Statement of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras against repression of inhabitants of Villa de San Francisco

August 31, 2017

The National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras has come out against the brutal attack levied on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by the joint forces of the National Police, the Police Office of Investigation, Military Police and a large group of COBRAS, who used teargas in the streets and homes of the people of Villa de San Francisco participating in a peaceful protest in their struggle for territory, health and life.

The Network released the following statement:

We vigorously condemn yet another attack on the civilian population of Honduras involved in an honorable struggle for basic human rights that have been trampled on by the regime of Juan Orlando Hernández, who has responded to their just demands with violence, repression and legal prosecution.

We condemn the brutal actions of armed and trained police personnel in a display of cruelty and violence against women, men, children and elderly people who are peacefully struggling for their community with arguments and organizational force.

We condemn the collaboration of the Public Prosecutor and civil authorities, especially the District Attorney Melissa Cubas, who, along with uniformed police officers, is protecting the companies that have made attempts on the lives of townspeople, in this case the Tres Valles Sugar Mill owned by Yamal Yibrín and his son Mateo Yibrín.

We condemn the arrests of men and women of the community organization, threats made by police officers to take the children away from women in struggle, in addition to the legal prosecution that began in July against community women and men.

We express our solidarity with the Boulevard Neighbors, an organiztion that has been struggling since March of 2016, to reroute a high voltatge power line struggle scheduled to run above their homes, which would cause severe harm to the health and safety of the people. Furthermore, no consultation has been held with the townspeople regarding the project. At the same time, we declare our support for the Independent People’s Environmental Committee for Water and Other Resources (CAPIRHO), which has been supporting the Boulevard Neighbors, and for people that belong to both organizations.

We reiterate that the only response of the regime of Juan Orlando Hernández and the National Party has been repression, violence and legal prosecution of people struggling for their lives with dignity and justice. The National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras will stay on the alert for any escalation of repression against this territorial moviment in which women are the active majority.

Defending the righ to defend!

Tegucigalpa, August 29, 2017