The Bloodbath in Honduras

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary The homicide rate in Honduras is 14 times what it is in the United States. Every day agents for the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) go out with Honduran military units to destroy suspected drug laboratories and airstrips used by the drug cartels. What is not mentioned is that nine times out of ten Honduran military airplanes and helicopter gunships also shoot and massacre innocent people in villages and Native Honduran hamlets on the Miskito coast. The Honduran military made no apologies or compensation for the killings of unarmed civilians. To make matters worse, death squads operate in that country that kill political and religious activists, social workers who “ask too many questions,” and lesbians and gays. Additionally, Honduran journalists are routinely murdered. Since the military coup in Honduras in 2009, 23 journalists have been slaughtered, and more have disappeared never to be heard from again. This has made Honduras one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work.

Sometimes the line between these military death squads and the narco-gangs has become blurred. One thing is for sure—the rich and powerful families in Honduras still call the shots and they are protected by their own private security. The U.S. Congress, in its annual report on Honduras, has found its military guilty of repression and murder as well as torture against civilians on a major scale. Disappearances of people has again become an occurrence since the Honduran military practiced it in the 1980’s against political opponents. The election of Porfirio Lobo Sosa in 2009 was in the shadow of a coup that drove another Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, from office. Many even now in Honduras still refer to the present administration as a “coup government” because no real opposition candidates were allowed to stand for election. Lobo belongs to the National Party, a right of center party that is considered acceptable to the rich and powerful ruling families of the country. In too many ways Honduras remains one of the last bastions of a small elite ruling all.

All of this, sadly, is in one sense or another funded by U.S. taxpayer money. From the DEA-assisted operations in the jungles looking for illicit drugs to the killing of innocent civilians, the U.S. government has helped pay for this. From preserving the military infrastructure to the killing of innocent civilians and journalists, the U.S. government has spent taxpayer money to keep this not-so representative government in place. In fact, the U.S. government was the first in the Americas to recognize the coup government when all other countries withheld recognition. Honduras is the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the Americas only after Mexico. But that aid does not seem to be making any difference in the lives of Hondurans. Thirty percent of all Hondurans are unemployed and 60 percent of all Hondurans live in poverty. Honduras is the second poorest countries in the Americas after Haiti. It seems that the only thing U.S. taxpayer dollars are doing is helping to contribute to the death and carnage that is the everyday reality in Honduras.

Comments are closed.