The destruction of the movement to protect the rights of the oppressed majority in Central America is not currently fashionable. Why our First Black President has already gone there and apologized for “excesses,” has he not?
Yet, of course, the slaughter continues:
Since a 2009 military coup against the democratic government of President Mel Zelaya, Honduras has become the most dangerous country in the world for environmental and human rights activists.
On Oct. 17, two more prominent rural organizers, José Ángel Flores and Silmer Dionisio George, were assassinated in Colón. Flores was the president of the Unified Campesinos Movement of the Aguán Valley (MUCA), and George was a well-known leader from the same organization.
This follows the Oct. 9 assassination attempts against Tomás Gómez Membreño, the general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and COPINH community leader Alexander García Sorto.
What we are seeing is, of course (certainly in Honduras; by extension in much of Central America) the local allies of monopoly capitalism, otherwise the servants of American imperialism, carrying out the anticipated wishes of the soon-to-be-elected Establishment Democrat, Hillary Clinton. When she was Secretary of State she went on record as supporting the coup against an elected president of Honduras. All perfectly legal, she said; no coup occurred; having a new election instead of returning the elected president avoided wider bloodshed.
Sure it did. As we can see.
On the one hand, I am unhappy with the knee-jerk support some pretty authoritarian regimes get from progressive circles in the United States (I name no names in this case, since views can honestly differ) simply because they assert that they’re against American imperialism.
On the other hand, I am equally unhappy with the low priority shown the day-to-day slaughter of genuine political activists who are proceeding to empower the majority of peoples in Central America, against the violent opposition of supporters of corporate interests.
Guatemala’s long civil conflict was marked by the dispossession and displacement of Indigenous communities. Peace did not stop this pattern. Over the past decade, Guatemala’s sustained economic expansion, marked by an increasing focus on mining gold and silver and harnessing hydroelectric power, has been accompanied by the continued impoverishment and exploitation of Indigenous peoples.
Mining royalties are growing at an annual rate of 10 percent, but Indigenous villages in regions directly affected by extractive industries do not share in the benefits. Instead, they bear the serious environmental and health costs stemming from the diversion of water sources and the contamination of rivers. The resulting dislocation of Indigenous farmers aggravates longstanding conflicts over land titling and tenure that remain unsettled, despite repeated government pledges to resolve the disputes.
This is what a United States foreign policy which is beholden to corporate interests, the foreign policy followed by the Republican and Democratic Party incumbents without exception, means in practice.