Thursday, July 02, 2009

Resist the coup in Honduras

Take Action: NO to the Military Coup
Stand in Solidarity with the People of Honduras
send a message about the military coup to the State Department

The School of the Americas graduate-led military overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Zelaya is in its fifth day and the resistance by the Honduran social movements continues to stand strong despite the increasing repression. Yesterday, the Honduran Congress announced a suspension of citizens' rights in Honduras for 24 hours. Citizens may not organize or otherwise congregate for any reason, and homes may be entered by government forces without permit. The curfew that has been in place since Sunday has been extended for 6 more days.

SOA Watch is in constant contact with our friends in Honduras, who are courageously defending their democracy against the coup. The social movements are resisting the military takeover through protests, occupations and strikes. Thousands are again taking to the streets right now for a march from the Obelisk to the center of the city and to the Congress building. Repression is expected to occur. The Honduran democracy protesters are calling on the international community to speak up in defense of real and direct democracy, for life, justice, liberty, dignity and peace.

SOA Watch activists are among the organizers of solidarity actions against the military coup throughout the Americas and some have traveled to Honduras in the past few days to stand with the Honduran people. The national SOA Watch staff is in close communication with activists in Honduras. We are engaged in media outreach around the coup and we are networking with partner organizations to defend democracy in Honduras. The Washington, DC staff took part in protests at the White House, the Honduran embassy, the Organization of American States and the State Department.

Witnessing the determination of our friends in Honduras, we believe that the coup can still be reversed and that President Zelaya will return to Honduras as the rightful president. However, for that to happen, we also have to step up the pressure on decision makers here in the United States. Click here to download a flier to mobilize your community.

Call the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ask that Secretary Clinton takes action for the unconditional reinstatement of Honduran President Zelaya. Call 202-647-5548. Click here to send a message online.

The Pentagon claim -- that the School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation instills respect for democracy and civilian leadership while teaching combat skills to Latin American soldiers -- has once again been disproved by the actions of the institute's graduates. The SOA/ WHINSEC needs to be shut down without delay. Despite the decision by the U.S. Southern Command to suspend interactions between the U.S. and the Honduran militaries, Honduran soldiers have not been withdrawn from the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). SOA/ WHINSEC trained militaries continue to violate human rights - not only in Honduras but in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.

Video: Father Roy Bourgeois on Democracy Now!
Generals Who Led Honduras Military Coup Trained at the School of the Americas

Romeo Vasquez, a general who led the military coup in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, received training at the US School of the Americas. The SOA has trained more than 60,000 soldiers, many of whom have returned home and committed human rights abuses, torture, extrajudicial execution and massacres. General Vasquez attended the SOA in 1976 and 1984. The head of the Air Force, General Luis Javier Prince Suazo, also studied there in 1996. Watch the interview with Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of the SOA Watch.

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