Last night, here at my friend Enrique's house in the monte outside Tegucigalpa, Enrique's aunt Nelly and I watched ourselves some teevee. Sunday evening television here is mostly high society rundown, e.g., the program Gente. Gente provided extensive coverage of a recent Harley rally in San Pedro by a Honduran mother daughter team Nora and (daughter?) Schauer (think Joan and Melissa Rivers, with just as much class and plastic surgery, but in Honduran, see below photo). That's right, motorcycle rallies here are a different animal: pure oligarchy playing U.S. badass, complete with U.S. cover band "Aeromyth." Show us your tits, Honduras!
Just kidding. Not that kind of rally. Don't get me wrong. I love me a good bike rally. There's nowhere I'd rather be next week than Laconia Motorcycle Week, organized by the awesome and talented Charlie St. Clair, with whom Fhar and I had the pleasure of sharing a couple dining car meals on the way back from Detroit last Snowmageddon. But Central American motorcycle rallies...who do you think can afford a Harley down here, even scrimping and saving and on credit? 'Sright. Maybe 5% of the population.
Nora Schauer and daughter, "reporters":
Also on Gente, we get to be voyeurs at the Honduran oligarchy's lawn parties. Nelly and Enrique laughed about how this was the favorite program of the secuastradores, who could see and get all sorts of information about good rich kidnapping targets. This issue is on people's minds because the 25-year old son of Fito Facussé, one of the wealthiest and most hated men in Honduras, was kidnapped following an impressive display of gunfire the other night (leaving his car, a humble Camry, behind). This news item was briefly mentioned the other night when the kidnapping occurred, but the media has been noticeably silent since, presumably at the request of the family. Families generally find it's best to keep the police and media out of these affairs. One thing that has been interesting to me is that resistance members I've spoken with seem to uniformly express sadness about the kidnapping. There may be, and probably is, unspoken smugness about the violence hitting the other side, but by and large, the responses I've heard and read are that even though his father is the worst of the golpistas, the son didn't deserve this. Of course, if it had happened to don Fito himself, I doubt there'd be much sympathy.
The other favorite media of kidnappers, they mentioned, are magazines like Cromos. Cromos is owned by Rodrigo Wong Arévalo ("el chino" Wong Arévalo), former director of Radio America in the 1980s, at which time he was aligned the left (like Yani Rosenthal and Ramón Custodio). When he left Radio América, Wong Arévalo started the news program Abriendo Brecha, shifting always to the right, and at the beginning of Zelaya's term in office convinced his then-friend Mel to hand over Canal 10, an "educational" channel that had belonged to the government. Following the coup, which he gung-ho supported, Canal 10 became one of the biggest media spokeschannels for the coup. Cromos, his magazine, along with Revista Estilo (see the previously posted recent cover page below) and others, dedicate pages and pages to sharing the hobbies, favorite hangout spots, family relations and other intimate details of the richest of the Honduran rich.
Meanwhile, Micheletti's son, running for office and driving his massive SUV drunk as a fish, killed a poor guard at a pharmacy in Progreso a couple days ago (although he contests this version, blaming it on his security guard). He'd been in the driver's seat, and ran from the scene. Like the Facussé story, although for very different reasons, this has been censored in the press, who only refer to Micheletti Jr. as a an "alto ex funcionario del gobierno anterior." They couldn't not report on it- the death porn was too juicy: