In the last few months, violence in Honduras has reached new heights. Security forces are violently and indiscriminately suppressing human rights organizing and protesters. Women and women human rights defenders have been hit especially hard by the repressive tactics.
Policies such as the "Municipal Education Law" (a step toward privatizing public education), and the suspension of 2010 salaries for more than 6,000 teachers and professors, have motivated large-scale mobilizations of protesters across the country and an ongoing teachers' strike. In a bid to contain the social unrest, the Porfirio Lobo regime declared the strike unlawful, legalizing the salary suspensions and the mass firing of those teachers and professors who refused to drop their demands. The Lobo administration has also deployed state security forces to stop, often with brutal violence, the peaceful protests organized by the teachers and diverse social movements:
- Protesters have been attacked using tear gas and physical violence, leaving many wounded and some with bullet injuries.
- On March 18th, as a direct result of the violence carried out by the repressive state agents in Tegucigalpa, teacher Ilse Ivania Vel�squez Rodr�guez was killed.
- On March 24th, the following teachers were detained without charge in Tegucigalpa, and later transferred to a women's prison in T�mara: Ingrid Liseth Sierra, Nuria Evelyn Verduzco, Linda Melina Guill�n Fonseca, Mar�a Auxiliadora Espinoza and Wendy M�ndez. Among them was a professor with a 9 month-old baby from whom she was separated and denied access.
Feminist and women's organizations and their allies across Mesoamerica have called on the international community to condemn the violence against women and Honduran activists. Protests across the continent, from Argentina to Mexico will take place this Friday, April 8, 2011 at 12 pm in front of Honduran Embassies and United Nations offices in solidarity with women human rights defenders and the people of Honduras to denounce the escalating violence they face.
MADRE joins this action in calling on the US human rights community to mobilize and denounce the repression of activists, protesters, the violence against women and the impunity prevailing in Honduras. We ask you to join us in taking action.
MOBILIZE in solidarity, this Friday, April 8, 2011 in front of the Honduran Embassy in Washington, DC at 12pm (Corner of Tilden and Connecticut Ave. NW).
To view a poster with more details, click here.