Rafael Alegria has been released

Telesur, 25 July 2009


The Via Campesina’s leader in Honduras, Rafael Alegria, was freed last Saturday night in the Honduran town of Danli (south). He was hold detained for over 6 hours due to a supposed break of the curfew imposed by the de facto government who promoted the cup d’etat in the Centro-American country.

In an exclusive interview with the special correspondent of TeleSUR in Honduras, Madeleine Garcia, Alegria stated that he was moved from Posta, in the El Paraiso department (border with Nicaragua), to Danli, where he was arrested.

“They lock me in a cell with 45 other comrades detained (since earlier than myself) for the same reason. We had violated the curfew. Regardless, I told them that it was illegal (the measure taken) and that we could not accept it”, said the leader who has stand on the struggle for longer than 28 days on a row for the return of the democracy and the legitimated President, Manuel Zelaya.

About the other 50 people “they already were imprisoned since the morning”. There were children and women amongst them.

Alegría specified that, while he was detained, several journalists from different international media arrived but they did also suffer different forms of repression from the police.

“We now by fact that while they were trying to get an interview from a 5metres distance, when the comrades (detainees) shouted ‘freedom’, they were pushed away and they messed up with their equipment. The Venezuelan media, which they were closely covering everything happening there, were also hassled, Alegria denounced.

“The release of the demonstrators happened thanks to the assistance of a human rights worker who intervened and freed us” the leader of Via Campesina confirmed.

In this sense, there has definitively been a violation of our human rights (…) they arrested us without a judicial warrant and we were imprisoned.

Linked to this statement, Rafael Alegria insisted about the illegality of the curfew imposed by the cup government. Right after, the leader said he would keep contact with his comrades who are with President Zelaya in the border area of Las Manos “to asses the situation and check over the different possibilities”.

“We will stay on the struggle” affirmed Alegria, who said that “the co-ordination raised the fact that its crucial to keep up the resistance, both today and tomorrow (Sunday)”.

Furthermore, he denounced the presence of hundreds of armed military forces at the border with Nicaragua. “To reach the village where he was detained (Posta), we crossed five roadblocks. It was not easy to get there. The road was jammed because of the high military presence around the Nicaragua and Honduras border”.

Later on, Madeleine Garcia interviewed Inspector Molina, from Danli’s police department, who repeated that “we are arresting people that breaks the rule (curfew). We are not out breaking peoples rights, this is a decree and it’s the law which has to be obeyed” said.

Regardless the wounded, or even the confirmed death of a citizen arrested in El Paraiso, the Inspector said that “we care for the security of all the Hondurans and we seek their cooperation with us”. “A curfew has been established. We have to understand it and enforce its compliance. We do not want to violate nobodies’ rights, but it is every Honduran duty to comply” concluded.

(activist translation by Viatransla)