MADRE Statements

The Mission for Democracy and Human Rights in Guatemala-Honduras returns home via land

Posted on: Monday, July 6, 2009

Keywords: Honduras, Guatemala, Latin America, Economic Justice, Peace Building

Return of the delegation via land as a result of the closing of the Toncontin de Tegucigalpa international airport.

Guatemala, 07/06/09 - The human rights organizations’ mission, headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Rigoberta Menchu Tum, attests to the dire situation in which the Honduran population finds itself in light of the recent coup carried out on June 28th. The level of violence perpetrated by the de facto regime against the opposition has been increasing as the days go by, culminating with the execution of Radio America reporter Gabriel Fino Noriega on July 3rd.

On July 5th, the massive protest held by citizens opposed to the coup was held at the Toncontin Airport, which was fiercely guarded by the military, special reserves and snipers.  At approximately 4:20 pm, right as the President Manuel Zelaya’s plane attempted to land, the crowd was hit with teargas and gunshots from the armed forces.

We were witnesses to the extrajudicial execution of one of the protesters, later identified as Isis Obed Murillo, 19 years of age. We have been informed that two other protesters may have been executed by the armed forces. According to reports, there are many injured. Protesters were shot and pursued as they ran to nearby streets. The worst part is that there were boys and girls at this protest, some of whom were separated from their parents during the attack.  During these acts, there was no respect for the media. The communication of these events was impeded, as the radio, television and cable signal were interrupted in order to re-transmit a press conference held by the de facto government.

The Honduran people are being submitted to a process of constant disinformation typical of dictatorships. The mission can verify that the restriction of fundamental rights, such as the constantly changing curfews, results from the capricious decisions of the de facto government, becoming a mechanism for the repressive action of the armed forces and the violation of human rights.

Today, the mission experienced the closing of the Tegucigalpa-Toncontin international airport, as we were unable to return to Guatemala by air and were forced to travel by land.

The mission continue to make the urgent call to all international humanitarian and human rights organizations—we must complete our mandate to protect the civilian population that is fighting for the return of their democratically elected leader.

- Mission for Democracy and Human Rights in Guatemala-Honduras

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