The proliferation of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ mines across Honduras, prior to and following the passage of the new and totally questionable Mining Law, benefits the prosperity of a minuscule group of transnational companies, organized crime and their political leaders.
The recent accident in a gold mine in San Juan de Arriba, in the village of Cuculmeca Hill (Municipality of Corpus, department of Choluteca), which trapped 11 miners, seized the attention of a country engrossed in World Cup soccer and the apocalyptical violence that a small group of traffickers of misery has subjugated all of Honduras to.
Three of the eleven miners were rescued from the informal mine’s labyrinths, where another fatal mining accident killed two miners in July 2013. To add insult to injury, Mr. Juan Hernandez, current president of the country, demonstrated the executive power’s irresponsibility, writing a “tweet” that announced the rescue of the 11 miners. Unfortunately, that news was false, indicating the level of the president’s disconnection from reality.
President Juan Hernandez called mining “modern slavery”, and indicated that some mining companies “have ties with organized crime”. These companies exist and operate within a framework of maximum exploitation of the labor force and the total destruction of the environment, regardless of whether they are transnational or local, ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’. The code of conduct established by the mining companies is similar to that of drug trafficking cartels. No difference exists between Goldcorp, Five Star, the Templars or their numerous local counterparts.
Mining had governed Honduras since colonial times; it was only in the early twentieth century that swaths of land were given to fruit companies. Unfortunately, everything seems to indicate that during the twenty-first century, the country will be devoured by transnational extractive companies and international capital, via mafias and hired killers that control political power.
At the same time that the mining labyrinths of the Culcumeca Hill crumble, the social fabric of the country dissolves at breakneck speed. The social disaster reaches unprecedented levels, to the extent that children are leaving in hoards, seeking supposed opportunities or simply fleeing from the prevailing violence.
The scenes captured in the photographs of the San Juan de Arriba mine area, similar to those photos of children catapulting themselves on train tops in Mexico, demonstrate the decomposition of a country that has collapsed, where the satraps in power, crying crocodile tears, persist in lying about the catastrophe that engulfs us.
Everything indicates that the eight buried miners have already died. Nevertheless, their families continue in their hope to find their corpses at the very least. The same occurs with Honduras as a whole, in the middle of the social catastrophe that we are living there are still remnants of hope for Honduran men and women. It is hope founded in the belief that one day we will be able to rid ourselves of the dictatorship of organized crime that has had a steel grip on power for the last decades. In this way, we could neutralize the beast that systemically drives the sad exodus of children who flee from the depths of Hell in Honduras.
Sambo Creek July 11, 2014
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH