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Archive for September 15th, 2012

The abuse of the passive: US State Dept. on Honduran human rights

Posted by Charles II on September 15, 2012

Maria Otero, Undersecretary, US State Dept:

Since taking office, President Lobo has demonstrated his commitment to human rights….

The Special Victims Task Force, with the support of the U.S. government, aims to break the cycle of impunity against vulnerable groups, including journalists and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right in every democracy, and journalists must be free to report on all topics, without censorship and without fearing for their safety.

There are other vulnerable populations at risk of human rights violations. Human rights defenders and trade unionists are threatened, harassed, beaten and even killed for standing up for the rights of others. Honduran youth are too often exposed to grave gang violence, and threatened by narco-traffickers. Women are frequently victims of gender-based violence. The protection of these individuals is one of the most important responsibilities of government.

Ending impunity is key to creating a safer, more prosperous, and more socially inclusive future for Honduras. When impunity persists, citizens turn away from government and feel increasingly powerless — resulting in a violent cycle that leads to insecurity and widespread fear. To end impunity, authorities must thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse, to build strong, credible cases. (emphases added)

But of course, it is the authorities themselves who enjoy impunity.

What bugs me is Otero’s use of the passive voice to avoid saying that the man she is honoring, President Lobo, has been the power behind many acts of violence committed with impunity.

Posted in Honduras | 6 Comments »

 
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