6/09 - 7/09
Ciriboya: Garifuna Hospital: news
Honduras: La Resistencia
BlackOpHn-T3AM (en español, de Anonymous HN)
Consejo Civico de Organizaciones Populares e Indigenas de Honduras - COPINH
Defensores en Linea
Quotha - A. Pine
Upside Down World
Honduras: la narco elite
Radio Globo - live audio
Garifuna Empowerment Movement
Central America Media
Central America Daily
Honduras Cities & Provinces
Portal de Desarollo Sostenible
US based Media
Central America Daily
El Nuevo Herald
Google: Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean list
South America Daily
Europe based media
BBC Mundo - América Latina
Honduras anti-coup (now dated)
Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras - CODEH
Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
Frente Nacional contra el Golpe de Estado with Twitter Feeds from the field
Honduras Coup 2009
Los Necios - OPLN
Machetera - in English
Mirada de Halcón
Honduras This Week
Secretaria de Defensa - FFAA
Honduras' General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez and the Narcotraffickers, 11/1/09
Cartas desde Tegucigalpa, 29/9/09
Unconventional Weapons in Honduras: the Israeli Factor, with updates
Col Edward Cutolo's tale - prelude to Honduras, 2009?
Cyberattack on the "Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe" site?
General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez and the Gobierno del Reino: Theocracy in Honduras?
Hospital Garifuna de Ciriboya with updates
Cuban Culture News
Cuba: Race & Identity in the News
Central American NewsEl verdadero escándalo de Hilary Clinton es Honduras, no Bengazi 5/30/2015 Kaos en la red: "Quizás Ud. haya olvidado lo que pasó en ese pequeño país durante el primer año de la administración Obama –tocaremos eso adelante. Pero seguramente Ud. ha notado la desagradable oleada de xenofobia con que se ha recibido al creciente número de niños centroamericanos refugiados que llegan a nuestra frontera sur. Algunos defensores del Presidente Obama tratan de culpar por esta crisis migratoria a la administración George Bush debido a la Ley contra el tráfico firmada por éste en 2008, especialmente redactada para proteger a los niños centroamericanos que anticipó un alza en las llegadas. Pero, ¿qué país es la principal fuente de niños que cruzan la frontera? Honduras, la tierra con las tasas de asesinatos más alta del planeta, con la peor desigualdad en toda Latinoamérica y con un régimen represivo sostenido por EEUU."
Hondurans Demand End to Corruption and President's Resignation 5/30/2015 teleSUR: "Years of popular discontent with the Honduran government has been reinvigorated by corruption scandals implicating the president."
Garifuna community radio stations under threat in Honduras 5/4/2015 Beacon Reader: "“We think they want to shut them down,” Miriam Miranda, general coordinator of OFRANEH, a Garifuna federation, told C-Libre, the Committee for Freedom of Expression in Honduras. OFRANEH has been accompanying and supporting the growing Hamalali Garinagu Garifuna Community Radio Network. Nine radio stations air community affairs, news, public interest, music, and Garifuna language programming in Garifuna communities along the country’s Caribbean coast from Bajamar, in the department of Cortés, to Punta Piedra, in Colón."
Nicaragua acogerá encuentro de mujeres afrodescendientes 4/23/2015 PL: "Nicaragua acogerá en junio venidero la primera Cumbre Latinoamericana de Lideresas Afrodescendientes de las Américas, en la cual se debatirá la realidad que vive hoy la mujer en el continente. La cita, prevista del 26 al 28 de junio próximo, se llevará a cabo en el marco del Decenio Internacional de las poblaciones Afrodescendientes: "Reconocimiento, Justicia y Desarrollo", declarado por las Naciones Unidas (ONU) y comprendido entre el 2015 y 2024."
Update on Garifuna Health/Nurse Solidarity Projects 3/7/2015 Quotha: "A few months back I posted a follow-up talk show program I did with some of my Honduran nursing & med students with whom I organized a health solidarity brigade to Ciriboya last year recently. I also recently published a short piece in National Nurse magazine reflecting on the experience."
Honduras registers first death from chikungunya virus 2/26/2015 Tico Times, Costa Rica: "A 23-day-old infant died in Honduras on Thursday after being infected with the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, health authorities reported. It was the country’s first reported death from the virus, which is carried by the same mosquitoes that carry dengue. The Honduran daily La Prensa reported that the infant was from the rural department of Olancho."
Can the Violence in Honduras be Stopped? 2/20/2015 CounterPunch: "For the fourth year running, San Pedro Sula has been one of the most dangerous places on the planet outside of a war zone. Its murder rate in 2014 was an astonishing 171 per 100,000. The city, which is caught in the crossfire between vicious criminal gangs, has been the largest source of the 18,000 Honduran children who have fled to the United States in recent years. The vast majority of killings in Honduras are carried out with impunity. For example, 97 percent of the murders in San Pedro Sula go unsolved."
Merelym: I was also a teenager once (by Natalie Roque Sandoval) 11/9/2014 Quotha: "It was with deep indignation that I found out about the murder last weekend of the 14 year old teenager Merelym Abigail Espinoza Bustillo, who adds to the never-ending list of young Honduran women violently murdered. It is with profound indignation that I write these lines. They justify the murders and blame the victims!"
UTV Program about Ciriboya Initiative & Healthcare Justice 11/8/2014 Quotha: "I joined several nursing and med students to talk about our January 2014 brigade to Ciriboya, the perils of neoliberal healthcare in Honduras, and the promise of the Cuban model on UNAH's television program last June."
Starving Central America 10/31/2014 CounterPunch: "Honduras was “being converted into a vast pasture for cattle destined for export,” DeWalt elaborated—a development in line with Washington’s aims. Robert G. Williams noted that Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress boosted Central America’s beef-export business,” for example, and that “the World Bank, AID, and the IADB” all viewed beef “as a pragmatic, quick way to achieve export-led growth.” This beef, DeWalt continued, was “not bound for the estimated 58 percent of Honduran children under five years of age who suffer from identifiable malnutrition,” but rather for the U.S.—the source of “insatiable demand for livestock products” and “the largest importer,” by a long shot, “of Central American beef export.” As U.S. citizens gorge themselves on steaks and hamburgers, “food supplies in poorer countries become scarcer, unemployment increases, and the land and other resources are increasingly degraded.” Poor Hondurans thus were forced “to compete with the animals for the locally available resources.”
Step Aside Panama Canal: China To Build Nicaragua Canal, "World's Largest Infrastructure Project Ever" 8/6/2014 Zero Hedge: "A month ago, a Nicaraguan committee approved Chinese billionaire Wang Jing's project to create The Nicaraguan Canal. With a planned capacity to accommodate ships with loaded displacement of 400,000 tons (notably bigger than The Panama Canal), the proposed 278-kilometer-long canal that will run across the Nicaragua isthmus would probably change the landscape of the world's maritime trade. "The project is the largest infrastructure project ever in the history of man in terms of engineering difficulty, investment scale, workload and its global impact," Wang told reporters, adding that with regard the project's financing, which is around $50 billion, Wang seems quite confident, "If you can deliver, you will find all the world's money at your disposal."
Hope Dwindles for Hondurans Living in Peril 8/2/2014 NYT: "The economic distress and migration laid the ground for the emergence of powerful street gangs, and government dysfunction gave them staying power. They have roots in Los Angeles, among Salvadoran refugees who fled there during the civil war. After the war, gang members were deported and, taking advantage of weak institutions, re-emerged on their home turf with little to keep them in check."
U.S. Military: More Counter-Narcotics Funding Will Help Stem Exodus of Children from Central America 7/29/2014 NarcoNews: “… It has been the malignant effects of immense drug trafficking through these nonconsumer nations [in Central America] that is responsible for accelerating the breakdown in their national institutions of human rights, law enforcement, courts, and eventually their entire society as evidenced today by the flow of children north and out of the conflictive transit zone,” Kelly wrote. “… I believe that the mass migration of children we are all of a sudden struggling with is a leading indicator of the negative second- and third-order impacts on our national interests that are now reality due to the near unimpeded flow of drugs up the isthmus [Central America], as well as the unbelievable levels of drug profits (approximately $85 billion) available to transnational criminal organizations to literally buy police departments, court systems and even governments.”
U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans 7/24/2014 NYT: "Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal."
