Sunday, October 02, 2016


Last week the original case files for the assassinated indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres were stolen when the auto of a judge involved in the case was stopped and stolen by two individuals who stopped and threatened her after leaving work. She said that she was taking the files home to study.

Last week a bridge built about three years ago collapsed during a major rain storm. I was told that the part that collapsed had no rebar, the reinforcing steel bars that are used to reinforce concrete.

Road to Quebraditas
A major rural intersection at Caleras on the road from Dulce Nombre is an environmental disaster. The place has been flooded twice in the past three years and now a major coffee dealer had built a storage barn and a drying deck right by the stream. The stream is now filled with silt and vehicles have to go through water to make the turn off to Plan Grande, San Agustin, and about 24 more villages in the parish. If you go straight the road lead to fourteen more villages. The rear of busses often scrape the ground where the stream cuts through the mud. There used to be a small culvert there. The situation would probably be worse but each day several pick-ups of silt are removed by people seeking sand for construction. If we have several major storms or a hurricane, about forty villages will have no access to Dulce Nombre.

A Facebook friend recently posted a photo of the road near the village of Quebraditas. It has been bad for at least a month but from the photo it seems as if it’s impassible: a large ditch – about a foot deep -  runs down the middle of the road.

People have also told me that there have been a few landslides in other areas.

There have been two suicides in the past few weeks as well as a killing in a rural community.

Padre German had two funerals in Dulce Nombre on Friday, but not the only ones last week. Cancer is taking a fair number of lives these days.

I also heard of the death of a newborn who was delivered prematurely because of the health condition of the mother.

Then there is the death that I mentioned in an earlier blog post of the 31 year old delegate from pneumonia.

In the face of all this I weep, but I also find myself a bit disturbed.

About two week ago I took three Franciscan sisters to San Pedro Sula to visit a seminarian in intensive care as a result of a car accident. In the waiting room of the emergency department (where the intensive care is located) of the public hospital I noted three young guys with green shirts which featured government propaganda about jobs for Honduras with the letters JOH on the back, the initials of Juan Orlando Hernández, the president of Honduras. Someone told me how a relative of hers had gotten employment in another medical facility but had to promote the National Party (of the president) to keep the job.

The other day I gave a ride to my neighbor to Dulce Nombre. I noted the large number of pickups with women going to town. She told me that she and the others were going to Concepción to collect the Bono de Mujeres, a “gift” from the government to needy women, of 2200 lempiras, about 95 dollars.

There are other government “give-aways” that look to me like ways to “buy” votes.

There’s a lot more that is disturbing, but I’ll save my rants for another day.

But look for a more positive blog post in the next few days. I’ve encountered signs of hope – and I continue finding them.

No comments: