5,000 Villagers Take Control of Military Base After Hydroelectric Dam Opponent Was Shot Dead
"It's hard to imagine how a former intelligence chief who preceded over one of the bloodiest regions in Guatemala during a period later described as genocide by the United Nations could so completely transform his image in a matter of months. But since Pérez Molina first mentioned legalization on February 11th, that's just what's happened on the international stage." (Dawn Paley)
Politically motivated killings apparently by death squads have been growing over the past few years in Central America, and concern in Guatemala is heightened as the new administration has brought back to public office many of the same individuals directly implicated in the State repression and genocide of the 1980s.
Honduras is just days away from approving an extremist law that would put teenagers in prison for using the morning-after pill, even if they've just been raped.
The land disputes date back to efforts in the 1960s to entice landless farmers to the fertile region of the Bajo Aguan. The initial agrarian reform laws contained protections intended to ensure that the land remained in the hands of small landowners by limiting the amount of hectares individuals could accumulate. In 1992, the Law for Modernisation of Land gutted many of the protections written into the original agrarian reform efforts, creating pressure on peasant land cooperatives to sell their land to large landowners.
"Militarization in Central America is less about controlling crime than ensuring access to natural resources" (Annie Bird)
The basic facts are brutal: Over 350 inmates were burned to death on Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning, February 14-15, in a huge fire at the Comayagua prison, located north of Tegucigalpa, about 15 minutes from the United States “Palmerola” military base. More are receiving medical treatment for burns and smoke inhalation.
Honduras is hot, mountainous and about the size of the state of Louisiana. According to the United Nations, the Central American nation is also the world's most violent country. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history has contributed to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico. The Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers. Contributing to the volatility are the police themselves.
A letter sent to the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights), along with a Petition concerning the illegal forced evictions, massacres and other human rights violations of 32 Mayan communities (over 3000 people) caused by the Chixoy Hydro-electric Dam, a "development" project of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank in partnership with successive military regimes (1975-1985)
A statement from Honduran organizations rejecting the new mining law proposed by Honduras' illegitimate Congress, and a statement from Development and Peace