Operación Siléncio in Honduras: the Protracted Violence of the Coup

It’s become clear to me while spending time with Bertha Oliva of COFADEH (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared in Honduras) that the situation in Honduras is worsening, and that the military is gearing up for a long-term dirty war against the people.  She called it "Operación Siléncio." 

No matter what happens with the elections, a beast has been set upon the people, and it has tasted blood.  There will be no returning that beast to the cage without a protracted struggle for truth and justice.  The army will not return to normal operations and behave with more respect for the Honduran people unless they are made to answer for their violence. 

But further from answering for violence done by individuals, all evidence points towards a calculated strategy of repression to cow the Honduran people into submission.  For instance, the government actually warned the hospitals for 24-hour preparedness in preparation for the elections.  It also requested a list of dissidents from mayors.

If this was so calculated, who will answer for the 7 women who have come forward to speak of their gang rapes by the National Police?  How about the 27 dead, or the countless beaten?   Who will answer the fact that all of the women raped were raped by Police wearing condoms?

Violence is worse when it is part of a calculated strategy, when it is calculated to inflict terror in it’s victim but to to invisible to the international community.  It is a condom used in a rape.

Operation Silence is an media blackout to the rest of the world, the shutdown of dissident media or voices, the masking of violence.  But it is an internal scream, the scream of internal violence.

 Violence done by an individual is easier to address than violence done at the behest of a violent system.  Violence perpetrated by a system must be answered systemically.

We cannot recognize the elections, but even after the protracted struggle for Zelaya’s restitution, there will be a long struggle to undo the terrible work that has been unleashed in Honduras.