Went to a pollera with some Tegucigalpa intellectual friends, for "just one beer" that turned into 12. The company was great, which was a good thing, because I don't drink beer and otherwise it would have been a really long night. The conversation, like most casual conversations among friends I've been present for, centered around the coup. Or rather, the coup was ever-present in the conversation. Every person who was mentioned in the normal course of story-telling/gossip was identified as golpista or resistencia. The latter category is usually accompanied by a qualifying adjective and sub-group affiliation, i.e., full resistencia, resistencia pero resistencia Liberal trotskitsa, etc. This, I should note, is not for my benefit. These conversations happen between people talking among themselves when I'm involved in another conversation, and serve important function of solidifying alliances and identifications (and subjectivities). Who counts as resistance? FULL resistance?
My friend Sofía spoke about how she and her husband used to always meet for a drink at Chili's. They were regulars. But since the coup she's only been back once. "HA!" her husband exclaimed, "I haven't been back at all! I'm more revolutionary than you!"
Sofía spoke about a friend she had before the coup, one of the worst golpistas of all, a leader type who writes articles and opines publicly in other media as well, the one who recently made an open threat to Pepe to have his pajamas ready in an editorial. The funny thing, she said, is that he doesn't disgust her. There's a visceral reaction, she said (speaking to her other friends). You feel it, you know, in your body. It's an utter rejection that comes from your body (they nodded in agreement). "El cuerpo no tolera, tiene una reacción." And with him, she said, for some strange reason she didn't feel it. "No sé por qué mi cuerpo no reacciona a [...]."
She drew my attention to the caja, where one has to pay for the (excellent) fried chicken and beer. What was particularly funny to me about this caja was that it was free-standing. It was a small cage in which the cashier was incarcerated, outside, in an outdoor establishment. How does that mold sociality? I asked them if they thought I could take a picture. They said sure, so I did.
Turned out it wasn't such a good idea. One of the drunks at the bar came over angry, and the friend across from me grabbed the camera quick to take some pictures of me, so it wouldn't look like I'd been taking pictures of him (which I wasn't- at least not intentionally). My friends came to my defense, promised I wouldn't take any more, and he backed down. Point taken. No more photos in polleras without explicit permission.
After the 9th or so beer, I got my palm read by someone who's been described to me by someone I view as one of the most brilliant intellectuals in Honduras, as one of the most brilliant intellectuals in Honduras, and discovered I've still got some life in me, that I'm more logical than emotional, that I don't have kids (alhamdulilleh), and a few other things with varying degrees of accuracy. He also told me the saying el abuso no suprime el uso, which I didn't understand, but after he'd tried to explain a couple times I pretended I did because I felt bad. The others made fun of his cell phone, which was something like 5 years old (ancient!). Responding, he said he was more clever to have kept it because it's an old technology (analogue?) and "no me interceptan"—"they can't intercept my phone." I added "Y no te lo roban"—"and no one will steal it." But Sofía broke in cheerfully: "aquí no te roban, ¡te matan!"—Here they don't rob you, they kill you!"
A couple days later, after a long day of writing less than the hours spent merited, I walked the 2 km down the windy mountain dirt road to catch the bus to Tegucigalpa. Near the USAID building, I took a picture of the "government of national unity" propaganda.
This woman posed, in reference to the picture I'd just taken, and I quickly explained I was taking a picture of the sign, not her...why? did she want me to take a picture of her? Yes, she did.
Down the hill at the cancha, I got a better shot of the graffiti that declares "Your vote is not worth your life," signed by the "Armed Revolutionary Front":
A store in the Hotel Tegucigalpa building was selling Ropa de Maquila (mark of quality, not used "ropa americana", but the same clothes gringos would get new, without the markup, made more by machines than humans, i.e., advanced):
red handkerchiefs, in big demand:
more neonazi confusion:
And this one had me stumped for a minute
until I got the referent:
Kind of like a school named after Cesar Chavez engaging in union-busting tactics. Ah, the sad irony.
I walked another 2 or 3 km to take a taxi with three joking guys who claimed I couldn't be a gringa and declared me to be from Spain to meet a former high-ranking politician in Mel's government at Mall MultiPlaza. Naomi, for whom I have a great deal of respect and affection, is a very attractive 50-something woman who manages to be always well-coiffed and flawlessly dressed, no matter how dire the crisis, no matter how sleepless the nights. Her meticulous appearance belies her militancy. Naomi, who resigned her post in protest against the illegitimate elections last November, was one of the most vocal Liberal Melista critics of the coup (although she always made clear that she had disagreed with many of Zelaya's decisions prior to the coup), and I met her in Washington when she arrived last summer on a delegation with an exhausting schedule, meeting with Congress members, State Department representatives, giving press conferences at the National Press Club, even speaking as one of the only anti-coup voices allowed into the think tanks (for "balance" against the steady flow of golpistas featured all year). She and the other members of the delegation went on their own dime, although we all frequently joked about how we were waiting for the check from Chavez, or that Chavez would pay the restaurant bill, since according to Lanny and the Honduran golpistas, they were all bathing in VZ oil money. All the delegation members spoke at the time of how they were suffering economically, which was certainly true, within their income bracket. It continues to be true, as I am reminded over and over by resistance elites who are either denied employment or refuse to take positions offered within the government on principle.
Naomi spoke of how bad things still are, with the empresarios wanting to overthrow Pepe (she was very worried about this). She said a friend of hers, a golpista who would know, said the empresarios had approached the militares but the militares said they stood with Pepe (after all, Romeo's pretty comfortable heading Hondutel), so for the time being, she doesn't see a coup on the immediate horizon, although there could also be divisions within the military. She told me how bad the violence was back in her department. Terrible, unimaginable, narco violence. And nobody talks about it! she said. Because they can't. She made the familiar throat-slitting motion. But it's out of control.
She mentioned the need to revitalize the Liberal Party as the only way out of the crisis. I was actually a bit surprised at her analysis, I had expected her to take something more of Leo's line, given how vocal and radical her discourse had been throughout 2009. But she was aligned with don José instead, mentioning just how much he had stuck his neck out for his principles when everyone else of his class was golpista. She argued strongly that any change had to follow the rules of the existing constitution, and the constituent assembly had to follow its guidelines, even if that meant it wasn't a popular assembly. I asked, but did she really think the Liberal Party had a chance? It was so torn, so weakened. Look, she said, as someone who knows how politics work in Honduras...[and this, I've noticed, is a common Liberal position—"this is how things work in Honduras, like it or not"; i.e., static]...we'll never have anything other than a two-party system here. This is the only way to stop them. The leftists can take back over the party, and then we can improve things. What the bloque popular doesn't understand, she told me, is that the majority of people in the resistance are Liberal Party members. And without them, the resistance would be nothing. She was very firm.
It's interesting to me that the bloque popular members I speak with have the same discourse, inverted. They claim that the Liberal Party has no base, that the scope and convocatoria of the resistance has been entirely due to the organizing efforts of the different popular grassroots organizations that make up the bloque popular. And that without them, the Liberal Party would be nothing. In a letter sent Friday, Zelaya seems to be agreeing with both. This letter is of great importance in shaping the assembly I'm on my way to right now in Siguatepeque (that's right, typing in the back seat). Although it's too soon for me to analyze it fully—one never knows the conversations that went on in the background or what ulterior motives may exist—but it will prevent what appeared to be an imminent split, at least for now. The letter itself reaffirms Zelaya's commitment to the Liberal Party, but only within the resistance movement, and appears to attack Yani Rosenthal's maneuvering to become a presidential candidate.
Naomi had strong feelings about the bloque popular. They had treated her very badly, she said. They had made her feel unwelcome within the resistance. How could they say such ugly things, after everything she'd been through, after all she'd sacrificed for the resistance. It was here I realized what was going on was a contest of suffering, a concept Jim Quesada uses to describe the language used in the "Save our State" initiative validating the suffering of white Californians while erasing that of Latinos. [read it! It's a great article: Quesada, James. 1999. From Central American Warriors to San Francisco Latino Day Laborers: Suffering and Exhaustion in a Transnational Context. Transforming Anthropology 8, no. 1: 162-185.] It also came up when she described what she saw as the bloque's rejection of Zelaya, when they argued against including him in the declaración soberana [claiming, among other things, that although they admired and respected him, privileging him over other exiled Hondurans and naming him the only voice of the Honduran people went against their aim of refounding Honduras as a non-hierarchical, democratic country]. According to her, not wanting to privilege Mel over other Hondurans in the document showed a lack of respect for his sacrifice. Did they not realize the resistance would not exist if it weren't for Mel? Did they not see how he'd suffered for them? How he'd been tortured in the embassy? How he still suffered? He doesn't have money now either, she told me. He hasn't started receiving his salary yet from Petrocaribe.
