National Popular Resistance Front

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The National Popular Resistance Front or National People's Resistance Front (Spanish: Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP),[1] frequently referred to as the National Resistance Front,[2] is a wide coalition of Honduran grassroots organisations and political parties and movements that aims to restore elected President Manuel Zelaya and hold a constituent assembly to draw up a new constitution. The Front originated as a popular social movement which used massive civil disobedience[3][4] to support the restoration of Zelaya in replacement of the de facto President Roberto Micheletti, whose government was perceived as a dictatorship existing since the 28 June 2009 2009 Honduran coup d'état.[5][6] The National Resistance Front pointed to Article 3 of the 1982 Constitution as a legal basis for opposing the de facto government,[7] and argued that it constituted the organised expression of Hondurans' right, under that article, to resist a government imposed by armed force.[7]

After the Honduran general election, 2009 saw Porfirio Lobo Sosa elected President, the FNRP continued to press for a constituent assembly, and to oppose the government's human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch reported in July 2010 that under Lobo Sosa "at least eight journalists and ten members of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP)" had been killed.[1] By August 2010 the FNRP had collected half of its target of 1.2m signatures in support of a constituent assembly.[8]

Aims and composition[edit]

The Front was originally known by a number of variants of its name - National Resistance Front against the Coup d'État in Honduras (Frente Nacional contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras,[7][9] Frente Nacional de Resistencia Contra el Golpe de Estado[10] - FNGE) or simply the National Resistance Front[2] (Frente Nacional de la Resistencia[11]). The Front is a wide coalition of workers' organisations, campesinos' organisations and other grassroots organisations, together with centrist/left-wing political parties and movements that have stated their opposition to the 2009 Honduran coup d'état.[5][6] The FNRP supports a referendum process that should lead to a national constituent assembly.[9]

Policies and actions[edit]

Frequent public statements regarding the political and human rights situation since the coup d'état occurred are made by the National Resistance Front and redistributed by many of the participating or supporting groups, e.g. the women's rights group Centro de Derechos de Mujeres de Tegucigalpa.[12]

In response to the San Jose mediation meeting in Costa Rica, the National Resistance Front stated its opposition to immunity for those who had carried out the coup d'état. It also stated that it " supports the continuation of referendum processes, which will eventually lead to the convocation of the National Constituent Assembly and the prior definition of the criteria and requirements for the women and men who will be its members."[9][12]

In early August 2009, the National Resistance Front organised a convergent national march, composed of many individual marches from different parts of Honduras, with the intent to converge in marches in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa on 11 August.[3] As of 9 August, about five thousand marchers who had left the departments Colón and Atlántida on 4 August arrived in El Progreso, Yoro, the town from which de facto President Roberto Micheletti originates, and about eight thousand marchers from the departments Ocotepeque, Lempira, Copán and Santa Bárbara were expected to join with these marchers in San Pedro Sula on 11 August. Thousands of other marchers were expected for the Tegucigalpa convergence. The marchers declared their aims to be the restoration of elected President Manuel Zelaya and the establishment of a constituent assembly.[4]

Also in August 2009, TeleSUR attributed the "paralysis" of major sectors of the Honduran economy, including health, education, and electricity services and the closing of the four main Honduran airports, to the National Resistance Front.[13]

Attempt by the FNRP to purchase weapons[edit]

The FNRP has always represented itself as a peaceful, nonviolent resistance movement, but a diplomatic cable released in June 2011 revealed that members of the Front had attempted to purchase arms from the Nicaraguan government in September 2009, coinciding with Zelaya's attempt to return to Honduras.[14] It has been speculated that the FNRP sought to resort to armed struggle to oust the interim government of Micheletti. This is a common claim by the pro-coup Honduran right wing for which there is no reliable evidence and no weapons have been found or persons charged with trying to purchase them.

Attacks against the group[edit]

Two of the leaders of the National Resistance Front, Juan Barahona and Rafael Alegría, were briefly detained and later released by police during a demonstration against the coup d'état on 31 July 2009.[15]

Over 30 members of the National Resistance Front have been allegedly killed since Zelaya was ousted on June 28, 2009. The first alleged death occurred on July 5, 2009 at the Toncontin Airport when 19-year-old Isis Obed Murillo was shot and killed by the military. Over 4,000 have been allegedly detained. Some have allegedly disappeared and not been found. One teacher disappeared after a union meeting with witnesses saying he was captured by the police. He later appeared dead in a field with cuts all over his body. Several alleged killings took place in the middle of the night, including that of union leader and Democratic Unification Party member Roger Bados. A number of people have allegedly suffered injuries from police and military beatings and have been poisoned by tear-gassing. Some organizations around the world have warned that the human rights situation in Honduras continues to rapidly deteriorate.[16]

Under the Presidency of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, human rights in Honduras have continued to suffer. According to Human Rights Watch in July 2010, "at least eight journalists and ten members of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) ... have been killed since President Lobo assumed power on January 27, 2010."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Human Rights Watch, 29 July 2010, Honduras: Ongoing Attacks Foster Climate of Intimidation
  2. ^ a b Tucker, Calvin (2009-10-04). "Honduran resistance defies demo ban". Morning Star (UK). Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Marcha nacional contra golpe de Estado" (in Spanish). La República (Uruguay). 2009-08-07. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ a b Reyes R., German H. (2009-08-09). "Avanza la marcha en rechazo al golpe de Estado en Honduras". Honduras Laboral. Archived from the original on 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Llamamiento del Frente Nacional contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras a la Clase Obrera Mundial". Centro de Estudios y Apoyo Laboral (CEAL) - Derechos Laborales en Centroamerica. 2009-08-03. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras" (in Spanish). Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo. 2009-07-12. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  7. ^ a b c "Proclama en el día de la Independencia Centroamericana - Al pueblo hondureño y a todos los pueblos del mundo". National Resistance Front against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras. 2009-09-15. Archived from the original on 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  8. ^ CounterPunch, 16 August 2010, US Embraces Honduran Thugocracy
  9. ^ a b c Frente Nacional contra el Golpe de Estado en Honduras (2009-07-10). "Posicionamiento frente al encuentro de San José, Costa Rica.". Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Communicado No. 26". National Resistance Front against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras. 2009-09-28. Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  11. ^ "Resistencia hondureña realiza nuevas protestas frente a la Embajada de EEUU". Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias. 2009-10-13. Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  12. ^ a b "Never Again: Coups Against Democracy". Association for Women's Rights in Development. 2009-07-10. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  13. ^ "Resistencia contra el golpe de Estado mantiene paralizada a Honduras". TeleSUR. 2009-08-08. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  14. ^ Latin America News Dispatch = (2011-06-27). "U.S. Cable Reveals Honduran Resistance Sought Weapons in Nicaragua After 2009 Coup.". Latin America News Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  15. ^ Santibáñez, Samuel (2009-08-02). "Honduras: La disyuntiva de la revolución no es democracia o dictadura, sino capitalismo o socialismo". Militante. Archived from the original on 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  16. ^ For the most recent and comprehensive study of the human rights situation in Honduras see Segundo Informe sobre Derechos Humanos en Honduras by Comité de Familiares de los Detenidos Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH).

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