country and to opposing U.S. intervention.
HSN Election Monitoring SIte: For reports, information and follow-up on the November 24, 2013 elections in Honduras go to www.hondurassolidaritynetwork.org
Legal Defense Fund for COPINH Leaders
The Honduras Solidarity Network (US) has set up a legal defense fund for Berta Cáceres, Aureliano Molina and Tomás Gomez of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The three Lenca indigenous leaders are facing a series of trumped up charges arising from the Lenca people’s struggle against a foreign-built dam project that will drown their land and religious/cultural sites. For over three months the community has non-violently blocked a road access to the construction site, insisting on their right to consultation and respect for their cultural and spiritual rights under Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization of the United Nations.
The criminal charges are a transparent political attempt to criminalize COPINH, end resistance to the dam, and imprison three important indigenous leaders. For more information
To contribute to their legal defense go to: https://afgj.org/afgj-donations and when the page prompts you for “Cause” check COPINH Legal Defense Fund. Or, checks can be mailed to Alliance for Global Justice, 225 E 26th St., Ste. 1, Tucson, AZ 85713 with COPINH Legal Defense Fund in the memo line. 100% of your contribution will be forwarded to COPINH for their legal expenses.
December 18, 2013
HSN Declaration Against Intimidation and Threats Against Human Rights Defenders in Honduras
The Honduras Solidarity Network in the U.S. condemns and views with the
greatest concern the false accusations against the representative of an international human rights and solidarity organization, R
ights Action, made by Colonel German Alfaro, commander of the Xantruch II forces in the Lower Aguan Valley.
Rights Action is a member organization of this network and has a long record of working with communities at risk in Central America. Annie Bird is well known and respected in the US as well as in Central America for her work for many years in defense of human rights. The accusations are patently false and designed to discredit internatio
nal and national human rights defenders. Furthermore we denounce the remarks as being an implicit threat against the physical integrity of Annie Bird, and we hold Colonel Alfaro and the Honduran authorities at all levels responsible for her well-being.
Colonel Alfaro’s remarks are part of an orchestrated campaign to discredit and intimidate international human rights and solidarity organizations and to isolate the political and social movements in opposition to the coup and its continuation, especially the most unprotected and vulnerable indigenous and campesino
Other of our member organizations were subjected to intimidation as they served as credentialed Electoral Tribunal (TSE) International Acompaniers observing the November 24th elections. Immigration services, currently militarized in Honduras, raided the center in Progres
o where the internationals were being trained by the Electoral Tribunal, as well as the offices of the Honduran Jesuit organization ERIC-SJ. When our members reported to the immigration offices in San Pedro Sula as requested, the official in charge there repeated similar wild accusations that there were international observers in the country to intimidate people and to create
subversion. His statements and manner were obviously intended to intimidate our members and, as he stated that the raids were part of a nationally ordered operation supported by the US Embassy, it must be interpreted as an official statement.
The campaign against human rights defenders is also directed at Honduran human rights defenders such as the internationally known COFADEH and its staff including its director, Berta Olvia. Berta Oliva has been publicly accused by government officials of betraying the country as she fulfills her responsibilities as a defender by communicating information and raising alarms over the deteriorating human rights situation in Honduras.
Since the day of the election (November 24th), 5 LIBRE leaders and supporters have been murdered, one journalist and newly elected LIBRE Congressman was forced to flee the country in the face of a plan to kill him, a son of a LIBRE and trade union leader was kidnapped and his life threatened. There are daily threats against LIBRE members and social activists. Campesino and indigenous communities and their defenders are the target of slander and violence.
In the face of these conditions, the Honduras Solidarity Network, remains dedicated to “walking with the Honduran people” and working against US military and security aid and training for the forces responsible for the violence.
Members of the Honduras Solidarity Network, USA
Alliance for Global Justice
Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Committee (BALASC)
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)
Colectivo Honduras USA Resistencia=LIBRE
Friendship Office of the Americas
Hondureños En Resistencia - Northern California
La Voz de los de Abajo-Chicago
Latin America Solidarity Committee-Milwaukee
Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas
Portland Central America Solidarity Coalition (PCASC)
HSN Rejects Intimidation and Attacks on Human Rights Defenders
SOA Watch (National)
SOA Watch San Francisco
SOA Watch Oakland
St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
U.S. - El Salvador Sister Cities
Witness for Peace Southwest