Via Adrienne, Belén Fernández has an essay in Jacobin on what it is like to live under constant threat, as in Honduras:
The most harrowing event took place one night when I awoke to discover that a man had gotten into my second-story pension room after cutting away the screen and removing the glass window slats. My strategic response was to scream maniacally, run into the hall in my underwear, and abstain from sleep for another two years.
By pinning the blame for Honduras’ violence on gangs, leaders have obscured the state’s role in creating a climate where extrajudicial police execution of tattooed people and other alleged potential gang members is relatively common. Also obscured is the state’s role in overseeing the socioeconomic deprivation that boosts gang membership.
A decade after Jahangir’s report mentioning the allegedly detrimental impact on investment and tourism of the ugly surplus of street children in Honduras, the coup has paved the way for the establishment of aseptic neoliberal enclaves called “special development regions” or charter cities. These city-states will be severed from Honduran territory without the consultation of the nation’s citizens and will be unaccountable to Honduran law, governed instead by foreign corporate interests.
See also Todd Gordon and Jeffrey R. Webber:
“We are rotten to the core,” former [Honduran] congressperson and police commissioner Gustavo Alfredo Landaverde told the Miami Herald just weeks before being silenced by motorbike assassins at a traffic light in Tegucigalpa on 7 December 2011. According to Landaverde’s conservative estimate, one out of every ten members of the Honduran Congress is tied to drug cartels. The Honduran national police force is linked to death squads and traffickers, and judges and prosecutors are likewise implicated in complex and overlapping networks of power. According to Franck, “drug trafficking is now embedded in the state itself, from the cop in the neighborhood all the way up to the very top of the government.”
The democratic delusion on offer here has been a staple of US-Honduran relations since the late nineteenth century. If Lobo is the latest emblem of that delusion in practice — having apparently re-established law and order after the unseemly interruption of Micheletti — he also exposes its ruthless center: elections as theater, direct rule by capital, and unmediated violence in civil society. We have seen much of this before, and we’ll see it again.
The US is headed this direction.