Feminist and women's organizations from Honduras demand an end to the persecution of the members of the cabinet of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and leaders of social movements and the media, and they call for an end to all types of brutal violence in their country. Fourteen different groups in Honduras have signed on to a letter calling for change in Honduras and attention from the global community.
STATEMENT BY FEMINIST AND WOMEN¹S ORGANIZATIONS FROM HONDURAS FOLLOWING THE COUP D‘ETAT
TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES, HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS AND TO THE STATES OF THE WORLD
On Sunday, June 28, 2009, the democratically elected President of the Republic of Honduras, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was assaulted, abducted and sent to the Republic of Costa Rica in the presidential plane guarded by the military, on the basis that he had violated the Constitution of the Republic by implementing a popular consultation via a public opinion survey.
In that consultation people were asked whether they agreed or not with including a fourth ballot box on the elections planned for November 29, 2009 to propose a National Constituent Assembly to develop a new Constitution, with full participation of the citizenry from different social actors of the country.
The Judicial Power, the Public Ministry and the National Congress of the Republic, declared this consultation illegal, thereby justifying the seizure and extradition of the President of the Republic. Their action violated the Rule of Law of the country, by the use of brutal military force, disavowing the legitimate status of the President of the Republic, elected by the people of Honduras.
Immediately, the National Congress of the Republic appointed its President, Roberto Michelleti, as Constitutional President of the Republic of Honduras, announcing that President Zelaya had resigned.
Mr. President Zelaya Rosales himself denied that fact in a press conference from the Republic of Costa Rica. This action by the Congress confirms that a coup d’etat has taken place, evidenced by the violation of legal procedures established by the Constitution of the Republic, and removal of the Constitutional Guarantees inherent in the presidency. Also illegal was the way in which President Zelaya was seized by force and extradited from the country.
In Honduras there are legal mechanisms in the Courts available in such cases where President Zelaya was accused of violating the Constitution. In this case, he was not properly charged, nor given the opportunity to defend himself or any access to the legal mechanisms available. He was brutally forced from his position and sent into exile, like in old past dictatorships ruled by the practices of “confinement, exile, and burial.”
This political-military coup d’etat was enabled by the President of the Congress and the country’s political elite, who are in control of state powers and media, with the complicity and support of the Armed Forces, as well as the support of some political analysts and media. Their actions have broken the Rule of Law and the Constitutional Guarantees of the Honduran citizens, and those of some of the diplomatic representatives (such as the Ambassadors of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua).
According to Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras there have been several actions that may be reasonably defined as treason against the homeland, and therefore, as the Rule of Law have been violated by the current unelected authorities themselves. And the Constitution establishes the right of the people to insurrection. The people are peacefully expressing their rejection of the coup d’etat, demanding the immediate reinstatement of President Zelaya, and a return to the Rule of Law.
The situation is dire. The main cities of the country are militarized. A State of Siege has been decreed. There is no international communication.
Members of the cabinet of the government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and others have been violently forced to leave the country. State institutions are militarized, as well as the House of the President. Also, many leaders of social movements and human rights defenders, both women and men, are being persecuted and threatened by the security forces of the State.
The facilities of some media have been vandalized, disrupted and militarized.
Given these egregious series of events, we request the support of international development agencies and the international community to demand the reinstatement of the Rule of Law, to demand an end to the prosecution of the members of the cabinet of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and leaders of social movements and the media, and an end to all types of brutal violence and to prevent the imposition of fascism in our country.
Most Honduran citizens advocate for peace, solidarity and the respect of human rights. We emphatically denounce the complicity shown in these events by the Human Rights Commissioner of Honduras, Dr. Ramón Custodio, before the regional and international human rights organizations and the international community.
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., June 29, 2009
Signed by the following groups:
CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS DE LA MUJER HONDURAS (CEM-H)
CENTRO DE DERECHOS DE MUJERES (CDM)
CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS Y ACCION PARA EL DESARROLLO DE HONDURAS (CESADEH)
RED DE MUJERES JOVENES (REDMUJ)
ACCIONES PARA EL DESARROLLO POBLACIONAL (ADP)
RED DE MUJERES ADULTAS (REDMUCR)
COLECTIVO DE MUJERES UNIVERSITARIAS (COFEMUN)
MARCHA MUNDIAL DE LAS MUJERES, COMITÉ NACIONAL HONDURAS
ARTICULACIONES FEMINISTA DE REDES LOCALES
MOVIMIENTO DE MUJERES SOCIALISTAS, LAS LOLAS
COMISIÓN DE MUJER POBLADORA ARTICULACIONES FEMINISTA DE REDES LOCALES
CONVERGENCIA DE MUJERES DE HONDURAS INICIATIVA CENTROAMERICANA DE
SEGUIMIENTO A CAIRO Y BEIJING