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Nicaragua's Antidote to Violent Crime


GUATEMALA CITY, Sept 7, 2011 (IPS) - The so-called "Northern Triangle" of Central America, plagued by poverty, violence and the legacy of civil war, is considered one of the most violent areas in the world. But neighbouring Nicaragua has largely escaped the spiralling violence, and many wonder how it has managed to do so.

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons that crime rates are so much lower in Nicaragua than in its three neighbours to the north – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – but analysts and experts point to two fundamental aspects: community policing and greater social cohesion.

In the view of Helen Mack, the head of the Myrna Mack Foundation, a Guatemala City-based human rights organisation, the focus taken by Nicaragua's police force "makes a huge difference."

"The three countries of the Northern Triangle are influenced by the United States, and the police have played a supporting role to the army, protecting the state by means of repression. Meanwhile, the Nicaraguans, after the (1979) revolution, based their police forces on the Cuban model, which is focused on the community," said the activist, whose group is pushing for police reforms in Guatemala.

On Jul. 19, 1979, the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the regime of General Anastasio Somoza, putting an end to the nearly half-century Somoza family dictatorship.

One of the main achievements of the revolution was increased citizen participation, aimed at strengthening economic, social, political and cultural rights.

During the years of fighting the Somoza dynasty, the Sandinistas created the Civil Defence Committees. Once the FSLN seized power, these gave way to the Sandinista Defence Committees – neighbourhood watch structures – which evolved in 1988 into the Nicaraguan Communal Movement.


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Honduras Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women’s Constitutional Assembly

Proposals to radically re-formulate the constitution of Honduras need to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, declared Berta Cáceres, a longtime feminist indigenous activist and an organizer of the Constitutional Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women. The historic event, which is taking place July 10-14, 2011 in Copán Ruinas, will include indigenous and Afro women delegates from all over Honduras, said Cáceres, who is also coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations in Honduras).

Many of these women have been front and center in the popular resistance movement against the repression following the coup d’etat in their country in June, 2009, struggling against assaults on their lands, sovereignty, natural resources and cultures. Likewise, many have been specifically targeted as leaders in these struggles with aggressive and violent assaults and detentions by police and private security forces.

Along the northern coast of Honduras, there are 48 Garifuna communities “who are suffering an accelerated expulsion from our territories that we have inhabited for 214 years,” said Miriam Miranda of OFRANEH (National Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans) in a public letter she released after being violently detained and assaulted by security forces in March, 2011 for her role as a leader in the resistance. Communal lands of the Garifuna have been subject to widespread privatization as part of massive development plans by the government and World Bank to create big tourist resorts and “model cities.” The Garifuna are matrilocal, meaning the land has been traditionally passed along matrilineal lines, so this massive assault on communal lands has hit women particularly hard (Vacanti Brondo, 2007).MORE



Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women: Autonomy and an End to Violence Against Us

Final Declaration of Constituent Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women

From the rhythmic beat of powerful drums and ancient spiritual songs that echoed through the sacred ruins of the Mayan Chortí in Copan in western Honduras, the three-day event ended with hundreds of indigenous and Afro- Honduran women demanding autonomy and an end to the colonization of their lands, their bodies, their lives, and ways of doing politics.

The
Final Declaration of Copán Galel of the Self-Organized Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran women denounced the “violence, repression and domination of women operating through capitalism, patriarchy and racism,” said Berta Caceres, coordinator the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in an interview with Escribana.

Caceres was also one of the organizers of the Assembly, which took place July 11 to 13, 2011 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. The Assembly involved an intensive dialogue on the realities of life of the 300 participating women whose cultures, lands, natural resources and the country have been under siege that intensified since the military coup in June 2009.

Since then, the government, the powerful elites and transnational corporations have been using the “
Shock Doctrine” (Naomi Klein) to promote a rapid re-engineering of business, economic policies and all policies before people have opportunity to react. (Http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine).

For Honduras, this has meant immediate and aggressive plans for mass-tourism projects, mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and the expansion of mining, agribusiness and forestry, all involving the confiscation of indigenous and Afro lands.
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Israel Daphne Leef:How a woman in a tent became Israel's Top Story

Until recently nobody had heard of Daphni Leef. Now, everybody in Israel knows the 25-year-old's face and her cause. Just a few weeks ago, Leef was waiting tables. Now, her schedule has become such that she cannot help keeping people waiting. This interview was meant to take place at 11am but did not start until 5pm. Among things that might have distracted her was the small matter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting everything on hold to respond to her demands.

Even after the interview started, we were interrupted by well-wishers, delighted to see her in the flesh sitting outside a Tel Aviv café. A young man wanted a hug; a little old lady wanted to have her picture taken with Leef. And upon hearing her voice a blind woman halted her guide dog and chatted excitedly.

So what did Leef do to bring her such national attention? She got chucked out of her flat. And then wrote on Facebook. Just over a month ago she was told that she needed to leave her Tel Aviv apartment because the building was slated for redevelopment. She started looking for a new home, and was shocked to find how expensive rents had become.

"I called up a friend and said, 'I'm setting up a tent'," she recalls. "He said I should calm down." But she did not calm down - instead she opened a Facebook "event", inviting people to erect tents in central Tel Aviv to protest against high housing prices.MORE


Dude. They profiled the originator of a protest that has seen up to 300,000 people participate....in the lifestyle section. God. DAMN.


Tunisia Tunisian women fear the Algerian way

TUNIS, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - A women’s group begins campaigning near La Marsa beach in Tunis to convince more women to come up and register in the electoral lists, in time for the deadline now pushed back to Aug. 14. Most of the women watching the proceedings are veiled.

The veils present more a question than a suggestion at present. One survey among veiled women conduced by journalists here claims that four in five of these women will not vote for Ennahda, the Islamist party surging ahead in popularity ahead of elections for a constituent assembly due in October.

Veils in such numbers are an unusual sight in Tunisia where women visit the beach just as comfortably in a bikini as wearing a headscarf, and just as comfortable sipping wine as a soft drink, listening to rap or traditional music.

Looks may be deceptive, one way or another. "Look around," says Khadija, an activist with the Modernist Democratic Front - a coalition of local Tunisian democratic parties - on another beachfront near the fashionable La Goulette. "Can you see these people living under Islamic law? Tunisia is not Algeria. I am sure it will never happen here."

...


Women have had successes they want to hold on to: half the candidates in the electoral lists must now be women. A strong presence of women in the constituent assembly could be crucial to women’s rights.

Women also want to consolidate the position taken by the High Commission charged to verify that the goals of the revolution are respected - namely that religion and politics will be kept separate. Ennahda has opposed this move in the transitional period. It has also opposed the transitional government’s decision that parties cannot receive funds from outside.

On another front women are fighting the undemocratic influence of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in institutions such as the media. The media gives little space to women, even though they are politically active, and many will be candidates. MORE
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Please, Stop Trying to 'Fix' Honduras: Letter to the Los Angeles Times


A response to the recent Op-Ed entitled “Fixing Honduras” by Noah Feldman, David Landau and Brian Sheppard that was published in the L.A. Times.
This op-ed by US-based constitutional lawyers completely misidentifies the real crisis in Honduras.


For the authors, the problem to be solved is one of political instability, a power struggle amongst politicians that to be avoided by way of slight tweaks to the constitution. The real crisis in Honduras is the 300,000 rural families without access to land, not counting the thousands that have fled the country entirely. It's the poverty rates as high as 80%, where community after community lacks basic sanitation, much less roads or medical clinics. It's the political system that has failed for decades to address these problems.

The arrogance of titling their article 'Fixing Honduras' is that Feldman is assuming that fixing Honduras isn't a job fit for Hondurans, and more importantly, that fixing Honduras isn't precisely what Hondurans themselves are already trying to do by fighting for an entirely new constitution.


Many Hondurans saw the Zelaya presidency, and in particular his proposal to write a new constitution, as the first genuine attempt to address the country's normalized humanitarian crisis. Many people here are demanding more participation in politics as they've lost faith in the traditional political class. They demand evolution from the representative democracy defended by the current constitution, to a more participatory democracy. The details of the new Honduran democracy would be determined through a constitutional assembly that guarantees real participation for all Honduran sectors and geographical regions. Supporters of this bold plan are merely demanding a right to a referendum to see whether Hondurans want to have such an assembly.