The Honduras Drug War 6/27/2014 CounterPunch
Why Are Honduran Children Leaving? 6/27/2014 CounterPunch: "The spirited festivities of the Brazilian World Cup qualifying matches Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez enjoyed last week stood in stark contrast to the cold grey Homeland Security buildings where thousands of Honduran children met with U.S. officials to search for next of kin and start deportation proceedings. Instead of advocating for the youth of his country, the Honduran president delegated his wife, the First Lady, to escort these children to Honduras and has ordered inadequate and short-term shelters to receive them."
Days six to ten of the Ciriboya UNAH nurse/med student brigade 2/6/2014 Quotha: "While the students were in the community, I had to go buy gas and supplies with Dr. Valcárcel and some of the Cubans. We ran into the man who'd been at the Cubans' house days earlier profusely bleeding from a cut tendon. They'd operated on him at the hospital that same morning (after coffee) and now, just days later, he was already well on his way to being healed. Dr. Valcárcel fixed him a sling with a cloth he had handy while the others bought food inside."
Israel’s Hand in Guatemala’s Genocide 1/14/2014 Consortium News: “As we saw it, they [Guatemalan military authorities] were targeting all non-white villagers who were sitting on fertile lands that the white Guatemalans wanted,” he said, adding that when he reported this information to his superiors, “the Israelis rolled their eyes [in dismay] but said, ‘this is what our friends in the Reagan administration want.’”
AVANZA AMPLIACION DEL PRIMER HOSPITAL GARIFUNA 1/10/2014 YouTube
Garifuna Hospital promo video 1/10/2014 YouTube
Dirty War in Honduras Fuelled by West's Drive for Clean Energy (...minerals, cheap clothing, tourism enclaves, oil and gas, etc.) 1/7/2014 Rights Action: "The west's drive to reduce its carbon footprint cheaply is fuelling a dirty war in Honduras, where US-backed security forces are implicated in the murder, disappearance and intimidation of peasant farmers involved in land disputes with local palm oil magnates. More than 100 people have been killed in the past four years, many assassinated by death squads operating with near impunity in the heavily militarised Bajo Aguán region, where 8,000 Honduran troops are deployed, according to activists. Farmers' leader Antonio Martínez, 28, is the latest victim of this conflict. His corpse was discovered, strangled, in November."
A Mission Gone Wrong 1/6/2014 New Yorker: "“The story that was out there at the time was entirely different from what we saw.” Later, having become more familiar with the shooting, the Senate aide said, “I am not aware of anyone in the Honduran government or the State Department who, after reviewing the case, believes that the evidence establishes that the people in the boat fired at the agents.”
Absences. Graciela Suazo, and words to describe losing her. 12/27/2013 Quotha: "But the story serves two purposes: it obscures the possible political motive of the murder in the context of a wave of post-election extrajudicial assassinations of mid-level LIBRE candidates and activists, and it directly blames Suazo for her own violent death. I traveled to Suazo's home in Barra Patuca for the funeral, and have been here since. I have not found a way to write about the pain that her death has caused here, not publicly at least. That inability has also made it difficult for me to write about anything else, despite all of the things that so badly need to be written."
Honduras Dam Project Shadowed by Violence 12/22/2013 Upside Down World: ""The army has an assassination list of 18 wanted human rights fighters with my name at the top. I want to live, there are many things I still want to do in this world but I have never once considered giving-up fighting for our territory, for a life with dignity, because our fight is legitimate. I take lots of care but in the end, in this country where there is total impunity I am vulnerable… when they want to kill me, they will do it." The threats, she told Al Jazeera at her home in the pine-covered mountains of La Esperanza, are from private security guards working for the dam company, as well as the police and army protecting the project."
In Post-Election Honduras, Challenges and Opportunities for the Resistance 12/21/2013 NACLA
Electoral fraud in Honduras? 12/19/2013 Al Jazeera: "Much of the international press have based claims of transparency on reports issued by the election observation missions of the European Union, the Carter Centre and the Organisation of American States all of which concluded that the election was transparent. This was despite the fact that their own observers reported irregularities such as a lack of transparency in campaign financing and electoral lists which included dead people. Other election observers were not so forgiving and many reported far more lengthy and serious lists of fraudulent behaviour, including bribery and vote buying; violation of the right to secret voting; pre-marked ballots; the militarisation of the electoral process and a lack of oversight in some voting centres causing the militarised police to take charge. "
Honduras: Accusations by Military Endanger Activist 12/19/2013 Human Rights Watch: "The United States allocated over US$50 million in security aid to Honduras from 2010 to 2012 through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) – an ongoing program to provide security aid to countries in the region – as well as nearly US$17 million in US Defense Department security assistance in 2011 and 2012. US legislation granting military and police aid to Honduras states that 20 percent of the funds will be available only if the US State Department reports that the Honduran government has met several human rights requirements. “Given its ongoing cooperation with Honduran security forces, the US government should use all the tools at its disposal to call a halt to verbal attacks on activists by senior Honduran military officials,” Vivanco said. “Whether directed at human rights defenders or campesino leaders, such accusations only add to a climate of fear and intimidation.”"
Honduran Military Colonel Makes False And Threatening Accusations Against Annie Bird, Co-Director Of Rights Action 12/19/2013 Rights Action: "Last week, School of the Americas (SOA) graduate and Honduran military Colonel German Alfaro made outrageous accusations against a leading U.S. human rights defender, Annie Bird, Co-Director of Rights Action (USA), which is based in Washington, DC. Colonel Alfaro declared that the military is investigating Annie for alleged subversive activities with campesinos, including filing false reports about military abuses of human rights. One of the Honduran newspapers, La Tribuna, picked up the story and even ran a picture of Annie, putting her at further risk.* The allegations are completely trumped-up and dangerous given the pattern of violence in Honduras, of which Alfaro himself is a propagator."
Honduras' Flawed Election: The Case of El Paraiso 12/15/2013 Truth Out: "Although it is generally difficult to directly link election results to acts of voter intimidation, the case of El Paraíso provides an interesting example. El Paraíso, in the Copan department of Honduras, is located directly on what is known as the “road of death.” The road is a well-known drug trafficking route which travels through Honduras and on to Guatemala. The presence, and influence, of Mexican drug cartels has steadily been rising in the area."
Inside the Honduran Elections 12/12/2013 CounterPunch: "You would not know how massive these irregularities were if you only relied on the mainstream press. News outlets such as The Washington Post and the AP’s man in Honduras , Alberto Arce, both declared JOH the winner before the counting process was complete and the fraud investigated thus promoting the neo-liberal agenda that has devastated this country. Arce bases his opinion on what he calls the lack of concrete evidence of fraud and puts his full faith and confidence behind the words of Lisa Kubieski, US Ambassador to Honduras, Ulricke Lunacek, the head of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM), and the Organization of American States (OAS) all of which declared the elections transparent and free of fraud while many were calling for an investigation."
International Election Monitors in Honduras: Do They Ensure Clean Elections or Whitewash Fraud? 12/11/2013 Upside Down World: "Prior to the Honduran election it was announced that NDI would have 100 election observers in the country. Our delegation did not run into any of them and there is no statement on their web page. Either they didn't go, or the fact that a slim majority of Democrats in the House have signed letters to the State Department calling for changes in US policy toward Honduras may have caused them to keep their heads down after witnessing so much fraud. Likewise, I can't find an official report from the Organization of American States observer delegation, although there were statements applauding the “transparency” in the Honduran media election night and the next day. I was on a radio show with Mark Weisbrot on Dec. 9 and he stated that thus far only a few Latin American countries had officially recognized the Honduran election results. Perhaps the OAS is lying low as well. The European Union has shown no such hesitancy. Its official statement heaped praise on the process. However, its endorsement of the “transparent” election was quickly undermined when one of its monitors held a press conference in the Tegucigalpa airport as the delegation was leaving the country. He criticized the official report and said the actual election monitors did not agree with the report written by the leadership. He said it resulted in a “heated exchange” but that the leadership refused to budge."
Ceremonia Religiosa Elecciones 2013 12/9/2013 Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras: "Recientemente autoridades militares llevaron a cabo un acto religioso en el cual agradecieron a Dios haber culminado con éxito la misión de apoyo al tribunal supremo electoral (TSE) en las pasadas elecciones generales."
