The Coup in Honduras Undermining Health Care PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 July 2009

MEDICC staff have spoken by telephone with Dr. Luther Castillo in Honduras. He asked us to thank all of you for defending the lives of Hondurans threatened by the coup. He is spending some hours most nights attending to wounded or to families housed in temporary shelters throughout Tegucigalpa. He moves around, doesn't sleep in one place. The streets after dark, he says, are "completely militarized".
He reports that the defacto government is attempting to stop demonstrations and continued strikes by teachers and others, selectively targeting their leaders using a growing "hit list" of names that include his own. He says the attacks are being carried out by the army or by "criminals-for-hire", reminiscent of the death squads of the 1980s. Three grassroots and labor leaders have been assassinated in the last few days alone.
Dr. Castillo has two main concerns:
ONE: the international press blackout on Honduras, with virtually all media either shut down or expelled. "We can't let silence win; we need your voices," he said.
TWO: the fate of the only Garifuna Hospital in Honduras, now without government support. Located in Ciriboya, the hospital is staffed by the group of young Garifuna doctors who founded it, working with volunteer Cuban physicians. Dr. Castillo reports they are down to their last supplies and medicines for 20,000 people living in the surrounding indigenous communities, settlements with nolights or running water.
"These are the poorest of the poor, the invisible poor. They are the real victims of the coup," Dr. Castillo told MEDICC.


Urge your government to act: Press your government to use it's influence to guarantee respect for the lives of Dr. Castillo, his colleagues and all those protesting the coup, and to ensure the return of Honduras' elected government.

Keep Hoduras in the Public Eye: Circulate this alert widely. Use your blogs, listservs and networks to spread the word. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

If you are a health care worker or professional: Ask your union or professional association to issue a public statement defending the rights of your colleagues in Honduras.

Donate to the Garifuna Hospital:  Global Links in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has sent several containers of equipment and supplies already.  They will make your donation count for more.  Log on to: 

For more information and actions you can take, go to:
Latin America Working Group-- 
Center for Democracy in the Americas
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 July 2009 )
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