(In Spanish here)
From A Planeta we are in solidarity with the activist for Human Rights in Honduras and for the disabled, Erlin Mejía, who lives in Sweden. Erlin participated in the movement of the ‘indignant’, the Honduran 15th of March that took place in 2015 (Oposición Indignada), demanding the resignation of the president and an international commission against impunity, and in the torchlight march that took place from May to August 2015 to protest against the embezzlement of some 200 million dollars from the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS) during five years by the coup party. This corruption undermined Social Security funds, affecting the supply of medicines and even causing several deaths. Erlin belongs to the party of deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Libre.
Erlin Mejia has lived in Sweden since 2017, where she arrived thanks to the organization Oxfam. Since Erlin lives there, she has not stopped her activism either, and so, in the midst of the crisis of Honduran immigrants and the rest of Central America who were trying to reach the US, she also interceded for her countrymen to obtain positive conditions for them and for Sweden to commit to take them in.
Mejía denounced being persecuted, because in April 2015, after a protest, they were followed by members of the intelligence services, without being able to dissuade them.that year also, in July, he was arrested during another protest in front of the presidential house, by special order of Colonel René Cruz, head of the presidential honor guard.
The most serious event occurred the following year, in 2016, when the Supreme Electoral Tribunal authorized President Juan Orlando Hernández to run again for the presidency the following year. This decision to allow the coup candidate to be re-elected triggered a wave of protests, which met with the usual military and police repression. In this context, Erlin’s sister Armando Mejia Andino was kidnapped on October 4, 2016. After almost two days she is released and found. The accused of the crime is Osman Amador and others, so he is arrested and charged with the crimes of Special Rape and Trafficking in Persons.
Mejía has denounced and accused Osman Amador of links with the Association of the Deaf of Honduras (ASH), an organization that functions as a human trafficking network. (more about this accusation in Revista de Frente). But he has also been linked to the Honduran political leadership in this network.
Mejía feels persecuted by these accusations and his political activism, and is of the opinion that the kidnapping of his sister was a wake-up call for him, and that the kidnapping was due to his activity. He therefore applied for asylum, but has already been denied it three times since December 2019, the last time in June 2020. All of them were denied, so Mejía should be deported. If they have not done so, it is because of the Covid 19 pandemic, which has resulted in the closure of Tegucigalpa airport.
Since Erlin has been living in Sweden she has not stopped her activism, and so, in the midst of the crisis of Honduran migrants and the rest of Central America trying to reach the US, she also interceded for her countrymen to obtain positive conditions for them.
In 2019 he applied for asylum after three years residing in Sweden where he arrived thanks to the organization Oxfam.
Planeta and other organizations believe that Erlin Mejia’s reasons for feeling politically persecuted are more than obvious, and that he has the right to seek asylum, and the European Union, in that case, to give it to him. We therefore call for a review of his case and for the authorities to act accordingly.
(For more information on the case see «Behind Political Persecution: Kidnapping, Trafficking Network and Drug Trafficking in Honduras» on Kaos en la Red)
For a context of political repression we include this fragment of our report on «Democratic Energy Transition – Honduras»
Violence in Honduras to promote extractivism
Honduras is one of the countries where repression and violence against activists and those affected by the energy model have been triggered. On June 28, 2009, democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya was deposed. Despite the fact that the National Coordinator of Popular Resistance demanded the repeal of the mining and drinking water laws, months after the coup, in August 2009 the government imposed a new Water Law that was intended to enable the tendering of the country’s water resources to third parties1 and also issued Decree 233 that repealed previous decrees that prohibited hydroelectric projects in natural protected areas2.
Simultaneously and hastily, the bidding process was initiated for 48 hydroelectric generation projects and another 123 smaller ones. In June 2010, 40 applications for hydropower generation were approved