US Funded Police Unit Cobras Attack Indigenous Ceremony in Capital of Honduras

fullscreen-capture-10202016-15915-pm(video below)

“COPINH march from the Public Ministry in Tegucigalpa, including lots of tear gas and water tanks.  There are lots of kids at the march and the repression is out of hand. ”

The US funded COBRA police are reported to have arrived to a gathering of indigenous groups outside of the Public Ministry’s office in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

Initial reports are saying that police are using water tanks, tear gas and are beating people.  Human rights observers reported specific concerns for the safety of the children who are present.  Police are indiscriminately using water tanks and throwing tear gas canisters into the crowd.


The following statement was received from an observer assigned to Honduras by the School of the Americas Watch:

“There was no reason for the repression to start — COPINH was finishing up a spiritual ceremony as part of today’s mobilization and the transit police had the traffic diverted and things were fine.  Suddenly the police, cobras, and military police showed up in riot gear and started pushing them back and throwing tear gas really fast.  Water sprayers, etc.  Lots of kids present, and they are affected by the tear gas.    Those present include COPINH, OFRANEH, activists from Tegucigalpa,  journalists and other groups.  The repression started really fast and they apparently were beating people with the batons, throwing lots of tear gas, and being really aggressive. Some people may be detained.”


Another statement from a coordinator with the group Honduras Solidarity Network said, “The repression was brutal and I’ve been in most if not all the repressive marches since the coup and this one was up there with the worst, especially since a COPINH member reported that one police took his gun out and fired a shot at his feet. It all happened so fast and no one expected it and there was no time to get children and elderly out. People were grabbing kids and running with them as they were crying and couldn’t breathe from the gas.  The police also chased protesters for almost 2 km from the Public Prosecutor’s office to the office of Centro de Derecho de la Mujer (Women’s Rights Office) and there was no need to do that.”

Mary Ann Perrone a human rights advocate told The Nation Report that she contacted the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa to report the attack.  Perrone reached Jason Smith, Human Rights Officer at the embassy and responded to the call,

 “[He] said the same things that we have been hearing from U.S. Embassy officials ever since the coup — that they are working on it, trying to “train” and help [police] make changes.  I told him that this response was the same as I would have gotten 3 years ago, 6 years ago — and that we in the United States are horrified by the continuing murders and violations of human rights and that change must come from stopping U.S. security aid to police and military.”

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