Reposted from the OB Rag
As thousands of Honduras camp outside the border of San Diego, their desperation is clearly evident. We’re told they are fleeing their country because of the harsh conditions there.
But isn’t Honduras a tropical paradise somewhere out there in Central America? Don’t they have a lot of neat old Spanish churches and stuff? And all those crazy and wonderful Mayan ruins. Why would anyone want to flee beautiful Honduras?
So, we have to wonder why any person would travel by foot thousands of miles through jungle, desert, towns, large cities and wilderness to reach our borders when they have plenty of nice beaches there.
Okay, Honduras is a country in Central America and its got 9 million people, most whom work in the agricultural sector- which is the largest sector. They harvest coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane.
Hondurans did overthrow the Spanish and gain independence in 1821. But ever since, it seems, there’s been mucho social strife and political instability, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Here are some nifty background and travel tips:
- The nation’s economy is primarily agricultural, making it especially vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes.
- The lower agricultural class is very poor while most of wealth is concentrated in the hands of the urban elite.
- Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate.
- Honduras has been called the most dangerous place on earth to be a woman.
- It has shocking numbers of rape, assault, and domestic violence cases, happening with near-total impunity. In 2014, the United Nations reported that 95 percent of cases of sexual violence and femicide in Honduras were never even investigated.
- Honduran civil society has been reeling from a wave of political violence and assassinations perpetuated by what many believe are state-sponsored death squads.
- The U.S backs Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
- Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez Alvarado, the president’s brother, was arrested in Miami on Nov. 23, 2018 by the DEA for being a major player in the notorious narcotics trafficking and terror networks that span Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, often known collectively as “The Northern Triangle.”
- The US gave covert support to a 2009 coup.
- For decades the country’s civilian government has been riven with corruption.
- Lawyers, journalists, environmentalists and human rights defenders are assassinated.
- The country itself has ripped its own entrails out in gang violence.
- It has become both a de facto and a de jure human rights nightmare, according to Human Rights Watch:
Honduras – the Most Dangerous Place on Earth to Be a Woman
Violence is part of everyday life in Honduras, one of a triangle of Central American countries wracked by rampant gang warfare, with some of the highest murder rates outside of a war zone.
But there is another brutal war raging there, one hidden just below the surface: Honduras has been called the most dangerous place on earth to be a woman. This ranking, due in large part to an epidemic of “femicide,” or the murder of a woman because she is a woman. According to Honduras’ Center for Women’s Rights, one woman is murdered every sixteen hours in this nation, which is barely the size of Ohio. According to the U.N., Honduras has the highest femicide rate in the world.
It is not just murder, it’s also the shocking numbers of rape, assault, and domestic violence cases, happening with near-total impunity. In 2014, the United Nations reported that 95 percent of cases of sexual violence and femicide in Honduras were never even investigated. abcNews from May 3, 2017
U.S. Supported 2009 Coup – and Ever Since Everything’s Gone to Sh*t
For decades the military ran things in Honduras, and they did this with American aid and particularly under President Reagan who had “Cold War fantasies of Nicaraguan pick-up trucks invading Brownsville”.
However, American support for the Honduran military and elites was very much a bipartisan bit of business.
In 2009, when a military coup deposed President Manuel Zelaya at the insistence of the country’s Supreme Court, the Obama administration supported the government that was installed by the coup. Ever since, Honduras descended into the present chaos.
What has emerged is a full picture Honduras, gripped :
in a reign of terror from 2004 to 2016, involving the Honduran elite from high officials in the national government to local mayors, from prominent bankers to paid-off police, allegedly including the head of the National Police, the Justice Ministry, countless members of congress, Venezuelan pilots, customs officials and the cartel members, all entwined in turf wars that brought in the Sinaloa cartel, and its infamous head, “El Chapo” Guzman, who is now standing trial in N.Y.
It’s estimated more than 300 people have been killed by state security forces since the coup, according to the leading human rights organization.
On the ground in the Northern Triangle, rivalries among the warring cartels trapped terrorized populations, especially in small towns and villages, where they were forced to do their bidding. The narcotraficantes turned people to spying on each other, forced young men to join the cartels at gunpoint, and killed anyone who got in their way. Daily Beast
So – really, why would anyone want to risk their lives and the lives of their children to make the 2500 mile trek?
Especially when all they’re facing up here are shields, faceless armed guards, clouds of choking teargas – and a nation on this side of the border torn apart by a white nationalist in the White House.
An army of invaders the size of maybe two average American high schools are at the gates. Many are from Honduras, a beautiful paradise.