Last week, campesino leader Margarita Murillo was murdered by three heavily armed men while she was working her land in Villanueva, in the northern region of the country. Her assassination is one of the latest in a long string of murders against members of the Honduran Resistance Front. Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya is one of the principal leaders of the Resistance. He confirms that since the 2009 coup d’etat, which removed him from office, the political repression and persecution against members of the resistance has only increased.
"Since the coup d'état there has been murders, massacres and barbarous acts. We have made complaints to every international organization and nobody does nothing to stop this brutal and criminal subjugation of which the people of Honduras are victims," explained Zelaya.
About Murillo's murder, he expressed that "the death of Margarita Murillo, a campesino and workers' leader and a coordinator of the Resistance and the Libre Party is a crime that we emphatically condemn, because it touches the most intimate fiber of all of the Honduran people. With her murder, more than 300 resistance members have been assassinated. In five years, 36 journalists have been killed, as have 80 lawyers, and more than 73 campesino leaders. And more than 1,500 complaints of human rights violations that still have yet to been investigated".
"International complaints to human rights organizations don't serve for nothing," Former President Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Unfortunately, the impunity for those who have committed these crimes has been systematic. None of those accused have been taken to trial, and Porfirio Lobo's government gave military and police officers a general amnesty two years ago. The crimes have been denounced by countless national and international organizations, but little has been done to stop the murders and the repression.
"The crimes that have been denounced at the international level, in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in international organizations are completely worthless, because they [the criminals] continue to murder human rights defenders like Margarita Murillo," commented Zelaya.
Despite the impunity and the repression, members of the Resistance Front continue to organize. But, particularly after the recent murder of Margarita Murillo, they know that there is still a long way to overcome the consequences of the 2009 coup.
"I came back from exile even though this country is controlled by huge anti-democratic elites that took me out with weapons, and now as a deputy in the National Congress they recently attacked us with tear gas bombs inside the building of the Congress, this is a barbarity what we live in Honduras," Zelaya concluded.