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Resistance launches popular consultation to convene a Constituent Assembly
The campaign’s goal is to collect over a million signatures

 Thousands of Hondurans mobilized across the country to launch a signature campaign, which will run until June 28, the first anniversary of the coup d’état. The goal of the campaign is to show the current government and the de facto powers that perpetrated the coup that the people of Honduras demand a refounding of the nation through a new constitution. After the mobilization, the kidnapping of a known Resistance activist was reported.

 Juan Barahona

 Rasel Tomé

 Oscar Flores

Ten months have passed since the Honduran people saw their hopes of building their own future shattered.


On the morning of Jun. 28, 2009, Hondurans rose early to go to the polls and vote in the country’s Popular Referendum. They were to decide if in the November elections a fourth ballot box would be included to ask Hondurans whether the country should convene a national Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution.


Before the polls opened, the de facto powers that control the country’s politics and economy, in connivance with the State’s repressive forces and their international allies, seized Honduras’ democratically-elected President by force, ousting him from power and banishing him from the country.


What they didn’t count on was the reaction of the population and the effects the coup would have on popular organizations and people in general. It produced a “boomerang effect” that consolidated a resistance struggle that is still going strong 298 days later.


Now, the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) is calling on the Honduran people again to demand a refounding of the country through a popular and democratic Constituent Assembly.


To take on this new challenge, the FNRP organized a new mobilization that involved tens of thousands of Hondurans around the country.


Today, April 20, we are launching the campaign for a Popular Referendum, in which we will collect signatures to establish a National Constituent Assembly,” Juan Barahona, a member of  the FNRP national coordinating committee, told Sirel.


“We are also asking for father Andrés Tamayo and former president Manuel Zelaya to be allowed to return to the country without conditions.”


Barahona explained that the signature gathering campaign will conclude on Jun. 28, exactly one year after the coup d’état, and that the FNRP’s goal is to collect a minimum of one million signatures.


“The Constituent Assembly cannot be put off any more; the Honduran people are demanding it. The FNRP’s departmental, municipal and local coordinating committees will be in charge of campaign efforts throughout the country, in coordination with the national structure,” Barahona continued.


During the large mobilization held in Tegucigalpa, thousands of people signed the Sovereign Declaration for a Constituent Assembly, and for over three hours they occupied the southbound highway, blocking national and international traffic.


“What we’re beginning today is a process that will allow us to refound our nation,” Rasel Tomé, leader of the resistance liberals, told Sirel.


“They staged the coup to halt a process of change that was underway. But they were mistaken in thinking they could stop it. The Honduran people have stood firm in their peaceful resistance and have come together to form the FNRP, which is perhaps the most important social and political platform ever created in our country,” Tomé said.


After the rally and before the special police corps arrived, the protesters decided to march on to the national airport, where they concluded their mobilization.


“Days ago, former president Rafael Callejas said we would never be able to establish a Constituent Assembly, because we didn’t have the support of the population.”


“Well, we’ll show them,” Juan Barahona said as the mobilization ended, “that the majority of Hondurans are with us, fighting for this goal.”


“We’re going to show these oligarchs that all they did on Jun. 28, 2009 was postpone for some months the establishment of the Constituent Assembly.”


“We will not give up our struggle, and we’re going to go on organizing, training and mobilizing our resistance front,” Barahona concluded.


Before finishing this article, SIREL learned that Oscar Flores, a member of the Resistance, had disappeared immediately after the mobilization.


According to the information obtained by Sirel, and as of yet unconfirmed, the last anybody heard from Flores was a call from his cell phone reporting that he had been kidnapped by the police. The call was cut off abruptly and nobody was able to reach him again after that.


Human rights organizations immediately began a search, going to every police station, but were unable to obtain any information on his whereabouts.


Oscar Flores has participated in every mobilization organized by the FNRP, carrying a sign in which he marked the number of days of the resistance. Just days before the November 2009 elections, military officers had attempted to kidnap him, but he was able to get away.

From Tegucigalpa, Giorgio Trucchi


April 21, 2010








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