Portada del sitio > Global > "59 asesinatos políticos en 2011. El derramamiento de sangre en Honduras: la (...)

Adital, 23 noviembre 2011
Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian / Counter Punch, November 21, 2011

"59 asesinatos políticos en 2011. El derramamiento de sangre en Honduras: la deshonra de Obama" / "59 Political Killings This Year - The Bloodshed in Honduras: Obama’s Disgrace"

Resumen Latinoamericano: ¿Cómo cerrar el círculo contra los feminicidios? - Más muerte, dolor y vergüenza institucional en el Bajo Aguán - Carlos Reyes y Juan Barahona (FNRP): "En Honduras nada ha cambiado, pero el país ha salido de la agenda" - Redes internacionales denuncian asesinatos y violaciones de derechos humanos en Honduras - Rafael Alegría (La Vía Campesina Honduras): "Firme esperanza"

Domingo 27 de noviembre de 2011, por Redacción

Imaginad que un activista opositor fuera asesinado a plena luz del día en Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador o Venezuela por pistoleros enmascarados, o secuestrado y asesinado por guardias armados de un conocidísimo partidario del gobierno. Sería una noticia de primera plana en el New York Times y en todas las noticias de la televisión. El Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. emitiría una enérgica declaración sobre graves abusos de los derechos humanos. Si algo semejante sucediera / Imagine that an opposition organizer were murdered in broad daylight in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela by masked gunmen, or kidnapped and murdered by armed guards of a well-known supporter of the government. It would be front page news in the New York Times, and all over the TV news. The U.S. State Department would issue a strong statement of concern over grave human rights abuses. If this were ever to happen.

(imagen: Obama y Lobo en la Casa Blanca, 5 octubre 2011).

Ahora imaginad que 59 asesinatos políticos de este tipo hubieran tenido lugar hasta ahora durante este año, y 61 el año pasado. Mucho antes de que la cantidad de víctimas llegara a este nivel, se habría convertido en un importante tema de política exterior para EE.UU., y Washington exigiría sanciones internacionales.

Pero estamos hablando de Honduras, no de Bolivia o Venezuela. Por lo tanto cuando el presidente Porfirio Lobo de Honduras fue a Washington el mes pasado, el presidente Obama lo saludó calurosamente y dijo: "Hace dos años, vimos un golpe en Honduras que amenazó con apartar al país de la democracia, y en parte por la presión de la comunidad internacional, pero también por el fuerte compromiso con la democracia y el liderazgo del presidente Lobo, lo que vemos es una restauración de las prácticas democráticas y un compromiso con la reconciliación que nos da muchas esperanzas”.

Evidentemente, el presidente Obama incluso se negó a reunirse con el presidente democráticamente elegido que fue derrocado por el golpe mencionado, a pesar de que ese presidente fue tres veces a Washington en busca de ayuda después del golpe. Era Mel Zelaya, el presidente de centro-izquierda que fue derrocado por los militares y sectores conservadores en Honduras después de instituir una serie de reformas por las que había votado la gente, como el aumento del salario mínimo y leyes de impulso de la reforma agraria.

Pero lo que más enfureció a Washington fue la cercanía de Zelaya con los gobiernos izquierdistas de Suramérica, incluida Venezuela. No estaba más cercano de Venezuela que Brasil o Argentina, pero fue un crimen de oportunidad. Por lo tanto cuando los militares hondureños derrocaron a Zelaya en junio de 2009, el gobierno de Obama hizo todo lo posible durante los seis meses siguientes para asegurarse de que el golpe tuviera éxito.

La "presión de la comunidad internacional” a la que se refirió Obama en la declaración mencionada provino de otros países, especialmente de los gobiernos de izquierdas de Suramérica. EE.UU. estaba al otro lado, luchando –finalmente con éxito– a fin de legitimar el gobierno golpista mediante una "elección” que el resto del hemisferio se negó a reconocer.

