Rights Action - March 19, 2011
Honduras Military-backed Regime Watch
59-YEAR OLD TEACHER KILLED / EDWIN ESPINAL RELEASED
(Ilse Velasquez, a 59-year old teacher, was hit and killed by a police tear-gas canister, March 18, 2011, during a peaceful protest in Tegucigalpa. Photo provided by: FNRP-Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular)
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HONDURAS: POLICE-MILITARY REPRESSION KILLED TEACHER, ILSE VELASQUEZ
(Summary of March 19, 2011 information from RED MORAZÁNICA DE INFORMACIÓN)
THE FNRP (PEOPLE'S NATIONAL RESISTANCE FRONT) DECLARES PORFIRIO LOBO SOSA RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DEATH
Ilse Velasquez, the 59 year-old teacher, lost conscience on the street after a tear-gas canister fired by riot police struck her forehead. The cloud of toxic smoke that surrounded her severely affected the respiratory system. Moments later, Mrs. Velasquez was hit by a car that caused severe internal bruising. Although Ilse was assisted by other teachers and demonstrators that took her to a nearby hospital, she died in an emergency room.
DISAPPEARANCE OF HER BROTHER - MANFREDO VELASQUEZ
Ilse was a long-time member of COFADEH (Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras). In the 1980s, when Honduras was also ruled by a repressive military regime, Ilse's brother Manfredo Velasquez was disappeared.
COFADEH expresses: "Ilse and her family were tireless fighters for truth and justice during the time of enforced disappearances in our country, under the doctrine of "national security" in the eighties. The disappearance of Manfredo Velásquez was the first case of human rights violations known to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in which the State of Honduras was convicted. Through to today, the government of Honduras has not complied with the Court's resolution to investigate and punish those responsible."
The FRNP, which coordinated the peaceful demonstrations against the policies of de facto regime, blames the leader of the regime for the murder of the teacher. Witnesses reported seeing bottles of alcohol used by police and military before attacking demonstrators.
Letter - March 19, 2011
To Canadian and American politicians and government officials,
Re: Death of teacher Ilse Velazquez
As you will see below, the Honduran FNRP (People's National Resistance Front) declares that regime leader Porfirio Lobo Sosa is responsible for this latest killing.
Rights Action holds Canadian and American politicians and government officials partially responsible for the on-going repression in Honduras.
This State repression - predictable and systematic since the June 28, 2009 military coup - is a logical, brutal response by the military and police-backed Honduran regime that is supported and politically-backed most strongly by the governments of the USA and Canada. Most governments in Latin America do not recognize the legitimancy of the regime in Honduras.
Since the June 2009 military coup, Honduras has not been allowed back into the OAS (Organization of American States).
There is no end in sight to State repression in Honduras. The military and police backed regime is illegitimate, coming to power in fraudulent elections after the June 28, 2009 military coup.
The governments of Canada and USA must change course. In the measure that they continue with "business as usual" with the Honduran regime, promoting "free trade" agreements and North American investor and business interests (mining, sweatshops, tourism, etc), they will help keep in place this repressive, undemocratic regime.
On request, Rights Action can provide extensive background about the on-going State repression in Honduras.
THE ILLEGAL DETENTION, BEATING AND RELEASE OF EDWIN ESPINAL
Yesterday, we reported that Edwin Espinal was illegally detained by the regime forces; Edwin who has been targeted many times, since June 2009, for harassment, illegal detention and torture.
From: Karen Spring
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 6:21 PM
I just spoke with Edwin Espinal, who is on his way home. After spending the night in jail & threatened with charges of kidnapping & illicit protesting, no charges were laid.
He was taken last night to the public hospital because of the bruises he had on his back after he was roughed up while being arrested.
The Fiscal or attorney that was designated to lay charges told Edwin that many people from the US & Canada called inquiring about his safety and well-being. I'm sure the many phone calls made a difference in securing his safety.
