honduras solidarity fund
The people of Honduras are maintaining pressure on the streets, even though demonstrating has become extremely dangerous. Citizens are being detained and crowds of protestors are being shot at, arrested and tortured.
At the border with Nicaragua, the State of Siege has been called, suspending all basic rights. More than 1.200 people who are insisting on the return of constitutional rule in Honduras are 'held' by the military on the border. But they are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance: food, shelter, clothing, medicines.
The Honduran people continue to risk their lives and livelihoods demonstrating in support of democracy in Honduras. Here are some of their stories:
Rafael Alegría is a prominent leader of the international farmers’ movement La Vía Campesina in Honduras, and a member of their International Coordinating Committee, with whom we have a close relationship. On July 25, Rafael was captured by the Honduran police. Rafael said: “They threw me in prison with 45 other activists. We had not respected the state of siege, but as I told them, (this measure) is illegal and we cannot accept it.” For 28 days straight, Rafael Alegría had been protesting and calling for the return of democracy and President Zelaya. Among the other jailed protestors were women and children.
Rafael and the other protestors were liberated after the intervention of a human rights activist. “Without a doubt, human rights are being violated” said Rafael. “They captured us without a judicial order and threw us in jail”.
Rafael will keep in direct communication with other social movement leaders who are close to Zelaya at the border with Nicaragua, in order to ‘assess the situation and the possibilities’. Rafael said: ‘We will continue this fight’.
Bertha Cáceres was one of the indigenous leaders who were captured on July 26. Military forces stationed close to the border city of El Paraíso, captured protestors who were headed for the border region to support Mr Zelaya. Among those protestors was Bertha Cáceres, one of the coordinators of the Council for Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras. Bertha is a close friend of Friends of the Earth International and a supporter of Movimiento Madre Tierra/ Friends of the Earth Honduras.
One day later, we received news that Bertha was safe and had found refuge in a secure place in the mountains after being chased by armed thugs. She informed us that there are military patrols and paramilitary groupings in the mountains, who are persecuting protestors who are on their way to join thousands of compatriots at the border.
Our member group Movimiento Madre Tierra / FoE Honduras continues to provide support to Rafael, Bertha and other courageous social movement leaders, defending their human rights and civil liberties and providing them with direct humanitarian assistance. Please help them by making a financial donation. All donations will be channeled directly to Friends of the Earth Honduras.