En mayo de este año Zelaya declaró en público lo que ya habíamos adivinado la mayoría de los que seguimos de cerca los acontecimientos: que Washington estuvo tras el golpe y ayudó a que se perpetrara. Aunque es probable que nadie se tome la molestia de investigar el papel de EE.UU. en el golpe, es algo bastante plausible en vista de la abrumadora evidencia circunstancial.

Porfirio Lobo asumió el poder en enero de 2010, pero la mayoría del hemisferio se negó a reconocer su gobierno porque su elección tuvo lugar mediante graves violaciones de los derechos humanos. En mayo de 2011 se llegó finalmente a un acuerdo en Cartagena, Colombia, que permitió que Honduras volviera a la Organización de Estados Americanos. Pero el gobierno de Lobo no ha cumplido su parte de los acuerdos de Cartagena, que incluían garantías para los derechos humanos de la oposición política.

A continuación menciono dos de las docenas de asesinatos políticos que han ocurrido durante la presidencia de Lobo, tal como las recopiló la Red de Liderazgo Religioso de Chicago sobre Latinoamérica (CRLN, por sus siglas en inglés): "Pedro Salgado, vicepresidente del Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA) fue eliminado a tiros y luego decapitado aproximadamente a las 8 de la noche en su casa de la empresa cooperativa La Concepción. Su esposa, Reina Irene Mejía, también fue asesinada a tiros al mismo tiempo. Pedro sufrió un intento de asesinato en diciembre de 2010 … Salgado, como los presidentes de todas las cooperativas que reivindican derechos a tierras utilizadas por los empresarios del aceite de palma africana en el Aguán, había sido objeto de constantes amenazas de muerte desde principios de 2011”.

El coraje de estos activistas y organizadores frente a semejante violencia y horrible represión es asombroso. Muchos de los asesinatos del año pasado ocurrieron en el Valle Aguán en el Noreste, donde pequeños agricultores luchan por derechos a la tierra contra uno de los terratenientes más ricos de Honduras, Miguel Facussé.

Produce biocombustibles en esta región en tierras en disputa. Está cercano a EE.UU. y fue un importante apoyo del golpe de 2009 contra Zelaya. Sus fuerzas privadas de seguridad, junto con policías y militares respaldados por EE.UU., son responsables de la violencia política en la región. La ayuda de EE.UU. a los militares hondureños ha aumentado desde el golpe.

Recientes cables diplomáticos de EE.UU. publicados por WikiLeaks muestran que los funcionarios estadounidenses han sabido desde 2004 que Facussé también ha traficado con grandes cantidades de cocaína. Dana Frank, profesor de la Universidad de Santa Cruz, experto en Honduras, lo resumió para The Nation el mes pasado: "Fondos y entrenamiento de la ‘guerra contra la droga’ de EE.UU., en otras palabras, se están utilizando para apoyar la guerra de un conocido narcotraficante contra los campesinos”.

La militarización de la guerra contra la droga en la región también impulsa a Honduras por el mismo peligroso camino de México, un país que ya tiene una de las más altas tasas de asesinatos del mundo. The New York Times informa de que un 84% de la cocaína que llega a EE.UU. cruza ahora por Centroamérica, en comparación con un 23% en 2006, cuando Calderón llegó a la presidencia en México y lanzó su guerra contra la droga. The Times también señala que "los funcionarios estadounidenses dicen que el golpe de 2009 abrió la puerta a los cárteles (de la droga)” en Honduras.

Cuando voté por Barack Obama en 2008 nunca imaginé que su legado en Centroamérica sería el retorno del gobierno de los escuadrones de la muerte, del tipo que Ronald Reagan apoyó tan vigorosamente en los años ochenta. Pero parece ser el caso en Honduras.

