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Archive: 1989-2003

Central America: Rescuing devastated coffee growers  12/31/2002 Washington Times: conservative paper details USAID assistance to what is a real problem.

Guatemala begins eliminating infamous guard  12/30/2002 CNN: "Prosecutors say corrupt army generals and presidents long used the guard and its slayings to protect their secrets during the country's 1960-96 civil war. This year, a Guatemalan army colonel was sentenced to 30 years in prison for ordering a fellow member of the guard to kill human rights activist Myrna Mack in 1990. And last year, two guard members were convicted of murdering Roman Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi, the head of the church's local human rights office. Gerardi was killed after releasing a report blaming the military for human rights abuses. Two other men also were convicted."

Gringo justice  12/30/2002 Honduras This Week: shades of Elian - scroll down for this story - "The child was put under the custody of North Carolina, and was then adopted by the homosexual couple. The judge believed that Honduras was still a “jungle.” He refused to give the child up for custody, even to relatives in the state of Florida. The child has lived with the couple for nearly a year. His Honduran grandparents, who live in Honduras, are asking the U.S. government to deliver the child to their care, promising to provide him with a good education and future."

OAGANIC Fighting To Rescue The Garifuna Culture  12/28/2002 Bluefields Pulse, Nicaragua: "Kemsy Sambola is the president of OAGANIC (organización Afro-Garifuna Nicaraguense) an organization working to restore the Garifuna culture on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Bluefieldspulse is delighted to have had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Sambola for a brief interview. In our interview with Kemsy we learned like so many others when it comes to the Black culture on the coast no one cares to lend a hand. People like these are truly heroes since they all work as volunteers and do not get a salary for the work they do."

Mysterious death of J'can fisherman in Honduras  12/28/2002 Jamaica Observer 

Inmates running Guatemala prison since deadly riot  12/27/2002 Reuters: "Many prisoners belong to two rival gangs operating in Central America but which originated in Los Angeles -- the "Salvatruchas" and the "Mara 18." Inside the jail, though, they appear to have laid aside their differences and formed a common front known as the "Cholos," hostile to non-gang members who call themselves the "Paisas." The deaths during the riot are believed to be the result of a fight for supremacy between the two factions, which occupy different sectors of the jail. Prisoners have accused police of using excessive force in their attempts to control the riot. Authorities are expected to storm the jail in coming days."

Bloody Prison Riot Kills 18 in Guatemala  12/25/2002 AP 

At Least 13 Dead in Guatemala Prison Riot  12/24/2002 Reuters: "The protest began on Monday when a group of inmates demanded the prison's director resign because of poor food and a lack of visiting time. They also demanded that members of the Salvatrucha gang -- one of several operating in the Central American nation -- be transferred elsewhere. "This wasn't a gang thing. It was about one group controlling the prison with the help of guards," said one inmate with a bandanna over his nose and mouth. However, most of the prisoners, who were mainly in their teens and early 20s, sported gang tattoos on their chests. Guatemala's overcrowded and resource-starved prisons are often the scene of violent riots. President Alfonso Portillo declared a state of emergency in June 2001 after more than 70 prisoners escaped from a high-security prison on the country's south coast."

Nicaragua Builds Case Against President  12/23/2002 Guardian, UK: "Prosecutors will go ahead with electoral fraud charges against Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolanos based on evidence presented in a corruption case against his predecessor, according to local media reports. Late Sunday, a judge told prosecutors to proceed with their case against former President Arnoldo Aleman, who has been ordered to stand trial on charges of stealing nearly $100 million in public funds before leaving office in January. Aleman has been under house arrest since earlier this month. In an interview published in Monday's editions of the La Prensa newspaper, Attorney General Julio Centeno said that decision will allow investigators to continue building their case against Bolanos, Vice President Jose Rizo, and 22 other members of their Constitutionalist Liberal Party. Prosecutors believe Aleman transferred about $100 million in public funds to accounts his family controlled in Panama, then funneled $4.1 million back to Nicaragua and spent it on Bolanos' and Rizo's presidential campaign."

Guatemala Endures Food Emergency  12/23/2002 Voice of America: "Officials acknowledge up to 70 percent of Guatemala’s eleven million people suffer from malnutrition. Most are the indigenous Maya, who have been disadvantaged since the days of Spanish colonialism. Brian Rudert, who is with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Guatemala City, explains how the calamity has grown. BRIAN RUDERT “There was a very serious drought last summer that affected the corn crop. And, then the drop in the international coffee prices, which basically cut the labor demand for picking coffee in about half. So families, that their survival strategy was getting one corn crop a year and then picking coffee the rest of the year, got hit with a double whammy. And, it just sent them over the edge.”

Honduras: Muertes Arbitrarias (extrajudiciales o sumarias) y otras Muertes, CODEH  12/20/2002 PDS 

Belize: PUP and UDP announce Town Council candidates  12/19/2002 San Pedro Sun: "Alex Jason Noralez is originally from Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. He is a teacher at San Pedro High School, married and the father of one child. Mr. Noralez is also a devoted member of the San Pedro Garifuna Council… Joseph Elijio is originally from Dangriga in the Stann Creek District but moved to San Pedro with his family when he was only a year old. He is presently the Assistant Manager of Seven Seas Resort and has held the post of President of the San Pedro Garifuna Council for the past three years. Mr. Elijio is the proud father of four children."

Body of Guatemalan Human Rights Leader Found After Kidnapping  12/19/2002 Santa Fe New Mexican: "Pop Caal was a lawyer known for defending the human rights of Guatemala's Indian people. He was kidnapped Oct. 9 in Coban, 140 miles (220 kms) north of Guatemala City, the capital."

Retaliation in Guatemala - My Family is Under Attack  12/17/2002 Counterpunch: Mayans under attack by the government, again - "They have lived quietly in a small barrio in the Capital until recently. Then the neighbors began to report that armed men were looking for her husband and asking where he lived. Friends told her son that he should hide, that a car with black glass windows was circling the area, and had asked where he lived. The car was full of armed men. Strangers she had never seen before began speaking loudly in the streets about the Bamaca case, swearing they would kill any relatives if they ever found them."

