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Garifuna Music & Talk With DJ Labuga Presenta Omar Suazo 1/29/2016 Canal GAHFU en YouTube: entrevista con Omar Babakle Suazo
Garífunas de Sambo Creek protestan contra construcción de represa 1/28/2016 La Tribuna, Honduras: + video "Miembros de la comunidad garífuna de Sambo Creek en La Ceiba, Honduras, protestaron este jueves frente a las oficinas de la Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (Serna), en contra de la construcción de una represa hidroeléctrica.
Explicaron que la construcción de la represa es en el rio Cuyamel y que las autoridades no han consultado sobre los problemas a futuro.
Aseguraron que Sambo Creek cuida sus bienes comunes porque son parte de la cultura y que las autoridades de La Ceiba permiten la destrucción también del rio Danto."
Comunidad Garífuna de Sambo Creek y la Denegación del Derecho a la Consulta Previa. 1/28/2016 OFRANEH: "Aparentemente la administración del alcalde Carlos Aguliar retomó la construcción del supuesto acueducto, ante el rotundo fracaso de la municipalidad de La Ceiba, en el manejo de la cuenca del río Danto, la que ha sido salvajemente deforestada sin que las autoridades hayan tomado cartas en el asunto, permitiendo el ecocidio de una fuente de agua de alta calidad.
Mientras tanto se viene generando un proceso de deforestación de la Cordillera Nombre de Dios, existiendo la presencia de varias fincas de café, entre los ríos Cuayamel y Sambo Creek, situación que a pesar de las denuncias interpuestas nadie ha tomado cartas en el asunto… La OFRANEH demanda a la Municipalidad de La Ceiba respetar el Convenio 169 de la OIT y ceñirse a la jurisprudencia emitida por la Corte IDH, de proseguir actitud asumida por la municipalidad de La Ceiba, nos veremos obligados a recurrir al Sistema Interamericano de Justicia."
National Garifuna Council blasts Honduras over Garifuna military attack 1/16/2016 Breaking Belize News: "Belize’s National Garifuna Council (NGC) demands that the Government of Honduras stop the massacre of Garifuna in Honduras and to stop the militarization that they are imposing on Garifuna communities.
This follows a December 28 attack in the village of Iriona along the coast in which two men were killed and others injured.
The military responded with violence, the NGC says, as part of what it calls a concerted plan to attack and dispossess Garifuna people under the guise of the “War on Drugs,” even as drug lords are doing the same."
Garifunas exigimos la desmilitarización de nuestras comunidades y sus territorios 1/5/2016 OFRANEH: "Desde meses atrás el corredor entre las comunidades garífunas de Limón y Plaplaya fue militarizado, existiendo una estrategia de represión hacia la población local por parte de los militares, a pesar que las Fuerzas de Seguridad poseen la información precisa de quienes integran las bandas al servicio del crimen organizado, en su gran mayoría conformada por mestizos que no habitan en nuestras comunidades."
En prisión diez militares acusados de asesinar a dos civiles en Honduras 1/3/2016 Fox News Latino: "Diez militares de la Fuerza Naval de Honduras implicados en un confuso tiroteo en el que murieron dos civiles en el departamento caribeño de Colón, fueron enviados a prisión por orden de un juzgado, informaron hoy fuentes judiciales."
Auto de prisión para 10 navales por muerte de los dos garífunas 1/2/2016 La Prensa, Honduras: "Auto de formal procesamiento dictó un juez de Trujillo a 10 elementos de la Fuerza Naval involucrados en el ataque armado contra un grupo de garífunas que dejó el saldo de dos jóvenes muertos en el municipio de Iriona, Colón.
El delito que se les imputó es el de homicidio en perjuicio de los jóvenes Jairo Joel Palacios Lino (24) y Elvis Armando García Martínez (19)."
In Venezuela a Garifuna Student Studies Medicine and Revolution 12/31/2015 teleSUR: "Of the 27 Hondurans in the program, she is the only Garifuna student. Among her class are students selected from: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Gambia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama and Bolivia Arzu began her studies in Venezuela a month before the coup d’etat against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya June 28 2009.
In this exclusive interview with writer Jeanette Charles, she speaks to her appreciation of the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian Revolution, learning from Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionaries whose only weapon is a stethoscope, her path to becoming a doctor and a mother as well as the plans she to return to practice medicine in Honduras as a medical profession whose experience prioritizes people over profits. This is her story."
Detención judicial para 7 navales por muerte de garífunas 12/29/2015 La Prensa, Honduras: "Detención judicial decretó el Juzgado de Trujillo, Colón, contra siete efectivos navales involucrados en la muerte de dos jóvenes garífunas la madrugada del pasado domingo en el municipio de Iriona, Colón.
Los efectivos asignados a la Base Naval de Puerto Castilla fueron requeridos junto a sus armas el lunes pasado por el Ministerio Público de Trujillo, después del confuso hecho en el que se vieron involucrados la madrugada del domingo anterior, en la playa de Iriona, adonde dos jóvenes garífunas perdieron la vida, cuando los navales dispararon contra un grupo de personas que ayudaba a sacar un vehículo que se había atascado a orillas de la playa."
Dos jóvenes garífuna fueron asesinados en Honduras 12/29/2015 Ultimas Noticias, Venezuela: "Militares de la Fuerza Naval de Honduras asesinaron a tiros a dos jóvenes garífuna. Las víctimas respondían a los nombres de Jostin Palacios Lino (24) y Elvis García (19). El hecho ocurrió en el departamento de Colón, al norte del país centroamericano, donde según familiares de las víctimas los uniformados dispararon a mansalva sin previo aviso."
Muere segundo garífuna tras supuesto ataque de militares 12/28/2015 La Prensa, Honduras: "Este lunes falleció el joven garífuna Elvis Armando García Martínez (19) mientras era atendido en el hospital Atlantida de La Ceiba, producto de varios disparos que supuestamente le infirieron militares en la comunidad de Iriona en el departamento de Colón.
García Martínez es la segunda víctima del hecho registrado el pasado sábado cuando estos intentaban remolcar un vehículo de la playa."
This One Tiny Hospital Gives the Power of Healthcare to Thousands 12/23/2015 Next City: "When Luther Castillo Harry left his Honduran homeland for medical school in Cuba, he was breaking new ground as one of the first few members of his ethnicity, the Garifuna people of Honduras, to ever become a doctor. As one of the first few Garifuna students at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Harry helped initiate a project that has become First Garifuna Hospital, a hospital built and run by the community of Ciriboya, Honduras, which formerly had no healthcare facilities. I recently spoke with Harry, who’s the focus of the documentary film “Revolutionary Medicine.”"
Honduras: Garifuna communities resist eviction and theft of land 8/12/2015 The Ecologist: "Now, these communities are facing eviction to make way for the construction of development projects supported by neoliberal economic policies such as the Alliance for Prosperity and the Strategy for Engagement. Additionally, the expanding interests of narco-traffickers and African oil palm plantations have forced the communities from their land.
"We are all suffering the same situation", said Selvyn, from the community of Porto Cortez. "We are all being evicted from our lands. The state has decided to exclude the communities from the national conversation.""
Garifuna Community Radio Stations Under Threat in Honduras 5/15/2015 Upside Down World: "Garifuna community radio stations are operating in a risky national context. After the 2009 coup, Honduras surged to the top of the list of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the first quarter of 2010, according to Reporters Without Borders. A 2013 UNESCO report concluded that Honduras had the highest number of journalists assassinated per capita, ahead of Syria and Mexico. The country has since dropped down in the rankings, but Honduran journalists continue to be murdered.
Honduras is also now the most dangerous country for environmental defenders, according to How Many More?, an April 2015 report by Global Witness documenting 116 murders of environmental activists in 2014. “A shocking 40 percent of victims were indigenous, with most people dying amid disputes over hydropower, mining and agri-business. Nearly three-quarters of the deaths we found information on were in Central and South America,” according to the organization."
Geothermal Development in Honduras 4/19/2015 Standord University: "The main on-going activities related to geothermal development in Honduras are described. They will serve as lessons learned for
potential public and private investors in this field. Description of development activities and update mapping of geothermal
resource potential nationally, the activity is implemented altogether with the IDB and JICA which aims to capture the majority of
geothermal areas in Honduras who are still in the phase of recognition." [JICA = Japan International Cooperation Agency ].
Update on Garifuna Health/Nurse Solidarity Projects 3/7/2015 Quotha: "A few months back I posted a follow-up talk show program I did with some of my Honduran nursing & med students with whom I organized a health solidarity brigade to Ciriboya last year recently. I also recently published a short piece in National Nurse magazine reflecting on the experience."
Alerta: Sambo Creek defiende sus ríos 1/26/2015 Patronato Sambo Creek: "Una vez más la comunidad Garífuna de Sambo Creek, Atlántida, se ve asediada por la Municipalidad de Ceiba, la que pretende asumir control sobre la cuenca hidrográfica del río Cuyamel.
