Monday, 3 August 2009

Shame on Honduran "golpistas"!

Last month, the CIS in El Salvador, el Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad, has taken part in a human rights investigation mission in Honduras and, with minor editions made by me, has reported the follow:

The military coup in Honduras has hit a sensitive note in El Salvador. Besides being neighbors, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador share a long history of military governments and repression.

All three countries have now elected progressive governments for the first time in their history since the Spanishcolonization over 500 years ago.The Governments of Zelaya, Colom and Funes are all reform minded, pro-social programs for the poormajority; they all three have begun to take action to break up rings of corruption linked with narco trafficking.

They are also linked with democratic movements that want to change economic policies whichconcentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few elite families. Latin American countries began to rise up against military dictatorships and the United States began to change its policy of unconditional support to those military dictatorships thirty years ago.

This process of democratization is severely threatened by thecoup in Honduras . The General Assembly of the Organization of American States ratified the Democratic Charter September 2001, committing to promote and implement democracy.

Honduras has violated the charter and has been suspended as a member because of the militarycoup. This is the first country in the Americas to get kicked outsince Cuba was suspended in 1962 (though a resolution in June 2009 has
overturned the 1962 resolution).


In terms of human rights, 14 of 28 media outlets were shut down in Honduras . Some are back on the air, but are taken off if they airsomething critical of the de facto government. Over 660 illegal detentions have been documented. Deputies who did not support thecoup have not been allowed to enter the legislative assembly. Therehave been three assassinations of opposition political leaders.

In addition, three activists have been assassinated since the coup.There are verified reports of forced recruitment into the military.These reports were given to our delegation first hand by bothnon-governmental and governmental human rights offices. The societyis militarized. All government buildings and ministries are surrounded by the military, as well as the presidential palace, public streets, the Legislative Assembly, the Courts and other areas of the country.


The CIS mission since its founding has been to support democracy andhuman rights and build solidarity across borders. The destabilizationin Honduras has a frightening impact on El Salvador . In economic terms, El Salvador imports most of its fruits and vegetables fromHonduras and Guatemala . Prices of tomatoes and onions doubledimmediately.

In terms of democracy, a successful coup in Honduras will bolster the right wing in El Salvador in creating obstacles for the FMLN government.

The conditions in El Salvador are very similarto those in Honduras; the left won popular presidential elections, butthe wealthy elite who have had a strong hold on El Salvador’s economicand political power for 180 years still hold control over the SupremeCourt of Justice, the Attorney General, the Accounting Court, theLegislative Assembly and other important institutions, as well asmonopoly control over the major media outlets."

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