Monday, July 20, 2009

Central American Jesuits Social Apostolate statement

"The truth will make us free.

Communication from the Provincial Commission of the Social Apostolate (CPAS) of the Central American Province of the Society of Jesus in the face of events in Honduras

We have attentively followed with deep concern the events which since Thursday, June 25, have cast over the Honduran people the dark shadow of preparations for a coup d’état. In effect, it was on that date that members of the Armed Forces began to be deployed in the streets of Tegucigalpa. Sunday, June 28, the coup was carried out. In the best copy of the old military uprisings we believed we had already overcome, the President of the Republic was awakened in the early hours of the morning by a detachment of the Armed Forces, guns at the ready, and obliged to board a airplane that took him to Costa Rica where he appeared before the means of communication even though he was in his pajamas and without socks.

From that time, Radio Progreso – whose director is our companion and member of CPAS, Jesuit Ismael Moreno Coto – has suffered, first, the interruption of its broadcasting, forced by a squad of soldiers who threatened to destroy their equipment if they were not obeyed. And that [happened] despite the crowd of people at the doors of the station which showed itself ready to defend “the voice of the people.” Radio Progreso afterwards has resumed its broadcasting cautiously but under threat, and its frequency has been interfered with a few times. The same has happened with other radio and television stations, including some cable stations. Evidently some of those governing who, in order to buttress their government, feel the need to obstruct the transmission of information and its pluralism, show clearly the doubt which hounds them over their own legitimacy and the shifting sands on which they are moving.

Radio Progreso has called from Friday, June 26, for “dialogue for negotiation” between the institutions representative of democracy in Honduras and members of civil society institutions. Negotiating dialogue [is seen] as the only reasonable tool to discern among the diverse proposals and projects in the country. Dialogue and negotiation are the tools of democracy. The use of the Armed Forces, and then of the Police, to repress the citizenry who do not approve the coup d’état, are the tools of a power which fears – and therefore has prohibited – the right of demonstration, of association, of mobilizing, of free expression of opinion, of due process, and, above all, of the inviolability of one’s home and of people’s physical and mental integrity. These are the weapons of dictatorship.

Radio Progreso has again expressed, on Friday, July 3, its conviction that “dialogue for a negotiated settlement is, without doubt, the only way to avoid drowning in bloodshed.” Radio Progreso thinks that the leadership of the Liberal Party has called on the Armed Forces to help its socially elitist project and has misused them, and now also [the same with] the Police, in order to maintain a self-coup [autogolpe] of the civil State which imposes on the country, by anti-constitutional procedures, an authoritative and repressive regime that does not guarantee – although it so is proclaimed – the holding of this year’s November elections and their being clean.

Radio Progreso also thinks that, beyond the disputes, apparently vehement, between the two factions[groups] of government, “civil society has the right to go out into the streets and make its voice heard, not because the government of President Manuel Zelaya has been a good government but because the remedy of a coup d’état brings upon us a much worse political and social sickness than what we had with the improvised and chaotic administration” of President Zelaya and his group.

The Provincial Commission of the Social Apostolate [CPAS] of the Central American Province of the Society of Jesus [Jesuits] shares the analytical evaluation of Radio Progreso and, in every instance, considers that the way toward democratic political freedom can only be guaranteed if the diverse sources of public opinion can make their proper contribution in the pursuit of truth.

The CPAS, therefore, is with no hesitation in solidarity with Radio Progeso, with the Team of Reflection, Information and Communication [Equipo de Reflexión, Información y Comunicación] (ERIC), and with the director of both, Father Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., and with all the workers who, through these groups, support democracy as citizens who seek truth with freedom from [the standpoint] of the option for the poor. The poor, ultimately, are those who will suffer by the break up of the fragile freedoms of democracy in Honduras and in whatever other country in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in the world. We wish to serve the poor in the pursuit of peace inseparable from justice and the defense of democratic cultural values, which include participation in the public life of civil society.

We appeal to the love for country of all those implicated in the political dispute in Honduras and we make a plea for negotiation so that so that paths are sought what return Honduras to the Rule of Law, which the entire community of nations and peoples demands.

We exhort the governments of Mexico and Central America is generously receive the refugees and those forcibly displaced from Honduras, provoked by this crisis.

Francisco Iznardo, S.J.
Coordinator of the Social Apostolate
Central American Province of the Society of Jesus

No comments:

Post a Comment