Report from Honduras: How the Election Was Stolen 12/9/2013 NACLA: "TSE officials advised us that they allocated an equal number of blank credential documents to each party, but could not control what the parties did with them later. This practice, which has been strongly criticized by the EU and the OAS, allowed the National Party to consolidate control over the voting tables where critical decisions (such as whether a voter is eligible to vote, or how to count a ballot) are made by majority vote. Members of our delegation saw the popular National Party discount card—another mechanism used to influence the electoral outcome—being offered to voters at party tents outside polling places. The card, which lowers the cost of groceries, pharmaceuticals, cell phone plans, and other goods and services, reportedly identifies the bearer as a National Party member and is good for four years. Whether or not this constitutes bribery, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) calls it a hidden campaign financing source which may directly violate Honduran election laws, for businesses having contracts with the government."
Honduras: A Heavyweight for Foreign Relations 12/6/2013 Huff Post: by Marco Cáceres - "Marco Cáceres is the senior space analyst for the Teal Group, a defense and aerospace consultancy just outside of Washington, DC. He writes about satellites, launch vehicles and spaceports, and forecasts the future of space markets. He is the editor of Honduras Weekly and cofounder of projecthonduras.com, an international network of volunteers involved in Honduras, and the annual Conference on Honduras in the town of Copán Ruinas in northwestern Honduras. Marco is the author of the book, The Good Coup: The Overthrow of Manual Zelaya in Honduras. His follow-up book, The Wolf We Feed: Post-Coup Honduras Under Pepe Lobo, is scheduled for publication in March 2014. He is originally from Tegucigalpa."
Call on the State Department to stop legitimizing fraudulent Honduran elections 12/4/2013 SOA Watch
Why the world should care about Honduras' recent election 12/3/2013 Guardian: "First is the compilation of votes by the Libre party, released on Friday. The parties are able to do their own vote count after the election because their observers receive copies of the tally sheets, which they sign, at the polling centers. The Libre party was able to salvage 14,593 of the 16,135 tally sheets (some Libre observers were reportedly tricked or intimidated into turning their copies over to the electoral authorities). They compared these tally sheets to the official results posted on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) web site, and found enormous discrepancies: for example, an 82,301 overcount for the National Party, and a 55,720 undercount for the Libre party. This by itself is more than 4.6% of the total vote, well over half of the National Party's lead in the official tally."
Meanwhile in the Aguán, More Military Terror Campaigns Against Campesinos 12/3/2013 MCRGC: "The persecuted are leaders Santos Marcelo Torres and Leodan Cartagena Castillo both MCRGC members who have been active in land recuperation in the Finca Paso Aguán which is in the possession of the landowner Miguel Facusse . Alexis Mirinda, also a campesino leader, was arrested this afternoon by members of the army. He received psychological torture to pressure him to give information about the whereabouts of the above mentioned peasant leaders."
Thousands protest election result in Honduras 12/2/2013 Al Jazeera: "Honduras' defeated leftist presidential candidate, the wife of ousted former leader Manuel Zelaya, has led thousands of supporters onto the streets of Tegucigalpa to protest an election result she has called fraudulent. The ruling National Party's Juan Hernandez, who is head of Congress, won last week's election with 36.8 percent of the votes, according to the country's election tribunal. Xiomara Castro ran as the candidate of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) - a coalition of leftist politicians, unions and indigenous groups founded by her husband. She came second with 28.79 percent of the vote."
Testimony of militarization and poll worker intimidation in Copán 12/2/2013 German Espinal Zúniga: "After a moment, when I had taken possession of my position as president of Voting Station 2686, in the Minerva School, there was a verbal altercation between the police officers and Mr. Pinto that reached the point where Mr. Pinto and his cronies ended up intimidating and kicking out the members of the community police force. Once we were without police protection, they began to threaten my compañeros and me, telling us we should leave the voting stations and the polling place. They confiscated the national identity card and electoral worker credential of one of my compañions by threatening to kill her, and they tried to intimidate me at gunpoint to sign the tally sheets and ballots before leaving the table, which I did not agree to, and finally they forced me to give them my electoral worker credential and national identity card."
La operación #StopFraudeHN, que protesta en contra del resultado de las elecciones 12/2/2013 Habla Honduras
Resultados Presidenciales de Centros de Votación: El Paraiso 11/30/2013 Tribunal Supremo Electoral
Member of official EU delegation denounces EU elections report 11/29/2013 Quotha
The Results of the Elections in Honduras were Changed, Says European Union Observer 11/29/2013 Upside Down World: "I can attest to countless inconsistencies in the electoral process. There were people who could not vote because they showed up as being dead, and there were dead people who voted. It was also clear that there was a huge mess at the voting stations, where the hidden alliance between the small parties and the National Party led to the buying and selling of votes and [electoral worker] credentials [note: by law each party has the right to have an election worker at each mesa electoral or voting station, but as Gabriel notes, in many voting stations, the smaller parties sold their rights to the National Party]. During the transmission of the results there was no possibility to find out where the tallies where being sent and we received reliable information that at least 20% of the original tally sheets were being diverted to an illegal server that they kept hidden."
From David Dougherty at TRNN: Alleged Voting Irregularities Mar Honduran Elections 11/27/2013 Real News
Honduran Elections: Live Blog 11/26/2013 CEPR: "Honduras has a flawed electoral system with many deficiencies including control of the process by political parties, unregulated and undisclosed campaign financing, and inadequate resources, training and voting facilities that disadvantage poor communities. In addition Honduran electoral law provides for no run-off election. Without a runoff election in which a majority of voters choose leadership, the electoral aspirations of two-thirds of Honduran voters who voted for change, are frustrated, and the winner of a mere plurality is denied a real mandate."
Venezuela’s Maduro Rejects US “Intervention” in Honduras 11/26/2013 Venezuela Analysis: "Yesterday Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro criticised US “intervention” in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, and in the Honduran elections. US Ambassador to Honduras, Lisa Kubiske, said minutes after the third preliminary announcement from the TSE (Electoral Supreme Court), that she “recognised and respected” the results, as they “coincide” with the reports of US governmental observers. The final results with the full count had yet to be announced at the time, and the LIBRE party and Anti Corrupcion have stated they don’t recognise the results, as they say they have proof of irregularities committed during the voting process."
Honduras Presidential Elections in Dispute as Activists Defy Violence to Back Ousted Leader’s Wife 11/25/2013 Democracy Now
Canadian electoral observers question the legitimacy of the Honduran election results 11/25/2013 Rabble: "After careful consideration of our own observations of the electoral process in Honduras, we find the presidential elections to be inconsistent with democratic principles and rife with fraudulent practices. We are not surprised that the LIBRE party rejected the preliminary projections of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE)."
Military Presence at Radio Globo 11/24/2013 Honduras Solidarity: "Reporters at Radio Globo are commenting live on the air (at the time of this post) that the military has established a presence at the site of the station’s transmitter in Cerro de Canto Gallo. Radio Globo is one of the strongest voices on the airwaves. The broadcast on via TV and radio."
Mensaje de Berta Caceres a la población hondureña 11/24/2013 Observatorio de las Mujeres: "Berta hace un llamado a la resistencia para poder enfrentar el fraude electoral que se venia pronosticando y hacer frente a la oligarquía del país que quiere destruirlo. Proclama continuar con la unión de las personas, para continuar con la refundación del país juntos y a no dejarse vencer;seguir en la lucha "sin darle tregua a la presión" Para escuchar su mensaje…
Agents in ski masks intimidate foreign election observers 11/23/2013 Quotha: "Today around 10:30-11am in Hotel Suites Aurora in Tegucigalpa 5 men and 1 woman armed civilians dressed men with ski masks offered no identification, another 3 were wearing Immigration t-shirts, who went to reception. and they asked for passports for the people in the lobby who were here, as well as asked for all International Observers to come to the lobby, asked them questions and looked through their passports and took personal records. They took 2 passports from Brazilian international observers without explaining why. When they asked why, they say “because yes we can”. They explained they were tourists and still they took passports without credible cause."
Political Repression Intensifies Ahead of Honduran Presidential Election 11/23/2013 Real News: "Jesse Freeston: Violence and political repression by western-backed Honduran military raises questions if Sunday's presidential election will be open and fair."
List of attacks directed against political activists during the electoral process 11/22/2013 Habla Honduras: "Below is the link to the COFADEH list of attacks, including murders, death threats and police raids, directed against political activists in the context of the electoral process. It shows that, contrary to a number of reports in the Honduran press, which seem to wilfully ignore the facts, the victims are overwhelmingly from the LIBRE party."
