254 Human Rights Violations under the Pepe Lobo Regime

Posted on February 24, 2010

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FNRP press conference on human rights abuses

FNRP press conference on human rights abuses

Press conference that took place in Cofadeh’s offices

Less than a month after Porfirio Loba Sosa came to power, 254 human rights violations have been committed, about 9 cases per day, which contradicts the government’s claims before the international community that fundamental rights are being respect.

That was the content of the press conference where the National Front of Popular Resistance, FNRP, was invited as a delegate of the Human Rights Platform that took place February 25.

Lobo Sosa became president as a result of the June 28 coup and through elections that were not transparent, in an environment of deep militarization and heavy repression against the national resistance against the coup—a resistance that continues to take action for the creation of the Constituent National Assembly.

FNRP members Jari Dixon, José Luís Baquedano, Rodil Rivera Rodil, and Gilberto Ríos of the Human Rights Platform, talked to national and international journalists about the danger of the international community failing to demand visible and concrete results from Lobo Sosa, who’s main objective is to soften its position since the coup against Manuel Zelaya Rosales occurred.

“With the Truth Commission—which will tell only their truth—they pretend to clean a face that is each time dirtier by human rights violations. What the regime wants is for the international community to recognize them [the government],” said Dixon.

He added that the objective is clear since June 28. “They want to dismantle the resistance but it won’t be divided as they want it. The Honduran people have more clarity about where it wants to go with the Constituent National Assembly.”

Gilberto Ríos said that the current regime is an evidence of torture, assassinations and scenes of terror schemed by the Minister of Security whose tendencies became known when he played that same role under the Ricardo Mauro government.

Jari Dixon warned that now the threat is that any kind of resistance will be repressed, and they say the law will be obeyed, but it is to the benefit of the oligarchy that was part of the coup.

Mery Agurcia from the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH, argued in favor of Rios with specific data, where she stressed that there is no respect for human rights.

“We can show with Julio Fúnez Benítez murder that there is a pattern of selectivity used from June to November of 2009. Vanessa Zepeda’s case is similar to one registered in October 2009. That is, we are seeing two kinds of assassinations: with shots that are characteristic of state security forces and one that doesn’t seem to use any kind of weapon but where harm can be evidenced by a medical corps,” denounced

The statistics registered by COFADEH show that in only 28 days during the current regime there have been 53 illegal detentions, 2 sexual assaults, 2 murders, 8 cases of torture, 2 kidnappings, 14 raids, 23 neighborhoods profiled by security forces as “Resistentes” and searched after hours. In addition 150 people have left the country as political refugees to neighboring countries, Canada, USA, Spain and others, 25 have changed the city and 30 have moved to another residence.

Meanwhile José Luis Baquedano, said that the repressive state apparatus remains intact and so far the same hierarchy remains at the front. “With the searches at dawn, they are trying to put fear into the youth that has been part of this resistance and society as a whole will continue to be militarized.”

With regard to the Truth Commission Rodil Rivera, said it is a very important issue for Honduran society but intended to be the same as towards the reconciliation of the Honduran family. “We believe that this Truth Commission will not actually give the truth to the Honduran people; with all the details of the cases publicized, what happened before and after the coup, telling the names of those who participated in the coup. What the Commission should do is give specific recommendations to avoid a coup,” said Rivera.
He asked how there could have been reconciliation after the coup, persecution, torture, crimes and violations against human rights, and when the Supreme court absolved the military in charge of the coup?
He stressed that without justice there can be now reconciliation. The only thing that would bring reconciliation would be a Constituent National Assembly that is representative of the Honduran people that reestablishes the constitutional order and that promotes the base for development and grave [social] problems. “Reconciliation can´t be brought by decree,” he said.

Faced with the question about how the international community is moving towards normalizing relations with Honduras, Rivera said that shouldn´t take away their condemnation of human rights violations. “It´s the first time there was an international consensus in recognizing Manuel Zelaya as the only legitimate president of Honduras until January 27.”
In regards to position of the Human Rights Platform faced with the increase of human rights violations, Gilberto Rios said that “we want the fact to be investigated, reparations for the victims, and that measures are taken against those responsible.”

The main issue is the position of Pepe Lobo´s regime and pressure from the US Embassy to create this Commission. We can´t believe the Truth Commission will judge a political criminal who is armed and has power all over the country.

In regards to the question whether Europe should recognize the government, Rodil Rivera Rodil answered negatively. He said they should make more demands, not just a commission, but demand that the government rectifies the barbarities committed, particularly in regards to human rights violations and finding those responsible for them.

SOURCE: Defensores en línea