Monday, December 14, 2009

Honduras: death toll update

For more than a month I haven't been able to bring myself to post; I haven't even done much commenting on other sites following the situation.

But my promise to update the post summarizing murders of resistance activists (Honduras: high price of the struggle) forces me to note a number of additions:

Luis Gradis Espinal, a teacher from the department of Valle, was found dead on Wednesday, November 25 in Las Casitas neighborhood in western Tegucigalpa. He was tied and had been executed. His family reported him disappeared when he didn't return after having left for the capital on Sunday, Nov. 22. During the weeks before the election (and since) there were dozens of police search and captures for resistance participants.

Isaac Coello, 24; Roger Reyes, 22; Kenneth Rosa, 23; Gabriel Parrales; and Marco Vinicio Matute, 39. The five men, active in the resistance from the Victor F. Ardon and Honduras neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa, were massacred [Sp.] on December 7 by men in military and police uniforms. A young woman working with them was also shot, but not fatally; she survived by pretending to be dead.

Santos Corrales García was found dead [Sp.] on Thursday, December 10, near Talanga (50 km east of Tegucigalpa). His body was headless. On December 5 Corrales had been taken away with four others from the Nueva Capital neighborhood of Tegucigalpa by five men dressed in uniforms of the national criminal investigation directorate (DNIC). He was tortured and interrogated about the location of a businesswoman who provided supplies to the resistance during demonstrations. The two men and two women who were taken with Corrales were transported, tied hand and foot, dumped at highway exits far from home and told not to return to their neighborhoods.

Walter Orlando Tróchez, a human rights advocate, member of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual community, and active member of the Resistance Front was assassinated with two shots the morning of December 14, just outside of Larach & Co. in the center of Tegucigalpa. On December 4 Tróchez had been kidnapped outside the "El Obelisco" Park in Comayaguela by four masked men who drove a gray pickup without plates (presumed to be DNIC). They hooded and beat him, and demanded information about resistance activities; Tróchez managed to escape and filed a formal complaint. More from Adrienne Pine and Feminists in Resistance, via Honduras Resists.

There have been several attempted assassinations, and continued police sweeps of homes and offices in which resistance participants have been sought and many taken away. Most of those taken have resurfaced alive, but have been forced to move. Four activists who were taken from the Carrizal neighborhood of the capital on December 5 have not been seen since and are considered disappeared.

Assistant Secretary Valenzuela now freely describes the current regime as a military coup, yet no one in the State Department at any level will acknowledge, much less condemn, these ongoing acts of terror. What a sickeningly familiar feeling.

Update: 7:00 pm, 15 Jan 2010 - Added another couple of entries to the archive post. The last month has seen a wave of murders, kidnapings, and disappearances of both resistance activists and ordinary Hondurans, as well as ongoing violence directed against farmworkers in Aguan by those trying to drive them off their land. A Garifuna radio station was torched. It's difficult to sort out the targeted political killings from the background violence, which is no doubt the point for some of the assassins involved.

[Images from Honduras Resists]

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At 10:15 PM, December 14, 2009, Anonymous Ovid said...

Thanks Nell.

At 9:51 PM, December 16, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to have your witness back, Nell. Writing about it is the only way I can stand it.

I missed the report on Luis Espinal.

And, yes, thanks.


At 6:19 PM, December 22, 2009, Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Thanks from me, too. I've been kind of sick of it all both because of this, the rather minimal at best health care "reforms", and the "sweeping torture under the rug" strategy I'm seeing. Being a nearly incorrigible sap, I had hoped for better.

At 6:12 PM, February 08, 2010, Anonymous Ovid said...

They aren't stopping.

At 2:42 PM, February 11, 2010, Blogger Nell said...

Thanks for the pointer, Ovid. I'll update the main archive post.


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