5 June 2008

Hondurans Protest Negroponte Visit

By Dick Emanuelsson

John Vladimir Negroponte, Assistant Secretary of the (U.S.) State Department, arrived in Honduras on the night of June 3. His past as Ambassador in the first half of the Eighties is stained with blood in the dirty war and the hundreds of disappearances in the Central American country in that time.

He was met with a large demonstration by the families of the disappeared organised by the Committee of the Families of the Detainees Disappeared in Honduras (Cofadeh) who took to the street in front of the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa without the police intervening.

“I feel indignant when a terrorist, a fascist is being received, someone responsible for so many disappearances, not only in Honduras but also at the Latin American level. Because though he was ambassador in Honduras in the Eighties, he also managed Central America. How is it that a terrorist and assassin is being received in our country when light has not yet been shed on the cases of the disappeared?”

These are the angry words of Noemí Pérez whose brother disappeared on January 24, 1982. Samuel Pérez was only 19 and was one of the many victims of the clandestine bands created by the Honduran armed forces but managed in the final instance by U.S. ambassador Negroponte. And though scores of bodies have been dug up in former U.S. bases in Honduras, the authorities of the Central American country have never had enough courage to demand justice for Negroponte’s war in Honduras.

It is odd that Negroponte, perhaps the most detested U.S. citizen in this country, dares to arrive in Honduras so brazenly, aware that his visit reopens the deep wounds this man caused to the families of the victims. Negroponte waged war with Nixon as his boss and was the spider man in the low and high intensity war in Central America planning, organising, financing and running Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries on Honduran soil or directing the death squads of the armed forces of El Salvador.

“Today, we are forced to re-live 25 years into the past and we face again outside the interventionist U.S. embassy an emissary of death directing the policy of terror in the world, who snatched our sons and daughters, siblings, spouses and companions,” Cofadeh said in its call to the Honduran people asking them to maintain vigil outside the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Telesur reports: In Honduras’ "trial of the century", a judge has sentenced 20 soldiers and policemen who participated in a 2003 killing of 68 prisoners in the El Porvenir jail, 500 km north of Tegucigalpa, to 740 years in prison. Honduran law allows for a maximum of 30 years’ jail for murder, so this is a moral sentence and the exact tariff will be set out later.

Sources: Argenpress and Telesur

No comments: