A year after a military coup toppled the democratically-elected government, a “horrifying” human rights crisis continues amidst economic and environmental decay. Is the U.S. enabling this repression with taxpayer dollars?
One year ago last week, on June 28, 2009, the Honduran special forces – led by U.S.-trained officers, wearing U.S.-issue uniforms and armed with U.S.-made M16s – attacked the home of president Manuel Zelaya, kidnapped him in his pajamas, and after a quick stop at the local U.S. airbase, flew him off to Costa Rica in exile. Honduras hasn’t been the same since.
“[It’s] a totally different country since the coup,” says Dr. Adrienne Pine, a Central American expert at American University in Washington, D.C. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Pine, who was in the capital of Tegucigalpa as an international observer last week, described conditions in the new Honduras as being “horrifying.”
“We’ve now reached a point where it’s like we’ve returned to the 1980’s, when death squads killed several hundred people and effectively ended the Leftist movement in Honduras at the time,” says Pine, who spent Monday marching with about 200,000 pro-democracy demonstrators in the capital. She believes a heavy presence of foreign observers and reporters was the only reason the police and soldiers, who shadowed the marchers at all times, did not attack as they have in the past. “What we’re seeing now is that they’re using the same repressive strategies [as in the ’80’s],” she says. “Even the same people are in charge.”
RAMALLAH – An Israeli journalist remains under house arrest and another lives abroad after they broke news on Israeli undercover units carrying out assassinations or “targeted killings” of non-combatant Palestinian political opponents.
Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site Walla, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli Defense Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military service.
These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months beforehand and then pass their deaths off as “mishaps” during “failed” attempts to arrest them.
Uri Blau, a reporter from the daily Ha’aretz, then wrote a piece on the copied documents and is refusing to return to Israel from Britain fearing that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, will arrest him if he does.
Due to a military gag order the news has remained suppressed even as Israeli journalists fight the suppression order in court.
The news was broken several days ago by Donald McIntyre from Britain’s Independent.
For the year 2009 the State Department of the United States will invest approximately $520 million in Plan Colombia. More than half of this money went to private North American contractors charged with developing, promoting and furthering irregular warfare in Colombian territory and in Latin America; this was revealed to the Bolivarian News Agency by the lawyer and researcher Eva Golinger.