Despite presidential promise, child killings in Honduras continue  12/16/2002 Honduras This Week: "According to a Casa Alianza press release, despite a presidential promise that further deaths would be unacceptable, another 46 children and young people less than 23 years of age were murdered in Honduras during the month of November. Not one of the 15 cases of children allegedly murdered by police that were turned over to the Special Investigation Unit of the Ministry of Public Safety has been resolved. During this same period, another 159 children and youths were killed. The list of cases “to be investigated” just keeps growing."

Amnesty warns life of Guatemala activist in danger  12/16/2002 Reuters: "Mendez, who has received death threats related to his work since the late 1980s and has sent his family abroad several times for safety, was heading home from a meeting with investigators searching for Antonio Pop, an Indian lawyer and campaigner for Mayan rights kidnapped in the country's north in October. "I think it was a warning for him to drop this," Guatemalan Attorney General Carlos de Leon told Reuters, referring to the attack."

GARIFUNA: A LIVING HUMAN TREASURE  12/15/2002 Garinet: "The recognition is beyond comprehension For those who chose, in the past, to jeer Calling negative names their Garifuna peers. The Garifuna subjected to tidal waves Of insults, rejection, oppression Resiliently emerged using the negatives As spark plugs regenerating, rejuvenating."

5 dead in US military helicopter crash in Honduras  12/13/2002 Agence France Press: A few more details than in the AP story - "The Blackhawk belongs to a US Air Force regiment that is part of Joint Task Force Bravo, based at the Enrique Soto Cano Air Force base, located near the city of Comayagua, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) north-west of Tegucigalpa. The base is home to some 550 US military -- mainly army and air force -- personnel and more than 650 US and Honduran civilians. US forces at the base carry out anti-drug operations, training missions, and support for humanitarian relief assistance, according to the base website."

Enrique Soto Cano Air Force Base  12/13/2002 Center for International Policy: "With the departure of the U.S. Army’s 228th Aviation Battalion from Fort Kobbe, Panama, many aviation assets of U.S. Army South (USARSO), Southcom’s army component, were moved to Soto Cano. These include a command and control element, CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters, and UH-60 “Blackhawk” and “Medevac” helicopters.7 The Honduran Constitution does not permit a permanent foreign presence in Honduras. A "handshake" agreement between the United States and Honduras allows JTF-Bravo to remain in Honduras on a "semi-permanent" basis. This agreement, an annex to the 1954 military assistance agreement between the United States and Honduras, can be abrogated with little notice."

Honduras Crash Kills Five U.S. Soldiers  12/12/2002 AP: "Palmerola is a $30 million base built in 1983. It lodges 400 U.S. soldiers, who rotate every three months. During the turmoil of the 80's in Central America, Palmerola was the main U.S. military operations center in the area." Coca Contra left overs.

Tela pudiera quedarse sin playas públicas  12/8/2002 Honduras News: "Entre estas playas se pueden mencionar las ubicadas al frente de la colonia Zacapa (al extremo Oeste del centro de la ciudad), las del barrio El Paraíso, las de las comunidades garífunas de San Juan, Tornabé, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz, así como muchas al extremo Este hasta pegar al cerro Punta Izopo, sin dejar de mencionar algo de común saber: que algunos empresarios hoteleros se apropiaron de grandes porciones de playas para construir sus inmuebles." The theft of Garifuna lands continues.

DECLARACIÓN DE SAN JOSE VIII ASAMBLEA DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN NEGRA CENTROAMERICANA 5, 6 Y 7 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2002  12/7/2002 GarifunaWeb: "Reunidas en San Isidro de Coronado, San José, Costa Rica las organizaciones Afrocentroamericanas pertenecientes a la Organización Negra Centroamericana: Asociación Proyecto Caribe y el Centro de Mujeres Afrocostarricense de Costa Rica, OAGANIC y ADEHPCA de Nicaragua, ASOMUGAGUA y ONEGUA de Guatemala, National Garífuna Council y UBAD Educational Foundation de Belice, ODECO y ECOSALUD de Honduras, Coalición Garífuna USA, Hondureños Contra el SIDA, Mujeres Garifunas en Marcha de Estados Unidos, Respuesta Afro Panameña y Red de Mujeres Afropanameñas de Panamá, para reafirmar nuestra determinación y verdadera convicción de ser los actores de nuestros procesos de desarrollo, haciendo uso de nuestro pleno derecho como ciudadanos de los distintos países de la región y en la diáspora africana.Por lo tanto acordamos:"

Life, Liberty and the Pursue of Garifunaness  12/7/2002 Garinet: "I have a Dream that one day, NGC, WGO, OAGANIC, ODECO and the Garifuna Coalition will one day join hands and march down Emperor's Avenue as the Garifuna Nation declare victory in reclaiming their home, language and culture."

Médicos calorizan masiva marcha del Bloque Popular  12/6/2002 El Tiempo, Honduras: "Más de 3. 000 personas atendieron ayer el llamado del Bloque Popular para marchar contra las privatizaciones, protesta que contó por primera vez con la presencia de más de 200 médicos y estudiantes de Medicina que se oponen a la privatización de la salud. La marcha de protesta inició a las 4: 00 de la tarde en el Parque El Obelisco, y participaron además de los médicos, maestros y los sindicatos agremiados al Bloque Popular. También participó un nutrido grupo de sindicalistas provenientes de El Progreso, Yoro; Tocoa, Colón y Atlántida; maestros de diversas zonas del país y muchos pobladores de patronatos de las colonias marginales de la capital."

Honduras: Médicos se unen a protesta  12/6/2002 La Prensa, Honduras: "Los médicos, considerados un sector de elite en la sociedad hondureña, se unieron ayer a los sectores populares por primera vez en la historia durante una jornada en la que protestaron en contra de las privatizaciones. “Empeorarán nuestros males, si privatizan los hospitales’’ era una de las consignas que gritaba un reducido grupo de médicos especialistas, generales y hasta estudiantes de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma de Honduras, Unah, los cuales se mezclaron con obreros y maestros para manifestarse en la calles."

