FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Age of Constitutional Coups
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left
Anthony DiMaggio
Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: They Are the Walrus
T.J. Coles
Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?
Joseph Natoli
The Vox Populi
Sasan Fayazmanesh
The Pirates of Gibraltar
John Feffer
Hong Kong and the Future of China
David Rosen
The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?
Ishmael Reed
When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out
Michael Hudson
Break Up the Democratic Party?
Paul Tritschler
What If This is as Good as It Gets?
Jonah Raskin
Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ryan Gunderson
Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School
Michael T. Klare
The Pompeo Doctrine: How to Seize the Arctic’s Resources, Now Accessible Due to Climate Change (Just Don’t Mention Those Words!)
Luke O'Neil
I Would Want To Drink Their Blood: God Will Punish Them
Louis Proyect
The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx
Tom Clifford
How China Sees the World
Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson – Negin Owliaei
Who’s Burning the Amazon?
Yasin Khan
Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors
Ralph Nader
Big Business Lies Taught a Watchful Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Sacking of John Bolton
Andrea Maki
Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward
Jeremy Kuzmarov
The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?
Tim Davis – Stan Grier
Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
Clark T. Scott
Super-Delegated and Relegated
Jim Britell
Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns 
Howie Hawkins
Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy
Ramzy Baroud
‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call
Jill Richardson
It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs
George Wuerthner
Montana’s Wilderness Deficit
Colin Todhunter
Officials Ignore Pesticides and Blame Alcohol and Biscuits for Rising Rates of Disease
Volker Franke
Me First and the Loss of Compassion
Adolf Alzuphar
Why is the Left Without a Single Elected Official in LA?
Kim C. Domenico
All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace A Chance (Bring It Home!)
Jennifer Matsui
The End of Aquarius and The Dawn of a Death Star: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Missy Comley Beattie
Never Forget
James Haught
Prodding ‘Nones’ to Vote
David Swanson
For the First Time in My Life I’m Against Impeaching the President
Nicky Reid
Yemen as Arabian Vietnam
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: the Wound Becomes the Womb
Fred Gardner
Homage to the Tabloids
Yves Engler
RCMP Attempt to Silence Critics of Trudeau Foreign Policy
Stephen Cooper
Hempress Sativa: “Rastafari Should be Protected”
David Yearsley
Joie-de-Job: Staying High, at Work
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail