Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduran dictatorship, day 234

Posted by Charles II on August 31, 2010

How time flies. A little over two weeks since the last post. And this will be brief.

The main story is violence against teachers. HSN (that’s Honduran Solidarity, not Home Shopping) reports here in Upside Down World:

On Friday, Aug. 27, police and military troops surrounded the National Pedagogical University, responding to thousands of teachers and members of trade unions, peasant organizations and other organizations supportive of the teachers gathered on the university grounds. The police and military forces sprayed tear gas from trucks and beat protesters with truncheons before firing canisters of tear gas into the University grounds. As people were overcome by the gas and tried to leave, they were beaten and many detained. Among the injured were two well-known reporters from Radio Globo, one of the few independent radio stations in the country. Among those seriously affected by the gas were a number of children and pregnant women.

On Thursday, the police and military attacked the same group at a massive protest near the presidential residency…

Adrienne, of course, has been giving the issue plenty of play (here, linking to a Xinhua police riot slideshow; more photos here; an article by Feminists in Resistance on the attack on non-university teachers here; a picture of a van used by paramilitary troops to fire on teachers here; film of demonstrators clashing with police outside the presidential palace here). RNS has a bit more here on the absurd charges that the teachers’ strike is being promoted by foreign influence. Also see Karen Spring. And a number of institutions remain occupied and on strike.

RAJ also has this article on the role of money in the coup d’etat:

Yesterday, El Libertador published a formal statement by the Frente de Resistencia about the “harmful contracts for renewable energy” granted to “the golpista oligarchy”. The contracts in question are for thermal generation of electricity. The Honduran National Congress has, according to this report, approved the concession of more than 50 watersheds for this purpose to private companies….

El Libertador claims that the concessions for energy generation rely on forged signatures of mayors of affected towns, and thus that they were “negotiated” without consultation of the citizenry.

Another very important story is the murder of a journalist. He’s the tenth killed this year by AP’s count, but the ninth since March according to the Committee to Protect Journalists :

Honduran radio reporter Israel Zelaya Díaz was found shot to death on Tuesday along a rural road near the northern city of San Pedro Sula, the latest in an alarming string of journalist murders in the country….
Zelaya, 56, a radio reporter for the San Pedro Sula-based broadcaster Radio Internacional, was last seen alive on Tuesday around 2 p.m. as he was talking with a man in a taxi at a gas station, the daily Tiempo reported. Local police found Zelaya’s body later that day with two bullet wounds to the head and one to the chest…

Why, it’s so bad The Miami Herald woke briefly from its snooze to condemn the slaughter (via Adrienne). And UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has also called on Honduras to do, well, something.

And God has been letting the air out of Brother John’s tires in order to introduce him to some very nice people. Brother John noted this article at a MilNews site, Black Anthem, on the US charm offensive against Guadalupe Carney. Who, if not African American, names their website Black Anthem? Someone who loves metal, I guess. Adrienne thinks this limited assistance was targeted on Guadalupe Carney because it’s a resistance center. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a means to do some snooping.

The Resistance has collected 1 million signatures in favor of a Constitutional Convention, according to El Libertador. The head of the police agency DNIC, Walter Romero, died in a hail of 27 gunshots in San Pedro Sula. The human rights group COFADEH claims that death squads reminiscent of the Mano Blanca 14/-88 have emerged, with torture prisons in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. The Mano Blanca first appeared in Guatemala in 1966. The Secretary General of the farmers’ rights group ANACH, 45 year old Santos Remigio Ávila was murdered with a shot to the head. Radio Uno in San Pedro Sula was forced off the air by sabotage of its electrical system.

There’s more but, alas, no more time.

Added: It should be noted that Guadalupe Carney is named for the Jesuit priest, Father Carney, known as Guadalupe. He was disappeared permanently in that Contra wars. The penny hadn’t dropped on this for me until I was trying to figure out exactly where it is (near Trujillo, which is on the northern coast near Roatan), which happens to be nowhere near where US troops would have a relationship with the community. Also an interesting fact: Google Maps refuses to call it Guadalupe Carney.

5 Responses to “Honduran dictatorship, day 234”

  1. But of course, everything’s just fine or else we would have heard about all this on CBS or CNN or NBC or FOX, right? Hey, look, Paris Hilton!

    Seriously: Thanks again, as always, for bearing witness.

  2. According to a reliable source there have been four more killings in the last few days – a teacher who was active with the resistance in Ocotopeque was killed on Sunday and three persons in Bajo Aguan on Tuesday. The violence seems to be spreading.

    Also, a few days ago a woman police chief stated that 7 out of every 15 police are connected with organized crime. I didn’t catch the name; maybe someone else knows. But this is disturbing (though not unexpected) and reveals part of the problem of law enforcement and public security.

    In addition, another source indicated that the US is considering providing more aid to the police in Honduras.

    • Charles II said

      Do you have any further news on Guadalupe Carney, Brother John? That’s a very interesting story, how the military picked out a town named after the famed priest to deliver aid to.

      I’ll keep an eye out for confirmation of the deaths in Bajo Aguan. One of the pieces of news I didn’t post was this report on an imminent desalojo.

      • I have not heard anything more about the military “humanitarian” works in Comunidad Guadalupe Carney. I did read of another outside humanitarian group going there (but I cannot remember the source.)
        However a quick google search revealed that Lobo is initiating a new school there (announced August 2), on July 30 he provided the “bono” to 811 families in Trujillo and in Guadalupe Carney. Looking at an article on the Honduran Armed Forces web page the military “mission” was about the same time period.

        It is interesting that they targeted this community. But I remember that many civic actions of the military in El Salvador during the civil war also tried to pry people away from the guerrillas by their use of these actions as well as entertainment. “bread and circuses” – and puling teeth.

        But what I find most interesting (and threatening) is one line of the blankanthem article: “Along with helping the local citizens, the MEDCAP allows the Honduran military to assess the security in the area and research for any suspicious activity. With the location of the towns so remote, the area has been used as a drug trafficking route throughout the region.”

        If I hear anything more I will pass it on – and probably write something on my blog.

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