Según el Sr. Alfredo Ortega, subgerente regional de la Empresa nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE) en la ceiba Atlántida, la represa en el río Cuyamel tendría una doble función: la producción de dos a cuatro megavatios de energía eléctrica y una línea de conducción que abastecería de agua potable a la zona este de La Ceiba."
Is Honduras heading for the privatization of parts of its territory? 1/18/2015 Tico Times: "“The Honduran people are susceptible to the illusion of job creation and economic growth,” it pointed out, and added that, “over the past several years handing territory over has been sold as attractive in order to bring in the necessary economic investment leading up to ‘development.’”
Ofraneh is a Honduran Garífuna rights organization based in Sambo Creek, in northern Honduras."
Represa en el Río Cuyamel violenta el derecho de consulta previa: OFRANEH 1/3/2015 Conexihon: "La Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) denunció en un comunicado público que la construcción de una represa hidroeléctrica en el caudaloso río Cuyamel violenta el derecho a la consulta previa e informada con la comunidad garífuna de Sambo Creek, en el departamento de Atlántida. “La comunidad Garífuna de Sambo Creek, Atlántida, se ve asediada por la municipalidad de La Ceiba, la que pretende asumir control sobre la cuenca hidrográfica del río Cuyamel”, indica el documento."
UTV Program about Ciriboya Initiative & Healthcare Justice 11/8/2014 Quotha: "I joined several nursing and med students to talk about our January 2014 brigade to Ciriboya, the perils of neoliberal healthcare in Honduras, and the promise of the Cuban model on UNAH's television program last June."
Days six to ten of the Ciriboya UNAH nurse/med student brigade 2/6/2014 Quotha: "While the students were in the community, I had to go buy gas and supplies with Dr. Valcárcel and some of the Cubans. We ran into the man who'd been at the Cubans' house days earlier profusely bleeding from a cut tendon. They'd operated on him at the hospital that same morning (after coffee) and now, just days later, he was already well on his way to being healed. Dr. Valcárcel fixed him a sling with a cloth he had handy while the others bought food inside."
AVANZA AMPLIACION DEL PRIMER HOSPITAL GARIFUNA 1/10/2014 YouTube
Garifuna Hospital promo video 1/10/2014 YouTube
Garifuna Music Survives and Thrives 'Against All Odds' 8/6/2013 KQED: "Garifuna music is a perfect example. Music fans around the world know about the Garifuna's enthralling sound because of a series of acclaimed albums that feature the Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians hailing from Belize and neighboring countries, where their families have lived for centuries. The Garifuna Collective is touring the United States -- including a stop in San Francisco on Wednesday, August 7 -- and is showcasing songs from its new album Ayó, which was released last month and means "goodbye" in the Garifuna language."
Honduras signs deal to create private cities 9/5/2012 AP: "The project is opposed by civil society groups including indigenous Garifuna people who say they don't want their land to be used for the project. The developers say the fears are unjustified."
URGENT ACTION on Vallecito, from OFRANEH - Process of Land Remediation is Renewed on the Garifuna Lands of Vallecito, Colon 9/4/2012 Quotha: "Any action suffered by the Garifunas will be the responsibility of the paid gunmen of Reinaldo Villalobo and of Miguel Facusse, as well as the government itself." [Facusse is one of the wealthiest men in the country and a large scale drug trafficker.]
Honoring Dr. Alfonso Lacayo, first Garifuna MD from UNAH 9/2/2012 Quotha
U.S.-funded/trained police going on witch hunts 9/2/2012 Quotha: "Last week police raided a woman's house in Choloma and found evidence of a traditional Garifuna medicinal drink, Guífiti (El Tiempo, whose reporters went along for the raid, puts "guífiti" in scare quotes), which they confiscated as evidence of witchcraft along with, allegedly, pictures with pins in them. And something that is presumed to be marijuana. They also arrested a suspected witch. For allegedly being a witch."
Alert: Urgent request for solidarity as Day 2 of Land Recovery begins over the presence of armed men in expensive vehicles 8/28/2012 Honduras Eyewitness: "Since yesterday, many communications have been sent to the current government administration, about the menace and threats directed at the representatives of the Garifuna communties, awaiting the process of land title remediation, of the associative (Garifuna) businesses of Vallecito."
Honduran activist tours Wisconsin 3/30/2012 Workers' World: "Dr. Luther Castillo, a Garifuna doctor from Honduras and a member of the National Resistance movement there, traveled throughout Wisconsin March 14 through 18 as part of a national tour sponsored by the Honduras Solidarity Network. Castillo, a graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, spoke not only on the fight for health care as a human right, but also informed audiences about the Honduran resistance movement that is waging a fierce, ongoing struggle against U.S. imperialism and its puppets in Honduras."
Presentation: Dr. Luther Castillo & Prof. Ariel Reyes in Pillsbury 3/25/2012 YouTube: "Dr. Luther Castillo Harry is a specialist in familiar medicine and public health."
Dr. Luther Castillo and the struggles of the Garifuna people of Honduras 3/21/2012 SF Examiner: "Given the American State Department’s ambivalence about things Cuban and the medical profession’s general misgivings about alternative medicine, Dr. Castillo’s exploits have been under-publicized. Labeled “Public Enemy #1” by the Honduran military, Dr. Castillo “finds it difficult to leave the struggle” because as a humanitarian and voice for the Garifuna people, he feels “we have the right to dream, too.”"
Pueblos negros de Honduras Denuncian Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes por excluir comunidades 8/10/2011 Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular: "Lideres y lideresas de unas veinte organizaciones de los pueblos negros de Honduras rechazaron hoy que la “Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes” sea representativa de los pueblos negros, por excluir a representantes de las comunidades garífunas, al mismo tiempo que anuncian la celebración entre el 18 y 21 de agosto del Foro “Acaparamiento de tierras y territorios en África y América Latina”.
Miriam Miralda, Coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) dijo que el Foro sobre “Acaparamiento de tierras y territorios en África y América Latina”, paralelo a la Cumbre Mundial, tiene la clara intención de darle la palabra a los excluidos del evento internacional organizado por la Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO), una ONG que recibe financiamiento estatal, y el gobierno de Porfirio Lobo Sosa."
Garinagu de Sambo Creek a la defensa del río Cuyamel 1/25/2011 Vimeo: "El Proyecto Hidroeléctrico la Ensenada, perteneciente a la familia Ponce, vinculada al ex ministro de Agricultura y Ganadería del gobierno de facto de Roberte Micheletti, recibió una licencia ambiental en tiempo récord (un mes y diez días) con la cual pretenden destruir el río Cuyamel, localizado en la comunidad garífuna de Sambo Creek."
Honduras: Indigenous Peoples Ready to Mobilize Against Hydro Dams 10/29/2010 IntercontinentalCry: "Indigenous and Black Peoples from across Honduras have said they are ready to mobilize against 41 dam concessions which they say violate their rights, threaten the environment and endanger their communities.
Representatives from several organizations and members of the Tulupanes, Pech, Miskito, Maya-Chortis, Lenca and Garifuna Peoples met from October 2-3, 2010 to discuss the current state of human rights and the environment in Honduras."
Querían desviar el río Cuyamel en Corinto 9/21/2010 La Prensa, Honduras: "Lo que se buscaba en el lugar era sacar las aguas del río y desviarlas para que entraran a una propiedad y luego hacer un canal para volverlas al cauce natural.
Los moradores del lugar enfatizaron que si se llega hacer un proyecto de tal naturaleza, es un hecho que en tiempos de lluvias podrían presentarse tragedias producto de desbordamientos."
Commentary: Growth of prominent Garifuna village in Belize will be doomed 5/15/2010 Caribbean Net News: "Due to the beautiful beaches that Hopkins possesses, rich Belizeans and foreign nationals have been buying up lands in the village and surrounding areas to open up tourist resorts. Many residents of Hopkins have and are migrating to the United States to join their family members, pursue higher education or to improve their economic situation. While this is occurring, there is a significant drop in the population growth among the Garifuna people and an increase in the population of the newcomers.
A majority of the government land is being sold by the government and private landowners for residential and commercial purposes. When some members of the village experience economic hardship, they lean to sell their properties to foreigners for a huge amount of money."
Commentary: Investment in the southern part of Belize is long overdue 5/8/2010 Caribbean Net News: "How come suddenly they are interested in coming to live in the south not only from the northern part of our country but also from the neighboring republics? This is a question that I am grappling with every day of my life and sometimes I am wondering whether it is happening by design or accident.
The industrialization of the south can only occur when the government decides to give this region its fair share of revenues that it has been deserving for years due to the amount of people that now reside in the south. Dangriga town is in need of about four factories in the immediate vicinity, to supply employment to its unemployed citizens. If we can help to provide these industrial facilities for our citizens, it will reduce the burden on the government."
Something fishy in Seine Bight? 4/27/2010 Amandala: "Amandala has received multiple reports from residents of Seine Bight, Stann Creek, alleging that the business of land transactions in the Garifuna fishing village has been riddled with irregularities: for instance, a lot being sold to one party when another party holds the lease for it; double issuing of leases for the same lot; and the issuance of lease land where a house built as a part of a community project now sits."
Activist speaks on human rights violations 4/15/2010 Bay State Banner: "In 2007, Luther Castillo was part of a team of Cuban-educated doctors who opened a hospital in Ciriboya, a community of Garifuna — the descendants of Africans and Arawak and Carib Indians that live on the Atlantic coast of Honduras.
Things went well for the first two years, as the hospital grew and treated 378,000 patients in the impoverished coastal area.
Then, a day after the June 2009 right wing coup in which the country’s military ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, soldiers broke down the doors of Castillo’s hospital, stole medical supplies and intimidated doctors, most of whom left."
Genocidal pressures 4/13/2010 Amandala: "Two hundred years ago the black forestry worker was a prized commodity in the forestry–dominated economy of the settlement of Belize. It was around the same time that the Garifuna people had experienced genocidal pressures in Balliceaux and Roatan after waging war against the British and the French on St. Vincent. In Belize, the black forestry worker was indispensable to the mahogany trade, and therefore that worker enjoyed a certain status, although many such workers were technically still slaves. Meanwhile, the Garifuna people had been humbled by their genocidal experiences in St. Vincent, Balliceaux and Roatan, and they were no longer interested in a direct confrontation with white supremacy. They were seeking other ways to survive.
Today on the Southside of Belize City, the descendants of Belize’s forestry workers have been drastically marginalized and they are experiencing genocidal pressures. As a result, we are seeing gang battles being fought by young boys and young men armed with automatic weapons and grenades. In some areas of the old capital, just to grow up on a certain street will mean that you are gang-affiliated, or viewed as such, especially if you are a healthy male. The gang battles in the old capital have been going on for more than two decades, and they have reached the point where “civilians” in certain areas have become fair game."
Honduran physician speaks here tonight 4/13/2010 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Luther Castillo, a Honduran physician now leading a large international health mission in Haiti, will speak tonight (April 13) at 7 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 639 N. 25th St."
III Congreso Mesoamericano de Areas Protegidas 3/8/2010 ODECO
Honduras After the Coup: Fear and Defiance 3/4/2010 Inside Costa Rica: "I learned that a group of international volunteers were helping to rebuild a community radio station, so I took a bus north to spend a few days helping. There I met Alfredo Lopez, a leader of the Garifuna community along the north coast of Honduras. Alfredo was imprisoned for seven years on a false drug charge, because of his work in opposing developments of luxury vacation resorts that threaten to destroy communities and disperse the Garifuna people. Now, Lopez is back in his community, organizing a string of community radio stations that have a key role in informing and mobilizing the struggle against the well funded developers who covet their beautiful beaches."
Bicentenario Garifuna +13, Mes de la Herencia Africana en Honduras 2010 3/3/2010 ODECO
Sepultada Claudia Larisa Brizuela.. 2/26/2010 ODECO: "El día ayer en horas de la tarde fueron sepultados los restos mortales de la sra. Claudia Larisa Brizuela, asesinada por desconocidos el pasado miércoles.
La solidaridad y la indignación fue multitudinaria, la exigencia de justicia y la demanda de captura de él o los asesinos fue unánime por parte de los cientos amigos, amigas, dirigentes del movimiento popular y miembros de la Resistencia Nacional que hicieron acto de presencia acompañando a su Padre Compañero Pedro Antonio Brizuela.
Queda pendiente la honesta, ágil y oportuna actuación de la Policia Nacional, así como de los órganos de justicia, para que el asesinato de Claudia, no sea otro caso mas que quede en la impunidad."
Garifuna Collective Returns from Performance at Winter Olympics 2/22/2010 7 News Belize: "The Garifuna Collective and Umalali Singers flew into Belize today after a two week North American tour. They crisscrossed the west coast of the United States with stops in Seattle, Washington, San Diego in California, and the jetted across to the east coast for shows in Boston and New Hampshire. But the highlight of the tour was a performance at the Cultural Olympiad as part of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. We met the band at the airport this morning and got their reaction to the tour – where – strange as it sounds - for the first time they got to play to audiences who were sitting down. Desiree Diego told us how the Women’s Collective got them to stand up."
Empresa Hidroeléctrica en Sambo Creek 2/22/2010 ODECO: "El día de ayer se celebró una importante reunión entre las Juntas Directivas de los Patronatos, las Juntas de Agua Sambo Creek y Corinto con los miembros de la Sociedad Hidroelétrica La Ensenada, con el propósito de establecer una aproximación sobre las eventuales consecuencias positivas y/o negativas derivadas de la posible implementación de un Proyecto Hidroeléctrico sobre los rios Cuyamel y Sambo Creek."
The Honduran Dam Controversy and Micheletti’s Legacy 2/20/2010 America's Quarterly: "Just before relinquishing power, Micheletti and the Congress rushed to approve a $160 million contract to operate and improve the José Cecilio del Valle Dam (better known as the Nacaome Dam). In January, the Honduran Congress sped through the process of granting the contract to a Honduran-Italian consortium. Then-President of the Congress, José Alfredo Saavedra, argued that Congress had recently fast-tracked laws, including the general amnesty passed in January, so the contract should not raise concerns. After the congressional vote, Roberto Micheletti signed the contract into law in his last cabinet meeting.
Almost immediately after Micheletti left power and Congress changed hands, however, the contract came into question. Only days after President Porfirio Lobo took office, the new government placed a hold on the publication of the decree in the country’s official newspaper, La Gaceta. Two weeks later, however, it became clear that La Gaceta had published two versions for January 22, 2010, with the same issue number. One version contained 16 pages, with no mention of the dam contract; the other included an additional 16 pages covering the dam contract and the creation of a new government office of criminal investigation. To make matters worse, the office in charge of publishing La Gaceta, Empresa Nacional de Artes Gráficas (ENAG), apparently only published 20 copies of the second version, and then denied publishing them at all once these copies had disappeared."
Investigan “rápida” aprobación de hidroeléctricas en La Ceiba 1/31/2010 El Pais, Honduras: These project affect areas with strong Garifuna demographics.
Rebuilding the Garifuna people's radio station 1/20/2010 Quotha: "In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 6th, the Garífuna community radio Faluma Bimetu (Sweet Coconut) - based in Triunfo de la Cruz - was burnt down by unknown armed individuals who proceeded to loot the station’s radio equipment. This is not the first time the radio has been attacked and its equipment stolen. In 2002, unknown persons stole the Faluma Bimetu transmitter and other key radio equipment.
The Garífuna people are in resistance to a slow process of forced (and often times violent) assimilation into the dominant culture by proponents of the tourist industry and mass media; and subject to evictions by corrupt corporate monopolies.
Triunfo de la Cruz, like other Garífuna communities in the Tela Bay area, has become a conflict zone since the invasion of venture capitalists, politicians, and foreign investors attempting to seize community land for the construction of mega–tourism projects."
Honduras: Why Do Garifuna Community Radios Burn? 1/13/2010 Upside Down World: Written by Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña.
The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression expresses concern over the attack against a radio station in Honduras 1/10/2010 Media Newswire: "The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ ( IACHR ) Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression expresses concern over the attack against community radio station Faluma Bimetu ( Coco Dulce ), which belongs to the Garifuna community in the Triunfo de la Cruz area of Atlántida department, Honduras… According to the information obtained by the Office of the Special Rapporteur, sometime after 3:30 in the morning on Tuesday, January 6, a group of unknown individuals broke into the building from which radio station Faluma Bimetu ( Coco Dulce ) operates and removed equipment including the transmitter and two computers. They then set fire to the facility, though the fire only damaged part of the building thanks to the intervention of the neighbors. Since the June 2009 coup, radio Faluma Bimetu ( Coco Dulce ) has received several threats for its opposition to the coup and to several real estate developments in the region. For this reason, the radio station had informed the IACHR that it was at risk."
Declaraciones del Dr. Luther Castillo 12/18/2009 OFRANEH - YouTube
Urgent: Assault on Garifuna Communal Lands 11/18/2009 Quotha: "From the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz we have received word that relatives of a member of the National Congress [Diputado Antonio Fuentes] plans to seize communal lands.
Once again it is shown that the continual threats against and repression of Garifuna peoples stems from the voracious appetite for land and for the malignant racist spirit that drives coup-supporting legislators who claim to defend fossilized principles of the Constitution of the Republic.
We demand a stop to the assault on the existence and historical dignity of the Garifuna peoples and first nations of Honduras. We demand respect for Mother Earth who today is trampled on by multinationals and the oligarchy."
Dr. Luther Castillo, voice of the voiceless in Honduras, gets rousing reception in San Francisco 11/3/2009 SF Bay View
Celeo Alvarez Casildo: The Moment Has Come for a New Constitution in Honduras 10/12/2009 NarcoNews: “Those in power, accustomed to loot and to control the powers of the State, do not sleep. They engage in speculation, lie and raise false expectations whenever they think that their interests might be affected.”
He said it is urgent to guarantee freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly and the personal safety of all citizens, without repression and violations of human rights.
It is time to join forces to prevent that the terrible retrograde decade of the 80s does not return by guaranteeing the rights and liberties written in the Constitution and in international treaties.
