Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.
Friday, August 21, 2009
De facto regime illegally dismisses Director of Institute of Anthropology and History
Now comes the latest sad volley: Ms. Myrna Castro has issued an illegal dismissal letter intending to remove the Director of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia, Dr. Darío Euraque.
A historian and Professor of History at Trinity College in Connecticut, Dr. Euraque took a leave of absence from his position there to step in and provide leadership for the Institute. Under his leadership, it has fostered wide public participation through workshops, press coverage, and conferences that always include a public aspect. He has overseen the greatest expansion in the number of historical sites managed by the Institute for the Honduran public in its history.
Dr. Euraque's own research, including his ground-breaking book, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic (1996), and the 2004 Conversaciones históricas con el mestizaje y su identidad nacional en Honduras, are indispensable works to understood the roots of the present conflict, and also how Honduras is developing as a pluralistic, multicultural society.
What is different in this case is that the office of the director is preparing a legal defense and will fight this. The Honduran Institute is legally autonomous and is under the direction of a duly constituted board. The Director can only be legally dismissed by the board. The board must be legally convened, a quorum established, and a specific procedure following.
None of this has happened.
We are asking for solidarity on behalf of the directorship of the Institute and the integrity of its projects. This is, as the network of artists and scholars in resistance shows, a regime that lacks respect for the work of understanding culture and history.
Resisting this abuse of authority against an institution defending the cultural heritage of Honduras in the aftermath of the coup is something to which we can all contribute.
Update: As noted, this time, the person under attack is fighting back and holding the de facto regime responsible. See his response letter here.
Additional update: The union of employees of the Honduran Institute has issued a statement of support for Dr. Euraque, translated by Adrienne Pine, and employees took over IHAH installations across the country. Dr. Euraque continues to conduct the work of the Institute, with growing international support, including a letter signed by more than 350 academics, scholars, and intellectuals.