Friday, March 26, 2010

The Count

7... the number of selective killings in Honduras since the country supposedly returned to democracy a couple months ago.

A delegation of Honduran human rights lawyers was in Washington, DC this last week to testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) about the grim climate of repression and impunity that continues to this day despite the election of president Pepe "national reconciliation" Lobo.

That's right, elections were held and the international media moved on but the repression and political murders continued. The delegation of lawyers reports that the pattern of selective killings under dictator Micheletti's rule has been normalized under Lobo's government. The killings continue to target journalists, academics, opposition organizers and, disturbingly, their family members as well.

Three of those killed were journalists, including a Nahúm Palacios, who was supposed to be under special protection by order of the IACHR. Just this last Tuesday, a vocal professor critical of the coup was murdered at his university in front of his students.

During their testimony at the IACHR, the delegation highlighted the impunity with which obvious human rights violations have been met by the Honduran legal system. They also pointed to the hypocrisy surrounding the application of the Amnesty Law, which was supposed to promote national reconciliation and dialogue. Indeed, it appears as though only golpista scum are receiving amnesty in Honduras as 111 people still face terrorism charges (terrorism!) for protesting against the dictatorship while no one associated with the coup has been brought to justice.

This is what whitewashing a dictatorship through phony elections and a hypocritical discourse of national reconciliation begets. The repression can continue as before, if not more deeply entrenched, and the international community can move on and feel good about the triumph of diplomacy.

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