El gobierno ha ignorado hasta ahora la presión de los miembros demócratas del Congreso para que se respeten los derechos humanos en Honduras. Esos esfuerzos continuarán, pero Honduras necesita ayuda del Sur. Suramérica fue la que encabezó los esfuerzos para revertir el golpe de 2009. Aunque Washington terminó por derrotarlos, no puede abandonar a Honduras mientras gente que no es diferente de sus amigos y partidarios en sus países son asesinados por un gobierno respaldado por EE.UU.

Fuente: Adital

59 Political Killings This Year

The Bloodshed in Honduras: Obama’s Disgrace

by Mark Weisbrot [1], Counterpunch, Novembre 21, 2011

Imagine that an opposition organizer were murdered in broad daylight in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela by masked gunmen, or kidnapped and murdered by armed guards of a well-known supporter of the government. It would be front page news in the New York Times, and all over the TV news. The U.S. State Department would issue a strong statement of concern over grave human rights abuses. If this were ever to happen.

Now imagine that 59 of these kinds of political killings had taken place so far this year, and 61 the previous year. Long before the number of victims reached this level, this would become a major foreign policy issue for the United States, and Washington would be calling for international sanctions.

But we are talking about Honduras, not Bolivia or Venezuela. So when President Porfirio Lobo of Honduras came to Washington last month, President Obama greeted him warmly and said [2]:

Two years ago, we saw a coup in Honduras that threatened to move the country away from democracy, and in part because of pressure from the international community, but also because of the strong commitment to democracy and leadership by President Lobo, what we’ve been seeing is a restoration of democratic practices and a commitment to reconciliation that gives us great hope.”

Of course, President Obama refused to even meet with the democratically elected president that was overthrown in the coup that he mentioned, even though that president came to Washington three times seeking help after the coup. That was Mel Zelaya, a left-of-center president who was overthrown by the military and conservative sectors in Honduras after instituting a number of reforms that people had voted for, like raising the minimum wage and laws promoting land reform.

But what angered Washington most was that Zelaya was close to the left governments of South America, including Venezuela. He wasn’t any closer to Venezuela than Brazil or Argentina was, but this was a crime of opportunity. So when the Honduran military overthrew Zelaya in June of 2009, the Obama Administration did everything it could for the next six months [3] to make sure that the coup succeeded [4]. The “pressure from the international community” that Obama referred to in the above statement came from other countries, mainly the left-of-center governments in South America. The United States was on the other side, fighting —ultimately successfully— to legitimize the coup government through an “election” that the rest of the hemisphere refused to recognize.

In May of this year, Zelaya stated publicly what most of us who followed the events closely already guessed was true: that Washington was behind the coup and helped bring it about. While no one will likely bother to investigate the U.S. role in the coup, this is quite plausible given the overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

Porifiro Lobo took office in January 2010, but most of the hemisphere refused to recognize the government because his election took place under conditions of serious human rights violations. In May 2011 an agreement was finally brokered in Cartegena, Colombia, that allowed Honduras back into the Organization of American States. But the Lobo government has not complied with its part of the Cartegena accords, which included human rights guarantees for the political opposition.

Here are two of the dozens of political killings that have occurred during Lobo’s presidency, as compiled by the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN):

Pedro Salgado, vice-president of the Unified Campesino Movement of Aguán (MUCA), was shot then beheaded at about 8:00 p.m. at his home in the La Concepción empresa cooperative. His spouse, Reina Irene Mejía, was also shot to death at the same time. Pedro suffered a murder attempt in December 2010 . . . Salgado, like the presidents of all the cooperatives claiming rights to land used by African palm oil businessmen in the Aguán, had been subject to constant death threats since the beginning of 2011”.

The courage of these activists and organizers in the face of such horrific violence and repression is amazing. Many of the killings over the past year have been in the Aguán Valley in the Northeast, where small farmers are struggling for land rights against one of Honduras’ richest landowners, Miguel Facussé. He is producing biofuels in this region on disputed land. He is close to the United States and was an important backer of the 2009 coup against Zelaya. His private security forces, together with U.S.-backed military and police, are responsible for the political violence in the region. U.S. aid to the Honduran military has increased since the coup.

