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Honduras in Flames

Pants on fire

I spent six months in Honduras starting in June of ’09. This letter is almost completely false about facts during this period. In commenting on a presentation with such blatant falsehoods, the problem is how to start. When Zalaya tried to nullify the Honduran constitution, and then incited his followers to violence? Perhaps the Nicaraguans who were paid to come into Honduras to cause trouble? In any case, Honduras followed its constitution, the interim president went back to his home, the newly elected president took his place, corruption continues. About the prison fire I know knothing. I’ll ask my Comayagua friends. But to trust The Nation to report truth?

Steve Curtis

Petaluma, CA

Feb 26 2012 - 11:05am

Honduras in Flames

Not just a problem in Honduras

Unfortunately, this tragedy is waiting to be repeated in countries throughout the region. Recently, the UN released a report on prison conditions in neighboring El Salvador. As in Honduras, the Salvadoran government has been increasingly militarizing public security. In November, President Funes transferred recently retired General Mungia Payes from head of the Defense Ministry to that of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security—a major violation of the Salvadoran constitution and the 1992 peace accords. More recently, he moved the vice minister of defense to the head of the National “Civilian” Police (PNC)—on the very same day that he “retired” from the military! The new PNC director even has his own team of active-duty military bodyguards. Salvadoran prisons are currently overcrowded at 300 percent capacity. The UN found that many are awaiting arraignment or conviction. Many others rot in jail despite having completed their sentences. The new PNC director has announced plans to cram in an additional 5,000 prisoners this year. Imagine the death toll from a similar fire in El Salvador. Drastic changes are needed in El Salvador and other countries in the region to prevent such a tragedy.

Lawrence M. Ladutke

Nutley, NJ

Feb 16 2012 - 2:25pm