Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Nov. 25, 2009 - "No the the coup regime elections! Free men and women of Honduras, they want to use your vote to legalize the coup. Each vote is a blow to your freedom."
Nov. 25, 2009 - Outside the Brazilian embassy, demonstrators demand the release of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.
Nov. 25, 2009 - A police officer stamps out the embers of a fire lit in vigil for imprisoned President Zelaya.
Nov. 25, 2009 - Juan Aguilar, a student at the Autonomous University of Honduras, is not fooled by the pretty words of Barack Obama. Few Hondurans failed to recognize the presence of John Negroponte in their country just prior to the coup; he is the infamous former U.S. ambassador to Honduras who, during the early 80s, converted Honduras into a virtual U.S. colony and orchestrated the buildup of the Honduran military and the contra wars against Nicaragua.
Nov. 26, 2009 - Students at UNAH, the Autonomous University of Honduras, staged a one-day occupation of the campus in defiance of the regime's establishing a polling station at the university's gates. A student organizer with the Resistance explains that, the night before, another student involved in the Resistance disappeared from this same spot after a brief confrontation with police and had not been heard from since.
Nov. 26, 2009 - Students demonstrate their attitude towards the coup in graffiti art the covers the entire campus, like much of the rest of Tegucigalpa.
Nov. 26, 2009 - On the locked gates of the Autonomous University, students have taped a suggestion to passersby: instead of voting ("votar") they suggest that people throw away their ballots ("botar.") In Spanish, the words sound the same.
Nov. 26, 2009 - Todos a 'Botar.'
Nov. 26, 2009 - Months earlier, a peaceful demonstration of hundreds of thousands of people was interrupted by individuals who were later identified as infiltrators. The provocatuers provoked a violent action against a Popeye's Chicken store and a few hundred people joined in - the fast food chains in Tegucigalpa are understandably resented for the fact that they are exempt from all taxes. No one was hurt when the empty store was firebombed but the event justified major repression the next day
Nov. 26, 2009 - Bertha Oliva, founder and director of the Committee of Families of the Disappeared and Detained in Honduras (COFADEH) speaks at the human rights organizations main office. She founded the organization 27 years ago when her husband was disappeared, and COFADEH has been crucial in documenting the variety of human rights abuses since the coup. Behind her are the faces of four of the people killed in political violence since the coup.
Nov. 26, 2009 - Tegucigalpa, indeed all of the country, is covered in political graffiti. It doesn't take long to recognize that the state is in a moment of intense political struggle and repression, despite the international media's insistence that 'everything is fine.'
Nov. 26, 2009 - A tribute to the courage and determination of the Resistance.
Nov. 26, 2009 - At the Autonomous University of Honduras.
Nov. 26, 2009 - The people's voice is on the walls.
Nov. 26, 2009 - Coca-cola's voice is carved into a hill overlooking Tegucigalpa.
Nov. 27, 2009 - Early in the morning, COFADEH gets a call reporting that a leader of the feminist movement in Honduras, which has been among the strongest currents in the Resistance, has been detained and is being held. Outside the police station, dozens of women wear their groups' shirts and demand her release. Women as young as 13 years old stand tall in the face of military and police.
Nov. 27, 2009 - As a group of 30-40 women stand firm demanding their companeras release from police detention. The state's coercive apparatus sends reinforcements, armed with automatic weaponry, to contain the demonstrators.
Nov. 27, 2009 - Outside the police station: refractions of women in resistance, police in repression, a photographer, and a photograph of a woman disappeared and missing since the coup.
Nov. 27, 2009 - In the central square, the daily demonstrations build - for the 155th consecutive day.
Nov. 27, 2009 - A protestor holds a sign that asks, "what democracy?"
Nov. 27, 2009 - A few feet away, a military officer holds a riot shield that answers the question.
Nov. 27, 2009 - A demonstrator holds a sign that has been held at every demonstration for nearly four months.
Nov. 27, 2009 - Soldiers wait behind the police line, in case the decision to supress the demonstrations is taken again.
Nov. 27, 2009 - Demonstrations go ahead as planned, and hundreds fill the square in front of Congress, where the coup-leaders are safely protected by police and military. The demonstration is smaller than normal, as people are worried about the consequences of actively opposing the elections in light of radio announcements threatening all Hondurans with arrest and incarceration if they demonstrate against the elections.Nov.
27, 2009 - Many still find the courage to openly reject the elections, demanding the reinstatement of constitutional order.
Nov. 27, 2009 - At the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) a soldier watches a delegation of the five largest human rights organizations in the country arrive to deliver a formal demand that the election be cancelled on account of the obvious lack of appropriate conditions (freedom of expression, assembly, opinion, etc) necessary for free and fair elections. They provide details on the violations of human rights since the coup, including 33 people killed in political violence.
Nov. 27, 2009 - Inside the TSE, the human rights groups' scheduled 2:00 meeting is delayed on account of the arrival of elections observers sent by the United States to legitimate the process. As they walk away from the gathered crowd into a private office, they can be overheard making derisive comments about the human rights observers and about Honduras in general. Later, I interviewed one of the observers, J. Edward Fox, who denied knowing anything about human rights violations in Honduras.
Nov. 28, 2009 - Outside Tegucigalpa, the situation is the same.
Nov. 28, 2009 - While driving to Comayagua to meet with people under threat of arrest for working with the Resistance, we pass U.S. military base Palmarola from which the Contra Wars against Nicaragua were launched. The presence of one of the largest U.S. bases in Central America, just a few miles outside of Tegucigalpa, makes their denial of any knowledge of the coup (which involved flying President Zelaya out of the country in a helicopter) patently absurd.
Nov. 28, 2009 - In the afternoon, COFADEH got a call from staff at Red Comal, a campesino organization that does educational work for small producers and helps them market their products. We arrived to find military and police completely surrounding and occupying the remote mountain school.
Nov. 28, 2009 - The eyes of a soldier stationed outside the Red Comal school.
Nov. 28, 2009 - Inside the Red Comal school, police interrogate Julio, the day watchmen, who was beaten by the military when they arrived.
Nov. 28, 2009 - When the operation finally ends, it is clear that there were some 20-30 soldiers involved in the assault on the small campesino school.
Nov. 28, 2009 - Once the military had left, the director of the school showed us the office, where soldiers had kicked in the door, ransacked the closets and paperwork, taken three laptop computers filled with critical information and actually stole 4000 lempiras from the strongbox.
Nov. 28, 2009 - A broken window outside one of the classrooms of the Red Comal campesino school. The police claimed that they were investigating the school on suspicion that they were amassing weapons. The director of the school explained, "we teach people why they are poor - for that, we are a threat."
Nov. 29, 2009 - "Election" day in Honduras. The El Libertador newspaper, published from a secret location after its equipment and staff were harassed, attacked and even assassinated, encourages people to boycott the election.
Nov. 29, 2009 - In the early morning hours of "election" day, the streets are quiet and the tension is palpable.
Nov. 29, 2009 - The streets are quiet, but the military and police are out in force. Their numbers are bolstered by 14,000 private security guards hired by the state (and given full military fatigues) to lockdown the country for the "elections."
Nov. 29, 2009. This is the scene in central Tegucigalpa as Hondurans go to the polls. According to U.S. elections observers, this does not constitute a climate of intimidation.
Nov. 29, 2009 - In a small town in Danli, residents explain that this main street is normally crowded and boisterous on election day. As in every other town we visited, there is no 'fiesta democratica' to be seen.
Nov. 29, 2009 - "Jutiapa is in Mel Territory! No to the vote! Yes to the constitutional assembly!"
Nov. 29, 2009 - In the southern town of Jutiapa, the community has refused to be intimidated by the military and police. Despite kidnappings and detentions, beating and death threats, and a ceaseless campaign of terror, they hang a banner on the main road through town declaring themselves against the coup and the elections. They pose for a photo, cheering beneath their banner, knowing that police are stationed just a few blocks away.
Nov. 29, 2009 - At a community meeting in Jutiapa, people give detailed accounts of the repression they have faced to members of FIAN human rights workers. One man holds up a jar containing a piece of the skull of a local who was shot in the head by police a few months earlier.
Nov. 29, 2009 - Just blocks away from the banner rejecting the elections and the coup, military and police guard a polling station. Ballot boxes have been set up at this local school, which looks more like a military facility, as troops with M-16s surround anyone who enters the school grounds.
Nov. 29, 2009 - The view from the polling station at Jutiapa looks like this.
Nov. 29, 2009 - The polling station has more soldiers than civilians, and those civilians who are around are patently aware of the military presence. Representatives of human rights group FIAN and a reporter from Radio Globo confront the military about their overwhelming show of force in what is supposed to be a free and open process. Things get tense and the FIAN representatives decide that it is best to leave - many of them have been targeted with beatings and death threats already.
Nov. 29, 2009 - "When the media goes silent, the walls speak."
Nov. 30, 2009 - The morning after the 'elections,' the TSE has reported a 60% turnout and a victory for the National Party's coup-supporter Pepe Lobo. The international media picks up the number and reports it far and wide, despite the fact that even by the TSE's own figures (claiming 1.7 million votes out of 8 million people and 4.6 million eligible voters) such a figure is impossible. The figure is later confirmed to have been fabricated. The walls announce 'Pepe Robo' - Pepe the Robber.
Nov. 30, 2009 - It is evident, the morning after the election, that the boycott was widely followed. My first taxi driver of the day proudly shows off his un-inked fingers - demonstrating that he did not vote - and tells me he wishes he could attend the assembly called by the Resistence but cannot because he has to work.
Nov. 30, 2009 - The resistance continues, even as the coup regime and its international allies declare the political crisis to be solved. The Resistance calls an assembly at the STIBYS union hall to speak to the press (no major international media showed up, despite the press conference being widely publicized) and to discuss the next steps for the movement against the coup and for constitutional reform.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Carlos H. Reyes, former independant Presidential candidate, speaks to the press and the crowd at the STIBYS union hall. Reyes was confirmed as a candidate before the coup, and remained a candidate into October in the hopes that the coup regime would recognize its illegitimacy and restore constitutional order. They didn't and, after he himself was hospitalized from a police blow to the head at a peaceful rally, Reyes and dozens of candidates at all levels withdrew in protest.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Hundreds of people fill the union hall to demand that the 'elections' be rejected and to insist that the TSE tell the truth about the record high levels of absenteeism.
Nov. 30, 2009 - In what quickly became a symbol of the movement, people raised their un-inked pinky fingers to demonstrate that they had not voted.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Two prominent members of the Resistance prepare to lead the crowd of hundreds on a caravan through Tegucigalpa to celebrate the successful boycott of the 'elections' and demand the re-instatement of the President that they chose - Manuel Zelaya - and a restoration of the project for constitutional reform.
Nov. 30, 2009 - The day after millions of Hondurans refused to participate in sham elections, hundreds took to the streets in a caravan that snaked through the colonias and barrios of the capital city. The caravan stretched further than the eye could see, horns were honking, people were cheering and flags were flying.
Nov. 30, 2009 - As the Resistance caravan wove its way through the capital city, people streamed out of their homes and shops and parks to cheer on the caravan and to show that they, too, had not voted by raising their un-inked fingers to the sky.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Honduran democracy peeks out from behind a pole as the people parade past in a caravan celebrating the successful boycott of the sham elections.
Nov. 30, 2009 - The Resistance caravan steams towards its destination - the Brazilian embassy in which their President is held. As the people get closer, the military becomes more and more present. They watch the caravan, automatic weapons at the ready, from side streets and from parks, but people refuse to be intimidated.
Nov. 30, 2009 - As the sun sets, the caravan arrives at the Brazilian embassy where the demonstration builds slowly as each car or truck full of people arrive. They are met with a sight they are, by now, used to: a row of police in riot gear with tear gas and water cannons and automatic weapons.
Nov. 30, 2009 - The confrontation at the Brazilian embassy builds as Hondurans demonstrate their commitment to restoration of constitutional order and police hold their line in front of the embassy. The presence of a Burger King right on the square that has been the site of so much struggle in the past four months is a painful and poignant irony.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Demonstrators demand to see President Zelaya, in the shadow of the police.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Though their structural role in the coup is clear, the people who are drawn into police and military often come out of poor backgrounds themselves; presumably even they must sometimes wonder why they are being told to turn their guns on their own.
Nov. 30, 2009 - Demonstrations outside the Brazilian embassy reach a peaceful but powerful crescendo as more and more people arrive to bolster their numbers.
Nov. 30, 2009 - With more people on the scene demanding President Zelaya's release, the police respond by adding to their numbers - by this point, there are police lines on three sides of the demonstration, with the Burger King on the other.
Nov. 30, 2009 - After an emotional interview in which he begs the international community to see what is happening in Honduras, Pedro Joaquin Amador returns to the demonstration to find the guns aimed directly at the crowd and urges people to back away and prepare themselves for tear gas, water cannons or bullets.
Nov. 30, 2009 - On the other side of the police line.
Nov. 30, 2009 - With so many international press people still present, the police decided not to attack the crowd and so the demonstration ended without bloodshed. But it also ended without any change - no restoration of the democratically elected President, no end to the coup regime, no end to police impunity, no justice for the hundreds of people beaten raped or killed by the regime, and no justice for the millions more who have been terrorized by it. The struggle continues.
Dec. 1, 2009 - The final insult: the airport in Tegucigalpa sells t-shirts commemorating this historic moment for Honduran democracy.
The coup continues in Honduras, even as the so-called international community rushes to whitewash it by endorsing elections that, rather than solving the crisis, have deepened it.More people have been killed, raped, tortured and terrorized since the sham elections took place and the fraudelent results were accepted. This photo essay documents moments in the week surrounding the 'elections' and is best viewed by clicking on the first photo and scrolling through as a slide show. If you would like to use one of these photos, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also still time to sign the petition against recognition of the coup regime.