10 December 2010
Musicians persecuted with death threats and concert closure
A midday concert of the band Café Guancasco in downtown San Pedro Sula on 15 September 2010 was attacked by the police and military. The Real News producer Jesse Freeston spoke to Pavel Núñez, lead singer and guitarist for the band.
|Video on YouTube: ‘Honduran Regime Targets Musicians’ The band Cafe Guancasco, a favorite of the Honduran coup resistance movement, sees concert attacked by police and military. Real News speaks with two of the musicians attacked while performing. Produced by Jesse Freeston|
Pavel Núñez explained during the video interview by The Real News that the concert marked the end of a resistance march under the slogan “What independence?”. 15 September is the anniversary of the independence of Central America from the Spanish Empire. Ten minutes after the concert began, the first tear gas canisters landed on top of the musicians of Café Guancasco.
“Nobody could believe it. Everyone thought the gas was a special effect. Three police officers attacked me with batons. They never asked me anything. Just took out their batons and hit me,” said percussionist Carlos Roman. He was dripping blood, and realized that his head was split open. He had to go to the hospital to get five stitches in his head.
“They brought in the water cannons and doused all our instruments and equipment. Some soldiers jumped on stage. They smashed our stuff, knocked over speaker towers, and stole equipment,” said Pavel Núñez.
30,000 US dollars worth of equipment was destroyed, most of which was rented. The musicians threw everything they could into a truck to save it.
A lottery ticket vendor in the park, Afraín López, died from the inhalation of tear gas.
Pavel Núñez said that members of his band have received personal death threats.
“We are giving the international community advance notice that whatever happens to our friends, or to any artist for that matter, we declare this dictatorship directly responsible,” he said.
Pavel Núñez urges people not to treat these events as an isolated incident but part of the ongoing repression of the country’s popular movement.
“They didn’t attack a mobilization or a riot, they attacked a peaceful music concert,” he said.
“What musicians and poets say and write is a reflection of their reality. And stopping them from saying it is a violation of one of the most important rights we humans have, freedom of expression,” said Carlos Roman.
Artist In Resistance Day
“Even though we don’t have instruments, even though we owe thousands of dollars, we’re already organizing another concert in the same city of San Pedro Sula. It’s on October 21, which is National Armed Forces Day in Honduras. But we’re announcing that that day will no longer be Armed Forces Day. It will be Artist In Resistance Day, a day for all those who are committed to art and culture as a form of consciousness-raising so that our peoples can finally be free,” said Pavel Núñez.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says that Honduras is one of the most dangerous country in the world to report in in the first half of 2010.
Read the full transcript here
Pacific Free Press – 29 September 2010:
Official home page of Café Guancasco:
Committee to Protect Journalists – reports from Honduras:
|Related reading on freemuse.org|
|Honduras: Musicians persecuted with death threats and concert closure|
|A midday concert of the band Café Guancasco in downtown San Pedro Sula on 15 September 2010 was attacked by the police and military, reported The Real News|
|10 December 2010|