Monday, 25 October 2010

Coup Forces 157 Hondurans into Exile

Coup Forces 157 Hondurans into Exile
Source: Prensa Latina, 22 Oct. 2010

A total of 157 people are currently living in exile due to persecution after the coup, reported the Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH). The exiles are leaders of the resistance movement in neighborhoods and communities that have fled the country because their lives were in jeopardy, said Bertha Oliva, Cofadeh coordinator.

Oliva denounced the policy of persecution promoted by the Honduran government, paramilitary groups and death squads against opponents of the coup of June 28, 2009. That day hooded men kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya, took him by force to Costa Rica and put in power Roberto Micheletti.

Zelaya managed to return to the country by surprise on Sept. 21 and remained refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa for three months, until his departure for the Dominican Republic. Zelaya has lived in exile due to the lack of guarantees for safe return to Honduras and the trials conducted against him by the same institutions that supported the coup.

This week 30 US Democrat congressmen denounced the deplorable human rights situation in Honduras and urged their government to stop attempts to achieve the reinstatement of Honduras to the OAS as long as this situation continues. "We have received credible reports from human rights organizations that say that abuses continue with impunity," the congressmen said.

During the first half of this year about 3,000 were killed in the country, for an average of 16.27 deaths per day. The victims included 10 journalists, 30 lawyers and several leaders of popular organizations, and most of the crimes have not been investigated so far.