The government of Juan Orlando Hernández and his ambition for power is without limit in Honduras. They have now confirmed this. They are capable of almost anything in their quest to stay in power, to conserve their power, and to impose their power. Their ambition goes well beyond levels of humanity, and his demon-like behavior is insurmountable.
After a few hours of the chaos that they instigated them themselves by placing infiltrators in the dignified marches of the opposition, they declared a “state of siege” and curfew. Now the military and the police are in charge and harass people in the streets. The levels of repression in Honduras are incredible, and there is unthinkable military cruelty and social insensitivity.
Surprisingly, their hunting of the Honduran people has been so effective that they now have us under nightly curfew. How stupidly obvious that they did not do this when looting in the cities of San Pedro Sula and El Progreso were occurring. There is no doubt that in the interests of “national security” the Battalion 316 will return to the Honduras of today. Once again, the country of Honduras is filled with blood.
What is especially outrageous is the illegality in which these people act and the impunity in which these assassins of democracy are protected. The fraud in the exercise of voting, the theft in the counting of votes by the TSE (the institution that controls voting in Honduras), the international speculation, the looting… The police were inoperative before these acts, but finally the curfew was illegally declared by the president and not from a council of ministers (which is the only legal way to declare a curfew). This is a well-orchestrated work to demobilize the population that defends its vote.
A Historical Regression
With the events of the last few nights (search for videos on social media to see the military in action) the military reconfirmed its evil and servility to money and power in Honduras. Given this, we return to the decade of the 1980s. These were dark years of burial, confinement, and exile for anyone who did not follow the official line. And in this process the Battalion 3.16 made experts at this oppression and these people are now deputies and advisors of the National Party of Honduras.
This is the same political party that —in the hands of the military who ruled at the end of the last century— imposes death today, imposes a curfew today, and limits constitutional guarantees today. They also give the green light to their snarling dogs (the military) so that now, as it was in the eighties, they harass the Honduran people, decimate the people, and subdued the people.
This return to the past is painful. The faces of the disappeared, the tortured, and those in exile appear to those of us here today. Honduras has hit rock-bottom because of the ambitions of a group of unworthy people who see money and power and salivate. Undoubtedly, officially sanctioned death will be the order of the day and any investigation will be impossible because the police and military must support and protect the state of siege. There is no doubt that I feel the same fear felt in the 1980s by the comrades who opposed the military dictatorship. These same bullets and expert torturers are today the deputies in the National Congress. We have warned of the pending deaths of the opponents of Juan Orlando Hernández and the National Party.
This Is a Technical Coup D’état
According to how things look right now, and following the logic of events, what will happen in Honduras is a technical coup d’état promoted by those in power. These forces have as their face the armed forces, even though we all know the power truly remains in the hands of those who control money, politics, the media, and religion in Honduras.
What will happen is that the Honduran armed forces will be given more power. They will come out as defenders of the country, they will sell us the farce of military security, and they will violate the constitutional guarantees. As you have seen in videos on social media, this power is given to the military all to defend the supposed “rule of law” and the security of the Honduran people themselves.
Juan Orlando may be going through the worst moment of his administration, and even though it may the opposite, he uses this to justify the technical coup d’état. The Honduran right-wing may already realize that the image of Juan Orlando Hernandez causes too many problems. Therefore, I suspect, that a technical coup d’état is necessary for them. This will only happen if his exit can be portrayed as an honorable exit, if it can clean the image of the National Party and of the businessmen who lent themselves to the game of looting, and if it can satisfy the need for power of a military that takes center stage by making themselves necessary by ensuring violence statistics remain high.
It Will Get Worse
This will only get worse. The violent acts of the military in the last few days, the murder of the young man who was thrown over the bridge, and the many other videos of the atrocities that are coming to us are the proof of this. From now on, many of us will pay the consequences.
The concentration of power is absolute and their weapons are thirsty for blood. The absence of credible international organizations and the presence of the harmful ones are causing more commotion in Honduras. Honduras is walking to the insurrection and that, painfully, is essentially the way to death for the poor, while the rich will get richer either here or on the other side of the border. And you, those of you who read this article, what will you do for Honduras?
Héctor Efrén Flores is a lawyer who works for an educational foundation in Honduras. He is also a regionally published poet and essayist in the resistance against oppression. You can follow him @hefrenf.