January 24, 2011

Update on Liz

A photo of Liz from February 2010

Our friend Liz has had all of the tubes removed and is getting a little stronger every day. She has been released to go home by her doctors but the hospital will not release her until she pays her bill or gets a co-signer on a bank loan to pay it.

Sure, the private hospital needs and deserves to paid. There is no doubt that they saved her life and have to be paid in order to keep offering the quality of medical care that they offer, but you might ask how is it possible that a person can be held hostage for a bill? All I can say about that is that this is Honduras and that is the way it is. The hospital has been burned by foreigners and others before so they have to protect themselves.

A lot of money has been raised for Liz by her friends. The first night in the Roatan hospital (US $5,000) has been paid as has the medical evacuation flight to San Pedro. Approximately US $20,000 has been paid toward her San Pedro Cemesa Hospital bill so far.

We've heard that some of the kind doctors at Cemesa have waived or lowered their fees for treating Liz, given the circumstances. Unfortunately, she is still left with more than US $39,000 to pay on the hospital bill for which it looks like she is going to have to get an expensive bank loan. We know that Liz is also going to have hand surgery, medical followups, and expensive dental work later on.

A lot of people are outraged that the victim in this case is facing long term financial hardship through no fault of her own. I've learned over the years — the hard way — that it rarely accomplishes anything to stand up for what is right or just, or insist on what should happen, or shouldn't happen, or who should be legally responsible or who shouldn't. I know that is a sad statement, but this is Honduras, where justice of any kind is a very rare commodity for anyone.

When I made my donation, all I could think about was that Liz was in critical condition and needed the help that she could only get in a private hospital. I am 100% convinced that had Liz stayed in a public hospital that she would no longer be with us; public health care is that bad. What happened to Liz could happen to any one of us, expatriates and Hondurans, and we need to pull together to help out an innocent victim of a horrendous crime.

To those of you who have donated, I thank you very much. To those of you who have been thinking about it, please make your donation as soon as possible because every bit received before Liz has to sign the bank loan will help. Just email me for Liz's bank account information both at BAC here in Honduras and her bank in the US.


Liz has been really overwhelmed by the generosity. And here is a personal thank you from Liz herself:

I have been thinking about how to write a thank you to everyone who helped me in all the different ways since the attack Dec 17.

Piecing together the events, I do not know all your names or even the actions that you took during this time. I do know that my Roatan family of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, business people, Oak Ridge Police, and co-workers, were all there for me from the moment I was discovered, carried, and placed in the police car - held in the arms of two construction workers who prayed the entire way to Coxen Hole and kept telling me to "Hang on, Miz Liz".

I do not remember much after that - flashes of people, as many men carried me up the stairs to surgery. I thought then I was going to be dropped, and also thinking that Ben was going to hurt his back lifting me. I saw Steve H, I remember a flash of being put on the plane and Patty G beside me squatting on the floor, and the seat right above me being put in place and thinking if that falls on me....Bernadette telling me all was going to be ok....next waking in ICU in Cemesa Hospital and seeing my sister Rebecca and Vegas and being told it was a week later.

I now know that so many of you donated a lot of money to cover the medical care at Woods Clinic, where the excellent surgeon Doctora Sanchez is credited with saving my life with surgeries. You provided money for the medical flight to get me from Roatan to San Pedro Sula and more money toward the medical bills here at Cemesa. You have sent and are still sending prayers, healing light, positive thoughts. I know that many friends from the East and West Ends spent the entire night at Woods watching over me, thinking the damage was too extensive to survive.

How can I truly express to each of you how deeply I love and appreciate all you have done for me? I am trying with this email. Hoping that those who do not have email will be passed this message of thanks.

Cemesa Hospital has provided excellent care for me from the doctors to the aides and nurses. I am told that costs have been reduced by the hospital as well as by doctors. These people are very professional, hard workers, and I am so impressed with their abilities.

Again, I thank everyone for all you have done for me. Yes, there is more to do, much more recovery, and medical bill issues that have to be worked through. Poco a poco....step by step.

