Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WNU #999: Honduran Protester Murdered, Leader Detained

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #999, July 26, 2009

1. Honduras: Protester Murdered, Leader Detained
2. Honduras: Rights Group Reports 1,155 Violations
3. Honduras: Army Blocks Thousands of Protesters
4. Guatemala: Thousands March Against Cement Plant
5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, US

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

Note: The Update will not appear next week; the next Update, #1,000, will be dated August 9, 2009.

*1. Honduras: Protester Murdered, Leader Detained
Hundreds of people attended the burial of murdered Honduran bricklayer Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador on July 26 in the El Durazno cemetery, about 5km north of Tegucigalpa. “Blood of martyrs, seed of freedom,” chanted the mourners, who said the police had killed Muñoz for his role in a July 24 demonstration near the border with Nicaragua, where protesters had been trying to join up with deposed Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. During the burial ceremony, mourners seized two police agents from the General Directorate of Investigation, beat them and set their vehicle on fire. According to witnesses, campesino leader Rafael Alegría rescued the agents from the crowd. Alegría, who heads the local branch of the international group Vía Campesina (“Campesino Way”), has been a spokesperson for the grassroots movement resisting the military coup that removed Zelaya from office on June 28.

Muñoz, a 23-year-old Tegucigalpa resident, was found dead with signs of prolonged torture on the morning of July 25 near a police post in Alauca municipality, about 12km from the Las Manos border post in the southern department of El Paraíso. On the afternoon of July 24, hundreds of protesters had confronted soldiers and police in nearby El Paraíso municipality in an attempt to reach Zelaya, who was trying to enter Honduras at Las Manos from the Nicaraguan side. Witnesses said Muñoz was active in building a large, smoky bonfire near the soldiers who were blocking the protesters.

A police official acknowledged that agents arrested Muñoz that afternoon but said the arrest was for smoking marijuana, not for protesting. The police said they released him at 6:30 am on July 25, but a medical examiner said in the presence of witnesses--including representatives of the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH), an independent human rights organization—that Muñoz had died several hours before that. (Qué (Spain) 7/26/09 from unidentified wire services; La Jornada (Mexico) 7/26/09 from AFP; Honduras Laboral (7/26/09) from Frente de Resistencia Popular de Honduras)

Muñoz’s murder appears to be part of a pattern of increased repression against opponents of the coup starting July 24.

On the night of July 24, unidentified people fired on a car near Tegucigalpa’s Toncontín international airport, wounding Juan Carlos Trochez, who was hospitalized with wounds in the chest and the lower body. He had been returning to the capital after participating in an anti-coup demonstration in the western department of Santa Bárbara with his older brother, César Darío Trochez. Their father is Rodrigo Trochez, a legislative deputy from Santa Bárbara for the center-right Liberal Party, whose membership includes both President Zelaya and de facto president Roberto Micheletti, a leader of the coup. Deputy Trochez is one of the minority of Liberal legislators who opposed the coup; he had been in Washington since July 19 with six other deputies to talk to US officials and Congress members. He told the Italian wire service ANSA that he thought the attack was a reprisal for protesting against the de facto regime. (ANSA 7/25/09)

Campesino leader Rafael Alegría was detained along with driver Gustavo Adolfo Suazo and the Austrian writer Leo Gabriel in Las Manos around 1 pm on July 25. The police refused to say where Alegría had been taken, but the independent Spanish journalist José Carlos Gallaga located him with about 45 other detained protesters—including 18 women and 11 minors—in El Paraíso in departmental police station number 7. The police assaulted Gallaga, but finally released the protesters at around 6 pm. (Honduras Laboral (7/26/09) from Común Noticias)

On July 26, shortly before the burial of Pedro Muñoz, a small bomb exploded in a bathroom in the Tegucigalpa offices of the Union of Workers of the Brewery Industry and the Like (STIBYS). There was material damage but no injuries. The union has been a meeting place for the resistance, and the explosion came at the end of a strategy meeting. (Qué (Spain) 7/26/09 from unidentified wire services; La Jornada (Mexico) 7/26/09 from AFP)

Correction: The original version of this item had a typo in the name of the man found murdered in El Paraíso department in southern Honduras on July 25. Our sources give his name as "Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador." We were incorrect in saying his body was found in El Paraíso municipality; it was in nearby Alauca municipality.

*2. Honduras: Rights Group Reports 1,155 Violations
A mission of delegates from international human rights organizations released a preliminary report on July 23 in Tegucigalpa charging “serious and systematic violations” of rights in Honduras following the June 28 military coup. The mission’s 15 members included representatives from the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and the Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ).

The report listed five killings that appeared to be politically motivated: the death of an unidentified man whose body was found in Tegucigalpa on July 3 in a t-shirt supporting the “fourth ballot box” (a reference to a proposed poll on a constitutional reform that precipitated the coup); the shooting death of protester Isis Obed Murillo Mencias by soldiers during a July 5 demonstration at the Toncontín airport; and the murders of journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega and two activists from the leftist Democratic Unification Party (PUD), Ramón García and labor leader Roger Iván Bados [see Update #997]. The report also listed one apparent homophobic murder. Vicky Hernández Castillo (Sonny Emelson Hernández Castillo) was shot and strangled San Pedro Sula during the nightly curfew the de facto regime imposed after the coup.

The Honduran human rights group COFADEH listed 1,155 human rights violations since June 28, of which 1,046 were illegal detentions, mainly for violating the curfew or for participating in protests. Oscar Raúl Matute, governance secretary in the de facto government, denied the human rights groups’ accusations on July 23. “You can travel freely around the country,” he said. “There are no persecutions; there are no political prisoners.” (La Jornada 7/24/09 from AFP, DPA, Reuters; Upside Down World 7/23/09; Equipo Nizkor 7/24/09)

*3. Honduras: Army Blocks Thousands of Protesters
According to both resistance organizers and international wire services, thousands of Hondurans headed to the border with Nicaragua when they learned that President Zelaya would try to reenter there at the Las Manos border post in El Paraíso department on July 24. The military responded by deploying a large number of troops to stop the movement toward the border. The de facto regime also imposed a round-the-clock curfew on the department.

Witnesses reported 14 to 20 military roadblocks along the 100km route from Tegucigalpa to Las Manos. Protesters were also detained when they tried to come from Choluteca and Olancho departments. Two teams of investigators from COFADEH headed by the group’s general coordinator, Bertha Oliva, were stopped at Arenales, 7km from Danlí, El Paraíso. Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the president’s wife, was also stopped there for several hours, along with the couple’s daughters and the president’s mother, Hortensia Rosales. Protesters who managed to get through some roadblocks found themselves trapped by others; they were unable to go forward or back, and had to sleep outdoors. The military also blocked food shipments and medical supplies. A number of protesters were sick from exposure, while others were suffering from the effects of tear gas or beatings by the police.

The Reuters wire service reported that by July 26 many protesters were discouraged and were trying to head for home. “We’re tired and there’s no food,” protester César Castro told Reuters. “We’re going to withdraw to Tegucigalpa, where most of the people are,” Lilian Ordoñez, a school teacher, explained. "We have to change our strategy.” (Minga Informativo de Moviemientos Sociales 7/25/09 from Vía Campesina, 7/25/09 from Común Noticias; Prensa Latina 7/26/09; La Jornada 7/26/09 from Reuters)

But others were circumventing military roadblocks by cutting across the countryside. Four resistance leaders--Salvador Zúñiga and Berta Cáceres from the Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and Miriam Miranda and Alfredo López from the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH)--set out with a group of about 230 protesters to reach the Las Manos border post through the mountains during the weekend of July 25. Supporters lost cellular contact with the four at about 6 am on July 26 and reported them missing, but they were contacted in the evening and said they were still trying to get to Las Manos.

According to the Mexican daily La Jornada, in the 1980s the rugged terrain at the border around Las Manos was the site of encampments by some 20,000 US-backed contra fighters seeking to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist government of the time. The de facto Honduran government’s foreign minister, Carlos López Contreras, was foreign minister then too, from 1986 to 1990; one of his jobs was denying that the contras were operating in Honduran territory, which led many to call him “Carlos López Contras.” In his current position as foreign minister, he has been demanding that foreign governments “respect [Honduran] sovereignty.” (LJ 7/26/09 from Notimex, 7/27/09 from correspondent)

*4. Guatemala: Thousands March Against Cement Plant
Thousands of indigenous and campesino Guatemalans marched the 35km from the town of San Juan Sacatepéquez to Guatemala City on July 13-14 as part of a continuing struggle against the construction of the Cementos Progreso cement plant about 15km from the town. Organizers said more than 10,000 residents marched in the protest, which also demanded the release of imprisoned campesino leaders and was supported by a number of social organizations, including Vía Campesina and the National Coordinating Committee of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA).

Clashes over the plant began in December 2007, when 12 police agents were injured and 17 campesinos were arrested. One campesino was killed during a protest on June 23, 2008, and 43 were arrested. San Juan Sacatepéquez residents say the plant will damage the environment and deprive the community of water. Environment Minister Luis Ferrate insists the $690 million plant will comply with environmental impact recommendations. After arriving in the capital, a delegation of protesters met with President Álvaro Colom and Congress President Roberto Alejos. Community representative Juan Saban said the president agreed to appoint a group to make a thorough review of the issues with the plant.

In other demonstrations, hundreds of people blocked roads in San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Petén, Sololá and Quetzaltenango departments on July 14 to protest mining concessions. (Latin American Herald Tribune 7/14/09 from EFE (English); EFE 7/14/09 (Spanish); Adital 7/15/09)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, US

Argentina: Turning Around - An Interview with Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young

Independent Candidate Challenges Chilean Political Establishment

Ecuador signs oil deal with China

Damming Magdalena: Emgesa Threatens Colombian Communities

Colombia: indigenous march against violence in Cauca

Colombia: FARC assassinate indigenous people in Antioquia

Colombia: "emergent" paramilitaries "disappear" campesino in Meta

Chávez protests Colombian plan to host US bases

Nicaragua: Memories of the 1979 Final Offensive

Take Action Against the Coup in Honduras

Honduras: Mass resistance to military coup grows

Honduras: military control of Caribbean zone behind conflict?

Honduras: Zelaya establishes border camp; another protester killed

Honduras: Micheletti appoints death squad veteran

Honduras: showdown at border as Zelaya attempts to return

Honduras: talks break down again; Otto Reich denies involvement

Surreal Honduras: Putting the Narrative Together in the Local Press

A Military Coup is Violence; A President's Return is Restoration of Constitutional Order

Twenty-first Century Coups d'Etat

No Going Back: Why the Coup in Honduras Won't—and Shouldn't—Succeed

The Honduran Battle for Washington

Zelaya Just One of Millions

Guatemala: Mines Bring No Benefits to Local People

Honduran Coup Tests Mexico's Refugee Policy and Resolve

Obama and Latin America: The First Six Months

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream andalternative sources:
http://americas.irc-online.org/ http://nacla.org/articles

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

Order The Politics of Immigration: Questions & Answers, from Monthly Review Press, by Update editors Jane Guskin and David Wilson:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WNU #998: 2 Dominicans Killed in Blackout Protests

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #998, July 19, 2009

1. Dominican Republic: 2 Killed in Blackout Protests
2. Mexico: Nahuas Win Land Struggle
3. Mexico: International Unions Back Miners
4. Honduras: Dockworkers Call for Boycott
5. Links to alternative sources on: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Dominican Republic: 2 Killed in Blackout Protests
Protests broke out in various parts of the Dominican Republic on the evening of July 16 over electricity shortages that had been plaguing the country for two weeks. Dozens of people took the streets in the Capotillo neighborhood in the north of the National District (which contains the capital, Santo Domingo). Agents of the National Police shot two people dead: Miguel Ángel Encarnación, a 13-year-old who worked shining shoes, and Carlos Francisco Peguero, a 24-year-old blacksmith. After the deaths, heavily armed police in bulletproof vests patrolled the neighborhood. Protests were also reported in other Santo Domingo neighborhoods.

Protests that started on July 16 in Hermanas Mirabal province in the north intensified on July 17. In the province’s Salcedo municipality a group of protesters set off a homemade bomb near a park; no injuries were reported. The police said police major Osiris González Hilario was hit by a bullet while he was trying to extinguish a tire protesters had set on fire. In Navarrete municipality in Santiago province, also in the north, dozens of people held vigils to protest the blackouts. José Espinal, who is a spokesperson for the Broad Front of Popular Struggle (FALPO), a coalition of grassroots organizations, said people in Navarrete were getting electricity just four to five hours a day, even though they had to pay high electric rates “religiously.” There were also protests in Pino and Santiago de la Cruz municipalities, in the area bordering Haiti, and in Pueblo Nuevo, Jaibón, Las 300 and Los Cambronales in the northwestern province of Valverde.

The police initially said unidentified people had caused the two deaths in Capotillo. Residents threw rocks at the National District’s chief prosecutor, Alejandro Moscoso Segarra, when he tried to talk to them on July 17. He came back the next day for a meeting with community leaders and Miguel Ángel Encarnación’s mother; he told them that one police agent had been detained in the shootings and that he needed witnesses from the community to help with the prosecution. (El Financiero (Mexico) 7/17/09 from Notimex; La Opinión (Los Angeles) 7/18/09 from El Diario-La Prensa correspondent; Listin Diario (Dominican Republic) 7/19/09)

Militant protests over blackouts, along with violent police repression, have occurred repeatedly in the Dominican Republic since the privatization of the power system in the 1990s; the companies buying into the system included the now-bankrupt US power giant Enron. [See Updates #404, 646, 752.]

*2. Mexico: Nahuas Win Land Struggle
On June 29 about 1,000 indigenous Nahuas from the communities of Santa María de Ostula, Coire and Pómaro in the central western Mexican state of Michoacán occupied La Canahuancera, a 700-hectare area near the Pacific coast. According to the Nahuas, men armed with pistols in the employ of local political bosses tried to stop the effort to take the land, and a campesino, Manuel Serrano, was hit by a bullet. The Ostula community police captured eight of the attackers; they released five of them later and turned three others over to state prosecutors on July 5. The Nahuas also set up a roadblock on the Manzanillo-Lázaro Cárdenas highway. The indigenous communities say they have titles to La Canahuancera dating back to 1802; they charge that a group of small landowners from the community of Placita, Aquila municipality, seized the land 45 years ago.

On July 17 Michoacán governance secretary Fidel Calderón Torreblanca and the Nahuas’ legal adviser, Carlos González García, reached an agreement in which the Placita landowners would cede 1,309 hectares of land to the Nahuas and would receive compensation from the state government. The parties ratified the accord on July 18 and also agreed to have the Mexican Navy patrol the area to prevent further violence.

The June 29 land occupation came two weeks after the central Pacific section of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)--an umbrella organization established in 1996 to bring together all of Mexico’s indigenous groups [see Update #350]--met in Ostula for its 25th assembly. On June 13-14 the assembly, in which indigenous groups in nine states were represented, approved the “Ostula Manifesto,” a document asserting that indigenous groups have the right “to organize themselves and to carry out the defense of their lives, their security, their freedoms and basic rights, and their culture and territories.” The assembly based the right to self-defense on article 39 of the Mexican Constitution. (La Jornada (Mexico) 7/7/09, ____, 7/18/07; La Jornada de Michoacán 7/18/09, 7/19/09)

Correction: The item originally said three attackers were turned over to state prosecutors on "June 5"; the correct date is July 5.

*3. Mexico: International Unions Back Miners
A delegation of union leaders and parliamentarians from 13 countries visited Mexico for five days during the week of July 8 to show support for the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers and the Like of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSRM) in its three-year struggle against the Mexican government and the Grupo México transnational. Organized by the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), and the United Steelworkers (USW), the delegation included legislators from Australia, Canada and Peru, and union leaders from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the US.

The confrontation in the mines and steel mills, which started in 2006 when the government removed SNTMMSRM head Napoleón Gómez Urrutia for alleged corruption, has included a two-year strike at the giant Cananea copper mine in Sonora state and numerous clashes between workers and security forces [see Update #987]. Four union members have died in the struggle.

Jack Layton, the head of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) and the leader of the delegation, said the best hope for getting labor rights recognized in Mexico is for President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and his center-right National Action Party (PAN) to be swept from power. The SNTMMSRM, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding on July 11, has also received support from the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and from 27 members of the US Congress, who wrote to Calderón on July 7 that the situation raises “serious questions about labor practices in your country.” The delegation’s visit received minimal coverage in the Mexican and the US media. (Mexican Labor News and Analysis, July 2009 Vol. 14, #6; Frontera NorteSur (FNS) 7/11/09; Toronto Star 7/10/09)

*4. Honduras: Dockworkers Call for Boycott
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents 656 unions worldwide with 4.5 million members, issued a call on July 17 for its members to carry out protests against Honduran shipping. The federation said it was expressing opposion to a June 28 military coup which replaced Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales with a de facto government. “We have to put real pressure on the Honduran military to allow the country to revert to democracy,” ITF general secretary David Cockroft said.

The federation said the call to action was likely to affect the loading and unloading of the 650 ships that fly the Honduran flag. This is a “flag of convenience,” according to the ITF--“a low-cost cosmetic ship registration by companies with no link to the country and no intention of employing its citizens onboard.”

On July 3 ITF-affiliated unions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua protested the coup with demonstrations at the borders with Honduras--in El Amatillo, El Salavdor; Izabal, Guatemala; and Los Tres Pasos de Frontera, Nicaragua. Transport workers from Venezuela and Mexico also participated. (ITF press releases 7/10/09, 7/17/09; Prensa Latina 7/17/09; TeleSUR 7/17/09)

In other news, Father José Andrés Tamayo, an activist Honduran priest and 2005 Goldman Environmental Prize recipient, was in Tegucigalpa on July 16 to participate in protests blocking the highway to the north of the capital. Tamayo, a leader of the environmental movement in Olancho department whose life has been threatened repeatedly, went into hiding briefly on July 1 after escaping a military attack on a roadblock in the countryside [see Update #996]. At the Tegucigalpa protest he noted “the large number of women and men of advanced age. This means that they have a spirit of courage and have lost their fear. We’re coming to a stage where people are taking on the struggle personally as a people. This generates much more force and resistance, because the people are no longer trusting the media, the police, the business owners and the traditional politicians…. [O]nly the people defend the people.” (Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales 7/16/09 from Comunicaciones Vía Campesina)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico

Peru's 'Cold War' Against Indigenous Peoples

Peru: Fujimori admits bribery —but not "criminal responsibility"

Ecuador: CONFENIAE Condemns Decree 1780 and the Militarization of their Territories

Plan Colombia: Exporting the Model

Questions Brew in Colombia, As Coffee Farmers Face Record Shortfalls

Behind the Headlines: Escobar’s Hippo and the Calibío Battalion

US equals Colombia in cannabis production

Bogotá claims FARC link to Ecuador's Correa

Colombia nears deal with Washington for military base

Colombia extradites Betancourt captor

Venezuela: ex-defense minister charged in Caracazo

Debate Intensifies Over Venezuela’s Proposed Same Sex Civil Union Law

Panama Does Not Intend to Suspend Dam Construction on Ngöbe Lands

Nicaragua: An unfinished revolution

Nicaragua: Ortega seeks constitutional reform

The FMLN Victory and Transnational Salvadoran Activism: Lessons for the Future

El Salvador: body of missing activist found with signs of torture

Honduras: talks break down; Arias fears "civil war"

The Closing of the Southern Highway from Tegucigalpa: An Eye Witness Report

Micheletti Tried to Change the Honduran Constitution 1985

Honduras: Are We Going to Make Concessions to Those Who Perpetrate Coups?

What's Next For Honduras?

Honduras: The Criminal Right and the Obama Ultimatum

Indigenous Leader Berta Cáceres: "If the people didn't support him, they wouldn't have had to carry out a coup"

U.S. Press Falsely Claims Honduran Plurality for Coup

The U.S. is Compromising Democracy in Honduras

Central America: Shades of Coups Past - And Yet to Come?

The Hired Gun of Roberto Micheletti: History of the Torturer Joya Améndola

Honduras: more talk of "unity government" as protest actions continue

Honduras: protest actions continue; compromise in works?

Honduras: Micheletti seeks normalization; Zelaya invokes "right to insurrection"

Honduras: popular organizations resist coup in courts and streets

Anarchism, Marxism, and Zapatismo

"State of exception" in Michoacán

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream andalternative sources:
http://americas.irc-online.org/ http://nacla.org/articles

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

Order The Politics of Immigration: Questions & Answers, from Monthly Review Press, by Update editors Jane Guskin and David Wilson:

Monday, July 13, 2009

WNU #997: 2 Honduran Activists Murdered

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #997, July 12, 2009

1. Honduras: 2 Left Activists Murdered
2. Honduras: Army and Business Owners Wavering?
3. Honduras: Coup Reactions in US and Chile
4. Colombia: Katío Embera Leader Killed
5. Links to alternative sources on: Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Honduras: 2 Left Activists Murdered
On the evening of July 11 a group of men entered the home of Honduran activist Roger Bados in the 6 de Mayo neighborhood of the northern city of San Pedro Sula and shot him dead. Bados was the former president of the union at a local cement factory and a member of the leftist Democratic Unification Party (UD) and of the Popular Bloc, a coalition of grassroots organizations active in the struggle against the military coup that overthrew President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales on June 28. Erasto Reyes, another grassroots leader, told the Venezula-based television network TeleSUR that the murder came at “a moment in which the political crisis is aggravating the security situation for leaders.” But he said the organizations will continue to carry out "peaceful, nonviolent” mobilizations. “We’re not letting down our guard; we’re continuing in the struggle.”

Ramón García, also a UD member, was killed the same night in the Callejones area of the western department of Santa Bárbara. Unknown persons ordered him to get out of a bus and killed him, according to a UD leader, Renán Valdés, who said that García’s sister and his nephew’s wife were also wounded. (TeleSUR 7/12/09) [Following our sources, we referred to the UD as the “Democratic Unification of Honduras (UDH)” in Update #995 and the supplement to #995.]

*2. Honduras: Army and Business Owners Wavering?
The appearance of unity within the Honduran military and the de facto government is deceptive, according to statements by Argentine deputy defense minister Alfredo Forti published in the Buenos Aires daily Clarín on July 11. “People with the rank of colonel have been sending messages to the outside saying that they’re at the limit of their ability to withstand the pressure and that they think a moment is coming when they’ll have to separate themselves from the current position because otherwise there might be a bloodbath,” said Forti, who was ambassador to Honduras from 2004 to 2007. "These are expressions of fractures within the armed forces. We don’t know if it’s because there are military people who support the Constitution or because they see it’s a situation that’s lost and they’re trying to find a way out.”

Forti put much of the blame for the situation on the business class, which he said “has an almost monopolistic control in many parts of the economy, and at the same time has a very strong influence on the two traditional parties, the Liberal Party and the National Party.” (Clarín 7/11/09)

Business owners have also been influencing politics by using bribes and threats to get employees to participate in demonstrations supporting the coup, according to dozens of calls made to the Radio Globo radio station on July 7. Callers to Radio Progreso in the northern city of El Progreso told similar stories about employees at maquiladoras (assembly plants producing largely for export), municipal offices and the Granitos and Terrazos construction material company. A woman said she was "offered food and 100 lempiras in cash [about $5] for wearing a white shirt.” Participants in demonstrations supporting the coup wear white shirts. (Inside Costa Rica 7/9/09)

But the business owners appeared to have had second thoughts about the coup once they had seen the level of popular resistance it generated. Radio Globo director David Romero told TeleSUR on July 5 that the business people that had promoted and financed the coup found that the crisis was greater than they expected. He said they had been pushing for a negotiated solution in a meeting of major business owners that morning. (Prensa Latina 7/5/09)

*3. Honduras: Coup Reactions in US and Chile
On July 11 seven US trade associations—including the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) and the US Chamber of Commerce—sent a letter to US president Barack Obama on the situation in Honduras. The letter stressed the “particular importance” Honduras has “for the US textile and apparel supply chain” and called it “the linchpin to the Western Hemisphere supply chain for this sector. Honduras is the third largest market for U.S. textile mill products (U.S. exports were $1.4 billion in 2008), the fourth largest supplier of apparel to the US market and the largest [Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)] supplier to the United States.”

The trade associations said nothing about restoring democracy or the constitutional order but emphasized the need for “[p]redictability and stability,” which “are absolutely critical to US companies, especially in these difficult economic times.” (Fibre2Fashion 7/11/09)

In contrast, a July 9 letter to US secretary of state Hillary Clinton signed by 35 Latin America experts from US universities insisted that “[a]nything less than the urgent restoration of President Manuel Zelaya to office would be an usurpation of the will of the Honduran people.” “[C]oncessions of any kind to the coup government…would create a terrible precedent, showing other anti-democratically minded and power-hungry individuals that it can be worthwhile to carry out a military coup in order to advance their political agendas,” warned the authors, who included Harvard emeritus professor John Womack, author and filmmaker Saul Landau, Central America expert Hector Perla, and authors and Central America experts Greg Grandin and Dana Frank. (El Financiero (Mexico) 7/9/09, some from Notimex; Common Dreams 7/9/09)

On July 10 the de facto government received support from a city council member in Santiago, Chile. “It appeared to be a common, ordinary coup” at first, Lucía Pinochet Hiriart said, according to the satirical and investigative Chilean weekly The Clinic, but later it turned out that “the one who wanted to carry out the coup d’état was Zelaya.” He “makes himself out to be the victim,” she said, but his own allegedly unconstitutional acts left the military no choice but to do “something unconstitutional.” Pinochet Hiriart, who represents the exclusive Vitacura neighborhood in eastern Santiago, is a daughter of late Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, who seized power from elected president Salvador Allende Gossens in a bloody 1973 coup. (Qué (Spain) 7/10/09 from EFE)

*4. Colombia: Katío Embera Leader Killed
Two men armed with pistols shot Colombian indigenous leader Héctor Betancur Domicó dead the night of July 6 as he was leaving the offices of an indigenous organization in Tierralta in the northwestern department of Córdoba. Betancur Domicó was the leader of the Katío Embera community of Changarra, one of 17 small communities in the region, which has a total population of about 5,000 Katío Embera. The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) reported that more than 1,254 indigenous people have been killed by armed groups in Colombia since January 2002. (La Raza (Chicago) 7/11/09 from AP)

The Bogotá daily El Tiempo reported on July 7 that prosecutors were investigating 1,603 military personnel, mostly from the 5th Division, in connection with 812 extrajudicial executions carried out during the last six years. The victims included "false positives"--civilians executed by the army and then presented as rebels killed in combat. Many were trade union activists or community leaders; others were victims of "social cleansing," the rounding up and killing of homeless people and other social outcasts. The Colombian military receives some $500 million a year in US assistance. (Latin American Herald Tribune 7/709 from EFE)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti

Chile: Alternative Media Have Their Network

Ex-Bolivian "Minister of Cocaine" deported to face genocide charge

Peruvian provinces paralyzed by paro

New Peru cabinet tilts back to ruling party

Colombia's Stalled Trade Agreement

Colombian bounty-hunters bring down Pablo Escobar's escaped hippopotamus

Zelaya to Honduran armed forces: "Stop the repression!"

Honduras: Zelaya supporters block roads; Chávez warns dialogue a "trap"

Honduras: non-dialogue in Costa Rica; real repression in Tegucigalpa

Costa Rica's Arias to mediate in Honduran crisis; US withdraws recognition?

Honduras Coup Government Detains Father of Boy Who Died in Protests

Honduran Teachers Defy Coup Government, Maintain Strike

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Discusses Coup, Costa Rica Talks, U.S. Role and More

Video Report: Honduran Coup Resistance Growing

Video Reports: Honduras Under Siege, Clashes Turn Deadly

Photo Essay - Tragedy in Honduras: Army Shoots and Kills Protesters

High Stakes for Honduras

Honduras, Washington and Latin America: Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Good Neighbor

Showdown in 'Tegucigolpe'

Honduras: Zelaya's jet denied entry; military admits coup was "criminal"

LA Times op-ed: "non-coup" in Honduras

From Memory to Resistance, Children Bear Witness: HIJOS Celebrates 10 Years in Guatemala

Mexico: Oaxaca Justice Condemns Innocent APPO Man for the Murder of Brad Will

Oaxaca: activist gets prison in Brad Will case

Michoacán: "La Familia" strikes back hard at federales

The End of an Era: The Cold War in El Salvador and Cuba

UN Cover-up in Haiti

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WNU #996: Protests and “Cold War” in Peru

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #996, July 5, 2009

1. Peru: Strikes, Protests and “Cold War”
2. Honduras: Activist Priest Forced to Hide
3. Haiti: Some Unions Back Down on Minimum Wage
4. Links to alternative sources on: Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Peru: Strikes, Protests and “Cold War”
Thousands of riders were stranded in Lima early on June 30 at the beginning of a 24-hour national strike by Peruvian urban transportation workers and owners. The strikers were protesting new regulations that were to take effect on July 1 and a new rate for fines that starts on July 21. In the southern Lima neighborhood of Villa El Salvador, a group of strikers hurled rocks at buses not honoring the strike call; police agents responded by shooting in the air, according to Radio Programas del Perú (RPP). In the north of the city some strikers stoned buses and burned tires; others used rocks to block the Carretera Central, which links Lima to the center of the country.

In Puno region, bordering Bolivia in the south, a group of strikers blocked various highways, but transportation was reportedly normal in neighboring Arequipa region. Omar Calderón, president of the Association of Urban Mass Transit Companies, said a total of 60,000 vehicles were idled nationwide. By the end of the strike on July 1, the police reported having arrested about 100 strikers in Lima. Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Confederation of Peru president Ricardo Alberga announced that his group planned another strike on July 7-9. (ADN (Spain) 6/30/09 from EFE; Qué (Spain) 7/1/09 from EFE)

A clash between campesinos and police on July 1 in San Tomás, capital of Chumbivilcas province in Cuzco region in southern Peru, left one protester dead and a police agent seriously injured. The campesinos had been holding an open-ended strike since the week before to protest the granting of mining concessions, which now occupy 70% of the area, and a Water Resources Law which declares water a national resource and regulates its use. The confrontation started when the police tried to remove protesters blocking a highway leading to the town. The protesters threw stones at the agents, who fired their weapons, killing campesino Remigio Mendoza Ancalla. Police commissar Herbert Montes de Oca received head injuries; he was taken to the local hospital in a coma but required special medical attention in another facility. Some 1,000 protesters surrounded the hospital for about 10 hours, preventing Montes de Oca’s evacuation by helicopter until the government agreed to send a high-level delegation on July 4 to hear the campesinos’ demands. (La República (Peru) 7/03/09; ADN 7/2/09; Qué 7/2/09)

The government of President Alan García is still shaken by a similar but much larger and deadlier confrontation on June 5 during protests over concessions and resources in Amazonian Peru; the incident, in Bagua province in the northern region of Amazonas, resulted in 24 deaths among the police and a disputed number of civilian deaths [see Update #992]. In a June 30 session of Congress, 56 legislators supported a censure vote against Prime Minister Yehude Simon and Interior Minister Mercedes Cabanilla. This was a majority of the about 100 Congress members present, but it fell a little short of the 61 votes (out of 120) required to remove the cabinet.

President García and his social democratic Peruvian Aprista Party (PAP) now claim they are engaged in what García called, in a June 28 newspaper article, a “continental cold war,” presumably because of alleged interference in Peru by leftist and left-leaning governments like those in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. Confirmation seemed to come during the June 30 transportation strike when a Venezuelan national was arrested driving protesters and carrying metal spikes and homemade weapons in his car. He was released after 48 hours for lack of evidence; local media described him as a cabdriver who has lived in Lima for years with his Peruvian family. (Prensa Latina 7/4/09; Qué 7/1/09 from EFE)

As of July 3 the Front in Defense of Life and Sovereignty, a coalition of social organizations and left-leaning parties, was planning a nationwide mobilization July 7-9 against the neoliberal economic model and for the cancellation of the nearly 100 decrees passed to implement a Free Trade Agreement (FTA, or TLC for its initials in Spanish) with the US. The protesters are also calling for the immediate resignation of Simon’s cabinet and the return of Alberto Pizango Chota, president of the Inter-Ethnic Association for Development of the Peruvian Forest (Aidesep) and a leader of the indigenous protests in the Amazonian regions. (Prensa Latina 7/4/09; Adital 7/3/09)

*2. Honduras: Activist Priest Forced to Hide
Father José Andrés Tamayo, an activist Honduran priest who was the Central American recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for 2005, went into hiding shortly after the June 28 military coup that removed President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from power [see Update #995], according to phone calls he made on July 1 to New York’s Spanish-language daily El Diario-La Prensa and the US-based Catholic News Service.

On June 29 Tamayo joined a group of several hundred protesters who were taking seven rented buses from the eastern department of Olancho, where Tamayo is based, to Tegucigalpa to join ongoing demonstrations against the coup. When soldiers shot out the buses’ tires near the town of Los Limones, the protesters decided to block the road. During the night of June 30-July 1 the soldiers attacked, beating the protesters and firing their weapons “in all directions,” according to Tamayo, who escaped into a house and hid under a bed. Some protesters were arrested and taken to a police station, where they were beaten, stripped and threatened with shotguns before being released after four hours.

Tamayo was in hiding when he made the calls. There have been several attempts against the priest’s life since 2001 because of his campaigns to protect the forests; he had been assigned bodyguards by the previous government, but they were apparently withdrawn after the coup. (Catholic News Service 7/1/09; La Opinión (Los Angeles) 7/2/09 from ED-LP; New America Media 7/2/09, translated from ED-LP)

With the de facto government clamping down on independent media and most international reporters concentrated in Tegucigalpa, there has been little coverage of repression in the countryside following the coup. "The country is heavily militarized, and there are reports of people imprisoned, detained and even disappeared," Pedro Landa, executive director of the Catholic charitable agency Caritas Honduras, said on July 1. A group of about 30 soldiers shut down Radio Progreso, a Jesuit-run station in the northern city of El Progreso, on June 28. The staff reopened the station the next day, despite threats from coup supporters. (CNS 7/1/09)

*3. Haiti: Some Unions Back Down on Minimum Wage
During the week of June 29 Haitian president René Préval and pro-business groups pushed hard to water down a bill Parliament passed in May to raise the minimum wage from 70 gourdes ($1.74) a day to 200 gourdes ($4.97). Claiming that the wage increase would jeopardize the free trade zone (FTZ) factories--maquiladoras that assemble goods largely for export--Préval has proposed an increase to 125 gourdes for that sector [see Update #994]. On June 29 Préval met with journalists to explain his position. Jobs in the FTZ sector have grown from 8,000 in 2007 to 25,000 now, he said, and those jobs would be put at risk by a large wage increase. (AlterPresse 6/29/09)

Four labor organizations met with the Social Affairs Committee of the Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies on July 1 to discuss the issue. The Union Coordinating Committee, the General Workers Confederation (CGT) and the union at the Compagnie de Developpement Industriel S.A. (Codevi) plant in northeastern town of Ouanaminthe near the Dominican border all indicated that they were resigned to accepting a lower increase in the minimum wage in the hope of preventing layoffs. Etienne Romain from the Codevi union noted that his members’ current pay is 125 gourdes a day, so there would be no change for them. But workers from an industrial park on the highway to the Port-au-Prince airport insisted on the 200-gourde increase. One woman said she was ready to join the students, referring to militant demonstrations students have been holding in Port-au-Prince since June 3 to support the demand for 200 gourdes. (Haiti Press Network 7/2/09; Radio Métropole 7/2/09)

The concern with keeping maquiladora jobs in Haiti comes at a time when the sector has declined dramatically in the Caribbean Basin as a result of the economic downturn in the US and competition from Chinese factories. The share of the US import market held by the six countries in the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), a 2005 trade pact with the US, fell from 13.3% in 2004 to 9.8% in 2008. The worst hit was Haiti’s closest neighbor, the Dominican Republic, where apparel exports have fallen by more than half and 73,000 jobs have been lost since 2005. DR-CAFTA was promoted as a way to boost the region’s apparel industry and to counter competition from China. (NACLA Report on the Americas, July-August 2009)

Correction: Following our source, in Update #993 we reported incorrectly that the Codevi workers were receiving 350 gourdes a day. The Codevi union was first organized by the Batay Ouvriye (“Workers Struggle”) labor organization, but the current Codevi leadership is reportedly not affiliated with Batay Ouvriye, which fully supports the 200-gourde increase.

*4. Links to alternative sources on: Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico

Peru approves controversial Amazon oil contract —in wake of uprising

Bolivia bashes Obama over trade sanctions

Colombia: ex-para warlord names top generals as collaborators

The Venezuelan Coup Revisited: Silencing the Evidence

El Salvador: anti-mining organizer missing, foul play suspected

Honduras: Zelaya's jet denied entry; military admits coup was "criminal"

Honduran golpista: Obama a "little black man who knows nothing"

It's Not About Zelaya

Bertha Oliva: Coup leaders reviving despotism of the 80s in bid to crush participatory democracy

OAS holds emergency session on Honduras; Ortega fears "blood-bath"

Honduras: de facto regime intransigent; US stance equivocal

Resistance continues in Honduras —despite state of emergency

Behind the Honduran Coup

Honduras: Regime Faces International Isolation

Honduras: Decree Suspends Basic Rights

Anti-Coup Protests Reported Across Honduras

Mexico’s Emerging Narco-State

Mexico's Elections and the Deepening Crisis of Political Legitimacy

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WNU #995 supplement: Resistance Grows in Honduras

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #995 supplement, June 30, 2009

1. Resistance on Day 2 of the Coup
2. Resistance Grows on Day 3
3. Zelaya, the Referendum and the Social Movements
4. Links to alternative sources

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Resistance on Day 2 of the Coup
Despite a 9pm to 6am curfew, Hondurans protesting a June 28 military coup against President José Manuel (“Mel”) Zelaya Rosales remained outside the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa the night of June 28-29. In the afternoon of June 29 heavily armed soldiers using shields dispersed most of the demonstrators in a few minutes; some youths remained and some threw stones, but they fled after the soldiers began firing in the air. Protesters a few blocks away weren’t “so peaceful,” according to a local leader. Youths there had erected barricades and were burning tires; they hurled rocks and bottles at the soldiers, who used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd but were forced to retreat at least three times. The military said 15 soldiers and 15 officers were injured in the Tegucigalpa confrontations, which lasted about two hours; protest organizers reported 276 injured on their side. (La Jornada (Mexico) 6/30/09 from correspondent ; BBC 6/29/09; AFP 6/30/09)

A student at the protests told the Mexican daily La Jornada that more people would have been out in the streets except that “the majority think President Zelaya resigned. The media have been kidnapped, and we, the people, have been too,” she added. The de facto government had taken independent radio stations off the air, along with television networks like the US-based CNN and the Venezuela-based TeleSUR. Radio América, one of the remaining local stations, didn’t report the protests—it simply advised motorists to avoid certain roads, without explaining that they were blocked by protesters. “I’m not interested in having communism here,” the student added. “I’m a student, I love peace and I’m a Christian. But I can’t be complicitous in this robbery.“

With the news blacked out nationwide and electricity interrupted in different areas, it was difficult for reporters to determine what was happening outside the capital. Grassroots organizations said protesters were marching and blocking roads in Colón and Atlántida departments. Some 10,000 campesinos were reportedly trying to get to Tegucigalpa from Olancho, Zelaya’s home region, but were stopped at military roadblocks. There were also unconfirmed reports of military battalions that were refusing to support the coup. (LJ 6/29/09; Milenio (Mexico) 8/29/09 from Notimex)

