Urgent action needed: call for protection for Honduran coup resister Rafael Caceres!
In the wake of U.S. recognition of the Nov. 29 Honduran elections, at least 10 people involved in the resistance against the June 28 military coup have died under mysterious circumstances. Many local Hondurans believe the death squads active in the 1980's have resurfaced and may be responsible for the wave of threats, kidnappings, beatings, and for these 10 deaths.
Amnesty International has sent out an appeal for people to write letters on behalf of Rafael Caceres, who was an opposition candidate for Congress in the last elections. He has received multiple death threats and fears for his life. Amnesty's Urgent Action Appeal follows, complete with background information on this case and contact information for the officials you will write. Please take a few minutes to write in support of Rafael Caceres
URGENT ACTION APPEAL
- From Amnesty International USA
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6 January 2010
UA 02/10 - Fear for safety
Rafael Caceres (m)
An academic who ran for parliament has received death threats, days after another activist was abducted and killed. Rafael Caceres had spoken out against the coup that installed a new government in Honduras in June.
Rafael Caceres is the Deputy Director of the School of Fine Arts (Escuela de Bellas Artes) in the capital, Tegucigalpa. He is an activist and has been outspoken against the coup of 28 June, which ousted President Manuel Zelaya. He had run for a seat in congress for one of the country's several opposition parties, the Partido Unificacion Democratica (Democratic Unification Party).
He has now received a string of mobile phone text messages, all from the same mobile phone number. He received the first on 11 July, which said, "You are on the list, dog." (Estas en la lista, perro) The next, which came on 19 October, at 10pm, said, "You are also on the list of teachers who we will kill." (Vos tambien estas en la lista de los profesores que vamos a quebrar.) On 20 December he received two threats in quick succession, which indicated knowledge of his daily routine. The first said, "We are already close to you" and the second, sent three minutes later, said, "We will be waiting for you in El Sitio this Thursday." (Te esperamos por el sitio el jueves) Rafael Caceres has to pass through the neighbourhood of El Sitio every day to go to and from work. On 22 December he reported the threats and provided the details including the telephone number they had come from, to the police National Department of Criminal Investigation (Direccion Nacional de Investigacion Criminal). On 24 December he received a message saying, "We are waiting for you these days." (Te esperamos estos dias). He received the latest threat on 30 December at 8.20 pm, which read: "we will be waiting for you these days we have to complete our mission." (Te estaremos esperando estos dias tenemos que cumplir la mision).
The democratically elected president of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was deposed on 28 June by a military-backed group of politicians led by the head of Congress, Roberto Micheletti. There has been widespread unrest in the country since then, with the police and army clashing frequently with protestors. According to local sources, at least 10 people have died in unclear circumstances since 28 June. Human rights defenders have come under increasing pressure since the coup. Human rights activist Walter Trochez was killed in a drive-by shooting on 13 December while walking home through the center of Tegucigalpa. He was taken to hospital but later died. He may have been targeted because of his human rights work.
Walter Trochez told Amnesty International on 11 December that he had escaped a kidnapping attempt a week earlier, in which he had undergone several hours of beatings and threats by masked men. They had questioned him about people opposed to the authorities installed by the coup.
For further information see the press statement calling for an investigation into the kidnap and murder of Walter Trochez:
See also the report Honduras: Human Rights Crisis Threatens as Repression Increases:
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
- urging the president to order a thorough and impartial investigation into the threats against Rafael Caceres;
- urging him to act immediately to give all necessary protection to Rafael Caceres, in accordance with his wishes;
De facto president
Boulevard Juan Pablo Segundo
Palacio Jose Cecilio del Valle
Fax: 011 504 239 3298 (may not be reliable, please send appeals by post as well)
Salutation: Dear Mr Micheletti /Estimado Sr. Micheletti
Comite de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
Barrio La Plazuela
Avenida Cervantes, Casa No. 1301
Apartado Postal 1243
Fax: 011 504 220 5280
Mr. Eduardo Enrique Reina
Embassy of Honduras
3007 Tilden St. NW Suite 4M
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 966 9751
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 17 February 2010.
Tip of the Month:
Write as soon as you can. Try to write as close as possible to the date a case is issued.
** POSTAGE RATES **
Within the United States:
$0.28 - Postcards
$0.44 - Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
$0.75 - Postcards
$0.75 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
$0.79 - Postcards
$0.79 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To all other destination countries:
$0.98 - Postcards
$0.98 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights.
This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable). Thank you for your help with this appeal.
Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
END OF URGENT ACTION APPEAL