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Newsletter No.10 🔊 We recommend you read the edition
- listening to  Sona Jobarteh & Band

Honduras faces increased violence, attempts to return to normal with sports

Over the past week various reports and figures have been released demonstrating the increase in crime in Honduras, while the number of femicides has not decreased, despite stay-at-home measures.

To compound the impact of this, the armed forces have continued to consolidate their power, and people in rural and poor areas are struggling to access healthcare. Read on below for a round up of our coverage from Honduras, and of the news, analysis, and reports that are shedding light on the region’s struggles and resistance.

 📌  The impact of violence on Hondurans

Research conducted at the University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras has found that people in Cortes, the most violent state in Honduras, see violence there as stemming from economic problems and corruption, rather than from gangs.

Further, there has been an increase in violence this month, with robbery accounting for 86% of reported crimes, and the majority of crimes taking place in the street. Only 22.4% of the victims say they denounced the crimes.

😷 Coping with the pandemic

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces in Honduras have been helping to contain the pandemic by handing out food and masks. However, at the same time, they have been denounced for human rights violations and for being unable to bring down the levels of violence during this period. During the pandemic the Armed Forces have continued to consolidate their power, while attempting to cover up their violent actions.

For Armed Forces day this week, we remembered a report the UN released stating there were 22 deaths registered during the 2017 elections in Honduras. The document blames public security forces. We covered this in 2018 for Contracorriente and for The Guardian. We noted that such forces continue to use excessive force to disperse protests.

We’ll have more on the long history of the military in Honduran politics next week!

 📈 Covid-19 cases grow where access to healthcare is limited
Though Hondurans continue to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the country has struggled to reduce the number of daily infections. All states in the center of the country are now impacted by the pandemic.

Here at Contracorriente, we talked to various health specialists in order to understand what is going on. They report that doctors and patients have been denied care at both private and public hospitals.

As with violence, Cortes state also tops the list for the number of Covid-19 deaths. On the other hand, the largest number of deaths of healthcare workers has been in rural areas.

Meanwhile, national holidays set for October have been moved to November, in the hope of being able to benefit from tourism next month, and the money that is spent.
A pregnant woman is taking a quick test at the La Fragua Triage center in El Progreso - the municipality which has been most affected by the pandemic in Yoro state, 22 October 2020. Photo: Deiby Yanes.
  Soccer during Covid-19
On September 26, the Honduran National Soccer League started playing again even though the pandemic has not abated and most teams are in financial straits. There are no fans in the stadiums, and many stadium vendors lost their income because they depended on these games. Soccer is battling a tough opponent in the pandemic.

This week, day six of the matches was suspended because a trainer and five players from Club Deportivo Vida from La Ceiba, in the north, got Covid-19. This coincides with some alarm at the increase in cases in the center of the country.

Read more on this at El Faro’s translation of our article. 

 🎶 Using music to protest
This month, women in Guatemala took to the streets in various cities to demonstrate their rejection of violence against women. The women used musical instruments, handkerchiefs, posters, and masks to reject the high number of femicides in the country. 

Read more on this at Global Voices.

 🔎 Recent Honduran and Central American News
In news this past week, over 2,000 children have been deported back to Honduras during the pandemic. Some 1,137 of those were travelling alone, and 58% of them were deported from Mexico, with 37% deported from the U.S. 

These deportations take place in a context where the U.S. continues to close its land border, refusing migrants and refugees due process or their right to asylum, turning most adults back at the border within two hours.

As Donald Trump and Joe Biden vie for the presidency, the topic has come up in their recent debates. Trump claims that children are being “well taken care of” on the border, while refusing to provide more details. Court-appointed lawyers there are still unable to find the parents of 545 children in detention. Trump pointed at Biden, blaming his previous administration for originally building the cages, while Biden responded that parents had brought their children across the border, and then were separated. Trump has moved to dismantle the Dreamers program, while Biden has said he would secure it. Given Biden’s record while vice-president, and Trump’s record currently as president, migrant activists are still discussing what can really be hoped for from either of them.

Some 138 women in Honduras have been killed during the pandemic. The number is not very different to past years, despite the fact that most people are staying at home. Women like Migdonia Ayestas, who protested the lack of public policies to eradicate sexism in the country, said the femicides were a “question of public health.”

And locals have denounced corruption and climate change as being behind the disappearance of lakes in Honduras. They say local authorities have collaborated with criminal groups to build in the area, and droughts have also seen the lakes dry up. Previously a source of tourism and local drinking water, and providing homes for animals, farmers are now growing some basic crops on the dry land.

Despite the current difficulties in the region, Nestlé has managed to open up a new distribution center in Central America. The building is 12,000 square meters.

Honduras GIF

Stay in touch!
This week, the British ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras, Nick Whittingham, noted  the “incredible investigative” work that we do in a tweet!

We are working on our website, https://contracorriente.red/ this week, so it will likely be down for another few days. But, the great news is that our English section will be more visible and better than ever. We’ll let you know more soon!

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more in-depth analysis and the latest news coming out of Honduras and Central America. We post in English and Spanish.
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Somos un medio digital de periodismo de profundidad que cuenta la realidad de Honduras y la región. Apuesta por la comunicación transmedia para llegar con nuevos contenidos que nos ayuden a cambiar la realidad contándola, analizándola e incomodando a quienes tienen el poder.
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