In response to this demand, Feldman tells Hondurans that they can't have a referendum without the approval of those very representatives they are rejecting. In their words, such a move would “require the assent of other institutions of government, such as the Congress and the courts, before the executive is able to consult the public for any exercise of direct democracy.” Getting assent from the congress and courts has been proven impossible. The members of these two institutions naturally see direct democracy as a threat, given that it's practice requires a loss of power for them. In taking this position, Feldman is protecting the same status quo that the Honduran military and oligarchy have defended so violently both during and since the coup of June 28th, 2009. MORE



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Zelaya Returns to Honduras but there is a long way to go before democracy returns to Honduras



Transcript


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Massive Turnout for Zelaya Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle


'Largest gathering in Honduran history' receives deposed leader's return, but where to now for Honduran resistance movement?

Produced by Jesse Freeston.

For More Visit therealnews.com


Transcript:

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April 8th War is not peace
For decades, School of the Americas Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois has argued that embracing militarism will never bring us the security we seek. But he thinks he knows what will.

It’s known as the School of Assassins among the poor of Latin America; a vessel for the spread of democracy among its U.S. military proponents; and one of the world’s most infamous human rights offenders for the thousands of protesters who gather in Fort Benning, Georgia, each November to honor the names of union leaders, campesinos, priests, and children who have been gunned down by its alumni.

This week, activists led by longtime peacemaker Father Roy Bourgeois are fasting in Washington, D.C. to demand the closure of the “School of the Americas,” a training center, funded by U.S. taxpayers, for tens of thousands of Latin American soldiers and police forces.

The institution was initially founded to curb the spread of communism in the region—training, arming, and supporting some of the 20th century's most deadly regimes in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Bolivia, and on. With an eerily Orwellian turn of phrase, the school, originally founded in Panama in 1946 before it was relocated to U.S. soil in 1984, was renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC, in 2001.

"We rely on what our leaders tell us is true, and we don't know what our foreign policy means to those on the receiving end."

According to Bourgeois' watchdog group, the School of the Americas Watch, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people—from Jesuit priests to village children—have been traced to the more than 60,000 graduates trained during the school's 59 years of operation. Bourgeois, a veteran and firsthand witness to the carnage in Vietnam, first went to work in Latin America in 1972 as a priest. Five years living with the poor on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, exposed him to the United States' complicity in atrocities committed by General Banzer’s regime. “I met my country there,” he says. “We were the ones giving them guns and teaching them how to use them.”

Bourgeois' outspokenness eventually got him arrested and effectively deported, but it also got him rolling. Every Sunday, he spoke at different churches throughout the U.S., explaining how our own military might, money, and expertise were supporting some of the world's most merciless oppressors.

In 1989, a congressional task force investigating the massacre of six Jesuit priests, their co-worker, and her teenage daughter, revealed that some of the killers had been trained at Fort Benning. Bourgeois organized a 35-day fast at the base’s gate.

Two decades later, Bourgeois' activism has spread, with tens of thousands of participants from all over the world demanding the closure of the school. Bourgeois has personally petitioned leaders—from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Bolivian President Evo Morales—to discontinue their militaries’ involvement with the school.

Bourgeois believes that American people must find new ways to be in relationship with the rest of the world—with or without the official support of our leaders. Militarism, he argues, has been an American addiction for years. But with drastic unemployment, languishing social services, widespread insecurity, and the creeping consolidation of power, we may finally learn how to say, enough is enough. MORE
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WARNING: All the Videos contain disturbing images of hurt and dead people.


Report from Land Occupations in Post-Coup Honduras
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Brutal Repression in Honduras Targets Teachers, Popular Resistance

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Honduran Students Defend Occupied National University / Estudiantes Defienden La UNAH en Raw Footage

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Towards the Reconstruction of the Country:
The Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Black People of Honduras




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March 1 Military Coups are good for Canadian Business: The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement

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With Increased US Aid, Honduras Militarises Anti-Drug Fight

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Zelaya says he fears being killed in Honduras even after arrest warrants dropped


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LESOTHO


Has Lesotho bridged the gender gap?

