Archive for the ‘Honduras’ Category

Honduras: An interview with Gilberto Ríos Munguía, a leader of the resistance

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

El-Grillo[Translation of an article from El Ciudadano of Santiago, Chile, for April 26, 2015. See original here.]

By Andrés Figueroa Cornejo

…Gilberto Ríos Munguía, Honduran rebel and political fighter, is known to his companions as “El Grillo” [“The Cricket”]. And currently El Grillo is coordinator of the Izquierdas Socialistas [Socialist Left], which is a part of the leadership of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP – National Popular Resistance Front) and of the Partido Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE ─ Liberty and Refoundation). The Central American country’s Izquierdas Socialistas are socialists in the sense of having a political agenda whose perspective is the end of class society and not accomodation within class society.

What is the function of the coordinating body of the Izquierdas Socialistas of Honduras?

We guide struggles within the FNRP and we are the voice of the Left in LIBRE. The FNRP is the mass response to the legalized dictatorship ruled formally by President Juan Orlando Hernández and LIBRE is its electoral apparatus.

What is happening in Honduras now, in late April, 2015?

In general, the Honduran people are experiencing a continuation of the 2009 coup d’état, when the FNRP and all the other democratic opposition forces chose not to participate in elections that had been militarized and were fraudulent. That episode carried Porfirio Lobo Sosa (of the Partido Nacional) to the head of the executive branch. Taking advantage of the dictatorship’s thrust, Lobo strengthened liberal policies on economic matters, to the degree of putting Honduran territory up for sale, a process that is still being carried out. Living conditions for the immense majority of the population grew worse. In 2013, the proven victory of LIBRE presidential candidate Xiomara Castro was stolen.


Honduras: Re-election or constituent assembly?

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

[Translation of an article from Contralínea of Mexico City for February 6, 2015. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Daniel Urbino

Honduras is being visited by ghosts from the recent past. Some political sectors are moving pieces on the chess board and sparking debate on the need for a constituent assembly, for allowing re-election or for maintaining the status quo.

The dispute gained strength on December 8, 2014, when more than a dozen congress members from the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) and one from the Unificación Democrática submitted an appeal to the supreme court on the constitutionality of an article of the Honduran constitution. The article, number 239, declares that a citizen who has held the position of head of the executive branch cannot become president again. Anyone violating this provision or proposing its reform, as well as those who support [its reform], directly or indirectly, will immediately surrender their respective positions and will remain ineligible for any public function for ten years, the provision further states.

This is not the first time the topic has been taken up in Honduras. In 2009, then President Manuel Zelaya promoted what was known as the “fourth ballot,” a non-binding survey to determine if the people were in favor of a constitutional reform or not. This would take place on the same day as the elections of the president, congress members and mayors, for which reason it was called the “fourth ballot.” (more…)

Honduras: Juan Orlando Hernández’s first 100 days

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

johPoverty, crime and corruption are still the main problems for the Central American country

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for May 7, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Giorgio Trucchi

This May 7, the administration of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández celebrates its first 100 days. And it is time to take stock. JOH received the presidential sash after the TSE (Tribunal Supremo Electoral) confirmed him officially as winner of the elections of November 24 of last year, with almost eight percentage points more than Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Manuel Zelaya and candidate for the Libre Party (Libertad y Refundación), the electoral arm of the popular resistance movement against the 2009 coup d’état that removed Zelaya from office.

Concerning the official results and the immediate international recognition, Xiomara Castro termed the win by the ruling party candidate a “monstrous fraud,” challenging the impartiality of the electoral authorities, denouncing a series of irregularities in the vote count and in the transmission of vote tallies and refusing to recognize the results and the legitimacy of JOH as the new president of Honduras. (more…)

Honduras: Coups or fraud, it’s all the same

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for November 28, 2013. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The scandalous theft of the November 24 election in Honduras confirms the high degree of coordination and planning in the offensive being conducted by the United States and the oligarchies against the popular forces and governments of our region. Who knows what Secretary Kerry had been smoking when he proclaimed to the OAS the end of the Monroe Doctrine.

