffered 14 wounds in different parts of his body. One of the bullets resulted in severe damage to one of his lungs. The police officers, who were dressed in civilian clothing, abandoned the scene on a motorcycle.

Gonzalo Cruz is an active member of the Comprehensive Coordinating Committee of Taragual (Coordinadora Integral del Taragual) and the Network in Defence of the Right to Common Property (Red en Defensa de los Derechos de los Bienes Comunes), which is currently engaged in a struggle to defend natural resources, particularly against the concession of rivers for hydroelectric projects.

In the first half of the month of December, 2011, these same police officers were taking photographs of the houses of active members in the community, especially those who had been identified as members of the Resistance.

Other Acts of Police Aggression:

On December 26, 2012 at around 8:30pm, Marco Aurelio Lorenzo, parish priest of the catholic church of Macuelizo, Santa Bárbara, was attacked along with two of his brothers by eight members of the Police near the turnoff towards El Rosario, near kilometre 24 on the highway between San Miguelito and Yamaranguila in the department of Intibucá. He lost consciousness due to his injuries and required sixteen stitches in his head. His younger brother suffered a broken rib.

More:
http://hondurashumanrights.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/attacks-by-police-on-civilians-continue-in-honduras/

~~~~~

Politically Related Killings in Honduras Under President “Pepe” Lobo
Updated: 12 November 2011
59 Killings in 2011

05 November 2011 - José Luis Lemus Ramos, age 32 and the father of two children age 4 and 7, died at 2:00 a.m. en el Hospital Catarino Rivas, in San Pedro Sula, Cortés, from gunshot wounds fired by security guards of René Morales on 01 November 2011 in the Aguán. (FIAN)

01 November 2011 - A group of campesinos farmers and children belonging to the Authentic Struggle Organization of the Campesinos of Aguán (MARCA) were attacked by a patrol of heavily armed security guards of René Morales. The campesinos were returning from a cemetery having visited the graves of family members on the Day of the Dead. As the campesinos neared the palm oil processing plant owned by René Morales, guards began firing against the group of farmers who were traveling in a vehicle, assassinated Catalino Efrain Lopez, the father of six children who died instantly, while Jose Luis Lemus and Nilda Funez were wounded by bullets. Jose Luis Lemus is hovering between life and death. Nilda Funes was shot but her life is not at risk. Nilda Funez is liaison for the Human Rights Commission of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) in the municipality of Trujillo for the campesino sector. On one of the occasions in which the Honduran army violently evicted the settlement of La Despertar, they took Nilda's vest that identified her as a defender of human rights, tore it, stomped on it and burnt it. They told her that if she didn't disappear from the scene of the eviction the same thing that happened to her vest would happen to her; the same thing happened on that day to two other human rights defenders. (FIAN)

Politically Related Killings in Honduras Under President “Pepe” Lobo
Updated: 12 November 2011

59 Killings in 2011

05 November 2011 - José Luis Lemus Ramos, age 32 and the father of two children age 4 and 7, died at 2:00 a.m. en el Hospital Catarino Rivas, in San Pedro Sula, Cortés, from gunshot wounds fired by security guards of René Morales on 01 November 2011 in the Aguán. (FIAN)

01 November 2011 - A group of campesinos farmers and children belonging to the Authentic Struggle Organization of the Campesinos of Aguán (MARCA) were attacked by a patrol of heavily armed security guards of René Morales. The campesinos were returning from a cemetery having visited the graves of family members on the Day of the Dead. As the campesinos neared the palm oil processing plant owned by René Morales, guards began firing against the group of farmers who were traveling in a vehicle, assassinated Catalino Efrain Lopez, the father of six children who died instantly, while Jose Luis Lemus and Nilda Funez were wounded by bullets. Jose Luis Lemus is hovering between life and death. Nilda Funes was shot but her life is not at risk. Nilda Funez is liaison for the Human Rights Commission of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) in the municipality of Trujillo for the campesino sector. On one of the occasions in which the Honduran army violently evicted the settlement of La Despertar, they took Nilda's vest that identified her as a defender of human rights, tore it, stomped on it and burnt it. They told her that if she didn't disappear from the scene of the eviction the same thing that happened to her vest would happen to her; the same thing happened on that day to two other human rights defenders. (FIAN)

More:
http://www.crln.org/assassinations_in_Honduras
~~~~~

Background, Center for Justice and Accountability:

In 1995, the Baltimore Sun ran a four-part series based on interviews with Florencio Caballero, a former member of Battalion 316, and with torture survivors from Honduras. Through these interviews, a portrait began to emerge of the CIA’s role in the operations of Battalion 316.

During the course of the reporters’ investigations, they filed a number of Freedom of Information Act requests with the CIA over classified documents related to the Contra war and the interrogation program in Honduras. The CIA fiercely resisted releasing the material, but in 1997, it relented under pressure. The documents that emerged clearly demonstrated that the CIA had trained and cooperated with Honduran intelligence forces, while turning a blind eye to the commission of torture, extrajudicial killings and other severe human rights violations.

Perhaps the most eye-opening revelation was the release of a document entitled the Human Resources Exploitation Manual (HRET). Based on the CIA’s notes compiled during a three-week training session in Honduras in 1983, HRET outlines a range of psychologically and physically coercive interrogation techniques designed to extract information from prisoners. The techniques outlined therein conform to accepted notions of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It is important to note that a clear line connects the torture techniques described in HRET and the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” that would re-emerge in 2002, when US interrogators began to employ harsh coercive methods against suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees in the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan.

