Archivos para 3/07/14

Ya había recomendación de cancelar actividades en mina

Jueves, 03 Julio 2014 23:38

Ministro José Galdámez

Galería de imágenes

Click to enlarge image p18rvnfh439ch1lvs1uav1nr531t4.JPG

El presidente, Juan Orlando Hernández llegó ayer por la tarde a El Corpus, y saludó a los familiares de los mineros atrapados, al tiempo que se comprometió a apoyar los esfuerzos por rescatarlos.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Ante el derrumbe en la mina de la aldea de San Juan Arriba, municipio de El Corpus, departamento de Choluteca, el titular de la Secretaría de Energía, Recursos Naturales, Ambiente y Minas (SERNA), José Antonio Galdámez, informó ayer que ya se había hecho una inspección en este yacimiento artesanal de minerales y se recomendó cancelar sus actividades, debido a la falta de condiciones de seguridad.

“Ya habíamos tenido una participación a nivel de Estado el año pasado, haciendo una inspección y la recomendación por parte nuestra era que se cancelarán las actividades que se estaban desarrollando, porque no reunía las condiciones mínimas de seguridad para los empleados”, especificó el funcionario.

Asimismo, declaró que la minería artesanal es regulada por las corporaciones municipales, por lo que a SERNA se le dificulta tener un control adecuado para el otorgamiento de permisos.

En algunos casos la actividad minera en el territorio nacional no se desarrolla con la normativa adecuada, lamentó Galdámez.

La tarde del miércoles anterior, 11 jóvenes quedaron soterrados mientras laboraban en una mina propiedad de Virgilio Gúnera.

OPERATIVIDAD
Por su parte, el subsecretario de SERNA, Carlos Pineda Fasquelle, precisó que para la operatividad de una mina artesanal la municipalidad del término realiza una inspección para definir el área -polígono- de explotación minera, dando recomendaciones de seguridad industrial, personal, salud pública y de medio ambiente.

Agregó que “si alguien está extrayendo mineral artesanalmente o de manera irregular necesita una guía de transporte para mover ese material de su municipio a otro lugar; el permiso únicamente la puede otorgar el gobierno local”.

En tanto, el presidente del Congreso Nacional, Mauricio Oliva, que visitó ayer el lugar junto con el presidente Juan Orlando Hernández, recordó que el año pasado la Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco) presentó un informe, donde señala que esa explotación es completamente artesanal e improvisada, sin mapa de ubicación y con túneles mal sostenidos.

Son cinco contratistas explotando la zona y se ha extendido, su población es de bajos recursos económicos y la gente ve tentador este tipo de trabajo, pero no hay ninguna supervisión, ni técnica ni científica para su explotación, señaló Oliva.

La cifra

 

300 lempiras diarios gana un obrero de las minas en el sur del país, según estimaciones oficiales.


Gobierno nombra vocero y responsable de familiares

TEGUCIGALPA.- El Ministerio de Comunicaciones y Estrategia del Gobierno indicó ayer que el vocero en toda la comunicación oficial relacionada con el caso de los once mineros soterrados en la aldea San Juan Arriba, El Corpus, Choluteca es Moisés Alvarado, comisionado de la Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco).

Entre tanto, según el Ministerio de Comunicaciones, el vocero oficial de atención a los familiares de los once mineros designado es Lisandro Rosales, secretario de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social.

La Copeco y el Ministerio de Comunicaciones y Estrategias de Casa Presidencial convocarán a conferencias y comparecencias de prensa para informar continuamente sobre los avances en el rescate de nuestros once compatriotas, indicó un comunicado.

Así mismo, la comunicación del Gobierno estableció que las fuerzas de socorro siguen trabajando arduamente para rescatar a los once compatriotas que están atrapados en la mina.

Fuente: http://www.tiempo.hn/portada/noticias/ya-habia-recomendacion-de-cancelar-actividades-en-mina

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Podemos discrepar, pero el respeto es fundamental

Jueves, 03 Julio 2014 23:17

Presidente en fiesta de EE.UU.

 

El presidente Hernández estuvo ayer en la fiesta de independencia de Estados Unidos en medio de especulaciones sobre supuestas roces con ese país. La embajadora, Lisa Kubiske lo recibió en su residencia y le colocó un pin en su saco con las banderas de su país y de Honduras que decía: “siempre unidos”.

El presidente Hernández estuvo ayer en la fiesta de independencia de Estados Unidos en medio de especulaciones sobre supuestas roces con ese país. La embajadora, Lisa Kubiske lo recibió en su residencia y le colocó un pin en su saco con las banderas de su país y de Honduras que decía: “siempre unidos”.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

El presidente, Juan Orlando Hernández asistió ayer a la celebración de la fiesta de la embajada de Estados Unidos para conmemorar anticipadamente la independencia de ese país, que es hoy, 4 de julio, y en su discurso dijo que aspira a que un día ese país dé un apoyo contundente a Honduras como lo hace con pueblos de otros continentes.

La presencia de Hernández en la residencia de la embajadora, Lisa Kubiske era una incertidumbre, ya que ha corrido la versión de que tiene malas relaciones con Estados Unidos y él mismo el miércoles había expresado que no sabía si iba a asistir porque tenía una salida programada.

En su discurso Hernández aprovechó para agradecer el apoyo que ha tenido de la embajadora, Lisa Kubiske, tras anunciar que el Gobierno le hará un homenaje antes de que deje su cargo en las próximas semanas.

Dijo que con Kubiske han pasado “momentos tan difíciles que no tenemos por qué explicarlos, pero allí ha estado usted para apoyarnos, para sacar una tarea adelante que es difícil, pero que no vamos a retroceder un tan solo milímetro en la recuperación de la paz y la tranquilidad de Honduras”.

Ante unos 1.400 invitados a la tradicional fiesta norteameriana, el mandatario aseguró que Honduras y Estados Unidos son países amigos, hermanos y vecinos que siempre estarán allí trabajando juntos.

DISCREPANCIAS DE AMIGOS
“Como somos amigos, la amistad permite discrepar en algunos temas, no necesariamente estar de acuerdo en todo, pero ese respeto es fundamental, somos un país pequeño luchador con grandes problemas pero debo reconocer que departe suya embajadora ha habido ese respeto esa dignidad que demandamos como cualquier ciudadano”, dijo el mandatario.

El gobernante agradeció las atenciones de autoridades estadounidenses a su esposa, Ana de Hernández, en su misión para visitar los albergues donde hay niños hondureños que emigraron indocumentados y por el trato que dan a los menores, pero a la vez dijo que esta emergencia tiene relación con el narcotráfico del sur al norte.

Finalmente pidió que nadie se asuste por los reclamos que ha hecho demandando más apoyo a Estados Unidos porque eso no indica que se pierde la amistad, simplemente que “tenemos que empezar a poner las cosas como son, la capacidad de discrepar, la capacidad de disentir, pero somos hermanos”.

Lo dijo

 

“Estados Unidos a veces despliega su fuerza, su apoyo en otros continentes apoyando a países hermanos y yo aspiro de que en el corto plazo de igual forma se apoye de manera contundente a un pueblo luchador” (como Honduras): Juan Orlando Hernández, presidente.

Fuente: http://www.tiempo.hn/color-pol%C3%ADtico/noticias/podemos-discrepar,-pero-el-respeto-es-fundamental?utm_source=color-pol%C3%ADticoTab&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=tabs

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Jueves, 03 Julio 2014 23:14

 

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

“Como todos los amigos, aunque a veces tengamos diferencias puntuales, en lo fundamental estamos de acuerdo”, subrayó ayer la embajadora de Estados Unidos, Lisa Kubiske, que pronunció ayer un discurso con motivo de la fiesta de independencia de su país, a la que asistió el presidente, Juan Orlando Hernández.

Ante dirigentes políticos, empresariales, diplomáticos y demás invitados especiales, la diplomática dijo que Honduras no podría tener un mejor amigo que Estados Unidos y “ténganlo por seguro que pueden seguir contando con nosotros en sus esfuerzos para fortalecer este país”, afirmó.

Así como los Estados Unidos fue construido sobre la idea de un “Sueño Americano,” los Estados Unidos y Honduras deben continuar trabajando juntos para avanzar en el “Sueño Hondureño” de una Honduras segura y próspera que todos sus ciudadanos puedan disfrutar, expusó.

Destacó además tres áreas en las que el trabajo conjunto impulsado entre ambas naciones ha tenido éxito. En ese sentido, detalló que la primera es el proceso electoral celebrado en 2013, al cual calificó de crucial para que la democracia hondureña recuperara su equilibrio.

La segunda es la lucha contra la pobreza-afirmó- en la cual se ha comenzado a impulsar un verdadero progreso en ayudar a los agricultores más pobres a salir de la pobreza extrema y dar a sus hijos desde un inicio una nutrición sólida en sus vidas, sostuvo.

PROGRAMAS DE EXITO
Los programas del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos ya han tenido  éxito con 35,000 familias, lo que representa alrededor de 200,000 hondureños que han mejorado su situación económica, señaló.

La tercera área es la seguridad, según Kubiske, en la cual ha trabajado con los mandatarios, el Congreso Nacional,  los oficiales de aplicación de la ley, militares, fiscales, la sociedad civil y las comunidades locales.

Con lo anterior se busca demostrar a los criminales, que Honduras ya no será un lugar en el que pueden operar con toda impunidad, advirtió Kubiske, quien en breve concluirá su período de tres años como embajadora en  este país.

La frase
“Me siento orgullosa que los Estados Unidos pudo proporcionar asesoría y financiamiento para los procedimientos técnicos de las elecciones así como brindando esfuerzos para motivar a las personas a ejercer el sufragio”: Lisa Kubiske, embajadora de EE.UU.

Fuente: http://www.tiempo.hn/color-pol%C3%ADtico/noticias/lisa-kubiske-en-lo-fundamental-estamos-de-acuerdo?utm_source=color-pol%C3%ADticoTab&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=tabs

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Corruption in the Northern Triangle: The siren song of crime – The new wave of illicit networks across Central America

 

Ivan Briscoe | July 03, 2014

The end of the civil wars in the Northern Triangle countries have made way for stable democracies. Despite this development, however, the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador remain infiltrated with corruption and malpractices. The former patrimonial regimes are still important sources of mobilization, which has created parallel states in these countries. Informal relationships, money and fear have initiated a vicious cycle of governmental emergency responses, militarization and crime that only virtuous policies with public backing can replace.

The tinkle of an ice-cream cart is possibly not the first sound that comes to mind at the thought of corruption. For the Congress of Honduras, however, tilín tilín is the chosen term to describe the payment of bribes to deputies. In light of the country’s predicament as Central America’s most violent country, the region’s second poorest and, according to Transparency International, its most corrupt, there is something jarring in hearing that one of the most systemically toxic forms of graft should be synonymous with a frozen sweet.

The Northern Triangle trilogy

This article is part of a trilogy on the security threats facing the Northern Triangle, that includes Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. These countries are challenged by the highest levels of youth violence in the world, the highest homicide rates, powerful drug trading groups, weak institutions and political crime. The influx of migrants in the United States reflects the instability in Central-American countries, as people flee to escape violence and poor living conditions. Many national, regional and international strategies have been developed to combat the region’s biggest threats in an integrated way, but often they have been counterproductive.

This trilogy therefore address each of the problems separately – the drug trade, gang wars and corruption – in order to untangle their causal relationship. All three articles present an overview of the security problems and their causes, the different strategies that have been developed to counter the proliferation of drugs, gangs and corruption, and evaluate their success.

The article on the relationship between drugs and violence, by Pien Metaal and Liza ten Velde of the Transnational Institute, untangles the relationship between the drug industry and high homicide rates for more effective violence reducing policies. This article on illicit networks by Ivan Briscoe of the Clingendael Institute sheds light on the intertwined structures of patrimonial relationships and the development of the state after the civil wars in the Northern Triangle, creating a criminal complexion of governments. And the article on anti-gang policies and gang responses by Chris van der Borgh of the University of Utrecht and Wim Savenije of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, set out the gang phenomenon and how it’s evolution has been shaped by ineffective policies.

Over 17 years have now passed since the last of the civil wars which blighted the region came to a formal end. By that time, over 300,000 people had died across the region in three armed conflicts – in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala – that were rooted in extreme levels of social stratification and economic inequality, fanned by the breeze from the Cuban Revolution, and eventually fought according to the black-and-white logic of the Cold War.

