Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

August 04, 2015

Reflection for the Country (Honduras). By País de Indignados, in Quotha, 06 22 15

Reflection for the Country
(translation by Adrienne Pine, signatories below)

link: http://quotha.net/node/2680


Honduras has suffered terrible political and social crises: the dissolution of the [Central American] Federation in 1838, the war against the filibustering slaver [William Walker] in 1856, the risk of annexation by the United States fomented by sell-out politicians in different eras (1823, 1911 y 1984), the bloody internecine war of 1924 fomented by the banana companies (United Fruit Co. and Cuyamel), the Carías dictatorship and the presence of the Contra forces that turned us into the harlot of the isthmus during the lost decade [of the 1980s] and—among other things—the coup d'état of 2009 with its crude fascism, the impacts of which are still deeply felt today.

But the republic has probably never confronted threats greater than those of today. Its government has been coopted by officials and venal businessmen who no longer belong to any political party but rather to a fundamentalist neoliberal secret society, stubbornly focused on selling off the natural resources that belong to everyone to foreign corporations; on reducing the social responsibility of the State and commercializing the humanist responsibility with which it was originally conceived, since the 18th Century Enlightenment at the highest operational level of national democratic entities, the republican State. Today like never before, this mafia has overturned Honduran institutional integrity, converting government into a business of the dirtiest kind.

Honduras today has been occupied and plundered by an organized group of vandals who must be ousted from power and expelled from public life once and for all. The pillage, the defrauding of the IHSS [Honduran Institute of Social Security] and the theft of its funds have already caused around three thousand collateral deaths, and it remains to be seen how much damage has been occasioned by similar attacks against INJUPEMP (Institute for Retirement and Pension Funds of Public Employees), INPREMA (National Teacher's Pension Fund), ENEE (National Electric Energy Company), Hondutel (Honduran Telecommunications Company) and other public institutions.

We find ourselves confronting the worst corruption scandal in the nation's history, whitewashed by a bought-and-sold media industry—journalism that is complicit in the calamity that Honduras is facing—which is morally inexcusable, so indefensible that the honest followers of the National Party are horrified by it.

Clear indicators allow us to deduce that there was a conspiracy to sack the IHSS and as such there existed, and continues to exist, an operating structure set up to carry out this type of task at the highest level of the State. The civic struggle in which we are involved will only end when the leadership of this cartel of corruption are in prison.

Never before, despite its multiple historical offenses, has the political class descended to such blatantly cynical and vicious depths. Its biggest bosses—the Presidents of the Republic, of the Congress, of the Supreme Court, of the Superior Judiciary Council, of the Public Ministry and Public Prosecutor's Office, of the Court of Auditors, of the Electoral Tribunal and of other institutions—had never before been so clearly and deeply implicated in corruption that the people would dare to take to the streets in anger to demand the truth. History is more accessible than ever thanks to efficacy of the internet but especially thanks to the new, fresh awareness of people who are fed up with having not only the victories of the past and democracy of the present robbed from them but also the opportunities of the future...

The youth, future victims of today...
The indignados ["the outraged"-the name that protestors have taken on for their movement] are not a fringe group nor do they act arbitrarily. The youth has seen, through the window of this scandal, how as a result of society's deterioration—in stead of advancing—their future prospects disappear. There is no citizen security unless one pays for it privately. Soon their will be no hospital or community healthcare with the exception of luxury hospitals, and education is already well on its way to becoming completely privatized and commercialized.

Meanwhile the nation with the greatest mineral wealth of the [Central American] isthmus retains only 2% of the revenues generated by said material, the rest is given away in concessions. The exemptions granted to diverse corporations, especially transnationals, add up to (on average) 30 billion lempiras [$1.4 billion USD in today's exchange rate, which equals about 7% of the country´s annual GDP] per year, and it is estimated that tax evasion adds on another 30 billion. By simply eliminating unproductive exemptions and fighting tax evasion in this country the need for IMF loans would go away and we would enjoy a surplus. And the only solution is methodical and ongoing protest, public outcry, the increasing awareness of each and every citizen that this is not a partisan struggle but rather an ethical one and that we must all come together, all classes, because we want a moral revival, an awakening of values with the power to create a new Honduras that, without denouncing politics as a whole, transforms it into a permanent practice of decency and liberty.

How to break the mirror of corruption
Trustworthy information reveals that the criminal operation within the IHSS followed three stages, or scripts, as follows: (1) a sector, class, mafia or governmental cell, [whose members have been] already identified, planned how to extract from the State the maximum possible amount of money for its personal enrichment and to finance its electoral participation in 2013, in addition to ballot box and counting fraud; (2) the first stage seems to have begun with certain pharmacies related to the IHSS that falsified contracts, proving checks to the campaign committee of the National Party that were made possible through multiple fraudulent claims of medicines and equipment purchased to fulfill the needs of the IHSS and (3) shell companies created to NOT fulfill pre-existing IHSS contracts and instead to directly rob the monetary resources in advance. This was how the mechanism of organized corruption aimed at seizing the assets of the IHSS worked and—as should be investigated immediately—similar to what occurred in ENEE, Hondutel, INPREMA and other institutions. This is called illicit association, criminal conspiracy, organized crime.

What can be done?
For now we must strengthen the marches and increase the solidarity groups that build citizenship and fight for the rejection of corruption in society. We must join together the support of all the political and social forces necessary to get to the bottom of the scandal and demand that those responsible be held accountable. In order to reinforce the demand for an independent and trustworthy investigation, as well as the demand that those responsible for these crimes are punished, we should consider the use of other democratic forms of popular protest, such as calling for a recall referendum and even a general strike if the criminals responsible are not brought to justice. And they should know that the society is ready to make necessary sacrifices in order to ensure that Honduras can once again become a regionally and internationally respected nation.

País de Indignados [Outraged Nation]
June 19, 2015


ISMAEL MORENO, sj
DARÍO EURAQUE
RODOLFO PASTOR FASQUELLE
VÍCTOR MEZA
EDUARDO BÄHR
PATRICIA MURILLO
WILFREDO MÉNDEZ
HUGO NOÉ PINO
HELEN UMAÑA
EFRAÍN DÍAZ ARRIVILLAGA
MAURICIO TORRES MOLINERO
RAMÓN ENRIQUE BARRIOS
JULIO ESCOTO


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The translator Adrienne Pine's research begins in Honduras, and employs a vertical slice approach to analyze the mechanisms supporting empire and the daily usurpations of democracy there and in the United States. She examines the non-profit industrial complex, the militarized and corporatized academy, diverse actors and institutions in the U.S. and Honduran governments, and the Honduran resistance movement in order to better understand how structures of violence prevent democratic processes from taking hold. Pine has been described as "a one-woman wrecking crew against the golpistas in Honduras and their handlers, paymasters, apologists and lackeys in DC" and sees militant anthropology as a key factor in overthrowing the corporatocracy. She is based in Washington, DC, where she learns from and teaches anthropology to the fabulous students at American University.

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