Barranco community fights disease, indifference and a new airport  12/2/2002 Honduras This Week: "In addition to Hurricane Mitch, the community was hit with the destruction of their principal crop—coconuts. One farmer said she used to bring 500 coconuts twice a week to sell in Trujillo. Due to Lethal Yellowing Disease which has killed most of the Honduran coconut trees, no coconuts at all are produced in Barranco now. The farmers do not produce enough either to rebuild their houses nor to pay transportation to the area. Due to the help of several NGO’s including the Garifuna Emergency Committee (Comité de Emergencia Garífuna de Honduras), the environmental organization responsible for the nearby Guaymoreto Lagoon FUCAGUA, the Catholic church’s social arm CARITAS, and CIDH (Independent Center for the Development of Honduras) the agriculture is slowly returning to Barranco. Thirty five families are working in the area, traveling from the town of Trujillo. FHIS (The Honduran Fund for Social Investment, a government agency) has provided funding for local residents to build an eco-tourism project in the area."

Los Pueblos Indígenas y Negros en la Normativa Nacional  12/2/2002 PDS 

Stranded in Paradise - Shipwrecked Hundreds of Years Ago, the Garifuna Are Still Trying to Find Their Way  12/2/2002 Washington Post: "There was a time when the Garifuna lived off the land and the sea. But now, they say, the land is eroding and the sea is dying. There was a time, says 64-year-old Hilario Bernadez Callatano, when a fisherman could stand on the edge of the sea, bend over and scoop up handful upon handful of wiggling crabs. A man could feed his family, have a little dignity. Now, tourism is replacing farming and fishing, and parsing the Garifuna into three distinct groups: the old guard, like fisherman-musician Bernadez, who struggle to survive off the land; the new guard, like Paulina Rodriguez, a 33-year-old who ekes out a living braiding hair for the European and Israeli tourists; and those who leave to seek their fortune elsewhere."

Flor del Campo: The Struggle for Land  12/1/2002 Justicia HN: A case similar to the Garifuna land theft cases on the coast - "It has been a long, hard struggle, and it is not over yet. The residents of the community of La Flor del Campo in Tegucigalpa have been fighting for title to their land for over twenty years. La Flor del Campo was formed in 1979 by a group of people driven from other areas of Honduras by poverty, war and drought. The land they occupied belonged to the Municipality, and under Honduran law, they should have been able to receive title for it following three years of occupation. However, soon after they claimed the land and were recognized as legitimate by the state, one of Tegucigalpa's wealthy and influential families began to claim that they owned the land. For the last twenty years they have manipulated the justice system and other authorities to ensure that no titles could be issued to the poor inhabitants of La Flor del Campo and eight other surrounding communities."

Honduras: COMUNICADO PUBLICO, Sambo Creek  11/21/2002 GarifunaWeb: "La Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, Ofraneh, denuncia ante la opinión publica la caótica impartición de Justicia por parte del Estado Hondureño, el que de forma racista y arbitraria procedió el pasado miércoles 13, a desalojar a nuestros hermanos Garífunas de Sambo Creek, los que habían recuperado un terreno usurpado por los herederos del abogado Miguel Ángel Castillo. La celeridad con que actuó el Juzgado y la parcialidad demostrada por el Ministerio Publico, denota racismo de parte del aparato judicial además de la venalidad con que actúan sus miembros, los cuales procedieron al desalojo sin haber escuchado los argumentos que presentaron los miembros del Patronato de la comunidad y su Comité de Defensa de Tierras, y sin haber consultado al INA, la autoridad en materia de tierras."

Honduras: Garífunas, el pueblo olvidado  11/20/2002 La Prensa, Honduras: "El 12 de abril de 1797 llegaron a Punta Gorda, Roatán, 5080 garífunas desde la Isla de San Vicente. Ellos venían como prisioneros de guerra después de combatir contra ingleses y franceses por cerca de 40 años. Una vez establecidos en Roatán iniciaron negociaciones con los españoles en Trujillo y se ubicaron en tierras continentales, estableciendo comunidades a lo largo de la costa Atlántica, inclusive Guatemala, Belice y Nicaragua. Con la Reforma Liberal, desde finales del siglo XIX hasta mediados del siglo XX, llegaron a Honduras nuevos contingentes afrocaribeños, principalmente de Jamaica, Haití y Trinidad y Tobago, para ser empleados en la construcción del ferrocarril interoceánico y en las plantaciones bananeras de las transnacionales. El mestizaje iniciado desde el siglo XVI, supone que aproximadamente el 80 por ciento de la población hondureña tiene sangre africana. Actualmente habitan en 36 comunidades a lo largo de la costa."

Bicentenario del pueblo garífuna se está celebrando en Izabal  11/19/2002 La Hora, Guatemala: "Para quienes hemos tenido la oportunidad de convivir con el pueblo garífuna, es de mucha satisfacción que la organización negra guatemalteca ONEGUA esté organizando una serie de actividades académicas, culturales y deportivas del 7 al 26 de noviembre, realizando eventos de gran importancia para esta magna celebración. Puerto Barrios "La Tierra de Dios" ha sido siempre un lugar de comercio y turismo; en ese bello paraje porteño se encuentra una gran mayoría de la raza garífuna que se asienta principalmente en el barrio El Rastro."

Belize: Garinagu community gear up for Settlement Day  11/18/2002 Channel 5, Belize: "On this, the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, intensive preparations continue for the long list of cultural activities planned for tonight and tomorrow… Tim Palacio, V.P., Belize City Nat'l Garifuna Council "We close off B.T.L. Park and we provide a Garifuna cultural experience that is geared towards all the multicultural groups in Belize City. So what we have on stage is going to be the Larubeya and their exciting cultural original vibes. We also have the John cunu dancers; we will be accompanied by the Ugudani dance group. This is going to be followed by the best performances of the International Dance Festival that will be on our stage tonight. And then we top it off with the Paranderos, Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor. So we really have a fun filled day, packed agenda. When that is done, and that is till da mawning, we go to the re-enactment...We will have a huge re-enactment, bigger than ever at the Bellevue pier, the mayor is going to be there to receive us. That is going to be followed by a parade to the Holy Redeemer Church. And we have a very vibrant, spirit-filled mass with the Garifuna Choir in full regalia. And then we parade to the B.T.L. Park."

