Ongoing Evictions in the Garifuna community of Punta Gorda, Honduras

Ongoing Evictions in the Garifuna community of Punta Gorda, Honduras

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John Ahni Schertow
April 7, 2011
 

With the Garifuna People just days away from commemorating the 214th anniversary of their eviction from the island of Saint Vincent in 1797, agents from the Honduran Ministry of Security have begun to violently evict Garifuna families from the island community of Punta Gorda, off the coast of Honduras.

Today (April 7, 2011) The Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras or OFRANEH released this Action Alert on the evictions.

ALERT: Eviction in the Garifuna community of Punta Gorda, Roatan

At the request of the Military Social Security Institute [Instituto de Prevision Militar, IPM, which owns several businesses], agents from the Ministry of Security are right now carrying out an eviction in the island community of Punta Gorda, Roatan.

The more than 40 families that are being violently evicted live in the neighbourhood known as Punta Gorda, located in the community of the same name. It is outrageous that that while the State of Honduras boasts about a policy of inclusion and makes an ostentatious show of its celebration of the International Year of Afro-Descendants, the armed forces order the Ministry of Security to carry out an eviction.

As Garifuna, we find ourselves suffering a second expulsion from the Caribbean. In just a few days, on April 12th, the arrival of our People to Honduras will be commemorated, specifically marking our arrival to the island of Roatan, after our forced displacement by the British from the island of Saint Vincent in 1797.

The pressures on our territory that our People suffer are rooted in the speculation by the tourism industry. Projects such as Banana Coast, Laguna de Micos, and in a not-so-distant future the so-called Model City have precipitated an onslaught of evictions in Punta Gorda and in the majority of coastal communities, which are the aim of businesspeople, politicians and armed forces, taking advantage of the vast judicial void that exists in Honduras.

Since the coup d’etat in 2009, the pressures on Garifuna territory have intensified. The eviction in Punta Gorda is part of the “Christian humanism” of the current administration, which uses violence in an attempt to impose its vision of a “democracy” of the few associated with the party in power.

The Garifuna of Punta Gorda lack a land deed for their territory, despite dancing to the tune of numerous governmental administrations over the years – administrations that tend to celebrate the anniversary of our arrival to Honduras in Punta Gorda with rituals of power.

How will the State of Honduras and its kindred organizations explain this eviction at the Afro-Descendant summit they plan to hold this August? Basta Ya – enough! – of the expulsion of the Garifuna People of Honduras.

La Ceiba, April 7, 2011.

OFRANEH

Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Tel: (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba, Honduras
email: garifuna@ofraneh.org, ofraneh@yahoo.com

Also see:
April 6: Banging the Drums of Resistance to the Repression
April 3: Honduras: the Human Rights Emergency Continues (COFADEH)
April 2: March of the Drums: There is nothing to celebrate
March 31: HONDURAS IS BURNING: Endless Repression By Military-backed Regime

Thanks to http://hondurassolidarity.wordpress.com/

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