We Hondurans need your help urgently.
While the Honduran and international media do not cover the situation in the country and the human rights abuses the de facto government does on a daily basis, which has been officially confirmed by international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Interamerican Comission of Human Rights, we remain unprotected in the hands of a criminal and illegal government.
In the meantime, the U.S., the one nation the Honduran economy owes the majority of exports to, and its Department of state has still not officially declared that what happened in Honduras is a Coup d'ètat. The Honduran elections are programmed to take place in November 2009, but in view the ouster of our democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya has not been solved and it will remain as a threat to the country and region to neglect this fact, while the defacto government stays there and pushes his will, we Hondurans have vowed not to vote under a fraudulent, and abusive illegal government who will manipulate the outcome of elections. We do not recognize this electoral process.We also do not accept the San José Accord, since it proposes amnesty to the de facto regime, which has done far too much harm to Hondurans and has abused of its power violating human rights. To give amnesty to such people would mean to give a virtual license to criminals to remain in place and continue being a threat to Hondurans' lives and human rights through their posts in Honduran politics and society, With the purpose of calling the international community to help us, for instance the EU Parliament, by not recognizing the elections and their outcome, something they have not yet done and the little direct action the EU has taken against this illegal government, which has had little or zero impact on it, to the unconditional return of our constitutional President Zelaya, and the return and security of order, peace, and protection of our human rights, that have been taken away by a suspension of individual guarantees, being a threat to our lives, especially for the ones countering the coup.
We ask also for your help to realize it and spread an online petition to EU parliament members asking them for the previous things to take place. The support of the international community is vital and fundamental to Hondurans and we will be inmensely thankful for it, for the stabilization and peace of our land and region. Below is a copy of the letter and objectives and points to consider first, before taking any decision or to take firmly a decision.
Thank you for your attention and help,
Laura Machado de Dittrich y Stephan Dittrich
Hondureños Contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Hereby we, Hondurans, would like to express our deep concern regarding the lack of actions of the European Union against the de facto regime in Honduras, which are of vital help to our peoples and to the restitution of President Manuel Zelaya. The way negotiations are currently conducted are of no or little help, as we wish to restore back our institutional order, human rights, and lives, which are all under serious threat.
The object of our letter is 1) to have the European Union take stronger sanctions against the Honduran de facto government by not legitimizing elections under a fraudulent and illegal regime. 2)to ask the de facto government to take responsability of his abuses The EU should give a strong message to the international community insisting that human rights are first in all debates regarding Honduras.
Therefore, we also ask you to pressure the international community to do the following: 1) Allow the immediate and sure return of President Zelaya t Honduras, without conditions, as it is his right as our democratically elected president 2) Take effective measures to stop immediately human rights violations and to reestablish protection to all Hondurans by sanctions towards the Micheletti government members,for instance, revoking all of their visas to the EU 3) To immediately free all the state employees and political activists who are still arrested and that newly imposed arrests are abstained. Of Guarantee 4) that the political opponents and the deffenders of human rights are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of repression 5) Guarantee the right to freedom of speech and press, allowing journalists to carry out their legitimate work without fear of being repressed.
We also ask you to take in consideration the following aspects of the crisis in order to achieve an intense evaluation and better understanding of what is happening in Honduras to take decisions:
- Regarding the electoral process under an illegal regime: Since the national elections are programmed to take place in November 2009 and the illegal coup regime, who strongly and constantly endorses the process, makes powerful campaigns through the government controlled media for Hondurans to vote, is still there,Hondurans have vowed not to vote, to not recognize the electoral process, and to boycott it in a non-violent way What is not being perceived and understood is, that if elections take place, and the probabilities that these will be fraudulent are very high, in view the de facto government endorses it and its 2/3 of candidates supports the coup, then another president will be acknowledged by the international community, and this automatically represents the acceptance of the coup, the illegal ouster of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya and will bring permanent instability and chaos to the country and region, adding to the immense crisis in human rights.