Honduras: Denuncia Publica de la Problematica de la Tierra Garifuna en Honduras  11/18/2002 GarifunaWeb: "Ante la poca voluntad de la justicia Hondureña, en hacer prevalecer los derechos ancestrales del pueblo Garifuna, nos veremos obligados desde este momento a interponer una denuncia junto con OFRANEH, ante la Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos de la OEA y otras organizaciones de los Estados Unidos."

RELEGADOS AL LIMBO  11/15/2002 Bluefields Pulse: "La política de un gobierno, con mayores alcances visionarios, tomaría la iniciativa de integración al natural mercado Caribeño que une cultural y económicamente a las poblaciones, y en un ambiente que los locales tendrán la oportunidad de ser el elemento focal en la producción y el comercio, que desarrollaría su capacidad de incrementar los recursos, e incipientes posibilidades de integrarse con mayor incidencia a la clase productiva del país."

Honduras: GARIFUNA MUSICIANS MEET TO DISCUSS FUTURE  11/9/2002 Garinet: "They began in September of 2002 by exposing their dilema at the 2002 ONECA Conference in New York. From there, the Foundation of Garifuna Artist in New York has been on a campaign blitz to inform the entire New York community about current problems facing Garifuna artists in New York."

Honduras: OFRANEH INFORMA SOBRE REPRESION  11/9/2002 Garinet: "Yo Juan Martinez, mayor de edad, oriundo de la comunidad de Triunfo de la Cruz en el Departmento de Atlántida, Republica de Honduras Centro America, miembro del Comité de Defenza de Tierras Triunfeñas (CODETT), presidente del "Isery Ondarun" (Nueva Organizacion en Garifuna) y miembro de la Junta Directiva Nacional de la "Organizacion Fraternal Negra de Honduras" (OFRANEH) en mi nombre y de mis compañeros informo a mi pueblo y al mundo lo siguiente, ruego a todos diseminar ampliamente esta infomacion. Denuncio la detencion e injusto encarcelamiento de tres de nuestros dirigentes comunitarios."

Police Attack Garifuna leaders in Honduras  11/9/2002 Garinet: "Coming on the heels of an arson in Vallecito, a police attack on a national march, and the government's filing charges against 35 community leaders, there is more news of repression against the Afro-Honduran Garifuna. In Triunfo de la Cruz, 3 Garifuna leaders were actually arrested and thrown in prison November 3, over a land conflict. It regards 3 actes of land which fall inside the land which belongs officially and traditionally to the community of Triunfo. The official Community Title was awarded by INA, (National Agrarian Institute) the relevant government body, in 1992, encompassing 380 acres. Six years ago, the municipality of Tela (nearby larger city) sold those 5 acres to the "Asociacion de Pueblos Franciscanos de Muchachos," APUFRAM, (Association of Franciscan Boys Towns) who planned to build a high school. In the document, it is explicit stated that they must build a school within 2 years or lose their right to the land."

Garifuna Settlement and Migration Patterns  11/4/2002 Garifuna Empowerment Movement: Whereas Honduras this week had a Garifuna population based on the Honduran census at 50,000, this has it as 126,000 in 1999. "Based on research carried out in 1981/82, Palacio estimates that there were between 4,000 and 10,000 Garifuna living in Los Angeles (Palacio 1992) but more recent estimates put that number around 25,000 (O'Conner 1998). My conservative estimate of the Los Angeles Garifuna population is somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 with the vast majority living predominantly in South Central Los Angeles."

Ethnic diversity in Honduras, 7.2 percent indigenous  11/4/2002 Honduras This Week: See census table. Out of a total population of 6,535,000, this has 49,952 Garifuna. "It the last Housing and Population Census this ethnicity was captured in question number five, “What ethnic group do you belong to?” The population that participated responded in accordance to their feelings of identity with the different groups. See table. We can observe that the majority (92.8%) of the population did not identify itself with any of the ethnic groups. But of those that did, 63.5% claimed to be Lenca. In as much as education is concerned, the illiteracy rate for the Garífuna ethnic group was 9%, but only 4 percent for the English Afro-Caribbeans (Bay Islands); the remaining groups have an illiteracy rate much higher than the national 20 percent. Population structure also varies among the different groups, the Miskito and the Tolupan groups have the largest youth population, while the Garifuna and the Tolupan groups have the largest groups of older people."

NEW YORINAGU RESPONDS TO ERIKA IN A BENEFIT CONCERT  10/21/2002 Garinet: "The event was a benefit fundraise to aid Erika Ramirez who was stripped off her royalties by the Honduran beauty pageant organization and its coordinator, Eduardo Zablah."

Politizacion del sistema judicial en Honduras  10/2/2002 GarifunaWeb: "Así las cosas el Poder Judicial se maneja como si se tratara de una hacienda cuyos capacates llamados jueces y magistrados responden a los intereses del partido o de los dirigentes que les consiguió la “chamba”.

The New Forestry Law will Impact the Social, Economic and Environmental Future of Honduras  10/1/2002 Revistazo, Honduras: "We want the work of the committee to be free from manipulation by politicians or interested groups, which is why we are working with different sectors. We want a comprehensive, viable law that is not prejudiced against anyone-a law with a vision for the country," say a congressional member of the Democratic Unification party. Members of HAA have said that it is yet to be seen if such expectations are fulfilled. At the same time they state their intention to defend at all costs their rights to be actors in the process of conservation, management and use of the forestry resources. The small farmer groups, cooperative members, indigenous groups and environmentalists are ready to protest to the National Congress and to the public if their social interests are scorned."

