Curfews and conferences in Copan Ruinas

September 24, 2009

By now much of the world will be aware that there is chaos in Honduras right now. Exiled President Manuel Zelaya has found his way back to Tegucigalpa and is holed up at the Brazilian Embassy.  The interim / defacto / golpista government has responded with what seems to be to be alarming overkill, breaking up protests, shutting airports and borders and putting the entire country under a 24 hour curfew.  While this is supposedly for the protection of the citizens, those same citizens are suffering as people can’t work and can’t get food. Businesses are suffering.

News reports are conflicting.  TV and radio stations have been intermittently shut down leaving those without internet access to get news (propganda?) from those supportive of the current government. Depending on the news source, there have either been no deaths or hundreds; the violence is the result of the raging protesters, or the provocation of the police and army; the vandalism is the work of the pro-Mel groups or a set-up by the golpistas.  Who knows.  I suspect the truth is in the middle somewhere but it is very hard to get an honest report here.  What I do know is that the whole situation is causing significant suffering for the ordinary people here, and the longer the power-hungry leaders in Tegucigalpa continue to refuse to negotiate properly, the more they will suffer and that breaks my heart.

Personally, the situation is causing some difficulties.  I am supposed to be at the conference on Honduras starting tomorrow, and I will, but it has been shortened and will be small as conferees may not be able to get here.  Luckily we came early, before the return of Zelaya, as my sister was visiting and we wanted to chow her Copan.  However it wasn’t so lucky for her as she arrived in San Pedro Sula to catch her flight home just as all airports were closed.  She is still in SPS, holed up in a guesthouse and waiting for the first plane out.

Here in Copan the streets are quiet, but the curfew has not been enforced so we are able to get out and about (and I am able to do my work and blogging from a sun-drenched rooftop cafe!).  I am enjoying the relaxed pace here, and the personal and cheerful service from businesses who are so grateful for my custom, but I would far rather things returned to normal as quickly as possible.  Honduras, and Hondurans, can’t afford this shut-down.

One Response to “Curfews and conferences in Copan Ruinas”

  1. […] the ongoing crisis and curfews the Conference on Honduras went ahead more or less to plan in September, and I presented a brief report on the progress of my […]

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