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MOZAMBIQUE

MOZAMBIQUE Educator in the foothills of her political career

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BOTSWANA

BOTSWANA: Women in Politics – A House Divided… But Determined

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ECUADOR

ECUADOR Trees on Shaky Ground in Texaco’s Rainforest

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EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS

EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS Forgotten People of the Border Pact

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YEMEN

EWAMT:Yemeni Women in Protest

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Empowerment of Women Activists in Media Techniques -Yemen


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INDIA

Deaf seek level field on disability

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The Word on Women - Rehabilitation cuts no ice with India's sex workers\

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PANAMA

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A wild weekend of rebellion and repression
Three journalists among those arrested, with deportation proceedings against a La Prensa columnist:Martinelli sends in cops, lashes out at anti-mining protesters

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Preliminary report on human rights violations during the days of protest against mining reform in Panama, January to March 2011 PDF Format


Rival leaders assert claims in the Ngabe-Bugle Comarca

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US citizen remains a political prisoner in Panama:WikiLeaks highlights, worsens US-Panamanian relations



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WikiLeaks: Colombian company, subsidiary of Panamanian company, was doing Plan Colombia and US Defense Department subcontracting despite many reputed drug cartel ties

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FRANCE
 


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BRITAIN
 


No family in Britain will escape George Osbourne's cuts Read more... )Diary of a disability benefit claimant Read more... )



'The medical was an absolute joke'


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So recently Nicolas Kristof, New York Times columnist who has set himself up as a women's rights crusader, was tackled on the fact that he hinged his stories on whiote poeple who were helping the natives of the various brown citizen majority countries that he reports from: Texas in Africa has the story in white man's burden

Back in May, @viewfromthecave tweeted that The Kristof was taking questions from readers to be answered via YouTube. This is the question I asked:


Your columns about Africa almost always feature black Africans as victims, and white foreigners as their saviors.



There was more to it than that, but I can't find the original post. At any rate, the gist of the question was, "Why not feature more of the work that Africans are doing to solve their countries' problems?"


And, lo and behold, Kristof answered. NYT Picker thankfully has the transcript for those of us on dial-up connections:
This is a really important issue for a journalist. And it's one I've thought a lot about.


I should, first of all, from my defensive crouch, say that I think you're a little bit exaggerating the way I have reported. Indeed, recently, for example, among the Africans who I have emphasized, the people who are doing fantastic work are the extraordinary Dr. Dennis Mukwege in the Congo, Edna Adan in Somaliland, Valentino Deng in Sudan, Manute Bol in Sudan, and there are a lot of others.


But I do take your point. That very often I do go to developing countries where local people are doing extraordinary work, and instead I tend to focus on some foreigner, often some American, who’s doing something there.


And let me tell you why I do that. The problem that I face -- my challenge as a writer -- in trying to get readers to care about something like Eastern Congo, is that frankly, the moment a reader sees that I'm writing about Central Africa, for an awful lot of them, that's the moment to turn the page. It's very hard to get people to care about distant crises like that.


One way of getting people to read at least a few grafs in is to have some kind of a foreign protagonist, some American who they can identify with as a bridge character.


And so if this is a way I can get people to care about foreign countries, to read about them, ideally, to get a little bit more involved, then I plead guilty.



As NYT Picker aptly notes, the persons to whom Kristof refers have either not been mentioned in his print columns or are typically only mentioned briefly.Texas in Africa proceeds to fisk this white liberal racist BS as it deserves



I am extremely pissed at this BS meself, so have a linkspam of women in their own countries, being all awesome without some white saviours anywhere near them.

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS Women Join Forces for Political Equality


PORT-LOUIS , Jul 14, 2010 (IPS) - "Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.


With female political representation standing at only 3.75 percent in Madagascar, a women’s lot is very precarious, says Rasamoelina.


And so too is the situation for many women in most of the Indian Ocean Islands. Female political representation is a mere three percent in Comoros, 18 percent in Mauritius and 23.5 percent in the Seychelles.


It is one of the reasons why Rasamoelina and 30 other women from the Indian Ocean Islands, gathered recently in Mauritius to identify ways to attain parity among men and women in politics in an event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission and Women in Politics (WIP).MORE




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via: Vivir Latino

Why Washington Cares about Countries like Haiti and Honduras
When I write about U.S. foreign policy in places like Haiti or Honduras, I often get responses from people who find it difficult to believe that the U.S. government would care enough about these countries to try and control or topple their governments. These are small, poor countries with little in the way of resources or markets. Why should Washington policy-makers care who runs them?

...

Why do they care so much about who runs these poor countries? As any good chess player knows, pawns matter. The loss of a couple of pawns at the beginning of the game can often make a difference between a win or a loss. They are looking at these countries mostly in straight power terms. Governments that are in agreement with maximizing U.S. power in the world, they like. Those who have other goals -- not necessarily antagonistic to the United States -- they don't like.

