Day 87 in Honduras

Film-maker Oscar Estrada's observations on resistance in Honduras

September 24, 2009
4 min read

What began yesterday with a popular surprise party, following the unexpected arrival of President Zelaya to national territory, has become a savage persecution extending throughout the city against the women and men of the resistance.

Mel Zelaya showed-up yesterday morning inside the Brazilian Embassy, the news was spread first by text messages and later was confirmed by Radio Globo. The government of Micheletti and his bloodthirsty military brass denied the news from the start. “This is an act of media terrorism by those who would confuse the people of Honduras”, said the apprentice dictator and his denial created an echo among those who continue to deny the undeniable. ‘Our intelligence and counter intelligence bodies are professional and they inform us that it is not possible for him to be here’, said Romeo Vasquez later.

But Mel did arrive and has put the de facto government in a very complicated position. It is a body double, said Micheletti with a knot in his throat minutes before declaring a state of siege which they have announced will last for at least the next 36 hours.

Mel arrived inviting dialogue, but once again the dictatorship responded with all the fury of those who only know how to argue with weapons. All four airports in the country have been closed and the military roadblocks impede people’s mobilisation. Micheletti attributed responsibility for all that happens in the country to Zelaya, as if Mel were the one who was still in control of the police and the army. The government has warned the OAS that Insulza is a persona non grata, and has threatened to bring down his plane if he enters Honduran airspace.

The vigil lasted the whole night; thousands of people came to the Palmira neighborhood and settled along the street to accompany the President. Curiously, in that moment the police and the military had withdrawn and seemed unconcerned about preventing the circulation of citizens, as prescribed by the curfew.

It wasn’t until 5 o’clock this morning that the eviction of protesters began. Hundreds of tear gas canisters were thrown into the crowd of protesters, who responded with stones. From where I am writing I could hear constant detonation of military weapons and at this time two deaths and 10 injuries from gunshots are reported. The army has surrounded the Brazilian Embassy and threatens to break in to execute the regime’s arrest warrant. If this is true, he will become the first president to be subject to two coups d’etat in the space of less than three months.

The residents of this part of the city opened their homes to provide refuge to protesters running from the attacks. In Barrio Morazán, an area a couple of kilometers from Palmira, various residents let protesters in, and showed their solidarity by attending to their injuries and giving them water. Not withstanding, the apartments are small and don’t have space enough for many people. The police threw teargas canisters into houses seriously affecting inhabitants. Several reports indicate that police violently entered a residence and threw tear gas into the interior rooms leaving in critical condition a six- day-old new born. Similar stories were repeated in the neighborhoods of San Francisco , El Reparto and el Hato de En medio, poor neighborhoods on the city’s periphery. In various parts of the city clashes with police have been reported. The difference is that on this occasion it’s not members of the resistance but rather average residents of these neighborhoods who won’t take any more of this repression, which is clearly directed at those who have the least.

The resistance is trying to regroup in the center of the city, but the roadblocks and constant forced dispersal will make it extremely difficult to converge again. But other forms of resistance will continue. In the Kennedy neighborhood of Tegucigalpa last night a group of some 40 people initiated a march, which in a matter of minutes became several thousand strong. Together they advanced to the local police post and obligated them to abandon the zone. With this the Kennedy neighborhood has converted itself into the first liberated neighborhood of Tegucigalpa.

Translation by Camille Collins Lovell

Oscar Estrada\’s blog


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