The offensive works in several directions. On the one hand, incessant media and economic assault and destabilization plans against the progressive forces that have come to govern, as can be seen in Venezuela in a very aggressive way in the past few months, but which also occur with different degrees of intensity in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil. (more…)

Honduras: No decrease in poverty seen in six years

Friday, July 26th, 2013

x hondurasAround 1.8 million are unemployed

[Translation of an article from Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for July 23, 2013. See original here.]

Honduras has devoted billions of lempiras to the fight against the poverty that extends throughout the country but the level of poverty has not fallen.

According to the [United Nations] Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Honduras is one of the countries in the region where poverty has increased, even though the state and international organizations have invested more than 1.8 billion lempiras in the past ten years to fight this problem.

According to the European Union Chief of Cooperation, Laurent Sillano, “The level of poverty in Honduras has been stagnant since 2006 because the Central American country has not reached the levels of international competitiveness needed to generate economic growth and employment.” (more…)

Honduras: Thousands of families depend on child labor

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Revistazo of Tegucigalpa for July 1, 2013. See original here.]

By Daniela A. Galindo

It is five in the morning and Juan begins to rouse himself while his alarm clock goes off. He gets up calmly to begin another work day. The day also begins for Pedro; only eight years old, the boy gets up to leave for work together with his uncle, who is a skilled construction worker. Rosita, who is old enough to go sell tortillas without adult supervision, is also waking up. The girl has to go grind the corn, make the tortillas, draw the water and clean the house. Both Pedro and Rosita know that these big steps have consequences: neither of them will be able to go to school; but the most important thing for them is that there will be a little more money coming into their homes and, maybe, their younger sisters and brothers can eat not only tortillas with beans but can put something more into their mouths. (more…)

US strengthens military in Central America, starting in Honduras

Thursday, July 4th, 2013
((US and Honduran troops in Tegucigalpa))

((US and Honduran troops in Tegucigalpa))

Increase in US military presence began after coup

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for June 29, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Giorgio Trucchi

The United States foresees for fiscal year 2014 a moderate decrease in spending for the “war on drugs” in Mexico and Colombia in exchange for an increase for CARSI (Central America Regional Security Initiative), for which the State Department requested 162 million dollars, 26 million more than was budgeted for 2012. Although it is not easy to determine exactly how much of that will reach Honduras through different means and programs, it is logical to assume that that country will enjoy a privileged status.

The Honduran National Congress recently approved the creation of 1,000 new positions in the army and the formation of the elite Tigres corps (Tropa de Inteligencia y Grupos de Respuesta Especial de Seguridad). “They want to make the military power grow at the expense of public safety,” Marvin Ponce, vice president of the Congress, told the local press. (more…)

Honduras: One more campesino killed in Bajo Aguán, for a total of 99

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Campesinos claim soldiers and police favor the landowners

[Translation of an Agence France Presse article as published in Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for May 13, 2013. See original here an related articles here, here and here.]

A campesino leader was assassinated by armed men in the troubled valley of Aguán, 600 kilometers northeast of the Honduran capital, bringing to 99 the number killed in the region, the scene of a conflict between farmers and landowners, a leader of the agrarian movement reported on Sunday.

“Three heavily armed men assassinated José Omar Pérez, 37, president of the Los Laureles operation, in the La Concepción settlement, which belongs to the Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA), around 9:30pm Saturday night,” the spokesman for the organization, Vitalino Álvarez, told AFP.

The attack occurred 100 meters from Pérez’s home as he and his wife were returning from his mother-in-law’s house in the city of Tocoa.

“The assassination of comrade Pérez makes 99 campesinos killed by the deadly bullets of the landowners’ security guards and the paramilitary groups who operate in the region,” stated a MUCA communiqué.

