Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Alianza Cívica and education

The Civic Alliance for Democracy (La Alianza Cívica por la Democracia) issued a statement on education almost two weeks ago. The Alianza Cívica is a grouping of persons and organizations of civil society - mostly here in western Honduras - which was formed several years ago and has spoken up strongly against the mining laws in Honduras. Its president is Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos, bishop of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán.

In light of the crisis I am publishing my translation below.



In light of the crisis in the educational system and its repercussions which can be seen in the children, to the detriment of the quality of the their future life, and in the society in general, we declare in the following manner:

Considering :

1. That the current confrontation between the Central Government and the Teachers has brought the nation to levels of ungovernability which contravene the spirit of life together and the respect fro human dignity.

2. That it is the obligation of the State according to article 157 of the Constitution of the Republic to direct and administer Public Education and that the Law of Instates for Community Participation for the Improvement of the Quality of Education does not fulfill the expectations of the major actors of the educational endeavor

3. That at the same time as the fiscal exonerations add up to more than 17 billion lempiras (according to FOSDEH) there is an economic crisis which puts at risk the educational system, these recourses would serve at fulfilling all the State’s obligations in regard to education which only needs about one billion.

4. That these initiatives come rooted in the recommendations of the World Bank, the International Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund in its policies of reducing the scope of the State and its functions to the detriment of the poorest and so privilege the private sector in all that can be converted into financial gain, leaving an ominous result which already experience these efforts in Latin America.

5. That the demands of the Teachers are just in regard to the defense of their capital worth of their social security through IMPREMA, which was converted into a source of booty for politicians and a sector of business, who in bed with the teachers unions leadership have brought the funds into a state of ruin to the detriment of the teachers.

6. That the confrontation is leaving very precarious the respect for human dignity through the systematic violation of human rights in the repressive activities of the police which go beyond the limits of the use of force and which have taken the lives of 31 teachers since the coup d’état of June 28, 2009.

Taking all his into account and in virtue of the tremendous confusion of the population in regard to the themes of breaking-up, decentralization, privatization, municipalization, community participation in order to achieve citizen participation and to achieve the levels of efficiency in Education in the country which we know depend on a broad-based Social Pact which guarantees the stability of the same and guarantees the education as a right for Hondurans, we demand:

· The immediate and unconditional return of President Porphyries Lobo and the Leadership of the Teachers to a dialogue which is sincere and effective, leaving aside the hypocrisy, which permits the return of a normal functioning of the educational system.

· The suspension of the process which the President of Congress is leading concerning the Law of Initiatives for Community Participation.

· That a beginning be made toward the construction of a true Educational Social Pact which guarantees quality and free Public Education.

· The end of the police repression and the confinement of the Armed Forces to their barracks in conformity with constitutional rules.

The Civic Alliance for Democracy (La Alianza Cívica por la Democracia), committed to the sectors which are excluded from the society, is not going to stay at the sidelines of this ongoing crisis of governability.

Santa Rosa de Copán, March 23, 2011

Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos

Bishop of Santa Rosa de Copán

and President of the Civic Alliance for Democracy (la Alianza Cívica por la Democracia)

The original Spanish can be found here at my Spanish blog.

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