Thank you each and every one for every thing you have offered and given,
from my heart,
Liz Riggs


See the story of what happened to Liz here: A friend in need

January 19, 2011

A friend in need

This is Liz, a friend of mine and many other expatriates and Hondurans alike. Isn't that a great smile? This is the story of what happened to her, written by another friend:

Hello Friends of Liz Riggs,

Some of you might know that Liz Riggs moved to Roatan, Honduras several years ago, to make a life for herself in the Bay Islands, after the economic downturn in the U.S. She is well known and respected on the island. Liz has worked tirelessly to promote the island to tourists and investors. Tourism is vital to fuel the economy in Central America, where poverty is the rule to the exception. The service industry, and related industries, like construction and retail, have literally permitted local families to put food on their table and roofs over their heads.

Unfortunately, on Friday December 17, 2010, while working in an office of a real estate development, Liz was brutally attacked. Just after a work crew stepped off the property, a small and crazed man entered. He didn't ask for money or say anything. He beat Liz with the butt of a pistol. Liz is a strong woman, so she fought back. However, the man pulled a knife and started wildly stabbing Liz. She was stabbed three times in the abdomen, twice in the throat, and once in a lung. One of the stabs in the throat went clear through her neck, cutting her airway. The stab to the lung caused it to collapse.

Thankfully, a worker came in to use the bathroom. The assailant pulled the gun on the worker and the worker fled to summon help. When they returned, the assailant was gone. Liz was left bleeding on the floor. The local police, who only recently inherited old police cruisers by the efforts of expatriates on the island, showed with a vehicle. They transported Liz to a local hospital. Liz had angels on her side that day, because the police cruiser had absolutely no gas left in its tank when it arrived at the hospital.

Doctors worked through the night to stabilize Liz, perform a few surgeries, get an airway going, inflate her lung, for transport to the mainland. None of the wounds in the abdomen struck any organs. The wounds to the throat were serious, and a tracheotomy was performed. The surgeon got the wounds to the airway closed, but it has been a struggle to get Liz to breath on her own, and to consume supplements. The crazed man knocked out much of Liz's teeth, and the wound to the throat has prevented intake of solid foods, until recently. This has hindered healing.

Liz is now barely able to stand, let alone walk, or talk. Within a day after her attack, at considerable expense, she was able to be life-flighted to Cemesa Hospital on the mainland Honduras, San Pedro Sula. She had been receiving intensive care since her arrival a mid-December 2010. A few days ago, she was placed in a normal hospital room on her own. Liz is impressed with the level of care she has received from medical staff at Cemesa.

It looks like Liz is going to be okay, but it is still difficult for her to breathe. She is extremely weak. But, with significant determination, in the last few days, she has been able to walk to the washroom, and eating some solid foods, like oatmeal, very slowly. She is on the mend, is doing much better, but still facing hurdles. She must have surgery on her hand to repair a cut tendon on her wrist (she cannot do a "thumbs up" and the extensive nerve damage has caused a constant "numbing" sensation in her hand). Doctors want to remove the trach tube, but do not want to do it until she is able to eat solid foods, a challenge without much upper teeth left. Hopefully, a dentist in the area can get Liz some teeth. Doctors are trying to pull strings to make that happen. It's important for Liz to have significant dental work, so that she can eat more solids, and thereby gain strength, and once again flash us all her great smile.

Liz does have a Blackberry, so has been able to stay "connected" with friends and family, through her Yahoo email and Facebook. Her sister had been able to spend a few weeks with Liz, but is now home in the U.S. with her own obligations.

Incidentally, once Liz was conscious about a week after the attack, she was able to identify her attacker in a photograph, as did one of the workers who saved Liz. The attacker is now in prison, and the Court found that there is enough evidence to make him stand trial. The police have not found any connection between the attacker and Liz. The man was believed to be under the heavy influence of drugs at the time of the attack, or possibly simply deranged. Random acts of violence like this can and do happen everywhere, Liz has concluded. She is thankful for the efforts of officials to accomplish swift justice and get this man off the streets.

Liz's goal is to get home to Roatan, where her home and heart is situated. She has talked about how much there is to do to help people on Roatan and how much she wants to get back here. She is concerned about the mounting hospital bill. Once a week someone from the accounting office of Cemesa Hospital comes to visit her and ask when is another payment going to be made. This inquiry is hospital policy, and surely disturbs Liz, because she can't afford to pay the mounting bill.

The estimates for her current medical care are about US $5,000 a week, then doctors billing, and more for procedures/surgery; she's had a number already, and more pending, and no firm hospital release date yet.

She could use your assistance.

It's simple to donate.

