FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Political Murder that Exposed Hillary Clinton’s Dark Role in Honduras

Who murdered Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres?

While the identities of the killers remain unknown, activists, media observers, and members of the Cáceres family are blaming the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government.

The authorities had frequently clashed with Cáceres over her high-profile campaign to stop land grabbing and mining while defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

While Cáceres’ death and the outcry of grief over it did draw some mainstream U.S. media coverage, there was a glaring problem with it: Hardly any of the articles mentioned that the brutal regime that probably killed Cáceres came to power in a U.S.-backed coup.

Here’s a quick recap.

In June 2009, the Honduran military abducted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint and flew him out of the country. The United Nations, European Union, and Organization of American States (OAS) rushed to condemn his ouster.

Fifteen House Democrats joined in, sending a letter to the Obama White House insisting that the State Department “fully acknowledge that a military coup has taken place” and “follow through with the total suspension of non-humanitarian aid, as required by law.”

But under Hillary Clinton’s leadership, the State Department staunchly refused to do so. Emails revealed last year show that Clinton knew very well there was a military coup, but declined to add her voice to the loud objections coming from the international community.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 4.29.41 PM-1

As The Intercept‘s Lee Fang reported, Clinton attempted to use her lobbyist friend Lanny Davis to open up back channels with Roberto Micheletti, the illegitimate interim ruler military strongmen installed after the coup.

This maneuver effectively endorsed the new right-wing government that would go on to crack down on Cáceres and other activists.

In the original version of her memoir Hard Choices, Clinton disclosed she had no intention of restoring the rightfully elected Zelaya to power.

“In the subsequent days [after the coup], I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary Espinosa in Mexico. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras,” Clinton wrote, “and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

This is why State Department officials blocked the OAS from adopting a resolution that would have refused to recognize Honduran elections carried out under the dictatorship.

Interestingly, the paperback edition of her memoir released last year left out what happened in Honduras altogether.

Likewise, outlets like The Washington Post, NBC, CNN, and NPR treated the coup — and its subsequent purging of environmental, LGBT, and indigenous activists — as an entirely local matter, leaving out Clinton’s role and our government’s involvement. The New York Times briefly mentioned what happened in Honduras seven years ago and the subsequent increase in oppression. But it left out any mention of U.S. responsibility.

Cáceres wasn’t killed in a vacuum. Her death is in part the result of a deliberate strategy by the United States to prop up a regressive government. The mainstream media should have mentioned our own government’s role — and the role of the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidate — when it reported on her death.

This column is distributed by Other Words.

More articles by:

Adam Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing analyst to Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.

April 19, 2018
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail