Intimidation against Porfirio Ponce, union worker, and STIBYS

Posted on February 11, 2010

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On Thursday, February 11, at 4:40 pm, unidentified men entered by force Porfirio Ponce´s home, in Tegucigalpa, minutes after his wife and three children had left their residence. His neighbors alerted the police when they saw that his doors and balcony were forced open. It took the police 30 minutes to show up, even though they had offices a few blocks away. Porfirio Ponce is vice-president of the Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers, STIBYS.

The men searched the entire house, even the children´s bedstands and other drawers. They spilled blood all over the furniture, light switches, and on Ponce´s bed. Even though there were many things of value in the house, they only took Ponce´s work computer.

This kind of action can be taken as a threat to the family and society as a whole since it generates a feeling of insecurity where even “the house is not safe.” The lack of investigations or sanctions against those who carried on the act, creates an environment of impunity where criminals are protected by the state.

Background:

The Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers, STIBYS, has been the target of persecution and intimidation since June 28, 2009.

On July 26, 2009, at 12:00 pm, a grenade exploded inside its headquarters. A member of the resistance who was leaving the office that same day was attacked with rubber bullets.

In August, unidentified men fired shots against its offices. Three gunshots hit the windows, luckily leaving no injured.

On August 11, the main office of the union was shut down and surrounded by members of the military and armoured cars until 4:00 pm on August 12, preventing a marchers with the resistance to arrive to its headquarters which was being used for housing purposes. Three people were detained and accused of robbery and arson.

On November 28 the military shut down the offices again and an armoured car was placed in front of the main doors…

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SOURCE: COFADEH, Acción Urgente: Cofadeh repudia allanamientos y asesinatos contra dirigentes sociales

ALSO SEE: VIDEO, Interview with Porfirio Ponce (in Spanish)