After Congressional Committees began to scrutinize the CIA’s activities in Latin America in 1984, the HRET manual was edited to suppress its most incriminating language. Still, clearly visible beneath the handwritten redactions are the original lines describing techniques of physical coercion. On page 2 of the 1983 version, a sentence reads “While we do not stress the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them and the proper way to use them.”

Although the U.S. intelligence advisors in Honduras officially counseled against physical coercion, eyewitness testimony revealed that Honduran torturers often “prepared” prisoners for U.S. interrogators. Although the physical signs of torture would have been hard to ignore, the practice seemed to have been tolerated. Similarly, U.S. advisors seemed uninterested in the fate of the prisoners once they left their hidden jails.

More:
http://www.cja.org/article.php?id=456

~~~~~

Honduras: Human RightsWar without masks
Posted on March 31, 2011
by Juan Almendares

- (Experimental torture laboratory against the people)
– The river of truth flows through a bed of lies (R. Tagore)


Since the military coup, Honduras has been converted into a laboratory for conspired war and media terror where military occupation forces conspire with Pentagon forces, Colombian military and police, hired security guards private, national and international intellectual sponsored by the U.S., European and Latin American extreme right.

The plan is to abort any process of democratization and freedom, in order to transform our country into a political and ideological platform for military aggression against the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and any country aligned with ALBA.

Following the call to a National Strike for March 30, by the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP), peasant organizations, workers, women, feminists, the community for sexual diversity, artists, students, teachers, university professors, and various resistance movements protested in solidarity with the national teacher´s organization and protested against multinationals that have been behind the coup forces.

Protests were held in several vital points of the country by: blocking roads and bridges, planting demonstrations before the Supreme Court of Justice, at the National Autonomous University of Honduras and the Pedagogical University of Francisco Morazan.

More:
http://hondurashumanrights.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/war-without-masks/

~~~~~

Impunity, torture suggest political nature behind attacks on Honduran journalists
By Zach Dyer

Since Honduran President Porfirio Lobo took office on Jan. 27, 2010, following disputed elections, 16 journalists in the Central American country have been killed and none of the crimes have been solved. In a 2010 report, the Committee to Protect Journalists claimed the “murders occurred in a politically charged atmosphere of violence and lawlessness.” The violence's political undertones have raised concerns about impunity and freedom of expression in Honduras in the wake of the 2009 coup d’état that removed President Manuel Zelaya from office.

This year, Honduras tops the list for threats against journalists and has the second-highest murder rate for journalists in Latin America. But while insecurity in Mexico—still the most dangerous country for journalists in the region—is closely tied to drug trafficking, many critics cite the political motivations behind the swelling violence in Honduras.

The Honduran government blames the killings on “routine street crime” and drug trafficking. With the world’s highest murder rate, that might make sense at first glance. Manuel Torres of the La Prensa newspaper, however, points out that the characteristics of the killings “suggest summary executions instead of common crime.”

In an interview, Torres told the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas that the use of illegal firearms, the participation of several suspects, the lack of robbery, the victims’ association with the opposition National Front of Popular Resistance, and the evidence of torture surrounding the deaths all contribute to an organized effort to intimidate critical journalism and opposition freedom of expression. The lack of prosecutions suggests a possible paramilitary operation that enjoys impunity.

More:
http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/impunity-torture-suggest-political-nature-behind-attacks-honduran-journalists

~~~~~

Platform for Human Rights in Honduras condemns the violation of human rights against the country’s population, through actions by judicial and law enforcement authorities

Posted on March 29, 2011

To the national and international community, we express the following:

1. Miriam Miranda, President of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), was subjected to trauma, terror and illegal detention.

2. The Assassination of Professor ILSE RODRIGUEZ VELASQUEZ, one week earlier in the teachers’ protest in the capital .

3. The assault on human rights defenders and the non-recognition of their work done in critical cases to defend detainees illegally held by country’s military bodies.

4. The persecution of leaders of the teachers’ union by the repressive policies of the military and police apparatus.

5. The indiscriminate and excessive use of force and tear gas and other chemicals against any group in the civilian population, especially teachers, regardless of the detrimental health effects, not only against protesters, but also residents of homes near the conflict zones.

6. The lack of respect for freedom of expression and the frequent violation of the human rights of journalists who cover the news in cases of repression in various media outlets, including alternative internet based media.

More:
http://hondurashumanrights.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/platform-for-human-rights-in-honduras-condemns-the-violation-of-human-rights-against-the-countrys-population-through-actions-by-judicial-and-law-enforcement-authorities/

~~~~~

Military members denounce torture, abuse
Posted on February 3, 2011

More than 40 personnel from the “Cobras” battalion graduates in the capital city, revealed early on Wednesday during a protest of torture and abuse received within this elite group of police.

From a place of confinement, soldiers who took refuge in anonymity, made desperate calls to human rights defenders to visit the headquarters of the military unit, as they were being harassed by superiors.

The soldiers who refused to participate in the Special Operations Course COPE, which trains them in repression and popular protest containment techniques, sparked the ire of their superiors who proceeded to isolate their subordinates in open spaces, leaving them at the expense of low temperatures that prevailed during the early hours of the day.

The unit that during the coup took part in the brutal acts of repression against the people of Honduras, were questioned recently about criminal and corrupt conduct, when at least three of them were caught red-handed robbing a savings and credit bank in a shanty town south of the capital.

http://hondurashumanrights.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/military-members-denounce-torture-abuse/

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