You can go to the Clinica Esperanza link (see below):

Then click "Donate Now" upper left green box. If you intend to donate to Liz, please put her name on the dedication line. The donations are secured through the Network for Good, and the site indicates it's tax deductible as a 501c3 charitable organization. They send a tax deductible receipt to your email detailing your donation.

If you would like to send a check or to use a Paypal account, click the "Send Check" button. (Currently the direct Paypal button on the front page is not working.) On that page, you'll find the US address for checks as well as the clinic's Paypal email address (donateBICHA@yahoo.com) used for making a payment through Paypal. Until the direct Paypal link is fixed, you'll need to copy and paste that email address into your "send money" page in your Paypal account. You can use funds from your Paypal account if you have one, or a credit card, even if you do not have a Paypal account.

If you know anyone who might be interested in helping Liz, if only they knew what happened, please feel free to pass this email on to those people, or local news sources, if you are able to make a connection with them.

Thank you for your consideration.


So that is the shocking story. I think that it was only through a series of miracles that Liz is still with us. Since this was written on January 16, Liz has improved greatly. We were there at the hospital when her first meal was delivered. But without teeth, she had a very difficult time of eating any of it. Liz is also suffering from nerve damage in mouth, face and throat so that eating is like after you've just had your mouth numbed by a dentist.

Her trach tube was removed yesterday and she expects that the gastro tube will be removed shortly. She can talk now! But she is still very weak and is facing at least one additional surgery on her hand, a boatload of expensive dental work, and doctors' followups and rehab work. She initially spent almost two weeks in intensive care and has been in the hospital for five weeks now.

Liz had no insurance though she had tried for three years to obtain it. Liz has always worked to make ends meet but it will be awhile before she is strong enough to go back to work. The medical bills are devastating for her limited budget. Incredibly, Liz has maintained an amazingly positive attitude throughout all of this and is anxious to get back home to Roatan, but the constant worry about this hospital bill is not good for her health.

If you can find it in your heart to pull together with Liz's friends to help her, I sincerely hope that you will. If you are in Honduras and would find it more convenient to send a bank transfer, please contact me and I'll provide you with Liz's Honduran bank account number and you can send something directly to her.

Please help!


Find the update on Liz here.

January 10, 2011

The Original 'Wikileaks': The 1862 scheme to colonize Central America with freed black slaves

US President Abraham Lincoln (1861-65)

I was searching for a better scanned version of an old e-book about Honduras that I have when I stumbled upon what could only be described as the original 'Wikileaks'. The search results included an item that caught my attention with a phrase about colonizing freed blacks in Honduras.

The book is called Foreign Affairs, Part II from December 1, 1862. My search sent me to a particular section which is a collection of 1862 US State Department correspondence to and from Central America. In August 1862, in the midst of the civil war, US President Abraham Lincoln made a speech to emancipated blacks in Washington, D. C., (who had been freed by decree in April 1862) suggesting the possibility of immigration to Central America where he would "endeavor to have them made equals, and that he had the best assurance that they would be as good as the best." That speech was reported in newspapers and caused a flurry of activity among the diplomatic community.

US representatives from various countries in Central America as well as foreign ministers wrote in alarm to US Secretary of State William H. Seward about proposed US plans to colonize freed blacks in the Central American countries under the protection of the US.

The population and the presidents of those countries were totally against this idea and offended that the US would even consider such a thing without discussion and the approval of the respective governments. Seward was politely told that, in fact, any such colonization without the permission of the respective governments was illegal, whether it be white or black colonists.

Seward's response was to downplay the idea as just a fleeting thought, saying that, of course, the US would not take any such action without the consent of the respective governments, but unfortunately, the President was not available to discuss it with the representatives. (Image: William H. Seward)

Seward even replied with a diplomatic reprimand to one foreign minister, surprised he would take action based on rumors and unconfirmed newspaper reports.

However, in other letters it was noted that the US Congress had made an appropriation of funds to assist emancipated negroes in colonization in other countries and that the government had been authorized to procure land and transportation for blacks wishing to migrate to Central America, so it was obviously more than an offhand comment by President Lincoln.

In one case, the US was offered 50,000 acres for $1.5 million in Ecuador for such settlements and had been in negotiation with an American, Ambrose W. Thompson and the Chiriquí Improvement Company, for many months to buy several hundred thousands acres of land in the Chiriquí region of Panamá, to which Ambrose held a dubious title. Even more telling about the duplicity of the US government, was the promotional pamphlet being publicly distributed to blacks by US Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy, inviting free blacks to join the colonization, promising the assistance of the US government.