Roger Noriega accuses Honduran candidate’s husband of drug-trafficking links 11/22/2013 Tico Times: "Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, a leading candidate in Sunday’s presidential elections in Honduras, is an inexperienced politician whose husband – the ousted former president Manuel Zelaya – has links to well-known drug traffickers. That’s according to retired U.S. diplomat Roger Noriega, a former lobbyist for the interim government that replaced Zelaya. Noriega made the drug-trafficking claim on Nov. 19 in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank."
Honduras: Bertha Cáceres teme que la asesinen luego de elecciones generales 11/19/2013 SiBCI: "El pueblo indígena Lenca ha recibido ataques y amenazas de muerte por parte del Ejército y la Policía Nacional de Honduras. La última agresión ocurrió a principios de noviembre, cuando un grupo de policías, con pasamontañas y sin identificarse, ingresó violentamente a la comunidad de La Tejera en Río Blanco. La denuncia la confirmó Bertha Cáceres, coordinadora del Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (Copinh), durante el programa Caribe Nuestro de la Radio del Sur. Ella explicó que los policías encañonaron a los residentes del poblado. “Llegaron con armas gringas, israelíes, sin identificación, sin orden de cateo, entraron a las casas, amenazaron a las ancianas y ancianos, los golpearon, les botaron sus enseres, los niños vivieron momentos de mucho terror”. Los policías amenazaron con realizar una matanza en esa comunidad indígena si los Lenca seguían oponiéndose al Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca en el Río Gualcarque. “Las amenazas son reiteradas."
Xiomara de Zelaya cuenta con la simpatía de los empresarios "golpistas" 11/13/2013 El Faro: "El presidente de la influyente Asociación Nacional de Industriales (ANDI), Adolfo Facussé, quien se manifestó a favor del golpe del 28 de junio de 2009, ha dado la sorpresa: declara simpatías hacia la aspirante del partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre), fundado por Zelaya. "Tenemos empresarios de todos los partidos. Libre tiene algo que me atrae mucho a mí que es la promesa del cambio. El país definitivamente tiene que cambiar", afirmó a la AFP el influyente empresario, quien calificó al actual gobierno de Porfirio Lobo como "un desastre"."
Context of the Honduran Electoral Process 2012-2013: Incomplete list of Killings and Armed Attacks Related to Political Campaigning in Honduras - May 2012 to October 19, 2013 10/21/2013 Rights Action: "As the November 24, 2013 General Elections approach in Honduras, a discussion of human rights violations surrounding the electoral process is paramount in understanding the historical and political context in which the elections will take place. This report is intended to promote that discussion by providing a list of killings and armed attacks against candidates, party and campaign leaders, and their families since May 2012, six months prior to the November 2012 Primary Elections. The purpose is to draw attention to the context of violence, insecurity and apparently politically motivated killings that are occurring in the lead up to the 2013 General Elections."
Berta Cáceres Is Still Alive 10/20/2013 Truth Out: "Honduran authorities want Berta Cáceres in prison. Even more, they want her dead. Berta, as she is fondly known by her many friends in Honduras and beyond, is a Lenca indigenous woman, and one of the founding directors of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). She is now the face of social movement resistance in Honduras, which in recent months has seen an escalation of state repression against social movement leaders, indigenous peoples’ organizations, environmentalists, and political dissenters. She went into hiding on September 20. But as I write, against all odds, Berta Cáceres is still alive. COPINH, one of the strongest voices in Mesoamerica for the defense of indigenous peoples’ rights, was founded in the early 1990s to fight logging companies in the territories of the Lenca people. After decades of struggle, COPINH has expelled dozens of logging operations from Lenca territories, recovered over 100 indigenous communal land titles, and served as a critical voice in international forums advocating for the right of indigenous communities to give or withhold their binding consent to any megaprojects planned for their territories. Today, COPINH is struggling against a mega-complex of four large dams in the Gualcarque River basin, called the Agua Zarca dam project, being undertaken by a Chinese corporation called Sinohydro and a Honduran company called Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. (DESA)."
Honduras on the Brink of Change 9/13/2013 CounterPunch: "LIBRE also proposes to promulgate a set of laws that protects indigenous people, Afro-descendants, and Garifuna communities, long time marginalized groups that rarely figure into political party politics except to perform dances of rituals as a spectacle for national holidays and special occasions. Now important members of The Resistance, these groups would have a voice and legal protections. Similarly, there are hopes for protections of the environment and natural resources, a national patrimony? eroding under hydroelectric plants construction and resorts and villas for tourists, as people are caught in the middle between protest, death or migration."
COMPAÑEROS DE HONDURAS ASESINADOS POR LA POLICÍA 8/20/2013 Observatorio Critico: "Reproducimos la noticia leída en la naciente revista libertaria Atentados, vocera del grupo salvadoreño La Revuelta, sobre el asesinato de dos compañeros asesinados en Tegucigalpa por la policía hondureña. Esperemos que acabe en algún momento la situación represiva y la criminalización de la protesta que se vive en Honduras."
John Perry: Enjoy your Nutella 8/13/2013 Quotha: "Last week, the RSPO held its fourth Latin American sustainable palm oil conference in Honduras. Alongside the WWF and other proponents of sustainability, a prominent organiser and exhibitor was the local palm oil company Dinant, currently seeking RSPO certification. The company is led by Miguel Facussé, the largest landowner in Honduras. He’s also been called the ‘oil palm grower of death’. Much of the palm oil development is taking place in the lower Aguán valley where there is a worsening conflict between large landowners and thousands of landless peasants. In the 1990s, Dinant and other landowners ‘used a combination of fraud, coercion and violence’ to take land given to peasant farmers under agrarian reform laws. Farmers’ organisations are demanding that these ‘sales’ be declared void. They are under constant threat. At least 80 people have been killed."
Narco-jet in Costa Rica scandal tied to Iran Contra figure 8/12/2013 Mad Cow Morning News
Honduras: Where the blood flows and the rivers are dammed 8/6/2013 Al Jazeera: "Dams funded by foreign investors are threatening the cultural heritage and livelihood of Honduras indigenous peoples."
Garifuna Music Survives and Thrives 'Against All Odds' 8/6/2013 KQED: "Garifuna music is a perfect example. Music fans around the world know about the Garifuna's enthralling sound because of a series of acclaimed albums that feature the Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians hailing from Belize and neighboring countries, where their families have lived for centuries. The Garifuna Collective is touring the United States -- including a stop in San Francisco on Wednesday, August 7 -- and is showcasing songs from its new album Ayó, which was released last month and means "goodbye" in the Garifuna language."
Expanding Palm Oil Empires In The Name Of 'Green Energy' And 'Sustainable Development' 8/5/2013 AP: "From 6th-8th August, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is holding its 4th Latin American Conference on so-called sustainable palm oil in Honduras . (Conference website: http://rspo2013.com/). Environmental and social campaigners have been shocked to learn that one event sponsor is the palm oil company Dinant Corporation, owned and controlled by Miguel Facusse, the largest landowner in Honduras [and one of the larger drug traffickers]. They are calling on World Wildlife Fund WWF and three other organisations to withdraw from and denounce the conference being held in Honduras due to the Dinant’s sponsorship of the event and the serious human rights implications ."
Honduras, LIBRE is predicted to win the general elections in November 7/1/2013 Resistencia Honduras: "Honduras doesn’t need patches, but changes from the roots”, Castro stated. She questioned the moral authority of Parliament’s former president who has force people pay thousands of millions of Lempira for the so-called “margin of security” which never arrived. Immediately afterwards she lamented that the two-party system has driven Honduras into “a State for narcotics traffickers and paramilitaries”. “The two-party system has made the country into a stage for narcotics traffickers and paramilitaries where justice is bought and sold. What has the two-party system brought us? In the first place, violence, the greatest in the world, furthermore, ignorance, hunger, inequality and other sufferings, it has left us a fiscal abyss that has not precedent in our country."
State Department stymied probe into shooting of four Hondurans, whistleblower says 6/12/2013 NY Post: "According to an internal 2012 document, the DEA agents were under the authority of the State Department chief of mission in Honduras, funded by a counternarcotics program, and were “subject to investigation” by State investigators. But when those inquiries began, “despite requests by the US ambassador to Honduras and congressional pressure, DEA reportedly [was] not cooperating.”
