Monday, September 28, 2009

Honduras: From Bad to Worse

The situation in Honduras is going from bad to worse. The article below that includes eyewitness information provided by Fr. Andrés Tamayo summarizes the major developments. We also like the fact that EDLP correctly calls the priest "Honduran", as opposed to some media outlets that seem to want to join the coup government in stripping him of his citizenship by referring to him as "salvadoreño."

The article does not include the latest diplomatic faux-pas of U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States Lewis Anselem who labeled President Zelaya's return to Tegucigalpa "irresponsible and foolish" and saying that Zelaya "should cease and desist from making wild allegations and from acting as though he were starring in an old movie." Perhaps President Zelaya does not have the right to return to his own country? Even the controversial Law Library of Congress report that determined that the coup itself was legal under Honduran law concluded that "the removal of President Zelaya from the country by the military is in direct violation of the Article 102 of the Constitution" as the Constitution explicitely prohibits the expatriation of Honduran citizens.

Eva Sanchis (translation Rebel Girl)
El Diario La Prensa

New York - From the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he has been confined for eight days with the only president of the country considered legitimate, the renowned Honduran leader, Father Andres Tamayo, summed up the situation in the country in a nutshell this morning: "This is totally a dictatorship."

"They are the law, the law does not exist here, frankly there is no law," Father Tamayo said, referring to the suspension Tuesday by the coup government of five constitutional rights and the decree of martial law for the next 45 days.

Father Tamayo said he feared for the lives of people who are part of the popular resistance movement which he is part of, because significant constitutional rights have been canceled: personal freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and rights of detainees.

"Now they can pick out anyone they see as dangerous or suspicious because they are walking in our march, and especially they can go looking for and picking out leaders and can raze any house without an arrest warrant," the well-known Honduran leader stated.

Father Tamayo said the circle is closing in dangerously on those inside, some 70 people among whom is the deposed president Manuel Zelaya, his wife and other family members and followers.

In addition to the ultimatum to leave the Brazilian Embassy in 10 days, this morning the coup government ordered the closure of the only two communications media in the country that conveyed news of those inside -- Radio Globo and Channel 36 television. On Sunday, Roberto Micheletti's coup government also prevented a delegation from the Organization of American States (OAS) from entering the country.

The harassment of those inside is constant, the well-known Honduran leader, who is one of the close aides of the deposed president, said. Father Tamayo said that the embassy is surrounded by over a thousand military helicopters constantly flying over the area and there are snipers on buildings near the embassy.

"They don't let anyone enter here now," he said, speaking from his cellphone.

Father Tamayo also denounced the physical torture to which those inside have been submitted, for example, the use of strong magnetic waves and chemical gases by the army.

Father Tamayo said that those inside are sleeping on the floor of the embassy, but that the government is allowing them to get food and water, and that the mood is good among the trapped.

Yesterday the priest celebrated a Mass and gave communion to President Zelaya.

"Here, thanks be to God, despite the attacks against us, we are strong," he said.

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