Did Racism Beat Ms. Honduras?  9/29/2002 Seeing Black: "So in late September 2002, she stood up before New York-based reporters to speak out against the national director of the Ms. Honduras Universe pageant, Eduardo Zablah. Zablah, Ramírez claims, signed a contract with her on Oct. 16, 2001 which promised her a college scholarship, jewelry, endorsements and a cash prize—all as payment for representing Honduras on the international stage. Ramírez was then flown to the United States, St. Martin, and other locales to promote Honduran beauty. But other than a promotional ring, she has not received any of the prizes that go along with winning the Ms. Honduras Universe contest."

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA  9/1/2002 Centro de Mujeres Afrocostarricenses: "EL CENTRO DE MUJERES AFROCOSTARRICENSES, organización que lucha por la defensa de los derechos humanos de las mujeres negras en Costa Rica hace del conocimiento de la sociedad costarricense sobre los resultados de la denuncia interpuesta en setiembre del año 2001 ante la Oficina de Control Nacional de Propaganda, por medio de la Defensoria de los Habitantes contra la empresa American Sanitary S.A. por la propaganda que circulaba en los medios de comunicación masiva referida a la esponja para la limpieza de utensilios de cocina "La Negrita", caso que fue resuelto el pasado diciembre de 2001, quedando firme luego de la interposición de un recurso de apelación en enero del 2002 y convirtiéndose en la primera jurisprudencia costarricense en el tema por DISCRIMINACION RACIAL."

Thousands of families cannot afford $2 for potable water  9/1/2002 Revistazo, Honduras: "Martha Francisca Alvarado is a 43-year-old woman who looks 60. She lives near a ravine of dirty water where she bathes and washes laundry for her children and grandchildren. She does not have potable water services in her home and she does not have the money necessary to buy the water she needs for cooking and drinking. She is part of the more than 2 million Hondurans who do not have potable water in their homes and who have to work to purchase water from the water trucks that circle the hills of the capital city. More than one million people live in Tegucigalpa, but many of them do not have access to potable water in their homes."

USAID Outlines Assistance to Honduras  8/28/2002 USAID: FY 2002: $33.1 million

DESARROLLO INDÍGENA Y GLOBALIZACION  8/12/2002 Mujeres Indigenas: "En el marco de la Primera Cumbre Mundial de Mujeres Indígenas, organizada por la Iniciativa Indígena por la Paz, el Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas y el Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas, bajo la Coordinación General de la Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Tum. Se nos han solicitado preparar el documento base para el análisis y discusión del Tema "Desarrollo Indígena y Globalización", motivo por el cual solicitamos su colaboración respondiendo al cuestionario adjunto, con el fin de tomar en cuenta las opiniones, conocimientos y experiencias desde la cosmovisión de las mujeres indígenas liderezas de los diferentes pueblos del mundo. La preparación de este tema nos supone un gran reto, puesto que una area que muy poco se ha investigado en el marco de los pueblos indígenas y mucho menos en el de las mujeres. Es por eso que solicitamos a todas hacer un gran esfuerzo para apoyarnos en brindarnos su opinión al respecto."

Garifuna protest environmental destruction in Iriona, Colon  7/29/2002 Honduras This Week: "In a public denouncement made July 25, Garifuna organizations are strongly protesting environmental destruction of watersheds caused by the construction of a road in the Municipality of Iriona in the Department of Colon. According to said documents, the road between Sico-Ciriboya was illegally built using Soptravi (Secretary of Public Works) machinery in the year 2000 despite numerous formal protests to pertinent government authorities —the National Forestry Agency - COHDEDOR, the Ethnic District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Protected Areas -PROBAP, and the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources - SERNA— by local authorities, patronatos and other community organizations; and without an environmental impact study having been realized. Construction and the now existing road has contaminated the Los Naranjos River watershed which supplies five Garifuna communities with water that since 2000 has been laden with sedimentation, unfit for human consumption."

Garifuna music/dance film available on Internet  7/15/2002 Honduras This Week: scroll down for this listing

El caso de Valerie Jordan por la Comisión Coordinadora de la Etnia Negra Panameña  7/14/2002 Las Noticias, Panama: "Como ya hemos señalado, existe la Ley 16 de 10 de abril de 2002 y el Decreto No. 642 de 30 de mayo de 2002, dos instrumentos jurídicos con los cuales cuentan los(as) ciudadanos(as) para exigir el pleno acceso a los establecimientos públicos y a enfrentar el racismo en el país. En ese sentido la Comisión Coordinadora de la Etnia Negra Panameña saluda la extraordinaria valentía de la joven Valerie Jordan, al denunciar el vejamen al que fuera sometida, y expresa su absoluto apoyo a las gestiones que viene desarrollando ante las autoridades de cara a que se cumpla la ley y que ella, al igual que toda persona, pueda ejercer su legítimo derecho de acceder a cualquier establecimiento público en la República de Panamá sin mayores reservas que aquellas expresamente señaladas en nuestra ordenamiento jurídico. El lo vamos a tolerar."

GARIFUNA PROTEST  7/7/2002 Resource Center of the Americas: "On July 7, representatives of the Garifuna ethnic group protested in Tegucigalpa against a proposed constitutional change that would allow foreigners to buy land on the Atlantic Coast. “The land is our mother, and mother is not for sale,” the protesters chanted. Congress suspended debate and agreed to meet with Garifuna representatives to discuss an alternative plan that would protect their rights to the land they have occupied for 200 years."

DECLARACION DE LA CEIBA  4/26/2002 Garinet: "Bañada por las aguas del mar Caribe, en la franja centroamericana, la Ciudad Hondureña de La Ceiba se convirtió en escenario del PRIMER SEMINARIO REGIONAL SOBRE AFRODESCENDIENTES EN LAS AMÉRICAS, los días, 21, 22, 23 y 24 de Marzo de 2002, organizado por la Oficina de la Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos y el Grupo de Trabajo de Minorías y la Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario ODECO."