Honduras: When Will the US Stop Funding Death Squads? 6/4/2013 Al Jazeera: "A resurgence of death squad activity targeting suspected gang members and others is exacting a mounting toll in Honduras, a country already wracked by violence and impunity. As documented in a series of AP investigative reports, it is increasingly apparent that US-funded Honduran National Police are dispatching summary justice to gang members, in a policy of "social cleansing", with complete impunity. Since evidence has surfaced linking the Honduran police to death squad activity, US support for the police would violate the "Leahy Law", which mandates withholding aid to foreign security forces when credible evidence exists that they have committed human rights abuses."
Indígenas violadas narran horrores en jucio contra Ríos Montt 4/3/2013 CubaDebate: "Con los rostros cubiertos con mantos, diez mujeres de la etnia maya ixil testificaron este martes ante una corte de Guatemala los atroces abusos sexuales y torturas que sufrieron a manos de soldados durante el régimen (1982-83) del exdictador Efraín Ríos Mott, procesado por genocidio."
Periodistas y abogados, víctimas de violencia en Honduras 4/3/2013 CubaDebate: "Periodistas y abogados están entre las mayores víctimas de la violencia en Honduras durante la administración del presidente Porfirio Lobo, según un informe del Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (Conadeh), citado hoy por medios locales. En los 35 meses de gestión del mandatario Lobo murieron en forma violenta alrededor de 80 profesionales del Periodismo y el Derecho, revela el documento."
A Look at Who Gets Left Out of Black History Month 2/3/2013 Alternet: "We have just celebrated the reelection of our first black president, Barack Hussein Obama. Yet my students have been unable to answer the question, "Who was the first black President in North America?" None thought to mention Jean-Jacques Dessalines, as first head of state of a liberated Haiti. But if we are defining North America as Canada, the U.S. and Mexico (excluding the Caribbean), there is little excuse to be ignorant of the historic figure of Vicente Guerrero, who became Mexico's second president on April 1, 1829. His father, Pedro Guerrero, was an Afro-Mexican and his mother Guadalupe Saldaña, was indigenous."
Rios Montt on Trial for Genocide 1/30/2013 CounterPunch: "Efraín Rios Montt, Guatemala’s former dictator, may yet face the consequences of his actions. Last Monday, Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez announced that both Montt, 86, and José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, another former general, must “stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity,” Elisabeth Malkin wrote in the New York Times. Her article, in accordance with Times standards, left a few things out, among them the fact that Montt completed coursework at the School of the Americas (SOA) three decades before taking power. (The school is now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC, but “there are no substantive changes besides the name,” one of its former instructors testified shortly after the rebranding.) His 14 months in charge were brutal, even by the standards SOA grads have set: “an estimated 70,000 unarmed civilians were killed or ‘disappeared;’ hundreds of thousands were internally displaced,” according to Amnesty International. And his “Operation Sofia” was “aimed at massacring thousands of indigenous peasants,” the National Security Archive website explains—and was quite successful, given the 600 Mayan villages it destroyed."
Honduras: La remilitarización del país profundiza la violación a los derechos humanos 12/21/2012 Prensa Indigena: "El Cofadeh (Comité de familiares de detenidos desaparecidos en Honduras) presentó ayer (13/12) en conferencia de prensa cuatro casos emblemáticos de violación a los derechos humanos, que en las próximas horas serán sometidos al conocimiento de la justicia internacional, "en los que concurren elementos graves de impunidad y factores hegemónicos de seguridad hemisférica de Estados Unidos”, se lee en un comunicado de dicha organización. De acuerdo con el análisis del Cofadeh, el proceso de progresiva remilitarización de la región centroamericana, impulsado por Estados Unidos en aras del ‘combate al narcotráfico y al crimen organizado’, Honduras ha devuelto a las Fuerzas Armadas "instrumentos legales y facultades discrecionales” que en sólo tres meses de 2012 ha provocado esos cuatro casos emblemáticos, "envueltos por mecanismos institucionales y presiones externas en la absoluta impunidad”."
Death Squads, Swastikas and "Medieval Methods" of Torture - Honduras’ Post-Coup Elections 11/20/2012 CounterPunch: "She expressed concern that many LIBRE voters would not vote today out of fear, and that many people could not vote for LIBRE, because they would lose their jobs. We later learned that a notice came out in a newspaper Saturday that any state worker who voted for LIBRE would be fired."
US-Backed Honduran Soldiers Chase Down, Murder Innocent Teenager 11/15/2012 AntiWar: "Ebed Yanes, 15, was killed the night of May 26 after driving through a military checkpoint. His father, Wilfredo Yanes, a mild-mannered organic food supplier, tracked down the soldiers, eventually uncovering an allegedly high-level attempt to hide evidence. Further, his quest led to new information reported this week that the unit in question was supported by the U.S."
Mexico’s New President Set to Empower a “Devil’s Cartel” 11/10/2012 NarcoNews: "Baruch Vega, a long-time CIA operative, has raised a red flag over the incoming president of Mexico’s decision to employ the former head of the Colombian National Police, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, as his security advisor in the war on drugs. “I do not think Naranjo will be running a war against drugs,” Vega contends. “He will be running a war to protect Mexican drug traffickers.”"
Presidente panameño anula Ley de venta de terrenos en Colón 10/28/2012 Cuba Debate: "El presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli, firmó este domingo el decreto que formaliza la derogación de la Ley 72 que permitía la venta de los terrenos de la Zona Libre de Colón, luego de que la Asamblea Nacional aprobara el proyecto de Ley 541 que restablece la Zona Libre tras nueve días de intensas protestas populares que dejaron cuatro muertos y decenas de heridos."
VII ENCUENTRO DE LA RAÍZ AFROMEXICANA 10/21/2012 Cimaronajesss
Honduras: De mal en peor 10/21/2012 Cuba Debate: "Desde que se quebrantó la constitucionalidad hace tres años y se instauró otro régimen al que la loba feroz del Estado de Florida (la congresista Ileana Ros-Letienen) vertió su agua bendita, las cosas no han dejado de ir de mal en peor. Contrariando su gusto, en este reciente capítulo, la mayoría de los magistrados determinó que el proyecto de llamadas “ciudades modelo”, viola el principio de soberanía e integridad territorial, mientras la oposición acusa al gobierno de querer vender el país a pedazos a capitales internacionales."
Mitt Romney’s “Pinochet Moment” 9/20/2012 Mad Cow Morning News: "Speaking about US policy towards Honduras, Romney accused President Obama of backing a "pro-Marxist" leader in Honduras, faulting him for not more quickly and enthusiastically supporting the military coup in 2009 that deposed the elected President of a fledgling democracy. That Romney chose to say anything at all about a small nation in Central America was somewhat surprising, especially since he hasn't been specific about much else. But, as he must know, Honduras is important to US foreign policy for only one reason: Controlling Hondurus is important to controlling the drug trade."
Romney Campaign Calls Obama Foreign Policy 'Confusing' and 'Amateur Hour' 9/14/2012 ABC: ""When Honduras and their supreme court removed the president of the country -- a pro-Marxist, anti-American president -- and he insisted, our president, President Barack Obama insisted he get put back. That sent a message to the world," Romney said, igniting applause from the 900 attendees."
Mainstream Media Attends -- Then Ignores -- U.S. Caravan for Peace 9/14/2012 Alternet: 'A minimum of 60,000 drug prohibition related deaths have been recorded in Mexico in the last 5 years of Calderon's presidency and at least 10,000 others have been “disappeared”. Yes, a few stories broke in local markets but not one word was shared via national news programs in the US."
Rising Violence in Post-Coup Honduras - Central America’s Newest “Death Squad Democracy” 9/14/2012 CounterPunch: "As Mariam Herrera, an Afro-Honduran woman told me yesterday, “The politics of this country are shitty. The laws are shitty, and everybody violates them. Half the Congress violates the laws.” Do you hold the United States responsible for part of that? “Yes, because the guns come from the United States. Honduras don’t manufacture guns, we have machetes. Guns – they come from the United States.”
Romney broadens criticism of Obama on Middle East violence 9/14/2012 Detroit News: "The Republican presidential candidate offered a series of criticisms, attacking Obama for refusing a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, backing a "pro-Marxist" leader in Honduras, failing to support protesters in Iran and mismanaging the alliance with Egypt."
Honduran jet fighter shot down DEA drug plane 9/11/2012 MadCow Morning News: “The U.S. agreement with Honduras for sharing radar intelligence specifically prohibits shooting down civilian aircraft. We are merely seeking better controls for its militarized approach to combating drugs in Central America,” said the spokesman. “The decision came after two separate incidents in July, when civilian aircraft were shot down off the coast of northern Honduras. We don't have information about the occupants or their cargo."
EEUU garantiza inmunidad a Ernesto Zedillo ante la matanza de Acteal 9/8/2012 CubaDebate: "El último presidente del PRI de la vieja era, el mexicano Ernesto Zedillo, actual profesor de economía y política de la universidad de Yale, puede respirar tranquilo. El Departamento de Justicia de EEUU le ha otorgado inmunidad diplomática y, por tanto, no enfrentará los cargos que se le imputan en un tribunal de New Haven (Connecticut) donde se le pretendía procesar como responsable intelectual de la matanza de Acteal, el asesinato en 1997 de 45 indígenas de ese pueblo de Chiapas (entre ellos mujeres embarazadas y niños) a manos de un grupo, también de indígenas, supuestamente armado por el Estado."
US suspends anti-drug radar support in Honduras 9/7/2012 AP: "The United States has suspended sharing of radar intelligence with Honduras because the Central American nation's air force shot down two suspected drug planes in violation of agreements with Washington, the State Department and U.S. military confirmed Friday. The decision came after two separate incidents in July, when civilian aircraft were shot down off the coast of northern Honduras, said William Ostick, spokesman for the State Department's Western Hemispheric Affairs Office. The U.S. agreement with Honduras for information sharing specifically prohibits shooting down civilian aircraft."
“Pepe” Lobo confirma derribo de avioneta 9/7/2012 Nuevo Herald: "El presidente de Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, admitió que hubo un derribo de una avioneta por parte de una autoridad nacional sin respeto a un “protocolo”, y dejó entrever que el incidente le costó el puesto al exjefe de las Fuerzas Aérea Hondureña (FAH), Ruiz Pastor Landa. El gobernante tampoco precisó qué incidente fue y en qué fecha. EL HERALDO informó esta semana, en exclusiva, que la aeronave fue derribada en las proximidades de Guanaja."
Honduras signs deal to create private cities 9/5/2012 AP: "The project is opposed by civil society groups including indigenous Garifuna people who say they don't want their land to be used for the project. The developers say the fears are unjustified."
Avión derribado en Guanaja creó fricción con EE UU 9/5/2012 El Heraldo, Honduras
Mexico’s new President owes election to “Narco-Televisa” 9/5/2012 MadCow Morning News: "The first to question what had quickly become the official story—that the busted Mexicans had merely been posing as journalists—was a local publication called The Digital Reporter. While offering no proof, the Digital Reporter insisted that the crew in custody—charged with money laundering and organized crime—were under the direction of Televisa, and that the convoy of vehicles belonged to Televisa as well. Ringleader Raquel Correa Alatorre, as well as three or four other detainees, were working for the Mexican television giant, the publication asserted. The publication, it was later learned, was getting leaks from Nicaraguan military sources, who indicated that there was a senior executive at Televisa—a corporate vice president—also involved in the case."
Se reanuda el Proceso de Remedición de las Tierras de Vallecito, Colón 9/5/2012 OFRANEH: "Como parte del reclamo del pueblo Garifuna sobre la usurpación de Vallecito, Colón, nuestra organizacion emprendió la semana pasada una jornada cultural y política en el territorio usurpado, que tuvo como ambientación traqueteos constantes de armas automáticas, con el proposito de intimidarnos y disuadir el proceso de remedición prometido en diversas ocasiones por el Instituto Nacional Agrario, I.N.A y que una vez no se llevó a efecto."
URGENT ACTION on Vallecito, from OFRANEH - Process of Land Remediation is Renewed on the Garifuna Lands of Vallecito, Colon 9/4/2012 Quotha: "Any action suffered by the Garifunas will be the responsibility of the paid gunmen of Reinaldo Villalobo and of Miguel Facusse, as well as the government itself." [Facusse is one of the wealthiest men in the country and a large scale drug trafficker.]
Honoring Dr. Alfonso Lacayo, first Garifuna MD from UNAH 9/2/2012 Quotha: "This is from back in April, but I came across it recently, and loved the son's recollections of his father, who said he would always say that él no era un profesional de la medicina, sino que era un obrero de la salud. He was not a medical professional; he was a healthcare worker."
Honoring Dr. Alfonso Lacayo, first Garifuna MD from UNAH 9/2/2012 Quotha
U.S.-funded/trained police going on witch hunts 9/2/2012 Quotha: "Last week police raided a woman's house in Choloma and found evidence of a traditional Garifuna medicinal drink, Guífiti (El Tiempo, whose reporters went along for the raid, puts "guífiti" in scare quotes), which they confiscated as evidence of witchcraft along with, allegedly, pictures with pins in them. And something that is presumed to be marijuana. They also arrested a suspected witch. For allegedly being a witch."
Romney's El Salvador Death Squad Ties 8/28/2012 Common Dreams: "In a book entitled “The Country Between Us,” the noted US poet Carolyn Forché writes about the brutality in El Salvador during those years. In a short vignette called The Colonel, Forché tells of being invited for dinner at a Colonel’s house. “What you have heard is true. I was in is house,” writes Forché. “…The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught the scrap of his voice. Some of the ears were pressed to the ground.”"
Alert: Urgent request for solidarity as Day 2 of Land Recovery begins over the presence of armed men in expensive vehicles 8/28/2012 Honduras Eyewitness: "Since yesterday, many communications have been sent to the current government administration, about the menace and threats directed at the representatives of the Garifuna communties, awaiting the process of land title remediation, of the associative (Garifuna) businesses of Vallecito."
Nicaragua seizes $7m from fake reporters 8/25/2012 AAP: "Granera said the suspects told police about 25 bundles hidden in the vans contained the cash. She said the elaborate ruse was intended to smuggle the cash through Nicaragua to the neighbouring nation of Costa Rica to the south. Mexican drug cartels frequently buy Colombian cocaine to ship north to the US market, and often must smuggle cash proceeds from the drug sales back down south to pay the Colombian suppliers."
The moral economy of a floating crate of cash 8/23/2012 Quotha: "Within Ángela's community, at least, such finds are necessarily redistributed in a way that strengthens, reaffirms, and creates kinship ties. In her poor extended family—ranging from extremely poor to middle-of-the-road, getting-by-fairly-well and university-educated poor like Ángela—a Limited Good model of wealth distribution seems to guide the discourses of the poorest family members, who see the relative wealth of their less-poor kin as having been accumulated at their expense. Meanwhile, the less-poor family members tend to employ a Protestant ethic/developmentalist logic, blaming the extreme poverty of their family members on poor choices, bad morals, a disdain for formal education, and excessively high fertility."
Collateral Damage of a Drug War 8/15/2012 CEPR: "On May 11, 2012, four boat passengers were shot dead during a counternarcotics operation that involved Honduran and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. Although Honduran authorities announced that drug traffickers had been killed after agents had fired in self-defense, survivors of the incident, as well as local authorities, insisted that innocent people had been killed, including two women, a fourteen year-old boy and twenty-one year old man. In late July of 2012, analysts from Rights Action and CEPR visited the region where the shooting took place. This report summarizes and analyzes the extensive testimony and other information obtained during the visit. It presents detailed narratives of the sequence of events on May 11 and provides detailed background profiles on the boat passengers who were fired upon as well as on key witnesses. It also describes the region and context in which the shooting incident occurred, in order to better understand its impact on the local community. Finally, it offers a series of key findings and formulates recommendations of measures that the U.S. government and international community should take to address the May 11 incident as well as the broader consequences of U.S.-sponsored drug policies in Honduras and the Central American region."
The US and Honduras - Is the US lending financial support to a police force and army linked to a campaign of extra-judicial killings? 8/14/2012 Al Jazeera: "Honduras has become the newest front in the US war on drugs in Latin America. The US has provided financial support for both the police and the military there in spite of its deep corruption issues. Furthermore, members of both institutions have been linked to a range of killings. Political dissidents, human rights workers and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have all been killed at alarming rates."
