Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

August 02, 2009

Honduras coup is more bloody than bloodless, Albor Ruiz, New York Daily News, Sunday, August 2nd 2009

"The de facto regime in my country has been condemned by the whole world," Celso Castro, a Honduran native and longtime resident of New Jersey told us Wednesday.

Castro was referring to the June 28 military coup that kidnapped democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, forcibly expelled him from his country and replaced him with Roberto Micheletti, who had tried and failed three times before to become president.

"The 'golpistas' [the Spanish word for those who take part in a coup] suspended constitutional guarantees and gave themselves a license to violate human and civil rights," said Castro, a chemist. "My mother and my brother live in Honduras. It is very dangerous. Soldiers can come into your home at any time, day or night, and take you with no explanation."

"I hope that the constitutional order is restored before more violence is perpetrated against the people."

Unfortunately, Castro's wishes were not fulfilled. On Thursday, Roger Abrahán Vallejo Soriano, a 38-year-old teacher, was shot in the head by the military. At press time he remained hospitalized fighting for his life in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

His crime:peacefully demonstrating against the illegitimate government.

Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, is a nation where eight wealthy families control politics, business and the media.

"The only thing we want is to live in a country that respects everybody's will, not only the will of the rich," Wendy Cruz, who was with Vallejo Soriano when he was shot, wrote in a harrowing e-mail.

"The military were beating everybody and more than 80 people were arrested and taken to 'la Cuarta' police precinct," Cruz added. "There are many people wounded."

So much for Micheletti's sanctimonious claims that there is no violence in Honduras.

But Vallejo Soriano wasn't the first victim of "golpista" violence according to Dr. Luther Castillo, 33, director of the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation, a group that brings vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. He left Honduras eight days ago with five other community leaders to "educate the world about 'el golpe.'"

"We have denounced many extrajudicial executions," said Castillo.

According to Castillo, in addition to Isis Murillo, a teenager killed July 5 at the airport waiting for Zelaya's return, there have been other deaths that can be directly attributed to the Micheletti regime.

"On July 2, Gabriel Pino Noriega, from San Juan Puebla, was murdered; on Saturday, July 11, Roger Iván Báez, was shot while entering his home in San Pedro Sula; July 12, Ramón García, a 'campesino' leader, was also killed. And there are many more," he said.

Castillo says it is ironic that Micheletti claims Zelaya's return would cause a bloodbath. "The bloodbath is already going on courtesy of the military," he said.

The U.S. government has condemned the coup and favors a dialogue to resolve the situation.

Last weekend, filmmaker Marcos Meconi and journalist Joseph Huff-Hannon went to Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, a favorite weekend gathering place of Hondurans, and talked with several. The result is "Honduran Immigrants Speak Out on the Coup," a valuable and revealing documentary.

"If Zelaya committed crimes against Honduran law, why wasn't he impeached and prosecuted in Honduras? Why did they apprehend and remove him from the country? Why not right there?" asked one man interviewed.

A great question for which the de facto regime has no answer. Looking into the camera, the man, one of 40,000 Hondurans in New York, ended with a powerful statement: "There is no political event that can justify a coup d'état."

No, there isn't. Especially one that put in power a hypocritical regime that wraps itself in the Constitution while trampling the democratic process and murdering its people.

aruiz@nydailynews.com


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/08/02/2009-08-02_honduras_coup_is_more_bloody_than_bloodless.html#ixzz0N2quGy5Z

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