The Witness for Peace delegation “Honduras: The Fight for Reparations” just returned from a nearly two week long Black and Brown exchange with Garifuna communities located along the North-east coast and organized by OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. Throughout the delegation, the Garifuna spoke about their legal victories demanding the return of their ancestral lands from the Honduran state and transnational corporations as well as their communities’ struggles against the ongoing coup.
“The Garifuna are descendants of the African Diaspora as well as Indigenous peoples across the Caribbean and the continental Americas. They have historically fought to repair the colonial and imperial wrongs perpetrated against their nations for centuries. In Honduras, the Garifuna have won two unprecedented cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in defense of their ancestral rights to land, inherent rights to cultural preservation and their livelihood. These landmark cases have resulted in clear demands for the Honduran state to guarantee the return of all the Garinagu ancestral territories and financial restitution.” (WFP’s website)
Currently, the Garifuna people are under fierce attack from the government, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Honduras is “Open for Business”, as a banner in English proclaims in the San Pedro Sula airport, and its politicians are taking the lead in new varieties of colonialism that intend to sell off resources, rivers and even cities to foreign bidders who would establish sovereignty with no fetters in those chunks of territory.
Garífuna and also Lenca people stand at the forefront of building justice from the ashes of the 2009 coup, that was backed by the U.S. government. The coup halted a vast people’s movement headed toward changes in their constitution that would allow genuine rule by and for the people. Due to a current wave of repression led by the state and other conservative forces, Honduras has statistics of murder among the general population, murders of journalists, murders of trans people, murders of organizers at some of the most alarming rates of any country in the world not officially at war.
Delegates came from Belize, Peru, Ecuador and represented different migrations and Diaspora including: El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.
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The Honduras Fight for Reparations Delegation