That’s why Celeo Alvarez Casildo believes the moment has come to write a new Constitution through the election of a National Constituent Assembly that takes into account what the great majority of Hondurans want."
Allanado hospital garífuna de Ciriboya 10/8/2009 CubaDebate: "El día de ayer a las cinco de la mañana, fue allanado el Hospital Garífuna de Ciriboya, por elementos de la policía Preventiva y soldados los que irrumpieron al recinto a través de una ventana. En el operativo participaron aproximadamente quince elementos, los cuales adujeron estar participando en un operativo antinarcóticos.
El Hospital de Ciriboya es la sede del proyecto Luagu Hatuadi Waduhenu, primer hospital popular garífuna, el cual es un modelo de atención médica en Honduras, atendidos por médicos egresados de la ELAM (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina) con sede en Cuba."
VERDAD, JUSTICIA Y REPARACION - Asaltado el hospital Garífuna por elementos de la Fuerza Armada 10/7/2009 OFRANEH: "La ayuda de la comunidad internacional hermana han aportado una mano amiga para construir un sistema de salud propio del Pueblo garifuna (Hospital Garífuna de Mañali) y que en este momento está siendo amenazado por este gobierno de facto, dado el día 6 de octubre fue asaltado el hospital Garífuna por elementos de la fuerza Armada rompiendo puertas y ventanas. Este atentado ha sido considerado por la comunidad Afrohondureña como un crimen en contra de la salubridad y la educación de Pueblo Garífuna, que sufren el arraigado del abandono miserable por varios siglos por parte del sistema de Salud del Gobierno de Honduras."
DECLARATION - THREAT TO AND SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTION OF THE BLACK GARIFUNA PEOPLES—DECLARED BY UNESCO A CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY 10/3/2009 Quotha: "The change in the clause also is intended to destroy the health system of the Afro-Honduran
people, which is protected under the ILO Convention 169. People have the distinct ability,
through the Convention, to direct their own policies according to their own interests and
cosmological perspectives and develop the positive aspects, strengths and significant
contributions of the Afro-Honduran Community to human development. Currently, the Black
person is being treated as folkloric object, exposed to ridicule and denigration through
pejorative images and the use of journalistic language with racist and xenophobic
connotations. The de facto government of Honduras in particular has undertaken a political
and racial prosecution of Afro-Honduran, organized civil society."
Threat to and Systematic Destruction of Garifuna Peoples 10/3/2009 Quotha: "Drafted by Representatives of the Association of Garifuna Municipalities, Iriona Municipality (Colon Department), Luagu Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation, the First Public Garifuna Hospital in Honduras, and OFRANEH (National Black Fraternal Organization)"
TODAY: event at Congress with Dr. Luther Castillo 9/29/2009 Quotha
Golpistas racistas: cierre del Hospital Comunitario garífuna de Ciriboya 9/18/2009 Honduras Resists: "En los útlimos días se viene haciendo efectiva la amenaza de la conversión del Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya en un simple centro de salud, descalificando la enorme labor de apoyo efectuada por los médicos garífunas graduado en la ELAM y las brigadas cubanas.
Las razones que motivan al régimen de facto a tomar la determinación de destruir el trabajo efectuado por el Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya, radica en el racismo de los funcionarios estatales que se han incorporado a la pesadilla orquestada por Micheletti, y al desprecio por la visión social de los médicos educados en Cuba, versus a la mentalidad capitalista de la mayoría de los médicos egresados de las escuelas locales."
Racist coup government: Shut down the Garífuna Community Hospital of Ciriboya 9/18/2009 Honduras Resists: "This report was written by the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), the largest organization of Afro-Hondurans and an important force within the resistance to the coup d'etat. The Garífuna doctor who spearheaded the creation of the hospital, Dr. Luther Castillo has been faced with ongoing threats to his life and freedom as a result of the coup."
Honduran Garifuna Culture Threatened by Coup 9/4/2009 New American Media: by Willie Thompson - "The Honduran de facto coup government under Roberto Micheletti plans to eliminate the Honduran Garifuna people and culture. Micheletti has rescinded the Manuel Zelaya authorization to teach in the Garifuna language in school and to teach the language itself. All scholarships to Garifuna students have been eliminated.
Now, Micheletti, with no opposition from the U.S. State Department, has set Sept. 1, 2009, to take over the Garifuna built and operated hospital and fire its Latin American Medical School (ELAM) trained Garifuna physicians, including Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, its founder.
Dr. Castillo Harry has been targeted for assassination in order to decapitate the Garifuna leadership. The original open assassination strategy has been revised to arrest and imprison Castillo Harry and have him killed in jail as a way of covering his assassination."
Los hechos hablan 9/3/2009 ALAI Net: "Ese es el gran ejemplo que nos da la comunidad garífuna de Iriona que demanda, en forma urgente, la solidaridad del pueblo hondureño para que el hospital que fue construido con los esfuerzos de todos sus miembros, no les sea arrebatado para encadenarlo a un sistema estatal que no garantiza la permanencia de los beneficios médicos con que actualmente cuenta, especialmente los que ofrecen los profesionales garífunas, compatriotas graduados en Cuba."
Takeover imminent of Honduras’ Garifuna Community Hospital 9/1/2009 SF Bay View: by Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC)
OFRANEH: Golpistas racistas cierran Hospital Comunitario Garifuna de Ciriboya 8/31/2009 Honduras Solidarity: "En los útlimos días se viene haciendo efectiva la amenaza de la conversión del Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya en un simple centro de salud, descalificando la enorme labor de apoyo efectuada por los médicos garífunas graduado en la ELAM y las brigadas cubanas.
Las razones que motivan al régimen de facto a tomar la determinación de destruir el trabajo efectuado por el Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya, radica en el racismo de los funcionarios estatales que se han incorporado a la pesadilla orquestada por Micheletti, y al desprecio por la visión social de los médicos educados en Cuba, versus a la mentalidad capitalista de la mayoría de los médicos egresados de las escuelas locales.
La labor efectuada tanto por las brigadas cubanas como por los médicos garífunas, ha servido de paradigma al igual que la construcción con recursos propios de un hospital modelo, único en Honduras y ejemplo para los demás pueblos indígenas."
“Los médicos cubanos curamos, prevenimos, y no hablamos de dinero, así nos formamos” 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Hace 16 meses llegó la primera Brigada Médica Cubana a Ciriboya, una aldea del municipio de Iriona. Ganó inmediatamente el cariño y el amor de la población garifuna. Trabajaron los cubanos un año y fueron reemplazados por un nuevo contingente. Con ellos conversé cuando solo faltaba un mes antes de que inaugurara un hermoso hospital de dos pisos el 8 de diciembre.
Los tres cubanos con que conversamos son la Licenciada en Enfermería LOYNA CARIDAD MILANES ALDAZABAL, la especialista en Medicina Integral (MGI) KENYA FERNÁNDEZ MORA y el Estomatólogo, JORGE LUÍS CHIVAS."
GARIFUNAS: “El capitalismo que existe en Honduras nos ha destruido” 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Diálogo con Arnulfo Mejias Zelaya, el Alcalde del muncipio de Iriona y de la Comunidad Garífuna que subraya que “antes que llegaran los médicos cubanos en Iriona sólo había un médico”"
Garifunas: La lucha por el derecho a salud para el pueblo garifuna 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "El 27 de febrero del 1999 llegaron los primeros estudiantes latinoamericanos para comenzar sus estudios en la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, ELAM, una institución que fue inaugurada por Fidel Castro el 15 de noviembre del mismo año cuando se celebraba la Cumbre de los Jefes de los paises Iberoamericanos. Desde el inicio estuvo al frente Eladio Valcárcel, vicerrector de la ELAM con lo cual conversamos en esta entrevista exclusiva."
HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: Cuba y Estados Unidos trabajan juntos en Honduras 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Entrevista a John Garamendi, Vicegobernador del Estado de California en Estados Unidos durante la inauguración de una clínica en Ciraboya."
HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: Diálogo con el Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, motor de la lucha del pueblo garifuna 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "LUTHER: Primero que nada agradecer profundamente a ti, compañero Dick, por esta oportunidad. Vale aclarar que los verdaderos motores de este proyecto son Fidel, el pueblo cubano y el pueblo garífuna, que creemos son engranajes muy importantes. Fidel por la concepción de este proyecto que es la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, que nos permite a nosotros los pobres, los afrodescendientes de Honduras, e hijos de campesinos, de obreros y diferentes grupos étnicos, formarnos en esta noble carrera que es la de Medicina. El pueblo cubano por el apoyo y ese soporte que ha dado a estos ideales. Y el pueblo garífuna por el compromiso que hemos tenido en la lucha por muchos años y es la que nos mantiene ahí firmes para crear este proyecto, que es la idea con la que fue concebida la ELAM."
HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: LA LUCHA POR LA SALUD DEL PUEBLO GARIFUNA EN HONDURAS 8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: Expresión de la solidaridad internacionalista de la Revolución Cubana - Reportaje, audio y fotos de Dick Emanuelsson - Trascripción Adriana D'Ambrosio, la Juventud (Montevideo) - "Transcurrieron 116 años, entre que se fundó la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma de Honduras hasta que se pudo graduar el primer médico garifuna en esa Facultad. Sin embargo, entre 2005 y 2007 ya han sido graduados en la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicinas (ELAM), en Cuba, 32 médicos garifunas y están por graduarse varias decenas más de esta etnia hondureña. Es con este panorama comenzamos este reportaje divididos en cinco partes."