PROBLEMÁTICA TIERRA COMUNIDADES GARIFUNAS  4/22/2002 Garinet: recent history of land title issues in Garifuna communities of Honduras.

Garifuna Street Festival in LA 2002  4/13/2002 GEM in Action: "The keynote speaker Dr. Jocelyn Palacio-Cayetano explained to the crowd the meaning of April 12, 1797. She told the crowd it represented the last time the Garinagu was together as one, before being exile from Yurumein to Central America."

205 AÑOS DE PRESENCIA GARIFUNA EN HONDURAS  4/12/2002 Garinet: history from ODECO

Report Back and Declaration from the Water, Light, And Land For All! Forum in Guatemala, March 2002  4/1/2002 Global Exchange: "On June 30th, 2001, security forces for Energisa Corporation murdered Carlos Roberto Flores, a Honduran community organizer protesting the construction of the Babilonia River Hydroelectric Project. Two weeks later, on July 18th, police forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons at campesinos and indigenous peoples camped in front of the National Congress of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, demanding justice for Flores and the suspension of the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (BCIE) supported dam."

Periodistas conocen raíces Afro americanas  2/23/2002 Foro de Fortalecimiento a la Democracia, Honduras: scroll down - "Con el apoyo de la Sección de Información y Cultura de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América, se desarrollo en Tegucigalpa y San Pedro Sula los día 21 y 23 de febrero las conferencias sobre "Democracia e Integración Social en las Américas" dictada por la Antropóloga, Sheila Walker, de la Universidad de Austin, Texas. Asimismo, participaron como panelistas los señores: Aníbal Delgado Fiallos, Director del Instituto Nacional Agrario, INA; René García, Tesorero General de la República y miembro de la Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) y Céleo Alvarez Casildo, Director de la Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO)."

INA no tiene nada que ver en la venta de las playas de Perú dice su director  2/9/2002 La Prensa: "Garífunas. Gregoria Flores, de la coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal de Negra de Honduras, Ofraneh, pidió a las autoridades del INA recuperar esas tierras y, además, evitar que sigan quitándoles las propiedades a los garífunas. Flores dijo que se reunieron con el director del INA para denunciar la usurpación de las tierras de las comunidades establecidas en las playas, en cuenta las de Perú."

Honduras looks to develop northern coast; Garifuna fight to keep beaches  1/2/2002 ENN: "A disease has killed most of the palm trees along the coast, robbing residents of one of their main food sources -- coconuts -- while Hurricane Mitch in 1998 forced many fishermen to sail hours out of their way to find their catch. "There are no highways, and they are deforesting the land," Lored said, arriving for a meeting to organize residents against encroaching tourism. At the same time, Garifuna leaders say, residents are coming under increasing pressure to sell their land to developers. In the coastal village of Triunfo de la Cruz, 190 miles north of Tegucigalpa, the capital, a few residents sold a yucca field because they didn't know they had the right to say no, community leader Edgardo Benedeth said. "They think that if they don't sell the land, it will be stolen" and they won't receive any money, he said. Once other villagers discovered what had happened, the yucca field was already being plowed under and construction had begun on seven luxury vacation homes, complete with swimming pools and two-story picture windows. The community is fighting the construction in court and trying to educate residents about their property rights. But that development is just the beginning. Small hotels and restaurants are sprouting up nearby, and Honduran officials are searching for foreign investors for a multimillion-dollar resort located in the swamps next to the Garifuna village of Tornabe, 12 miles to the west. A similar resort is being planned 100 miles to the east, amid several Garifuna villages. "We have hundreds of kilometers (miles) of beaches that aren't developed, and it's a waste," Tourism Secretary Ana Abarca said in Tegucigalpa. "We want strong tourism. We are going after the sun and the beach."

Garifuna: To Protect Ancestral Lands  1/1/2002 JusticiaHN: "Under an international agreement signed by the Honduran government, indigenous groups such as the Garifunas have a legal right to their ancestral lands. However, as is often the case, getting the government to comply with this agreement is always a struggle, partially because of opposition from wealthy and powerful people with interests in the area and also perhaps due to a general disinterest in the situation of these indigenous groups, often the victims of great prejudice and racism."

Grant to Organización de Desarrollo Étnica Comunitaria (ODECO)  12/31/2001 InterAmerican Foundation: "70,841 over ten months, to provide support for community mapping exercises and related formulation of local development plans among 200 participants from 11 communities in Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala, Panama and Honduras. ODECO sent 50 of these participants to a conference on Afro-American development in La Ceiba, Honduras, where they presented their plans to professionals and representatives from other Afro-American communities for possible technical assistance and funding. In addition, the grant covered travel and per diem for three Afro-Latinos to attend the NGO Forum of the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Forms of Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 7, 2001. (HO-234 and HO-234-A1)"

REPORT Nº 124/01 - CASE 12.387 - ALFREDO LÓPEZ ALVAREZ - HONDURAS  12/3/2001 Inter American Commission on Human Rights: "On December 13, 2000, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereafter “the Commission” or “IACHR”), received a petition submitted by the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH [“Honduran Black People’s Fraternal Organization”], represented by its president Mrs. Gregoria Flores (hereafter “the Petitioner”], on behalf of Mr. Alfredo López Alvarez, a Honduran citizen of Garífuna descent (hereafter “the victim”), against the Republic of Honduras (hereafter “the Honduran State”, “Honduras”, or “the State”). The petition declares that the victim is a recognized Garífuna leader, a defender of his people’s human rights, that in this context he was arrested on April 27, 1997, and accused of a crime that he did not commit, that he has been held until this date in preventive detention, and that his case is still at the indictment stage. The violations denounced relate to alleged irregularities committed by the justice authorities during the criminal proceedings undertaken against the victim, involving trial for the crime of possession of and trafficking in narcotics, whereby the Honduran State violated the right to due process, to judicial guarantees and to the right of equality before the law, enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”)."

