Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Motherland.

I don't know if any of you know this, but I'm an alien.

No, not the green, bug eyed, creepy kind, but the brown, immigrant creepy kind. I was born outside of the U.S. and lived in many different places. Of all those places though, the one that is most dear to me is Honduras. I spent the majority of my early childhood there and any good memories that I have of my childhood in general took place there.

Honduras is not exactly a tropical paradise. Its considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere behind Haiti. Illiteracy rates and child mortality rates are high. It has suffered through dozens of natural disasters, wars and military coups. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Honduras has been going through incredible stress during this last two weeks. Allow me to recap:

- On June 28th the elected liberal president, Manuel Zelaya presented the country with an option to vote for a referendum (a vote to either pass or reject a proposal) that would allow an appointed committee to make amends to the Constitution (because of Zelaya's questionable past and alliance to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, this was obviously worrisome).

-The opposing party, the Nationalists, along with the military arrested Zelaya and exiled him to Costa Rica, declaring that Zelaya had signed a resignation letter (which Zelaya adamantly denies).

Honduras is in chaos. Violent protests for and against the military coup are rampant. Schools and many work places have been closed indefinitely and critics of the coup as well as journalists have been arrested or have "disappeared". My family members that live there have shared eyewitness accounts of police brutality against civilians and the lock down of the country by the military.

Central America has a violent history of military coups and corrupt governments. Regardless of what side is right, the point of the matter is that the people are suffering. Individuals are being killed, arrested and tortured. Civilians are having their lives violently interrupted by the political apparatus. The international community has condemned the coup and the U.S. has suspended military relations with Honduras but the country is still in chaos.

I'm not writing this to make an argument for or against the coup. This is simply to inform others of events that are going on. People are scared. The very least we can do as human beings is to be aware.

These are some photographs taken by my cousin's friend, Wilfredo Fuentes. As a photographer I'm a firm believer that images are sometimes more eloquent than words. They provide glimpses into things we cannot experience for ourselves.

These images capture the circumstances of political unrest and therefore some of these images are violent.






(click to enlarge)











In your daily drive to work or school, give a thought to these people. Pray for them, their safety and their government. Be aware.

3 comments:

  1. That's insane! I will definitely be praying. Being hispanic...it feels so close to home for me. Thanks for the post.

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  2. I've heard about this on the news.
    Although I don't consider myself Honduran (Nica! Woo! lol), the fact of the matter is I was born there so I can't hep but feel a little emotional about this.
    These images are very powerful. Thanks for sharing and making people aware about this.

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  3. Awesome post. With the whole Michael Jackson hype, people have not been made aware of this issue, and they really should be.

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