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Honduran Human Rights Platform Statement on Murder of Teacher

The Human Rights Platform strongly denounces the murder of teacher Jose Manuel Flores carried out by alleged hit men on the afternoon of March 23 at his workplace, the Institute San Jose Pedregal, Comayaguela, Tegucigalpa.

The violent death of professor Flores is interpreted as a clear message to teachers and all of the organizations opposed to the coup that form part of the National Popular Resistance Front.

For decades, teachers unions have been persecuted by intolerant and repressive governments. Since the oligarchy mounted the coup, teachers unions have taken to the streets as part of the National Popular Resistance Front to demand the restoration of Constitutional order.

Upon analysis, it becomes clear that the brutal repression executed by police, military and paramilitary forces who are complicit in violating democratic order, persists in a continuation of the coup d’état under the actual regime through the implementation of a strategy of terror and extermination intended to immobilize the population.

The Human Rights Platform, composed of six organizations committed to the defense of life, has documented thousands of cases that demonstrate the implementation of a violent strategy intended to demobilize and eliminate leaders opposed to the coup and the defacto government which the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) has categorized as “political persecution.”

In this sense, the murder of professor Jose Manual Flores has been classified as a political crime and has nothing to do with everyday delinquency as some media outlets controlled by the Honduran oligarchy have tried to portray, with the intent of insuring that these violent acts enjoy impunity.

In light of this new crime, the Human Rights Platform demands that the Attorney General’s Office on Human Rights investigate and bring to trial the intellectual and material authors of this murder and other crimes committed in Honduras since June 28, 2009.

To the International Community and international human rights organizations, we urge you to exert pressure on the regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa to move from words to action; to guarantee that human rights in Honduras are protected, upheld and to cease the systematic violations to which the population is subjected.

Tegucigalpa - Thursday, March 25, 2010