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Rage One (blog)

martes, agosto 22, 2006

Mujer Garifuna asesinada - Garifuna woman murdered (Honduras)

HONDURAS: killing of Garifuna woman... Posted by: "UCTP Office" la_voz_taino Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 am (PST) August 13, 2006


MIRNA ISABEL SANTOS THOMAS (19-year old Garifuna woman) murdered.
Rights Action asks for your support and timely response to the
ongoing persecution of Garifuna community leaders. To get on-off
this elist:

August 11, 2006


During the evening of Sunday August 6th, 19-year old MIRNA ISABEL
SANTOS THOMAS was forced from her home in the Garifuna community of
San Juan Tela by a group of heavily armed masked men. Her body was
found the next morning alongside a road a few kilometers from San
Juan, on the other side of the town of Tela, in the department of
Atlántida, along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.

This past February, the cadavers of two San Juan youth were also
found in the area of the community of La Ensenada, after their
detention by soldiers and navy agents.

This past June, San Juan community president Jessica García was
threatened and forced at gunpoint to sign a document ceding certain
community lands to PROMOTUR, a real estate and tourism company owned
by powerful politician, landowner, banker and businessman Jaime
Rosenthal Oliva.

This occurred after months of repression and human rights violations,
including frequent threats, armed incursions by company
representatives and the destruction by arson of several San Juan
community members' homes, including that of the well-known Lands
Defense Committee activist Wilfredo Guerrero.

As is expressed in the following public communiqué from the
community, few doubts exist concerning the links between the ongoing
repression and violence in San Juan and the powerful interests of
the tourism industry. Aside from PROMOTUR's plans to build a tourism
complex on the ancestral Garifuna lands of San Juan Tela, there are
numerous resort tourism plans for the Tela Bay, including the
opposed Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort.

The tourism industry´s interests in the region are fueled by the
World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other international
organisms supporting the infrastructure and top-down
tourism "development" initiatives.

Simultaneous internationally financed programs, such as the World
Bank´s Honduran Lands Administration Program (PATH), threaten to
fragment ancestral, communal Garifuna land titles, in violation of
international agreements.

International funds are also destined to the management of the
coastal protected areas that now form part of the Mesoamerican
Biological Corredor, an element of the Plan Puebla Panama. Often
managed by the same elite invested in tourism initiatives, many of
these so-called protected areas were created in Garifuna and
indigenous territory and now control the local communities´access to
their own ancestral lands and resources.


Once again, we are in mourning in the Garifuna community of San Juan
Tela (Durugubuty), this time for the murder of 19 year-old community
member Mirna Isabel Santos Thomas. During the evening of Sunday,
August 6th, a group of masked men armed with AK-47s kidnapped Santos
Thomas from her home and later murdered her. Her body was found
around kilometer 4 on the road towards Triunfo de la Cruz and La

The homicides that have been perpetrated against the youth of our
community have caused concern and fear in Durugubuty. The
authorities have not taken the necessary measures to protect
community members and the murders of San Juan Tela youth Gino Eligio
López and Epson Andrés Castillo earlier this year on February 26
remain in complete impunity.

Despite the existence of precautionary measures declared by the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission to protect the community of
San Juan Tela, justice system operators continue to ignore the IAHRC
resolution and have not taken adequate steps to protect our

The territorial conflict in the Garifuna communities of the Tela Bay
is exacerbated by the tourism industry investors, who apparently
intend to create a climate of insecurity in order to obtain their
objectives, including the appropriation of our communities'
ancestral lands.

The police presence that supposedly serves to protect the community
is located within the terrain of the Shore Plantation Hotel (!!!)
and thus serves to protect the investments of the tourism industry.
Meanwhile, the community remains unprotected and is at the mercy not
only of criminal outsiders but also of the security forces that are
involved in repression against us.

The State's lack of political will to investigate the motives of the
crime that led to the extrajudicial execution of two sons of the
community by military forces has only served to fuel the exodus of
youth, fearing that the violent crimes of February and the 1937
massacre may be repeated.

We request an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the murder
of young Mirna Isabel Santos Thomas, along with an impartial trial
against the military forces agents implicated in the February 26
murders, thus enforcing the rule of law that is so often trampled
upon in Honduras.

San Juan Tela, August 9, 2006.
Patronato, Community of San Juan
San Juan Lands Defense Committee, CODETS


Please write the Honduran ambassador in your country, and demand a
clarification of these crimes if they do not respond, write them
again and again and … . Send copies of your letters to your own
government officials, asking why the Canadian and USA governments
have full political and economic relations with Honduras, when such
crimes against the poor and Indigenous populations occur with such
regularity and impunity?

Embassy of Honduras
3007 Tilden Street, NW, Suite 4M
Washington, DC 20008
tel: (202) 966-7702 / fax: (202) 966-9751 /

Embassy of Honduras in Canada
151 Slater Street, Suite 805-A
Ottawa, ON, Canada KIP-5H3
Phone: 001-613-233-8900 / Fax: 001-613-232-019 / /

- be a human rights accompanier with Indigenous-African descendant
Garifuna communities
- come on educational-solidarity delegations to Honduras;
- establish long-term partnerships with OFRANEH and Garifuna
- donate funds [via Rights Action] for the community development,
environment and defense work of OFRANEH and Garifuna organizations.

Carry it on …

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