Help! Our Voice, Radio Progreso and ERIC SJ
Our Voice in the political crisis:
Radio Progreso and the Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication ERIC of the Jesuit community in Honduras
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Radio Progreso was placed under siege by an army contingent the very day of the coup d'etat. At gunpoint and without a warrant, the military penetrated our facilities and forced us to silence our equipment.
On August 14th, our radio sent two of its reporters to cover the protest that the resistance front had organized in the city of Choloma, between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortés, in the north zone of the Honduran Atlantic. Radio Progreso would cover the events when the protesters were savagely attacked by the police contingent.
At noon, our reporter Gustavo Cardoza transmitted the news about the teargassing, the arrests, the physical attacks that the police were carrying out right and left on the protesters. All of the sudden, Gustavo Cardoza said that a policeman was pointing his weapon at him and immediately reported that other police were coming after him. Our reporter tried to run, and told them that he was a reporter for Radio Progreso. It was then that we heard his cries, and the blows that our reporter was receiving.
The transmission from our reporter was abruptly suspended. The police kicked him, hit him in the back, in the stomach, they threw him in a vehicle and laid him face down, and in the trajectory they kicked him, hit him with rifle butts, and attacked him with the worst possible insults.
Luckily, the Association of Lawyers in Resistance to the Coup and the Association of Judges for Democracy acted with speed and diligence, and although some of them were shoved and insulted, at the end of the day they managed to get the police to free our reporter and some of the other protesters who had been captured and tortured.
Before the world, we give testimony of our defenselessness. We raise our voice, our clamor before the community of international human rights organizations, because here, all those of us who oppose the de facto regime are exposed to barbarities, while the organisms of the state that are responsible for overseeing justice and human rights, instead of protecting us, point their accusing finger so that they can exterminate us. People of the world, don't leave us alone!
(Note the existence of local organizations of anti-coup, pro-democracy lawyers and judges! I wonder if there's any way lawyers or legal organizations outside Honduras could help these associations...)