International Human Rights Encuentro in Bajo Aguán, Honduras

fathermila.jpgInterview with Father Fausto Mila in Honduras

SOA Watch participated in the International Human Rights Encuentro in Honduras in February 2012. Laura Jung spoke with Father Fausto Milla, a religious leader in the Honduran movement who has been persecuted by the State of Honduras.  

After the SOA graduate-led military coup in 2009, Father Milla was self-exiled due to death threats. He has only recently returned to Honduras.

What does this meeting here in Honduras mean?

Father Milla: This meeting has a great deal of importance because your presence reveals to the rest of the people outside the country the Honduran reality. [...]We have to make a big effort because in the U.S. and in Europe, Honduras is not mentioned any more. Recently they have mentioned about this inhumane, diabolic, infernal catastrophe in the prison in Comayagua, but besides that, and after about five days…afterwards they forget, Honduras no longer exists, and the people of Honduras are suffering a lot.

What do you think of the role of the United States?

Father Milla: The role of the United States is very diplomatic, but a lot of times it moves away from diplomacy and [the people] discover that everything that happened had approval and that there are enough means so that the situation happens the way it does. For example, the U.S. never wanted to recognize that there was a military coup d’état, they always say state-orchestrated coup, but not military.  Because saying military coup, they couldn’t aid the police and the army, they would need to cut this aid, that’s why they never accepted this word “military.”

[…] The US has been supporting the police and the army since the coup d’état up until now. Therefore, the US is overseeing all of this, making them responsible for this history.  It’s necessary to unmask [it all] because these are crimes against humanity - the Honduran people are silenced, they have to put up with it, they must submit, it is forbidden to think, to act like human beings, because, well, there are no freedoms, it’s a terrible thing.

You’re speaking of the continuation of the coup d’état, of militarization, repression, but the people are working, they are fighting against these things, can you talk about these things a little? This theme is one of the objectives of this meeting.

Father Milla: It’s a little risky to talk and sometimes we can’t do it in public, because the situation in the country has turned very delicate in terms of the path to Resistance. The Resistance has been a struggle and still is, but it is hidden now and does not appear publicly, qualified by sociologists outside, that describe Honduras as the most hopeful movement, so the movement has been a truly miraculous movement for us, because the Honduran population has thought of ourselves as very conformist, very exhausted, and we have proven that it’s incorrect, because of the reaction. In the moments following the coup d’état there was an incredible reaction, incredible, of courage, of bravery, of decision, from which came the decision to not permit this [violence].

But, the police and military paralyzed action in the streets.  Paralyzing action in the streets, in one of the countries with one of the most dispersed populations, gives the impression that the Frente has completely collapsed, and it is one of the biggest problems that we have. But its very important for us, these social movements that you are going to see, the people who are fighting…this is the social movement we are speaking of, local groups fighting in their own communities.

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For more information about the situation in Honduras and about the International Human Rights Encuentro that took place in the Bajo Aguán, Honduras in February 2012, visit www.SOAW.org/honduras

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