Carlos Reyes, the general secretary of the Union of Beverage
and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS), an IUF affiliate, was
able to contact SIREL by phone from his place in hiding
“somewhere in Honduras.” Far from being intimidated by
police forces, Reyes is participating fully in the
resistance movement against the dictatorship. The following
is the short conversation we had with him.
-What is your assessment of the situation that the country
-The facto government is telling the world that it is not a
coup in the sense of the military seizing power and taking
over the institutions. The truth is that it is a coup d’état
and it was orchestrated by the ultraconservative oligarchy,
which for the past year has being assailing the government:
first the Supreme Court, through its leading members, then
the Prosecutor’s Office, later the High Electoral Court, and
the Army itself, and now finally the Executive Branch. The
argument put forward to justify the coup contains an
inherent contradiction, because if they claim that they have
deposed President José Manuel Zelaya because he broke
the law, then how can they be trying to right an alleged
political crime with an even more serious violation of the
-Are protesters resisting actively?
-There are mobilizations throughout the country, not just in
the capital. Yesterday five of our fellow workers were
arrested and a member of the Telecommunications Union was
killed by an army truck as soldiers erupted into the grounds
of the telecommunications company. There are also
numerous people injured, but we don’t know exactly how many
because the Army is controlling all the hospitals.
-Tell us what happened at the protest when the police tried
to take you in.
-We were at the demonstration yesterday when clashes began
with the police forces. They finally ordered the antiriot
groups to come after us. They began savagely beating people.
One of these men hit my leg and I fell to the ground, and
just as another man was about to jump me, one of his
officers recognized me and ordered them to let me go.
That was how I got away, but others weren’t so lucky. We
know that many officers are disobeying the orders of their
commanders. Yesterday, in San Pedro Sula, commanders
instructed the police to take control of the area where our
fellow workers were protesting, but the troops refused to
obey their orders.
-How do you plan to continue this struggle?
-We are in a state of permanent mobilization to defend the
rights of the Honduran people, the rights of the workers,
because this government they are trying to impose, headed
by Roberto Micheletti, will advance the neoliberal agenda,
privatizing the public services that have not been sold yet,
like water and electric power services. Labor rights will be
completely trampled. Which is why we are calling on
all brothers and sisters throughout Latin America to support
our resistance movement.
We are also very grateful to the IUF, who has an
excellent representative here, Giorgio Trucchi. He’s
been tireless in his efforts to cover and report on the
situation here, and we’ve introduced him to all our fellow
protesters, so the IUF is present in our struggle.