Monday, October 20, 2014

World Fascism Watch: Honduras

Organizations working against fascism -
Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondurena (OFRANEH)
Sambo Creek, Atlantida, Honduras. Telefax [504-24541513], [504-24490003]. [garifuna@)], [ofraneh@)]. [] []. Twitter: [@ofraneh]

FIAN Honduras, Seccion Nacional de la organizacion de derechos humanos FIAN Internacional.
[fian-honduras@)]. []

News from Honduras -
Commentary and articles collected by Daniel Langmeier for "Presente-Honduras Digest"
(Vol 36, Issue 39, 2014-10-20)
* According to the National Statistics Office (INE), Honduras has one of the highest lever of under nutrition in Latin America. Sources 1. [], 2. [].
* Even El Heraldo agrees that Libre congressman Jos? Luis Gald?mez is living through a nightmare, having been imprisoned in a 3x3m cell in the first military battalion. Source []
(Vol 36, Issue 36, 2014-10-18)
* For Ollantay Itzamn?, Guatemala and Honduras are clear examples of the failure of the humanist discourse by Western nations. Even though both countries have signed almost all international treaties regarding human rights, never has human life been more devalued than now. Source: [ link] []
*  In its weekly press release, COFADEH presents the growing similarities of the current militarization strategy against drug trafficking, with the war against communism in the 1980s: orders directly from the US; a police force more and more absorbed by the armed forces; and the unaccountability of the army thanks to their own military jurisdiction. Source: [ link] []
*  Up to now, Honduras is on the black list of the IACHR, meaning that it is one of the countries not respecting human rights. To change this, the Honduran government invited the IACHR for a country visit, which now will take place in December. Source [ link] []
* The National Autonomous University of Honduras in the Sula Valley will continue to be closed down due to students protesting not just against the criminalization of their peers, but also for a decentralization of the university budget. Source [ link] []
* According to the economist Nelson Garcia Lobos of Fosdeh, Honduras is on its knees in front of the IMF. Source [ link] []
(Vol 36, Issue 35, 2014-10-17)
During their visit to la Moskitia, several state officials meet with local community leaders to talk about the dire human rights situation there. Source [ link] []
(Vol 36, Issue 33, 2014-10-16)
* On the World Rural Women Day, campesinas denounce that more than 700 of them are being prosecuted in 15 Honduran departments for trying to gain access to their land. Source: [ link] []
(Vol 36, Issue 28, 2014-10-14)
* The Lenca community Rio Blanco is facing new threats of eviction. COPINH also denounces that the same group of police officers that now threaten with eviction had violently burst into a meeting they held on August 23 on the illegal concession given to the hydroelectric company Blue Energy for the Rio Cange. Sources: [ link], [], [ link] []
* As the complaints of abuses of Honduran military personnel, but also US DEA agents, coming from the inhabitants of La Moskitia have risen in the last year, the Honduran authorities finally felt obliged to react. The Human Rights Undersecretary Karla Cueva and further state officials met with leaders in the region. Source [ link] []
* After Hondutel, it's time for the National Electric Energy Company to lay off much of its staff - according to its director, 30-40% of the 4000 employees will be fired. Source [ link] []
(Vol 36, Issue 27, 2014-10-13)
* spoke with former president Manuel Zelaya, who says that the problem of drug trafficking took up speed only after the coup d'etat.
[ link] []
* Tierra Libre thanks its readers after its third year of existence, requesting that the international community continues to demand an end to impunity in Honduras and real protection for everyone involved in journalistic work. Source [ link] [].
(Vol 36, Issue 25, 2014-10-11)
* Two female public prosecutors were murdered last night in San Pedro Sula. According to an environmentalist from there, Marlene Banegas was investigating high-profile contamination cases and Olga Patricia Eufragio looked into the murders of women. Sources: [ link] [], [ link] []
* The Honduran judicial system goes after some student protesters with all its weight, threatening them with up to four years in prison for exercising their rights of freedom of speech and freedom to protest. Sources: [ link] [], [ link] []