Labor activists driving in the middle of the day on June 29 near San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, said there were protests against the coup in every town they passed, and that that progressive forces had captured the Puente de la Democracia in the city of El Progreso and had liberated the independent station Radio Progreso. Another activist reported that 15,000 people demonstrated in San Pedro Sula and that there were protests in El Progreso and La Lima. (Personal communications to the Update)

*2. Resistance Grows on Day 3
The French wire service AFP reported that the protests grew on June 30 as all three of the country’s labor federations joined with organizations of campesinos, youth, the unemployed, street vendors, lesbians and gays, and other sectors in an open-ended general strike that the groups said they would maintain until Zelaya was returned to power. [The teachers’ unions had started the strike on June 29; see Update #995]. Organizers said at least 10,000 people were taking part in pro-Zelaya protests in the capital, as well as in other protests around the country; AFP put the number of demonstrators in Tegucigalpa at 2,000. A legislative deputy from the lefitist Democratic Unification of Honduras (UPH), Marvin Ponde, said thousands of anti-coup protesters trying to come to the capital by bus had been stopped at military roadblocks. They had set out from Santa Bárbara in the northwest; Danlí, Juticalpa and Catacamas in the east; and Choluteca in the south.

Violent clashes clashes were reported outside the Presidential House and in other parts of Tegucigalpa, where protesters erected barricades and battled security forces with rocks and bottles; the number of injuries was unknown. Similar actions reportedly took place in other cities.

Supporters of the de facto government held their own demonstration in the capital’s Parque Central, with an attendance of 10,000, according to organizers. (AFP 6/30/09, English and Spanish; Diario Colatino (El Salvador) 6/30/09 from PL; El Universal (Mexico) 6/30/09)

*3. Zelaya, the Referendum and the Social Movements
Zelaya is a business owner who was elected president in November 2005 as the candidate of the centrist Liberal Party of Honduras (PLH), which along with the National Party of Honduras (PNH) has led the coup against him. Despite his conservative background, “[t]he grassroots movement has been Zelaya’s fundamental ally and has remained firm in its rejection of the coup,” members of the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH) told the Brazil-based Adital grassroots news service. (Adital 6/29/09)

“You have to understand that Honduras’ political class is extremely backwards,” Rafael Alegría, the local leader of the international group Vía Campesina (“Campesino Way”) explained to La Jornada on June 29. “What Zelaya has done has just been little reforms. He isn’t a socialist or a revolutionary, but these reforms, which didn’t harm the oligarchy at all, have been enough for them to attack him furiously.” Another reason for grassroots opposition to the coup, according to the OFRANEH members, is “a tremendous aversion to the armed forces in Honduras. Not many people forget that 20 years ago the soldiers controlled things from cement factories to food production to their own bank. For many, their return to power implies an historic step back that will have incalculable consequences for the country.” (Adital 6/29/09; LJ 6/30/09)

The military and the de facto government say the coup was necessary to keep Zelaya from holding a nonbinding referendum on June 28 about rewriting the Constitution. US media have generally repeated without qualification the claim that the referendum would clear the way for Zelaya to extend his term, which ends Jan. 27, 2010, by eliminating the 1982 Constitution’s provision that presidents can only serve one four-year term.

The referendum would in fact have simply asked voters whether the Nov. 29 general elections--for the president, three vice presidents, 128 legislative deputies and 298 municipal governments--should also include a “fourth ballot box” to elect a Constituent Assembly to write a new Constitution. For Zelaya to extend his term, the Constituent Assembly would have to meet, approve a Constitution and have it ratified by the voters before the president turns over power to his successor on Jan. 27. Zelaya has denied that he would seek to stay in office past January, although he said he might try to run again in the future if the Constitution was changed to permit reelection. His government claimed that 400,000 people signed the petitions to initiate the referendum. (The Nation (US) 6/30/09; El Nuevo Herald (Miami) 6/25/09 from EFE; EFE 6/27/09) [Honduras’ total population is about 7.5 million.]

According to the Honduras correspondent of the Argentine daily Clarín, the coup supporters say that if the referendum had passed, Zelaya was going to cancel the presidential elections, extend his term, close down the Congress and seize power “in the best style of [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chávez.” "None of this [scenario] could be confirmed,” the correspondent remarked. (Clarín 6/30/09)

The Chicago-based People's Weekly World reported on its website that Zelaya “had been building relationships with the [UDH], the only leftwing party registered to participate in Honduran national elections. Most observers expected Zelaya to swing his support to Democratic Unification candidate César Ham [Peña]” in the November elections. (PWW 6/29/09)

The National Police told the Mexican wire service Notimex on June 28 that Ham was killed that morning when he resisted arrest [see Update #995]. The report was false. He fled the country, saying there was an arrest order for him and Marcos Burgos, head of the government’s Permanent Commission on Contingencies (COPECO). On the evening of June 29 the two men landed at El Salvador’s Comalapa airport for a connecting flight to Nicaragua. They thanked El Salvador’s leftist Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN) and Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes for their help. (Prensa Gráfica (El Salvador) 6/29/09)

Correction: Following our source, in Update #995 we incorrectly called the teachers’ union federation “the Front of Teachers Organizations (FOM).” The correct name is Federation of Teachers Organizations of Honduras (FOMH).

*4. Links to alternative sources on the Coup
Honduras: will coup d'etat stand?

Zelaya Says He Will Return to Honduras on Thursday

Honduras: countdown to confrontation?
Honduras' First Full Day Under Coup Rule

Latin American Nations Begin Economic and Political Blockade Against Coup Government

Honduran Coup Turns Violent, Sanctions Imposed

Honduras: Protests Continue as Obama, Regional Leaders Respond

Honduras: Old Coup Strategy, Different Stage

Showdown in Honduras: The Rise, Repression and Uncertain Future of the Coup

Take Action: Stand in Solidarity with the People of Honduras

Coup in Honduras: President Zelaya Ousted by Military

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