I intended to stop here with the above summary, but thought that you might find this as interesting as I did — learning about US and Honduras history at the same time — so I'll include a partial summary of the correspondence. Please forgive the lengthy sentences! You should see the original sentences that I'm summarizing. Fair warning: If you read the correspondence, be prepared for the distasteful racist views common of the times on both sides of the conversations.


The topic of black colonization appears to begin with Guatemala on page 881, though I have not read the entire 900+ pages, so I can't be sure that it isn't mentioned in other sections.

Mr. E. O. Crosby of the US Legation in Guatemala wrote in May 1862 to Mr. Seward inviting him to consider the idea of freed black colonization along the coast near the borders of Honduras and Belize, as it 1) would help to direct trade to the US, 2) would materially increase the influence of the US in shaping the future policy of Guatemala, and 3) would check the future encroachment of the English colony of Belize upon Guatemala. He also pointed out that since other blacks already lived in the area, the new blacks would fit right in since all Africans spoke the same language and had the same religious sentiments. Mr. Seward responded by authorizing Crosby to make an offer to the Guatemalan government similar to that being made to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican section (page 883) begins with correspondence, also in May 1862, from Mr. Charles N. Riotti, US Legation to Costa Rica, indicating that he had been informed that the Costa Rican congress will consider setting aside part of the national domain, a tract of coast land, for the colonization based on their knowledge that the US President had been authorized "to expend a certain sum to assist the colonization".

However, in September 1862, Mr. Riotti strongly urged the US government not to spend "one cent for the purchase of lands for negro colonies" as the government would surely be swindled and the poor negroes robbed or placed in miserably poor locations. He believed that President Lincoln referred in his speech to the coal mining area of the Chiriquí province of New Granada (which later became Panamá), which he pointed out was not only worthless mining property, but the title to the land was in question and the area was in dispute between the governments of New Granada and Costa Rica.

Later information described the Chiriquí Improvement Company and particularly its representative American Ambrose W. Thompson with terms like cheat, scoundrel, opportunists, and swindling speculators. Mr. Thompson apparently continued to try to defraud the US government with his illegal claim of ownership and untruthful claim of vast coal reserves until at least the early 1880's according to this NY Times article from March 1882. But, interestingly, President Lincoln seemed fixated on this area despite several investigations over the years which cast serious doubt on the legal ownership of the area.


The tale continues with Honduras on page 887, with Mr. James R. Partridge of the US Legation in Honduras writing to Mr. Seward in August 1862 of his deep concern. Partridge had spoken personally with the Honduran President who indicated his strong desire for "the immigration of industrious whites .... particularly those of German descent" who had done so much to develop and add to the wealth of Costa Rica. The President felt that immigration of blacks was not at all desirable based on the trouble the government had had on the northern coast and particularly the Bay Islands, with the free negro population. Mr. Partridge informed Seward that this was the general sentiment of the country.


The Nicaraguan section begins on page 889 with several letters from Mr. A. B. Dickinson of the US Legation in Nicaragua expressing the deep-rooted and strong opposition of the people to the US President's project. He wrote that the "more or less colored population" (he explains that although not so dark as the negroes, they are colored nonetheless) was insulted to be classed with "a servile race". He also blames wealthy American secessionist immigrants to be a big cause of the panic in the country regarding "a dreaded deluge of negro emigration" into Honduras and Nicaragua. Dickinson credits these Americans with keeping the population agitated over this topic.

Guatemala and Salvador

Notes from Guatemala and Salvador begin on page 897, with an August 1862 letter from Mr. A. J. de Yrisarri, Foreign Minister representing the governments of Guatemala and Salvador (whose name actually should be Antonio José de Irisarri - image). He writes that he has seen the newspaper reports of President Lincoln's speech. (You can read the Harper's Weekly of August 6, 1862 here.) The letter expresses his regret to inform Seward that no type of colonization of foreigners, of any color, is allowed without the express permission of the respective government. Seward responds with feigned surprise that any diplomatic communications would be based upon informal conversations and newspaper reports, and that secondly, (paraphrased) just because the president said it, doesn't mean that he meant it or had any desire to do it.

