Monday, June 7, 2010

Violation of Inter-American Human Rights Convention

The community radio station, La Voz de Zacate Grande, 97.1 FM, was shut down on June 3 by 300 police and military, reports Reporters Without Borders. This is a community radio station, with a broadcast range of only 25 kilometers whose signal reaches 10 communities.

However, it had the temerity to be critical of the businessman Miguel Facussé.

Yes, the very same Miguel Facussé who is involved in the land dispute in the Bajo Aguan. Faccussé, and the Club de Coyolito claim title to 5,000 of the 8,000 manzanas of land on the Zacate Grande peninsula in the Gulf of Fonseca in southern Honduras, including the land occupied by the campesinos, on which the radio station has its studios, transmitter, and antenna.

The radio station was surrounded, and sealed with "crime scene" tape by over 300 military and police from the Naval base of Amapala and the 11th Infantry Batallion , serving arrest warrants for 5 campesinos on the orders of a judge in Amapala. The warrant justifies shutting down the station for somehow committing financial fraud. Nonetheless, Reporters Without Borders says the only reason for the raid was to silence the radio station, which has sided with the campesinos against Miguel Facussé.

This same kind of overwhelming force was used to silence opposition radio stations Radio Progreso, Radio Globo, Radio Coco, and TV station Cholusat Sur during the coup.

These actions are a violation of the Honduran telecommunications law, as well as, as Reporters Borders points out, a violation of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.

Honduras was, of course, expelled from the OAS in 2009 for violating the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, specifically, for committing a coup d'Etat.


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