A new report on the U.S. role in a lethal raid that killed four civilians in Honduras has received zero coverage in the corporate media. At the very least, in light of new eyewitness testimony, news organizations should revisit the thoroughly accepted view that U.S. forces played only a support role in the May 11 raid.
Given the rightwing accomplishments in Honduras and Paraguay of subverting the most basic of democratic protocols, it’s absurd for The Washington Post to ignore these events in favor of detailing the “new authoritarianism” of leaders who are admittedly “democratically elected,” who “do not assassinate opposition figures or declare martial law,” and who preside over republics with “active news media, political opposition and civil society organizations.”
A New York Times article indicates an outsized role of U.S. forces in Honduras, but does not utilize relevant information from previous reports; progressive news and commentary highlight the alarming decline of Honduran sovereignty.
A June 20 blog post by Harvey Morris, featured on the website of The New York Times, pointedly asks in its headline, “Asylum for Assange: What’s in It for Ecuador?” Writing for the paper of record, Morris understandably looks at Ecuador's policy considerations through the lens of that government’s own self-interest. But the Times selectively applies this kind of examination.
Activists protested outside a May 7 event held by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute to celebrate illegitimate Honduran leader Porfirio Lobo. As a result, EFE, a major Spanish news agency, filed a story on the gala with the headline (translated from Spanish): “Lobo seeks greater backing in the U.S., while activists organize protest.”
On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the U.S. government condemned a litany of countries for the dangerous conditions in which journalists work. But Honduras was noticeably excluded from any official scrutiny. It seems safe to conclude that World Press Freedom Day is little more than a parade of double standards set by the United States, with media outlets serving as willing abettors.
It's obvious that the U.S. government has set the agenda for The New York Times’ coverage of Honduras. As a likely result of the State Department’s relative silence on the ongoing human rights crisis in that country, The Times has deprived its readers of crucial news that could have provided some context for a recent U.S.-Honduras drug raid that likely killed innocent civilians.
Communities that suffered through the civil wars of the 1980s and 1990s are once again faced with violence as they defend their land against international interests.This article was published in the Spring 2012 issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas, "Central America: Legacies of War."
NACLA presents its Spring 2012 Radio Podcast. Featuring content on Honduras, New York's Movement for Justice in El Barrio, Occupy Birmingham, and the Unidos student movement in Tucson, Arizona. You can now also subscribe to NACLA Radio.