Identifying issues in Honduras

posted 20 Sep 2010, 06:31 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 20 Sep 2010, 06:51 ]
"The situation is getting very critical, at least in some parts of the country," writes Santa Rosa de Copán diocese lay volunteer, John Donaghy.  "Perhaps the powers in charge are feeling threatened.

Below we present some extracts from John's blog on his experiences in strife-torn Honduras in central America, and the use of the see-judge-act method by the diocese.


“Enough of the repression,” Honduran bishop, Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos of Santa Rosa de Copán demanded, “we will not tolerate a single more death at the hands of the police and the military.”

Though he has been critical of the teachers at times, he noted that “the teachers shouldn’t continue to endure being clubbed - I have seen them bleeding. And I don’t think that those of us who have protested against the unjust Mining Law should continue shedding our blood in the western part of our country.”

“It is good that the people are peaceful, but we cannot put up with the images which we have been seeing.”

And that's how we are in Honduras these days.

From Thursday to Saturday I was with a group of lay leaders of the diocese in the second Catholic Social Teaching workshop. This one we spent on learning the “See, Judge, Act” methodology of Catholic Social Teaching, with three priests leading the sessions.

One group identified as weaknesses of the country – corruption, ungovernability (manifested by poverty, drug-trafficking, violence, and the lack of security in the country which the government is unable to control), and the radical bipartite political system, virtually controlled by the two major parties.)

Later this emerged as the list of the most urgent problems of Honduras:
  • poverty and its effects
  • the destruction of nature
  • the concessions (licenses to exploit) for mining and hydroelectric dams
  • ungovernability (violence and impunity)
  • migration
We didn’t go into much depth on the problems since this was more an effort to identify the reality and then look at some issues in light of Catholic Social Teaching.

But on the second night I showed a few videos I had downloaded – a 2008 video on climate change and its effect on Honduras, taken in Tomalá, Lempira, and one taken this year on the proposed dam in San Francisco de Opalaca, Intibucá, financed by a company owned by one of the wealthy elite.

Since it was late we had a short discussion. The concern about the severe weather here is real – the rains have affected crops in many parts of the diocese and so next year we may face more serious hunger. And the concern about the taking over of rivers for large hydroelectric dams by large companies is real.

And so we go forward, seeking justice.

- John Donaghy, lay volunteer with Santa Rosa de Copán diocese in Honduras


Honduras - ¿independent? (Hermano Juancito)