GARÍFUNAS CELEBRAN ANIVERSARIO DE SU LLEGADA AL PAÍS  11/26/2001 Guatemala: "La comunidad garífuna celebra este día que hace 199 años llegó a Guatemala. Los casi 8 mil miembros de esa etnia que viven en Livingston, Izabal, conmemoran su día con actividades como bailes, exposiciones, ceremonias y encuentros deportivos."

Programa de formación para comunicadores y comunicadoras mayas, garífunas y xincas  11/8/2001 United Nations 

LA OTRA CARA DEL RACISMO EN HONDURAS  10/24/2001 Garinet: "La Otra Cara del Racismo, que queremos presentar en Honduras, básicamente consiste en la poca atención hacia los grupos étnicos y raciales que existe en este país. La falta de oportunidades para ser participes en las concepciones filosóficas e ideológicas hondureñas, y en la toma de decisiones. Por lo menos los educadores deberían de tomar en cuenta la historia Afro-hondureña para fomentar la educación multi-étnico; a los jóvenes en diferentes instituciones a través de afiches, que den prioridad a la imagen de los descendientes de África en este país."

Bush Doctrine Targets Nicaragua  10/17/2001 Washington Post: The Coca Contra boys are back in town, with macho threats: "State Department officials say they are concerned about the Sandinistas' ties to states that sponsor terrorism, such as Libya and Iraq, and international terrorist organizations such as the Colombian leftist guerrilla FARC and the Basque separatist group ETA. They say these ties have been maintained and, if elected, the FSLN will need to change or risk being added to a terrorist list that now includes only one country in the Americas, Cuba. Countries on the list are considered states that sponsor terrorism and face sanctions and isolation."

PRONUNCIAMIENTO, Indígenas de Márcala, Intibuca y Lempira, aglutinados en COPIN, y Campesinos del Municipio de Gualaco, Departamento de Olancho.  6/20/2001 Garinet 

Garifuna community delivers for homeland  4/16/2001 Bronx Beat: "Ventura, 45, is one of more than 50,000 Garinagu living in New York – the majority live in the borough. The Garifuna people gained public attention in 1990 when a fire at the Happy Land Social Club in the borough killed 87 people, many from this ethnic group. The shipments from the borough’s Garifuna people became more critical in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch devastated Garifuna communities in Honduras. Ventura and others said the 100,000 Garifuna people in Honduras are marginalized by the government because of their heritage and skin color. The Garinagu -- who speak Garifuna and Spanish -- have retained a language and traditions inherited from their African and Indian ancestors. They descended from West African captives shipwrecked off the coast of St. Vincent Island in the 17th century in a slave ship en route to Brazil. They intermarried with Carib-Arawak indigenous groups."

Declaración de Líderes Afrolatinoamericanos y Caribeños  2/28/2001 Forum of the Americas: "Declaración de Líderes Afrolatinoamericanos y Caribeños pertenecientes a las organizaciones no gubernamentales, reunidos en San José, Costa Rica los días 28 a 30 de Setiembre, convocados por el Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, en el proceso preparatorio para la III Conferencia Mundial contra el Racismo, la Discriminación Racial, y las Formas Conexas de Intolerancia."

INDÍGENAS AMERICANOS POR UNA MAYOR PARTICIPACIÓN  1/25/2001 Radio Havana: "Más de 90 líderes indígenas de América analizan aquí un proyecto de declaración sobre sus derechos, tema sobre el que exigen una mayor participación a la hora de ser abordados. El encuentro, auspiciado por la OEA, fue inaugurado por la ministra guatemalteca de Cultura, Otilia Lux, y en él participan representantes indígenas de Bolivia, Chile, Perú, Estados Unidos, Canadá, Argentina, Honduras y Guatemala."

Deadly Import: TB Returns, AIDS Spreads  1/1/2001 Columbia University: "Just as tuberculosis is invading Corona, parts of the South Bronx are trying to cope with an alarming increase in AIDS deaths among the Garifuna, black Central Americans, the majority of whom are from Honduras. The rate of AIDS among Latin Americans, Caribbeans and Africans is high, but Mirtha Colon, the president of Hondurans Against AIDS, a not-for-profit, grassroots organization begun in 1992, said that among the Garifuna, the rate is disproportionately high. She said the neighborhoods of Mott Haven, Morrisania, Tremont and Crotona—where most Garifuna settle in New York—mirror parts of Honduras, where an epidemic is ravishing the nation. She said she believes the problem is getting worse. Colon, who presented a lecture on AIDS among the Garifuna in the South Bronx before the Centers for Disease Control on March 21, said: "We see people dying every day. There is an epidemic in our communities."

Continental Summit on Development of Afro-American Communities and Populations,  11/1/2000 GarifunaWeb 

Cumbre Continental ONECA  11/1/2000 GarifunaWeb 

The U.S. Agency For International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) Launches An Attack Against The Peace And Security Of The Garifuna People In Honduras  6/2/2000 OFRANEH: According to informed sources this article may be as much as 4 years old but relates to the recent jailing of OFRANEH Garifuna leaders. "The representatives of the USAID in the city of Tegucigalpa have been extensively informed, on various occasions, about the cultural, health-related and environmental risks which the construction of such a project would entail for the Garifuna people. In addition, USAID's representatives have ignored the report issued by the Department of Natural Resources and the environment, in which the construction of the sewage treatment plants was deemed not viable since the project does not offer the appropriate development conditions due to the fact that the treatment plants will be built just a few meters from the housing and would adversely affect the health of the Garifuna inhabitants." Hondurans reported yesterday that OFRANEH (Honduran Black Fraternal Organization) leaders, who are mostly Garifuna, are being sought for arrest in this land dispute.

The Maya Chorti indigenous community in the Copan area of Honduras were killed  3/17/2000 Garinet: "On March 12, four members of the Maya Chorti indigenous community in the Copan area of Honduras were killed. The suspects are the Cuevas family and their employees, who have mounted an increasingly pitched battle for the land the Chortis (descendents of the Maya) have always occupied. According to CONPAH (Confederacion de Pueblos Autoctonous de Honduras) in the past decade, the Cuevas family, a major cattle raising business, began to fence in the land surrounding the Chorti's towns and fields, and then demanded that the Chortis deliver 50% of their harvest to them in a form of neo-feudalism."

