Thursday, December 9, 2010

Open and Shut: a Case of Hypocrisy and the Honduran Coup

By Brooke Denmark, Witness for Peace International Team

Leaked State Department cables recently shed light on what was going on behind the scenes when Washington pretended to deliberate over whether or not what happened on June 28, 2009 was in fact an illegal military coup. The classified report filed by the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa was called “Open and Shut: the Case of the Honduran Coup.”

“There is no doubt” that the events of June 28 “constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup,” the cable reads.

Today the State Department continues to ignore evidence of the crisis in Honduras. In October, State Department Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Philip Crowley stated that Lobo’s government still had work to do with regards to human rights but that while“there have been incidents where activists have been killed, intimidated, [and] jailed…we expect the Lobo government to investigate these fully and prosecute those who are responsible.” He went on to say that the State Department does not believe that progress on human rights should be a precondition to Honduras’ reintegration into the OAS.

Last Friday, the Committee for the Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) issued an urgent appeal for support to the international community.

The call comes on the heels of another of state violence: Kevin Alberto Carías Silva, 19 years old, was found dead just hours after being detained by the police for questioning on November 11, 2010. He had been executed with shots to the head, his hands tied behind his back and his body covered with signs of torture. While the State Department seems confident that this atrocious murder will be fully investigated, the Honduran people are less so.

The Wikileaks release brought attention to the two faces of U.S. policy towards Honduras. But while Washington keeps reviewing Lobo’s attention to human rights with rose-colored glasses, people like Kevin Alberto Carías Silva are being killed. The U.S. needs to cut funding to the Honduran police and military in order to stop such politically motivated violence.

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