It is no small achievement that relatively stable democracies have emerged since then, despite occasional interruptions like the Honduran coup of 2009. Nor can it be denied that constituencies previously excluded from political life – be they the former guerrillas of El Salvador (FMLN), the Sandinistas of Nicaragua or the Mayan peoples of Guatemala –  have grown in political prominence and, in the case of the first two, become dominant actors in government. And it is certainly a historical first that, following elections in El Salvador and Costa Rica this year, half of the region’s six Spanish-speaking countries are now run by the left, even though the other three remain in the hands of the right.

Yet whereas the old patriarchal regimes have seemingly fallen away, a criminal complexion and illicit infiltration of parties, state institutions, police and judiciary have been developing within the new wave of governments and now pose some of the most serious challenges to this post-conflict political transformation. Scandals pointing to deep collusion between criminals and officials are frequent, serious and generally go unpunished, above all in the Northern Triangle of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (see the box below).

Finding proof of the collusion between criminals and officials

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is now carrying out a preliminary study into the murders of dozens of journalists, politicians and community leaders in Honduras since the coup. One assassination that has reached a local court, that of the 71-year-old former counter-narcotics chief Alfredo Landaverde, shot dead just days after accusing the police in San Pedro Sula of linkages to narco-trafficking, ended last year with the imprisonment of one low-level hit man. No link whatsoever to any organized criminal structure was proven, and possibly not even sought.

Meanwhile, it took the arrival in Guatemala in 2007 of a UN body, the Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), to force the police and public prosecutors to devote attention to extra-judicial executions, trafficking and fraud carried out with official complicity. Yet the Commission has vented its frustration at the last ditch salvation of the suspects it has pursued: 18 leading magistrates, described by the CICIG in 2012 as the “Judges of Impunity”. It is currently hard to say how much of the work of the Commission and its crusading ally, Attorney General Claudia Paz, will remain in place once Paz leaves office in May, or when the Commission’s mandate ends next year.

An unstoppable tide?

The list of known cases and crimes goes on and on: deputies taking pay-cuts, customs servicing drug traffickers, police extorting locals, or members of military special forces operating drug cartels. Nevertheless, the ethical and legal plasticity of these officials does not strike most Central Americans as more than a minor problem; or at least, it is far from being their most acute worry. A recent report by the United Nations Development Programme on citizen security in Latin America (Seguridad Ciudadana con rostro humano) stresses that in the region as a whole, and most acutely in the Central American isthmus, citizens’ principal fear stems from their experience of petty crime, violent robbery, blackmail and murder; 80% of Guatemalans, for instance, regard youth gangs and ordinary crime as the most serious threats to their safety. A poll carried out at the start of this year by the country’s main newspaper, Prensa Libre, echoed these findings: while 52% stated that insecurity was the country’s main problem, only 3% regarded corruption as the most important concern.

It is this gap between the dominant fears of Central Americans, above all those living in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and the tolerance of systemic flaws in the way their countries are ruled, that goes to the heart of the difficulties in reforming state and judicial systems. On one side, this lop-sided public concern generates a political culture in which, despite all the evidence showing how ineffective the approach has been in curbing the rise of the region’s murder rate since 2000, repressive mano dura policies against crime with a military flavour remain enormously popular (while both Honduras and Guatemala rank among the Latin American countries most inclined to support a military rather than a democratic government).

Both Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, a retired general, and the newly elected president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, have built their political reputations on a tough approach to crime, notwithstanding evidence that placing security forces on an emergency footing, or creating ‘liberated spaces’ for their action, has been the precondition to a most dramatic flourishing of state-connected organized crime. The current state of the de facto militarized Guatemalan prison system throws up an interesting example: an estimated 80% of the country’s blackmails, one of the crimes most feared by the public, are conducted from jails. One reason for this is the rising prices prison officials charge to exempt inmates from chores and other ritual humiliation.

It should be added that neither of these presidents are slave to a mano dura philosophy that they know from the inside. Pérez Molina is internationally recognized for his call to decriminalize drug use and trafficking, while Hernández has, among a flurry of initiatives, conducted a mini-purge of his country’s police force. However, there is no doubting the public inclination towards crime policies that are not only ineffective, but decidedly counterproductive. Alongside this punitive gut instinct is a readiness to indulge the corrupt acts of officials or, if not to approve them, at least to regard them as ineradicable, and so thoroughly embedded as to be beyond any power to reform.

The head of a local anti-corruption organization in Guatemala admitted to me last year that he had lost hope. “The situation has become unstoppable,” he said. “There’s a direct connection between politics and illicit business, and the country is losing the capacity to confront the problem. We don’t even bother going to Congress any more to discuss this with deputies. Laws are just passed for money.”

To prove his point, this activist advised me to consult a special investigation carried out by the newspaper El Periódico into the fortune accumulated by the Guatemalan vice-president, Roxanna Baldetti, whose property wealth is now estimated at 13.4 million dollars even though she has was born into a lower middle-class housing estate and has spent most of her professional life in public service. The report featured a number of photos extracted from her son’s (now defunct) Instagram account: among the shots of fancy shoes and views from private planes was a photo of the sun rising over a hotel swimming pool, with the caption ‘Champagne & cocaine !!!’. It is perhaps worth adding that legal action has been taken by Pérez Molina against the editor of the newspaper, José Ruben Zamora, for allegedly seeking to extort money from the state.

Military, parallel and opportunist states

At the same time, it is no mystery to any Central American to find that the main failures of the state, whether in its feeble provision of basic services, guarantees of security or capacity to generate equitable development, stem from a public sector and political establishment that act first and foremost on the basis of private, factional or criminal interests. Understanding how this system emerged, and how democracy has altered its shape and intensity, is crucial in pointing in the direction of what may be done to stop the seemingly unstoppable.

The three states of the Northern Triangle, together with Nicaragua, were profoundly marked by their early and exceedingly brutal colonization by the Spaniards, which in turn gave rise to a stratified and segregated class and ethnic system and to governments led by and deferential to business and military elites. A social order that is unbreakable, repressive and yet prone to violent spasms suffuses the great 1946 novel by Guatemala’s Nobel Prize laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias, Señor Presidente. By the second half of the twentieth century, however, the soporific certainties of a cast-iron social structure were being challenged in numerous ways, not least by jolts in economic growth and surges in agro-industrial production generated by the Central American Common Market, established in 1960.

It is against this backdrop of social volatility, rising inequality, revolutionary agitation and a US-approved military backlash that the dictatorships and conservative regimes of all four countries – the Somozas in Nicaragua, the various military-sanctioned governments of Guatemala, ARENA in El Salvador and the Liberal-National party duopoly of Honduras – morphed into repressive forces. Counter-insurgency provided the justification for exceptional security measures, which were invariably brutal, and in the case of Guatemala, genocidal. Yet within the protected spaces carved out by the war against ‘subversion’, huge and illicit profits could also be generated. The Somoza regime discovered this in the grand theft of donations following the earthquake of 1972 – a crime that hastened its downfall. Elsewhere, control over borders, customs, prisons and arms provided all the means necessary to make contact with criminal groups, ally with them, and even incorporate them into state-led mafia.

Eventual peace and transitions to democracy signalled an end to this era, although each country followed its own path. Guatemala was guided to democracy under military control, and with strict business vetoes on policy through the strategic use of multiple informal channels such as the media, judiciary and political financing. Nicaragua’s exhausted voters ejected the revolutionary government at the first opportunity. However, even as the formal systems of power were reshaped, state and sub-state powers from the counter-insurgency anchored themselves into new informal networks. It is here that the ‘parallel state’ nestled: a concoction of politicians, retired and serving military and police, and criminal agents, who were intent on defending their business interests and taking advantage of opportunities for profit. 1 Its structure in Guatemala was first laid bare, famously, by the report Hidden Powers published by the Washington Office on Latin America, which named the cast and crew behind some of the most ungratifying episodes of pillage and political murder in the post-conflict period, above all that of Bishop Juan José Gerardi, bludgeoned to death in 1998 days after presenting a major report on war crimes.

Yet the composition of these sub-state units operating through mystery and intimidation, above all in Guatemala and El Salvador, could not withstand domestic and international scrutiny. Perhaps more importantly, they were also to be sidelined by two new entrants in Central America’s shadow political economy: narco-traffickers seeking an alternative route to the North American market, and urban gangs –most notably maras – formed out of a demographic shift to big cities and deportees from the United States.

The initial reaction of some political leaders in Honduras and Guatemala was to allow the parallel state structures to capture the drug market, and to eliminate the violent youth gangs. Hence the programmes of extra-judicial liquidation that seemingly flourished under Guatemalan President Oscar Berger (2004-2008), and which were documented by civil society groups in Honduras, where a significant percentage of the 1,500 young people murdered between 1998 and 2002 were reportedly killed by off-duty security forces and their accomplices. 2 But the forces that were distributing and decentralizing illicit opportunity, enabling markets for drugs, firearms, migrants (especially women and girls), extortion, robbery and fraud to spread, as well as cultivating far better gateways to launder money, have proved much stronger and more resilient than those seeking to concentrate criminal powers in a few dark offices.

A new opportunity space for crime

It is this dynamic that has generated Central America’s new condition as a decentralized opportunity space for illicit combinations that traverse the boundaries of crime, the state and business. Illicit networks can subvert the formal order of a sovereign state in any number of blatant or subtle ways. They grab territorial control when needed to traffic drugs, as in the municipality of El Paraíso in Copán, on the border of Honduras and Guatemala, ruled by a 32-year-old mayor who has 20 bodyguards and describes himself as “the king of the town”. Less obtrusively, these networks have woven criminal activity into numerous state and security bodies, especially when contracts and licenses are stake, influenced appointments across the judiciary, and pumped political parties with funds.

According to one experienced deputy in charge of campaigns for a Guatemalan party, “money is not a problem – I can get it. The problem is where I get it from.” By his reckoning, 50% of campaign funds now come from companies seeking special treatment, and 25% from narco-traffickers. It should be added that this latter figure reaches an alleged 90% in Honduras (according to a source linked to organized crime cases in the country), though it is of course impossible and extremely dangerous to verify these numbers.

The Guatemalan deputy in question is one of a number of honest and reformist politicians: many senior figures in Central America are repelled by avarice in public service. But it is hard to channel this indignation when political entrepreneurs have become so skilled at tapping new sources of illicit finance in favour of what they claim to be radical and reformist goals. Both Manuel Zelaya, deposed left-leaning president of Honduras, and Manuel Baldizón, a leading presidential candidate in Guatemala, have struck redistributionist and progressive stances, yet both – and Baldizón in particular  – appear to have nourished clandestine links. Indeed, it may now be hard even to conceive any form of political mobilization without some such ties.

Even so, it would be a mistake to discount the possibility of sweeping change. Central America’s economies are growing modestly as a whole – although there is a stark difference between booming Panama and El Salvador, one of Latin America’s worst performers. Any sudden reversal of economic fortune may expose deep grievances at poor governance. The CICIG in Guatemala, as well as the leadership of Attorney General Paz, have shown that major corruption cases can be fought – if not always won. Costa Rica’s electorate appears to have voted for its new president, Luis Guillermo Solís, largely on the basis of its revulsion at corruption. Meanwhile, the truce with the maras in El Salvador, or the relatively low crime rate achieved by community policing in Nicaragua, have shown the merits of novel initiatives within a local context. Though even in Nicaragua, as the drugs case against the nightclub empresario Henry Fariñas showed, it has been supremely difficult to separate the police from some form of involvement in the narco trade.

More than ever, it seems clear where Central America’s people and government should direct their efforts: to controlling money laundering, stiffening the autonomy of oversight bodies, bringing development to border regions, and eliminating graft from security forces and judiciaries. But in democracies where money and fear are important sources of mobilization, achieving public backing for these policies requires making lucid, tangible connections between progress in combating civil insecurity and improvements to the integrity of the state. It is this virtuous cycle that is needed to replace the current vicious cycle of emergency, militarization and crime, and the siren song of the ice-cream bell.

Co-reader

Benedicte Bull, director of the Norwegian Latin America Research Network and associate professor at the University of Oslo.

Photo credit main picture: Pablo Andrés Cardozo Hernández

Footnotes

  • 1. Briscoe, I. (2008). The proliferation of the Parallel State, Fride working paper 71.
  • 2. Amnesty International (2003) Honduras  Zero Tolerance… for impunity Extrajudicial Executions of Children and Youths since 1998

Fuente: http://www.thebrokeronline.eu/Articles/Corruption-in-the-Northern-Triangle-The-siren-song-of-crime?utm_source=The+Broker&utm_campaign=b6ab398d42-2014_07July_Monthly&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ce1057f088-b6ab398d42-236511853

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Anti-gang policies and gang responses in the Northern Triangle – The evolution of the gang phenomenon in Central America

Wim Savenije, Chris van der Borgh | July 03, 2014

During the past decade, gangs have become a powerful and violent presence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the ‘Northern Triangle’ of Central America. 1 The particular evolution of the gang phenomenon has been deeply shaped by a series of reactions and adaptations to ill-developed security policies 2 that have been unable to tackle the underying causes of gang emergence and growth 3. These anti-gang policies have varied from ignoring the gangs, tough ‘mano dura’-style police interventions, to the facilitation of a truce between the main gangs.

