The campaign of terror carried out by the dictatorship against the popular sectors is coming to be just as predicted and denounced by Andrés Pavón, president of the Honduran Human Rights Commission (CODEH), a few weeks ago. The attack perpetrated with military arms against the politician and business man from Olancho, Ulises Sarmiento, was just the beginning.
Today is the burial of the body of the teacher Luis Gradis Espinal, a teacher from the resistance of the south of the country. His body was found yesterday, tied and executed, after having been reported disappeared by his family. Witnesses are sure that he was detained by the police and military in one of the many search operations taking place around the whole country.
In the city El Progreso, the police are carrying out intense operations in the homes of the leaders of the Resistance, and they claim to have found a small arsenal of arms in the house of a teacher, arresting even a German citizen. Among the arms they report several founds of nails that according to the police spokesperson would be used to make traps to puncture the tires of cars and stop the trucks carrying electoral material. In the same zone, the communities Tacamiche and Silím report that they are surrounded by hundreds of military soldiers.
In the city Danlí, several young people were kidnapped by the army causing terror among the population who fears for their lives. According to the denunciation from the family members, they have been recruited forcefully for military service. At the same time, in the same city, a human rights investigator was placed under arrest for hindering the work of the justice operatives.
Today at night Milton Jimenes Puerto, the close collaborator, ex-minister and friend of President Zelaya who had been underground since the 28th of June was arrested. The arrest of Jimenez is the carrying out of the first arrest order issued for a political prisoner linked to the inner-circle of the Zelaya government and serves as a reminder of what could happen if Mel dares to leave his diplomatic refuge.
The police this week imported a huge arsenal of arms including 10,000 tear gas grenades, 5,000 rubber bullets and a new anti-riot tank worth $12 million dollars. According to the report by the secretary of security, the objective of acquiring it is to defend the right of the people to elect their authorities.
Nonetheless, it is hard to believe that all of these actions are being carried out with the goal of securing the elections. The Honduran elections are far from being recognized by the majority of the countries of Latin America and though the United States, Perú, Colombia and Panamá (the ultra-right arm of the continent) have said they will recognize the new president, what is certain is that this will bring tension amongst the different governments that are already extremely divided.
But who comes out the most damaged from the Honduras effect is the Obama administration, who has sacrificed the possibilities of a more egalitarian foreign policy, of cooperation amongst nations, for an imperial realpolitik that has always separated the United States from the subcontinent. Lula da Silva has already stated his disillusion with the turn to the right in the foreign policy of the U.S. president and reminds him of his promise made just six months ago and broken now because of Honduras, of constructing a new relationship between the United States and Latin America.
And although there aren't real international observers for the elections, (the regime is pleased with the arrival of the insignificant Concerned Women of America who are coming, together with the "State" of Taiwan, as observers and witnesses to the transparency of the Honduran electoral process). What is true is that the eyes of the world will be on Honduras this weekend.
The Resistance knows that the elections are an important recourse to save the dictatorship by transferring the authority to a front person who with a certain degree of legality will conclude the political project of the coup d'etat. It also knows that because they are so important the dictatorship will seek to defend them with all the necessary force. And that is the trap, because if the despotic Micheletti regime, with or without him in from of the government, carries out an unprecedented action of repression to guarantee the elections on the same day that the eyes of the world will be carefully watching his actions, he runs the great risk, not just of the elections not being recognized, but of them being contested by the international community.
So what then does the dictatorship seek with its terror campaign?
The government that wins in these elections will inherit an extremely difficult country to govern. If we combine a debt of close to 10,000 million Lempiras with the private bank of a country with an index of 10% annual interest, the lack of real possibilities of external financing to cushion the crisis, a decrease of close to 4% of the national economy, plus the devaluation of the currency up to 50%, an increase in taxes and a lack of cash to pay salaries, in addition to an unhappy and organized popular sector, we get a government lacking internal and external legitimacy, extremely weak, only sustained by the armed forces and the police.
The oligarchy needs to eliminate the political opposition to consolidate its new project of domination, that elimination can only ocurr through terror, killing and genocide. Nonetheless, they once again commit the same error that they committed on the eve of the 28th of June. They under-estimate the creative capacity, the transformational capacity of the struggle, the combativeness of a people that has identified its enemy and understands, this time even more clearly, that a path towards national liberation, towards the re-founding of Honduras, has begun.
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