Honduran Soldiers advancing on Teachers in Tegucigalpa Honduran teachers union headquarters are under armed seige by the illegal government of Porfirio Lobo I am pasting below dramatic dispatches from the front line in Tegucicalpa where at least 50 teachers ahave been arrested, the offices of all the teacher organisations are under armed attack and their contents destroyed. Meanwhile students in one of the buildings have been physically attacked also. The teachers have been trying to defend their contractual rights and to prevent the privatisation of the education system .(See previous posts) First a report of the situation from Steve Stewart from the IDEA network, this is followed by eyewitness accounts from teachers under siege. Messages of solidarity could be sent to the email addresses at the top of the dispatches: In the past few months, the de facto Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and his corrupt education minister Jose Ventura have launched an escalating offensive against public education and the teachers´movement in Honduras. In the past week the conflict has reached frightening proportions, with day after day of unbridled violence by the army and riot police against  protesting teachers, parents and students. Violence that on Friday led to  the murder by security forces of 59 year old teacher and human rights  activist Ilse Ivania Velásquez.  This week the battle for Tegucigalpa continues: Yesterday military and  police forces were defeated in their efforts to seize the National  Autonomous University of Honduras as hundreds of students armed with rocks  and backpacks fought a pitched battle with the security forces and pushed  them off the campus.  Today, after yet another repression of a protest by thousands of teachers  parents and students against the abolition of teachers´collective contract,  the seizure of their pension funds and the elimination of state funding for  education, security forces have laid siege to the headquarters of the  teachers´ organizations. CoDev´s partners at the Honduran teachers´college  COLPROSUMAH are currently fighting a valiant floor by floor battle to  prevent attacking security forces from capturing their executive committee.  Meanwhile, Canada pushes forward in its attempt to ratify a free trade  agreement with what is now the most repressive regime in the Americas –  Honduras.  Below are dispatches from the skirmishes taking place today in Tegucigalpa  sent to us by Martha Alicia Rodriguez Moncada, an executive committee  member of the high school teachers organization COPEMH who is currently  trapped in the COPEMH headquarters. From: admmmf@yahoo.es > Subject: Re: HONDURAS 11 a.m Thursday 24 ... at this moment we are > mobilizing with the people!!! > ...They´re killing us!!!!!!!!!!!!! > > Everything was going well, but they began to repress us, there are > compañeros who are injured, asfixiated, arrest, it´s a full-scale battle!!! > > They have fired thousands of gas bombs (made in the USA), and they have > now arrived at the COLPROSUMAH building and are firing gas at it. WE MAKE > AN URGENT APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, a former > president of COPEMH, Andres Adalid Romero was smashed over the head by the > represors and the compañeros have just taken him to the hospital. > > The lawyers of the FOMH (Federation of Honduran Teachers Organizations – > there are 6) are going to the police stations to present writs of  habeas > corpus, as the police have captured many men, women and youth. > > Now there is a confrontation around the COPEMH office, they have us > surrounded, we won´t last much longer, but they oppress us so much that > each day more are joining the struggle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These repressive > forces hate us and now they´re shooting to kill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These > tanks are horrible, I can feel the death!!!!!!!!!! > > The whole sector is contaminated with the white smoke of death, and the > pepper spray they use to mark those who fall so they can  later identify us > as participants in the protest!!!!!!!!!!!! > > I will continue to inform you of what is happening brothers and sisters, > thank you for your solidarity. > > Martha Alicia Rodriguez Moncada. > Lic. en Letras. > > > > From: admmmf@yahoo.es > Subject: 1 P.M. Thursday, March 24. TEGUCIGALPA - > REPRESIÓN BRUTAL CONTRA EL MAGISTERIO HONDUREÑO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! > > We are living the worst repression in the history of our > teachers´movement. It is like a hunt for humans!!!!! > > It is barbarism against those of us who dare to think. > > AN APPEAL TO THE WORLD, AN APPEAL TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS > ORGANIZATIONS – our struggle is peaceful, we are only defending PUBLIC > EDUCATION and INPREMA (the teachers pension and social security institute), > WE ARE DEFENDING WHAT BELONGS TO US!!!!!!!!!!!! > > There are no indications of dialogue, they only lie to the world. They > went to Geneva to present a report about how much they respect human > rights, something that we, the people, do not see here. > > They´ve got the offices of COPEMH, COLPROSUMAH, COPRUMH, and PRICPHMA, > under seige. Many compañeras and compañeros have taken refuge there!!!!! >> > The ambulances are arriving at the COLPROSUMAH building where there are > many students suffering from shock. A private university – the > Metropolitana rents the top 2 floors of the building and their students are > caught in the attack. > > Please stop the repression of the Honduran teachers who have raised their > voice in defence of public education! >> > They have arrested many leaders; José Martín Suazo (COLPROSUMAH executive > member) and others. > > They are also attacking the material goods of the organizations. They´ve > stolen one of COLPROSUMAH´s minibuses. They pulled the driver out, beat > him, and used the vehicle to take 12 captured teachers to a police cell. > There are around 50 compañeros arrested, according to Frankling Padilla, > the auditor general of COLPROSUMAH. >> > In the neighbourhoods of El hogar, las Colinas and Luís Landa, that are > near the INPREMA building and the teachers´ offices, neighbours are > providing refuge for fleeing teachers, but the police are breaking into the > homes to capture those who seek to save their lives. > > Many of the youth who marched with us have been badly beaten > > Alert! Alert! The Honduran Teachers movement is begging for help!! > >> Martha Alicia Rodriguez Moncada. >> Lic. en Letras. > > > > Message from Maria Agurcia, COLPROSUMAH > > Subject: Re: saludos a Honduras desde la CEA de Argentina >> From: agurcia.maria@gmail.com >> > At this moment the soldiers are invading the COLPROSUMAH building in > Tegucigalpa. They have captured several people, including Martin Suazo and > they´re firing tear gas at us, but there is a strong group of compañeros > who are making a brave defense on the first floor to prevent the soldiers > from moving up to our offices to capture our leaders. > > I send this message in the hopes that the World will accompany us with > your solidarity……… > > > > 4 PM Thursday, March 24 > Final Message from Martha > > There´s a large detachment of riot police that have the COPEMH and > PRICPHMA offices under siege!!! There are about 30 women teachers here > inside COPEMH and they´re firing tear gas at us! > > The compañeras were resting after suffering a strenuous week of > repression, and all for struggle against the municipalization of education > (transfer of responsibility for education from the state to the > municipalities)!!! The compañeros and compañeras have come from all over > the country and they have neither the money nor the conditions to continue > resisting in this struggle. > > We fear that with nightfall, they will attack and take our offices!!! > > Tomorrow FOMH is calling for a new march at 8 AM at the INPREMA building. > > Here no one surrenders!! Rights we don´t defend are rights we lose!!! > > Many parents and students from the worker and campesino sectors have > joined our struggle. Meanwhile, there are still many compañeros and > compañeras detained in Manchen (a prison) and we are waiting for a judge to > hear the habeus corpus writs. > > The budget that they are spending for this massive repression is enormous, > meanwhile in the hospitals there is no medicine and in the schools there > are neither desks nor adequate conditions to operate!!! > > Send letters to human rights organizations at the international level. > > Martha Rodríguez – Sent from my BlackBerry® de Tigo > > The Education INternational website www.ei-ie.org, has more images and a video of recent events in Tegucigalpa.