From Revista Envio:
The brutal repression of Honduran citizens exercising their right to protest....[the President] ordered the suppression of a protest organized by communities in western Honduras and by the Diocesan Church of Santa Rosa and its bishop, Monsignor Luis Alfonso Santos.
What followed was a violent operation against a peaceful demonstration by a contingent of police officers and soldiers armed with weapons out of all proportion to the situation, including water cannons, tear gas, Billy clubs and even machine guns.
The demonstrators were demanding the abolition of the Mining Law, which gives tremendous leeway to the mining companies, as well as the passage of new legislation that respects national sovereignty and protects the environment and the life of peasant communities. The mining issue is currently a centerpiece of the struggles of Hondurans exercising their power and demanding their rights.
The President of the Republic was directly responsible for the order to repress the protest. By land and air the military laid into the inhabitants, journalists from community and Catholic radio stations, civilians and members of religious orders. Over 60 people were arrested, including 3 priests, and some 20 people were injured. The government followed this up by organizing a news blockade to prevent the rest of the country from hearing the details of what happened.
Marco Aurelio Lorenzo, the parish priest of Macuelizo in Santa Bárbara, was mercilessly beaten even though video footage showed him on his knees, with his hands raised to the sky. The presidential order was categorical: there was to be no suggestion that the government would allow highways to be blocked.
Date this occured: July 17, 2007
President: Manuel Zelaya
This is quite an interesting article, written in 2007, for those of you who aren't familiar with some of Zelaya's history. My favorite part:
"Zelaya....has no ideology; “what he has in his head is an ideological thicket.” In other words, a tangle of vegetation in which you don’t know where one branch starts and another one ends, or where either is heading."
The article also includes quite a bit of the history of Patricia Rodas, a mystery woman to a lot of North Americans.
Also interesting is that the bishop of Santa Rosa de Copán, Monsignor Luis Alfonso Santos, is now pro-Zelaya. Padre Tamayo, who is now living in the Brazilian Embassy with Zelaya, was a frequent protester of the mining companies and other environmental issues.
Check out "The President in His Thicket" by Ismael Moreno. It's worth the time to read.