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Violence and Impunity Continue in Honduras

January 2010

Contrary to the idea that everything would get back to normal after the election, violence and impunity continue against local communities in Honduras.

Last Wednesday, a community radio station was ransacked and set on fire by outsiders in the Garifuna (Afro-descendent) community of Triunfo. The “Sweet Coconut” (or Faluma Bimetu in the Garifuna language) Community Radio was destroyed.

Grassroots International joins our ally, the Fraternal Black Honduran Organization (OFRANEH), in calling for a full investigation by the Honduran authorities.

During its decade-plus existence, Faluma Bimetu radio worked to strengthen the Garifuna culture. At the same time, the radio station participated in the creation of a rapid response network and disseminated information about HIV/AIDS and other issues that were distorted or under-reported by mainstream media outlets.

Faluma Bimetu had been transmitting the voice of the Garifuna community that has been at the receiving end of conflict as investors and local elites attempt to displace them to make way for tourism projects along the coast.

The latest violence is part of the pattern established since last June, when the legitimate president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a military-led coup. Despite near universal condemnation and calls for his reinstatement the Honduran coup regime did not back down – a significant reason being the flip-flopping by the Obama Administration.

Honduras went to the polls last November in an election that nearly the entire global community refused to recognize, electing Porfirio Lobo, the candidate of the main opposition party. The violence and impunity, it appears, haven’t changed with this “election.”

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