Minister Yrisarri writes back with an amusing apology for relying on the speech of the US President related in public newspapers and for attributing to the President a wish to colonize other countries without permission, even though, he points out, this coincides exactly with what has been set forth in public by US Senator Pomeroy, "the President's commissioner for organizing colonies for persons of color in Central America", which was authorized by Congress. Yrisarri stated that he waited 12 days for the US government to deny or clarify the newspaper reports before writing. He states that he has no wish to insult the President but that he must make it very clear that no such colonizations can take place because they do not suit the views of these governments, who desire a more educated class of immigrants, something which was not acquired by blacks under slavery. Seward wrote back with assurances that no attempts at colonization will take place without the permission of said governments.

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras

The next section, beginning on page 901, is titled Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. It begins with a lengthy September 19, 1862 letter from Minister Luís Molina, representative of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras in Washington, D. C., documenting the understanding which has resulted from what apparently had been repeated meetings and conversations in Washington. It all boils down to 'no way, no how' will the governments of Central America allow the US to colonize in their territories, and certainly not independently under the auspices and protection of a foreign government. He refers to the colonization as "for the purpose of importing a plague of which the United States desire to rid themselves" but he states that the countries are disposed to promote the immigration of industrious persons capable of contributing to the improvement and advancement of the country.

Molina went to great lengths explain the illegality of Ambrose Thompson's claim of Chiriquí land ownership, describing him basically as a well-known charlatan trying to "make gold out of that which has no value". Thompson had a $300,000 contract with the US Navy, a contract in which Thompson had gone so far as to grant the US inalienable rights of sovereignty over the territory, a right which he did not have and would not have even if he actually did own the property. The contract was later not sanctioned by Congress.

Despite all of the previous meetings and assurances, Molina wrote of his alarm at reading in that very Sunday's newspaper that Senator Pomeroy (image) had been granted full powers by Congress on the matter of settling people of color in Central America. He said that he had been assured by the Assistant Secretary of State that the reports were not true. He requested that the assurance be put in writing by the Secretary.

To further his concern, he wrote that the Pomeroy pamphlet indicated that Pomeroy himself would be leaving for Central America to accompany the first group of 500 colored settlers on October 1st to aid them in selecting a good location. The publicly distributed pamphlet said that they would be exploring the most promising areas, beginning with "Chiriquí, New Granada, and would also visit the numerous islands and perhaps the countries of Venezuela and Honduras."

Relying on the "aforesaid assurances and upon the good faith and integrity of the US government", Molina humorously wrote "I have no other alternative left but to attribute it .... to a misunderstanding on his [Pomeroy's] part .... or to "an inexplicable hallucination which makes him feign not to understand [his instructions] and to counteract them by embarking upon an expedition [which is] in every way aggressive and illegal, against which your excellency knows a protest has been made from the beginning in various forms, in the name of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador and New Granada."

Seward responded five days later to acknowledge the protest and to inform Molina that Pomeroy had been instructed not to go to any country without prior permission and now that the protests of all six countries had been received, that Pomeroy had been instructed not to land on any of the territories, though he pointed out that Thompson claimed his land was not in Costa Rica or in the disputed territory, but entirely in New Granada.

Five days after that, on September 29, Molina replied in alarm again to inform Seward that on Saturday night, the 27th, Senator Pomeroy held a meeting with persons of color to urge them to join his proposed expedition, bound for Central America at the beginning of October and he "described to them in brilliant colors" the place on Lake Chiriquí at which he proposed to land and establish the colony. "However great my surprise, I must suppose the fact to be indubitable by supposing that the orders and instructions of your excellency's government may have got astray or been delayed for some cause....". Seward replied on October 1 with his usual reply.


Curious about this colonization scheme (which was variously called deportation and expatriation), I found this well-researched website which indicates that Abraham Lincoln was a long time proponent of emigration of blacks (estimated at 4 million in 1861) to other countries as the only solution for the vast numbers of newly emancipated slaves, who had been purposely kept in ignorance for generations and therefore would not be productive members of society, not to mention the importance of "maintaining the separation of the races".

This site also shows that the initial efforts to acquire land in Central America began in 1861, despite Seward's repeated assurances in 1862 that the the President and the US had no such plans. According to historian Warren A. Beck, on September 11, 1862, President Lincoln authorized a federal contract with Ambrose W. Thompson and Chiriquí Improvement Company to establish a colony by ex-slaves in Panama — during the very time the above correspondence was going on and Seward was denying any such acts!


