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Call the State Department: Stop New Political Assassinations in Honduras

Ramón Ulises Castellanos and Miguel Sauceda, two field workers from the departament of Atlántida have been assassinated, we learned on March 12 from members of the National People's Resistance Front (FNRP) in Honduras. These two victims of the Lobo dictatorship's political repression had been kidnapped the day before.

Wealthy landowners, with the support of the golpistas (coupsters), are violently occupying the lands that Manuel Zelaya redistributed to the small farmers. Lobo has called for a commission to "dialogue" with the small farmers, while simultaneously giving "the signal, and his death squads went ahead and assassinated Ramón Ulises Castellanos and Miguel Sauceda," according to FNRP activists.

Honduran human rights organizations have noted that there are clear ties between the dictatorship led by the right-wing Lobo and paramilitary groups.

Since Lobo took office on January 27, 2010, human rights violations in Honduras continue (more than 250 in just over a month) and recently have taken on a new potency. The Witness for Peace Nicaragua office has received word of assassinations of members of the FNRP as well as myriad death threats made to the staff of Honduran human rights organization COFADEH (The Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras). The most recent incidents represent a campaign by Lobo’s administration to quell the resistance and instill terror in the Honduran population.

People of Honduras, and specifically the members of the FNRP, are calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with them against the grave abuses of Lobo’s administration. As Honduran exile César Silva said, “The way that people abroad can continue to support us is, first, by not closing their eyes.  This is of the utmost importance.  Do not believe that [the crisis] is now over.  Do not believe that, now that there is a new government, our problems have ended.  No.”

What you can do:

    * Contact the State Department concerning state terror in Honduras. Find more information and a call script below. Let us know how your call went by emailing  or calling 706/405.1273.

    * Watch “Shot in the Back”, a WFP video about the situation in Honduras.

Call the State Department today to speak out against the horrors in Honduras. Dial 202-647-4000 and ask for Human Rights Desk at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Alternately, you can ask to speak to the office of Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, who coordinates the work of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Sample script:

"Hello, my name is ____________ and I am calling because I am deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Honduras. On Friday, Ramón Ulises Castellanos and Miguel Sauceda, field workers in the Naranjo neighborhood in the departament of Atlántida, were assassinated by death squads working for wealthy landowners trying to re-occupy lands that President Zelaya had redistributed to small farmers. In recent weeks, other resistance leaders have been attacked and murdered, amounting to over 256 documented human rights violations since Porfirio Lobo took power just over a month ago. This represents the continuance of an ongoing policy of state terrorism and aggression that began after the July 2009 coup.

I ask that the U.S. STRONGLY CONDEMN the Lobo administration for continued human rights violations and call for the protection of all human rights defenders and media workers in Honduras, while cutting military aid to the country. I also urge the US to reject the Lobo administration's proposed Truth Commission, and push for an independent truth process that would thoroughly investigate the human rights violations and other crimes committed under the interim government of Roberto Micheletti, as well as the current Lobo administration, instead of simply whitewashing the coup in Honduras. Thank you."