This report was written by the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), the largest organization of Afro-Hondurans and an important force within the resistance to the coup d'etat. The Garífuna doctor who spearheaded the creation of the hospital, Dr. Luther Castillo has been faced with ongoing threats to his life and freedom as a result of the coup.
In recent days a threat has been becoming effective to convert the Community Hospital of Ciriboya into a simple health center, disqualifying the enormous labor of support carried out by Garífuna doctors graduated in the Latin American School of Medicine and Cuban medical brigades.
The reasons that motivate the de facto regime when deciding to destroy the work carried out by the Ciriboya Community Hospital, are steeped in the racism of the state functionaries who have been incorporated into the nightmare orchestrated by Micheletti, and the disdain for the social vision of the doctors educated in Cuba, versus the capitalist mentality of the majority of the doctors graduated from local schools.
The labor carried out as much by the Cuban medical brigades as by the Garífuna doctors has served as a paradigm of equal to equal in the construction of community-controlled resources like this model hospital, unique in Honduras and an example for all other indigenous peoples.
Dr. Luther Castillo has been one of the leaders of the struggle against the coup d'etat, a situation that has led him to be persecuted and targeted by its henchman. In the persistent and heroic marches of repudiation of the coup by the Honduran people, Doctor Castillo and Garífuna members of OFRANEH have been at the front of the mobilizations, opening the path with ancestral ceremonies to neutralize the bad faith of the coup-makers.
The Garífuna participation in repudiation of the coup has exacerbated the latent racism in some Hondurans, with the security forces most willing to commit abuses against our sisters and brothers, in particular against those who live or are in Tegucigalpa, as they immediately associated them with resistance to the coup.
The closure of the hospital disguised as a transformation into a health outpost implies the loss of the ambulant Garífuna doctors who have covered the zone, as well as the appropriation by the Ministry of Health of the Garífuna initiative to have a hospital that respects the cultural vision of our people; having as a result the gradual destruction and abandonment of the center, has happens with the majority of health outposts of the country.
The politicians and businesspeople completely reject community initiatives, which they link with an anti-capitalist vision and so they try to destroy them. As an example there is the determined attitude by the last administrations to dilute the communal property titles, which are seen with enormous animosity and which they try to convert into private property.
The project Luágu Hátuadi Wadúheñu, (For the health of our peoples) arose in 2005 and in that short lapse of time has offered not just a health alternative for the Garífuna people but at the same time has achieved the construction of a model hospital. The enormous effort seems to have irritated the junk buses businessman (Thug-eletti) and his flock of servants.
OFRANEH calls for the restitution of the constitutional order at the same time as we demand that the Luágu Hátuadi Wadúheñu project be saved, which for the Garífuna people, and especially for the inhabitants of the Iriona zone, represents a promise of life anf of a better future for our descendants.
La Ceiba, Atlántida August 31st, 2009.
National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, OFRANEH
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Teléfono (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba, Honduras
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