Recent U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks show that U.S. officials have been aware since 2004 that Facussé has also been trafficking large quantities of cocaine. Dana Frank, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz who is an expert on Honduras, summed it up for The Nation last month: “U.S. ‘drug war’ funds and training, in other words, are being used to support a known drug trafficker’s war against campesinos”.

The U.S. militarization of the drug war in the region is also pushing Honduras down the disastrous path of Mexico, in a country that already has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The New York Times reports that 84 percent of cocaine that reaches the U.S. now crosses through Central America, as compared with 23 percent in 2006, when Calderon took office in Mexico and launched his drug war. The Times also notes that “American officials say the 2009 coup kicked open the door to (drug) cartels” in Honduras.

When I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 I never thought that his legacy in Central America would be the return of death squad government, of the kind that Ronald Reagan so vigorously supported in the 1980s. But that seems to be the case for Honduras.

The Administration has so far ignored pressure from Democratic Members of Congress to respect human rights in Honduras. These efforts will continue, but Honduras needs help from the South. It was South America that spearheaded the efforts to reverse the 2009 coup. Although Washington ultimately defeated them, they cannot abandon Honduras while people no different from their friends and supporters at home are being murdered by a U.S.-backed government [5].

This article originally appeared in The Guardian.

Source: Counter Punch

(26 de noviembre de 2011)

- Honduras en Resumen Latinoamericano:

Honduras: ¿Cómo cerrar el círculo contra los feminicidios?, Isabel Soto Mayedo

Más muerte, dolor y vergüenza institucional en el Bajo Aguán, Giorgio Trucchi

Carlos Reyes y Juan Barahona (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular): “En Honduras nada ha cambiado, pero el país ha salido de la agenda”, Daniel Gatti

Redes internacionales denuncian asesinatos y violaciones de derechos humanos en Honduras, Alba TV

Rafael Alegría (La Vía Campesina, Honduras): “Firme esperanza”, Radio Mundo Real

OEA aprobó regreso de Honduras

Fuente: Resumen Latinoamericano

(27 de noviembre de 2011)


[1Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.

[2The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Oval Office, October 05, 2011

Remarks by President Obama and President Lobo of Honduras Before Bilateral Meeting

President Obama: Well, it’s a pleasure to welcome President Lobo to the White House, and this gives us an opportunity to reaffirm the friendship between the American and the Honduran people. Not only has Honduras been a traditionally close partner with the United States, but the people-to-people relationship is profound, particularly given the Honduran-American population that has contributed so much to the growth of our country.

Today also begins a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries. Two years ago, we saw a coup in Honduras that threatened to move the country away from democracy, and in part because of pressure from the international community, but also because of the strong commitment to democracy and leadership by President Lobo, what we’ve been seeing is a restoration of democratic practices and a commitment to reconciliation that gives us great hope.

And President Lobo’s leadership is responsible not only for helping to restore constitutional order and democracy and a commitment to fair and free elections, but it’s also allowed Honduras once again to rejoin the Organization of American States, and for Hondurans —the Honduran relationship with its neighbors to be restored to a normal place. 

Of course, much work remains to be done. And I’m looking forward to a excellent conversation with President Lobo about how we can be helpful in ensuring that human rights are observed in Honduras. We will discuss ways in which our two countries can work effectively together to deal with the security situation that exists not only in Honduras but through Central America, and how we can cooperate effectively in preventing the countries of Central America from being corrupted and overrun by the transnational drug trade. And we also will have discussions about how we can continue to strengthen development in Honduras and the region so that people have opportunity, we will see economic growth, see economic development, and expand trade and further interactions between our two countries.

So Mr. President, I welcome you. I’m looking forward to a good conversation that will help to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. And, again, we are very appreciative of the leadership you’ve shown during what’s been a very difficult time.

