Saturday, July 12, 2014



Over two years has passed since four indigenous Miskitu people were violently killed, and three gravely injured during a joint Honduran-U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) anti-drug interdiction operation in the Moskitia region in eastern Honduras. This mission was one of many promoted by the U.S. government and its allies, in the failed and on-going War on Drugs in the region.

Since the night of the May 11, 2012 massacre, the lives of the survivors and their family members have been forever altered. They still lack any effective judicial, economic, medical, and political remedies despite reassurances from the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa that the matter has been handled.

It has become extremely important given recent developments, that all family members and victims of the massacre participate in a meeting to share and discuss the legal developments of their case, and clarify a recent alleged State Department-funded reparations project that has created tension, stress, and confusion among them. Many are interested in traveling to Tegucigalpa to discuss the following, but they need your help to do so:

Legal Strategy:
Between February and March 2013, a Honduran judge acquitted three Honduran agents for their involvement in the May 2012 drug interdiction operation. Not surprising given the corruption and lack of political will to persecute and punish human rights violations in Honduras, the judge ruled in a flawed trial that the agents in the anti-drug mission used legitimate force. The Committee of the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH), the legal representative for the Ahuas victims, recently appealed the decision. No U.S. agents have been investigated, charged, or arrested. Reports indicate the U.S. Embassy refused access to the weapons and names of U.S. agents involved, impeding any legitimate investigation. Any further national and international steps in this case will need to involve the input of all family members and victims.

(Failed and Suspected) U.S. Reparations Attempt:
Unwilling to recognize responsibility and provide a transparent reparations process, the U.S. State Department provided funds in late 2013/early 2014 to the Honduran government, reported to be $150,000 thus far with another $50,000 in the pipeline, for regional ‘development’ in Ahuas to the non-governmental organization INGWAIA. INGWAIA, run by Hondurans with close ties to the National Party, approached victims and family members on an individual basis and failed to disclose the source and reason for the financial support, committing to housing improvement, reportedly with a total cost of no more then $1,200 per victim . INGWAIA ignored the victims’ most pressing needs –such as medical assistance and support for those disabled by the attack and education and support for the orphaned children. At least one family member was asked to purchase significant quantities of construction materials before INGWAI would agree to initiate the house construction project. The irresponsible, even abusive manner of dispersing the funds has been predictably divisive, causing misunderstandings, and tensions between victims and family members as they witness some receiving support and others not. A meeting of all victims will provide a space for a discussion about the alleged reparations project and the necessary steps required to handle the mismanaged situation on a local level and at the level of the U.S. government responsible for initiating it.

Investigations Being Conducted by the Office of Inspector Generals (OIGs) in the Department of Justice and State Department:
In May 2014, the OIG of the US Department of Justice announced that they were conducting a joint review with the Department of State OIG of three drug interdiction missions in 2012 involving the use of deadly force in Honduras. The impact this investigation will have on the Ahuas victims and family members, if any, is unknown. However, what it entails and involves as disclosed to the general public should be communicated directly to those affected by the May 2012 massacre.

On-going Needs:
Living in different communities in the large, and geographically-isolated Moskitia region has made contact among them and their allies very difficult. A meeting in Tegucigalpa of those affected by May 11, 2012 will encourage greater communication and mutual support. Touching base and outlining their on-going needs will also be beneficial for future engagement with the U.S. government and judicial system in Honduras as well as reignite public interest in the case.

We need to raise $4,266 so that all victims can travel to Tegucigalpa to meet, discuss, and act to denounce the developments of this case.

(Full budget included in complete fundraising appeal)

This month, the survivors and allies hope to meet to advance their campaign to hold the DEA and Honduran authorities accountable, but distances and travel costs along the jungle rivers, and their extreme poverty have prevented them from gathering until now. The Moskitia has become a major front in the drug war, and the Ahuas victims know that they must pursue a just resolution or many more of their Moskitu indigenous brothers and sisters will wrongly die. With your help and together they will support each other to survive the hardships while demanding peace in their communities.

Please make a donation for travel and meeting expenses.

Donations can be made at:

Photo caption: The Landín where the incident on May 11, 2012 took place in Ahuas, La Moskitia, Honduras.

Honduran news round-up: July 12, 2014

By: Daniel Langmeier

El Libertador published some more information on the visit by US congresswo/men to Honduras. Out of the seven, five are Republicans and two Democrats, and they will meet with JOH, the First Lady and the Special Task Force on Migrating Children. The sociologist Victor Meza proposes the creation of a state migration policy based on four pillars: creating local job opportunities; migration agreements with other countries; a productive reinvestment of
remittances; deal with migration as a human rights and not a crime.

The Economist has another lead article on the failed policy of mano dura in Latin America, taking Honduras and Guatemala as two telling examples.

ADEPZA, the human rights organization in the Southern island of Zacate Grande, greatly worries about the planned charter city project in their area.

OFRANEH took up the tragic event in the mine San Juan de Arriba and links the widespread illegal mining projects in Honduras to organized crime. Mining (the Canadian kind) also causes new problems in Azacualpa, Copán, where the military has moved in to repress the people demanding a stop to the mining activities.

COFADEH, the International Ecumenical Human Rights Observatory and CIPRODEH held a conference in Talanga with some 500 students against all kinds of discrimination.

Today San Luis will have a second chance to elect its mayor - the Liberal Leny Flores or the National Rony Flores.
For some observes, this election is living proof of the great need for a new Electoral Law.

In its weekly newsletter, Radio Progreso also dedicates a long article to the visit by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, and her troubling findings.

Campesinxs organization demand that the second part of the exhumations taking place these coming days will be done with greater care and transparency to counteract the ongoing impunity in these cases. They fear that this process is only used to clean the image of Dinant and Facussé in front of the World Bank.

JOH announced that the bidding for the construction of his Government City will start in the next three weeks. He wants all state institutions to be located in the same area, in buildings possessed by the state and therefore not paying rent. He promises savings in millions in the next 20 years and some 10'000 jobs during the three years construction. More probable is that some more people linked to the construction sector get
filthy rich while not much else changes.

Monday, July 7, 2014


The Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ), condemns the criminal action which César Augusto Espinoza Muñoz and Abel Carbajal, priests of the parish of Arizona, Atlántida and international human rights volunteers with PROAH who were accompanying them, were victims of when yesterday, July 3rd at approximately 7 pm, when armed men driving a tourism vehicle, intercepted the vehicle that the priests and accompaniers were traveling in near Siguatepeque. The armed men forced them to stop their vehicle, pointed guns at them and took their vehicle and other belongings. They were then taken to another location in Siguatepeque where there were abandoned.

The priests Cesar Espinoza and Abel Carbajal as well as other leaders of the Atlántida department, are beneficiaries of protective measures from the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) as of December 2013; measures which have not been implemented by the State despite the fact the beneficiaries as well as MADJ have made concrete proposals to the State of Honduras for the protection of the lives and other rights
of the beneficiaries who are under threat due to their legitimate opposition to mining operations on the part of businessmen in the department of Atlántida.

MADJ denounces that days before this criminal action against the priests, several beneficiaries of protective measures issued by the IACHR and other members of MADJ of the Florida sector, have received repeated threats and harassment on the part of people linked to the mining company Minerales La Victoria, which is responsible for mining
project Buena Vista I which is opposed by the communities as it violates their individual and collective rights. MADJ warns that all of these actions which threaten the lives and security of leaders who denounce corruption and oppose the destruction of natural resources in the department of Atlántida occur following the June 30 hearing in Tela during which, thanks to the opportune action on the part of the victims, an attempt on the part of the Public Ministry to benefit the head of security for Minerales la Victoria, Wilfredo Funes, was rejected. Funes is in prison for crimes committed against human rights defenders in the zone.

MADJ again holds the State of Honduras responsible for failing to uphold its responsibility to respect and guarantee the human rights of priests Cesar Espinoza and Abel Carbajal, and leaders of MADJ, beneficiaries of
protective measures from the IACHR. MADJ demands that these and the many other criminal acts that we have denounced before the appropriate State institutions, be investigated and that the businessmen and corrupt functionaries who violate human rights and destroy the peace and tranquility of many rural communities that today suffer persecution on the part of national and transnational companies and corrupt state actors.


July 4, 2014.

Original Spanish version:

Honduran President JOH promoting ZEDEs in El Salvador

Just spent 10 days investigating the concept of Model Cities or ZEDES as the new legislation calls them, in Honduras with a North American educational delegation.

Hoping to post more interesting stuff about the investigations later, but just saw this article. Apparently Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), the Honduran President that just will not give up on bringing a ZEDE to Honduras, is hoping neighbouring El Salvador will implement the same idea? Glad to hear JOH's talk about ZEDEs to the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) in El Salvador was cancelled because of opposing protests.