Sep 3, 2015

Chabelo has been released after six years of imprisonment

Here is the aforementioned Op-Ed:


by Pedro Serrano García

30 agosto 2015

The news spread like lightning. Chabelo has been released! After about six years imprisoned in the prison of La Ceiba, now Chabelo canlive with his family and interact with his friends. He will be able to make anormal life like any peaceful Honduran. Everybody was celebrating, in thecommunity, in the farmers' organizations thast have supported him, amonsgChristians and those in solidarity. There was even a great Eucharisticcelebration by several priests to thank God for the healthy development:Chabelo is now free.

I visited Chabelo several times in prison. I was struck bythe nobility of his behavior, his acceptance and affection with which hetreated those he spoke with, the appreciation of any small favor that they did.Chabelo is a good representative of the wonderful people of Honduras, cheerful,friendly, openly talkative, peaceful, humble, family oriented, hard worker and faithful.

Chabelo is a humble farmer who lives with his wife andchildren in the community of Guadalupe Carney, in the Aguan. He supported hisfamily with his work in addition to volunteering with community services in theCatholic parish to the capacity that he could in. Chabelo, like many farmers, isa good citizen and a simple believer. He liked to help others, both in societyand in the prison.

Chabelo lives in the Aguan where the class struggle betweenimpoverished peasants and rich landowners, who are enriched by taking land thatshould be in the hands of small and patient farmers has increasinglyintensified the social conflict. Now, more than 100 pacifist peasant leadershave been killed, allegedly by the private guards of prominent landowners.While the government, corrupt and vilely transgressing the common good, acts unjustlyon the part of the usurping landowners, sending police and military to controland override the peaceful demands of the suffering peasants and frightenedpopulation.

(As a result of) one of the protests by local residents, theyarrested the innocent Chabelo and wrongly blamed him for the accident sufferedby an agent. To no avail, the sincere and well argued defense of the attorneys andthe testimonies of locals and even the mediation of Christian communities suchas ERIC-Jesuits and popular marches for Chabelo?s innocence, the government?s biasedlaw enforcement authorities all outrageously supported the landowners. AndChabelo, like Jesus Christ, was the scapegoat. The innocent victim who paid foran alleged crime he did not commit.

The unjust imprisonment suffered by Chabelo for more thanhalf a dozen years, represents the cry of anguish of the people demanding ofthe authorities: Enough! Enough of corruption and impunity, looting ofinstitutions like the IHSS, political and criminal murders of impoverishedpeasants, breach of labor laws, the expulsion of humble Hondurans to the risksof undocumented migration ...!

The Honduran people with their constant marches for dignityand their hunger strikes demanding reforms, agrarian in the countryside andbusiness in the city, so that the majority of workers can have a good qualityof life. There are much needed reforms in education, in health institutions, inpublic safety, in the electoral system, in the progress of democracy and more.

Chabelo, friend, God grant that the institutions of justicedeclare your innocence. God grant the release of all innocent prisoners withoutsentence. God grant that your release starts the process of emancipation of theHonduran working majority from exploitation and oppression that they suffer atthe hands of the rich oligarchy which is supported by corrupt rulers and judgesas part of imperial domination.

Por Greg McCain
International Human Rights Defender/Defensor Internacional de Derechos Humanos,



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