Statement in support of the resolution presented during the AAA Business Meeting on December 3, in Philadelphia.
This statement asks the AAA membership to vote yes to support progressive forces in Honduras that have been resisting violations of civil and human rights under the de facto regime that took power in a coup d’état on June 28. There are two main reasons for the AAA to act: first, repression in Honduras has specifically and disproportionately affected groups traditionally studied by anthropologists, to whom we as a profession have responsibilities; second, the coup created an atmosphere hostile to research, including anthropological research. There can be no debate about the events of June 28 constituting a coup d’état; no world government has concluded otherwise. The failure by the US to designate this as a military coup d’état maintains the flow of military aid to Honduras at the same time that the armed forces continue to participate in suppression of political dissidence. Violations of human rights since June 28 are amply documented, among others by Amnesty International and the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights.
Violations of civil rights under the coup regime that should be of particular interest to academics include suspension of rights of circulation and assembly, harassment, technical disruptions of broadcasts, and decrees against independent media. Dozens of candidates withdrew from participation in the Honduran mayoral, congressional, and presidential races to protest the lack of an environment conducive to free and fair participation. Indigenous, African-descendant, women's groups, and unions have issued calls for international solidarity with their resistance to the coup regime. Garifuna clinics have been disrupted, and at least one Lenca indigenous activist was killed.
This resolution was drafted with the support of many Honduran anthropologists, represented here by two co-signatories. Many others are signing a letter of support for this resolution. Interference in the governance of the Instituto de Antropología e Historia by the coup regime's illegally appointed "Minister of Culture" is well documented. This resolution does not seek to sanction or judge anthropologists in Honduras who continue to work under the de facto regime, but acknowledges that disruption of the rule of law does impede the ability of many US and Honduran anthropologists to propose or carry out research. We support plans by Honduran anthropologists to initiate a university major in anthropology, but believe that the conditions created by the coup are prejudicial to those efforts.
This resolution primarily calls for action by the United States government, including public acknowledgment and condemnation of human rights violations; support for progressive forces in Honduras; and collaboration with the majority of countries in the Americas, whose policies on Honduras differ markedly from those so far articulated by the US State Department, in seeking ways to deal with the political crisis caused by the coup, for which the recent elections are not a solution. This resolution expresses direct support by the AAA for Hondurans in resistance; and communicates the condemnation of the role of the military in the coup and since by the AAA membership. For more background, please see http://quotha.net/node/624.
Rosemary A. Joyce (University of California, Berkeley), Adrienne Pine (American University)
Camila Pastor (UCLA), Geraldina Tercero (Arizona State University)