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As a result of the illegal coup to depose then Honduran President, Manual Zelaya, in 2009, in which the U.S. played an under-handed role, Hondurans have endured multiple assassinations, kidnapping, and brutal suppression of their basic human rights.  The horrors continue in that poor, lawless country, in which unionists, journalists and ordinary citizens who have continued to fight for basic human rights, have been targeted for threats, arrests, kidnapping and outright assassination. Eighteen journalists have already been killed, 25 have received death threats, 4 have been kidnapped and tortured, and 37 other attacks on journalists recorded.

One such journalist, Gilda Silvestrucchi, who hosts a radio program, has, within the last twenty days, been personally threatened.  She dared to interview two opponents of a pending new mining law. Not only have anonymous callers informed her, right after her interviews, that she was to be murdered, but they threatened to kill her children as well.  

The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (Cofadeh) has put out an international alert asking the world to demand that she receive protection from Honduran government officials.  Their alert gives details:

On January 3, 2012 while on her way to work at the radio program Gilda was followed. On January 20, 2012, her mother received a phone call from a male voice requesting information regarding the routine of Gilda Carolina  Silvestrucchi including what time she arrived home, where she was during the day and where he could find her. The unknown caller questioned the mother under the pretense of knowing the exact time when she could be found at home.

Today, January 23, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. she received approximately five calls on her cell phone from the number 94 83 42 03. The first question from the unknown caller was if she was the owner of the cell phone, the caller then said “We know that you have three children, that the oldest is 15 years old, that you are on the street with your 7 year old child, and that the oldest is in your home caring for the one year old. We are going to kill you.”

When the call ended, Gilda called her younger daughter who informed her that an unknown person had called asking for Gilda and her whereabouts. The subject then called Gilda’s daughter two more times.

On that day, Gilda Silvestrucchi had hosted Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos and Pedro Landa on her program as guests to speak about problems related to mining in the Siria Valley and the maneuvers of members of Congress to approve the new Mining Law.  

The Committee of Relativs of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (Cofadeh) has broad cast the following alert to the world, seeking help in demanding that the life of Gilda Silvestrucchi, those of her children, and all Honduran journalists be protected:  

Journalist in danger – Repeated Threats and persecution

URGENT ACTION
The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (Cofadeh) expresses its concern for the security of Gilda Carolina Silvestrucchi, independent journalist for 16 years and Director of the radio program “In the Plaza” who is the victim of serious threats against her life and against the lives of her children.

The Honduran Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (Cofadeh) gives more details in their alert to the world seeking help:

On January 3, 2012 while on her way to work at the radio program Gilda Silvestrucchi was followed by a red Honda Civic for several minutes, until the driver of the vehicle transporting her was able to lose the car that was following them.

On January 20, 2012, her mother received a phone call from a male voice requesting information regarding the routine of Gilda Carolina  Silvestrucchi including what time she arrived home, where she was during the day and where he could find her. The unknown caller questioned the mother under the pretense of knowing the exact time when she could be found at home.

Today, January 23, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. she received approximately five calls on her cell phone from the number 94 83 42 03. The first question from the unknown caller was if she was the owner of the cell phone. The movment of vehicles could be heard on the line and the caller than said “We know that you have three children, that the oldest is 15 years old, that you are on the street with your 7 year old child, and that the oldest is in your home caring for the one year old. We are going to kill you.”

When the call ended, Gilda called her younger daughter who informed her that an unknown person had called asking for Gilda stating that he had to deliver some papers to her. The subject then called Gilda’s daughter two more times.

On that day, Gilda Silvestrucchi had hosted Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos and Pedro Landa on her program as guests to speak about problems related to mining in the Siria Valley and the maneuvers of members of Congress to approve the new Mining Law.  

The right to freedom of expression and the right of society to be informed, enshrined in the Constitution and international human rights law, are currently being violated through, intimidation and threats from public authorities and illegitimate powers. Crimes against journalists and violence against the freedom of expression throughout Honduras have reached intolerable levels, never before seen in the history of Honduras. Since 2009, 18 journalists have been murdered, 25 have received death threats, 14 have suffered illegal detentions, 4 have been kidnapped and tortured, and 37 other attacks and aggressions against journalists have been recorded.

On December 14, 2011 journalists held a protest which was repressed by the military assigned to the Presidential palace. The protest was convened by the collective, “Journalists for Life and the Freedom of Expression” of which Gilda is an active member.

In Honduras, there are structures and threats which restrict freedom of expression in large areas of the country including political censure and organized crime, resulting in self-censorship as way to protect the safety of journalists given the lack of State action to impose exemplary sanctions for crimes against journalists and guarantees of freedom of expression.

Cofadeh requests the National and International Community:

Publicly condemn the intimidation of journalists and demand that the state of Honduras commit to the protection of members of this profession;  

Request immediate action to provide all protection necessary for Gilda Carolina Silvestrucci and her family, particularly her young children in the manner that she requests;

Request an urgent, exhaustive and impartial investigation into the acts that place the life of Gilda Silvestrucchi at risk and that the murders of 18 journalists be investigated as well as threats against other journalists. The results of these investigations should be made public and those responsible should be tried.