VI ASAMBLEA GENERAL  12/1/1999 GarifunaWeb 


HONDURAS: GARIFUNA LEADER'S HOUSE BURNT DOWN AND SHOTS FIRED  10/20/1999 Garinet: "Tragically, it appears that this struggle has entered a stage of violence, as this past week, the house of one of the Garifuna leaders was set on fire by some type of flame-thrower weapon, and then shots of an automatic weapon were fired into it. The house, which was occupied by the family including children, is in Vallecito, where Garifuna have been living and working in an agricultural cooperative for over 9 years (Nuevo Amanecer). Their land abuts the ever-expanding lands of Facusse, one of the biggest land-owners in the country, who is also a relative to the president. The members of the cooperative have long been subject to invasions of their land and threats, but this escalation into outright violence has everyone fearful of a bloodbath. There is evidence of hired killers."

POLICIA MATA 2 y HIERE 18 en MARCHA PACIFICA!!  10/20/1999 Garinet: "Un contigente multi-etnica de miles de personas empezo una marcha pacifica en Tegus, desde la Corte Suprema hoy (12 de octubre) a las 9 a.m.. A las 12:30, la policia formo una barricada en la ruta de la marcha a mediciones del Boulevar San Pablo y detuvo la marcha. De repente, la policia ataco a los participantes de la marcha con bombas lacrimogenas y disparos. Gente huyeron corriendo sin rumbo, desesperado, y algunas personas fueron alcanzados por las bombas y disparos. Dos hombres, miembros de Unidad de Trabajadores Campesinos, fueron asesinados por la policia. Ademas, 18 otros sufrieron heridas, algunas graves. Un hombre perdio un ojo debido a una bala; una senora Garifuna de Rio Esteban, en su intento de escapar, se quebro el tobillo; otra senora Garifuna de Limon fue alcanzado por una bomba en su muslo y la herio."

The African Legacy in Guatemala: Black Guatemalans?  2/13/1999 Odyssey: "I took his advice and looked up ONEGUA. I learned that it is an acronym that stands for The Organization of Black Guatemalans. The organization is a community group that provides educational and cultural support for Black Guatemalans in Livingston. ONEGUA receives no financial support from the Guatemalan government. This lack of support is not surprising considering the fact that the Garifuna were not recognized as an ethnic group until the signing of the Guatemalan peace agreement three years ago. ONEGUA was founded because the elders of the community were concerned that the younger generation would lose their Garifuna culture and traditions. The elders wanted to provide their youth with educational support to enable them to deepen their cultural understanding. In addition, the elders began providing after-school tutoring to students who sought extra help."

Indígenas entregan cargado pliego de peticiones y exigen respuestas  10/14/1998 La Prensa, Honduras: "La Confederación de Pueblos Autóctonos de Honduras, Conpah, en el documento, señala que desde 1994 en negociaciones sostenidas con el gobierno han suscrito siete compromisos en las áreas de tierra y territorios, educación, salud, infraestructura y legislación sin que se hayan cumplido."

Garifuna sacred areas lack adequate protection  8/30/1998 Honduras This Week: "Deputies of the National Congress are currently considering legislation that would change or eliminate Article 107 of the Honduran Constitution, which prohibits foreigners or foreign companies from owning land within 40 km of the coast. This article repeats the contents of a 1890s Agrarian Reform Law. This law and the Constitutional article were specially designed to stop foreign-owned banana companies from obtaining all the land near the Coast, thus possibly affecting Honduran access to fishing, ports, and prime agricultural land. The Garifunas have been organizing to fight against the change in the Constitution and also to denounce violations of their rights under Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which states among other things that the government shows respect for the special importance of lands or territories, according to the spiritual values of the ethnic group."

In Honduras, the Garifuna culture fights for survival  3/29/1998 Seattle Times 

Authentic African Culture in Honduras? Afro-Central Americans Challenge Honduran Indo-Hispanic Mestizaje  1/1/1998 LASA 

Documents from the Indigenous Struggle in Honduras  11/19/1997 Centro de Educacion Mundial 

DENUNCIA INTERNACIONAL  8/6/1997 CICA: "El Consejo Indigena de Centro América (CICA), integrado por 138 Organizaciones de 58 Pueblos Indígenas a nivel de la Región, representados a través de sus 7 Consejos Nacionales desde Panamá hasta Belice, ante los últimos acontecimientos que enfrentan los hermanos Indígenas y Negros de Honduras, denunciamos ante la Comunidad Internacional, Organismos de Derechos Humanos y ante los Pueblos Indígenas del Mundo lo siguiente"

HONDURAS: Human Rights Groups Denounce Indigenous Murders  5/22/1997 Centro de Educacion Mundial 

Denuncian emigración de negros por marginamiento  4/16/1996 La Nacion, Costa Rica: "Los negros, que en Honduras constituyen una población de unas 300.000 personas, emigran hacia los Estados Unidos porque en su país sufren marginamiento, se informó ayer, lunes. Según registros de la Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH), entre el tres y cinco por ciento de la población negra o garífuna busca mejores niveles de bienestar en Estados Unidos. Honduras, con una extensión de 112.492 kilómetros cuadrados, tiene una población de unos 5,7 millones de habitantes, de los que unos 400.000 pertenecen a unos ocho grupos étnicos, incluidos los negros."

Recuerdan llegada de primeros negros y reclaman derechos  4/13/1996 La Nacion, Costa Rica 

TUANI GARIFUNA TUBA LIBURU BARANGU - THE GARIFUNA LIBRARY OF BARRANCO  1/1/1989 Barranco Library: "The purpose of Tuani Garifuna Tuba Liburu is to preserve and provide in- formation on Garifuna culture, lifestyle, history and world view. It is hoped that through the library this information can be easily accessible to Garinagu and others, both lay and academic." Contains a geneology of families in Barranco Village, Belize

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December 28, 2002