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This Can't Be Happening
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For all this, the United States deserves a good deal of the blame.
I was pleased to see the New York Times recently publish a hard-hitting op-ed by Dana Frank that makes this case. Lest anyone in this country think that things in Honduras have settled into a peaceable, post-coup normality, Frank describes the post-June 2009"[C]hain of events—a coup that the United States didn’t stop, a fraudulent election that it accepted—[that] has now allowed corruption to mushroom.
"The police in Tegucigalpa, the capital, are believed to have killed the son of Julieta Castellanos, the rector of the country’s biggest university, along with a friend of his, on Oct. 22, 2011. Top police officials quickly admitted their suspects were police officers, but failed to immediately detain them. When prominent figures came forward to charge that the police are riddled with death squads and drug traffickers, the most famous accuser was a former police commissioner, Alfredo Landaverde. He was assassinated on Dec. 7. Only now has the government begun to make significant arrests of police officers.
Not surprisingly, given his qualifications, Cárdenas frames Honduras’s current problems as solely the product of drug trafficking, and he encourages the United States to recognize that “Honduras’s war on drugs is ours too.”
Frank did a good job preemptively responding to this notion. She wrote, “Much of the press in the United States has attributed this violence solely to drug trafficking and gangs. But the coup was what threw open the doors to a huge increase in drug trafficking and violence, and it unleashed a continuing wave of state-sponsored repression.”
failed in 2011 to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations under the de facto government that took power after the 2009 military coup....Violence and threats against journalists, human rights defenders, political activists, and transgender people continued. Those responsible for these abuses are rarely held to account.
continue to kill trade unionists and, increasingly, leaders of displaced communities seeking to reclaim their lands. These groups no longer present themselves as a national counterinsurgency movement, but they do continue to traffic illegal drugs and terrorize civilians the way the AUC [the paramilitary group that Uribe’s government ostensibly disbanded] once did. They are the legacy of Uribe’s approach to “justice and peace.”