Alrededor de la medianoche del 2 de marzo, la activista por los derechos de los indígenas y el medioambiente Berta Cáceres fue asesinada por sicarios que entraron a su casa en La Esperanza, Honduras. Llevaba tiempo luchando contra la tala de los bosques y había sido amenazada en repetidas ocasiones por su oposición al proyecto hidroeléctrico de Agua Zarca, uno de los más importantes de América Central.
Su madre, de 84 años, le dijo a una emisora de radio local: “No tengo dudas de que ha sido asesinada por su lucha y de que el Ejército y la empresa son los responsables.… Seguir leyendo »
Around midnight on March 2, the indigenous peoples’ rights and environmental activist Berta Cáceres was shot dead by gunmen who entered her residence in La Esperanza, Honduras. A longtime campaigner against illegal logging operations, Ms. Cáceres had been repeatedly threatened because of her opposition to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, one of the largest of its kind in Central America.
“I have no doubt that she has been killed because of her struggle, and that soldiers and people from the dam are responsible, I am sure of that,” her 84-year-old mother told a local radio station. “I hold the government responsible.”
On June 21, The Guardian reported the testimony of a Honduran soldier who said that his elite unit of United States-trained special forces had been given a hit list of activists to be killed that included Berta Cáceres.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s widely known that the Honduran police are corrupt, thoroughly enmeshed in organized crime, drug trafficking, and extrajudicial killings. But rather than clean them up, the current government of President Porfirio Lobo — itself the product of an illegitimate election after the military coup that deposed President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009 — has now, ominously, sent in the military to take over policing on a massive scale.
The United States, meanwhile, is pouring funds into both Honduran security forces, countenancing a militarization of the Honduran police that has long been illegal here at home, while dismissing Congressional pushback about human rights issues in Honduras.… Seguir leyendo »
The United States is expanding its military presence in Honduras on a spectacular scale. The Associated Press reported this month in an investigative article that Washington in 2011 authorized $1.3 billion for U.S. military electronics in Honduras. This is happening while the post-coup regime of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo is more out of control than ever, especially since the Honduran Congress staged a “technical coup” in December.
But as the Obama administration deepens its partnership with Honduras, ostensibly to fight the drug war, Democrats in Congress are increasingly rebelling. Here’s a message, then, for new Secretary of State John Kerry: Recast U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Honduras is under siege. Its judicial system is almost completely dysfunctional, and more than 10,000 complaints of human rights abuses by state security forces have been filed in the last three years, according to the Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras. At least 23 journalists have been killed since 2009. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have all raised grave concerns about the country’s dire situation.
But despite all of this overwhelming evidence, the U.S. State Department this month reported that the Honduran government is taking adequate measures to address congressional concerns about human rights.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s time to acknowledge the foreign policy disaster that American support for the Porfirio Lobo administration in Honduras has become. Ever since the June 28, 2009, coup that deposed Honduras’s democratically elected president, José Manuel Zelaya, the country has been descending deeper into a human rights and security abyss. That abyss is in good part the State Department’s making.
The headlines have been full of horror stories about Honduras. According to the United Nations, it now has the world’s highest murder rate, and San Pedro Sula, its second city, is more dangerous than Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a center for drug cartel violence.… Seguir leyendo »