Fault Lines: The US and Honduras 8/14/2012 L Jazeera: Interviews with survivors of the DEA massacre.
Honduras cooperating with US human rights probe 8/13/2012 AP: "Despite repeated U.S. criticisms that law enforcement agents have murdered and tortured people, an in-house State Department report sent to Congress Wednesday certifies that Honduras meets U.S. human rights requirements to receive all $56 million appropriated by Congress. But the report said no U.S. military or law enforcement aid - including $1.3 million in foreign military assistance, and another $1.7 million in peace and security funding - can go to anyone working under Bonilla until he is cleared."
Pics of new Mexican President with Sinaloa cartel lieutenant 8/10/2012 MadCow Morning News: '“Rafa" Celaya, the new Mexican President’s friend, wasn’t living rough in the mountains of Sinaloa. Instead, he is a long-time functionary in Mexico’s ruling PRI party who has worked in mid-level positions in state and municipal government in Hermosillo, including a half-dozen years in Sonora State’s Ministry of Finance. The arrested man is the nephew of Victor Hugo Celaya Celaya, an influential politico in Sonora, according to Mexico City newspaper Proceso. In addition to pictures with the president, Rafa is shown in photos with Emilio Gamboa, the newly elected leader of the PRI in the Senate, and influential Mexican Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones."
Honduran President Puts “Tigers” Police Force on the Streets 8/7/2012 IPS: "But Yuri Sabas, a lawmaker with the opposition Liberal Party, told IPS that the creation of the Tigres should be studied in depth. “A few years ago, we created another elite force in the police named Cobra, which has now been implicated in criminal activities,” he said."
Por represas inminentes, pobladores de Concepción, Intibucá, se acercan al movimiento de resistencia indígena 8/2/2012 Defensores en Linea
Es “hipocresía” decir que Honduras es aeropuerto de la mafia: Pepe Lobo 7/23/2012 La Prensa, Honduras: “Yo lo que pediría a todos, al Departamento de Estado, es que revisen si están haciendo lo suficiente, y si es justo que aquí en Honduras, en lugar de hacer programas sociales, apoyar a los productores a que siembren más o resolver muchos problemas... si es justo que estemos invirtiendo recursos en esa lucha (contra el narcotráfico)”, expresó el mandatario. A su juicio, el asunto no es de estarse “tirando la bola”, porque al final la única realidad es: “qué pasaría si nosotros no estuviésemos en el corredor entre donde se demanda y donde se produce”.
Hunden en Nicaragua "narcolancha" que se dirigía a Honduras 7/23/2012 La Prensa, Honduras: "Una lancha rápida cargada con droga que viajaba de Panamá hacia Honduras fue hundida el fin de semana en aguas del Mar Caribe por la Fuerza Naval de Nicaragua tras un intercambio de disparos entre los supuestos narcotraficantes y militares."
Mexico’s Peña Nieto hires US propaganda firm 7/22/2012 NarcoNews: "CLSA is the same US image-building firm that was retained in the fall of 2009 by the Honduran regime led by “de facto” President Roberto Micheletti in the wake of its coup d'état in that Central American nation."
Nicaragua denuncia que cárteles de Colombia equipan a narcos en Honduras 7/20/2012 La Prensa, Honduras: "Lo que está claro es que los medios venían procedente de Colombia con destino a la Mosquitia hondureña (zona indígena del Caribe), donde se han asentado unos cárteles de narcotraficantes muy peligrosos que tienen altas vinculaciones con elementos colombianos", aseguró el jefe de inteligencia militar, Adolfo Zepeda."
Policía colombiana se lleva de Honduras a capo 7/20/2012 La Prensa, Honduras
Will Gutting Honduras’ Police Force Get to the Root of Corruption? 6/15/2012 COHA: "Ironically, Bonilla has been accused of the same iniquity that he pledges to eradicate from the police force. In a report released 10 years ago by former State Prosecutor Maria Luisa Borjas, Bonilla was accused of killing three people and named as a suspect in the murders of 11 others. Bonilla was formally charged in only one of these cases, but legal action was halted when law enforcement officials refused to cooperate with the prosecutor. All charges against Bonilla were subsequently dropped after Borjas’ husband was attacked and Borjas received multiple death threats from unknown assailants thought to be operating on behalf of Bonilla."
The Massacre in the Moskitia - The DEA and the Return of the Death Squads 6/15/2012 CounterPunch: "I first heard of the tragedy while in the process of preparing for a human rights delegation to Honduras coordinated by the Alliance for Global Justice and led by Karen Spring from Rights Action. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press have all published stories glorifying the role of the DEA in seizing a huge quantity of drugs in the incident. They not only down played the killing and injuring of innocent people (some reports even questioned if there even were casualties), but also some of the news reports stated that those shot were actually involved in drug trafficking. In typical mainstream media fashion there was over-the-top anonymous quoting of US and Honduran officials and not much fact checking."
Víctimas inocentes 6/13/2012 El Heraldo, Honduras
CNN acts as SOUTHCOM's propaganda agent on Honduras 6/10/2012 Quotha: "This article about an imaginary Honduras where people don't give a shit about DEA massacres on national territory cites as its two "expert" sources the Monologue's Michael Shifter and FIU prof Eduardo Gamarra, both of whom have recently been paid quite a bit of money to write reports for SOUTHCOM (through Florida International University) and unspecified Intelligence agencies (at least in Shifter's case with his work for WHEMSAC)."
Honduran Miskitos Caught in Anti-Narcotics Crossfire 6/9/2012 Repeating Islands
Legal Questions Remain in DEA Miskitia Attack 6/8/2012 Honduras Weekly
Taiwan-Honduras ties remain strong despite criticism 6/7/2012 Focus Taiwan: ""Our relations with Honduras are very stable," Deputy Foreign Minister Tung Kuo-yu said in a question-and-answer session at the Legislature's foreign affairs and national defense committee. Tung's remark came amid blasts from lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that China is helping Honduras establish a US$300 million hydroelectric power plant. Furthermore, the Chinese national flag has been seen flying at the construction site, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang said, describing the incident as a diplomatic crisis."
La masacre en Mosquitia, Honduras: “Sólo los agentes de la DEA pueden disparar desde un helicóptero que por otra parte, es suyo” 6/5/2012 Dick Emanuelsson: "Habla agente de la policía antinarcótica del Ministerio Público."
Video of COFADEH press conference on DEA massacre in Ahuas 6/5/2012 Quotha: "Graphic image warning. Skip to 1:30 if you don't want to see the horrifying photographs of how the DEA destroyed the bodies of the indigenous Miskitu people whose brave relatives are present at the press conference that begins at that time mark. Video by Dick and Mirian Emanuelsson."
Drug interdiction: The U.S. wades more deeply into Honduras 6/4/2012 Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "To Americans of a certain age, the picture of U.S. drug advisers, flying in State Department helicopters and operating in a small jungle country in support of the corrupt security forces of a questionable president, is all too familiar. It is also entirely inappropriate, particularly as innocent civilians die as a result of their work."
URGENT ACTION: Honduran State Discriminates Against Victims of the DEA 6/4/2012 Quotha: "The child WILMER LUCAS WALTER (14) and youth LUCIO ADAN NELSON QUEEN (22), who were traveling in the boat that was fired on by the DEA and Honduran agents, have been hospitalized since May 11 en regional hospital centers and to date have not received the surgical attention required to treat their serious injuries. Wilmer is at risk of losing his left hand due to negligence and lack of attention and Lucio is weakened by infection as he waits for orthopedic intervention in his right arm. In the midst of the so called “war against drugs” the principal victims are the indigenous, Misquito villagers including children and women; the principal actor responsible for these serious actions is the State."
Dana Frank on This is Hell 6/3/2012 Quotha: "Click for Dana Frank’s 40-minute interview on the DEA attack in Honduras on the Northwestern University program “This is Hell”, a weekly, 4-hour political analysis program broadcast each Saturday morning."
Annie Bird: USA/DEA Killings in Ahuas 5/30/2012 Quotha: "The Patuca River is like a highway for over 25 Miskitu, Tawaka and Pech communities that live on its shores; there are no roads in this part of the Gracias a Dios department. But the river is much more than a road, it is their source of life. Communities farm rice, beans, yucca, and plantains on its shores, and fish the waters. They leave their towns in planting and harvest seasons to spend weeks at a time in huts along the river shore close to their fields. Though most make their life from the river, the main source of outside employment is working on the commercial fishing boats that pick up Miskitu men at mouth of the river and take them to sea for weeks at a time. For over 20 years, Lilda Lesama has coordinated divers and fishermen for the commercial boats, transporting them by canoe from Ahuas to Barra Patuca."
