Honduras: Campesino leader shot dead in Honduras

Prominent campesino (peasant farmer) leader Margarita Murillo was shot dead in the community of El Planón, north-western Honduras, on 27 August. The safety of other members of her organization and family could be at risk.

In the morning of 27 August Margarita Murillo (56) was working on a piece of land in the community of El Planón, near the municipality of Villanueva in the department of Cortés, when she was shot dead. Margarita Murillo’s dead body was found over her mattock with shots to her face and chest. The fatal attack occurred after she had reported being under surveillance and receiving threats in recent days. Over the weekend of 30 August, police officers wanted to force their way into Margarita’s daughters’ home, arguing it was part of the investigations into her death.

Margarita Murillo was the president of the campesino organization of Las Ventanas (Empresa Asociativa Campesina de Producción Las Ventanas), which is part of the National Federation of Campesinos of Honduras.  She was also an active member of the Social Forum of the Sula Valley (Foro Social del Valle de Sula). On 19 August, as president of the campesino organization of Las Ventanas, she attended a very tense a meeting in the National Agrarian Institute (Instituto Nacional Agrario, INA) about issues related to land disputes in Las Ventanas. In April 2014 another member of Las Ventanas campesino group was killed in circumstances that are yet to be clarified.

Margarita Murillo worked for over 40 years defending the rights and better living standards of campesinos and women campesinos in Honduras. She was a founding member of the national campesino trade union (Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo) and of the Liberty and Refoundation party (Libertad y Refundación, LIBRE) which was created after the June 2009 coup d’état. In the 1980s Margarita Murillo suffered torture and persecution in reprisal for her activism. In the violent context of the 2009 coup d’état, Margarita’s 23-year-old son was disappeared and was found a few weeks later. Since the time of the coup d’état, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had ordered Honduras to protect her safety, but these measures were never implemented.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to carry out an immediate and independent investigation into the killing of Margarita Murillo, to make the results public and bring those found responsible to justice;
  • Urging them to protect Margarita Murillo’s colleagues and family members in accordance with their wishes;
  • Calling on the authorities to adopt and fully implement a mechanism to protect those who are at risk of reprisal for their work in defence of human rights, and reminding them of their responsibilities as established in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 OCTOBER 2014 TO:  (Time difference = GMT - 6 hrs / BST - 7 hrs)

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Images of the Border Crisis in the United States.

An estimated 52,000 unaccompanied children have entered the United States from Central America since October. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7B to improve security along the border, provide better housing for the undocumented immigrants while in custody and to speed up the deportation process. 

Despite the horrible conditions these children are attempting to escape, conditions that include extreme poverty and violence, the White House has said that “they expect most will ultimately be repatriated,” despite the fact that about 60% of children coming over from Central America are eligible for some kind of humanitarian protection, according to a report from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

While the problem before us must be handled immediately, it cannot be addressed without first examining it’s root causes. While our American elected officials and media would like to make us all believe that this issue is unrelated to American behavior and that it is simply the result of the inability of Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to protect their borders and reduce through policing their crime the truth is quite the opposite. This immigration issue that the United States is currently facing is the result of American economic and military intervention in Central America.

For decades the United States has toppled governments in Central America, fueled civil wars and most recently has escalated the War on Drugs within countries in Central America. The connection between the United States foreign policy and it’s current immigration problem cannot be ignored, every action has an effect and due to the actions taken by the United States in the past, we today see families from all over Central America attempt to flee the violence that the United States was instrumental in creating.

  • usa:*steals half of Mexico*
  • usa:*cuts Panama in half and then retains the rights to the Canal for about 100 years*
  • usa:*sets up Banana Republics in Central American*
  • usa:*orchestrates coup d'etats everytime they don't like an elected leader in Central American countries*
  • usa:*continues to fuel civil war in Nicaragua by giving money and training to the Contras*
  • usa:*is an ally of dictator Manuel Noriega and even has him working with the CIA*
  • usa:*is the main consumer of the drugs that cause drug cartels and drug related violence to exist"
  • usa:*supports autoritarian regimes in El Salvador (Ríos Montt) and Guatemala (José Napoleón Duarte)*
  • usa:*fuels gun violence in Central America in order to have a market to sell more (smuggled) guns to*
  • usa:*forces neoliberal policies like CAFTA that harm local Central American industries and brands that are not able to compete with their American counterparts*
  • usa:*uses Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine to justify their fucked up foreign policy*

