At the end of April, I passed through Tegucigalpa, Honduras and spoke there with Kely Estefanie Nuñez and Erlin Guitierrez. Both are activists of the “Socialist Student Front” (FES), a group that emerged after the military coup in 2009 in the second public university, the National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan (UPNFM). The FES has been one of the most active groups at the university since then.
I interviewed Kely and several of the other FES activists last year on their activities (in Spanish):
Now the two activists have been excluded from the university. The management accuses the two having started and led student protests. Specifically, they are accused of violating Article 114 of the Academic Rules of the UPNFM in the following points:
Intentional disobedience manifested towards UPNFM authorities on issues with institutional interest, with a tendency of insubordination,
Organizing events involving the name of the UPNFM or association of students for personal gain,
Suspend work in order to perform tasks or activities without prior approval of the rectory or leadership of the center
Encourage students to revolt against the authorities or against established rules that are to insure the efficient operation of the UPNFM,
perform acts that damage the public image of the institution,
publicly denigrate the institution internally or externally.
In other words, there is nothing of substance in the accusations – any young person going will break such ‘rules’ any day if the institution decides to interpret it that way.
And this is not the first time they are accused of this “crime”. The last time (last year), Kely was ordered to seek “psychological therapy” to get rid of their rebellious tendencies. Although both Kely and Erlin were quite active, on this particular day (the 7th of March, when there was a peaceful march against increments in gas prices which ended in an attack by the police), the two told me they were not even among the main organizers. Erlin was at home, and Kely was in class (organic chemistry).
Ever since I left Honduras to tour Europe with my footage of the protesters in August 2009, I have felt quite a weird connection to that country — even though I had only been there a few days, I felt like I was somehow responsible for spreading the knowledge about what was happening there. At the same time, I was quite afraid of returning to Honduras. When this year de-throned present José Manuel Zelaya Rosales was allowed to return, I thought it should be safe enough now. I created a series of mini videos, each representing an interview with a Honduran activist about how they see things now. Unfortunately the interviews will only be available in Spanish.
Finally the DVD of the Documentary on Honduras “The Young Honduran Revolution” is available to be bought online for only USD10.99 (+shipping). The money recovered thereby will go towards recovering some of the costs I’ve run into traveling around and showing it around in the United States and Mexico.
Th DVD can be shipped to most destinations world wide, with the exception of Central America (how ironic).
Hey, I am currently in Berlin on a minor holiday away from Central America, and then this stuff happens! I phoned the Honduran embassy here, but they were not quite sure which side they were on yet, and the Nicaraguan embassy asked me if I could try to help them get their statements out to the big media.
I do not particularly care about the legal situation much more than many other aspects of this, but the reporting on this has been equal also in many other European countries, and so I thought I would translate and repost this Norwegian response to the allegations that are made: