Thursday afternoon, after the conclusion of a peaceful demonstration against “Honduras: Open For Business” by various organizations of the National Front of Popular Resistance, FNRP, police fired tear gas and captured about eight people, including three from the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations, COPINH, when they reached the central park of San Pedro Sula.
From Wednesday, May 4 to the 6th, the meeting, considered by the Honduran people as the sale of the remainder of their country, took place in San Pedro Sula, where entrepreneurs came from several countries. This is a yet another strategy by the regime, under designs of the oligarchy, to make it seem that nothing happens in Honduras.
A safety contingent of about two thousand police and military troops were in the industrial city, at a cost of many millions paid out from the people´s pockets.
The crackdown began when there was no mobilization, rather when people were moving toward the center of San Pedro Sula, at which point the military police used brutal force, attacked and arrested several.
Detainees and prisoners include: María Leocadia Hernández (40 years), Yovana Isidora Cabrera (23 years) and José Alexis Gomez (17 years) of COPINH and Wendy Aguilar, Sydny Flores, and Ian Diaz Raudales, of the Los Necios organization, and Jaime Ariel Martinez y Apdi Baquedano.
Most were taken to the Chamelecon Police Post, but not Ian and James, who were transferred to the Centro Integrada. Charges will be most likely raised against them, and their cases will be added to the list of political trials led by corrupt judges against those exercising their right to peaceful protest.
At about seven in the evening, the lawyers Tirza Flores, Guillermo López, Samuel Madrid, presented a habeas corpus request to the competent authorities and a judge was named.
Around 10 pm members of COPINH were released, but there are no news whether the others are still detained or were released.
Allegedly, Silvia Ardon, a journalist with Radio Uno was attacked by the national police when seeking information about the detainees. This would constitute the second attack against the radio in less than two weeks. The week before hooded men tried to murder Arnulfo Aguilar, the radio´s director.
COPINH issued a statement which noted that Honduras is being sold openly by the oligarchy:
Urgent Press Release
Given the continued sale of our country and all its natural assets, such as water, metal and mining resources, land, territory, beaches, oxygen, forests, ancient native seeds and the intellectual property of our indigenous, black and the Honduran people, by the promotion of the event “Honduras: open for business”, we issue the following statement:
1 .- We condemn the continuation of the coup regime which through the systematic and in flagrant violation of the ILO Convention 169, the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Declaration of Human Rights and other legal instruments and national international projects, promotes the privatization of rivers, as in the case of the hydroelectric complex on the sacred River Patuca with an irreversible destructive impact on the very existence of Tawahaka Village and other villages and the Biosphere, the construction of more than 40 private hydroelectric dams, accelerating the militarization and violence in indigenous and peasant black Honduras communities, projects for wind power, with a terrible environmental impact, such as the Cerro de Hula project, concession for mining, tourism, oil and others.
2 .- We denounce that the event “Honduras: open for business” is nothing but the entrenchment of colonial and capitalist pillage, even worse than the FTAs, with which the regime aims to further accelerate the delivery of the country to transnational companies that seek the exploitation of natural assets, thus creating a tax haven, in which the drug trade would have a privileged place.
3 .- We warn the local oligarchy and the multinationals that we will deepen our historical strength in defense of life and mother earth, and that in our vision of development, the spiritual value of life in harmony with nature is fundamental, ie respect to mother earth, so that under no circumstances will we allow the promoters of greed, destruction and death.
4 .- We are mobilizing today in San Pedro Sula with other social organizations to join our voices, thoughts and actions against these acts, in which the regime offers Honduras for sale.