Honduras | SOCIETY | HR

Twelve long years of solidarity

On June 28, 2009, with the decisive support of the armed forces and under the feigned outrage of the United States, the de facto powers of Honduras staged a coup d’état that toppled the country’s democratic institutions and ushered in twelve years of pillaging, terror, and relentless violation of rights.

Giorgio Trucchi | Rel UITA

Photo: Gerardo Iglesias

Despite so much terror, the Honduran people refused to be broken, raising the banner of resistance and making a daily practice out of struggling. Rel UITA never doubted, not even for a second, what side it was on, and it has stood firmly by those who demanded an end to the dictatorship.

“Joining forces with the IUF and, in particular, with Gerardo [Iglesias] and the Latin American Regional Office has been very important for us. Since the coup, the IUF has been a permanent presence in the streets of our country, alongside its member organizations and the people in general.

It has systematically denounced all the human rights violations committed throughout these past twelve years and supported the arduous struggles we have been waging in our country in defense of life, decent work, and human rights.

We want to express our admiration for the IUF, and for its Regional Office, for their solidarity with the people of Honduras and its workers. The presidential inaugural ceremony this January 27 marks the beginning of a new era that fills us with hope. Having Gerardo and the IUF here with us means a lot.”

Tomás Membreño, president of the Union of Agricultural and Related Industry Workers (STAS)

“The coup launched one of the harshest crises our country has experienced in recent history. We joined together as one, without distinctions of any kind, and took to the streets demanding the reinstatement of the constitutional order.

Throughout this entire process, the IUF played a major role, led by its regional secretary Gerardo Iglesias, who traveled to country and stayed with us for months. They have stood by the Honduran people in a struggle that has been extremely difficult, but which we never perceived as impossible, and denounced to the world the trampling of rights, the disrespect for life, and the criminalization of social struggles.

Now that we look ahead with hope to a different Honduras, with opportunities and legal security, all that remains to be said is: Thank you, Rel UITA! Thank you for your unconditional support to this long-suffering but proud people, who never yielded and continued resisting.

The invitation to the inauguration of president-elect Xiomara Castro is more than well-deserved, for it has been a bulwark in these twelve years of struggle against the coup and the narco-dictatorship.”

Marta Anariba, president of the central steering committee of the Union of National Agricultural Institute Workers (Sitraina)

“The best recognition for the work of the IUF, the Latin American Regional Office, and its regional secretary is that they are held dear by the men and women who are members of Stibys, and by all those other sectors of Honduran society that have witnessed their unconditional solidarity with Honduras throughout all these years.

This recognition is highlighted by the invitation to attend the inaugural ceremony of president-elect Xiomara Castro extended to Gerardo [Iglesias] by the Transfer of Power Committee.

As a worker, unionist, and citizen, I have always felt represented by the IUF in all its acts of solidarity and support for our people in the face of dictatorial and transnational governments that violate labor and trade union rights.

The IUF’s active involvement since the 2009 coup, its constant presence beside our people, its solidarity and activist support, and its categorical stance against neoliberal policies have turned it into the international voice of the Honduran people.

Honor where honor is due. Our heartfelt salute.”

Julio Flores, former general secretary of the Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (Stibys)

“I would like to express my admiration and gratitude for the efforts made by Rel UITA, not only in Honduras, but across Latin America, in defense of rights, demanding justice for the repressed, for political prisoners, for indigenous peoples, and for the women who suffer the violence of this patriarchal system.

While Rommel was suffering in jail, we never felt alone and were always very much aware of the international support and solidarity of Rel UITA. Justice for the martyrs, freedom for political prisoners! Thank you, IUF!

Mari Cruz Portillo, mother of former political prisoner Rommel Herrera Portillo