Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Padre Andres Tamayo under attack
For anyone unaware, Padre Tamayo, parish priest for the community of Salamá in Olancho, is an internationally recognized leader of the fight for environmental and social justice in Honduras, awarded the Goldman Prize in 2005.
Padre Tamayo has been an active leader of resistance to the de facto regime. He organized a bus caravan that tried to reach Tegucigalpa from Olancho on June 29 in order to protest the coup, and was fired on by soldiers in the town of Los Limones to prevent them continuing. He led a contingent in the march on Tegucigalpa in early August.
He has also been quoted as calling for an electoral boycott, peaceful resistance to the ugly attempt to force the Honduran people to vote in the unfree election that they are destined to experience in November if matters do not change.
And for this, he was threatened with loss of citizenship. Because Padre Tamayo was born in El Salvador.
Now, Honduras has relatively open naturalization laws, especially for people from other Central American countries. And by now, Padre Tamayo has spent 22 years of his life in Honduras.
But this regime wields the Constitution like a lethal weapon.
Last month, we reported on the threat to Padre Tamayo's citizenship, including the possible constitutional and legal grounds that the de facto regime might use to prosecute him, which are thin.
And now, the threat has been realized. The reports we have received indicate that lawyers for the resistance intend to fight this action legally. It is unclear what process, if any, was actually followed to revoke his citizenship.
The information provided also says that Padre Tamayo has been removed from his parish. That is not something the State can do; it is an action coordinated by the Church hierarchy in Honduras. The unsavory relationship of the Honduran Cardinal with the coup, a relationship he tries hard to deny, is thus made more blatantly obvious.