Honduras: Five “Disappeared” In Triunfo And The Expulsion Of The Garifuna People

With the disappearance of five young people from the community of Triunfo de la Cruz,  who were taken from their homes in the early hours of Saturday, July 19, by alleged agents of the Investigative Police Directorate (DPI), the attacks are repeated once again. against leaders and members of the Garifuna communities, which flared up from 2018.

To this day, the whereabouts of Alberth Sneider Centeno, President of the Triunfo de la Cruz Board of Trustees and member of OFRANEH, Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez; Suami Aparicio Mejía García, Gerardo Misael Trochez Calix, those who  were removed from their homes, a situation that has created an enormous alarm within the Garifuna communities, since despite the existing mobilization restrictions, in the face of the prevailing pandemic, and with a prevailing curfew, vehicles with heavily armed people entered the community.

As of the 2009 coup d’etat, in Honduras, the offensive against the Garifuna people intensified, which was to obtain two sentences from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I / A Court   HR) in favor of the Garifuna communities of Punta Piedra and Triunfo de la Cruz , by which the State was convicted in 2015 for violating the right to community property, and the right to free and informed prior consultation.

To date, the state of Honduras has failed to comply with the judgments, giving rise to questions about the recognition of collective rights set forth in international conventions and treaties, signed in “good faith” by the State.

Everything seems to indicate that the president of the Triunfo de la Cruz Board of Trustees and his team became a hindrance to the local power elite, which is affected by the Court’s ruling, and have proceeded to spread terror in the zone.

Model cities, palm and coca plantations: engines of expulsion

Starting in 2001, the “nationalist” administration assumed the opening of model cities as one of the pillars of its economic policy, a neocolonial project promoted by the American economist Paul Romer, which consists of a special economic zone with the addition of an outsourcing of the application of justice and security.

In October 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled on the illegality of the model cities, declaring them unconstitutional. By December of the same year, the legislative power under the command of current President Juan Orlando Hernández, proceeded to defenestrate the Constitutional Court, leading to a ” technical coup ” that ended with the independence of powers.

In the first phase of the model cities – before being declared unconstitutional – 27 of the 48 communities were included within the model cities. After the coup to the court and with the reintroduction of the Model Cities under the name of Special Zones for economic Development, 17 Garifuna communities are in danger of being absorbed.

At the same time that the dictatorship imposed model cities, it launched a campaign to mass produce African palm , increasing pressure on coastal wetlands, including protected areas. African palm became one of the main items for laundering assets. Honduras in a decade doubled the production of palm plantations, at the same time that social conflicts intensified, giving rise to a low intensity war that to date continues in Bajo Aguan.

The use of Honduras as a country of transit for narcotic drugs from South America dates back decades, and there has always been a close relationship between organized crime and the Honduran power elite; a situation that intensified with the coup d’état, giving rise to a symbiosis that has resulted in an apparent narco-state.

In the last year, a series of coca plantations have been discovered in Honduras , specifically in the Serranía de Payas, which is part of the functional habitat of the Garifuna communities of Iriona. The “authorities” have found both coca crops and alleged processing laboratories.

Continue reading at: https://ofraneh.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/honduras-cinco-desaparecidos-en-triunfo-y-la-expulsion-del-pueblo-garifuna/

The unexpected change from a country to a coca-producing country will have fatal consequences for the Garifuna communities, as we will find ourselves surrounded by plantations and clandestine tracks, a situation that will increase violence and territorial pressure.

A new expulsion for the Garifuna people?

By May 2014, the international media began to raise the alarm about the exodus of minors arriving alone and in hordes at the US border, a situation that had been occurring silently since October 2013. Apparently more than 70 a thousand minors, who, brandishing the  Flores Amendment, had to be accepted by the US immigration service (ICE)

Some Garifuna communities saw their schools empty, before the dizzying and unstoppable “children’s crusade”. For 2018, history repeats itself, although the participation of the Garifuna in the “caravans” was minimal, the exodus worsened, returning to the 2014 level. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump administration and the revocation of the Flores Amendment , the Flow was unstoppable until the appearance of the pandemic.

The territorial pressures that palm farmers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry have been exercising are increasing, although these sectors do not appear to have a greater future in the post-pandemic world. The dizzying quality of the price of palm oil and the containment of air travel and sea cruises, essential for tourism, cast doubt on its short-term recovery.

Meanwhile, climate change and coastal erosion are increasing, becoming one of the greatest threats to the Garifuna, and in the last two years we have seen the systematic elimination of leaders at the hands of state violence that has become institutionalized in Honduras. as a weapon of social control.

The five disappeared from Triunfo de la Cruz

The mysterious disappearance of the five young people in Triunfo de la Cruz, at the hands of alleged DPI agents, has given rise to endless conjectures, some of them fueled by the power elite, who feel affected by the sentence of the shortening IDH, which is emphatic in the return of the so-called Lot A1, where the Honduran oligarchy, the mansions and boutique hotels intentionally established on community lands, have been a huge obstacle to achieving compliance with the sentence.

To date, the State continues to disdain the right to prior consultation, going so far as to distort the creation of a prior consultation law, promoting the ideological kidnapping of the draft , to turn socializations into consultations.

It is necessary and urgent that the State respond to the clamor of the Garifuna people, that they return their children safe and sound, we also demand the prompt compliance with the judgment of the Inter-American Court in favor of the communities of Triunfo de la Cruz and Punta Piedra.

La Ceiba July 27, 2020

Honduran Black Fraternal Organization, OFRANEH

See related: https://libya360.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/honduras-five-disappeared-in-triunfo-and-the-expulsion-of-the-garifuna-people/
Please join the conversation on Caribbean Empowerment’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2583126101949661/ Or, you can comment by emailing us at: caribbeanempowerment@pm.me
[Photo credit –  A member of the Garifuna ethnic group takes part in a protest in front of the supreme court in Honduras. Photograph: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images]

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