 

The Northern Triangle trilogy

This article is part of a trilogy on the security threats facing the Northern Triangle, that includes Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. These countries are challenged by the highest levels of youth violence in the world, the highest homicide rates, powerful drug trading groups, weak institutions and political crime. The influx of migrants in the United States reflects the instability in Central-American countries, as people flee to escape violence and poor living conditions. Many national, regional and international strategies have been developed to combat the region’s biggest threats in an integrated way, but often they have been counterproductive.

This trilogy therefore address each of the problems separately – the drug trade, gang wars and corruption – in order to untangle their causal relationship. All three articles present an overview of the security problems and their causes, the different strategies that have been developed to counter the proliferation of drugs, gangs and corruption, and evaluate their success.

The article on the relationship between drugs and violence, by Pien Metaal and Liza ten Velde of the Transnational Institute, untangles the relationship between the drug industry and high homicide rates for more effective violence reducing policies. The article on illicit networks by Ivan Briscoe of the Clingendael Institute sheds light on the intertwined structures of patrimonial relationships and the development of the state after the civil wars in the Northern Triangle, creating a criminal complexion of governments. And this article on anti-gang policies and gang responses by Chris van der Borgh of the University of Utrecht and Wim Savenije of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, set out the gang phenomenon and how it’s evolution has been shaped by ineffective policies.

From a network of relatively small, autonomous and loosely connected local street chapters, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) and 18th Street Gang (18St) have developed into groups of violent entrepreneurs 4, controlling local neighbourhoods and generating income principally through extortion, as well as being involved in the local drug trade.  In the last decade their locus of control has moved from the streets to prisons. Far from being homogeneous and static entities, both gangs consists of various groups, each with their own interests. Therefore security policies have the potential to intervene in internal relations and dynamics linked to contentious issues, like power, profits and status. Focusing on the unifying and fragmenting trends within gangs, the first section of this article discusses the zero-tolerance policies that have been dominant over the past 15 years, while the second section looks at efforts to reduce gang violence in El Salvador by facilitating a truce. Since the emergence of gang problems in Central America in the 1990s, governments have been unable to stimulate processes that fragment and weaken the gangs, and their security policies have often rather tended to unify and strengthen the gang structure and organization.

Origins and development: poverty, marginalization and the United States

The MS and 18St gangs have their roots in the streets of Los Angeles. During the 1960s and 1970s, migrant youths of Meso-American origin formed and joined street gangs to protect themselves from discrimination and being beaten up by similar youths. Some joined one of the many existing gangs, including the 18th Street Gang predominantly formed by youths of Mexican origin 5. In the 1980s, Salvadoran youths became involved in these street dynamics, eventually founding a group that later became known as the Mara Salvatrucha. Youths from Guatemala and Honduras followed suit in joining the gangs roaming the streets of Los Angeles’ migrant neighbourhoods. In the 1990s, many gang members were deported back to Central America after being arrested, and founded gang chapters or ‘cliques’ (clikas) in their native countries/ 6

Security policies: From negligence to zero tolerance.

Ignoring the growing gang or ‘mara’ phenomenon  (1992 – 2002)

In the first decade, the authorities and politicians ignored the new and growing gang phenomenon, which was largely a problem of poor and marginal neighbourhoods. Violent confrontations between the gangs were treated as tragic incidents, and there was no clear plan or security policy to confront the budding problem. One of the first efforts to install a special framework to confront gang violence occurred in 1996 with the passing of a transitional emergency law against delinquency and organized crime in El Salvador. 7 The law stated that anyone participating in a group or organization whose objective was to commit offences would face one to three years in prison. The same sentence would apply to gang members who participated in fights, even if it was not possible to identify those responsible for causing injuries. 8 The intention to persecute gang members for belonging to a delinquent group became something of a general model that would be reiterated in the region in the decade that followed.

Enforcement of the law, however, was rather lax and in 1997 it was declared unconstitutional. It therefore had no real impact on the gang situation in the country. Over the next few years there were few gang-oriented social or security policies and the phenomenon continued to establish itself firmly in the Northern Triangle.  

Strong hand (‘mano dura’ style) (2002 – 2013)

The gangs became a hot political topic in the Central American region in 2002 when Honduran president Maduro launched Operation Tolerancia Cero, followed a year later by Operation Libertad, both of which were designed to clamp down on gang members (Gutierez Rivera, 2009; Andino Mencía, 2005). In keeping with the police and military raids in gang-infested neighbourhoods and the widespread arrest of suspected members, the penal law was changed so that being a gang member could be punished by three to six years in prison. El Salvador followed suit when President Flores’ Mano Dura plan ordered the National Civic Police (PNC) and the Armed Forces of El Salvador (FAES) to confront the gangs, and urged the National Assembly to pass a proposed anti-gang law (Ley Antimaras). 9 Although Guatemala adopted similar rhetoric, it never adopted a special anti-gang law nor did it engage in the same kind of intense anti-gang security operations as its neighbours. 10

What all these security policies had in common was that the police, usually with help from military forces, entered poor and marginalized neighbourhoods with a gang presence in force, looking for youths with baggy clothes, tattoos or gathering in small groups. With a few exceptions, the police have not been very apt at establishing the relations of trust with the local population necessary for severely disrupting criminal activities and dismantling gang structures. 11 Gutierez Rivera 12 aptly observed that in gang-dominated neighbourhoods the security forces are “almost foreign, acting alone in unfamiliar territory”. 13 So when they found someone acting or dressing strangely, they arrested them on suspicion of being gang members. 14 However, because of a clear lack of evidence, most of the youths were freed relatively quickly by the public prosecutors. 15 In El Salvador, the Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía General de la República [FGR]) came in for criticism because they often refused accept the legal grounds for the arrests and felt obliged to acquit the suspects. 16

Renewed military involvement in public security maintenance

From 2002 onwards, the military have increasingly become involved in the fight against gangs. 17 This implied a break with the trend started after the end of the civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, in which the military in the Northern Triangle were largely withdrawn – although not completely – from public security duties and new civil police institutions were created. Responsibility for internal security was transferred to the police while the military, with their reputation severely damaged by accusations of human right abuses 18, was consigned to their barracks. Only in exceptional circumstances were the armed forces permitted to intervene in public security.

The military, however, became visible on the streets again in all three Northern Triangle countries, with joint police and military patrols a common sight in popular neighbourhoods. But it did not stop there. In October 2009 in El Salvador, President Funes authorized exclusive military units to patrol designated urban areas with the mandate to stop and search persons and vehicles, to arrest presumed delinquents and hand them over to the police. 19 President Lobo of Honduras signed a decree in December 2011 giving the military the authority to conduct “patrols, raids, arrests and violent actions against citizens who disturb the law”. 20

The renewed presence of the military has generated significant concern in civil society and academic circles, which see this as an apparent re-militarization of public security in the region. 21 Ill-trained for public security tasks, the military clearly cannot do much more than preventive patrolling or forcefully backing up police operations. Indeed, their relative ineffectiveness in confronting ordinary and organized crime provokes disquiet even in military circles, especially in Guatemala and El Salvador, about this involvement in public security tasks. 22

Their lack of training in public security tasks can easily engender practices disrespectful of human rights or provoke episodes that go badly wrong. In urban areas with a strong gang presence, prejudices intermingled with fear of violent encounters, the relationship between the security forces and the population, especially youths, can rapidly deteriorate. In effect, the participation of the military in preventing violence has meant little more than simply hoping that their visible presence and the arrests they make will deter violent or criminal acts. Despite general public approval of military involvement in public security, the temporary reduction in gang violence that has occurred in some of the neighbourhoods they patrol and the diminished feelings of insecurity among certain sectors of the population (mainly the middle class), local gang and delinquent structures remain mostly intact. 

Gang reactions: the counterproductive aspects of tough security policies

The underlying idea of the ‘mano dura’ policies, insomuch as they existed, was that by locking up gang members, the police would disband the gangs. The sub-director of the PNC of El Salvador, commissioner Pedro González, avowed this belief succinctly by stating that they were hunting down gang leaders so that “the other members would look for something different to do”. 23 In Honduras the intended logic was similar, with massive arrests aimed at communicating to gang members and delinquents that the government was watching them. However, lack of evidence resulted in a large group of youths entering and leaving the legal system like passing through a revolving door. Among the detainees, however, were also gang members who already had legal cases pending against them. These mostly hard-core gangsters were kept in prison, augmenting the population in an already overcrowded prison system. 24 This latter group included leaders of local cliques who got to know each other in detention and reformed gang structures from inside jaIL.

The prime focus on capturing and incarcerating gang members has not only failed to secure the streets, but also helped to transform the prison system into the headquarters or central meeting point of many of the gang networks in the Northern Triangle 25, and gang cliques and their activities are now largely controlled by incarcerated gang members. Indeed, local gang members own respect and obedience to the imprisoned leaders. Not complying with the demands and orders of the latter can be costly: they are frequently killed by their comrades. 26

When the prisons became a central intersection of gang relations, the relatively autonomous and loosely connected cliques in the neighbourhoods started to organize themselves in different fractions – known as ‘programs’ (MS) or ‘canchas’ (18St) – consisting of local cliques established into geographically and hierarchically more integrated structures. In time a national leadership structure (‘ranfla national’) also emerged. The gang structures became more cohesive, but the other side of the coin was that deadly internal purges linked to power conflicts between incarcerated leaders and those in the neighbourhoods became notorious. All in all, the gangs never became totally unified or homogeneous.

In 2010, for instance, the 18St in El Salvador was split into three conflicting fractions 27, and their members were condemned by the gang structure in Los Angeles for becoming fractured as a result. 28 The MS was also becoming more and more divided between different fractions or ‘programs’, consisting of various local cliques sometimes geographically distant from each other. The police even claimed that some programs maintained direct links with cliques outside the country, especial in the United States. 29 The individual programs, however, used to go their own way without taking too much account of the other programs or cliques. Some cliques have acquired profitable business activities and have become more focused on generating income and securing a niche in the illegal market, than being preoccupied with the gang as a whole. At the same time, others resent the lack of solidarity from their richer brothers or challenge part of their illegal activities and income.

Control over the streets from inside the prison system also has its problems. The cliques in the neighbourhoods do not always obey or take account of orders from inside. These conflicts are not only about power, but also concern control over income from illegal gang activities, like extortion or drug dealing and trafficking.

The process of surviving ‘mano dura’-style security polices led to professionalization of the gangs’ involvement in criminal activities (Savenije, 2009), to a certain extent due to demands to financially support the growing number of incarcerated members and their families. The gangs resorted more and more to extortion of local businesses and public transport companies and they soon became specialized in these practices, although some cliques have also become seriously involved in the drug trade. 30 The more profits these incomes generated for the local cliques or programs, the higher the stakes were in the conflicts over the illegal activities.

A new strategy in El Salvador: facilitation of peace talks between the gangs

Towards the end of 2011, a new strategy addressing the gang problem was implemented in El Salvador. The new Minister for Justice and Public Security, Munguia Payés, who took office in November 2011, decided to take the enduring power of the gangs more seriously, and based his security policies on what he saw as an inescapable reality. He argued that the gangs were responsible for 90% of homicides in El Salvador, 31 and decided to turn to the imprisoned leaders in order to try to broker a truce between the gangs. Attempting to evade the political costs of starting direct talks with the gangs, he gave the task of initiating a secret dialogue with and between the imprisoned gang leaders to a close associate, ex guerrillero Raul Mijango, and to the army bishop Monsignor Colindres. 32

The leaders agreed to stop the violence between them and so to reduce the homicides. As an important confidence-building move and an important step in facilitating the truce, 30 gang leaders were transferred from the high security prison in Zacatecoluca to several low security prisons. 33 This gave them the opportunity not only to interact freely with the imprisoned rank and file of the gangs, but also to communicate and enforce the truce on the streets. 34 The leaders held their word and within days the murder rate fell from around 14 to just under four homicides a day. 35 The leaders demonstrated not only that they were effectively in charge of the gangs, but the reduction also indicated that the gangs were indeed responsible for a large proportion of the astonishing high homicide rate in the country. 36

Talks continued between the facilitators and the gang leaders and were conducted to a next phase, known as ‘Municipalities Free from Violence’. The basic idea was to bring the truce to the municipal level and create a process of pacification where gang members would not only cease hostilities between them, but would also reduce their criminal practices, including homicides, extortion, robbery, assault, would allow free passage to local residents, handover their arms, etc.. 37

The process however became stuck in June 2013, after a new Minister of Justice and Public Security, Ricardo Perdomo, took office. 38 He publicly distanced himself from the process, seeing it mostly as a ploy by the gangs to protect their interests in the drugs trade, but the threat of an increase in homicides rates effectively held him back from denouncing the truce and sending the gang leaders back to Zacatecoluca prison. He left however the sole responsibility for its implementation to the true facilitators, the gang leaders, and municipalities, without offering any support and even restricting access and communication with the gang leaders. 39

Gang reactions: renewed cohesion and burgeoning resistance

The process of the truce fomented the unifying trends within gangs. It stimulated their cohesion around a more defined leadership by facilitating an older generation of incarcerated leaders to take control. As result of their being moved to low security facilities, they were able to communicate with their homeboys, not only in jail, but even more importantly, in the neighbourhoods. Initially based on their reputation as a veteran generation of leaders who cared about the gangs as a whole, they convinced the homeboys on the street to comply with the truce. Those who did not comply, faced severe sanctions. The power of violence was the way the older generation imposed itself on the streets.

Although the fragmenting trends were weakened, resistance remained. For instance, some cliques of a breakaway fraction of the 18St -the ‘Revolutionaries’- are not committed to the truce 40, and other leaders do not stick to it unconditionally. Even more worrying, younger homeboys continue to see rival gang members as legitimate targets and the use of violence against them as a valid way to gain respect and status. 41 Inside the gangs, therefore, there are various forms of contention, not only about power and autonomy but also about how to gain respect as a gang member. Furthermore, the previous conflicts about illegal markets have not disappeared completely.

No easy solutions

While the stakes are high in security terms , it has proved to be extremely complex for governments to deal with the gang issue. The short overview presented above shows that security policies in the Northern Triangle have boosted the evolution of the gangs rather than stopped it. Apart from negligence, the answers have usually been to look for quick fixes to a complex phenomenon, focusing on short-term security solutions at the expense of trying to tackle the causes of the gang emergence and growth. Without a policy that addresses the social and economic roots of the problem, this generates the risk that the short-term security policies reinforce the gangs.

The repressive anti-gang policies have not diminished gang power or lessened the attraction they exert over young kids in marginal neighbourhoods. Within such a context, the government’s effort to open a dialogue with the gang, while unpopular and risky, seems one of the few viable options open to changing the security situation in the Northern Triangle. However, dialogues with gangs are extremely difficult to explain to the larger public and zero tolerance policies and discourses remain the most popular option.

There is clearly a link between the strong unifying and fragmenting trends in the gang development and national security policies. Ironically, the unifying processes seem mainly reactions to the ‘mano-dura’ style policies in the region and the truce facilitated by the Salvadoran government; while the fragmenting influences are usually related to internal dynamics like competing power claims and illegal commercial interests of different factions. The Northern Triangle countries have not been able to elaborate consistent long-term strategies to deal with the gangs and do not seem to contemplate the potential but plausible unintended consequences of their policies. The ill-developed and short-term security policies in the region have been no match for the gangs’ enormous capability to adapt to new situations.

There is no easy solution to the gang phenomenon in Central America. A more integrated long-term security policy, combining social prevention and rehabilitation efforts with consistent law enforcement strategies is essential, but very difficult to develop. A dialogue with the gangs about how to create new opportunities for their members and families should be part of the process, but strong yet coherent law enforcement strategies to confront those that opt to continue with violent and delinquent gang activities will also be crucial.

Co-readers

Ana Glenda Tager, Latin American Regional Director at Interpeace.

Dennis Rodgers, Professor of Urban Social and Political Research at the University of Glasgow

Photo credit main picture: Kevin Dean http://www.betaart.com

Footnotes

  • 1. There are also gangs in Nicaragua, but these are different from the ones in the Northern Triangle. See for an analysis and explanation: Rocha, J.L. (2006). Mareros y pandilleros: ¿Nuevos insurgentes, criminales?  Envío, 293: 39-51; and Rodgers, D. (2012). Nicaragua’s gangs: Historical legacy or contemporary symptom? NACLA Report on the Americas, 45(1): 66-69.
  • 2. Aguilar, J. (2007). Los resultados contraproducentes de las políticas antipandillas. Estudios Centroamericanos, 62(708), 877-90.

    Savenije, W. (2009). Maras y barras. Pandillas y violencia juvenil en los barrios marginales de Centroamérica. San Salvador: FLACSO El Salvador.

  • 3. Jütersonke, O., Muggah, R., and Rodgers, D. (2009). Gangs, Urban Violence, and Security Interventions in Central America. Security Dialogue, 40(4-5), 373-397
  • 4. Volkov, V. (2002). Violent entrepreneurs. The use of force in the making of russian capitalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • 5. Ward, T. W. (2013). Gangsters Without Borders. An Ethnography of a Salvadoran Street Gang. New York: Oxford University Press.

    DeCesare, D. (1998). The Children of War. NACLA Report on the Americas, 32(1), 21-32.

  • 6. ERIC, IDESO, IDIES, & IUDOP. (2001). Maras y pandillas en Centroamérica: Volumen 1. Managua, Nicaragua: UCA Publicaciones;

    Smutt, M., & Miranda, L. (1998). El fenómeno de las pandillas en El Salvador. San Salvador, El Salvador: UNICEF, FLACSO – Programa El Salvador.

  • 7. Salazar Flores, L. E. (2008). Leyes Antimaras: Los reveses de la justicia penal juvenil en El Salvador. De Legibus(2), 121-138.
  • 8. Ley transitoria de emergencia contra la delincuencia y el crimen organizado’; article #3. Publication date: March 22nd, 1996.
  • 9. Wolf, S. (2011). Street gangs of El Salvador. In T. Bruneau, & L. &. Dammart, Maras. Gang violence and Security in Central America (pp. 43-69). Austin: University of Texas Press

    FESPAD. (2004). Informe Anual sobre Justicia Penal Juvenil El Salvador 2003. El Salvador, San Salvador: FESPAD Ediciones.

  • 10. Ranum, E. C. (2011). Street gangs of Guatemala. In T. Bruneau, L. Dammart, & E. Skinner, Maras. Gang violence and Security in Central America (pp. 71-86). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • 11. Savenije, W. (2010). Persiguiendo seguridad. Acercamiento de la policia a las comunidades con problemas de insegurida en Central América.  San Salvador: FLACSO El Salvador.
  • 12. Gutierez Rivera, L. C. (2009). Enclaves y territorios estrategias territoriales del estado y de las pandillas en Honduras. Berlin: Freien Universität Berlin. Unpublished PhD thesis.
  • 13. “casi extranjera, actuando sola, en un territorio desconocido”
  • 14. Mateo, J. (2011). Street gangs of Honduras. In T. Bruneau, L. Dammart, & E. Skinner, Maras. Gang violence and Security in Central America (pp. 87-103). Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Andino Mencía, T. (2005). El fracaso de la estrategia antimaras en Honduras. Revista centroamericana justicia penal y sociedad, 22, 85-157.

  • 15. FESPAD. (2005). Estado de la seguridad pública y la justicia penal. El Salvador 2004. San Salvador, El Salvador: FESPAD Ediciones.
  • 16. Amaya Cobár, E. A., & Feusier Alaya, O. E. (2005). Relación entre la Fiscalía General de la República y la Policía Nacional Civil en el marco de la investigación criminal. San Salvador, El Salvador.
  • 17. International Crisis Group. (2013). Totonicapán: tensión en las tierras indígenas de Guatemala. Informe sobre América Latina N°47. Bruselas: Author. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD).
  • 18. Comisión de la verdad para El Salvador. (1993). De la locura a la esperanza: la guerra de 12 años en El Salvador. San Salvador, El Salvador;

    Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Arzobispado de Guatemala. (1998). Guatemala- nunca más. Informe Proyecto Interdiocesano de Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica, 4 tomos. Ciudad de Guatemala;

    Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico. (1999). Guatemala, memoria del silencio. 12 tomos. Ciudad de Guatemala;

    Salomón, L. (1999). Las relaciones civiles – militares en Honduras. Balances y perspectivas. . Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Centro de Documentación de Honduras y Asociación Sueca para el Desarrollo Internacional.

  • 19. Amaya Cóbar, E. (2012). (2012). Militarización de la seguridad pública en El Salvador, 1992-2012. Urvio. Revista Latinoamericana de Seguridad Ciudadana(12), 71-82.
  • 20. “patrullajes, allanamientos, capturas y acciones de fuerza contra la ciudadanía que altere la ley.” Gobierno aprobó emergencia en seguridad. (2011, 12 6). El Heraldo.  Retrieved: June 23rd, 2013, from http://www.elheraldo.hn/Secciones-Principales/Pais/Gobierno-aprobo-emergencia-en-seguridad
  • 21. Coalición contra la impunidad. (9 de May de 2013). Honduras: “Nos preocupa la militarización de la Policía”. Recuperado el 17 de May de 2013, de El Libertador: http://www.ellibertador.hn/?q=article/honduras-“nos-preocupa-la-militarización-de-la-policía”-advierte-coalición-contra-la-impunid;

    Centro de Estudios de Guatemala. (2012). Las múltiples violencias y las juventudes. Ciudad de Guatemala: Delegación de la Unión Europea;

    Loxton, J. (2006). ¿Imperialismo o negligencia? La militarización de la asistencia norteamericana hacia América Latina. Boletín del Programa Seguridad y Ciudadanía(1). Obtenido de http://www.flacso.cl/flacso/main.php?page=noticia&code=1349

  • 22. Savenije, W. (in press). Enfrentando a las pandillas y el crimen organizado. Los militares en la seguridad pública en El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras. En M. Misse, D. Míguez, & A. Isla, Crimen organizado y estado en Amércia Latina.Buenos Aires: Araucaria.
  • 23. “para que sus miembros busquen otras cosas que hacer”. Gutiérrez, E. (2003, 10 24). PNC anuncia caza de 309 líderes de clicas. El Diario de Hoy, p. 16;

    International Crisis Group. (2012). Reforma policial en Guatemala: obstáculos y oportunidades. Informe sobre América Latina N°43. Bruselas.

  • 24. Martínez Ventura, J. (2005). Límites democráticos al poder penal: Reformas de la seguridad pública y la justicia penal. San Salvador, El Salvador: FESPAD Ediciones;

    Rodríguez Barrillas, A., & Peréz Castillo, G. (2005). Transparentando el Plan Escoba. Análisis de la estrategia policial en relación con las pandillas juveniles en Guatemala. Revista centroamericana justicia penal y sociedad, 22, 11-84.

  • 25. Cruz, J. M. (2011). Government Responses and the Dark Side of Gang Supression. En T. Bruneau, L. Dammart, & E. Skinner, Maras. Gang violence and Security in Central America (págs. 137-157). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • 26. See, for instance, Marroquín, 2012, 8 22.
  • 27. Martínez, C., & Sanz, J. L. (2011, 10 13). El barrio roto. Capítulo 1. Todas las muertes del Cranky. Retrieved 10 13, 2011, from El Faro: http://www.salanegra.elfaro.net/es/201110/cronicas/5645//es/201110/cronicas/5645/
  • 28. Interview with the leader of the 18St. San Salvador, April 17th, 2011. This is not strange taking into account the fluent contacts Salvadoran migrants maintain with relatives in their homeland.
  • 29. The National Civil Police in El Salvador have done an extensive exercise of geographically mapping the cliques, their relationships in the form of programs and canchas, and their relationships with different cliques in the USA.
  • 30. Dudley, S. S. (2010, May). Drug Trafficking Organizations in Central America: Transportistas, Mexican Cartels and Maras. Working Paper Series on U.S.-Mexico Security Collaboration. Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars & University of San Diego.
  • 31. Munguía Payes dismissed the analyses of academics and left-wing NGOs, who claimed that 25-30% of homicides were attributable to gangs. Castillo, B. (2011, 11 29). ‘Munguía Payés declara la “Guerra al crimen”. Diario CoLatino, p. 4.
  • 32. Martínez, C., & Sanz, J. L. (11 de 9 de 2012). El Faro. Recuperado el 12 de 9 de 2012, de La nueva verdad sobre la tregua entre pandillas: http://www.salanegra.elfaro.net/es/201209/cronicas/9612/
  • 33. Trasladan de Zacatraz a la cúpula de la MS y 18. (14 de 3 de 2012). Recuperado el 15 de 3 de 2012, de Diario de Hoy: http://www.elsalvador.com/mwedh/nota/nota_completa.asp?idCat=47859&idArt=6729759
  • 34. Saenz, J. L., & Martínez, C. (2012, 5 14). El trabajo de monseñor Colindres y Raúl Mijango era una pieza de mi estrategia. Retrieved 5 14, 2012, from El Faro: http://www.salanegra.elfaro.net/es/201205/entrevistas/8541/
  • 35. Marroquín, D. (2012, 3 16). Homicidios han comenzado a reducirse, según ministro. Recuperado el 17 de 3 de 2012, de El Diario de Hoy: http://www.elsalvador.com/mwedh/nota/nota_completa.asp?idCat=47859&idArt=6735674;

    Marroquín, D. (2012, 8 22). ‘Matan a dos supuestos cabecillas de mara’. El Diario de Hoy, p. 23

  • 36. This strong fall in homicides rates has been questioned by some actors as a possible manipulation by the government. However police data show a systematic fall in murder rates and it is not clear in how far government officials have the capacity to manipulate these records; even more so in a situation where the police are very distrustful about the truce. However, the interpretation of the lowering of homicide rates is complicated by the increasing number of disappearances. There are no clear data available about missing persons, but occasionally clandestine mass graves are being found.
  • 37. Mijango, R., & Colindres, F. (23 de 11 de 2012). Pronunciamiento a la nación de Raúl Mijango y Fabio Colindres. Comunicado: el 22 de noviembre de 2012. Recuperado el 7 de 12 de 2012, de Crónicas Guanacas: http://cronicasguanacas.blogspot.com/2012/11/pronunciamiento-la-nacion-de-raul.html
  • 38. Sanz, J. L., & Dada, C. (2013, 7 30). Lo que debilitó la tregua es la falta de respuesta económica y social del gobierno. Retrieved 7 31, 2013, from El Faro: http://www.salanegra.elfaro.net/es/201307
  • 39. Serrano, I. (17 de 9 de 2013). Mijango: La tregua ha caminado gracias a los pandilleros, nadie más ha hecho nada. Recuperado el 17 de 9 de 2013, de La Página: http://www.lapagina.com.sv/nacionales/81718/2013/05/15/Mijango-La-tregua-ha-caminado-gracias-a-los-pandilleros-nadie-mas-ha-hecho-nada
  • 40. ‘Pandillas desconocen nueva tregua y dicen que “únicos” mediadores son Mijango y Colindres’; El Faro, April 30th, 2014. Accessed through: http://www.salanegra.elfaro.net/es/201404/cronicas/15324/
  • 41. Group interview with leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha and the different fractions of the 18th Street Gang; February 20th, 2014.

Fuente: http://www.thebrokeronline.eu/Articles/Anti-gang-policies-and-gang-responses-in-the-Northern-Triangle?utm_source=The+Broker&utm_campaign=b6ab398d42-2014_07July_Monthly&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ce1057f088-b6ab398d42-236511853

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Drugs and violence in the Northern Triangle – Two sides of the same coin?

Pien  Metaal, Liza ten Velde | July 03, 2014

The upsurge in violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle is often named in one breath with the drugs market. Although apparently obvious describing an illegal trade that has met with exclusively repressive state responses, assumptions on cause and effect are frequently flawed or blurred. While 2014 may present new opportunities in the growing global debate on alternatives for the failed War on Drugs – for example, Guatemala’s initiative to discuss the outcome of an OAS-led study, which considers a series of options for drug policy reform 1, at a meeting in Guatemala in September 2014, and the ongoing preparations for a Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016 (insisted upon by several Latin American countries) – a serious policy debate on what role drug policies can play in stemming the violence in Central America is pending. Nowadays, national governments – and the US in particular – and the international community still apply old recipes, in spite of evidence showing that these interventions are predominantly counterproductive and trends suggest that criminal violence will continue to escalate.

 

The Northern Triangle trilogy

This article is part of a trilogy on the security threats facing the Northern Triangle, that includes Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. These countries are challenged by the highest levels of youth violence in the world, the highest homicide rates, powerful drug trading groups, weak institutions and political crime. The influx of migrants in the United States reflects the instability in Central-American countries, as people flee to escape violence and poor living conditions. Many national, regional and international strategies have been developed to combat the region’s biggest threats in an integrated way, but often they have been counterproductive.

This trilogy therefore address each of the problems separately – the drug trade, gang wars and corruption – in order to untangle their causal relationship. All three articles present an overview of the security problems and their causes, the different strategies that have been developed to counter the proliferation of drugs, gangs and corruption, and evaluate their success.

This article on the relationship between drugs and violence, by Pien Metaal and Liza ten Velde of the Transnational Institute, untangles the relationship between the drug industry and high homicide rates for more effective violence reducing policies. The article on illicit networks by Ivan Briscoe of the Clingendael Institute sheds light on the intertwined structures of patrimonial relationships and the development of the state after the civil wars in the Northern Triangle, creating a criminal complexion of governments. And the article on anti-gang policies and gang responses by Chris van der Borgh of the University of Utrecht and Wim Savenije of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, set out the gang phenomenon and how it’s evolution has been shaped by ineffective policies.

Iron Fist Strategies

In 2012 Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina called on regional leaders to consider drug market regulation and proposed other alternative drug policies as a way out of the violence crisis. He received the support of a few other Latin-American leaders, which eventually produced an OAS-led analytical report 2, to be used as input for the high level OAS meeting in Guatemala next September. At the UN General Assembly last September Perez Molina explained his motives by saying: “Since the start of my government, we have clearly affirmed that the war on drugs has not yielded the desired results and that we cannot continue doing the same thing and expecting different results”. There are also other signs of changed discourse, of finding ways to apply harm reduction perspectives to the security issue, which have also been seen in recent UN policy documents. 3 This change was long overdue, as widespread Iron Fist strategies (aggressive and repressive state responses, also known as mano dura) have proven quite ineffective and even counterproductive as a policy response to the escalation of local criminal activities. Often directed at those operating on the drugs market and gangs (maras), these strategies have also led to alarming prison overpopulation.

The region – together with the Caribbean – has seen all kinds of clandestine traffic: drugs, people, weapons, animals and many other goods are shipped, driven, flown and even walked in and over the isthmus. Due to its geographical position between South and North America, Central America has a long history of illicit trade.  Particularly significant is that the neighbouring regions, the Andean region in the South and Mexico and the US in the North, either produce the bulk of the world’s cocaine, significant amounts of cannabis, and some heroin, or constitute a huge drug consumption market. It should be no surprise that decades of this trade and the unintended consequences of the strategies applied to counter it have contributed to a high concentration of its worse characteristics in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  These countries, each for specific reasons, are now facing the powerful presence and influence of several high profile drug traffic organizations (DTOs), like Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel,  in their territory, which they are simply unable to control.

Balloon effects

The 1990s saw shifts in the routes and strategies used to organize drug traffic to avoid detection and be effective in bridging drugs from South America to the huge North American and European markets. These changed traffic patterns were brought about by reshuffled and renewed groups dedicated to the business, and were in part a response to policies in other regions that had been more or less successful in reducing, dividing or expelling trafficking networks from their territory. These DTOs needed to find less effectively controlled territory and establish new local partnerships, eventually leading them to move into Central America. The Mexican military crackdown on DTOs in 2006, led by its President Felipe Calderón, is a perfect illustration of this ‘balloon effect’, previously experienced by Mexico itself after closing of the Caribbean routes in the early 1990s, and especially with the implementation of Plan Colombia at the end of the that decade.

In Mexico, as in Colombia in the 1980s and early 1990s, the cocaine economy gave a strong impetus to the country’s criminal networks and contributed to a wave of rival violence among criminal organizations aiming to strengthen and consolidate their control of key smuggling routes. Mexico’s criminal trafficking groups, with the possible exception of the Sinaloa cartel, may well be following the Colombian pattern of dispersion and fragmentation. Mexican DTOs – especially Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Federation – have definitely expanded their operational territory into Central America, where they control parts of Honduran and Guatemalan rural and border regions.

Drugs and violence: a causal relationship?

Both El Salvador and Guatemala have been experiencing higher murder rates than those recorded during the civil wars in these countries, which ended in the mid-1990s. It is, however, Honduras – despite having been spared the kind of bloody civil wars experienced by its neighbours – that currently occupies first place on worldwide homicide rate rankings (see the figure below.  For these three countries in particular, but also in the rest of the region, the high number of homicides and violent confrontations of the past decade are related to the settling of scores (ajustes de cuentas) and territorial disputes or rivalry between DTOs. But the high homicide rates are also fuelled by police and military interventions that destabilize DTOs and illicit markets, with increased competition and clashes as a result. Exactly to what extent violence in the Northern Triangle is specifically drug-related is thus unfortunately extremely difficult to determine.

It has been argued, for example, that in Honduras the political struggles following the 2009 coup have resulted in links between law enforcement, security forces, politicians and organized criminals to shift to such an extent that distinguishing between drug violence and politically motivated violence has become next to impossible. 4 Furthermore, the quality of homicide typology data – to the extent that they are available at all – is highly variable, making it difficult to determine the share of reported homicides that is related to organized crime or gangs. By extension, with DTOs being a particular type of criminal organization and gangs becoming increasingly involved in the drug trade, it is even more difficult to obtain reliable statistics on the extent to which homicides in the Northern Triangle are related to drug trafficking.

On a related note, the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other analyses have argued that drug-related lethal violence is prompted first and foremost by changes in drug markets, rather than by trafficking levels per se, as with the above mentioned ajustes de cuentas. It seems that at least part of the drug-related homicides in Central America can be attributed to such threats to the status quo, either in the form of growing efforts by law enforcement agencies to counter drugs, or changes in the quantity of drugs being trafficked through the region, which causes criminal organizations to vehemently fight for control of territory and markets. 5

These clashes among DTOs, and between DTOs and law enforcement agencies, are thus to a large extent the cause of the region’s high homicide rates, a fact that is all too often overlooked by media outlets eager to portray violent gang members operating under the influence of drugs as the most important ‘sources’ of violence. Although research shows drug consumption patterns are higher amongst people that commit crimes, and drug use rates are also higher within the prison population, it does not support the thesis that drug consumers commit more violent crimes.

A remarkable development of relevance in the debate on the relationship between drugs and violence in the Northern Triangle is the diversification of DTO activities, which has increased notably over the last few years. 6 These organizations have found activities such as extortion, human smuggling and trafficking, kidnapping and weapons smuggling to be very profitable, in some cases causing a partial shift away from drug trafficking. Eliminating the illegal drug trade, by regulating the market, or allowing DTOs to traffic drugs through Central America via ‘a corridor’ to the US, one of the original proposals by Pérez Molina, could definitely contribute, but does not offer the panacea the region is looking for in its attempts to counter its high levels of violence.  This diversification of DTO activities is an additional argument that should motivate policy-makers to change the prevalent habit of equating – often without question – drug trafficking to high violence rates, and look at underlying historical and socioeconomic variables instead.

The need for attention to socioeconomic causes of involvement with organized crime is further supported by the fact that the people mainly involved in the illicit drug economy – the human beings behind the homicide figures – are predominantly young and male. Most have a marginal educational background and come from the lowest income groups. They constitute an apparently endless army to be tapped from in this continued cat and mouse game between law enforcement and DTOs. Continued repatriation of gang members from the US to the countries of the Northern Triangle assures that the ranks keep growing.

Assistance and prevailing strategies

Unsurprisingly, the United States plays an important role in the security problems troubling the Northern Triangle, currently expressed in the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Originating from the Mérida Initiative – which also included Mexico and the Caribbean – CARSI is designed to build upon existing strategies and programmes, spending US$ 496 million (from 2008 to 2013) on Central America alone. 7 All CA countries have been added to the US administrations’ list of major drug transporters or producers, and narcotics interdiction and law enforcement take the lion’s share of CARSI aid, emphasizing the provision of technical support, equipment and training to local police drug squads and the creation of often military style Special Forces.

Not to be overlooked in this regard is the rather alarming track record of the region’s security and police forces. 8 The involvement of these forces in human rights abuses, corruption and other illegal activities and their cooperation with organized crime is widely documented. Coupled with the largely unsuccessful plans for reform of law enforcement and vetting procedures, we might conclude that the current focus providing support for the military and police is quite risky, if not outright detrimental to the security situation of Central America. And as said above, one of the most important lessons to be drawn from recent experiences in the Americas is that Iron Fist approaches with an emphasis on arrests and drug interdictions often lead to substantial spikes in violence as the drug trade is disrupted, alliances shift and territorial control is disputed. Some initial discussion is emerging on alternative approaches, proposing shifts in focus for law enforcement and drugs markets. 9

All in all, we can thus see a continuation of the Northern Triangle governments’ prevailing mano dura strategies, while these have proved to be remarkably ineffective in stemming the proliferation of violence in the region. Even though Mexico’s militarization of its battle against crime has been widely criticized for its contribution to human rights abuses and violence, it is precisely this strategy which is now being applied and internationally supported in the Northern Triangle. In Guatemala, for example, in spite of calling for alternative approaches in the war on drugs, the president has simultaneously broadened military involvement in anti-crime operations while supporting aggressive approaches to drug trafficking. 10 

Redirecting violence reduction strategies

Undoubtedly, the drug market plays a critical role in the criminal violence in the Northern Triangle. But it should be clear that this role is all too often grossly overestimated, supported by stereotypes and superficial assumptions about causal chains. Prevailing drug trafficking control measures often exacerbate violence levels and, though recognized as such, they are still widely applied. An open debate on alternative approaches to drug trafficking and violence needs to continue, considering and discussing harm reduction strategies on law enforcement. Examples to reduce criminal violence can be found in Uruguay, which recently introduced cannabis regulations. In Jamaica, Belize and Puerto Rico cannabis is increasingly being decriminalized. In Nicaragua, the introduction of community policing has reduced violence within communities. And in El Salvador, the government is encouraging negotiations between market actors. It is of the utmost importance that this rhetoric is soon supported by concrete changes in drug policies, legislation and practice, promoted by a shift in the focus of international aid, so as to redirect the Northern Triangle’s violence reduction strategies.

Co-readers

Juan Tokatlian, director of the department of political science and international studies at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires.

And Mabel Gonzalez Bustelo, journalist, researcher and advisor on international security.

Photo credit main picture: Nick Leonard – Cocaine ‘Factory’ in Colombia

Footnotes

  • 1. The following proposals from Central America were tabled at a regional summit in April 2012:  Firstly, to intensify interdiction efforts while introducing a funding mechanism through which the value of seized drug shipments would be reimbursed by the consuming end destination country. The US, for example, would pay 50% of the US market price for any kilogram of cocaine intercepted in Guatemala, in compensation for the high social costs and law enforcement expenditure of drug control efforts in transit countries. Secondly, the establishment of a Central American Penal Court for drug trafficking offences with regional jurisdiction and its own prison system, to relieve the national criminal justice systems from the high burden of prosecution and incarceration for drug law offences. Thirdly, the ‘depenalization’ of the transit of drugs by the establishment of a corridor through which cocaine could flow unhindered from South to North America without destabilizing the whole region in between. And finally, the creation of a legal regulatory framework covering production, trade and consumption of drugs, without providing further details about how such a regulated market would work or the possibility of varying mechanisms for different drugs. For an overview of current debates in Latin America on alternatives for current policies see http://www.tni.org/article/latin-america-debates-alternatives-current-drug-policy.
  • 2. Organization of American States, Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, and Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas 2013-2025, both May 17, 2013.
  • 3. UN Regional Human Development Report 2013-2014: Citizen Security with a Human Face: Proposals for Latin America. In one of its recommendations it refers to “Tackling drug use as a public health problem through prevention, treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation programmes”.  P32 of the executive summery.
  • 4. Bull, B. (2011). In the shadows of globalization: drug violence in Mexico and Central America, NOREFhttp://www.peacebuilding.no/Regions/Latin-America-and-the-Caribbean/Latin-America-and-global-trends2/Publications/In-the-shadows-of-globalisation-drug-violence-in-Mexico-and-Central-America
  • 5. UNODC (2011). Global Study on Homicide: Trends, Contexts, Data, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • 6. Garzón, J.C., Olinger, M., Rico, D.M. & Santamaría, G. (2013). The Criminal Diaspora: The Spread of Transnational -Organized Crime and How to Contain its Expansion, Wilson Center Latin American Program.
  • 7. US Department of State: Central America Regional Security Initiative http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/carsi/
  • 8. Meyer, P.J. & Ribando Seelke, C. (2012). World Report 2012: Events of 2011, Human Rights Watch.
  • 9. Garzon Vergara, J. (2014). Local Markets for Illegal Drugs: Impacts, Trends, and New Approaches, Wilson Center. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/local_markets

    Siglo21 (2012). Inauguran dos bases militares en Día del Ejército, 30 June 2012. http://www.s21.com.gt/node/246811

    Bird, A. (2012). Return of the death squads, Red Pepper, June/July 2012, Issue 184.

    Zinecker, H. (2012). Más muertos que en la guerra civil, El enigma de la violencia en Centroamérica.

    Costa, G. (2012). Citizen Security in Latin America. Inter-American Dialogue Latin America Working Group, February 2012.

  • 10. Latin American Newsletters (2012). Pérez Molina shifts gear on  drugs. Latin American Security & Strategic Review, June 2012.

Fuente: http://www.thebrokeronline.eu/Articles/Drugs-and-violence-in-the-Northern-Triangle?utm_source=The+Broker&utm_campaign=b6ab398d42-2014_07July_Monthly&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ce1057f088-b6ab398d42-236511853

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Piden al Congreso auditar el “tasón“

3 de Julio de 2014

09:42PM  –  Redacción   

 

Instituciones del Estado comparecerán la próxima semana sobre ejecución de fondos.

La Policía no ha logrado reponer toda la chatarra pese a los ingresos que genera la tasa de seguridad poblacional.
La Policía no ha logrado reponer toda la chatarra pese a los ingresos que genera la tasa de seguridad poblacional.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Diversos sectores de la sociedad civil han solicitado una auditoría aparte sobre el uso de los dineros de la tasa de seguridad poblacional en el marco de las audiencias públicas que celebrará el Congreso Nacional sobre la ejecución presupuestaria del primer semestre.

Las audiencias se inician el próximo lunes con la presentación de informes de los funcionarios del Gabinete Económico, que darán a conocer un panorama general de la economía del país.

Posteriormente, el turno le corresponde a las Secretarías de Seguridad y de Defensa, en comparecencias separadas. Cada responsable de estas instituciones dará a conocer el apoyo recibido con fondos provenientes de la tasa de seguridad poblacional.

Los representantes de la sociedad civil que han sido invitados para participar en las audiencias consideran necesaria la comparecencia del Comité Ejecutivo que administra la tasa de Seguridad para exponer ante el Congreso cómo se han invertido los fondos de ese fideicomiso.

La opinión es que los fondos de la tasa de seguridad deberían estar fortaleciendo a la Policía Nacional, al Ministerio Público y al Poder Judicial ya que estas instituciones carecen hasta de equipo logístico.

Sin embargo, estas instituciones siguen sufriendo carencias, por ejemplo, la Policía Nacional hace levantamientos en motos porque no tiene carros para transportar al personal de servicio. Igual, los fiscales de turno se desplazan a jalón y los jueces no disponen de medidas de seguridad pese a que abordan casos del crimen organizado, lo que supone riesgos a sus vidas.

Fuente: http://www.elheraldo.hn/pais/725814-331/piden-al-congreso-auditar-el-tas%C3%B3n

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Exportaciones caen 4% al primer semestre

3 julio, 2014 – 9:18 PM

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En el primer trimestre del 2014 las exportaciones del país cayeron en cuatro por ciento, en comparación con el mismo periodo del año anterior, afectando la balanza comercial informó este jueves el presidente del Banco Central de Honduras (BCH), Marlon Tábora.

Los próximos meses es poca la actividad exportadora, a la par, se vienen meses en que los importadores demandan más dólares para prepararse para fin de año.

Tábora expresó que, “las exportaciones se han ido recuperando un poco, pero muy lento a finales del primer semestre. Todavía están por debajo de lo que nosotros tenemos previsto para finales del año”.

“Hay una reducción cerca del cuatro por ciento, lo cual afecta el déficit en la cuenta corriente y desde luego, eso genera algún tipo de presión sobre el tipo de cambio. Sin embargo, es parte del comportamiento cíclico”, que se produce cada año.

Honduras espera que las exportaciones se levanten a partir de octubre de este año, mes en que comienza la cosecha y exportación de café, producto en el que el país ha puesto las esperanzas de un despegue económico.

En el Programa Monetario del BCH, presentado en mayo pasado, el precio del aromático se proyecta entre 142 y 171 dólares el quintal, en contraste, con el aumento del precio del petróleo que drena las divisas mediante la importación de carburantes.

Pero se espera que otros productos, como el aceite de palma y la producción azucarera, ayuden en el tema de las exportaciones, según Tábora la caída está dentro de los parámetros del gobierno. (JB)

Fuente: http://www.latribuna.hn/2014/07/03/exportaciones-caen-4-al-primer-semestre/

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Inician guerra por reglas de índices

3 julio, 2014 – 9:05 PM

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Estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH) iniciaron este jueves con las medidas de protesta en contra de medidas impuestas por las autoridades, en las que según ellos los excluyen de la educación.

Los estudiantes se muestran en desacuerdo con nuevas normativas que les estarían imponiendo las autoridades universitarias.

Los jóvenes con cartelones dieron a conocer que les están exigiendo el 70 por ciento de promedio académico para aprobar las clases, además que quien no alcanza esos promedios queda fuera de matrícula.

“Los estudiantes no vamos a permitir esos atropellos a nuestros derechos a la educación y que las autoridades universitarias nos están limitando”, describen en los rótulos instalados en los espacios de la UNAH.

De su lado, las autoridades, informaron que esas medidas por las que hacen los reclamos los estudiantes, aún no han sido aprobadas y esperan en las próximas horas dar una versión oficial. (ECA)

Fuente: http://www.latribuna.hn/2014/07/03/inician-guerra-por-reglas-de-indices/

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3 heridos en desalojo en finca

3 julio, 2014 – 8:53 PM

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Tres personas resultaron heridas en el desalojo realizado este jueves en las plantaciones de palma africana en la finca Paso Aguán, ubicada en la aldea de Panamá, en la margen izquierda en la jurisdicción de Trujillo.

Tres personas resultaron heridas en desalojo en la finca de palma africana en el Bajo Aguán.

Esta finca fue desalojada la semana pasada y entregada a su propietario corporación Dinant, pero hoy la misma fue tomada nuevamente por lo que un contingente de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (Fusina) procedió al desalojo.

Según informaron las autoridades quisieron dialogar con los ocupantes, pero estos no cedieron, por lo que las autoridades precisaron al uso de gases y los ocupantes lanzaron piedras y tiraron garrotazos a los uniformados, por lo que las fuerzas del orden se defendieron, saliendo heridas cinco ocupantes de la finca, mientras que la Policía reporta tres miembros golpeados, así como daños a las unidades motorizadas.

Los heridos fueron trasladados al hospital San Isidro de Tocoa, e identificados como Mariano Baquedano, José Isaías Sánchez Hernández y David Ponce.

Por su parte, el director de relaciones corporativas de corporación Dinant, Roger Pineda, dijo que asistieron a una reunión con los representantes de la directiva de este movimiento campesino, bajo el entendido que iban a escuchar las necesidades sociales que la comunidad pudiera tener.

Sin embargo, “fuimos a discutir exclusivamente la posibilidad de que la empresa vendiera la finca, esto ya había sido claramente expresado a dicho movimiento como algo que no iba a ser discutido”.

Lamentablemente a pesar de los esfuerzos de la empresa de poder identificar necesidades sociales sobre las cuales la empresa pudiera poder ayudar a dicho movimiento o la comunidad que dicen representar; los directivos se enfocaron en propuestas irracionales de “compra” de la misma.

Fuente: http://www.latribuna.hn/2014/07/03/3-heridos-en-desalojo-en-finca/

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Continúa la criminalización de la lucha por la tierra en el Aguán

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Tegucigalpa.

Dos heridos con arma de fuego, dos con arma contusa y siete detenidos, entre ellos un menor de edad, es el saldo del brutal desalojo ejecutado por elementos del la Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta Xatruch III, en la comunidad de Panamá, Trujillo, Colón.

La información brindada por miembros del Observatorio Permanente de Derechos Humanos del Aguán, OPDHA, expresa que José Isaías Sánchez Méndez (36), tiene heridas con arma de fuego en el tórax, a la altura de la clavícula izquierda, y David Ponce está herido en el abdomen.

Mientras que Mariano Baquedano y Roger Rodríguez fueron heridos con arma contusa. Los cuatro campesinos fueron trasladados al Hospital de Tocoa, Colón.

Los elementos armando capturaron al menor de edad Ricardo Rodas (16), José Chávez Aranda (60) hermano de Gregorio Chávez secuestrado, asesinado y enterrado en la Finca Paso Aguán en julio 2012; también está detenido Jorge Meléndez (46), Moisés Meléndez (56), Omar Hernán Ocampo (con golpe en la cabeza), y Jeremías Cruz, que es miembro del OPDHA, pese a que fue antes del medio que los privaron de su libertad, hasta en horas de la tarde fueron presentados en la jefatura policial de Trujillo.

Al cerca de 300 elementos entre militares y policías en horas de la mañana interrumpieron el día de unas 200 familias, cuando empezaron a lanzar bombas lacrimógenas para desalojarlos de la finca Paso Aguán, y dispararon sus armas para someterlos, luego de que ayer a las cuatro de la tarde procedieron a la recuperación de esas tierras.

“Llegaron como a las 6:15 de la mañana, nos fuimos al monte, porque ellos deseaban matarnos a todos, y a los que capturaron están sufriendo las consecuencias”, expresó Jaime Cabrera, coordinador de la Plataforma Agraria del Bajo Aguán.

Dos centenares de personas se reunieron horas después del desalojo, y se procedió a la toma de carretera que conecta a Tocoa con la margen izquierda, exigiendo justicia ante el derramamiento de sangre, pues más de cien personas han sido asesinadas en esta lucha por la recuperación de la tierra, que inició en el año 2010.

El desalojo ejecutado por acciones de la Operación Xatruch al mando del coronel René Jovel Martínez, la Policía Nacional, permitió que los guardias de seguridad privada de la corporación DINAT, propiedad del terrateniente Miguel Facussé, quedaran custodiando la finca, tras el ataque contra familias del Movimiento Campesino “Gregorio Chávez”, ubicada en la margen izquierda del río Aguán en Trujillo, Colón.

Los afectados aseguran que no se presentó ninguna orden de desalojo, tampoco recuerdan que hubiera presencia del Ministerio Público. Y que además los militares fueron cuatro cuadras más allá de las tierras en recuperación, se metieron hasta la comunidad, donde capturaron a algunos compañeros.

En estas acciones las fuerzas armadas tratan de criminalizar la lucha por el derecho a la tierra; mientras los militares y policías llegan con sus armas de fuego, escudos, cascos y toletes, los y las campesinas contestan con el conocimiento que tienen sobre sus derechos humanos, y la aplicación en defensa de sus compañeros y compañeras.

Y prueba de ellos es el acompañamiento de parte del OPDHA, cuyos integrantes permanecen en el hospital, jefatura policial y la finca, para documentar e informar sobre lo que sucede, de tal modo que estos hechos no queden en el anonimato ni la impunidad.

Parte de la formación que reciben los y las defensoras de derechos humanos en esa zona del país, es propiciada por el Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH, que en esos días inicia un nuevo proceso de formación en la defensa y procuraduría de los DDHH.

Fuente: http://www.defensoresenlinea.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3214:continua-la-criminalizacion-de-la-lucha-por-la-tierra-en-el-aguan&catid=54:den&Itemid=171

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Honduras, niñez, derechos y exclusión

2014-07-03

Honduras

Luis Méndez

Clasificado en:   Cultura: Cultura, |   Política: DerechosHumanos, |   Internacional: Internacional, Migracion, |   Social: Social, Ninez, Violencia, |
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Puntura de Luis Méndez
 “Migrar es un derecho, ser expulsado de tu país debería de ser un delito
A.L
Ante la masiva expulsión de niñas y niños a los Estados Unidos,  la situación de la niñez en Honduras está siendo abordada como un problema coyuntural y no como una crisis estructural de los desgobiernos de los últimos 32 años de regímenes “democráticos”,  instaurados a partir de la constituyente de 1981-1982, que han impregnado una alta dosis de violencia de Estado hacia la población infantil más vulnerable, excluida y marginada de los derechos que el Estado mismo dice reconocer, suscribir y respetar. Represión y exclusión hacía la niñez que se profundizó con el Golpe de Estado político–militar de junio del 2009.
 
“De acuerdo con datos de Casa Alianza, de los 3.7 millones de jóvenes menores de 18 años que existen en Honduras, un millón no está yendo a la escuela, 500 mil están siendo explotados laboralmente y unos ocho mil viven en las calles. En 2013, 2 mil niños de 12 años  tuvieron que abandonar los estudios por amenazas de muerte y 17 mil familias tuvieron que abandonar sus domicilios por la misma razón”[1]
Hace 25 años, (1989), Casa Alianza fundó la primera “Casa Transición”, Casa que tuve la oportunidad de acompañar en sus primeros pasos fundacionales, se pensó como un espacio de hogar transitorio conceptualizado como etapa previa para que las niñas y los niños que llegaban al “Refugio”, pasaran meses después a  la “Casa Transición”, para luego dar paso a un hogar más estructurado que, temporalmente sustituyera la calle, posibilitará espacios de convivencia, armonía, seguridad, confianza y, sobretodo, espacios cálidos y fraternos.  Así se fundaron las casas “San Patricio”, Casa “Santiago” y Casa “Santa Elena”
Para ese entonces, el desgobierno y sus fuerzas represoras acusaban a Casa Alianza de ser un lugar para esconder “delincuentes”, “resistoleros” “marihuaneros” y otros apelativos discriminatorios en contra de esta población desplazada de sus hogares, barrios y colonias, por la misma desigualdad provocada por el sistema político, económico y social que privilegió los intereses de la empresa privada y sus grupos corporativos y la política neoliberal de principios del noventa consolidada bajo el liderazgo de uno de los “presidentes”, más depredadores del Estado de Honduras, Rafael Leonardo Callejas, (solo comparado en cuanto al saqueo y venta de la soberanía con el actual “presidente”, Juan Orlando Hernández), a este personaje, (Callejas), el sistema de justicia le otorgó el gigantesco  “combo a la impunidad”, de 17 cartas de libertad. 
Desde finales de la década del 80, la policía ha dado y continúa ejerciendo persecución, hostigamiento y muerte a la niñez y juventud más vulnerable, esto como parte de un proyecto perverso de “limpieza social”, que hoy toma un nuevo matiz, la migración forzada infantil.
Ante la oleada de violencia que ubica a Honduras como el país más violento del mundo, 86 asesinatos por cada 100 000 habitantes es más que evidente plantear que este país centroamericano vive en “una guerra suave”, de baja intensidad, legitimada por una “pseudo-democracia”, en que la niñez y la juventud no tienen derechos, ni identidad colectiva como niños, niñas y jóvenes, menos el derecho a la felicidad. Hechos que provocan que las y los niños no solo abandonen sus casas sino el país, migrar al precio que sea porque en el imaginario y en la vida real de un niño y de una niña expulsada del hogar, la escuela y la comunidad es más seguro cualquier país del mundo con tal que no sea esta Honduras de Golpes, latrocinio y despojo.
 Años más tarde, tuvimos otras aproximaciones al trabajo con la niñez, (1992 – 1997, trabajando con la Asociación Compartir, http://www.compartirhonduras.org/), fundando para ese entonces las bibliotecas de base, bibliotecas comunitarias, la biblioteca móvil e intentando desde estos espacios lúdicos – pedagógicos la atención y el retorno de las y los niños a sus hogares, en el mejor de los casos reteniéndoles en los barrios para evitar que fuesen expulsados hacía la calle. En este marco, se implementaron iniciativas artísticas y literarias: la lectura, la literatura infantil, la videoteca y la expresión teatral como elementos creativos y lúdicos para posibilitar a la niñez y adolescencia espacios para la cultura, a la felicidad como parte de la dignidad que el Estado les arrebata.
Para lograr el retorno de las y los niños a su hogar y poder retenerles dignamente en la comunidad, la Asociación Compartir buscó abordar integralmente la situación. Para ese entonces se organizaron otros componentes de intervención, atención a la primera infancia, a menores trabajadores, la organización de Comité de Familias de Barrio, COFABA y, desde esos espacios poder construir un puente entre la niñez, la familia y la comunidad.
Retomo en mis apuntes la referencia de Casa Alianza y la Asociación Compartir como dos ejemplos de compromiso ético por el bienestar de la niñez, como organizaciones consecuentes con la vida de cientos de niños y niñas, coherentes con eso que el Estado firma pero que no cumple ni respeta, como el artículo 20 de la Convención de los Derechos de los niños y las niñas que señala: “Los niños y las niñas,  temporal o permanentemente privados de su medio familiar o cuyo superior interés exija que no permanezcan en ese medio, tendrán derecho a protección y asistencia especiales del Estado.”
Sin embargo, pese a estas declaraciones, convenios suscritos por el Estado de Honduras, la realidad ha sido y es totalmente contraria y adversa para la población infantil y adolescencia juvenil cuando el Estado mismo es, el principal violador de estos derechos, en consecuencia el responsable principal de la expulsión de miles de niños y niñas hacia Estados Unidos, de la criminalización de la infancia sometida a la pobreza en Honduras.
El desgobierno de Juan Orlando Hernández ha profundizado una política de despojo, saqueo y descuartizamiento de la soberanía territorial con las Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico, ZEDE, cientos de concesiones hidroeléctricas y mineras, la persecución, encarcelamiento y asesinato a personas de los pueblos indígenas, negros, campesinos, pobladores y pobladoras que defienden sus territorios y la vida. De igual manera, en esta coyuntura de migración infantil, el desgobierno de Juan Orlando intenta criminalizar a padres y madres de familia por la migración forzada de miles de niños y niñas, problema que tiene su raíz en las entrañas mismas del capitalismo neoliberal.
En el año 1997, en el marco del Seminario Internacional de LecturaLa lectura un compromiso de todos”,  auspiciado por Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe (CERLALC), encuentro realizado en el marco de la Primera Feria Centroamericana del Libro, San José de Costa Rica, presenté la ponencia, La biblioteca, la lectura y el trabajo  con los niños y niñas viviendo en situación de calle en Honduras. http://www.lecturayvida.fahce.unlp.edu.ar/numeros/a19n1/sumario
 
Al releer este texto, 17 años después me parece que hay elementos importantes que pueden considerarse para aproximarnos a ciertos escenarios:
Primero: Estamos frente a un Estado capturado, con un desgobierno representado por un aspirante a dictador, sobretodo por una mafia empresarial que crea y reproduce las condiciones para expulsar a la niñez de sus hogares, de la escuela y comunidad, avanzando paralelamente con la privatización del agua, de la energía, de la educación, de la salud y de la vida, obligando no solo a la población infantil  a emigrar sino a familias y comunidades enteras, es decir desplazamientos humanos forzosos.
 Segundo: El compromiso de Casa Alianza, la Asociación compartir y otras organizaciones que han asumido un compromiso ético, solidario y político frente a la barbarie de estos sucesivos desgobiernos dan cuenta de que existe otro mundo posible para la niñez y la adolescencia, otros mundos que no sean la calle y la expulsión del país, ver: 
¡Leer para un mundo más justo!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObjNoKljsI0
Promoción de la lectura en Ferias de Identidad
Tercero: Frente al saqueo, expropiación, persecución y amenazas para imponer un modelo de despojo de los territorios, la cultura y la vida, el único camino posible es el de los levantamientos territoriales en defensa de la soberanía de los pueblos, la vida y  la cultura ancestral opuesta al proyecto de barbarie capitalista neocolonial.
Concluyo este apunte con el enlace de la ponencia en mención, de hace 17 años, que apuntan a otros caminos posibles y reiterar eso que se repite a coro y de forma mecanicista en conferencias y conclaves internacionales, proclamado además en la Asamblea General de la ONU, 1959, “dar a los niños y la niñas, lo mejor que la sociedad pueda darles,”:   Luis Méndez. La biblioteca, la lectura y el trabajo con los niños de la calle en Honduras. [2]
 
Iniciamos esa experiencia de fomento de la lectura y la literatura infantil en barrios populares en 1992, hoy la Asociación Compartir continua estos procesos pedagógicos y sociales, proyectos de vida y de solidaridad, de fomento del libro y la lectura donde la Biblioteca Comunitaria, La Biblioteca Móvil y sus programas de promoción y fomento de la lectura posibilitan un derecho históricamente negado a miles de niños y niñas. 
Finalizo este apunte con un pequeño cuento que el niño Duglas Bustillo de 10 años, residente en la Colonia Villanueva escribió en uno de los talleres de creación literaria, en el año 1994, texto publicado en el Libro “La Ballena y el Pececito”:
La mariposa
Había una vez una mariposa,
estaba en una hoja de un árbol
y de pronto llegó un gusano y le atacó;
la mariposa salió volando por el aire y se elevó
en un viento de paja, en un vuelo ligero que casi se muere.
Douglas Bustillo, 10 años, Col. Villanueva
 Notas

 [1]  Niñez migrante de América Central es víctima de abuso al intentar cruzar fronteras, Trucchi, Giorgio, Lista informativa Nicaragua y más. http://nicaraguaymasespanol.blogspot.com/2014/07/ninez-migrante-de-america-central-es.html

[2] A principios de la década del 90 se aceptaba decir niños y niñas en la calle, ahora de habla niñas y niños en situación de calle.

Fuente: http://alainet.org/active/75093

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Según el Gobierno en un 18 % disminuyeron los homicidios en el primer semestre

Los homicidios en Honduras descendieron un 18 % en los primeros seis meses de este año en comparación con el mismo período de 2013, informó hoy el Ministerio de Seguridad.

De acuerdo al informe que presentó el Ministerio de Seguridad, entre enero y junio pasados se registraron 2.838 asesinatos, 624 menos (18 %) que los 3.462 registrados en el mismo lapso de 2013.

Las muertes violentas en Honduras durante el primer semestre del presente año fue de 15,3, con una reducción de 2,6 % en comparación con los primeros seis meses del año pasado, añade el documento.

Enero continúa siendo el mes más violento, con 528 asesinatos y febrero con 434 el menos sangriento, apunta en el escrito de acuerdo al tiempo analizado.

El documento oficial no precisa las causas de la reducción de las muertes en Honduras, aunque el presidente del país, Juan Orlando Hernández, ha puesto en marcha varias medidas para frenar la violencia en la nación, que incluye la creación de nuevas fuerzas de seguridad.

Honduras registró un total de 6.434 asesinatos en 2013, 10,16 % menos respecto a las 7.162 muertes violentas contabilizadas en 2012, según cifras oficiales.

Según las autoridades hondureñas, la cifra de homicidios en 2014 cerrará en alrededor de 4.000, similar a las 4.473 muertes registradas en 2008.

Honduras vive una ola criminal que a diario deja un promedio de 15 muertos, según autoridades locales, que atribuyen buena parte de estos a grupos del narcotráfico y el crimen organizado.

Fuente: http://www.radiohrn.hn/l/noticias/seg%C3%BAn-el-gobierno-en-un-18-disminuyeron-los-homicidios-en-el-primer-semestre

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En 8,8% en divisas bajan exportaciones del café

En los primeros nueve meses de la cosecha 2013-2014 en comparación con el mismo periodo de la temporada anterior las exportaciones de café en Honduras bajaron el 8,8 % en divisas y el 7,8 % en volumen.

Un informe preliminar del Instituto Hondureño del Café (Ihcafe) indicó que las ventas del aromático al extranjero entre octubre de 2013 y junio anterior sumaron 660,5 millones de dólares (8,8 % menos), en relación con la temporada anterior, de 724,3 millones.

En el periodo de referencia se exportaron 4,7 millones de quintales de café (sacos de 46 kilos), frente a los 5,1 millones de quintales del mismo periodo de la cosecha 2012-2013, situación que significa el 7,8 % menos, precisó la entidad.

Durante los nueve meses de la cosecha actual el precio del quintal de café alcanzó un promedio de 140,08 dólares, según el Ihcafe.

El documento del Ihcafe no precisa los motivos de la baja de las exportaciones del grano, aunque Honduras prevé una disminución en la cosecha actual debido a la caída a los daños causados por la roya en muchas fincas del país centroamericano.

Para el cierre de la cosecha 2013-2014 las proyecciones de los caficultores hondureños son exportar unos 6 millones de quintales de café y obtener unos 1.000 millones de dólares en divisas.
En la pasada cosecha 2012-2013, Honduras vendió 5,7 millones de quintales de café y obtuvo 800 millones de dólares, según cifras de Ihcafe.

La actividad cafetalera representa una importante fuente de generación de empleo en Honduras y está en manos de unos 100.000 pequeños productores.

Fuente: http://www.radiohrn.hn/l/noticias/en-88-en-divisas-bajan-exportaciones-del-caf%C3%A9

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Campesinos del Movimiento “Gregorio Chávez” retoman la finca Paso Aguán

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Conexihon).- A pocos días de su desalojo pacífico el Movimiento Campesino “Gregorio Chávez”, conformado por cerca de 400 familias de la comunidad de Panamá, retomó este miércoles en la noche la finca Paso Aguán, un predio de más de 1,300 hectáreas de tierra, ubicada en la margen izquierda del municipio de Trujillo, departamento de Colón.
De acuerdo con las declaraciones Roger Pineda, vocero de Grupo Dinant, el martes reciente se reunieron con dirigentes del Movimiento, donde se “ofreció diversas iniciativas de desarrollo”, pero “querían que los propietarios la vendieran a la fuerza”, algo que calificó como “improcedente”.
En declaraciones a Conexihon, el coronel Rene Jovel Martínez, Jefe de la Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta Xatruch III recordó que “el 26 de junio fue un desalojo pacifico, entramos a las 6:00 de la mañana, como lo dicta la ley cumpliendo la Constitución de la República y haciendo efectiva la orden de desalojo emitida hace más de 3 semanas por el juez de Trujillo”.
“Llegamos con las autoridades competentes incluso el juez ejecutor, la gente coopero saliéndose de la finca antes de que nosotros llegáramos, no hay personas detenidas hemos motivado a la gente para que saque sus cosas, nadie se opuso al desalojo voluntariamente salieron ellos, esperamos que ahora ellos busquen los canales que correspondan para que sus demandas sean respondidas de manera satisfactoria”. El ejecutivo pidió que las autoridades procedan a un nuevo desalojo, al tiempo que solicitó un destacamento de seguridad pública permanente para brindar seguridad y evitar más invasiones.

Anoche, voceros de los grupos que ocuparon la finca dijeron en algunos medios televisivos que lo que se hizo una “recuperación pacífica” de las que siguen considerando como sus tierras, pues producto de investigaciones hechas por los vecinos de esta comunidad, “se ha descubierto que esta propiedad fue adquirida de manera Ilegal y fraudulenta”. Según se informó, los antiguos dueños de la Finca Paso Aguán fueron objeto de múltiples amenazas y sobornos, al punto tal de obligarlos a vender por mil lempiras por cada hectárea de tierra cultivada de palma africana.
Se recrudece el conflicto 
Se trata de la quinta vez que el grupo campesino toma posesión de la Finca, tres de las cuales han sido víctimas de desalojos violentos por miembros de la Policía Nacional y el Ejército. La más reciente de ellas fue el 26 de junio.
Posteriormente en un comunicado la dirigencia campesina indicó que “la lucha por la tierra donde se ubica la finca Paso Aguán continua y es legítima, luchamos por recuperar lo que un día nos robaron, además lo hacemos porque queremos liberar a nuestra comunidad de más abusos, atropellos y asesinatos por parte de los guardias de seguridad de corporación Dinant”.
“En los años 90 fuimos despojados de nuestras tierra y no renunciaremos a ella porque nos pertenece,  el señor  Miguel Facussé  adquirió estas  tierra de manera fraudulenta e ilegal, con una clara confabulación de Gobierno y los aparatos de justicia” afirmo el dirigente campesino Jaime Cabrera.
Detenidos, pese a las medidas de protección

El pasado 20 de junio a las 5:30 de la tarde el presidente de la Empresa Campesina Gregorio Chávez número 3, Sergio Calix Cálix, Marlon Omar Zelaya y Bairon Leonel Ramírez  en el hospital San Isidro en el municipio de Trujillo, departamento de Colón por el sub comisionado Lanza del departamento de Policía.
De acuerdo al relato, mientras trasladaban a un poblador que necesitaba atención medica  al hospital San Isidro de Tocoa, Colón, los campesinos fueron detenidos sin ninguna orden judicial y trasladados a la posta policial de Trujillo. Entre los detenidos esta Sergio Adalid Calix quien goza de medidas cautelares otorgadas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanaos (CIDH) desde el pasado 8 de mayo del presente año.
Cementerio clandestino
De acuerdo con las denuncias, la Finca Paso Aguán “ha sido utilizada como cementerio clandestino por la guardia de seguridad de corporación Dinant, donde en los últimos años han sido asesinados y enterrado dos campesinos. Gregorio Chávez fue secuestrado el 2 de julio de 2012 y su cuerpo fue hallado enterrado el 7 de julio. Chávez era un delegado de la iglesia católica y una persona muy querida en la comunidad, pobladores de la comunidad de Panamá.
Igualmente, José Antonio López Lara vecino de la comunidad de Rigores despareció el 29 de abril 2012 y su cuerpo fue exhumado el 25 de del 2013, por integrantes de la Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala y Médicos Forenses del país.

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México deportó a más de 300 menores a Honduras en tres días

Agencias / EL LIBERTADOR

Washington. Más de 300 menores hondureños fueron deportados por México desde el pasado viernes, según la organización humanitaria Casa Alianza.

Según Carlos Flores, portavoz de la organización que atiende a los menores que son deportados en su intento de llegar a Estados Unidos, sólo el lunes atendieron a 52 niños y adolescentes que llegaron en autobuses al municipio de Tapachula, en el estado mexicano de Chiapas.

“Los niños vienen en condiciones buenas, aunque un poco decepcionados por no haber llegado a Estados Unidos y un poco cansados por el viaje”, explicó Flores en declaraciones a los medios.

En las últimas semanas, Washington anunció nuevas medidas para hacer frente a la incesante llegada de menores indocumentados provenientes de Centroamérica, lo que ha desatado la crisis migratoria más grave de los últimos años.

Fuente: http://www.ellibertador.hn/?q=article/m%C3%A9xico-deport%C3%B3-m%C3%A1s-de-300-menores-honduras-en-tres-d%C3%ADas-0

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Detienen a empleado de la Universidad Autónoma de Honduras por supuesta corrupción

Redacción Central / EL LIBERTADOR

Tegucigalpa. Por haber cometido desfalco de más de tres millones de lempiras, fue detenido el jefe de Caja de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), Francisco Obando Torres.

El señalado fue aprehendido en los predios de la máxima casa de estudios y trasladado de inmediato a la sede de la Policía de Investigación para ser interrogado.

Autoridades universitarias dijeron que el imputado estaría relacionado con el saqueo de 3.6 millones de lempiras de las arcas de la institución; dieron con Obando luego que investigaran de por qué había faltante de dinero.

Asimismo, señalaron que encontraron boletas de depósito originales y adulteradas firmados por Torres, quien será acusado por los delitos de abuso de autoridad y estafa, entre otros.

Fuente: http://www.ellibertador.hn/?q=article/detienen-empleado-de-la-universidad-aut%C3%B3noma-de-honduras-por-supuesta-corrupci%C3%B3n

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Sólo tres mineros hondureños soterrados dan señales de vida

Redacción-Agencias / EL LIBERTADOR

Tegucigalpa. Bomberos hondureños continúan las labores de rescate de 11 mineros atrapados por un derrumbe en una mina artesanal ubicada 160 km al sur de Tegucigalpa (capital). Informaron que apenas sostienen comunicación con tres de ellos.

Una ola de vecinos y familiares de los mineros soterrados en un túnel a más de 600 metros sobre el nivel del mar en la comunidad de San Juan Arriba, no se ha movido de la zona del derrumbe desde hace casi 12 horas.

Solo un metro y 10 centímetros de tierra separaban en la mañana del jueves a tres de los once obreros atrapados desde la tarde del miércoles en la mina artesanal.

“Se ha llegado a un nivel que tenemos señales, sonidos que se generan desde la parte donde están los mineros atrapados y los rescatistas están generando la extracción de material para poder rescatarlos”, afirmó el jefe de la estatal Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco), Moisés Alvarado.

“Estos compatriotas tienen vida, no sabemos cuantos con certeza pero alrededor de tres personas o más”, indicó.

Bernabé Núñez, uno de los trabajadores que penetró a la mina artesanal, en apoyo a los salvavidas hondureños, manifestó que la situación es difícil, tanto para sus compañeros enterrados como “para nosotros que estamos haciendo labores de rescate y estamos agotados”.

“Se está trabajando con un martillo hidráulico” en un terreno con “mucha inestabilidad” y mucho riesgo porque la entrada a la mina es vertical en una ladera pronunciada, subrayó.

El portavoz de los bomberos de la capital, Oscar Triminio, informó que los hombres fueron identificados como Emilio Muñoz, Bayron Maradiaga y Brayan Escalante.

La mina artesanal San Juan de Arriba no está a cargo de una empresa sino que las personas de comunidades vecinas explotan el oro de manera personal.

En lo que va del año, una persona murió y otra resultó herida en un derrumbe en esta mina, según Triminio.

Fuente: http://www.ellibertador.hn/?q=article/s%C3%B3lo-tres-mineros-hondure%C3%B1os-soterrados-dan-se%C3%B1ales-de-vida

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