URGENT ACTION: Ensure the Safety of Honduran Afro-Indigenous Community in Resistance
Please take a few minutes to take action to help our Garifuna brothers and sisters on the coast of Honduras working to reclaim their land, which for them is their life. OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, has organized the peaceful occupation. Send an email (see text you can copy into email below) or make a call (Spanish speakers). Learn more about the on-going Afro-indigenous Garifuna's Land Reclamation Campaign.
Lovers of Justice and Supporters of the OFRANEH Land Reclamation campaign: ALERT!
We have just received word that the land remediation in Vallecito, Colon department, Honduras is to take place over three days starting tomorrow, Thursday Sept 13, if the government officials fulfill the written obligations that have been emitted. The security forces of the local police are supposed to be sufficient to guarantee the safety of the Garifuna people and their allies in Vallecito during this process.
However, unofficial communications on the ground have indicated that there very well could be a LACK OF WILL on the part of the local police forces to fulfill what has been promised on paper following negotiations with President Lobo. (the interests that influence or control the Honduran government particularly at the Departmental level are extremely cloudy and corrupt...) If insufficient police come to accompany the land remediation, the safety of the Garifuna in the area cannot be assured. OFRANEH's leaders are aware and very worried about this possibility. (We know how heavily armed and trigger happy are the usurpers in the area, paramilitaries and guards of known narco traffickers).
To further complicate matters, the very police forces being requested to provide security for the Garifunas are also implicated as part of a recent repression campaign in Bajo Aguan, under operations implemented together with the Honduran military under Xatruch III.
Therefore, we are asking all allies and supporters of this campaign to pick up the phone and use the email addresses below to send more messages of solidarity along the lines of:
Sufficient police forces need to be assigned to the Remediation of Garifuna lands to assure their safety! This must occur during the remediation and afterwards when the lands are the be restituted to the legal owners of the land, the six Garifuna cooperatives!
In spanish for emails: Es sumamente importante que los policias que acompañarán a la remediación de tierras Garifunas en Vallecito sean suficiente para garantizar la seguridad de los ciudadanos en Vallecito. Si faltan suficientes policias, podrá haber violencia en contra de los ciudadanos, que serian responsabilidad del departamento de policia y del estado hondureño. Ademas es importante que el gobiereno cumpla con no solamente remediar las tierras sino restituir las tierras usurpadas a los cooperativos Garifunas que son los propietarios legitimos de estas tierras, y proveer seguridad durante el proceso de restitución.
I recommend those who can speak some Spanish to call Comisario Mejia, cell #: 011 504 97613669 del Comisrio Mejía jefe de la Policía Departamental de Colón.
And/or President Lobo himself: Presidente de la República, Porfirio Lobo: +(011 504) 99.90.0878
If Spanish speakers have time also call: Ministro del Instituto Nacional Agrario, Sr. Cesar Ham:
Ministro de la Secretaria de Seguridad, Sr. Pompello Bonilla:
Others can write emails in English or Spanish to the following, identifying yourself, your organization or church program, etc...and the fact that you are communicating from the U.S. (EEUU): (it could be one email to Cesar Ham with the others cc ed) with the following message or variation thereof:
in spanish: Es sumamente importante que los policias que acompañarán a la remediación de tierras Garifunas en Vallecito sean suficiente para garantizar la seguridad de los ciudadanos reunidos en Vallecito. Si faltan suficientes policias, podrá haber violencia en contra de los ciudadanos, que serian responsabilidad del departamento de policia y del estado hondureño. Ademas es importante que el gobiereno cumple con no solamente remediar las tierras sino restitutuir las tierras usurpadas a los cooperativos Garifunas que son los propietarios legales de estas tierras, y proveer seguridad durante el proceso de restitución.
!!! ALERT !!!
Process of Land Remediation is Renewed on the Garifuna Lands of Vallecito, Colon
As part of the reclamation by the Garifuna people of lands usurped in Vallecito, Colon, last week our organization undertook a cultural and political campaign in the usurped territory, which was met with the constant sound of automatic weapon fire, whose goal was to intimidate and dissuade us on several occasions from the remediation process with the National Agrarian Institute (INA), and that at first this remediation was not done.
Vallecito is in the heart of the coastal strip that the Honduran State plans to hand over to foreign companies under a new Law or Special Regions for Development (RED) or the "Charter Cities."
In a recent dialog with figures of the Lobo Administration, the president committed himself to designate a guard detail to facilitate the remediation of the lands usurped this week, a situation that increases the threats and dangers being faced by members of OFRANEH and other Garifunas who have come to accompany the process of recovering this usurped lands.
Unfortunately, the level of violence that exists in the country and the erosion of a state of law, added to the enormous interest in the Charter City planned on Garifuna territory creates great volatility that puts our lives at risk.
Therefore to those in solidarity with us nationally and internationally, we request:
Demand of the Government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa:
1). Assure the physical integrity of the director/members of the Iseri Lidawamary and of OFRANEH, as well of other persons who are in the camp in Vallecito. The security for the Garifunas must be guaranteed before, during and after the process of land remediation.
2. Any action suffered by the Garifunas will be the responsibility of the paid gunmen of Reinaldo Villalobo and of Miguel Facusse, as well as the government itself.
3. That the process of remediation conclude with the restitution of the lands of the Garifuna cooperatives of Vallecito.
Please communicate, making telephone calls to:
Alternative email for President Pepe Lobo (his phone # below): firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministro del Instituto Nacional Agrario, Sr. Cesar Ham:
Ministro de la Secretaria de Seguridad, Sr. Pompello Bonilla:
Director General de Policía, Juan Carlos Bonilla: +(504)97-58-17-30.
Vocero de la Policía, Héctor Iván Mejía: +(504)94-62-47-29.
-Ministro de las Etnias, Sr. Luis Green: email@example.com
-Fiscalía General de la República, Sr. Luis Alberto Rubí: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Ministro del Instituto Nacional Agrario, Sr. Cesar Ham: email@example.com
-Ministra de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Sra. Ana Pineda:
firstname.lastname@example.org, <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ministra de las Etnias, Sra. Jany del Cid
Presidente de la República, Porfirio Lobo: +(504)99.90.0878
La Ceiba, Atlantida 4 de septiembre del 2012
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH