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We hope you’ll add your voice to demand freedom for the eight Guapinol political prisoners in Honduras.
The international solidarity community is calling for the immediate release of the eight Guapinol water defenders who have been in pre-trial detention since September 2019. Those being held in Olanchito Penitentiary are José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbín Nahúm Hernández, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz. Jeremías Martínez Díaz is being detained separately at La Ceiba Penitentiary.
What can I do?
Click here to sign these urgent messages to authorities in Honduras and the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, calling for the immediate release of the 8 water defenders/political prisoners.
Share this email notice and the Facebook event (until April 26th) with your friends.
Why are they imprisoned?
To bring attention to several identified environmental, social, human, and economic impacts of large scale mining projects in the Atlantic zone, residents of El Guapinol and surrounding communities organized the Encampment on the Defense of Water and Life in August 2018. They pointed to contamination of the Guapinol and San Pedro Rivers, which supply drinking water to fourteen surrounding communities.
Who is behind this?
Nucor Steel (based in Charlotte NC) is expected to be the main purchaser of the iron ore oxide to be mined inside what is supposed to be protected lands: 200 hectares inside the Carlos Escaleras National Park.
The Facussé family in Honduras is the owner of the company, Los Inversiones Los Pinares , that has been given a concession by the corrupt Honduran government to start this open-mine inside a national park. It’s worth noting that the company owners are the daughter and son-in-law of the notorious narco land baron who’s displaced thousands of campesinos off their land, the late Miguel Facussé .
What are the environmental harms?
Residents have documented how preparations for the mine are destroying animal life and contaminating smaller waterways which supply several other rivers flowing to Olancho, Atlántida, and Colón Departments. Tens of thousands of inhabitants are at risk of losing their agricultural crops and homes for this mining operation being constructed to supply US-based Nucor Steel with iron oxide.
What does the UN say?
On February 9, 2021 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions determined that the detention of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors was carried out arbitrarily and is against their human rights. It also noted that the sanitary situation in the Olancho prison only increases the vulnerability of the Guapinol Water Protectors to COVID-19. At least one of the Guapinol water defenders has been diagnosed with the virus, but the risk is imminent for the other activists.
The working group, which belongs to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), noted that the arbitrary detention of the Guapinol Water Protectors is related to their work in defense of the environment. Every day that the Guapinol Water Protectors spend in prison is another violation of their human rights. We cannot forget that while the Honduran prosecution has not been able to gather evidence against the 8 Water Protectors, there is plenty of evidence that demonstrates the illegality of the Los Pinares mining project and the links of the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez with organized crime groups.
What are we asking for?
Demands for Honduran Authorities
1. That the State of Honduras immediately release the 8 Guapinol defenders and follow the recommendations of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
2. That the National Penitentiary Institute take all necessary health measures to protect the lives of the 8 Guapinol water defenders. The Honduran State has the obligation to inform the families of the political prisoners about the state of health and the health situation of the activists.
3. That the National Human Rights Commission of Honduras (CONADEH) take urgent action to guarantee compliance with the resolution of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Demands of embassy representatives in Honduras
1. As a diplomatic representative, ask for the release of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors and demand that the Honduran government comply with the recommendations of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.
2. Demand that the Honduran government guarantee all necessary health measures to protect the lives of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Demand that the Honduran government put an end to arbitrary detentions and all violence against environmental defenders in Honduras.
For more information visit https://www.guapinolresiste.org/
Thank you for joining with us to bolster this vital across-borders solidarity movement. Continue to journey with us toward real transformative justice—to build the better world where all life is valued, and care for those in need takes precedence over locking people up.
P.S. Legislation is currently circulating in the US House of Representatives in honor of slain indigenous environmental defender Berta Cáceres, HR 1574 The Human Rights in Honduras Act: “The Honduran police are widely established to be deeply corrupt and to commit human rights abuses, including torture, rape, illegal detention, and murder, with impunity.”
ALBA Communique 07-2018: Call for international mobilization for Lula’s freedom, from April, 17 to 25 in front of all Brazilian embassies!
We are writing to you to ask an urgent international solidarity action!
Today we going to launch the call for an International Week of Mobilization for Free Lula, from april 17th to 25th, and your support is crucial to have a massive diffusion of this call, as well as all necessary coordinating international work to ensure the execution of the solidarity actions.
In this respect, there are some specifics orientations to our peoples movements:
– CONSIDER AS A PRIORITY THE APRIL 17th MOBILIZATIONS: on april 18th is going to be a key date in Brazil because there will be an important judgment at the Supreme Court that affects Lula directly. For this reason the international pressure is the core of our mobilizations.
– THIS CALLING MUST BE BROADLY RELEASED: through email communications in our internal circulars/communiqués; through our webpages and social medias, newsletters, WhatsApp and Telegram groups.
– PUT INTO Facebook and Twitter the tagging @FreeLulaBrasil, to centralizing the videos and images’ dissemination.
– USE THE TAG #FreeLula into all social medias.
– SEND NOTES, LETTERS, MANIFESTS AND OTHERS DOCUMENTS to the e-mail that we specifically created to this purpose email@example.com
– FOLLOW THE @BrasildeFatos WEBPAGE AND SOCIAL MEDIAS: where we will publish news in portuguese, and always possible in Spanish and English.
Any suggestions or doubts don not hesitate to contact us!
Intenational Peoples’ Assembly Secreatriat
INTERNATIONAL PEOPLES’ ASSEMBLY
São Paulo April 12th, 2018.
Communique 07-2018: Call for international mobilization for lula’s freedom, from april, 17th to 25th in front of all brazilian embassies!
De: International Operative Secretariat
To: All Movements and Organizations members of the International Peoples’ Assembly
Days before the two-year anniversary of the coup d’état, Brazil and the world watched the arrest of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva in astonishment. He is the most important popular leader in the country during the last thirty years and one of the Presidents with the highest levels of international recognition for fighting poverty and reducing inequality.
The conviction and imprisonment of an innocent man, through a process with numerous errors and legal absurdities, without evidences and based only on statements from convicted informers in exchange for the benefit of their sentence reductions, represents the continuity of the 2016 coup. It also reveals the abandonment and subversion of the Brazilian democratic institutions by the right wing powers.
Since April 17, 2016, the coup makers are following a clear roadmap. They started by impeaching President Dilma Rousseff and now they advance overwhelmingly into a neoliberal offensive with new privatizations, handing over natural resources to foreign capital, dismantling the national industry and massive withdrawal of investment and social rights, among other evils.
At the same time, institutions at the service of the ruling classes, like sectors of the judiciary and the media, together seek to control the political life of the country and to politically and materially erode the people’s movements and the leftist forces. They built a legal theater through an intense defamation campaign to arrest an innocent man accusing him of passive corruption and to convict him without evidence. That’s why Lula is a political prisoner.
As a follow up of their strategic project the coup makers seek to legitimize themselves by winning in the 2018 elections. However, they know that it will only be feasible if they impede the left wings’ victory. The unfair and hasty conviction of Lula has the clear intention of withdrawing him from the electoral dispute, given that numerous polls show him in first place. Therefore, the coup forces will use any possible means to prevent a people’s victory at the elections.
Finally, we invite all social and political organizations, grassroot movements and citizens who fight against all forms of injustice and arbitrariness to gather in a broad international campaign for Lula’s Freedom.
With the hashtags #FreeLula, #LulaInnocent or #LulaPoliticalPrisioner, we are encouraging the organization of Committees for Lula’s Freedom around the world and for rallies to be held between April 17 and 25 in front of the Brazilian Embassies and Consulates, to express our rejection of Lula in prison and to stand in solidarity with the former President and the Brazilian people.
In the face of the grave offensive of the Brazilian right wing all the mobilizations between April, 17 and 25 will be of extreme importance, also because we might get new juridical decisions during this period regarding Lula’s right to defend himself in liberty and our support will be important. We inform that the popular peasant movement represented by the Via Campesina International is already planning actions on April, 17th, the “International Day of Peasant Struggle” in memory of the “Eldorado do Carajás Massacre” and the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) is calling its national affiliates for international demonstrations #FreeLula too on the 23th.
We ask you to join them and to inform us about the cities, places and times of the rallies through the email firstname.lastname@example.org and also send us pictures, videos and other records of these activities.
We are here if you need any help or clarification!
Operative Secretariat team.