[News] Honduras: Why Do Garifuna Community Radios Burn?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 13 10:40:59 EST 2010

Honduras: Why Do Garifuna Community Radios Burn?

Written by Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 07:43

Translated by Ramor Ryan

Honduran Black Fraternal Organization Denounces 
Attack Against their Radio Station

In the early morning hours of Wednesday January 
6, the Garifuna community radio Faluma Bimetu 
(“Sweet Coconut”) based in Triunfo de la Cruz was 
burnt down by unknown armed individuals who 
proceeded to loot the station's radio equipment. 
This is not the first time the radio has been 
attacked and its equipment stolen.

In 2002 unknown people stole the transmitter and 
other key tools for radio transmission. The 
Garifuna people have been exposed to a slow 
process of assimilation into the dominant culture 
through the mass media - monopolies that are in 
the hands of figures who are well known 
throughout the country as manipulators of information.

Lacking control of our own Garifuna media has led 
to an acceleration of loss of our culture, a 
process that has become increasingly painful. 
Most of the communities with access to television 
are confronted by a permanent alienation through 
consumerism, acculturation, alienation (soccer, 
fashion, soap operas, cartoons and violence) and 
media terrorism. We have also seen a decline in 
the use of our own indigenous language, which has 
become, lamentably, a second language.

Transmission of Radio Faluma Bimetu began in 
1997, promoted by the Land Defense Committee of 
Triunfo de la Cruz (CODETT), in order to 
strengthen Garifuna culture and defend the 
ancestral territory of the community.

Triunfo de la Cruz, like other Tela Bay Garifuna 
communities, has become a conflict zone since the 
intervention of businessmen, politicians and 
foreign investors attempting to seize community 
land for the construction of mega-tourism projects.

This systematic usurpation at the hands of 
outsiders has led the community – conducted by 
CODETT and the Community Board -- to file a 
petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(IACHR), who accepted the case on 14th March 
2006, registered under No. 125-48. For the 
powerful ruling elite of Honduras, the staunch 
defense taken by the community of Triunfo de la 
Cruz of their ancestral territory, is a serious 
challenge to their economic interests.

Honduras is renowned for the high level of 
poverty for the majority of its inhabitants ruled 
by a minority that holds the country under a 
feudal regime. The use of mass media by the local 
feudal lords has been an effective tool for control and manipulation.

As in the rest of Latin America, the media 
monopolies have served to replicate the 
distortion of information and thus perpetuate 
domination. The community radios of the Garifuna 
have been growing strong over the past decade, 
setting a precedent among our people. And the 
primary goal is the protection of our culture - 
which is closely linked to Mother Earth.

Up to the present moment, we have installed four 
community radios and in the not too distant 
future we envision extending the network 
throughout the entire Garifuna nation. The 
overarching goal: to strengthen and enrichen our 
culture, to defend our ancestral territory and at 
the same time, to build early warning systems to 
deal with climate change, earthquakes, and diseases.

The attack against Radio Faluma Bimetu can be 
simply reduced to the fact that it enrages the 
power elite that we, the Garifuna, have been in a 
process of cultural resistance that has lasted 
212 years. And, specifically, that we have broken 
chains by actively participating in the 
resistance against the destruction of democracy 
in our country, a crime (the June 28th Coup) 
committed by the Honduran oligarchy last year - 
with the support of the troglodyte right wing of the United States.

Given these facts, OFRANEH (Honduran Black 
Fraternal Organization) demands respect for the 
right to provide information, as indicated in 
Article 13 - Freedom of Thought and Expression, 
of the the Inter-American Convention on Human 
Human. Specifically, we require a full 
investigation into this act perpetrated against 
the Garifuna community radio and against of our people in general.

La Ceiba, January 8, 2010

Miriam Miranda
General Coordinator
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH
Teléfono (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La
Ceiba, Honduras
<mailto:garifuna at ofraneh.org>garifuna at ofraneh.org 
This e-mail address is being protected from 
spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 
, <mailto:ofraneh at yahoo.com>ofraneh at yahoo.com 
This e-mail address is being protected from 
spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Also See:
OFRANEH: Urgent! Attack against Garifuna Community Radio in Triunfo de la Cruz
VIDEO: Radio Faluma Bimetu, antes y después del atentado

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San Francisco, CA 94110

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