I just received the following testimony from my friend Carlos, who lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Terribly disturbing and stomach-churning. Of course, I have yet to see ANYTHING about this in the U.S. news:
We, Montuca Sound System, respect every ideology, political view, religion, sexual preference, gender, and race, but we strongly condemn acts of violence such as those which occurred today, September 15th, at Central Park in San Pedro Sula. This violence occurred against an event of artistic expression in which citizens and artists were physically assaulted by members of the national police without warning or reason.
Carlos Roman, percussionist in Montuca Sound System, was attacked by three members of the national police, receiving injuries to his back, left hand, right shoulder and skull, the latter was sutured with five stitches.
Carlos, like many fellow Hondurans, had gathered downtown with family and friends enjoying the Independence Day Parade, and was awaiting the start of a Café Guancaso concert. He was conversing with the band members who were preparing for their concert, but he immediately fled the scene when the national police arrived and the first tear gas bombs were thrown at the stage. While running from the scene, he came across a woman who was weeping inconsolably because she had been separated from her 7 year old daughter during the commotion. Upon hearing this, Carlos immediately returned to the scene in search of the lost girl and it was at this point that three members of the national police intercepted him and beat him with clubs without asking a single question.
After the beating, one police officer finally asked, “What are you doing here, and why are you wearing that shirt?” To which he replied, “It’s Bob Marley,” thereupon receiving the final blow.
The park was almost vacant when Carlos came to. However, there were still members of the police lingering around the stage area where the staff of Eurosound, the company who was providing the sound equipment for the event, were working to protect their equipment. These workers were not downtown to watch the parade with family and friends or to be part of any demonstration, they were simply there to work. The police officers began to beat these workers as well, throwing speakers from the stage, and then finally bringing in a water truck to soak the remaining equipment, therefore destroying it completely.
We feel ashamed that the national police would use violence where people were peacefully gathered celebrating their country and perform such violent acts. They arrived with their wands and tear gas, leaving several injured (including children) and one dead – an elderly man who was selling lottery tickets on the sidewalk was poisoned by the gas.
The message that we, Montuca Sound System, want to send is that we do not belong to any political organization, but as Hondurans we want to make a call for tolerance, peace, and unity of the Honduran people who have already suffered greatly. Everyone is entitled to think and express opinions freely. No one can steal that right from anyone!
We want to know…
Who takes responsibility for this?
See a Spanish post and photos of the assault by clicking here.