Guns in the Streets

COFADEH Editorial. In two years, Porfirio Lobo has issued twenty emergency decrees, including security and defense decrees.  This manner of leading the country, via emergency declarations, confirms various realities.

The country is experiencing a generalized emergency situation due to the breakdown of the Rule of Law, although this not acknowledged by the perpetrators. In addition, administrative improvisation in the conduction of state affairs is the rule rather than the exception; there is no planning, so each situation is legislated individually. Power groups  compete for the broken bones of the state as emergency situations are exploited as excellent business opportunities to evade administrative requirements regarding state contracts and to directly reward friends or punish enemies.
The government and Congress have issued emergency decrees related to education, energy, food security, land, health, infrastructure, and security and defense, among others. Not one of the emergency decrees has been issued to safeguard the human rights of the citizens of Honduras, victims of state terrorism principally after the coup.
The figures are well known: more than 11,000 victims of violent homicide, including almost 2,000 women, 20 journalists and thousands of young people in active resistance to the system of exclusion. Torture, arbitrary detention, extortion, forced disappearances, threats, harassment…
Last year an emergency decree was issued to assign police duties to army soldiers; the decree was renewed this week for three more months. The Armed Forces were authorized to monitor, detain, suppress, and criminalize citizens throughout Honduras, while narcotraffickers and traffickers of all kinds pass through all of the checkpoints. And, the emergency which the decree is intended to address was caused by the National Police and the Military, involved with organized crime gangs competing for influence, territory, markets, and proximity to public institutions.
Placing the military in the streets with their guns pointed at the people is not a popular measure because it empowers the military politically, strengthening their position in an impoverished and unequal society struggling to break free from the imposition of force.
We reject this measure that violates the peace and coexistence of citizens. The military isn’t welcome because their perverted vocation, with respect to civilians, makes them a public threat.
We are aware that the Pentagon is strengthening its position in the region with money from the regional strategy of “insecurity” of the Central American Integration System (SICA), supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) and the Canadian Right.
The Pentagon wants faithful guardians in its backyard to contain dissent, and they don’t mind corrupting officials and politicians again.
Our duty is to say to the Honduran people: This not about enlisting the military for combating violence, crime and drug trafficking; it’s about a scheme of war against the people; restraining popular anger at misery. That purpose is not acceptable and does not have our silent complicity. We reject it.
COFADEH Editorial