Sunday, March 04, 2012

The infernos of Comayagua, Comayagüela, and San Pedro

Monseñor Rómulo Emiliani, CMF, the auxiliary bishop of San Pedro Sula and head of the country’s prison ministry released a document, From Comayagua to Comayagüela, on the recent fiery infernos in the prison in Comayagua (which left 361 dead), in several public markets in Comayagüela, and in the San Pedro Sula Social Security hospital.

At this time, I am only able to find an article in Spanish in Zenit, accessible here.

One section is remarkably strong and puts the fires in some perspective. Here is my translation, followed by the Spanish. Note that the bishop uses the word incendio which I translate as conflagration, though it could also be translate as an uncontrolled blaze or fire, or perhaps, even stronger, as a blazing inferno.

These conflagrations brought on by lamentable accidents hide another conflagration much more destructive in our country which is ongoing and feeds the blazes just mentioned: the [conflagration] of a most frightful corruption by which funds destined to be invested in sound infrastructures capable of resisting events such as fires and earthquakes remain in the pockets of a few; the [conflagration] of improvisation and mediocrity which  does everything in a half-way manner and without any quality controls; the [conflagration] of not having a serious plan of integral development for the whole country and the [conflagration] of egoism which makes us work among those who are like us], thinking very little in the poor who comprise most of those who live in our jails, who work in the public markets, and get medical attention in the Social Security [public] hospitals.

“Estos incendios provocados por accidents lamentables, esconden otro incendio mucho más destructivo en nuestra patria que es permanente y alimenta los anteriores: el de la corrupción más espantosa por lo que se desvían fondos destinados a invertir en infraestructuras sólidas y capaces de resistir eventualidades como incendios y terremotos y que quedan en los bolsillos de unos pocos; el de la cultura de la improvisación y de la mediocridad que hace todo a medias y sin controles de calidad; el de no tener una planificación seria de todo un desarrollo integral para un país entero y el del egoísmo que nos hace solamente trabajar en los que son como uno, pensando muy poco en los pobres que son los que más habitan en nuestros presidios, trabajan en los mercados públicos y reciben atención en los hospitales del Seguro Social.”


John (Juan) Donaghy said...

I found the full text in Spanish at

There is also the Honduran bishops' statement on violence which I have put up at

I do need to get around to translating both documents.

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

I have made a quick translation of the Honduran bishops' statement on violence which can be found at

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

I have posted my translation of Bishop Emiliani's remarks at the meeting of the National Prison Ministry at