July 9, 2009

Honduras: Where is the outrage? It's here

Buen Provecho!

corruption HondurasBon appetit!

Image: Dario Banegas
La Prensa, Honduras

Two years ago, displaying my frustration with the latest corruption scandal in Honduras, I asked "Where is the outrage? Who is going to stop this kind of thing?"

I've written many articles about corruption, unfortunately none with a satisfactory ending. I've blasted the government and lamented the lack of action on the part of citizen groups to demand a better government.
I'm not foolish enough to believe that all corruption comes to light in the media. I'm sure that what I've seen was only the tip of the iceberg.

When the 'coup' was first reported, I didn't know what to think. I was reporting what was happening and what we were hearing here in Honduras on CNN and Honduran media, but other than knowing that the removal of Mel Zelaya from office was a good thing for the country, I didn't know what the people in general thought about it.

Then I saw that the majority of the people seemed happy and relieved that Zelaya was out. I saw the peaceful demonstrations of sizes never seen in the eight years that I've been here. National pride and empowerment were evident in the hundreds of interviews and demonstrations.

Finally I see that outrage that I was looking for from ordinary citizens and government officials. I see Liberales and Nacionalistas coming together, both the wealthy and the poor, to stand up for peace and democracy. I see them saying that corrupto Mel Zelaya will never be their president again.

I see what is happening now as the best chance for Honduras to reduce corruption, demand transparency of their government, and to become a better country for all of its citizens, especially the poor who are always the ones who suffer the most from corruption.

I hope that the world will watch (and report) as more and more corruption investigations come to light each day, and will continue watching to see that justice is done and restitution is made. Don't let Honduras go back to business as usual.

If compromises on crime, corruption, and ethics are forced on Honduras by the world, it will be a very demoralizing time for Hondurans. Hondurans will be back to the helpless "what's the use? I can't change anything" attitude that has kept Honduras the second poorest country in the hemisphere.

I have a hard time understanding why the rest of the world can't see that.

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