As reported by historians on the above site, one black colony of a little more than 400 people was established in Haiti in 1863, with disastrous results. Lincoln entered into a contract with another shady character, Bernand Kock, despite warnings. Twenty to 30 of the passengers died of small pox on the voyage to Haiti, and as Riotti predicted, the blacks never received the promised assistance (materials to build homes, a church, and school and many other necessities). They were living in crude huts, sick and nearly starving to death before the remaining survivors ultimately were returned to the US less than a year later at the request of the Haiti government. Even the company agent, who assured the US government of the favorable conditions and that the cotton was "just springing from the ground" admitted that there were many reasons why colonization would never work, "prominent among which are the great dissimilarities which exist in language, religion, education, and government."

I found some other US State Department correspondence collections for other years, but brief searches did not yield more information on Central American colonization. Other than that, my admittedly limited research only discovered a few letters in which the topic was approached, notably by a US representative in Brazil whose lengthy, detailed plan included having the blacks pay for their own passage by indenturing them to their employers for 3-5 years while paying them 10 to 15 US cents per day for their work in the cotton and sugar fields. It seems there was a shortage of labor in Brazil due to Brazil's own abolishment of slavery. He felt that both countries could benefit without it costing them a dollar, while American investors could garner huge profits from this scheme.

If any readers have more knowledge about this topic, I'd love for you to share that with us in the comments along with any links, if possible.

January 7, 2011

Guest Blog: The New Wikileak from Le Monde

US Ambassador Hugo Llorens
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras

The New Wikileak from Le Monde
—by Jorge Gallardo

According to the latest Wikileak released by the French daily "Le Monde", US Ambassador Llorens reports that 10 days before the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, the High Command of the Honduran Armed Forces faced a dilemma. Let's give it its proper name: They faced a MORAL dilemma: Whether to blindly follow a rogue leader giving illegal orders or whether to follow their conscience, uphold the rule of law and protect the Constitution and the democratic institutions that conform it, that was the question.

Certainly, this is not a new dilemma. The German High Command faced a similar dilemma in Nazi Germany. They made the wrong choice and paid dearly with capital punishments and life imprisonments, when the Nuremburg Trials determined that they should have followed their conscience. Also, we cannot neglect the high price that the German people paid for this folly.

It is clear from Mr. Llorens's cable that he expected them to follow HIS lead: "They will not do anything without the support of the American Administration," he states. Indifferent to the consequences of Zelaya's actions to the Honduran people, Mr. Llorens naively believed that despite Zelaya's disruption of Honduran democracy in a Chavez style coup, he could still be drawn into the American's sphere of influence. "The fact that Zelaya obeys his personality rather than ideology means he can be manipulated by those seeking to establish a regime similar to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez, but it can also be manipulated by us."

Despite Mr. Llorens' understanding that Zelaya's "erratic behavior" was creating a major constitutional confrontation due to his lack of respect for the separation of powers and his clear understanding that Zelaya was attempting to impose a Chavez style 21st Century Socialism model, Mr. Llorens continued to participate in Zelaya's calls for an unconstitutional and illegal assembly, believing that he could rally everyone else into "dialogues" that would peacefully allow the country to fall into a socialist state, but manipulated by the US. He shows no concern for the Honduran people who would have to endure 30 years of "erratic" rule by Zelaya, the Caudillo, who had shown little concern "to address the problems of Honduras (poverty, corruption and crime)."

Thus, his surprise and frustration are understandable, when instead of following blindly into the Chavez trap or following blindly the American Administration's lead, the Honduran High Military Command, the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran democratically-elected Congress followed their own conscience and defended democracy in Honduras. "They conspired," Mr. Llorens later wrote. Without any support, they knew that they would face incredibly difficult hardships, but felt it was their duty to protect the rule of law and that their conscience would be clean when they acted according to its dictates.

Conscience, what a bugger it is!

Perhaps the rest of the world doesn't understand, but to the majority of Hondurans these "coup" leaders are unsung heroes that time and history will honor.


Jorge Gallardo Rius is a Honduran citizen who was born in La Ceiba and currently lives in Tegucigalpa. He studied in Louisiana, Houston, and Romania and is currently an Information Systems Analyst. Jorge's mother was a US citizen so he grew up speaking both languages at home. For a time, he wrote a weekly column on Education and Technology for an English-language weekly newspaper. He offers English/Spanish and Spanish/English translations. Sr. Gallardo can be contacted at jgallardo515 at yahoo.com and we welcome your comments here as well.
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