The only independent candidate, Carlos H. Reyes has been extensively defamed by the majority of Honduran media, which is closely affiliated to persons involved in the coup and many pro coup corporations. He has been harassed and even violently beaten. So we have the Nationalist Party (Porfirio Lobo, a passionate endorser of the Death Penalty in Honduras) and Liberal Party candidates being the strongest, who are by the way, supporting the coup and extensively supported by most of the dominant media. Out of the remaining candidates, all of them support the coup, except César Ham, candidate of the Democratic Union Party (leftist)who is also defamed by the same media .The President of the Supreme Court, Jorge Rivera, was chosen by Micheletti himself as he announced his new Board in the Ministries, in the Supreme Court, and in the Congress and ousted, persecuted all the ones who were in favor of the fourth ballot. So as you may well see, this presidential succession will be very biased and basically means a continuation of the Micheletti regime, until the new illegal elections take place and the favoured candidate, the product of a fraudulent electoral process, takes the seat in February 2010.
Not acknowledging the outcome of the illegal presidential elections in Honduras - held under the de facto regime - is the kind of support Honduras needs. It places coercive pressure on the de facto government, who will most probably manipulate the elections - a circumstance, that should not be overlooked, it has happened before and with all the indicators, amongst them the fact that all the state powers are in the hands of the de facto government, the outcome of the process already being manipulated should also not be overlooked. The only channels and radio stations reporting against the coup were recently product of chemicals, that set its transmitters on fire
- Another problematic point in understanding the root of the problem is backing the San José Accord. At the beginning it was a good idea to depolarize the country, but since international Human Rights Organisations - Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Interamerican Commission of Human Rights (COFADEH) have confirmed the multiple abuses done by the defacto government and human rights violations amongst them the expulsion of President Zelaya, demonstrators being murdered,wounded, and arrested in confrontations with the police and military forces, also human rights defenders, journalists and female activists have been the blank of attacks and are particularly vulnerable to violence (in fact it is not known how many Hondurans are disappeared, extrajudicially arrested, and dead, since the State Hospitals also report over 100 deaths suspected to be done by the military, since they were made by such bullets, amongst them women and children, not to mention hundreds of victims of political persecution and harassment, something confirmed already by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón) this option should be obsolete and out-dated by now. Giving the members of the defacto regime amnesty, one of the points of the San José Accord means to legalize their crimes against the Honduran population countering the government , giving a virtual license to these people to go on doing whatever they want, no matter if they violate the human rights of thousands of Hondurans.
It might be effective in providing a short term solution, but it will cause a struggle for Hondurans in the long term, since they will remain in place indefinitely and continue violating human rights. -Many points are being missed in the international evaluation of the crisis, as mentioned above. The current context of Latin America is being ignored: The South and Central American continent is mostly governed by "leftists"- legalizing a coup might make other countries vulnerable, as they see the example the international community gave in supporting coups and this will only lead to the destabilization and chaos in Latin America and we will go back to the dark 80's coup eras and a cold war. Manuel Ollé, president of the Human Rights Association of Spain, who accompanied Garzón stated that "If amnesty is a warranty for the human rights violators, then it will be an international crime that will affect the whole international community".
The EU has the opportunity to help restore democracy in Honduras and to support human rights. I hope dearly, that this is not what anyone wants to support. I hope, that the people taking decisions inform themselves intensively and are aware of all the implications. I hope, those people - YOU - want to change things for the better and not just follow any political, economical forces in the world that favor or support incidents like the one happening in Honduras. People are not numbers or statistics, so please take a clear stance, that shows, that this is what you think as well as, like you have previously stated, what happened in Honduras in June 28th, 2009 was a Coup d'ètat through the illegal ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, who must be restituted.
Thank you very much for your attention and for granting us the opportunity to present this petition in the name of Hondurans,
Laura Machado de Dittrich y Stephan Dittrich
Hondureños Contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras