Friday, September 11, 2009
Betty Vasquez of Movement of Women in Resistance of Santa Bárbara: "We are in resistance against the coup"
Betty Vasquez is a member of Women in Resistance of Santa Bárbara, Honduras. She is also part of ECOS.SB - Space of Concentration of Social Organizations of Santa Bárbara. She spoke today with HondurasResists to inform us about the current situation in Honduras and the state of the resistance.
HondurasResists: How is the resistance doing?
Betty Vasquez: Here in the west we are now at 75 days of resistance. We march in all of the cities of the country. We demand the return of the constitutional order with the arrival of Manuel Zelaya. At 75 days nobody is surrendering. Even more the political campaigns are very low since 80% of the citizens are in resistance and asking for a national constitutional assembly and the big political parties are weakening.
The economic crisis is strong, a lot of people can’t go anymore to the resistance because they lack resources to move. From here we have done awareness campaigns but the electricity costs are high and they have cut off many spaces to finance the campaigns, give food at the end of a march. It’s hard there is no tourism and the artisans aren’t selling their products, there are no exports because of the blockade and employment is down.
HR: But nonetheless the mobilizations continue throughout the country?
BV: The resistance hasn’t had recesses in 75 days now. It hasn’t stopped. Some days like weekends or others we do assemblies, forums, debates, conferences and the resistance actions are in the whole country not just in Tegucigalpa the capital nor San Pedro Sula the industrial city it is in all of the towns some of which have 10,000 inhabitants or less.
HR: And how has the repression been?
BV: It gets stronger every day. The police and the army have united to beat us, violate women and even kill protesters. In each protest there are is ton of military repressing and now they infiltrate sports activities, in the stadiums, etc. Those they treat the worst are the peasants and the young students. They have gone into the high schools and universities to hit teachers and students and those from human rights from the State are in favor of the coup and the military so that raises the level of repression of the resistance.
HR: What is the current focus of the resistance?
BV: First to re-establish the constitutional order. Second to not go to elections. And third to convoke a new constitutional assembly. We believe that the State powers have been so weakened that only through a constitutional assembly could a new democratic process be initiated.
HR: And what is the position of the resistance with respect to the elections?
BV: The resistance says no to elections in November even if Zelaya arrives because there aren’t political conditions nor is there transparency to be able to have elections in November. There aren’t guarantees that make us confide in the process and with the elections so close it will not be possible from an independent candidacy to win the elections above all because of the politicization of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and because of the economic crisis of the opposition. In addition the media terrorize people with their communications and they ideologically confuse people with their fear campaigns.
HR: Do you want to give a few words of conclusions about the situation there to those who read Honduras Resists?
BV: At over 75 days nobody here is surrendering. The people resist. Are country is passing not just through a political crisis but an economic one and as a people we are on our feet to continue struggling for a homeland with equity and justice. Francisco Morazán, our national hero, inspires us to continue struggling and to give live to the country in peace and democracy. As women we will continue struggling and will pass on to our children a better country.
We won’t give up until the sight of victory since if we give one step backwards this lesson of coup d’etats would be replicated in countries on socialist paths like El Salvador and others of Latin America.