Honduras government takes over the only Garifuna hospital in the country 8/19/2009 Caribbean Net News: "This unrest in Honduras, if it continues, could lead to many of these Garifuna people leaving Honduras to go and join their relatives in Belize and the United States. This action on the part of the current Honduran government could be considered a gross violation of the Garifuna people’s human rights. The act of forcefully closing down a hospital that takes care of the sick and needy by the military is not one that falls into good behavior with any humanitarian government or agency throughout this world.
As a Garifuna from Belize who has relatives all over Honduras, like many other Garifuna people from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize, I call on all Garifuna people throughout Central America and the world to file a complaint with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, the United States, other countries and international agencies to condemn this outrageous act.
The Garifuna people who are seeking treatment for their diseases and are currently on medication may not be able to survive while this unrest is ongoing."
Interview with Fanni Castillo, young Garifuna leader 8/13/2009 Honduras Resists: "I am Fanni Eliszabeth Solarzano Castillo and I represent the Garifuna community Triunfo de la Cruz."
Update on Honduran physician Luther Ware & Garifuna Hospital 8/13/2009 Social Medicine: "Last week, says Dr. Castillo, the defacto ministry of health notified hospital staff that the facility was being downgraded to a health center “under new management”. “They told us that the Garifuna staff-both doctors and locally-trained nurses aides-will be fired,” he told MEDICC. “These measures would condemn to death many of our old and seriously ill people, and stop all outreach and prevention services.”
However, he said the staff is staying put, and vows to continue working, even without the small stipend the government had provided in the past and with no guarantee of medicines or vital supplies.
“We will not abandon our people,” said Dr. Castillo. “These are the poorest of the poor, the invisible poor.. They are the real victims of the coup,” he told MEDICC.”And they are the reason so many of our young people decided to become doctors in the first place.”"
ALERTA! Golpista Takeover of Indigenous Garifuna Community Hospital 8/12/2009 Honduras Oye
Honduran Coup Government Continues Attack on the Poor with Plan to Seize Indigenous Hospital 8/7/2009 Huffington Post: "As MEDICC explains, the Garifuna Community Hospital opened in December of 2007 under an agreement with the government of President Zelaya and in accordance with an International Labor Organization covenant that supports locally-managed health services for indigenous and tribal peoples. According to Dr. Castillo, the hospital has treated 175,000 cases since that time, providing such services as birthing, surgeries, hospitalization, dental care, laboratory tests and other outreach and prevention services. Now, the de facto Honduran government is threatening the lives of the poor in the Ionia coastal department and surrounding area by its move to oust the staff of this hospital."
Honduras … Left behind? 7/23/2009 Mex Files: "I keep wanting to spell “Prophet” as “Profit”… and maybe for good reason. Setting up the Kingdom Government costs money. Profeta Chavez’ group… MIGA Partners seeks “partners” willing to pony up a thousand to five thousand U.S. Dollars in return for which Profeta Chavez will bless your region, nation or economic zone… or something like that.
Outside the Kingdom are the Garifuna, the afro-indigenous people of Honduras. If you’ll remember, the “rationale” still being used to justify the coup was to prevent a referendum on a constitutional convention that might (not would) lead to a new consitution, that would probably have incorporated new trends in Latin American political theory that don’t bode well for the old power elite … who apparently, being already blessed on this earth, are the logical heirs to the Kingdom."
Amid crisis, minorities find a voice 7/22/2009 Miami Herald: ``We have no political visibility in this country and that makes us extremely vulnerable,'' said Alfredo López, 56, a community activist and one of about 400,000 ethnic Garifunas in Honduras. ``The constitutional assembly would have given us a chance to change that.''
Obama's Bullish Behavior in Latin America - Honduras and the Big Stick 7/20/2009 CounterPunch: "In the media, the Honduran imbroglio has been depicted as a struggle over presidential power and term limits. But while any new constitution might have extended presidential term limits, such a reform could have also led to new progressive amendments to the law and further radicalization on the ground. In recent years Honduras has seen the emergence of a vibrant social and political scene including labor, Garifuna (Afro-Honduran people) and Indians. If Zelaya had been successful at pushing through his constitutional reform he would have been able to mobilize such groups. What is the connection between U.S. interests and constitutional reform? If you had any doubt about Washington’s true intentions in Honduras consider the following AP Report for July 8 about diplomatic negotiations between the coup regime and ousted president Zelaya: “Clinton would not discuss specifics of the mediation process, which she said would begin soon, but a senior U.S. official said one option being considered would be to forge a compromise under which Zelaya would be allowed to return and serve out his remaining six months in office with limited powers. Zelaya, in return, would pledge to drop his aspirations for a constitutional change.”
Interview with Teresa Reyes, Garifuna leader from Triunfo de la Cruz 7/20/2009 Honduras Resists: "What has been the reaction of the Garifuna community to the coup d'etat?
What they have wanted is for people to stay calm in their houses because anything can happen in the streets, but we have a movement in the community which has come out because we can't continue to sit in our homes with our arms crossed. We have to do something to participate because we have a right to the participation even if it's limited. We have looked for ways to protest because we can't stay silent about a situation as horrible as what we are living through in this country. We are representing the Garifuna people currently even though there's few of us but we are doing it and we are showing the face of our people because we are also against what is happening."
Under Threat is the Life of Honduran Activist Luther Castillo 7/12/2009 CAN: "If Luther is captured and resists the arrest, the military have orders to shoot him, the last we heard from him was a phone call to his sister Tania, who he requested, in her garifuna language, not to tell names since phone communications were being intercepted by coup perpetrators, she assured."
Honduran Students in Cuba Festival 7/12/2009 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Ten Honduran medical students [many of whom are Garifuna] in Cuba participate in the Caribbean Festival here in spaces programmed for a delegation from their country who cannot attend."
Interview with Vice-President of National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras 7/10/2009 Honduras Resists: "I am a Garifuna Honduran citizen. My name is Alfredo López, Vice-President of the National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH). Well, we are here inTegucigalpa, immersed in the process of re-establishment of the constitutional order of the country."
Interview with Vice-President of National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras 7/10/2009 Honduras Resists: "I am a Garifuna Honduran citizen. My name is Alfredo López, Vice-President of the National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH). Well, we are here inTegucigalpa, immersed in the process of re-establishment of the constitutional order of the country."
Preocupa en Honduras la vida de Luther Castillo 7/6/2009 CubaDebate: “Informa a los compas que denuncien que mi nombre está en el listado del ejército para captura y hay orden de dispararme si me resisto”.
Por lo tanto, nosotros exigimos las garantías de integridad física de nuestros compañeros, así como también alzamos la voz de protesta y lucha del pueblo Hondureño."
Emergency in Honduras-Letter To Minister Cannon 6/29/2009 Northumberland View, Canada: "During the past days, we have been in close contact with a number of our Honduran partners. All have expressed grave concern and indignation over the violent ouster of their country's democratically elected President by the Armed Forces. Partners in Tegucigalpa report a virtual state of siege in the capital including the presence of military tanks, power cuts and media censorship. Garifuna partners in Trujillo have informed us of a similar heavy military presence in their communities. In the town of Nacaome, where we support organizations engaged in rural development and the protection and promotion of women's rights, one of our partners told us "we fear for the lives of several community leaders" who are engaged in actions of peaceful resistance to the coup d'etat."
Honduras: inminente violencia ante acaparamiento de tierras del pueblo Garifuna por Diputado del Congreso Nacional 6/26/2009 Biodiversidad en América Latina y El Caribe
Attempted Coup in Honduras? 6/26/2009 Daily Kos: [2 days before the coup] - "Well, my friend, Celeo Alvarez Casildo, who has a development organization in the coastal city, La Ceiba, aimed at the Garifuna populationcalled ODECO(and who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year for his efforts to organize the entire Central American Afro-descendent community), held a workshop on the constitution and the "Cuarta Urna" a couple of weeks ago. They concluded it was unnecessary and kind of stupid. Since the Honduran government has never really been trustworthy, the motives behind this are suspect."
Honduras to Cuba Fire Festival 6/16/2009 Radio Nuevitas: "Cuba has invited, for the first time, a Central American country to the Caribbean Festival, the 29th edition of which is dedicated to Honduras.
That country's Garifuna culture is an expression of friendship and strength of regional people's identity.
From June 3-9, this event will have its venue in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and share venues in Guantanamo and Granma provinces, where the guest country will be honored and its artists and intellectuals will entertain the Cuban people with Hunduran art and writing."