The conflict began in the Aguán in January, 2010, a month after more than 5,000 campesinos occupied 7,000 hectares of land claimed by the landowners.

The campesinos hold that these lands have belonged to them since they were granted to them as part of an agrarian reform in the 1980s.

In 1992, a law allowed the parcels of land to be sold and some leaders of the farmers, behind the backs of their base, sold them to the landowners at low cost.

In August, the government ordered a military deployment, reinforced by the police, to carry out a “general disarmament” but deaths continue and the campesinos hold that the soldiers and the police are backing the landowners.

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Honduran Right rejects Chávez but covets Venezuelan oil

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

With no evidence, Capriles claims Caracas contributed millions of dollars to the Zelaya administration

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 13, 2012.  See original here.]

by Arturo Cano

Caracas, October 12 – “And when was the 100-million dollar contribution?”  Henrique Capriles Radonski shuffled his papers.  “In 2010,” he said.  “What?  He gave the money to (Roberto) Micheletti?” was heard in the auditorium.  “Well, I’ll clear it up later and let you know.”

One of the lines of attack by the opposition candidate when he took part in public events during the recent campaign was to repeat a list of “contributions” that the Hugo Chávez government had made all over the world.

The initial exchange took place on October 1 in a press conference presented by  Capriles, who only four days after his defeat in the presidential race registered again as a candidate, this time for re-election as governor of the state of Miranda, to say to  foreign correspondents that he would not give away Venezuelan money and to accuse Chávez of being a mono-exporter:  “The only thing he exports is his political agenda.” (more…)

More Hondurans attempt to migrate to the US

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Thousands are being detained and many are buried along the way

[Translation of an article from Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for July 19, 2012. See original here.]

Mexico City – In contrast with tendencies seen in the past few years, Central American migration through Mexico, principally from Honduras, is increasing.

Data from the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) and from migrant shelters operated by the Catholic church show that an ever increasing number of undocumented migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are crossing Mexican territory on their way to the United States. From January to May of this year, 37,582 migrants from these three countries, who make up most of the traffic, were housed in INM migrant stations, according to statistics from the organization. That number is greater by 34 percent than was registered during the same period last year. (more…)

Honduras: Anger over killing of Erick Martínez, journalist and spokesman for homosexuals

Thursday, May 10th, 2012


((FNRP photo))

[Translation of an article by Agence France Presse as published in Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula on May 8. See original here.]

Tegucigalpa – The assassination in Honduras of journalist Erick Martínez, who was a spokesman for homosexual groups and a congressional candidate for the Left, has reawakened anger in the most violent country in the world, where 18 other murders of journalists remain unpunished.

The body of the 32-year-old journalist, an activist with the Libertad y Refundación party (Libre, the leftist party of former President Manual Zelaya [and the electoral arm of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular]), was found on a highway outside the capital on Monday night with indications he had been strangled.

“The results of the criminal investigations are blank pages; there is no interest in investigating, there is an institutional weakness and a lack of responsibility in the exercise of public duty,” government Human Rights Commissioner Ramón Custodio told AFP. (more…)

Honduras: Campesinos doubt that prosecutor will charge those responsible for assassinations in Aguán

Sunday, April 29th, 2012


((Revistazo photo))

[Translation of an article from Revistazo of Tegucigalpa for April 20. See original here  and related articles here, here and here.]

Tegucigalpa – The Ministry of the Interior has announced the issuing of warrants for police, military and civilians involved in human rights violations and the assassinations of more than 50 people in the Bajo Aguán region. The campesino leadership considers it necessary to punish those responsible but has no confidence in any actions the prosecutor may take.

Although he did not disclose the names of those involved, Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Germán Enamorado told the press that the prosecutor’s office has succeeded in gathering the evidence needed to initiate prosecutions, which in the case of public employees will involve charges for abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, personal injury and attempted homicide. (more…)