In order to provide a more democratic, open and transparent voting process, we are initiating a new format whereby both sides of a resolution are presented. In the past, members have sometimes presented both sides of a resolution through Anthropology News. The Executive Board would like to be able to bring a ballot to the membership in a more timely manner and not have to wait to include the resolution as part of the spring ballot. The Executive Board is initiating this new format with the Honduras resolution that was discussed at the business meeting in Philadelphia.
The resolution is copied below, and is followed by links to PRO and CON statements co-authored by AAA members and others invested in the statement. Following these is a comments section that we invite the membership to use to weigh in on the topic. This section will be available for a month, after which time it will be deactivated (but still readable) and members will be invited to cast their electronic ballot in favor of (a yes vote) or in opposition to (a no vote) the resolution. Please note that the first comment is a letter from Honduran anthropologists that was read aloud in its entirety at the Business Meeting in Philadelphia during discussion of the motion to bring the resolution to the AAA membership for a vote.
Proposed AAA Statement in Support of Hondurans Resisting Military Dictatorship
WHEREAS on June 28th, 2009, democratically elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup in an operation led by a School of the Americas-trained military general; and
WHEREAS a resistance movement comprised of hundreds of thousands of Honduran citizens has daily and publicly protested the usurpation of Honduran democracy since that date; and
WHEREAS reports from Amnesty International and the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, and from Honduran Human Rights agencies CIPRODEH and COFADEH each detail numerous targeted assassinations, hundreds of injuries inflicted by police and military on unarmed citizens, and thousands of arbitrary detentions; and
WHEREAS violent state repression has particularly targeted already politically marginalized people like indigenous people, Garifunas, women, transgender people, public school teachers and other workers, and the poor, who together comprise the vast majority of Hondurans; and
WHEREAS anthropology has a longstanding relationship with and obligation to bear witness to the human rights and lived experiences of such persons; and
WHEREAS freedom of expression has been severely curtailed through the assassinations of journalists, the sabotage and closure of media outlets, the revocation of constitutional rights to freedom of speech, assembly and the press; and
WHEREAS the government put in place by the coup has threatened and physically attacked university students, faculty including the rector of the national university, researchers and independent institutions including the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History; and
WHEREAS elections overseen by the same military that has committed a large number of the above-mentioned atrocities are not a sufficient means to address the vast damage that has been done to Honduran democracy and infrastructure; and
WHEREAS the U.S. government has refused to officially recognize the actions of June 28th as a military coup and has neither acknowledged nor condemned the human rights violations committed by the de facto government; and
WHEREAS ongoing state-sponsored violence destabilizes the entire region; and
WHEREAS consequently, destabilization and official hostility toward intellectual endeavors of any sort, particularly those engaging marginalized groups, make it more difficult and dangerous for anthropologists to conduct research in Honduras;
Be it moved that the American Anthropological Association supports Hondurans who have resisted and continue to resist the June 28th military coup and subsequent repression and economic exploitation by the de facto regime; condemns the role of the Honduran military in the coup d’etat and its aftermath and U.S. financing and training of said military; supports Hondurans’ calls for the elimination of the Honduran military; and urges President Barack Obama and members of the US Congress to:
Acknowledge and condemn the human rights violations that have been committed by the de facto government in Honduras since the June 28th,2009 coup d’etat; and
Give support to the progressive forces in Honduras that are striving to create a real democracy and are worthy of the support that they have not received from the international community; and
Work with allied countries to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Honduras.
Join most Latin American countries in withholding recognition of individuals selected in the election held on 29 November 2009, in view of the de facto regime’s failure to restore democracy prior to this date, resulting in conditions that prevented a free and fair election.
Pro & Con Statements