Dr. Luther Castillo and Diane Appelbaum Bring ¡SALUD! To Town 2/21/2008 Santa Barbara Independent: ¡SALUD! is an award-winning film about Cuba’s medical outreach programs to the developing world. Produced and directed by Connie Field, of The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter documentary fame, the film-beautifully shot in Cuba, South Africa, Gambia, Honduras, and Venezuela-traces the conflicting agendas that mark the quest for global health. It examines the remarkable case of Cuba, a poor country with what the BBC calls “one of the world’s best health systems” and an outreach program to other countries that former president Jimmy Carter claims is “unequaled anywhere.”
Honduran Government Representative Threatens San Juan Community President 10/2/2006 Global Exchange: "Vice Minister Suazo arrived in the evening at the house of Jessica García, where the President was speaking with Yolanda Lambert, another member of the community Patronato. Suazo pointed out that only a few days before he had spoken with members of the Rosenthal family, who had expressed the need to come to an agreement in private with members of the Patronato, so that the community cease to reclaim Nuevo San Juan, part of the community's ancestral lands being claimed by powerful businessman and politician Jaime Rosenthal… It confuses us that under the so-called Government of Citizens' Power, the situation begins to replicate that of the massacre of 1937. Over the past few months, we have lived through the February 26 murder of community youth Epson Andrés Castillo and Yino Eligio López by agents of the armed forces assigned to protect the planned construction site of the Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort, numerous threats to our Patronato president Jessica García, and the recent murder of young Mirna Isabel Santos. ...It is lamentable that Vice Minister Suazo, considered a prestigious Garifuna intellectual by many, has allowed himself to become a spokesperson for the most reactionary wing of the Liberal Party instead of defending the interests of his People. But it is not the first time that he has represented the interests of the Honduran oligarchy."
Book on Garifuna to be published 2/19/2006 Carribean Net News: "Honduras This Week writer Wendy Griffin has written a book about the Garifuna culture, ready for release this February.
Entitled Los Garifunas de Honduras: Su Cultura, Su Lucha y Sus Derechos Bajo Convenio 169 de la OIT (The Garifunas of Honduras: Their Culture, Their Struggle and Their Rights Under ILO Convention 169), the book explores a range of cultural characteristics of the Garifuna community including their agriculture, hunting, dances, medicines, religion, architectural environment, and crafts (including baskets and tools for the processing of the Cassava root to make bread).
One of the key areas Griffin focuses on is how the different elements of Garifuna culture are related to the environment, how ecological degradation has contributed to the loss of land and has been detrimental to the Garifuna people.
“The Garifunas need to know how to unite in the struggle and be successful in protecting their lands,” said Griffin on why she wrote the book.
To Griffin, the most important document regarding land rights is the International Labour Organization’s legal rights convention 169. ILO 169 demonstrates the Garifuna’s legal rights to lands.
OFRANEH, an ethnic federation that represents Garifunas through petitions, press releases and complaints, is also discussed in the book. By highlighting the organizations and laws dedicated to protecting Garifuna rights, Griffin hopes to strengthen isolated Garifuna communities by integrating them into a larger network."
Garífuna Indigenous Activists Under Attack in Honduras 11/23/2005 Human Rights First: "Leaders of the Garífuna community in Honduras are facing mounting threats and violent attacks in reprisal for their defense of indigenous land rights. Community activists are working to prevent the loss of Garífuna land to powerful interests seeking to develop large-scale tourism along the coast."
People in the Film -- Dr. Luther Castillo 12/1/2004 Salud!: "Since graduating from the Latin American Medical School [Cuba] in August 2005, Dr Luther Castillo has been collaborating with other graduates, non-governmental partners, labor leaders, community members, and international and local volunteers to finalize the construction and equipping of the Ciriboya Community Hospital in the Honduran Mosquitia (see Innovative Project Brings Permanent Medical Services to Honduran Mosquitia). This community-based initiative, addressing the specific health needs of the Garifunas, represents the first sustainable source of care for the 18,000 people living in Ironia Municipalty, Dr Castillo´s home region."
El grito de los garínfugas 6/17/2004 Boletin Cubarte: "Gran interés constituyó en el ámbito de la IV Fiesta por Africa, efectuada en el recinto ferial de EXPOCUBA, la presentación del libro "El silencio de los garínfugas", del licenciado Bienvenido Rojas Silva, publicado con el coauspicio del Centro Pablo de la Torriente Brau, de Cuba, y la editorial Guardabarranca, de Honduras.
La doctora Leyda Oquendo, especialista principal de la Casa de Africa de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad, realizó el elogio del libro. Destacó que constituye un ejemplar testimonio global de un sujeto colectivo sui generis, por la resistencia cultural de ese pueblo y por su coherencia en la preservación del medio ambiente. Más adelante subrayó: "revela la América carpenteriana de lo real maravilloso y el realismo mágico del Gabo García Márquez".
Según el autor, visitó ese país como corresponsal cubano para reportar la labor internacionalista de nuestro personal de la salud y encontró en la región de Mosquitia emplazamientos de los garínfugas, quienes constituyen el 10 por ciento de la población hondureña."
The Garifuna 1/3/2004 National Geographic
Disease threatens people and palms 5/20/2003 Latin America Press: "Lethal Yellowing Disease (LYD) has ripped through the Caribbean coast of Central America, destroying the major species of coconut palm in its path. It is also wiping out the livelihood of the Garifuna people who populate the Caribbean coastal regions of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. LYD is a phytoplasma whose organism is thought to behave like a primitive virus."
REUNIÓN COMUNITARIA GARIFUNA, NY 1/16/2003 Garinet: on January 26, 2003 in NY - "MUGAMA, Inc.: Sra. Dionisia Amaya al (718) 485 6484 - Hondureños Contra el SIDA, Inc.: Sra. Mirtha Colón al (718) 991 2233 -
Coalición Garifuna USA. Inc.: Sr. Rejil Solis al (718) 451 0614"
THE ORIGIN OF THE GARIFUNA 1/16/2003 Garinet: "When someone says,“I am a Garifuna,” that person is acknowledging the fact that she/he has Carib, Arawak and African blood pumping from their heart and through their veins."
OAGANIC Fighting To Rescue The Garifuna Culture 12/28/2002 Bluefields Pulse, Nicaragua: "Kemsy Sambola is the president of OAGANIC (organización Afro-Garifuna Nicaraguense) an organization working to restore the Garifuna culture on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Bluefieldspulse is delighted to have had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Sambola for a brief interview. In our interview with Kemsy we learned like so many others when it comes to the Black culture on the coast no one cares to lend a hand. People like these are truly heroes since they all work as volunteers and do not get a salary for the work they do."
Belize: PUP and UDP announce Town Council candidates 12/19/2002 San Pedro Sun: "Alex Jason Noralez is originally from Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. He is a teacher at San Pedro High School, married and the father of one child. Mr. Noralez is also a devoted member of the San Pedro Garifuna Council… Joseph Elijio is originally from Dangriga in the Stann Creek District but moved to San Pedro with his family when he was only a year old. He is presently the Assistant Manager of Seven Seas Resort and has held the post of President of the San Pedro Garifuna Council for the past three years. Mr. Elijio is the proud father of four children."
GARIFUNA: A LIVING HUMAN TREASURE 12/15/2002 Garinet: "The recognition is beyond comprehension
For those who chose, in the past, to jeer
Calling negative names their Garifuna peers.
The Garifuna subjected to tidal waves
Of insults, rejection, oppression
Resiliently emerged using the negatives
As spark plugs regenerating, rejuvenating."
Tela pudiera quedarse sin playas públicas 12/8/2002 Honduras News: "Entre estas playas se pueden mencionar las ubicadas al frente de la colonia Zacapa (al extremo Oeste del centro de la ciudad), las del barrio El Paraíso, las de las comunidades garífunas de San Juan, Tornabé, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz, así como muchas al extremo Este hasta pegar al cerro Punta Izopo, sin dejar de mencionar algo de común saber: que algunos empresarios hoteleros se apropiaron de grandes porciones de playas para construir sus inmuebles." The theft of Garifuna lands continues.
DECLARACIÓN DE SAN JOSE VIII ASAMBLEA DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN NEGRA CENTROAMERICANA 5, 6 Y 7 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2002 12/7/2002 GarifunaWeb: "Reunidas en San Isidro de Coronado, San José, Costa Rica las organizaciones Afrocentroamericanas pertenecientes a la Organización Negra Centroamericana: Asociación Proyecto Caribe y el Centro de Mujeres Afrocostarricense de Costa Rica, OAGANIC y ADEHPCA de Nicaragua, ASOMUGAGUA y ONEGUA de Guatemala, National Garífuna Council y UBAD Educational Foundation de Belice, ODECO y ECOSALUD de Honduras, Coalición Garífuna USA, Hondureños Contra el SIDA, Mujeres Garifunas en Marcha de Estados Unidos, Respuesta Afro Panameña y Red de Mujeres Afropanameñas de Panamá, para reafirmar nuestra determinación y verdadera convicción de ser los actores de nuestros procesos de desarrollo, haciendo uso de nuestro pleno derecho como ciudadanos de los distintos países de la región y en la diáspora africana.Por lo tanto acordamos:"
Life, Liberty and the Pursue of Garifunaness 12/7/2002 Garinet: "I have a Dream that one day, NGC, WGO, OAGANIC, ODECO and the Garifuna Coalition will one day join hands and march down Emperor's Avenue as the Garifuna Nation declare victory in reclaiming their home, language and culture."