Demand that protective orders issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for JOURNALISTS AT RISK be applied.

Please send calls, expression of concern and demands to:

Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés

President of the Supreme Court

Tel (504) 2269-3000  2269-3069

Mail: cedij@poderjudicial.gob.hn

Luis Alberto Rubí

Attorney General

Fax (504) 2221-5667

Tel (504) 2221-5670  2221-3099

Luis Alberto Rubí

Attorney General

Fax (504) 2221-5667

Tel (504) 2221-5670  2221-3099

Mail: lrubi@mp.hn

          gsuazog@mp.hn
With copies to:

Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)

Barrio La Plazuela , Avenida Cervantes, Casa No. 1301

Apartado Postal 1243

Tegucigalpa, HONDURAS

Fax:+504 2220 1528 (call and ask for “tono de fax, por favor”)

Mail: berthacofadeh@yahoo.com

Also send copies to the diplomatic representation for Honduras accredited in your country.

This writer attempted to send e-mails to the addresses listed above for government officials, but the e-mails were returned as undeliverable.  I will update when, and if, I can find a high government official in Honduras who has a working e-mail address.  In lieu of e-mail, calls and faxes to those officials might be even more effective, assuming that anyone there is answering their phones.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 05:46:53 PM PST

  •  Honduras (5+ / 0-)

    the murder capital of the world. Police are no longer trusted. Drug gangs are stealing military arsenals. For all practical purposes, Central America and especially Honduras are brutal war zones.

    Thank you for telling us about this, Justina. I hope she gets out of there before she becomes another victim.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 06:00:16 PM PST

    •  Yes, Almost as Bad as Iraq. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, slatsg, NY brit expat

      The U.S. military base in Honduras played a key role in the kidnapping and out of country transport of President Zelaya.
      Now chaos reigns, just minus some of the "shock and awe" with which we treated Iraq.  But then, it was a much cheaper operation, no where near the almost  trillion we spent "de-Saddaming" Iraq.  Well, of course, Honduras is not known for its oil reserves, either.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 06:18:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not expecting the administration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, cotterperson, NY brit expat

    supporters for ousting Zelaya that were here a couple of years ago to show up now.

  •  Honduras is the most dangerous country (4+ / 0-)

    Honduras is the crime capital of the world, it is leading by far
    1. Honduras (2 cities in the top 10)
    2. Mexico     (9 cities in the top 25)
    3. Brazil       (4 cities in the top 25)
    4. Venezuela (Caracas, capital city in the top 10)
    5. Colombia (3 regional cities in the top 25)
    6. Guatemala (Ciudad de Guatemala, capital city is #12)
    7. El Salvador (San Salvador, capital city is # 22)
    8. Puerto Rico (San Juan, capital city is #25 and it is the crime capital of the caribbean)

    http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/...

    •  Thanks for That List, But.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      It omits the rest of the the U.S., except for San Juan.  The U.S. has, I believe, 5 cities in the top 50:  Detroit, St. Louis, New Orleans, San Juan, P.R., and one more I can't remember.  

      I lived in the inner city of Detroit (Grand River & 12 Street and elsewhere) when it was known as "Murder City", but it was only dangerous to folks who had close relatives or friends there.  (Especially friends in the heaviy armed drug trade!).  Families or close friends got drinking and into arguments, which ended with gun shots mostly.  Folks just walking down the street didn't have any problems.  I never even got robbed once and I lived there 10 years.  As  a criminal defense lawyer there, I often had to go into "bad"neighborhoods, but never had even a purse-snatching attempt.

      In the rich suburb of Reston, Virginia, however, my house got robbed within 3 months of living there.  Ironic.  My conclusion:  stay out of ritzy neighborhoods, don't have family or friends, and you will be totally secure!

      Now I live in Mérida, Venezuela, in probably the most secure apartment I've ever lived in; of course people here all have iron bars on the windows and doors, which helps!

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 07:21:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Attacks on Journalists Not Average Street Crime! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    The murdered, kidnapped and tortured, and threatened journalists this alert focuses on are not victims of random street crime or violence.  These are targetted assassination designed to shut up the opposition to the powers that are now controlling Honduras, thanks to the U.S. supported coups.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 07:27:10 PM PST

    •  Whoops, "Coups" Should Be "Coup". n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 07:27:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary highlighting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, slatsg

    the specific situation of Gilda Silvestrucchi; a journalist facing death threats against herself and family for standing up to mining interests. Surely some people can write letters in support. The situation in Honduras is awful; a popular leader thrown out of office by the vested interests of those he was challenging. Income and wealth inequality is atrocious there; normal people are not safe and your life is threatened when you have the nerve to challenge them and their interests.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:06:19 AM PST

  •  This is unbelievably scarey! (0+ / 0-)

    De air is de air. What can be done?

    by TPau on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:19:58 PM PST

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