President Lobo: (As translated). Thank you so much, Mr. President. It is indeed a very high honor for me to be here in the White House today. I want to state very emphatically that this is a great opportunity to celebrate the friendship between our peoples. It’s also an occasion in which we are reaffirming the permanent gratitude that we have for your friendship, for the permanent assistance we have received from the United States, and very especially because at a time of great crisis you were there to help, and you were there to help us restore the family that is our nation.

I began my administration bringing together all the forces that make up Honduran society. And what I have tried to establish is unity and reconciliation in my country.

We are on the road, as you said, Mr. President, to a number of things. We have returned to the Organization of American States, and in fact, I was able to visit that organization yesterday. It was a very warm visit. It was a wonderful occasion.

We have reaffirmed our democratic vocation. We have reaffirmed the road to democracy that we are on and that we will continue on. We will be opening even more spaces for our people to be able to express themselves. We have already created spaces within our representative democracy, but we will continue to do that so that there is evermore direct participation from our people in all levels of society. That is a road we’ve started on, and we will continue down that path.

The enormous challenge we face is that of crime and drug trafficking. But we have good friends, like you, who have helped us in the past, who continue to help us. And your words today, Mr. President, are a reaffirmation of that good friendship and that good support that we receive from you, and we hope we will have that in the future.

I also want to say to you again today that we will continue to respect human rights and do everything we can to build on what we have already done in that area. We know that there are some areas in which we have weaknesses we need to work on —the investigation of such crimes is one of those. But we hope to be able to get help from the United States on that so that we can overcome the hurdles we have in this respect, and we are able to find those people who are guilty of violations of human rights.

So we are on the road to reconciliation. Next year, our political parties will be holding their primaries. And in 2013 we will be holding our general election, and so we will be complying with our constitution for a man or woman to be elected president every four years.

President Obama: All right. Thank you, everybody.

[3Mark Weisbrot, cepr (center for economic and policy research) – Latin American Perspectives, May 2011

Obama’s Latin America Policy: Continuity Without Change

When Latin America’s left presidents watched the campaign of Barack Obama for president in 2008, they thought that they might finally see a U.S. president who would change Washington’s foreign policy in the region. It seemed as if another revolt at the ballot box was arriving in the Western Hemisphere of the kind that had elected Lula da Silva, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Fernando Lugo, and Tabaré Vázquez. It didn’t take long for all of these leaders’ hopes to be crushed.

This paper highlights various episodes of the Obama administration’s recent foreign policy to Latin America. Examples of policies, including in Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia, show that Obama has maintained Bush’s foreign policy in the region, in some cases even moving further to the right, thus maintaining the rift between Washington and the region.

[4Mark Weisbrot, Common Dreams, December 16, 2009

Top Ten Ways You Can Tell Which Side The United States Government is On With Regard to the Military Coup in Honduras

At dawn on June 28, the Honduran military abducted President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint and flew him out of the country. Conflicting and ambiguous statements from the Obama administration left many confused about whether it opposed this coup or was really trying to help it succeed. Here are the top ten indicators (with apologies to David Letterman):

10. The White House statement on the day of the coup did not condemn it, merely calling on “all political and social actors in Honduras” to respect democracy. Since U.S. officials have acknowledged that they were talking to the Honduran military right up to the day of the coup –allegedly to try and prevent it– they had time to think about what their immediate response would be if it happened.

9. The Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations General Assembly, and other international bodies responded by calling for the “immediate and unconditional” return of President Zelaya. In the ensuing five months, no U.S. official would use either of those two words.

8. At a press conference the day after the coup, Secretary of State Clinton was asked if “restoring the constitutional order” in Honduras meant returning Zelaya himself. She would not say yes.

7. On July 24th, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced President Zelaya’s attempt to return to his own country that week as “reckless”, adding that "We have consistently urged all parties to avoid any provocative action that could lead to violence".

