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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
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Repression in Honduras? Dinner at the White House
WASHINGTON - September 21 -
Recently back from Honduras, Pine is assistant professor of anthropology at American University. She said today: "There has been an escalation in government attacks on free speech following the resistance movement's announcement of the collection of over 1,300,000 signatures demanding a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution. Last week, on Honduran Independence Day, a peaceful concert attended by 40,000 women, men and children was violently broken up by the military and police. Soldiers shot tear gas canisters and water cannons directly at the stage and into the audience, killing at least one person. Over the weekend, nurse union president and resistance movement leader Juana Bustillo was assassinated." Pine is author of the book Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras and has been writing about recent events and linking to video at Quotha.net.
Also see story of repression in the Honduran press, translated from Spanish into English via Google Translate
Frank is a professor of history at the University of California at Santa Cruz specializing in Honduras. She recently wrote for the Nation a piece titled "Crisis of Legitimacy in Honduras?" Her books include Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America.
Frank said today: "De facto President Porfirio Lobo has been gradually escalating repression against peaceful demonstrations by the opposition, with tear gas, beatings with batons, and beatings in detention, as well as violence against opposition radio. Political assassinations of resistance activists continue, opposition journalists are still being killed, and death threats are rampant -- with complete impunity, as levels of repression now match the immediate post-coup period under Roberto Micheletti. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Clinton praises Lobo, U.S. military and IMF aid flows freely, and Obama has invited Lobo to dinner on Thursday. The U.S. is overtly supporting a repressive, illegitimate regime." Lobo will be at an event with Clinton on Wednesday.
CARLOS ROMAN LAINEZ
Roman is a musician with the group CafÃ© Guancasco; the group's web page links to video of repression.
He was attacked by police and military on Honduran Independence Day, Sept. 15.
GERMAN ZEPEDA, [Spanish only]
Zepeda is president of the Coalition of Honduran Banana and Agroindustrial Unions (COSIBAH, Coordinadora de Sindicatos Bananeros y Agroindustriales de Honduras). He lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He was in the demonstration in San Pedro Sula on Sept. 15 that was repressed by the police/military.