Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduran dictatorship, day 201/updated

Posted by Charles II on July 27, 2010

(Portions of this entry were crossposted to Daily Kos)

Update: (Via RAJ) The Center for Constitutional Rights has drafted a statement and written a letter to Hillary Clinton condemning US attempts to lobby for the readmission of Honduras to the OAS.

Via El Cid at DK, Edmundo Orellana,writing in La Tribuna, blames the financial crisis on the coup.
The big story recently is that Mike O’Connor of the Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a report on Honduras, where seven [The Economist says eight] of the 22 journalists murdered worldwide have perished. Unfortunately, the report summary reads: “After minimizing the crimes, Honduran authorities are slow and negligent in pursuing the killers. The government is fostering a climate of lawlessness that is allowing criminals to kill journalists with impunity.” This falsely implies that the problem is government ineptitude. The report itself, while cautious about attributing blame in a situation where the government has very eptly produced no evidence that might identify the perpetrators of the crimes, is much clearer, saying:

  • authorities did little to raise confidence that they were investigating the crimes aggressively.
  • many journalists fear the murders have been conducted with the tacit approval, or even outright complicity, of police, armed forces, or other authorities.
  • CPJ also found an alarming pattern of impunity in these cases, as evidenced by the authorities’ inability or unwillingness to take obvious steps to investigate the crimes and arrest the perpetrators.
  • The [anonymous] diplomat…said general lawlessness in the country serves the purposes of a small elite class…
  • The government is required by international treaty to follow the directives [by the OAS’ human rights branch to protect journalists], but it appears to have to ignored most of them, adding to the suspicions of many that it is colluding in violent repression.
  • the national government announced that it had asked for help from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Such help, though, is more symbolic than real. The FBI assigned one agent, who began work three months after the killings began, and often had only scant physical evidence and incomplete investigative reports to review.
  • RAJ discusses the question of whether SICA, the Central American development organization, would re-admit Honduras, widely considered a test of whether the OAS will re-admit. SICA requires that decisions be unanimous. All the leaders except Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, signed an agreement to re-admit. He managed to be absent when this was done. But then they tried to push the envelope by claiming that the decision was unanimous. Ortega declared that what they had done was not legitimate. Tiempo gave Padre Melo space to talk about the “media fence” or what one might call the Inken Curtain. El Libertador is reporting that today 25 police and army types–at the behest of oligarch Miguel Facusse– are measuring land in Zacate Grande with the aim of fencing it in. They are also threatening to demolish the radio station. The Frente has sent a communique to the OAS, which Adrienne has translated:

    Much of the rest of the news is relatively small-bore. RAJ notes this article in Tiempo, in which short-term foreign minister Enrique Ortez Colendres (who famously called Obama the N-word) says that the Honduran military was, from start to finish, the perpetrators of the coup. RAJ and RNS translated a statement by Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle and presented an analysis. Basically, it explains that the dictatorship has not at all ruled out conducting a political prosecution of Zelaya. The teachers are on strike for failure of the government to pay them (Tiempo). The car of human rights lawyer Kenia Veliza Oliva Cardona was broken into and all the papers and the computer stolen in front of the Public Ministry, according to Defensores en Linea, which has asked for protective measures. First Lady Xiomara Castro is visiting El Salvador to attend a forum on the coup. Nike agreed to pay 1800 Honduran workers about $850 apiece for what they refuse to call severance, even though it was their subcontractors which had an obligation to pay severance.

    The most useful contribution of Noam Chomsky to understanding media is, in my opinion, the development of the propaganda model. Now, he uses it often mischievously, as one might expect from a gadfly, but it’s a valuable scientific method: find two comparable events and contrast how the media characterizes them. One can quantitate the results. Adrienne refers us to an article by Kevin Young which does just that with Honduras, contrasting the media’s characterization of the coup governments violent repression of protesters of the coup with events in Iran, in which a repressive government visited violence on protesters. The two events were close in time, similar in levels of violence, but very different in how our government reacted.

    Hermano Juancito has a number of posts of note. Among them: notes from a clerical meeting of the diocese of Santa Rosa Copan on the posture the church should adopt toward a Constitutional Convention, comments from a visit to a pre-natal/natal clinic in the largely Lenca municipality of San Francisco de Opalaca. I couldn’t get a rise from him by responding to his note that the clinic advertised that births would be free, with “Births are always free. It’s the getting helping during them that costs.”


    5 Responses to “Honduran dictatorship, day 201/updated”

    1. jo6pac said

      Sad but this what Amerika does best, distory nations.

    2. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we find out who the Secretary of State’s boss is, and have discussion with them? Talk to the person in charge? Anybody ever consider that?

    3. Of course both Clinton and The Big O supported the empire. The “silly little cheerleading” from Obama supporters was on domestic policy, not foreign.

      • Pretending that Hillary is totally at the mercy of the evil black man is about as ridiculous as the pretense of some that Obama is utterly virtuous but that evil witch queen Hillary is corrupting him. They’re essentially on the same neoliberal page and it’s really hard to find a featherweight’s worth of difference between the two, except for perhaps Afghanistan, where her view seems to have prevailed over Joe Biden’s.

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