6. Most U.S. aid to Honduras comes from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency. The vast majority of this aid was never suspended. By contrast, on August 6, 2008, there was a military coup in Mauritania; MCC aid was suspended the next day. In Madagascar, the MCC announced the suspension of aid just three days after the military coup of March 17, 2009.

5. On September 28, State Department officials representing the United States blocked the OAS from adopting a resolution on Honduras that would have refused to recognize Honduran elections carried out under the dictatorship.

4. The United States government refused to officially determine that there was a “military coup”, in Honduras –in contrast to the view of rest of the hemisphere and the world.

3. The Obama administration defied the rest of the hemisphere and the world by supporting undemocratic elections in Honduras.

On October 30th, U.S. government representatives including Thomas Shannon, the top U.S. State Department official for Latin America, brokered an accord between President Zelaya and the coup regime. The agreement was seen throughout the region as providing for Zelaya’s restitution, and –according to diplomats close to the negotiations– both Shannon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave assurances that this was true.

Yet just four days later, Mr. Shannon stated in a TV interview that the United States would recognize the November 29 elections, regardless of whether or not Zelaya were restored to the presidency. This put the United States against all of Latin America, which issued a 23-nation statement two days later saying that Zelaya’s restitution was an “indispensable prerequisite” for recognizing the elections. The Obama administration has since been able to recruit the right-wing governments of Canada, Panama, and Colombia, and also Peru, to recognize the elections. But its support for these undemocratic elections –to which the OAS, European Union, and the Carter Center all refused to send observers– has left the Obama administration as isolated as its predecessor in the hemisphere.

2. President Zelaya visited Washington six times after he was overthrown. Yet President Obama has never once met with him. Is it possible that President Obama did not have even five minutes in all of those days just to shake his hand and say, “I’m trying to help?”

1. The Obama administration has never condemned the massive human rights violations committed by the coup regime. These have been denounced and documented by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as Honduran, European, and other human rights organizations. There have been thousands of illegal arrests, beatings and torture by police and military, the closing down of independent radio and TV stations, and even some killings of peaceful demonstrators and opposition activists.

These human rights violations have continued right through election day, according to Amnesty International and media reports, and beyond, including the killings of two activists opposed to the coup –Walter Trochez and Santos Corrales García– in recent days.

The United States government’s silence through more than five months of these human rights crimes has been the most damning and persistent evidence that it has always been more concerned about protecting the dictatorship, rather than restoring democracy in Honduras.

The majority of American voters elected President Obama on a promise that our foreign policy would change. For this hemisphere, at least, that promise has been broken.

The headline from the latest Time Magazine report on Honduras summed it up: Obama’s Latin America Policy Looks Like Bush’s.

[5- Weisbrot’s Footnotes & Links:

Remarks at the Top of the Daily Press Briefing, US Department of State, June 29, 2009

Honduras: Investigate Abuses, Repeal Repressive Measures, Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2009

Honduras: Abuses escalate in crackdown, Amnesty International, 25 September 2009

IACHR Condemns Excessive Use of Force in Repression of Protests in Honduras, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, Press Release Nº 65/09, September 22, 2009

Honduras must launch full investigation into death of human rights campaigner, Amnesty International, 15 December, 2009

Denuncian a la policía hondureña por asesinar a un seguidor de Zelaya, google Noticias/AFP, 12-12-2009

Obama’s Latin American Policy Looks Like Bush’s, Tim Padgett, Time, Dec 03, 2009

Is US Opposition to the Honduran Coup Lessening?, Tim Padgett, Time, Oct 16, 2009

Exclusive Interview with Manuel Zelaya on the US Role in Honduran Coup, WikiLeaks and Why He Was Ousted, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, May 31, 2011

WikiLeaks Honduras: US Linked to Brutal Businessman, Dana Frank, The Nation, October 21, 2011

Drug Wars Push Deeper Into Central America, Randal C Archibold and Damien Cave, The New York Times, March 23, 2011