Nocturnal aerial military manoeuvres to intimidate the indigenous population of Honduras
On Monday, October 12 combat helicopters of the coup regime's air force carried out night time aerial military manoeuvres, with the goal of intimidating the Lenca indigenous population of Honduras.
The manoeuvres constitute overflights at low altitude and launching of flares.
These manoeuvres added to repressive actions carried out in Colomoncagua where various military pertaining to the 10th battalion of infantry discharged firearms to thrash the people of the community of San Antonio Bados, after they had participated in a mass and mobilization of resistance against the coup d'etat, carried out on Saturday October 10 of the present year.
With the ancestral force of Lempira, Mota and Etempica our voices are raised for life, dignity, liberty, justice and peace.
La Esperanza, Intibucá
13 October 2009
Colomoncagua was included in a listing of indigenous towns paying tribute in Honduras in 1582, when it had 50 tribute-paying residents (normally male heads of families). It continued to pay tribute throughout the eighteenth century, with 141 tribute-paying residents identified as indigenous in 1801. Colomoncagua district today is inhabited by over 5,000 people, 1500 of them in the scattered villages of Colomoncagua itself. San Antonio Bados is the home of about 150 people.
These are people who have survived under the worst conditions of colonial oppression. That their resistance is drawing the attention of the military is testimony to the threat indigenous resistance presents to the de facto regime.
Lempira, Mota and Etempica were leaders of indigenous Honduran resistance against Spanish invasion in the sixteenth century. Lenca celebrations of Lempira stress that he never died, and to invoke his strength is to invoke the unbowed strength of people with five centuries of experience in persisting against all odds. In the 1970s, local secondary school students working with me were given the impression in their schools that Lempira was a myth.
Historical research by Honduran historian Mario Felipe Martinez Castillo identified and published documents from 1558 preserved in Spanish archives that showed that Lempira was, as the Lenca have always known, a real person.
Knowledge of history is, as we have noted many times here, a weapon.