Newsletter No.28
🗞️ On average, less than 1% of the consumer price for coffee goes to growers, and in Honduras, many of those are children.
🗞️ Hilda Hernández, the now deceased sister of the Honduran president, has been found to have diverted public funds to paying off journalists for positive coverage.
🗞️ On Sunday, Hondurans are going to the polls for primaries that will pick candidates for November’s general election.

The children who harvest your coffee

Photo: Martín Cálix.

The best, export-quality Honduran coffee is grown at 1,600 meters above sea level, say local coffee growers. Much of it is harvested by small hands; children forced by poverty into a lifetime of hard labor. 

Valued at over US$250 billion, the coffee industry “generates profits for investors, added value and taxes for wealthy nations, and yet, coffee is produced by poor children in at least 17 countries,” Fernando Morales-de la Cruz at Cafe for Change told ContraCorriente.

“The business model of the coffee industry is cruel, inhumane, and illegal,” he said, adding, “Coffee multinationals pay growers less than a quarter of the real price of coffee. That causes an increase in hunger, malnutrition, and forced migration. Coffee companies also deceive consumers by selling coffee they claim is fair or ethical, when in fact growers receive less than 1% on average of what consumers pay for a cup of coffee in Europe, Canada, or the United States.”

Nestlé, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, Sucafina, Tchibo, J.J. Darboven, JDE Peets, Lavazza, Illy, Olam, and Dunkin are some of the companies benefiting from child labor in Honduras, according to Cafe for Change.

📸 Check out our photo gallery here.

The odd and large-scale corruption by Hilda Hernández, sister of the Honduran president

The story of Hilda Hernández, the now deceased sister of Honduran president, includes bribing journalists and paying extreme amounts of money for sandwiches.

Hernández, in a recent case by the country’s anti-corruption unit, was found to have used her position as minister to lead a corruption ring that embezzled more than 122 million lempiras (US$5 million) in public funds.

Much of this money was used to pay off over 70 journalists in exchange for favorable coverage for her brother and the government.

Read more about how she managed to do this, and how this affected the media’s portrayal of the government here.

Primaries in Honduras this weekend

Lissi Cano hands out bowls of spaghetti during an event for her postulation to be a candidate for deputy. Photo: Martín Cálix, Contracorriente.

With general elections to be held in November this year, Hondurans are going to the polls on Sunday to choose candidates for three of the main parties.

One of the key topics of the campaigning so far has been the migrant caravans, together with the corruption around pandemic resources, and the rebuilding of areas negatively affected by last year’s hurricanes.

📸 Scroll to the end to see our photo gallery.

Criminalizing Honduran women’s reproductive rights

In Honduras, abortion is illegal under all circumstances, and in 64% of cases, it is the doctors or health care workers who denounce women to the authorities.

That means that women like Gissela (not her real name), who became pregnant at 15, don’t feel comfortable going to doctors for reproductive healthcare. When Gissela eventually had a miscarriage, she says she got no support from her family.

Honduras has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the continent, with 101 births for every 1000 women or girls aged 15 to 19. See our article in Spanish, here.

🎤 Event: Reporting on Migration: Central America

Speakers: Jennifer Ávila - ContraCorriente, Daniela Gerson - Migratory Notes, and Tomás Ayuso - Honduran writer and photojournalist. 

Date and time: March 16 at 11am (AZ Time)

Register here

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This newsletter was written by Tamara Pearson and designed by Catherine Calderón.

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