This video from Honduras says about itself:
Bertha Olivas of Honduran human rights organization COFADEH presents a report detailing the 1161 human rights abuses committed in the first 17 days of the coup: arbitrary arrests, physical attacks, media repression, and four murders. The woman sitting beside Bertha is the mother of one of the murder victims: 19-year-old Isis Obed Murillo.
By Bill Van Auken:
Honduran government unleashes violence against striking teachers
30 March 2011
The US-backed government of President Porfirio Lobo has used police and military violence in an attempt to quell a teachers’ strike and protests that have continued to escalate over the last month.
Tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters have taken to the streets of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and cities and towns throughout Honduras in opposition to a new law—called “Encouraging community participation for the improvement of quality in education”—that decentralizes the country’s public education system with the aim of preparing its privatization. The Lobo government has also repealed the Teachers Statute, wiping out rights won over decades.
The teachers are also demanding back pay for thousands of their members who have gone without salaries for months and are protesting the looting of their pension funds by successive governments.
The state violence employed against these protests has already claimed the life of one prominent teacher activist, Ylse Ivania Velázquez Rodríguez, who was killed on March 18 when police fired a tear gas canister at point-blank range into her head. At least 20 teachers have been imprisoned on “sedition” charges.
On Tuesday morning, the imprisoned teachers were arraigned at the Supreme Court of Justice, which resembled a military camp. Large crowds of teachers together with friends and relatives of the prisoners demonstrated outside the courthouse, demanding their freedom.
Lobo escalated the confrontation on Sunday, declaring the strike illegal and vowing to suspend without pay for six months all teachers who failed to return to the classroom the following morning and to permanently fire those who did not come back to work by April 4. He also claimed the power to outlaw the teachers’ unions for backing the strike.
Teachers representatives vowed to defy the order. “We are out in the streets and we will stay there,” said Jaime Rodriguez, president of the middle school teachers’ union.
Mass firings, wholesale privatization, teargas—this is what the Honduran coup has come to: here.
Honduras Feature: The Suppression of the Teachers: here.
Who’s Killing the Journalists of Honduras? Andrew O’Reilly, Latin American News Dispatch: “The case of Franklin Melendez highlights that these attacks on journalists are not isolated incidents and have carried over into 2011. Along with Melendez’s confrontation, five journalists in March were attacked by police officers while covering protests in the country’s on-going teachers strike…. These murders and attacks have shocked and dismayed the journalism community, as Honduras battles to be the focal point of violence in a region of the world normally dominated by bad news from Mexico”: here.
Roberto Sosa, the most prominent poet in Honduras, died on Monday, May 23. Here is the cover story he wrote for The Progressive in November 2009.