HONDURAS: From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez – Death is Not in Vain
From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez
Gilberto Ríos Munguía*
Those of us who, alongside hundreds of thousands of other Hondurans, witnessed Isis Obed’s death announced by Oscar Andrés Rodriguez the Saturday before the tragic afternoon at the airport, during the first frustrated return of President Manuel Zelaya, and seven days after the military coup, have fresh memories of his blood.
An entire generation in revolt awoke on June 28. Those who were minors during war, those born in the midst of an unequal democracy perfected through the years by the Honduran oligarchy and imperialism. Everyone subdued by the hopes of consumerism, in voluntary submission to exploitation, controlled by the mirage of a free market economy, prison of the soul, of the imagination and of humanity: we Hondurans used to live in peace.
Suddenly consciousness has come, youth take their freedom seriously; the country lives daily a dizzying process of consciousness and struggle; injustice is rejected and now we easily associate the two party system with the oligarchy, injustice with capitalism, Coup d’état with fascism, hypocrisy with Obama and imperialism with underdevelopment.
Only a few months ago “National Identity” was an indescribable paradigm of confusing dreams imposed by a pro-oligarchy civil society; the Copan ruins are more known in situ by foreigners than by nationals; the national soccer team built out from private owned clubs that deprive the majorities from access to sports leaving them with only expectation. Today the popular national identity is fully summarized in one word: Resistance.
Historical Memory was the memories of American trilogies and canned TV series that we associated with stages in our lives and a television schedule. ’82 was the year of the World Cup. Today 1982 is for all the memory of the worsening of the national security doctrine; the people who disappeared in the 80’s now reappear in our conscience and Historical Memory is a concept filled with peasant struggles against rancid landlords and ranchers, workers against oligarchs, students against imperialism, women for peace and human rights organizations versus the fascists of capitalism.
Popular Culture was Britney Spears, the Spicegirls, Michel Jackson and a group named Rebelde (above all rebellious to art and intelligence). Modern formulaic pop echoing the emptiness of the alienated youth of the North without substance, leading to ingenious suicides and massacres. Today Popular Culture is Café Guancasco, Nelson Pavón and his el “perro feliz,” Tito Ochoa’s Memory Theater and its superb cast and all the artists in resistance. Art of freedom that liberates and democratizes culture, nourished by popular applause and humble smiles. Revolutionary artists that craft technique with rigor and life with joy; producers and multipliers of the collective imagination.
Women, who have struggled historically to be taken into account, took into account the streets, the walls, the fight against police officers, repressive men, the very reproducers of the patriarchy they live through in peacetime. Husbands with uniforms; a bit more of the same. In [the banana strike of] 1954 they also created a space, the result of which was the recognition of the right to vote less than a year later. Now? Perhaps they should take into account their absolute majority, as absolute as it has been in the streets and in the struggle.
Hoarse cries of women, men that walk in curves, multicolored flags. Men or women? No, neither one nor the other. Human beings with the sexuality they feel, no prejudices, no labels. They discovered freedom of sex and sexuality, they march asking for democracy and a little respect for their intimacy and decisions. They exceed us in diversity, discipline and courage. With them, Walter Trochez releasing political prisoners, denouncing abuses, fighting in the frontline against brutality. Tortured, he goes back to the streets and falls to the bullets approved by [U.S. ambassador] Llorens in his yearly budget.
Honduras continues its path of liberation while it reflects on and is surprised by the real underdevelopment in which it lived, the few conscientious Hondurans of that time would be amazed at the tortuous and difficult process lived through today by the people of Morazán facing such small and historical battles because we lived in the middle ages and it is difficult to overcome, nonetheless beyond resisting barbarity without a doubt we are advancing and we will win.
From Isis Obed to Walter Trochez, death is not in vain.
Gilberto Ríos Munguía