Barranco community fights disease, indifference and a new airport 12/2/2002 Honduras This Week: "In addition to Hurricane Mitch, the community was hit with the destruction of their principal crop—coconuts. One farmer said she used to bring 500 coconuts twice a week to sell in Trujillo. Due to Lethal Yellowing Disease which has killed most of the Honduran coconut trees, no coconuts at all are produced in Barranco now. The farmers do not produce enough either to rebuild their houses nor to pay transportation to the area.
Due to the help of several NGO’s including the Garifuna Emergency Committee (Comité de Emergencia Garífuna de Honduras), the environmental organization responsible for the nearby Guaymoreto Lagoon FUCAGUA, the Catholic church’s social arm CARITAS, and CIDH (Independent Center for the Development of Honduras) the agriculture is slowly returning to Barranco. Thirty five families are working in the area, traveling from the town of Trujillo. FHIS (The Honduran Fund for Social Investment, a government agency) has provided funding for local residents to build an eco-tourism project in the area."
Stranded in Paradise - Shipwrecked Hundreds of Years Ago, the Garifuna Are Still Trying to Find Their Way 12/2/2002 Washington Post: "There was a time when the Garifuna lived off the land and the sea. But now, they say, the land is eroding and the sea is dying. There was a time, says 64-year-old Hilario Bernadez Callatano, when a fisherman could stand on the edge of the sea, bend over and scoop up handful upon handful of wiggling crabs. A man could feed his family, have a little dignity. Now, tourism is replacing farming and fishing, and parsing the Garifuna into three distinct groups: the old guard, like fisherman-musician Bernadez, who struggle to survive off the land; the new guard, like Paulina Rodriguez, a 33-year-old who ekes out a living braiding hair for the European and Israeli tourists; and those who leave to seek their fortune elsewhere."
Flor del Campo: The Struggle for Land 12/1/2002 Justicia HN: A case similar to the Garifuna land theft cases on the coast - "It has been a long, hard struggle, and it is not over yet. The residents of the community of La Flor del Campo in Tegucigalpa have been fighting for title to their land for over twenty years. La Flor del Campo was formed in 1979 by a group of people driven from other areas of Honduras by poverty, war and drought. The land they occupied belonged to the Municipality, and under Honduran law, they should have been able to receive title for it following three years of occupation. However, soon after they claimed the land and were recognized as legitimate by the state, one of Tegucigalpa's wealthy and influential families began to claim that they owned the land. For the last twenty years they have manipulated the justice system and other authorities to ensure that no titles could be issued to the poor inhabitants of La Flor del Campo and eight other surrounding communities."
Belize: Garinagu community gear up for Settlement Day 11/18/2002 Channel 5, Belize: "On this, the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, intensive preparations continue for the long list of cultural activities planned for tonight and tomorrow… Tim Palacio, V.P., Belize City Nat'l Garifuna Council
"We close off B.T.L. Park and we provide a Garifuna cultural experience that is geared towards all the multicultural groups in Belize City. So what we have on stage is going to be the Larubeya and their exciting cultural original vibes. We also have the John cunu dancers; we will be accompanied by the Ugudani dance group. This is going to be followed by the best performances of the International Dance Festival that will be on our stage tonight. And then we top it off with the Paranderos, Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor. So we really have a fun filled day, packed agenda. When that is done, and that is till da mawning, we go to the re-enactment...We will have a huge re-enactment, bigger than ever at the Bellevue pier, the mayor is going to be there to receive us. That is going to be followed by a parade to the Holy Redeemer Church. And we have a very vibrant, spirit-filled mass with the Garifuna Choir in full regalia. And then we parade to the B.T.L. Park."
Honduras: Denuncia Publica de la Problematica de la Tierra Garifuna en Honduras 11/18/2002 GarifunaWeb: "Ante la poca voluntad de la justicia Hondureña, en hacer prevalecer los derechos ancestrales del pueblo Garifuna, nos veremos obligados desde este momento a interponer una denuncia junto con OFRANEH, ante la Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos de la OEA y otras organizaciones de los Estados Unidos."
Honduras: GARIFUNA MUSICIANS MEET TO DISCUSS FUTURE 11/9/2002 Garinet: "They began in September of 2002 by exposing their dilema at the
2002 ONECA Conference in New York. From there, the Foundation of
Garifuna Artist in New York has been on a campaign blitz to inform the entire
New York community about current problems facing Garifuna artists in
Honduras: OFRANEH INFORMA SOBRE REPRESION 11/9/2002 Garinet: "Yo Juan Martinez, mayor de edad, oriundo de la comunidad de Triunfo de la Cruz en el Departmento de Atlántida, Republica de Honduras Centro America, miembro del Comité de Defenza de Tierras Triunfeñas (CODETT), presidente del "Isery Ondarun" (Nueva Organizacion en Garifuna) y miembro de la Junta Directiva Nacional de la "Organizacion Fraternal Negra de Honduras" (OFRANEH) en mi nombre y de mis compañeros informo a mi pueblo y al mundo lo siguiente, ruego a todos diseminar ampliamente esta infomacion.
Denuncio la detencion e injusto encarcelamiento de tres de nuestros dirigentes comunitarios."
Police Attack Garifuna leaders in Honduras 11/9/2002 Garinet: "Coming on the heels of an arson in Vallecito, a police attack on a national march, and the government's filing charges against 35 community leaders, there is more news of repression against the Afro-Honduran Garifuna.
In Triunfo de la Cruz, 3 Garifuna leaders were actually arrested and thrown in prison November 3, over a land conflict. It regards 3 actes of land which fall inside the land which belongs officially and traditionally to the community of Triunfo. The official Community Title was awarded by INA, (National Agrarian Institute) the relevant government body, in 1992, encompassing 380 acres. Six years ago, the municipality of Tela (nearby larger city) sold those 5 acres to the "Asociacion de Pueblos Franciscanos de Muchachos," APUFRAM, (Association of Franciscan Boys Towns) who planned to build a high school. In the document, it is explicit stated that they must build a school within 2 years or lose their right to the land."
Garifuna Settlement and Migration Patterns 11/4/2002 Garifuna Empowerment Movement: Whereas Honduras this week had a Garifuna population based on the Honduran census at 50,000, this has it as 126,000 in 1999. "Based on research carried out in 1981/82, Palacio estimates that there were between 4,000 and 10,000 Garifuna living in Los Angeles (Palacio 1992) but more recent estimates put that number around 25,000 (O'Conner 1998). My conservative estimate of the Los Angeles Garifuna population is somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 with the vast majority living predominantly in South Central Los Angeles."
Ethnic diversity in Honduras, 7.2 percent indigenous 11/4/2002 Honduras This Week: See census table. Out of a total population of 6,535,000, this has 49,952 Garifuna. "It the last Housing and Population Census this ethnicity was captured in question number five, “What ethnic group do you belong to?” The population that participated responded in accordance to their feelings of identity with the different groups. See table.
We can observe that the majority (92.8%) of the population did not identify itself with any of the ethnic groups. But of those that did, 63.5% claimed to be Lenca.
In as much as education is concerned, the illiteracy rate for the Garífuna ethnic group was 9%, but only 4 percent for the English Afro-Caribbeans (Bay Islands); the remaining groups have an illiteracy rate much higher than the national 20 percent.
Population structure also varies among the different groups, the Miskito and the Tolupan groups have the largest youth population, while the Garifuna and the Tolupan groups have the largest groups of older people."
Garifuna protest environmental destruction in Iriona, Colon 7/29/2002 Honduras This Week: "In a public denouncement made July 25, Garifuna organizations are strongly protesting environmental destruction of watersheds caused by the construction of a road in the Municipality of Iriona in the Department of Colon.
According to said documents, the road between Sico-Ciriboya was illegally built using Soptravi (Secretary of Public Works) machinery in the year 2000 despite numerous formal protests to pertinent government authorities —the National Forestry Agency - COHDEDOR, the Ethnic District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Protected Areas -PROBAP, and the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources - SERNA— by local authorities, patronatos and other community organizations; and without an environmental impact study having been realized. Construction and the now existing road has contaminated the Los Naranjos River watershed which supplies five Garifuna communities with water that since 2000 has been laden with sedimentation, unfit for human consumption."
Garifuna music/dance film available on Internet 7/15/2002 Honduras This Week: scroll down for this listing
GARIFUNA PROTEST 7/7/2002 Resource Center of the Americas: "On July 7, representatives of the Garifuna ethnic group protested in Tegucigalpa against a proposed constitutional change that would allow foreigners to buy land on the Atlantic Coast. “The land is our mother, and mother is not for sale,” the protesters chanted. Congress suspended debate and agreed to meet with Garifuna representatives to discuss an alternative plan that would protect their rights to the land they have occupied for 200 years."
