Honduras: The Farce of the War on Drugs and Narco-Democracy

https://theintercept.imgix.net/wp-uploads/sites/1/2017/11/honduras-cocaine-1511302403.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&q=90Since the 2009 coup d’état, Honduras has been turned into a political laboratory, making it possible to condense the history of the last decade into a narcocorrido where the blue and red car gangs dedicated themselves to drug trafficking and the looting of the country; all under the discreet gaze and complicity of the Obama and Trump administrations.

The massacre of Miskito Indians by the DEA and the Honduran police in May 2012 began an offensive as part of the supposed war on drugs. Two pregnant women and two minors were killed in the operation, who according to U.S. authorities attacked a helicopter with firearms. Years later, the state department recognized the innocence of the murdered, but to date no justice has been achieved due to the immunity granted to foreign agents and the verdict of the Honduran justice that ruled the innocence of the artillerymen of the national police.

https://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2017_21/2012091/170524-honduras-drugs-deadly-shootings-sg-1609_cf826a0b4d999641461786abc5e11346.social_share_1024x768_scale.jpgDays before the massacre, the New York Times published an article on the application of lessons learned in Iraq in Honduras, the article in question extolled the application of warfare techniques tested in Iraq, on the northern coast of Honduras, with the alleged purpose of stopping the transfer of narcotics.

There is no doubt that the Moskitia as well as other unpopulated places in Central America have been used as springboards on the coca route. In the specific case of Honduras, the true epicenter of drug trafficking, it has not exactly been the illegal tracks on the north coast, but the National Congress, whose respectable members have dedicated themselves to the transfer of narcotics while contributing to the erosion of national coffers, corruption being their leitmotif.

Honduras is waging a war not against drugs but against the people, who are confronted by a wave of violence, aggravated by an induced failed state, which for over a decade has been bleeding the population, without any possibility of emerging from the darkness in which we find ourselves. By 2011, Honduras surpassed the figure of more than 90 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, more than ten times the world average of homicides.

The mass exodus that has been taking place for years has been buried by the servile mass media, which ignored the problem until the appearance of the caravans, used by Trump as explosive fuel for the mid-term elections in the United States at the end of 2018.

The case of Honduras is similar to that which has occurred in several West African nations, where for more than two decades, the satraps of the day became allies of South American organized crime; and of course the international pressures fluctuate according to the docility of the regime regarding the so-called exploitation of “natural resources”. The cases of Honduras and Guinea Bissau present a series of similarities, which demonstrate a certain interest on the part of the international community in maintaining corrupt regimes as part of the springboards on the coca route, as essential as tax havens are for the lucrative business of drugs and illicit arms.

In the more than 40 years of existence of the supposed war against drugs, the tax havens, where a good part of the profits ends, continue unscathed in spite of the supposed pressures. While the transfer of chemical precursors remains in force.

Coup d’état and narco-democracy

Since the 2009 coup d’état, an open skies policy has been established in the country, with the apparent support of the security forces. For several years, organized crime associated with politicians and the military acted without any apparent objection from the United States, which showed a certain complacency with the authoritarian government that emerged from an electoral farce, where the opposition had been practically annihilated, in addition to merging the center-right parties that for decades monopolized vernacular politics.

One of the country projects promoted after the coup d’état was that of the model cities encouraged by U.S. libertarians, which up until now is intended to auction certain parts of the country, coincidentally inhabited by indigenous peoples. The Zones of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE), known as model cities, have been part of the Disruption of Democracy scheme with which the neo-reactionary American libertarians have tried to return to William Walkerm’s dream of creating city-states, with their own constitutions and security forces.

Everything seems to indicate that in the last decade the drug cartels and political parties have merged in Honduras, the strong rumours have been confirmed by the Southern District Court of the District of New York, where relatives of the last two presidents parade at the same time that the list of implicated is getting longer, bringing to the surface the complicity existing until today between organized crime, the political party, a situation that has apparently been managed with an enormous benevolence on the part of the U.S. authorities.

Massive election fraud in the right-wing paradise

The “elections” of 2013, were characterized by an open participation of drug traffickers who ran for mayor and deputies, making the process carried out in El Paraiso, Copán one of the most striking, where Mr. Alexander Ardon won with 81.4% of the votes, then provided “protection” to both observers and journalists who accompanied the “electoral¨ process.

During the vote, Ardón locked polling station observers in a hotel. Ardón, who called himself the “king of the people,” is testifying today in the Southern Court of New York, against the current president, who has become the center of attention, due to his unprecedented ability to remain in power, despite the accusations, a situation that leads us to conclude that he has the unrestricted support of Washington.

The 2017 elections showed how in Honduras the organized crime and the political parties converged in a solid attack against opponents, making use of the elite troops that the current president has at his disposal, accompanied by a retinue of evangelical pastors and some high prelates of the Catholic Church, who typically boost support for the regime.

The elections of 2009, 2013 and 2017 showed how in Honduras the electoral processes became yet another business at the hands of organized crime, which absorbed the existing political parties.

The war on drugs, indigenous peoples and deterritorialization

The indigenous peoples of the Mesoamerican Caribbean were handed over to organized crime with the complicity of the security forces of the nation-states. Now we are victims of the repression that is aimed more at deterritorialization than at stopping drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, the indigenous and black communities of Chocó in Colombia are affected by a similar phenomenon, with the aggravating factor that has occurred over the years due to the use of defoliants on their territories, a strategy that is applied in other Andean countries.

As part of the control of the territory appear the enormous plantations of African palm in jungle zones, giving rise to population displacements, which seem to be fine despite the derisory price of palm oil in the international market.

In the case of the Garifuna people, our territory has been used for years by organized crime, which finds itself in an apparent symbiosis with the security forces, giving rise to a failed state, where the rule of law vanishes in the face of the prevailing violence.

The narcos have seized a good part of the northern coast through numerous illegal purchases, in addition to the manipulation of property registries, as happened with the Instituto de la Propiedad de Honduras (Honduran Property Institute) in the city of La Ceiba.

The case of the Garifuna territory of Vallecito, which organized crime appropriated by 80%, the OFRANEH after years of pressure achieved the remediation and recovery of the site in 2014. Nevertheless, territorial pressures continue, with the frequent presence of gangs of men with rifles, without the state manifesting any will to exercise control over the national territory.

La Ceiba, 7 October 2019

Honduran Black Fraternal Organization, OFRANEH

Translation by Internationalist 360°