(Vol 36, Issue 24, 2014-10-10)
* OFRANEH explains why, according to them, the Honduran state is going after Garifuna community radio stations. Source [].
(Vol 36, Issue 23, 2014-10-09)
* Copinh denounces that mayors of Santa Elena and  Caba?as, La Paz, are controlled by the vice president of Congress, Gladys Aurora L?pez, and by companies. Source [].
* The former international human rights accompanier with PORAH Erika Piquero wrote an article on the situation of the Tolupanes in Locomapa. Source [].
* Also CInPH denounces in a press release the growing repression against indigenous people in Honduras. Source [].
* Alter Eco reports of a revealing statement by Oscar ?lvarez of the US' role in Honduras. Source [].
* Some weeks back, Marvin Ponce told the press about corrupt officials, politicians and businessman; now he claims that there are at least 35 narco-mayors in Honduras. Source [].
(Vol 36, Issue 20, 2014-10-08)
* As already reported by Karen, Jose Benito Lopez Martinez, an FNRP member and his son, Jose Rolando Martinez were killed in the early morning of October 5th in Choloma. Source [].
* El Tiempo reports on the gruesome reality a lot of Honduran women face. Source [].
* The Spanish El Diario has some more information about the ?235 million
the EU will spend on Honduran development projects from 2014-2020.
Spain and the US, meanwhile, meet with the Agriculture Secretariat to
discuss a project in support family agriculture. Sources 1. [], 2. [].
(Vol 36, Issue 19, 2014-10-07)
* From Karen Spring: Jose Benito Lopez Martinez, an FNRP member and his son, Jose Rolando Martinez were killed in the early morning of October 5th in Choloma. Jose Benito Lopez was the coordinator of the FNRP collective in the Colonia San Francisco del Ceibon in the southern sector of Choloma. An article was published in the Honduran newspaper (see link below) but it does not mention their involvement with the FNRP. Source [].
* From Karen Spring: Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations and communications firm that has been contracted by the Honduran government (I would assume based on what the article says, by COALIANZA) to create a "national image and country brand". Source [].
Donald A. Baer, the CEO and Worldwide Chair was the communications director under Bill Clinton and according to Bruson-Masteller's website, a senior advisor to Clinton. Info about him: []
(Vol 36, Issue 17, 2014-10-06)
* The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, met with JOH during his visit in Brussels. Van Rompuy's press release ends with the following words: "I have no doubt that the European tour you have undertaken will contribute very positively to the promotion of your country, and the business opportunities it offers." Source [.pdf link at].
* Casa Alianza condemns the torture of artisan miners in San Juan Arriba by soldiers. They claim that the ongoing militarization and the implementation of Plan Colombia has only worsened the state of represion and torture in Honduras. Source [].
* The Honduran bank Ficohsa, known for some controversial loans , just got granted a $100 million credit line by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE). Source [].
(Vol 36, Issue 06, 2014-10-03)
* El Libertador reports that two soldiers tortured two artisan miners at the San Juan Arriba mine in El Corpus - the mine that had collapsed past July. Source [ link] [].
*  In another story, El Libertador reports on the Military Police shooting on a civilian bus in Tegucigalpa, leaving four wounded. Members of the government, meanwhile, try to downplay the incident. Transport minister Yovany Dub?n even goes so far as to claim that the journalists reporting on the story work in cahoots with criminals. ConexiHon summarized all the crimes committed by the state security forces these last days. Yesterday evening, the Public Prosecution Office presented a "requerimento fiscal" for one of the military police officers. Sources 1. [ link] [], 2. [ link] [], 3. [ link] [], 4.  [ link] [], 5. [ link] [].
* And staying with trying to discredit journalists: Dina Meza denounces that her picture was illegally used by "El tornillo con fin". She sees it as another try to overshadow her work as a human rights defender and reporter. Source [ link] [].
* PEN International decided to open a PEN Center in Honduras - and important step, given the recent statistics by Reporters without Borders. Sources 1. [ link] [], 2. [ link] []
* During his visit to Spain, JOH was promised $150 millions of investment in the next four years. Furthermore, JOH once more asked the Honduran debt to Spain ($52 millions) may be used for infrastructure projects. Sources 1. [ link] [], 2. [ link] [].
* Radio Progreso offers a good overview of the struggle of indigenous people in Honduras against the colonization of the 21st century. ComexiHon takes a broader view and looks at the situation in whole Latin America. Sources 1. [ link] [], 2. [ link] [].
* Students protested last night against the proposed reforms at the UNAH. Source [ link] [].
(Vol 36, Issue 02, 2014-10-01)
* From Greg McCain: I just received a call from a member of the Garifuna community of Nueva Armenia in the Municipality of Jutiapa, Atlantida that National Police with an order from the Court in La Ceiba are evicting them from their land. About 12 police officers arrived in 2 vehicles and began throwing the communities possessions onto fires and destroyed their housing. Here is a link (in Spanish) for more background on Nueva Armenia: [ link] []
* "Honduras: PEN member barred from journalism after covering corruption in state university"[]
(Vol 36, Issue 01, 2014-10-01)
* Yesterday the eviction of the Garifuna community Barra Vieja took place - the homes of the families living there were destroyed by the police and armed forces. Sources 1. [ link] [], 2. [ link] [].
* Miguel Facusse claims that he lost $68 million due to the conflict in the Bajo Aguan - this he said while accompanying JOH to Spain. Source [ link] [].
2014-10-06  posted to the "Honduras Solidarity Network":
On September 10th at approximately 4:30 pm, Jaime Cabera, a leader of the Movimiento Campesino RefundaciĆ³n Gregorio Chavez of the community La Panama, suffered an attack in the Aguan Valley, Honduras, as he left the Palmera gas station in Tocoa on a motorcycle. While Jaime headed to La Panama, where he lives with his family, a 3.0 white pick up truck began following him attempting to provoke an accident on multiple occasions. Attempting to avoid an accident, Jaime was forced to maneuver his motorcycle and drive quickly while being followed by unknown persons in the white truck. The pursuance stopped when the truck turned into the entrance to Dinant Corporation's Paso Aguan finca. The community of La Panama believes that the truck was attempting to kill or seriously injury and intimidate Jaime, who has played a very important role in the campesino movement. The attack against Jaime comes less than a month after various Honduran military officials showed up at two other community leaders' houses - Glenda Chavez and Santas Torres - on August 19th, 2014 to harass and point guns at the leaders and their family members.
2014-10-03 posted to the "Honduras Solidarity Network":
Below is a link to the report from the Office of Inspector General of USAID. It is basically a review of different risk assessments in 3 countries, one of them being Honduras. The review for Honduras is that there is no accountability for where the money from the Millennium Challenge has gone. The recommendation is not that they implement some form of accountability, but to, "implement a risk mitigation plan to address the lack of documentation."
Risk Assessments for the Latin America and Caribbean Region []: Recommendation 3. We recommend that USAID/Honduras implement a risk mitigation plan to address the lack of documentation for the Millennium Challenge Account financial system.
"In Honduras, the assessment team noted that the financial system used by the Millennium Challenge Account did not have written policies or documentation related to its design, maintenance, or modifications. Furthermore, there was no data backup. The team recommended that the Millennium Challenge Account adopt a different financial system, but the recommended system also lacked documentation related to its design—for example, technical  documentation and manuals for users, system administrators, and support staff. The assessment team failed to evaluate the potential impact or provide any mitigation measures to address this risk."
[The Millennium Challenge Account—Honduras reports to the Office of the President of Honduras. Its purpose is to implement projects funded by the U.S. Government acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.]
"Break-in at the offices of LGBTI organisation APUVIMEH" (2014-10-03) [ link] []

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