About July 6, the priests and men and women religious of the diocese of Trujillo in northeastern Honduras issued a communiqué .
“As a diocese which has historically made a preferential option for the poor, we wish to share these thoughts as a search for truth, which is so needed to put aside certain intransigent attitudes and facilitate dialogue which we all ought to practice in regard to making the common good real.”
… We exhort the Honduran people to put aside attitudes of rejection and accept the paths of reconciliation. Reconciliation does not mean ceasing to apply justice or renouncing the pursuit and defense of what we believe is the truth. Reconciliation consists in being able to sit around the same table to continue to find paths we can walk as brothers/sisters and fellow citizens, toward a better future for everyone.
… “We urge the people of our diocese of Trujillo, in the departments of Colón and Gracias a Dios not to close themselves in by a person, or political party or ideology, but to struggle for our real problems:
- Improve the quality of education.
- Seek conciliatory positions in the search for solutions of land ownership.
- Dialogue with the government about the need to improve the road systems.
- Demand from the government a plan for the cultural, economic, and social development of the Moskitia.
- That the respective authorities guarantee the security of citizens and that they act in accord with the law to stop the presence of drug-trafficking in the region.
- That they return to the problem of deforestation in our departments not only decommissioning wood already cut but also stopping the cutting of our forest reserves and the destruction of the environment.”
La Patriota, an independent Honduran newpaper, reported in an on line article on July 20 that the document also comments on the coup directly. Even though I have not been able to get a copy of the actual statement to verify it, this is a translation of most of the article by María Orbelina López.
The present crisis is the result of a series of violations of the Constitution and of the laws which has happened in the last decades caused by the political class and at times forced [on the country] by groups of the economic powers, explained the Diocese of Trujilo through a communiqué.
After reviewing a series of acts of corruption which unleashed inequality and violence, it indicated that the events of June 28 are the result of a series of clashes among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches/powers [of the government] and the Supreme Electoral Commission, as well as the failure of the Constitutional Tribunal to solve the confrontations which can happen among the powers of the state.
Nevertheless, “we condemn the expatriation of Mr. José Manual Zelaya brought about by the Armed Forces because it is an attack against the Constitution of the Republic and the rights of Zelaya as a citizen. Equally we condemn the dictatorial attitudes which have been imposed on the population: violation of the freedom of the press and manipulation of the means of communication…”
The interpretation of the legality and illegality of these actions have divided the Honduran people. Also we find ourselves divided by the different ways of conceiving democracy, of holding opinions about the need or lack of need to reform the Constitution or write a new one. We should [not] convert antagonistic attitudes into irreconcilable [attitudes], and these ought not be allowed to break up the unity of Hondurans.
Further on, the communiqué notes, The majority of the population has stopped believing in the authorities because of the extent of corruption with which they act or which they simply permit. The lack of political leadership is a cause for concern and in this situation the populism of Mr. Zelaya has had a strong impact on a good part of the people.
Finally, we have seen the partiality of the news about the repression and the censure of some means of communication and the suspension of the right of free expression. This is not the way for us to understand each other and be able to dialogue.
From the time of it approval in 1982, the Constitution has been violated on many occasions and neither the organs of the State which ought to avoid this nor the people have acted in its defense. But in the last few years the consciousness of the citizens has been changing in regard to respect for the [Constitution] and the right to real participation in democratic life as the demonstrations of these days reveal.
Roe this diocese this crisis has left us with great lessons to learn: it is not possible to dialogue when one party acts with violence; all the population feels the need to respect the Constitution and not let it be violated; the need and the right which the people have to participate in the framing of the laws by which they are governed and not only the obligation to obey the laws.
At the same time it notes that the growing consciousness as citizens is a force which either the political parties nor members of the government have valued. We have proved that the intervention of other countries is neither objective nor without personal interest. We Hondurans ought to be the protagonists of our own future.
[The communiqué] proposes the need to enter into a legal process in which the people can be consulted about the possible and necessary constitutional reforms. It ought to be an absolutely necessary condition that all the candidates for the coming elections declare their intentions in order to bring about this process which ought to begin in the first year of the next government.
The first part of this blog was translated from an article found at http://www.cope.es/religion/16-07-09--obispos-hondurenos-exhortamos-al-pueblo-deponer-actitudes-rechazo-aceptarcaminos-reconciliacion-68907-1