Why Would Anyone Want to Flee Beautiful Honduras?

by on November 28, 2018 · 9 comments

in San Diego

wikitravels

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.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Daily Beast

abcNews from May 3, 2017

The Nation

 

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar El Guapo November 29, 2018 at 4:36 am

That was weird

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Avatar Geoff Page November 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm

I was in Honduras in 1980 and it is indeed a beautiful country. I traveled by bus to the Caribbean coast and flew to an island off the coast named Roatan. It was a tropical paradise to be sure. It really is a shame the shape the country is in, in fact, it was very poor back then too. It just seemed like it had a lot to offer and lots of natural resources but like many countries to the south, the wealth was not spread among the people. Sad to see that little has changed in all this time.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks December 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm

So the neoliberal corporate Obama regime, and more specifically Hillary Clinton as Sec of State, instantly supported a murderous dictator who overthrew the democratically elected president of a country that the US has been killing and overthrowing for a hundred years in favor of US corporations and their profits (UNITED FRUIT).

Not to mention that the US School of the Americas taught all those right wing lunatics how to torture and murder their own people far more efficiently in favor of US corporations.

What? You say you don’t know about the US involvement in overthrowing governments and implanting their own murderous dictators in Central and
South American countries? You don’t even know your own country’s actually history?

Then I seriously suggest you pick up a used copy of the book written by the most decorated combat soldier in US history, Marine Brig. General Smedley Butler, and read through ‘War is a Racket.’ You can find out what the US Empire really did to all those people including the Philippines and China when the US invaded that country at the turn of the 19th/20th century. A used copy will run you about $6 plus shipping from independent bookstore Powell’s online… I gave them out one year as a Winter Solstice present.

Like Iraq and CIA-installed dictator Saddam Hussein, we owe these Honduran people BIG TIME. And Venezuela and Panama and El Salvador and Columbia and Costa Rica and Guatemala and and and… But then the US is the shining city on the hill and god is on our side so our ‘leaders’ can do anything to anybody and it’s all okay. Just close your eyes and tap your magic shoes together three times and say ‘there’s no place like home.’

Or else you can educate yourself and your family and friends. Ignorance is often a choice.

H.L. Mencken’s maxim — that “no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people” certainly applies today, doesn’t it?

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Rufus December 3, 2018 at 6:54 am

If the most capable leave Honduras and Venuzuela, who is left behind? The elite and the most vulnerable. So the hell continues and worse.

It’s a shame that there are no patriots willing fight against the exploitation of their corrupt government.

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Avatar Geoff Page December 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm

There is a lot of history here that needs looking at. The article stated that “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. ” But, Wikipedia stated this “Obama called the ouster a coup and expressed support for Zelaya’s (the ousted leader) return to power.”

sealintheselkirks said that Clinton supported the overthrow but I didn’t see anything tha supported that.

As for the most decorated comabt soldier in history, that was Audie Murphy not Butler.

That said, it is pretty much common knowledge that this country has meddled in politics all over the world for many years, it is part of our history we cannot be proud of. That wars are fought for profits is not news to anyone either, or should not be. I’m not sure who this rant was directed at but, for humanitarian reasons alone, we should be helping. But, we don’t have a humanitarian in the White House.

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Avatar triggerfinger December 4, 2018 at 7:08 am

Good question, why would someone would risk their lives for a 2,500 mile trek to San Diego, when Mexico is a hundred miles away and offering asylum?

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks December 7, 2018 at 12:21 am

Geoff Page:

Excuse me? In 1980? Just before the US and the Reagan & Bush team started funding, arming, and training the Centro American death squads, Iran/Contra, CIA cocaine & heroin flights (shades of Vietnam all over again). and overthrowing governments all through the 80s? Ever ask yourself just WHY Honduras is so messed up? BECAUSE THE US MADE IT SO! Your tax dollars at work, dude.

I’m going to give you a little history, Geoff, being as you are obviously using yourself as an example of ‘common knowledge.’

As for Obama and Hillary, there is a HUGE difference between what Obama said and what he did while hiding behind his glibly-spoken progressive-sounding speeches. Hopey-changey lets not look at what we just did but forward and forget the past! That was his schtick! We committed a massive war crime invading Iraq. Against every facet of the Nuremberg Principles and Geneva Conventions. Breaking the Geneva is a federal crime in the US by the way and can be prosecuted. Did you know that? Obama the Constitutional Scholar must have. Ignores W Bush and his cabal.

He gets elected and then gets a Nobel Peace Prize…for doing WHAT? For being a half-African conservative neoliberal Wall Street corporate president who went on to start new wars in how many freaking countries?

