Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kansas Citians report repression and bloodshed from Honduras

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 7:30 AM

As Judy Ancel interviewed Edgardo Napoleon Valeriano on August 14 the welts on his back were still bright red and patches of shaved hair exposed angry crimson gashes on the top of his head. The day before, the 55-year-old doctor had attended a rally in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, demonstrating against the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya.

click to enlarge Trade union members protest in Honduras
  • Trade union members protest in Honduras
"I was chased and ran until I could go no farther," he told Ancel. "The police caught up with me and five policemen beat me with their clubs. As they beat me they asked how much I was being paid to demonstrate. They stole my watch, my wallet, my cell phone and my glasses."

Ancel, the director of The Institute of Labor Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and president of the Cross-Border Network, transcribed and translated stories of Hondurans like Valeriano earlier this month. Part of an observation team from Global Exchange, Ancel and fellow Kansas Citian Alice Kitchen spent a week in the Central American nation to understand the circumstances of Zelaya's removal and witness the aftermath for the Honduran people.

"What's reported in both the Honduran media and the U.S. media is very distorted," Ancel wrote of her experience with the observation team. "Zelaya, who was kidnapped in the middle of the night by the head of the army, whom he had just fired, is in fact quite popular among the working people, the poor, and the peasants of Honduras -- in other words, the vast majority. The group watched a grass-roots social movement of tens of thousands demonstrate in the two major cities. We saw brutal repression by police and military, and interviewed the victims."

Read the group's full report after the jump.

Honduras Report

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