Born in Danlí, Honduras, Lucila Gamero de Medina (June 12, 1873-January 23, 1964) was a novelist recognized among the first women in Honduras to produce literary work. Her most famous books include “Adriana y Margarita”, which is considered the first novel in Honduran narrative literature, and “Blanca Olmedo”, this second novel being Medina’s most known work and standing out as one of Honduras’ most important literary pieces. 

Besides being an prolific writer, Lucila Gamero de Medina studied medicine under her father’s instruction. As a woman in Honduras’ late 19th century, Medina was not allowed to attend medical school and didn’t have an official title, but because of her exceptional knowledge and medical skills did become part of her father’s surgical team and later in life owned and managed a pharmacy. 

Medina was also a feminist who spoke out against the Catholic Church’s unfair expectations held over women, which led to her being shunned from society and upon her death excluded from being given a Christian burial. Although now considered an important figure in Honduran history, Medina’s remains continue to rest in an unmarked headstone.


Picture courtesy of La Tribunal.

A special shoutout to follower badwolves-dont-blink for suggesting the great Lucila.

If Latin America had not been pillaged by the U.S. capital since its independence, millions of desperate workers would not now be coming here in such numbers to reclaim a share of that wealth; and if the United States is today the world’s richest nation, it is in part because of the sweat and blood of the copper workers of Chile, the tin miners of Bolivia, the fruit pickers of Guatemala and Honduras, the cane cutters of Cuba, the oil workers of Venezuela and Mexico, the pharmaceutical workers of Puerto Rico, the ranch hands of Costa Rica and Argentina, the West Indians who died building the Panama Canal, and the Panamanians who maintained it.
—  Juan Gonzalez - Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
18th Annual Central American Independence Day Parade and Festival

On sunday September 14th there will be a parade in the Bronx (NYC) in honor of Central America’s 193rd year of independence 

So please come out to support Central American pride and organizations in NYC. I (mod f) and Johnny will be there, and hopefully many of you who live in New York

For more info click here 

Many immigrants don’t even make it to the US border. With US financial and logistical support, Mexico is on track to deport more than 70,000 people this year, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Between this rise in migration and a heavy presence of organized crime and trafficking groups, this region is receiving greater attention from Mexico—and the United States. It was not a central geographic focus in the first years of the “Mérida Initiative,” the framework that has guided nearly US$2 billion in U.S. security aid to Mexico since 2008. Starting in about 2011, however, U.S. officials began regularly declaring intentions to increase assistance to help both Mexico and Guatemala beef up their border security measures. That year, the U.S. Defense Department quietly launched a “Mexico-Guatemala-Belize Border Region Program,” providing as much as US$50 million for “patrol boats, night vision equipment, communications equipment, maritime sensors, and associated training” from the Pentagon’s counter-drug budget. “The Guatemalan border with Chiapas is now our southern border,” Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for International Affairs Alan Bersin has said.

Watch on thinkmexican.tumblr.com

Mexico in the Middle of Migrant Humanitarian Crisis

Mexico is a country that historically has sent millions of migrants to the United States. Now the country finds itself caught in the middle of a fierce debate over how best to deal with the seemingly unending flow of tens of thousands of undocumented Central Americans crossing through Mexican territory.

CCTV’s Franc Contreras reports from Guatemala and Tabasco, Mexico.


Honduran Emerald Tree Viper

A remarkable new species of bright green palm-viper, Bothriechis guifarroi, has been described from a threatened cloud forest in Honduras, and is named to honor grassroots conservationist Mario Guifarro, who was assassinated in 2007. Despite being superficially similar to other Honduran palm pitvipers, the closest relative to the new species lives over 600 km to the south in Costa Rica. - See more at: http://www.joetownsendlab.org/#sthash.vXfLxBgI.dpuf