Roger Abraham Vallejo Soriano (1971-2009)
By Al Giordano
AUGUST 1, 2009, TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS: At 3:30 a.m. this morning the officials at the capital city morgue pronounced Roger Abraham Vallejo Soriano, 38, dead from the bullet wound he sustained to the head while peacefully protesting against the coup regime on Thursday.
His brother, Salomon Vallejo Soriano - one of ten siblings - told Radio Globo this morning, "I ask that the death of my brother not be in vain. He was in a just cause." He worried aloud about their mother: "You can imagine if Roger was your youngest son. She had lived with him for so much time. We are worried for our mother's health, too."
Roger also leaves behind a wife and a 19-year-old son.
Salomon said that he wasn't present when his brother was shot. "All we know is what we saw on television and from the people who were there who said he was shot by police."
Funeral and burial will be delayed "for a couple days" while other brothers and sisters arrive home to the Vallejo family neighborhood in Tegucigalpa.
That Roger Abraham Vallejo Soriano was a schoolteacher at the San Martin high school, and a member of the teachers' union, will have an immediate impact on the civil resistance, as schoolteachers are a nationwide organized force with members in every city, town and hamlet throughout the country. One of their own has been been slain in the struggle.
Roger's assassination will surely be a topic today at a public meeting called this afternoon in the auditorium of COLPROSUMAH (Colegio Profesional Superación Magisterial Honduras), an important academic institution that trains schoolteachers, where the documentary film Bringing Down a Dictator about the organizing and nonviolent campaign from May to September of 2000 that defeated the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. A group of 40 Honduran social leaders have been studying that struggle finding many similarities to the situation they find themselves in and those in Serbia (like Honduras, a country of seven million people) then. The poster publicizing the public event today says:
"The story of the nonviolent Serbian organization OTPUR (Resistance) and the fall of the de facto regime of Milosevic with the presence of one of the protagonists of the film."
"The OTPUR (Resistance) movement succeeded in organizing peaceful resistance to end the dictatorship of Slobovan Milosevic in Serbia with a nonviolent struggle. The tyrant Milosevic was defeated in 2000, not by force of weapons, but massive, active and nonviolent civil disobedience."
Narco News was invited as an observer and attended last night's session of the Honduran organizing group - with members and leaders from the key sectors of labor, campesino, students, artists, independent journalists, neighborhood organizations and others - that is studying, together, the Serbian and other models of successful resistance and how they can be applied by organizers on the ground in Honduras. After more than thirty years of participating and chronicling successful civil resistance movements, one learns to recognize real, palpable history when it is being made. That was the sense that all in the room shared last night: that when coalitions of people begin to think and act strategically together, there is a path to topple this coup regime from below.