Military attack on UNAH today

Multiple sources are reporting that UNAH, the National Autonomous University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, was under military attack within the past few hours. Soldiers have been using tear gas and live bullets against unarmed students on university grounds, and apparently when the Provost Julieta Castellanos, sociologist, expert on violence, and previously director of the UN Violence Observatory, came out with the vice provost to try to negotiate a peaceful solution, she herself was knocked to the ground and beaten along with other academics. It's hard to know at this stage how bad things are, but reports are coming out saying hundreds are wounded. See below in Spanish.

This follows yesterday's attack with guns drawn on unarmed students of the UNAH by the bodyguards of Liberal Party Candidate, Zelaya's former vice president and golpista Elvin Santos, in response to the students' taunts:

Report from Mario Menjivar:

Asociaciones de Derechos Humanos,

En estos momentos la policía y los militares, bajo órdenes del criminal Roberto Micheletti y el criminal Romeo Vásquez, están ingresando a las instalaciones de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras en Tegucigalpa, disparando balas de plomo y gas lacrimógeno contra los estudiantes que estaban pacíficamente dentro de los predios universitarios. Ante las acciones represivas y crueles de la policía, la señora rectora de la Universidad, Julieta Castellanos, salió con sus vicerrectores a dialogar con los oficiales a cargo, para buscar una salida pacífica a la situación, sólo para ser agredida por los mismos policías, fué empujada al suelo y golpeada, al igual que el personal académico que salió con ella.

Hay cientos de estudiantes heridos de bala, cientos de golpeados y torturados, y con toda seguridad hay fallecidos tambien.

Por favor, tomar nota, enviar a sus representantes, presionen a sus gobiernos para que tomen medidas drásticas y pragmáticas contra el régimen golpista, y sobre todo, iniciar acciones penales a nivel internacional contra los criminales asesinos en los países donde sea pertinente, como España, Argentina, Francia, y otros.

Es en estos momentos cuando mas necesitamos de su solidaridad, hermanos y hermanas del mundo!

Comments

Thank you

Thank you for all you are doing here!

I came across a good set of photos at http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2009/08/05/10372796.html - "Honduran students riot in support of ousted leader", but they show riot police and not soldiers. Same incident, or something else?..

Alamet

On Menjivar's report

Something doesn't quite add up about the report, Adrienne. Normally there is very roughly a 1:10 ratio between deaths and injuries from gunshot wounds (in Vietnam, for example, it was 1:5.6). If there are hundreds injured by gunshots, one would expect scores of dead. What I have heard does not suggest anything that bad. In the excitement of the moment, sometimes reports can be distorted.

Obviously this is just speculation on my part, but let's hope and pray for the best.

Injuries from beating, tear gas too

Definitely implausible that hundreds were shot, and it may well turn out that something less than hundreds of students and university personnel are injured badly. But the way the police and soldiers pursued people onto the campus, beating and tear-gassing even inside university buildings, means that hundreds certainly could have been injured, period.
Nell

Agreed.

I should have caveated that more firmly. It's important not to detract from the already grotesque facts by repeating possible exaggerations.

Clarifying Comments...

Adriana,

I talked to Mario Menjivar, a UNAH medical student, about it, and he explained to me that:

1. He definitely meant to say that there are already hundreds of UNAH students shot/hurt/injured from the 40 days of protests and resistance.

2. Remember, though the UNAH was not officially a part of the resistance front, most students and workers have been manifesting as citizens in the protests during the past 40 days.

3. He is definitely sure that hundreds of UNAH students have been hurt in the protests, since he is a medical student practicing at the Hospital Escuela. There are many more Hondurans hurt by wound shots than most people think, since they receive shots to the legs, including rubber and live ammunition. Mario practices at the Hospital Escuela, and most of his family, his mother, father, one uncle, and two cousins work in the medical field, and they are very well acquainted with the current situation.

4. He definitely did not mean to say that there were hundreds of UNAH students shot in THIS RAID ALONE, and that he has already corrected his text and made new submissions. At the time he was writing from a sense of desperation, thinking that he had already seen hundreds of students hurt by the protests, and that on top of that he witnessed the brutal beatings in the police raid. He wrote down that thought, and he was not at the time conscious of the misinterpretation.

5. He also explained that since the Police is now under Military control, there is no difference between them, since they are both controlled by the criminal Romeo Vásquez. We must remember that police officers have been briefed by the military on a daily basis and forced to relinquish the 'to serve and protect' mental paradigm, only to be replaced with the 'kill the enemy' mentality that military troops are trained upon.

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.

Dany

That does clarify

Thanks, Dany, and please thank Mario for the in-depth explanation and for his work healing the victims of this fascist (and I mean that in the technical sense, not mere slander) regime.