sábado, 15 de mayo de 2010

This Week in Honduras: Money or Human Rights?


The most significant news leads in Honduran papers this weekend concern the impending visit of a delegation from the IMF this coming week.

William Chong Wong, Minister of Finances, is quoted as saying that Honduras does not intend to cover up the real grim financial news simply to give a good impression. Reportedly, Honduras stands to receive $300 million if the visit by the IMF goes well.

The business community, represented by the head of the Asociación Nacional de Industriales (ANDI), Adolfo Facussé, and Aline Flores, director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa (CCIT), is reported to be behind the government's efforts to convince the IMF to release funding to Honduras.

FOSDEH, the Foro Social de la Deuda Externa de Honduras (Social Forum on the External Debt of Honduras), publicly called for the government not to cover up the real numbers. Mauricio Díaz Burdeth, coordinator of the forum, is quoted as saying "All the macroeconomic indicators are in the red and it will be very difficult to find a favorable one, owing to the grave financial situation."

Díaz Burdeth added that the visit by IMF, the second this year, is without doubt an important point in the economic agenda of the country.

But that is not, we would argue, the most important visit Honduras is hosting this week.

Instead, we draw attention to the unsigned lead editorial in El Tiempo on Saturday May 15, headlined "The CIDH in Honduras".

The editorial comments on the reported return to Honduras this coming week of a delegation from the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, "due to the grave and continued violations since the 28th of June 2009 based upon the coup d'Etat." It is a reminder that there is a consciousness in Honduras of the real continuing urgency of confronting the social, legal, and human rights effects of the coup d'Etat:
To prepare its report on Honduras the CIDH made an exhaustive investigation on the ground, which was introduced at its opportunity to the de facto government and the international community.

Nonetheless, this work, of high legal quality in its specialty, did not have, it appears, influence to restrain the abuses and violations of public power against the opposition to the coup d'Etat and their tremendous collateral consequences, as evidenced by the series of assassinations of journalists under the current regime.

Thanks to this lamentable situation, the CIDH included Honduras in the ominous "black list" of the countries in which human rights are disrespected in an aggressive manner, an odious position that never before had stained the history of our country.

To have an idea of the importance of the presence of the CIDH at this time, it is enough to take into account the composition of this delegation, headed by its president Felipe González, in which participates his vice president Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the general secretary Santiago Cantón, and the special secretary for liberty of expression, Catalina Botero.

The investigation by the CIDH about the situation of human rights in Honduras is key in relation to the work assigned to the Truth Commission, a consequence, at the time, of the diplomatic process orchestrated by the Organization of American States to create an exit from the political crisis derived from the coup d'Etat.

In the same way, this investigation is part of the process for the reinsertion of Honduras in the continental and world community, since to succeed in such a purpose it is indispensable to establish the responsibilities for the offences committed through violation of human rights and political rights, something that, apparently, does not figure in the intentions of the Truth Commission.

Because of the way that political events in Honduras have been developing, in the framework of the political crisis that still remains insoluble, the reticence of the international community to normalize relations with the actual regime, ignoring the breaking of constitutional order, will not disappear nor will it be mediated, except on the part of a few governments inclined-- for their own convenience-- to excuse coups at the hands of oligarchs.

The return of the CIDH to our country in the present circumstances also has the virtue of refreshing the spirit for the defense of human rights, and, very particularly, for the validity of liberty of expression, that needs constant international support in societies, like ours, where the anti-culture of forced silence and of self-censorship is an everyday practice.

Fuente: hondurasculturepolitics.blogspot.com

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