Day #266 – illegal detention of Edwin Espinal, political prisoner in a Honduran military jail
Two inmates were killed in “La Tolva” military jail where Edwin Espinal has been illegally jailed since January 17, 2018. In October 2018, there have been outbreaks of violence in “max-security” military prisons, “La Tolva” and “El Pozo”. Two post-election protesters, Edwin Espinal and Raúl Alvarez, are jailed in “La Tolva”.
On September 1, 2018, Gerson Meza (18) and Mario Suarez (19) were detained, tortured and assassinated by Honduran government death squads, who then left their handcuffed bodies for all to see: https://mailchi.mp/rightsaction/student-activists-gerson-meza-mario-suarez-assassinated-by-honduran-government-death-squads. In this 15 second film clip (https://www.facebook.com/100001880867455/posts/2250055525067121/) police agents, from the ATIC (Agencia Tecnica de Investigacion Criminal) division, are seen detaining Gerson Meza and Mario Suarez shortly before their bodies were found, hands and feet tied.
The U.S. and Canadian governments maintain a military, political and economic relations with the repressive, corrupt government of Honduras, YET SOMEHOW have no influence to pressure that same regime to release political prisoners arrested and detained on fraudulent charges related to protests against the violent, fraudulent elections of November 2017, and the dozens of people killed by government forces since then.
Update from Janet Spring, Edwin Espinal’s mother-in-law
September 29, 2018
Dear friends, I am checking in to tell you that there is no concrete news on the political prisoner situation, except that a so-called dialogue process has started in Honduras. According to twitter, the dialogue meetings have one aspect of focus and that is to concentrate on the political prisoners and an amnesty for them. Without significant pressure from the “international community” – that in many ways props up and legitimizes the Honduran regime -, we will not be holding our breath.
PODCAST: “Support from surprising places – a small town rural community bands together to free Honduran political prisoner”
On September 28, 2018, www.rabble.ca published a Podcast that journalist Victoria Fenner-Moll did with me about Edwin [Espinal] and about my daughter Karen, Edwin’s long-time partner and director of the Honduras Solidarity Network based in Honduras.
We are keeping a measured hope from the dialogue process for an immediate amnesty for all political prisoners. BUT, politicians in Canada and the U.S. need to hear from us that they must pressure the State Department and Global Affairs to openly and strongly demand this of the Honduran regime. If an immediate and full amnesty does not happen we will be devastated. If the political prisoners' cases go “to trial” in Honduras’ notoriously corrupted “judicial” system, there is no chance that they will receive a fair trial as most judges are part of the National Party and are appointed by the illegal President, Juan Orland Hernandez, and his predecessors.
Thanks for your ongoing support. I hope all is well with you.
Keep on sending info to your elected politicians, holding them to account;
Keep on supporting community based groups in Honduras, struggling to defend human rights, restore democracy and to put an end to the undemocratic Canadian- and U.S. backed regime in power – a huge and dangerous struggle.
United States: Contact directly your elected Senators (https://whoismyrepresentative.com/) and Congress members (https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative) and make your demands known to them.
Canada: Directly contact your Member of Parliament and make your demands known to them (https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members) and ask them to write directly to:
- Ambassador James Hill, Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua, James.Hill@international.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Affairs Canada, 1-613-992-5234, 1-343-203-1851; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Honduran Ambassador to Canada
Sofia Cerrato Rodriguez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-613-233-8900
Demands - short term
The U.S. and Canadian governments must:
- Do an about face and rescind their “legitimization” of the Nov. 26, 2017 elections (Good luck with this one!);
- Condemn the multiple acts of electoral fraud carried out by government of Juan Orlando Hernandez;
- Condemn government repression, including the killing of over 40 pro-democracy protesters, and the illegal detentions of dozens of political prisoners, including Edwin Espinal;
- Suspend business and military-police-security relations with the government of Honduras, until the political / electoral crisis has been resolved and impartial justice processes are proceeded against the intellectual and material authors of the electoral fraud and stolen elections, and killings and illegal jailings.
Demands - medium term
There must be legislative inquiries in the U.S. and Canada into the causes of Honduras’ now endemic repression and exploitation, corruption and impunity, with specific focus on the role played by the U.S. and Canadian governments:
- In support of the 2009 military coup
- In support and legitimization of fraudulent and violent elections in 2009, 2013 and 2017
- In support (in the case of Canada) of the promoting and signing of the potentially illegitimate “Free Trade Agreement” with the government of Honduras;
- In support of the expansion of corporate investments in Honduras (mining, garment “sweatshop” industry, bananas, hydro-electric dams, tourism, African palm, etc.), while turning a blind eye to and – in effect – benefitting from repression, fraud, corruption and impunity.
- U.S.: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
- Canada: (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8