January 31, 2019
This past weekend as people across Honduras took to the streets demanding the resignation of Hernandez and freedom for political prisoners, the US-backed regime again repressed the population. According to human rights organization COFADEH, a Honduran TV camaraman covering the demonstrations reported that the US-trained and financed elite TIGRES shot a rubber bullet directly at his stomach because he was filming as security forces repressed the demonstrations. Security forces also detained journalist Jairo Lopez and dozens of demonstrators, fired live bullets, and beat up protesters.
This occurred just days after US Vice President Pence called Hernandez to ‘reiterate’ US support for his regime and ‘commended’ him for the repressive measures imposed to try to stop those fleeing from Honduras. The Commander of the US Southern Command also choose to travel to Honduras and meet with the Honduran president last week, just ahead of the major demonstrations. WHINSEC, formerly known as the SOA, was also in Honduras in December. At a time when thousands of Hondurans are fleeing and calling for Hernandez to resign, the US is choosing to make it clear it will continue to support this violent and repressive regime.
The migrant caravans departing from Honduras are the direct result of the last 10 years of repressive and destructive policies imposed by US-backed regimes following the 2009 SOA-graduate led military coup, which removed a democratically elected leader who had improved life for many Honduras. Many of those forced to abandon their homes are all too well aware of the political causes of the proliferation of murders, violence, and economic policies that have destroyed their lives. Members of the migrant caravans frequently denounce the Honduran president, shouting the slogan made popular during the massive resistance to the illegal re-election last year, Fuera JOH.
As the Trump Administration demonizes immigrants and the caravans fleeing Honduras, it is important to remember that it is precisely US policies and US-backed regimes that have created the need for people to flee Honduras in the first place. The actions of US officials to vocally support, train, arm, and finance a repressive and corrupt regime that opens fire on its own citizens and imposes destructive neoliberal policies will only cause more and more people to flee.