The new right wing Honduran dictator coup ‘government’ was immediately recognized by Sec of State Clinton and arms sales continued uninterrupted. As did US military ‘training’ exercises for their armed forces.

Obama said he was for immigrants but deported more ‘illegals’ than W. Bush.

Obama prosecuted more government whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than any other previous president. The ONLY person to go to prison for the war crime of CIA kidnapping and torture was the long-term CIA guy Kiricou (sp?).

Obama approved more fossil fuel pipelines in eight years than any other president.
A quote from the Baker Institute article: “Barack Obama, speaking to the Baker Institute, made sure the audience of wealthy Texans, many in the oil business, gave him credit for making the United States a world leader for oil and gas production. He said, “American energy production . . .went up every year I was president. And . . . suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer, that was me, people,” eliciting cheers.”

Look up and listen to the recording of assistant ambassador to Ukraine Victoria Neuland (wife of extremist neocon Kagan) and the conversation about spending $5 billion US dollars to finance the coup by the avowed Fascists who now run the country. And I quote “Yats is our man!” Unquote.

That said, quit reading Wikipedia. Read Wikileaks instead since they have never published a lie or fabrication.

As for Butler, I should have qualified it with ‘before WWII as a soldier who went from a 2nd Lt. to Major General.’ If you haven’t read his little book you should. It should be taught in every high school history class as an antidote to the ROTC and military recruitment and militarization of the children. Let them grow up informed instead.

If it wasn’t for Butler refusing to lead the Army and then whistleblowing and testifying in front of Congress against the right wing Wall St. banker coup that was plotting to overthrow FDR in 1934 and have the US join the Axis Powers, we’d be goosestepping to Banker Prescott Bush whose Wall St. bank was closed down in Oct. 1942 for ‘aiding and abetting the enemy’ and his family.

Oh wait, we had his just-died son HW Bush the unindicted war criminal and head of the CIA Drug Dealer and assassination squads as a president, and then we got Prescott’s lovely grandson Vietnam deserter and war criminal W Bush and need I say much about that guy’s humanitarian behavior? Notice how W Bush is being ‘whitewashed’ in the corporate media just like Nixon was back in the 80s?

And you using the term “comm0n knowledge” is such crap. Have you ever actually asked people questions about what people know of this country’s history? There is an impressive percentage of this country’s population that cannot find the US on a world map or name the three branches of government. That don’t know the ten Amendments to the Constitution and think the Bill of Rights is something different. Who still ‘believe’ that Saddam Hussein had WMDs when Cheney and W Bush blew the crap out of Iraq just like his daddy did using the earlier 1990 Presidential lies of Iraqi soldiers throwing babies out of Kuwati incubators personally seen and testified to by a 15 year old girl who was tutored by a PR firm to lie and who just happened to be the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter to the US who wasn’t anywhere near Kuwait when Iraq invaded. We’ve been committing war crimes on Iraq for 28 years. Think about that.

Our friends and neighbors and families have very little concept of history. Neither do people who come out of high school.

I have a stepdaughter that graduated 6th in her class at UC Davis a number of years ago as a surgical vet; who skipped having to get her MS after her BS, and went straight into her PhD program. Helped with homework, read the kids history books while they were in high school. I’ve been a teacher since the mid-80s both in education and other disciplines. She and her peers knew absolutely NOTHING about US history. It was pitiful. I gave her books and she handed them back saying if she didn’t answer the tests their way she’d get flunked. She got a B once in high school. Once. Freaked her out.

No offense but have you been living in a box? There is no such thing as common knowledge. If there was, we wouldn’t continue to invade countries nor overthrow other governments that aren’t doing what we want them to do. Neither Trump or Hillary would have been allowed to run for office if there was any common knowledge.

To end this reply, I give you this quote by Marine Brig. Gen. (ret.) Smedley Butler:

“I spent 33 years 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most active military force-the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service.” Smedley D. Butler (1935)

Read his little book ‘War is a Racket.’ Then pick up a copy of ‘Maverick Marine’ General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History’ by Hans Schmidt.

After all, it’s just common knowledge!

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Geoff Page December 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Apparently, you did not read my last paragraph. Maybe I should have qualified “common knowledge” meaning anyone who has lived long enough and paid any attention would know about the sins of this country, which are no different than the sins of all powerful countries throughout history. Big surprise, the root of all evil is money.

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Avatar Vern December 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

I went to Honduras in the early eighties. Stayed on a small farm. Ate great, fresh food, hiked a lot and surfed a lot. Wandered into Nicaragua, surfed there, too! No problem.
Life remains good to this day. Gratitude works wonders!

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