Thank you to everyone who responded. Karen
WHAT TO DO - TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS
To make a tax-deductible donation for community based organizations in Honduras' pro-democracy movement working to eradicate poverty and exploitation and to re-found their nation-state, make check payable to "Rights Action" and mail to:
UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
CANADA: 552 - 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
CREDIT-CARD DONATIONS: http://rightsaction.org/contributions.htm; or go to: www.rightsaction.org. (Credit card donations can be done anonymously)
FOR DONATION OF STOCK: contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (Stock donations can be done anonymously - have your stockbroker contact email@example.com)
WHAT TO DO - WRITE TO YOUR OWN POLITICIANS & GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
Using or borrowing from the letter (above), please write to your own elected politicians and government officials in Canada and the USA (addresses below), holding them partially responsible for the on-going State repression in Honduras, demanding them to change course.
US GOV'T OFFICES AND POLITICIANS
WHAAsstSecty@State.Gov; KellyC@state.gov; PenaL@state.gov; LlorensH@state.gov; ValenzuelaAA@state.gov; Darron_P._Monteiro@who.eop.gov; LlorensH@state.gov; Eirizs@state.gov;
WHITE HOUSE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/, 202-456-1111, Comment Line: 202-456-1414
CONGRESS: Go to http://www.house.gov/ to get info for your member of Congress, and call: 202-224-3121
SENATE: Go to http://www.senate.gov/ to get contact for your Senator, and call: 202-224-3121
STATE DEPARTMENT: 202 647-8947
STATE DEPARTMENT - Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs: 202 647-0834, WHAAsstSecty@State.Gov
AMBASSADOR CRAIG KELLY, Principal Deputy Asst. Secretary, Western Office of Hemisphere Affairs: KellyC@state.gov
MARIA OTERO, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs; c/o Laura Pena, Assistant: PenaL@state.gov
BENJAMIN GEDAN, Honduras Desk Officer, (202) 647-3482
DR. ARTURO VALENZUELA: ValenzuelaAA@state.gov
PAUL MONTEIRO, Office of Public Engagement, Darron_P._Monteiro@who.eop.gov
CANADIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS & POLITICIANS
CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT:
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA David Johnston
Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A1
firstname.lastname@example.org, (613) 993-8200, 800 465-6890
Duncan Mousseau, Director of Policy, Planning and Correspondence
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
PRIME MINISTER Stephen Harper
Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda
509-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon
509-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) Peter Kent
125 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0G2
(613) 992-0253, email@example.com
Gilles Duceppe, leader, Bloc Quebecois
1200 Papineau Av, #350, Montreal, QC, H2K-4R5
Jack Layton, leader, New Democratic Party
221 Broadview Ave, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, MM-2G3
Elizabeth May, leader, Green Party
Saanich Gulf Islands EDA, Box 20076, Sidney, BC, V8L0in9
Michael Ignatieff, leader, Liberal Party
656 The Queensway, Etobicoke, ON, M8Y-1K7
Bob Rae, Liberal, Foreign Affairs Critic
(613) 992-5234, RaeB@parl.gc.ca
Francine Lalonde, Bloc Quebecois, Foreign Affairs Critic
(613) 995-6327, LalonF@parl.gc.ca
Paul Dewar, NDP, Foreign Affairs Critic
1306 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON, K1Y-3B2
Larry Bagnell, Liberal
Stockwell Day, Conservative
Peter Julian, NDP International Trade Critic
Rm 178, Confederation Bldg., Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
John McKay, Liberal, Scarborough-Guildwood
(613) 992-1447, MckayJ@parl.gc.ca, 613-947-4609
Claire Lehan, Legislative Assistant
(613) 992-6512, McKayJ8@parl.gc.ca
549-D Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
Kevin Sorenson, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Room 518, Justice Building, Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A6
(613) 947-4608, SorenK@parl.gc.ca, 613-992-2971
Dean Allison, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson
4994 King Street, Beamsville, ON, L0R-1B0
Barbara Curran, CIDA Director
200 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, K1A-0G4
CANADIAN Embassy in Costa Rica (responsible for Honduras as well)
Ambassador Neil Reeder
(506) 2242-4400, (506) 2242-4411, firstname.lastname@example.org
Honduras Office of the Canadian Embassy
Centro Financiero Banexpo, 3 Piso, Boulevard San Juan Bosco, Colonia Payaquí, Tegucigalpa
(504) 232-4551; email@example.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, ENGLISH & ESPANOL