Enough of the Killings of the Garifuna People!

In response to the spate of murders of Garifunas that has occurred in recent months, we express our total rejection of the narrative of violence that has taken hold of Honduras, which is being used as political tool as well as a strategy of dispossession to foment the exodus, which has been institutionalized in Honduras.

Since 2009 violence has been raging in Honduras at the same time as the coup d’état annihilated the incipient rule of law, giving rise to a silent war in urban areas and certain regions of the country, where organized crime allied with municipalities took over vast territories used for the transfer of narcotics, while promoting African palm plantations, promoted by the latest government administrations.

Up to 2018, the Garífuna people managed to stay away from violence, adhering to our cosmovision, in which there is an enormous respect both for life and for Mother Earth. However, in 2019, the murders worsened with the murder of women who have defended the ancestral territory being notorious.

It is clear that after having lived in Honduras for more than 222 years, we continue to be considered foreigners, and extreme racism towards our people persists on the part of the dominant culture that usually sees us as dancers in the service of a folkloric image exported by the Honduran government.

The social hecatomb that has been imposed in Honduras has employed violence as a component of social control, in addition to instigating the mass exodus, which “increases” the income of remittances, which have become the economic pillar of the country.

In 2012, when Honduras reached the peak of violence, the number of homicides had apparently decreased, while at present the number of massacres is increasing, resulting in population displacements in a country that has become a political laboratory for neoliberalism.

The expulsion of the Garífunas from the Bay of Trujillo by the “Canadian businessmen” associated with the “king of porno¨ and the Puerto Rican, Santiago Mario, at the same time as the fever over the establishment of African palm plantations, which has been used by organized crime to appropriate vast territories, which cause the desiccation of wetlands; as well as the installation of unconsulted projects such as the Thermica de la Ensenada, demonstrate that there is a very clear plan to disappear the communities and the Garifuna people. Meanwhile, the State refuses to comply with the sentences issued by the Inter-American Court in 2015 for the violation of the human rights of the communities of Triunfo de la Cruz and Punta Piedra.

The deaths of 16 Garifunas in the year 2019 alone prompts us to reflect on the terrible crossroads in which we Garifunas find ourselves in Honduras, and the challenges we face to ensure our survival as a differentiated culture and the preservation of the territory we have occupied for more than two centuries.


La Ceiba, November 5, 2019

Honduran Black Fraternal Organization, OFRANEH

Translation by Internationalist 360°