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.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day of Indigenous and Black Resistance: the 12th of October in Honduras

An article published today on Vos el Soberano reminds us how this coup and the de facto regime that it shaped has directly harmed the indigenous and African-descendant peoples of Honduras, whose resistance has been almost unmentioned in mainstream news media.

Dia de la raza is familiar to many in the US west as the alternative to marking October 12 as "Columbus Day", reflecting on the roots of contemporary populations of Latin America in indigenous and Spanish communities brought together by violent conquest. The "dia de la hispanidad" is the way that the same date was marked in Spain, commemorating the expansion of Spanish peoples out of the Iberian peninsula. But as indigenous peoples day, October 12 marks a different story: one of persistence and recovery of historical memory.

12 de octubre: Día de la Resistencia Indígena y Negra

The 12th of October is commemorated the "dia de la raza" or "dia de la hispanidad", recording the date on which Christopher Columbus saw land on the American continent. This date marks the beginning of the process of exploration, conquest and colonization of the American territory that is characterized by the almost total extermination in some parts of the continent of its native population. The process also brought with it the ethnic reconfiguration of the continent: the coming of the Spanish colonizers and black slaves, that together with the surviving indigenous peoples and the mixing that was produced during the centuries of living together, made up the present population of the continent.

This date has been appropriated by the original groups, in particular the indigenous and blacks, to claim their rights and expose the situation of social, political, and economic marginalization to which they have been systematically subject. In some South American countries, inclusively, now one doesn't speak of a "dia de la raza" but rather "day of indigenous resistance".

It is for this reason that on this date we recognize the indigenous and Garifuna-Black Honduran resistance, resistance of centuries as victim of the brunt of the regime and of the avaricious interests of the oligarchy and of management.

The Lenca campesinos resist: the 28th of September 38 were taken prisoner, among them 12 members of the National Indigenous Lenca Organization of Honduras (ONILH) that watched over their land titles in the Instituto Nacional Agrario, the sole legal guarantees of the tenancy of their community lands.

Agustina Flores López, campesina and indigenous leader and other political prisoners resist the repression of the fascist dictatorship that has been installed in this country, since the expatriation of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. As also resist the indigenous people that, as refugees in the Guatemalan Embassy are soliciting political asylum.

The indigenous Pech of the zone of Silín, Colón, resist in heroic struggle, who daily are beset by hitmen and police under the command of Miguel Facussé, Honduran businessman who has sought for years to appropriate the community territories of the indigenous people of the zone and since the coup d'Etat his sudden attacks have become more severe against the community that resists!

The Garifuna brothers of Ciriboya also resist, against those who have violated their human rights to life and health, by closing their community health center constructed with local management and foreign humanitarian aid, staffed by Cuban doctors and Honduran graduates of the Latinamerican School of Medicine (now persecuted by the regime).

The Garifuna in all the coastal zone resist, against the growing menace to their lands, coveted by businessmen and tourist conglomerates. They resist as well in the streets, marching with their drums, victims of persecution, and have reported on more than one occasion the seizing of their drums on the part of the police and their being arrested solely for carrying them. These drums are a powerful weapon, they emit sounds that feed the spirit and return the courage of the demonstrators.

The Tawaka and Miskitu of the Mosquitia also resist, historically marginalized, battling for the return of a constitutional order in a State that has marginalized them and combining their battle with the battle against drug trafficking and the exploitation and deforestation of their lands in reserve.

The Tolupanes in the Montaña de la Flor also resist, menaced by malnutrition, by the loss of their lands and by the traffickers in wood and animals, they resist the suspension of the humanitarian aid of the Red Solidaria that guaranteed them basic grains and medical attention for the improvement of their minimal conditions of life.

They have resisted for centuries, all these Honduran ethnic groups, against marginalization, discrimination and poverty. And from the 28th of June they resist the suspension of social programs of food, health and education, promoted by the constitutional government in order to improve their conditions of life.



Colectivo Voselsoberano

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