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In the latest attack on the civil resistance movement in Honduras, a 36-year-old member of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) was shot dead at her home by unidentified gunmen last week. Claudia was prominent in the San Pedro Sula municipal workers union, and daughter of Pedro Brizuela, a Communist party member, union organizer, political strategist, radio host and journalist who has been one of the most visible faces of the FNRP in the north of the country. Since the coup last June (See SchNEWS 682).

Claudia was not the first activist to be murdered since the new president Porfirio Lopez took power on January 27, promising unity and stability. On February 15, unionist and FNRP activist Júnez Benítez was shot dead by assassins on a motorbike. Earlier in the month FRNP activist and union leader Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda was abducted killed.

Despite the brutal suppression of the resistance movement, (See SchNEWS 708), elements in the trade union movement and the FNRP have continued deposed president Zelaya’s struggle for a new constitution. Edgar Martínez and his family, all active members of the FNRP, were kidnapped and tortured for two days last month. Two cameramen, Manuel de Jesús Murillo and Ricardo Antonio Rodríguez, who covered opposition protests, were also recently abducted and tortured.

From Lobo’s inauguration to February 23, the Committee of Relatives of the Disapeared in Honduras recorded 53 illegal detentions, 2 sexual assaults, 2 murders, 8 cases of torture, 2 kidnappings, 14 raids and 23 neighbourhoods profiled by security forces as “Resisters”, which were searched after hours. They also recorded that 150 people have left the country as political refugees.

The day after Claudia’s murder, 10,000 people marched on the presidential palace demanding constitutional reform, teacher back pay and demanding an end to the attacks on activists. The FNRP issued a statement saying, “We will not rest until the successful reform of the state through the installation of a National Constitutional Assembly”.


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