DECLARACION DE LA CEIBA 4/26/2002 Garinet: "Bañada por las aguas del mar Caribe, en la franja centroamericana, la Ciudad Hondureña de La Ceiba se convirtió en escenario del PRIMER SEMINARIO REGIONAL SOBRE AFRODESCENDIENTES EN LAS AMÉRICAS, los días, 21, 22, 23 y 24 de Marzo de 2002, organizado por la Oficina de la Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos y el Grupo de Trabajo de Minorías y la Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario ODECO."
PROBLEMÁTICA TIERRA COMUNIDADES GARIFUNAS 4/22/2002 Garinet: recent history of land title issues in Garifuna communities of Honduras.
Garifuna Street Festival in LA 2002 4/13/2002 GEM in Action: "The keynote speaker Dr. Jocelyn Palacio-Cayetano explained to the crowd the meaning of April 12, 1797. She told the crowd it represented the last time the Garinagu was together as one, before being exile from Yurumein to Central America."
205 AÑOS DE PRESENCIA GARIFUNA EN HONDURAS 4/12/2002 Garinet: history from ODECO
Honduras looks to develop northern coast; Garifuna fight to keep beaches 1/2/2002 ENN: "A disease has killed most of the palm trees along the coast, robbing residents of one of their main food sources -- coconuts -- while Hurricane Mitch in 1998 forced many fishermen to sail hours out of their way to find their catch.
"There are no highways, and they are deforesting the land," Lored said, arriving for a meeting to organize residents against encroaching tourism.
At the same time, Garifuna leaders say, residents are coming under increasing pressure to sell their land to developers. In the coastal village of Triunfo de la Cruz, 190 miles north of Tegucigalpa, the capital, a few residents sold a yucca field because they didn't know they had the right to say no, community leader Edgardo Benedeth said.
"They think that if they don't sell the land, it will be stolen" and they won't receive any money, he said.
Once other villagers discovered what had happened, the yucca field was already being plowed under and construction had begun on seven luxury vacation homes, complete with swimming pools and two-story picture windows. The community is fighting the construction in court and trying to educate residents about their property rights.
But that development is just the beginning.
Small hotels and restaurants are sprouting up nearby, and Honduran officials are searching for foreign investors for a multimillion-dollar resort located in the swamps next to the Garifuna village of Tornabe, 12 miles to the west.
A similar resort is being planned 100 miles to the east, amid several Garifuna villages.
"We have hundreds of kilometers (miles) of beaches that aren't developed, and it's a waste," Tourism Secretary Ana Abarca said in Tegucigalpa. "We want strong tourism. We are going after the sun and the beach."
Garifuna: To Protect Ancestral Lands 1/1/2002 JusticiaHN: "Under an international agreement signed by the Honduran government, indigenous groups such as the Garifunas have a legal right to their ancestral lands. However, as is often the case, getting the government to comply with this agreement is always a struggle, partially because of opposition from wealthy and powerful people with interests in the area and also perhaps due to a general disinterest in the situation of these indigenous groups, often the victims of great prejudice and racism."
Garifuna community delivers for homeland 4/16/2001 Bronx Beat: "Ventura, 45, is one of more than 50,000 Garinagu living in New York – the majority live in the borough. The Garifuna people gained public attention in 1990 when a fire at the Happy Land Social Club in the borough killed 87 people, many from this ethnic group.
The shipments from the borough’s Garifuna people became more critical in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch devastated Garifuna communities in Honduras.
Ventura and others said the 100,000 Garifuna people in Honduras are marginalized by the government because of their heritage and skin color. The Garinagu -- who speak Garifuna and Spanish -- have retained a language and traditions inherited from their African and Indian ancestors. They descended from West African captives shipwrecked off the coast of St. Vincent Island in the 17th century in a slave ship en route to Brazil. They intermarried with Carib-Arawak indigenous groups."
Deadly Import: TB Returns, AIDS Spreads 1/1/2001 Columbia University: "Just as tuberculosis is invading Corona, parts of the South Bronx are trying to cope with an alarming increase in AIDS deaths among the Garifuna, black Central Americans, the majority of whom are from Honduras. The rate of AIDS among Latin Americans, Caribbeans and Africans is high, but Mirtha Colon, the president of Hondurans Against AIDS, a not-for-profit, grassroots organization begun in 1992, said that among the Garifuna, the rate is disproportionately high. She said the neighborhoods of Mott Haven, Morrisania, Tremont and Crotona—where most Garifuna settle in New York—mirror parts of Honduras, where an epidemic is ravishing the nation. She said she believes the problem is getting worse. Colon, who presented a lecture on AIDS among the Garifuna in the South Bronx before the Centers for Disease Control on March 21, said: "We see people dying every day. There is an epidemic in our communities."
The U.S. Agency For International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) Launches An Attack Against The Peace And Security Of The Garifuna People In Honduras 6/2/2000 OFRANEH: According to informed sources this article may be as much as 4 years old but relates to the recent jailing of OFRANEH Garifuna leaders. "The representatives of the USAID in the city of Tegucigalpa have been extensively informed, on various occasions, about the cultural, health-related and environmental risks which the construction of such a project would entail for the Garifuna people. In addition, USAID's representatives have ignored the report issued by the Department of Natural Resources and the environment, in which the construction of the sewage treatment plants was deemed not viable since the project does not offer the appropriate development conditions due to the fact that the treatment plants will be built just a few meters from the housing and would adversely affect the health of the Garifuna inhabitants." Hondurans reported yesterday that OFRANEH (Honduran Black Fraternal Organization) leaders, who are mostly Garifuna, are being sought for arrest in this land dispute.
HONDURAS: GARIFUNA LEADER'S HOUSE BURNT DOWN AND SHOTS FIRED 10/20/1999 Garinet: "Tragically, it appears that this struggle has entered a stage of violence, as this past week, the house of one of the Garifuna leaders was set on fire by some type of flame-thrower weapon, and then shots of an automatic weapon were fired into it. The house, which was occupied by the family including children, is in Vallecito, where Garifuna have been living and working in an agricultural cooperative for over 9 years (Nuevo Amanecer). Their land abuts the ever-expanding lands of Facusse, one of the biggest land-owners in the country, who is also a relative to the president. The members of the cooperative have long been subject to invasions of their land and threats, but this escalation into outright violence has everyone fearful of a bloodbath. There is evidence of hired killers."
POLICIA MATA 2 y HIERE 18 en MARCHA PACIFICA!! 10/20/1999 Garinet: "Un contigente multi-etnica de miles de personas empezo una marcha pacifica en Tegus, desde la Corte Suprema hoy (12 de octubre) a las 9 a.m.. A las 12:30, la policia formo una barricada en la ruta de la marcha a mediciones del Boulevar San Pablo y detuvo la marcha.
De repente, la policia ataco a los participantes de la marcha con bombas lacrimogenas y disparos. Gente huyeron corriendo sin rumbo, desesperado, y algunas personas fueron alcanzados por las bombas y disparos.
Dos hombres, miembros de Unidad de Trabajadores Campesinos, fueron asesinados por la policia. Ademas, 18 otros sufrieron heridas, algunas graves. Un hombre perdio un ojo debido a una bala; una senora Garifuna de Rio Esteban, en su intento de escapar, se quebro el tobillo; otra senora Garifuna de Limon fue alcanzado por una bomba en su muslo y la herio."
The African Legacy in Guatemala: Black Guatemalans? 2/13/1999 Odyssey: "I took his advice and looked up ONEGUA. I learned that it is an acronym that stands for The Organization of Black Guatemalans. The organization is a community group that provides educational and cultural support for Black Guatemalans in Livingston. ONEGUA receives no financial support from the Guatemalan government. This lack of support is not surprising considering the fact that the Garifuna were not recognized as an ethnic group until the signing of the Guatemalan peace agreement three years ago. ONEGUA was founded because the elders of the community were concerned that the younger generation would lose their Garifuna culture and traditions. The elders wanted to provide their youth with educational support to enable them to deepen their cultural understanding. In addition, the elders began providing after-school tutoring to students who sought extra help."
Garifuna sacred areas lack adequate protection 8/30/1998 Honduras This Week: "Deputies of the National Congress are currently considering legislation that would change or eliminate Article 107 of the Honduran Constitution, which prohibits foreigners or foreign companies from owning land within 40 km of the coast. This article repeats the contents of a 1890s Agrarian Reform Law.
This law and the Constitutional article were specially designed to stop foreign-owned banana companies from obtaining all the land near the Coast, thus possibly affecting Honduran access to fishing, ports, and prime agricultural land.
The Garifunas have been organizing to fight against the change in the Constitution and also to denounce violations of their rights under Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which states among other things that the government shows respect for the special importance of lands or territories, according to the spiritual values of the ethnic group."
In Honduras, the Garifuna culture fights for survival 3/29/1998 Seattle Times
TUANI GARIFUNA TUBA LIBURU BARANGU - THE GARIFUNA LIBRARY OF BARRANCO 1/1/1989 Barranco Library: "The purpose of Tuani Garifuna Tuba Liburu is to preserve and provide in-
formation on Garifuna culture, lifestyle, history and world view. It is
hoped that through the library this information can be easily accessible
to Garinagu and others, both lay and academic." Contains a geneology of families in Barranco Village, Belize