Human Rights in Honduras: From repression against the student movement, to massacres in Lower Aguan.

English translation of article by the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, OFRANEH

The gloomy state of human rights in Honduras, where violence has become the daily topic, is worsening in a drastic way no hope for real solutions to the economical and political crisis affecting the country.
In the past four weeks, the so-called education reform being carried out by the present administration gave way to a strike by high school students. The underhanded privatization process that is being instated by the Honduran right-wing and the private sector has been denounced by high school student organizations that were repressed by the agents of the “Security Minister”.
The August 22nd, killing of a young student, Nahun Guerra Guerrero, who took part in the peaceful occupation of the installations of the Popilio Ortega Agricultural School, in Santa Barbara, was a clear message addressed to the high school students.
Just as this homicide was perpetrated by “unknown individuals”, the ex-governor of the State of Florida, Jeb Bush, was making a speech at the Regional Conference on Central America: “Quality Education and Social Development: the challenge for governments and citizens of Central America”, promoted by the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL, in Spanish).
As governor, Mr. Bush destroyed education and social inclusion policies and drastically cut funding for public libraries in Florida in the year 2006. Bush’s speech represents nothing less than a vision of privatization at all cost, the cornerstone of a class system based on exclusion.
While students mobilize against privatization, in the Lower Aguan violence is increasing, and a media campaign promoted those who backed the coup d’état is demonizing the campesino struggle.
After an trajic massacre in which hired hit-men working for Miguel Facussé, the “palm oiler of death”, were killed, news articles, especially from new outlets owned by Jorge Canahuati Larach, began to report on the presence of foreigners linked to the alleged creation of a guerrilla group aimed at destabilizing the country.
The Xatruch II military operation, which consists of the presence of more than 600 troops from the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Security,  in the Lower Aguan, is nothing more than an intervention to harass the campesinos, who are being accused of being part of guerrilla cells. According to Wilfredo Paz, spokesperson for MUCA – Left Bank, the military has besieged the Marañones campesino settlement, which in addition to military and paramilitary persecution, is suffering legal harassment following the existence of arrest warrants for five of its leaders.
The past Sunday, August 21st, MUCA vice-president Pedro Salgado and his wife Reina Mejía were found decapitated. The fact that this occurred in a completely militarized zone, confirms the impunity with which the death squads in Lower Aguan operate.
The deterioration of human rights in Honduras worsened following the coup d’état, making violence one of the major problems that we face as Hondurans. The tremendous figure of 77,56 homicides for every hundred thousand inhabitants exceeds the statistics of many countries struggling with armed conflicts.
Honduras possesses all of the characteristics of a failed state: starting with its number one position in terms of homicides on the planet, to having parts of its territory where the state no longer exerts influence, a judicial system wracked by corruption and politicization and a permanent official communication campaign regarding imaginary successes oriented at selling the image of Honduras as well as the remnants of national sovereignty under the modalities of the Special Regions of Development (RED, in Spanish) or Model Cities.
The establishment of failed states in what is known as the “Triangle of Death” is a maneuver to justify military interventions and taking control of territories and “natural resources”. This way, the empire can continue the plunder of the Central American Isthmus.
La Ceiba, Atlantida 25 of August 2011
Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, OFRANEH
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Calle 19, #130.
Barrio Alvarado
La Ceiba, Atlantida,
telefax: 504-24432492