The June 11 issue of The Nation magazine features a cover story by UC Santa Cruz history professor Dana Frank.
Titled Honduras: Which Side is the U.S. On?, the article examines the impact of the 2009 military coup in Honduras and U.S. policy supporting the new regime—describing a corrupt drug war that has been used as the pretext for increased U.S. militarization of the area.
"I've been researching Honduras for over 10 years now, and it's horrifying to follow the ways it's descended deeper and deeper into a terrifying human rights abyss since the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya,” notes Frank.
"Following the Honduran news daily is hard to take: constant murders, a thoroughly corrupt government, and a completely nonfunctional judicial system,” she adds.
One of the top academic experts on Honduras in the United States, Frank has been commenting on the volatile situation in the region for media ranging from National Public Radio, to the Chicago Tribune, to the Associated Press.
The New York Times published her most recent op-ed—titled In Honduras, a Mess Made in the U.S.—on January 27.
"It's a tremendous responsibility to be one of the people that tracks the spectacular human rights abuses that are going on in Honduras, many of them perpetrated by the ongoing coup government itself--which it even admits,” says Frank.
“The U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored the horror of what's going on down there, and even celebrated the escalation of the U.S. military in Honduras, in the name of ‘fighting drug trafficking’,” she adds.
For the past three years, Frank has been communicating with the media, as well as members of Congress about U.S. policy in the region. She has contributed additional op-ed pieces about the ramifications of the coup to such media outlets as the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Frank concludes her article in The Nation by noting:
“Alas, we’re in the 1980s all over again, when the United States under President Ronald Reagan favored right-wing governments over democracy movements in Latin America. The implications of the Honduran coup’s success are ominous.
As Tirza Flores Lanza—a former appeals court magistrate in San Pedro Sula, who was fired with four other judges and magistrates for opposing the coup—put it: “The coup d’état in Honduras destroyed the incipient democracy that, with great effort, we were constructing, and revived the specter of military dictatorships that are now once again ready to pounce throughout Latin America.”
Read the full article on The Nation web site.