Not surprisingly, the Obama Administration's closest allies in the hemisphere are right-wing governments such as Colombia or Panama, even though President Obama himself is not a right-wing politician. This highlights the continuity of the politics of control. The victory of the Right in Chile last week, the first time that it has won an election in half a century, was a significant victory for the U.S. government. If Lula de Silva's Workers' Party were to lose the presidential election in Brazil this fall, that would really be a huge win for the State Department. While U.S. officials under both Bush and Obama have maintained a friendly posture toward Brazil, it is obvious that they deeply resent the changes in Brazilian foreign policy that have allied it with other social democratic governments in the hemisphere, and its independent foreign policy stances with regard to the Middle East, Iran, and elsewhere.Read on for a taste of what teh US has been getting up to in Latin America and teh Caribbean recentlyMORE


Seven "Corporations of Interest" in Selling Surveillance Tools to China

The "Corporations of Interest"

Drawing from published news articles, EFF has compiled a list of seven corporations that are reportedly selling surveillance technology to the Chinese government and related entities. We're designating them "corporations of interest".
...
  1. Cisco: Cisco's deep involvement in the building of China's Golden Shield Project has been admitted by the company. Cisco's involvement has even already been raised before Congress, including the fact that Cisco engineers gave a presentation acknowledging the repressive uses for their technology that quoted their Chinese government buyers as saying that Cisco's products could be used to "combat 'Falun Gong' evil religion and other hostiles." The UK's Guardian reports that Cisco provides over 60% of all routers, switches, and network gear to China and estimates that Cisco makes $500 million annually from China.

  2. Nortel: Rolling Stone and The Guardian report that Nortel has sold hardware to aid the Golden Shield Project for surveillance and censorship purposes, including working with Tsinghua University to develop speech recognition software to monitor telephone conversations.
MORE


Colombia: Doctors obstruct legal abortions


Nearly four years since the Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion in certain cases, women still face challenges to receive the procedure as many doctors and even judges have improperly declared themselves conscientious objectors.

In May 2006, the court lifted a ban on abortion in the case that the mother´s life or mental or physical health is in jeopardy, if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the child has fetal malformations.

Ariadna Tovar, a lawyer with Women´s Link Worldwide, a gender equality advocacy group, says doctors or the health care providers they work for have collectively declared themselves conscientious objectors to the procedure.

Judges are doing the same, she says.
MORE



Q&A: ''There's a Limit to Fish Harvesting':David Cronin interviews ISABELLA LÖVIN, Swedish fisheries policy activist>a?


ETHIOPIA: Dam Critics Won't Go Away


PAKISTAN: Community Midwives Gain Recognition But Concerns Remain


Costa Rica: Laura Chinchilla Elected First Woman President


Ukraine: Back full Circle


DRC (democratic Republic of Congo)'s Magic Dust: Who benefits?

The new American imperialism in Africa Apparently this essay is a reprint, was first published 4 years ago. But is still relevant.


Mozambique: First woman speaker a step for equality
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Haiti beset by series of natural disasters



The Caribbean island nation of Haiti has been beset by a series of natural disasters in recent years, experiencing four devastating tropical storms in 2008.

Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake will only further complicate living conditions for residents of the poverty-stricken country where 80 per cent of Haiti's nearly nine million people live below the poverty line.

Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports. 13 Jan 10


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“The Obama administration now has both the continuing Honduran crisis and a divided hemisphere on its hands, with no solution in sight,” reads a new article in The Nation today. The U.S. has decided to recognize the result of the recent elections in Honduras, despite ongoing reports that the elections were boycotted and that the people consider them an extension of the coup. But will the coup in Honduras create larger problems for Latin America? What will its effects mean for the rest of Latin America, a region trending leftward in recent years? Greg Grandin, Nation contributor, NYU professor, and author of Empire’s Workshop and Fordlandia,Roque Planas of Latin American News Dispatch, and Sujatha Fernandes, Queens College professor and author of Cuba Represent! and the upcoming Who Can Stop The Drums: Urban Social Movements in Chavez’s Venezuelajoin us in studio to discuss. We also have updates from inside Honduras from Andres Conteris of Nonviolence International and Democracy Now! and freelance journalist Elyssa Pachico reports from Chile.
Thanks to Joseph Huff-Hannon and Marcos Meconi for video in today’s show.
Correction: Zelaya has been in the Brazilian Embassy since September 21, 2009. He has stated that he will leave in January.
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When we last left Honduras, there was an agreement signed that Zelaya at least, believed would have led him on a path back to power. The United States helped to scuttle that agreement a day after I posted that:

U.S. State Department Sells Out Honduran Democracy for Senate Confirmations


In one of the lowest points in U.S. diplomatic history, the State Department announced a turnabout in its Honduran policy and stated it will recognize the results of Nov. 29 elections even if held under the military coup.

The new strategy to promote elections without first assuring a return to constitutional order torpedoes the accord that the State Department itself brokered and was signed by President Manuel Zelaya and coup leader Roberto Micheletti on Oct. 29.

On Nov. 4, just days after Secretary of State Clinton anounced a major breakthrough in resolving the Honduran political crisis, Asst. Secretary of State Thomas Shannon stated in an interview with CNN that “the formation of the National Unity Government is apart from the reinstatement of President Zelaya” and that the Honduran Congress will decide when and if Zelaya is reinstated. His surprise declaration scuttled the point of reinstatement in the agreement, leaving the matter up in the air while confirming that the U.S. government will recognize elections anyway.

U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Lewis Anselem and Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens confirmed this new position. At the OAS meeting, Anselem, whose disparaging remarks toward Latin American countries have alienated many southern diplomats, criticized the other nations’ refusal to recognize elections staged by a coup regime, “I’ve heard many in this room say that they will not recognize the elections in Honduras… I’m not trying to be a wiseguy, but what does that mean? What does that mean in the real world, not in the world of magical realism?”

Llorens also portrayed the new policy as pragmatism, stating on Nov. 8, “The elections will be part of the reality and will return Honduras to the path of democracy.”

The repeated use of "reality" as the justification for the policy change shows an attempt on the part of the State Department to unilaterally impose a definition of Honduran reality—contrary to its own previous definition and that of the international community. This unilateral diplomacy harks back to Bush foreign policies that many Americans and Latin Americans believed had been thrown out with the incoming Obama administrationHow the fix went down


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CIP Americas says Agreement to End Honduran Coup Marks Victory and Challenge

Last night, Oct. 29, Honduras' de facto regime finally agreed to allow Congress to vote to "restore full executive power prior to June 28." Conceding to international and national pressure, the Honduran coup appears to be facing its final days.
If the agreement brokered this week holds, the Honduran resistance movement will have turned the ugly precedent of a modern-day military coup d'etat into an example of the strength of nonviolent grassroots resistance.

The Victory

The points of the agreement are the same ones that the de facto regime has rejected since talks began in San Jose, Costa Rica. By last week, there was supposedly agreement on all points except the reinstatement of Zelaya.
Although the decision to restore Zelaya to power must receive a non-binding opinion from the Supreme Court and then be approved in Congress, it appears to be a done deal. Zelaya's team reportedly had the support of members from the UD Party, 20 members of the Liberal Party, and more recently the support of the National Party to revoke the decree that was issued to justify his removal from office. That decree was originally accompanied by a forged letter of resignation that was immediately denounced.
President Zelaya expressed "satisfaction" at the agreement. Zelaya's negotiating team had agreed long before on the terms of the revised San Jose Accords, and negotiations were hung up on the coup's refusal to allow reinstatement of the president. The leader of the de facto regime, Roberto Micheletti, issued a statement Thursday night saying, "I am pleased to announce that a few minutes ago I authorized my negotiating team to sign an agreement that marks the beginning of the end of the political situation in the country."
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Fault Lines - 100 Days of Resistance - 15 Oct 09- Part 1


100 days since the coup detat that ousted Manuel Zelaya, Fault Lines travels to Honduras to look at polarisation and power in the Americas, and finds resistance and repression in the streets.


Fault Lines - 100 Days of Resistance - 15 Oct 09- Part 2



Honduras De Facto Regime Opens Fire in Poor Neighborhoods:Youth and Union Members Targeted by Coup Violence

The Honduran people have set an example for people throughout Latin America through three months of steady resistance to the coup in their country. But there are powerful groups within Honduras and abroad organizing to neutralize this unprecedented force and block the resistance from growing in strength and numbers. These groups above all seek to prevent the nation from carrying out a Constitutional Assembly to modify the outdated constitution. Along with the reinstatement of the elected President Manuel Zelaya, this demand is central to the popular movement against the coup as a necessary tool to bring the country and its people out of poverty.

In this Special Report, Tegucigalpa reporter Dick Emanuelsson and photographer Mirian Huezo Emanuelsson chronicle the terror and repression unleashed by the coup to maintain power. Despite promises to lift the executive decree that imposed a state of siege, the violence continues.

These are firsthand accounts from the victims of the strategy of force being employed by the coup. All were wounded by security forces since the return of Zelaya on Sept. 21. This strategy has only intensified, despite talk of an official dialogue, largely frustrated during the recent visit of the Organization of American States (OAS). Even as the OAS ministers and other dignitaries were meeting on Oct. 7 in Tegucigalpa to promote dialogue, the coup and armed forces again attacked peaceful demonstrators in the streets.MORE
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Honduran Garifuna Culture Threatened by Coup
The Honduran de facto coup government under Roberto Micheletti plans to eliminate the Honduran Garifuna people and culture. Micheletti has rescinded the Manuel Zelaya authorization to teach in the Garifuna language in school and to teach the language itself. All scholarships to Garifuna students have been eliminated.

Now, Micheletti, with no opposition from the U.S. State Department, has set Sept. 1, 2009, to take over the Garifuna built and operated hospital and fire its Latin American Medical School (ELAM) trained Garifuna physicians, including Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, its founder.

Dr. Castillo Harry has been targeted for assassination in order to decapitate the Garifuna leadership. The original open assassination strategy has been revised to arrest and imprison Castillo Harry and have him killed in jail as a way of covering his assassination. Dr. Castillo Harry never travels alone; he never sleeps in the same place and keeps his appointments and engagements secret. Targeted assassination of leaders for social change is a strategy to cut off the head of the movement, making it leaderless and more vulnerable to extermination.

The Garifuna doctors were trained at ELAM in Cuba and have served Garifuna and Meskito patients since 2005. Health indicators of these communities have shown considerable improvements since that time and their work is receiving increasing international recognition and support, such as from Project CHIMES under the direction of Bill Camp of the Sacramento Labor Council. The latter group provided funding and other support for the construction of the hospital and is continuing and broadening its support.
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Coup Catalyzes Honduran Women's Movement


On the morning of June 28, women's organizations throughout Honduras were preparing to promote a yes vote on the national survey to hold a Constitutional Assembly. Then the phone lines started buzzing.
In this poor Central American nation, feminists have been organizing for years in defense of women's rights, equality, and against violence. When the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly exiled by the armed forces, women from all over the country spontaneously organized to protect themselves and their families and demand a return to democracy. They called the new umbrella organization "Feminists in Resistance."


On August 18, Feminists in Resistance sat down with women from the international delegation for Women's Human Rights Week, which they organized to monitor and analyze human rights violations and challenges for the organization. One after another they told their stories in a long session that combined group therapy and political analysis—a natural mix at this critical point in Honduran history and the history of their movement.
Miriam Suazo relates the events of the day of the coup. "On the 28th, women began calling each other, saying 'what's happening?'" At first no-one really understood the full extent of the coup, she says, but networks mobilized quickly and women began to gather to share information and plan actions. Independent feminists and feminists from different organizations immediately identified with each other and with the rising resistance to the coup. They began going out to rescue those who had been beaten and to trace individuals arrested by security forces.

For some, the shock of waking up to a coup d'etat wasn't new.
"This is my third coup," relates Marielena. "I was a girl when the coup in 1963 happened. Then I lived through the coup in 1972. We lived in front of a school and I saw how my mother faced the bullets, we thought they were going to kill her … Later in the university in the 80s I lived through the repression with many of the women here … So this has revived the story of my life."
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Honduran Constitutional Assembly Would Be a Step Toward the Emancipation of Women


Bertha Cáceres is a leader of COPINH (Civic Council
of Popular and Indigenous Organization of Honduras) and the
National Front Against the Coup d'etat.
Interview with Bertha Cáceres, COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organization of Honduras) and the National Front Against the Coup d'etat.
How are the women participating in the movement?
Even in spaces that are known as progressive, for women it continues to be hard because we are confronted with patriarchal domination and domestication, and the organizations within the movement are no exception.