Death in Miskitia Land and the Search for Justice 5/28/2012 COHA: "On May 11, death came to the Miskitia from U.S. State Department-owned helicopters manned by contract Guatemalan pilots, members of a special Honduran Police Unit, along with U.S. DEA agents. Reports concerning the botched anti-narcotics operation barely survived three news cycles before expiring in the face of an indifferent public. During week one, a number of initial news reports (with the notable exception of the coverage by the Huffington Post) offered a defaming criminal profile of the local Miskito population using anonymous “official” U.S. government sources. During week two, when the voice of the Miskito community was beginning to be heard more clearly, some news reports offered a more humanized version of the people of Ahuas and surrounding villages. By May 17, the question of U.S. accountability began to lose steam when State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland deferred the responsibility of carrying out an investigation to the notoriously corrupt Honduran authorities. Despite the current paucity of news about this incident, the struggle for justice in the Miskitia continues."
Informe Preliminar de Verificación - Caso Ahuas 5/24/2012 COFADEH: "Del 20 al 24 de mayo de 2012, una Comisión de verificación conformada por tres personas del Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH, con el acompañamiento internacional de representantes del Programa de Acompañamiento Honduras PROAH y de Acción Permanente por la Paz, visitó los municipios de Ahuas y Puerto Lempira en el Departamento de Gracias a Dios y también La Ceiba en el departamento de Atlántida, con el objetivo de documentar los hechos trágicos del 11 de mayo de 2012."
DEA Facing Fallout from Deadly Honduras Raid 5/22/2012 Stop the Drug War: "In the Honduran village where four residents were killed last week by gunfire from a helicopter on a US-backed anti-drug operation complete with DEA agents on board the chopper, feelings continue to run high. On Monday, they told the Associated Press that DEA agents also accompanied Honduran commandos who stormed into homes and mistreated residents after the raid, but the agency denies that."
US agents on deadly Honduran military operation 5/16/2012 AP: "The leaders of the Masta, Diunat, Rayaka, Batiasta and Bamiasta ethnic groups said in a press statement that "the people in that canoe were fishermen, not drug traffickers." "For centuries we have been a peaceful people who live in harmony with nature, but today we declared these Americans to be persona non grata in our territory," the statement continued."
¿Mamá por qué no puedo llevar trenzas a la escuela? 5/9/2012 Negra Cubana: "¿Sabías que en Panamá han prohibido el uso de trenzas y drealocks en los centros escolares? La respuesta a tal prohición no se ha hecho esperar pues la Coordinadora Nacional de las Organizaciones Negras Panameñas (Conegpa) ha designado el 21 de mayo del 2012 como el “Día de la Trenza” en ese país centroamericano. Tal designación tiene como objetivo reivindicar la identidad afrodescendiente y el respeto a la cultura negra, especialmente en la niñez y adolescencia."
Los afros veracruzanos y su cultura 5/1/2012 Caliban
Honduran activist tours Wisconsin 3/30/2012 Workers' World: "Dr. Luther Castillo, a Garifuna doctor from Honduras and a member of the National Resistance movement there, traveled throughout Wisconsin March 14 through 18 as part of a national tour sponsored by the Honduras Solidarity Network. Castillo, a graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, spoke not only on the fight for health care as a human right, but also informed audiences about the Honduran resistance movement that is waging a fierce, ongoing struggle against U.S. imperialism and its puppets in Honduras."
Presentation: Dr. Luther Castillo & Prof. Ariel Reyes in Pillsbury 3/25/2012 YouTube: "Dr. Luther Castillo Harry is a specialist in familiar medicine and public health."
Dr. Luther Castillo and the struggles of the Garifuna people of Honduras 3/21/2012 SF Examiner: "Given the American State Department’s ambivalence about things Cuban and the medical profession’s general misgivings about alternative medicine, Dr. Castillo’s exploits have been under-publicized. Labeled “Public Enemy #1” by the Honduran military, Dr. Castillo “finds it difficult to leave the struggle” because as a humanitarian and voice for the Garifuna people, he feels “we have the right to dream, too.”"
Carbon Blood Money in Honduras 3/10/2012 Common Dreams: "Small farmers in this region have increasingly fallen under the thumb of large landholders like palm oil magnate Miguel Facussé, who has been accused by human rights groups of responsibility for the murder of numerous campesinos in Bajo Aguán since the 2009 coup. Yet Facussé’s company has been approved to receive international funds for carbon mitigation under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)."
Then and Now - Guatemala’s Reign of Terror 2/6/2012 CounterPunch: "Dr. Reinaldo Pons heads the Cuban Medical Brigade active in Guatemala since Hurricane Mitch in 1998. His report last year epitomizes an approach to international outreach that serves people’s needs, not the wealthy few: 332 Cuban doctors were caring for 13.1 percent of the Guatemalan population. They included 57 eye surgeons associated with Cuba’s multinational Operation Miracle, 81 working in 23 hospitals, and the rest carrying out primary care in 29 departments and municipalities. In areas where they worked, infant mortality had fallen to eight deaths in the first year of life per 1000 births, down from 30-40 deaths elsewhere. Guatemalan students pay nothing to attend Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine; 345 had graduated as of 2007."
Panama police, indigenous clash over blockade 2/5/2012 AP: "Police fired tear gas Sunday to clear blockades of the Pan-American highway by indigenous groups protesting changes to the mining law. One person was killed and 39 injured in the resulting clashes. Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said police broke up the blockades after members of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe in western Panama refused calls for dialogue. Protest leader Liborio Miranda said a 26-year-old indigenous man was shot dead in the chest."
En Honduras, un desastre hecho en los E.E.U.U. Friday, 27 January 2012 14:04 Administrador 1/27/2012 Defensores en Linea: "Cuando prominentes figuras han salido ha acusar a la policía son acribillados por escuadrones de la muerte y narcotraficantes, el más famoso acusador fue el antiguo comisionado de policía, Alfredo Landaverde. El fue asesinado el 7 de diciembre, hasta ahora el gobierno ha comenzado hacer significativos arrestos de oficiales de policía… Porque el Departamento de Estado se ha lanzado detrás de la administración Lobo a pesar de las evidencias de la corrupción del régimen? En parte porque ha sido enterrados por la circunscripción Cubana-Americana de la Representante Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, la Presidente del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores, y sus aliados. Ellos han sido feroces sobre Honduras como un primer dominó con el que pueden empujar contra la línea gobiernos de izquierda y centro-izquierda que han ganado elecciones en América Latina en los últimos 15 años. Con su base militar aérea Americana, Honduras es crucial para la estrategia militar de los Estados Unidos en América Latina."
In Honduras, a Mess Made in the U.S. 1/26/2012 NYT: "When prominent figures came forward to charge that the police are riddled with death squads and drug traffickers, the most famous accuser was a former police commissioner, Alfredo Landaverde. He was assassinated on Dec. 7. Only now has the government begun to make significant arrests of police officers… Why has the State Department thrown itself behind the Lobo administration despite brutal evidence of the regime’s corruption? In part because it has caved in to the Cuban-American constituency of Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and her allies. They have been ferocious about Honduras as a first domino with which to push back against the line of center-left and leftist governments that have won elections in Latin America in the past 15 years. With its American air base, Honduras is also crucial to the United States’ military strategy in Latin America."
Honduras says US personnel to help stem violence 1/19/2012 AP: "Honduran President Porfirio Lobo says the United States is sending people to help Honduras battle the violent crime that led to the withdrawal of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers this week. Lobo says the Americans will work on analyzing the problems. Lobo told the HRN radio network Thursday that "soon there will be U.S. personnel here ... and that will contribute to the tranquility of the Honduran people."
A State of Siege in Northern Honduras: Land, Palm Oil and Media 1/12/2012 Upside Down World
What Lies Ahead for the Xicaques, Kunas, Garífunas and Mayas? 1/10/2012 Envio: "Whither the future of these indigenous communities of Central America? Does it lie in finding themselves assimilated into national culture or, at the other extreme, ending up with their own autonomous governments?"