What happens when you tolerate/aid coups
Posted by Charles II on January 28, 2013
Via Adrienne, AP’s Alberto Arce reports that Honduras is “no longer functioning” in the words of Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy. Street surveillance cameras turned off for non-payment, with threats of cutting off police radio as well. Teachers unpaid for six months. Soldiers unpaid. The Constitutional Branch of the Supreme Court not in session because it has been screwed over by the Congress, in a move so brazen even the US mentioned it (though did not condemn it).
Adrienne reports a conversation with a “local cop,” by which I assume she means a DC policeman:
He told me about the interesting couple weeks he spent in Honduras (San Pedro area, mostly) at the behest of the State Department in 2010, giving trainings in community policing. He also did the same in El Salvador and Panama on the same trip. He was mostly impressed by the Honduran police force’s lack of basic supplies—gasoline, etc. But he also noticed a total lack of internal mechanisms for accountability, and framed things in terms of corruption, using a version of that argument that “if you don’t clean things up, it’s easy for criminals to infiltrate the police”—as if criminality were not intrinsic to [Honduran] policing, and as if criminality were a permanent state of being or character trait (the NRA argument) and not something that is defined through one’s actions. Although in Honduras, of course (as well as here in the U.S., in various contexts), it is legally a state of being…He had also gone to the COBRA training facility and appeared as a guest on Frente a Frente with Renato Álvarez, where he was invited to talk about corruption and the work he was doing, cop-to-cop trainings. How did he respond to questions about human rights abuses by the Honduran police? I asked. Oh, that was the one thing that the State Department made clear—he said—I wasn’t allowed to say anything about human rights.
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