I think the participation and the support of the women, despite this, has broken the pattern of domination in a very important way—from the participation and the leadership demonstrated in the National Front Against the Coup at a national level, to the outstanding and strong women in the north, the west, the center, the Atlantic coast, and here as well.

We also see women participating directly in the struggle. In the marches and mobilization, we see more than half are women and especially in the marches where there has been the most repression.
This is something we've been saying. There is strong participation on the part of the women, heroic participation, not just in the marches, but also in defending themselves and responding to the repression. For example, it has been women—especially indigenous women—who have directly confronted the military, faced with threats and cases of the forced recruitment of young people.

Through this, one can see how women are participating in different spaces: in communication, education, publicity, in all of the strategies of the front, in defining the situation, in the debate on how to proceed, and in contributing to a collective analysis of different scenarios that could present themselves in this country.MORE



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Honduran resistance goes it alone



60 days of anti-coup protests show persistence in civil disobedience and little faith in int'l community



Military Coup Reverses Honduran Women’s Gains in Human Rights

In Honduras, the first military coup of the 21st Century is having a devastating effect on human rights, according to the author, a producer at FIRE (Feminist International Radio Endeavour), which was represented in an international delegation visiting the country this month.
August 28, 2009
The military coup d’état in Honduras on June 28 has seriously eroded democratic institutions and hard-fought gains in women’s human rights and human rights in general. That was the finding of Feminist Transgressional Watch, a group of 22 journalists, human rights legal experts and activists from North and Central America and Spain. The group visited Honduras in mid-August during Women’s Human Rights Week to assess reported violations of human rights and observe feminist strategies to resist the military coup.

Protesting the coup
Photo by Margaret Thompson

In one gathering, the delegation met with 18 women who were fired recently from the National Institute for Women (INAM) because they are feminists and opposed the coup. According to Gilda Rivera, director of CEM-H (Women’s Studies Center of Honduras), the coup resulted in the devastation and militarization of such democratic institutions as INAM, which was established in 1998 based on international agreements coming out of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.

soldiers beating women protestors )
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The Field blog, run by journalist Al Giordano has been following the Honduras coup very closely. Here's a linkspam:


Toppling a Coup, Part I: Dilemmas for the Honduras Regime
Last Saturday, at a hastily called public meeting in Tegucigalpa, more than one hundred rank and file participants in the Honduran civil resistance and some of its known leaders came out to speak with Ivan Marovich, the Serbian resistance veteran who had been invited by local and national anti-coup organizations to share his experiences.

It was one of three such sessions, and the only public meeting of the three. Almost immediately upon the completion of the screening of the film Bringing Down a Dictator (you can watch it via YouTube in six parts beginning here) about the Serbian movement that toppled the government of Slobodan Misolevic, a wind storm outside brought down a light pole, and with it the electric wires that lit the auditorium.

The Q & A session was thus held in darkness, and yet nobody left. Every attendee stayed for more than an hour with questions and comments to share. The lack of light in the windowless auditorium provided the feel of an underground meeting of the resistance.

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Toppling a Coup, Part II: The Honduras Regime Is Like an Onion



Toppling a Coup, Part III: Discipline Solves the Big Problems


Toppling a Coup, Part IV: The Lost Sheep and the Flock



Toppling a Coup, Part V: The Resistance Cracks the Oligarchy




Toppling a Coup, Part VI: Electoral, Armed, or Something Else



The Learning Curve of the Teachers vs. the Honduras Coup


Cracks in the Honduran Coup Regime Grow Wider


Honduras: Clinton vs. Clinton

Too Cute by Half on Honduras, Mr. President



US Secretary of State Clinton’s Micro-Management of the Corporation that Funds the Honduras Coup Regime

In recent days, Narco News has reported that, in the three months prior to the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, the US-funded Millennium Change Corporation (MCC) gave at least $11 million US dollars to private-sector contractors in Honduras and also that since the coup it has doled out another $6.5 million.
The latter revelation – that the money spigot has been left on even after the coup – comes in spite of claims by the State Department that it has placed non-humanitarian funding “on pause” pending a yet-unfinished review.
Narco News has further learned – based on a review documents available on the websites of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US State Department – that Secretary Clinton, as chairman of the MCC board, is not just a figurehead in name only. She has played an extremely active role in governing and promoting the fund and its decisions.
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