It's a very Catholic discourse. Just like the perennial hunger strikes are a very Catholic form of embodied legitimation of political-economic suffering. And I could see how sincere it was, how really betrayed she felt on Mel's behalf, and on her own. They had suffered. But that's the problem with suffering in Honduras. When measured individually, horizontally (just the facts, ma'am) no one can win the suffering contest, really, since there's always someone who has suffered more. And there's never a lack for gory details, if you're doubting it. But when one accepts given hierarchies, individual suffering and social status have a multiplicative effect, as in the case of Mel; meanwhile other sufferings—like those of the families of the victims of the regime, like the women (and men) raped by the military, like all the public workers who have gone hungry, like nearly everyone in the country—are relegated to a lower status.
I felt sorry for Noemi. I believe her that she's been treated badly; I've seen people call each other golpistas over far less than defending the integrity of the Liberal Party. Is there a way to not personalize such profound animosity? The thing is, the Liberals in resistance I've spoken to don't recognize the bloque (which they usually speak of as a sole entity, just like the bloque usually speaks of them) as having a position other than trying to destroy the resistance, as being too radical, whereas the bloque generally portrays the Liberals as having no position other than trying to take power for themselves, as usual, rather than having any plan to change the structure and institutions of power in the country, which they say is at the core of the problem. The Liberal perspective was hammered into my head by a very wealthy political friend of Noemi, let's call him Eric, who, with his wife (also a wealthy former high-ranking politician in Mel's government), happened upon us in the mall. As they discussed the bloque's ungrateful rejection of Mel, I interjected that my friends in the bloque said they did not reject him, but that their hesistance to call him the only one who could speak for Hondurans stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of democracy. Eric, an imposing blue-eyed Honduran well over six feet tall and portly, shook his finger in my face to explain things to me. Let me explain, he said, anger coloring his pale cheeks, the bloque popular is what, in the Russian revolution, they called the Trotskyists. I was afraid his finger might poke my eye out, it was wagging so hard. I protested over his diatribe that I had heard numerous different groups make the same accusation of each other, and no one seemed to talk to each other, and if they were so angry at each other, how were they ever going to come to agreement? At that point the others jumped in, there were three different passionate conversations going on (or rather, non-intersecting monologues).
When the other two left, Noemi mentioned to me another curious thing she'd seen: on June 8th on Oswaldo Ramón Soto's program (and he's the worst of the golpistas, she noted) Mario Canahuati said (she forwarded me the text she had hastily typed out to a friend while watching)...
Canahuati responds to Oswaldo Ramón Soto that both domestic and international policies should be managed with great care, Canahuati speaks of changing, of sharing, it's incredible, he defends Hondurpalma, he defends it, Oswaldo attacks, Canahuati [says] if someone had 20,000 hectares of land why can't they sell 3,000. They should change the way they act, he thinks this initiative [on the part of the peasants] in Bajo Aguan can be understoon, that this 52% poverty rate [higher by my most measures] needs to change.
Canahuatti, responde a Oswaldo Ramon soto, se debe manejar con mucha habilidad manejar la política fuera y dentro del país, Canahuati habla de cabmiar de compartir, es increible, defende a Hondupalma, la defiende, oswaldo ataca, Canahuatti si alguien tiene 20000 ha de tierra porque no vender 3000, debe cambiarse la forma de actuar, quiere que esa iniciativa del Bajo Aguan pueda explicarse, ese 52% de pobreza debe variar.
She added in person that Ramon Soto pushed, asked sarcastically if Canahuati would turn his maquiladoras over to the workers. Without pause, she said, Canahuati responded that yes, he would, if it would take to reconcile the country. Oswaldo pushed, saying he didn't think, with all the blood, sweat and tears that Mario's father had put into building that maquila empire, that he would ever do such a thing. But he insisted he would.
Pretty damn strong words, and Oswaldo was surprised, as was Noemi, as was I on hearing her version of them. Somehow I doubt he'll act on them, but I'd love to see that happen.
We noticed a table nearby (still inside Mall MultiPlaza) where some blanquitos stood promoting the march for "Zero hunger," with a table full of UN Materials. The march, which posits hunger as a problem to be addressed through charity, not democracy (and god forbid redistribution), is as far as I can tell exclusively promoted and assisted by golpistas. I was too cowardly to take a picture, although I imagine they'd have let me, so I just took a flier:
I had to leave to go meet Jonny at the outdoor market by the Estadio. It was shopping day. He preferred going there, he had told me, because he liked buying from the small farmers. Turned out this and his many market rules (spread out the wealth by not buying too many things from any one vendor, not bargain because it was hard work and they deserved the full amount, buy from young people and very old people) were influenced by my old friend from the States whom he knew well. Jonny and his best friend Jorge were good shoppers- we got a huge pile of stuff and got out of there quite quickly, in time to go to the concert in La Kennedy, where Jonny was slated to play drums. Just as we got into the car, the vergazo of rain ("ahí viene élver," they say here) started coming down. Bad sign for an outside concert. "Es que la lluvia es goplista," said Jonny, "It's that the rain is golpista." On the way we passed some traffic, which turned out to be the Honduras selección parade, consisting of some dancing people on a float with a guy who was speaking animatedly on the megaphone (he's gay, Jorge said, wondering aloud how the guy could do such work), clowns, and a relatively small line of honking cars escorted by big police vehicles.
We got to talking gay in the car. I was asking about la disca as Jonny calls his favorite gay disco, about which he has developed a series of fascinating ethnographic theories having to do with social class and sexuality in Honduras. There were usually fag hags there (not a word or specific concept in Honduras- here it's just girls who have gay friends), but lately, he and Jorge noted with a twinge of disappointment, more heterosexual girls had been bringing their boyfriends. I asked if lesbians went to la disca. No, Jonny said, they prefered a bar that was the known lesbian hangout. Lesbians don't like techno, he told me. "Pero aquí casi no hay lesbianas"—"But there practically aren't any lesbians here." I protested loudly. That was ridiculous, I told him- obviously they were just invisible to him, but he couldn't say they weren't there. He conceded the point, and somehow the conversation segued into a discussion of male homosexuality in Honduras, with me (for some reason) having to point out that the category called gay here is much smaller than the number MSMs. Jonny and Jorge thought about it and agreed, coming up with various examples, including one guy, someone who had dated a woman from the Bendeck clan, who had sex with one of their friends and it didn't make him gay "y mas bien le hizo más mujeriego,"—"instead it somehow made him even more of a ladies' man."
We arrived at the event in the pouring golpista rain, and saw a group of people standing beneath some trees, and others standing under a tarp up on a cement platform in the middle of a large cement playground. We went up on the platform with the others, and I saw a number of people I knew. I started talking with a friend, an historian who belongs to a collective of artists in resistance, who told me about their work to educate people about the difference between art and folklore. Folklore, he said, is those fake performances of traditional culture, static and depoliticized, that the State promotes so forcefully to encourage tourism. For example, the government sent a Garifuna dance troupe to Johannesburg for the world cup. Contrasting with folklore is Art, which is created with political vision, through a thinking process. We talked about the ONGs, he said that their discourse about "citizen participation" and other phrases he now recognized as empty was anti-revolutionary. He said the coup exposed the NGO concepts as being void of content, cited some outrageous number of NGOs in the country (thousands and thousands- I have to check up on it), and said that a lot of NGOs were ONGs de maletín; NGOs on paper only. As money laundering operations.
Another man, one of the singers waiting with us for the rain to die down, had joined the conversation, as had an attractive woman in her 50s who had her hair pulled back softly and was wearing a bohemian peasant blouse and skirt. As the others drifted off in different conversations, the woman, whose name was also Mildred (like my generous host in San Pedro) had me trapped. She told me a long story about how she had done an 8 month project for the World Bank in El Progreso, but the World Bank had never paid her. Great detail about the project, how she had tried to do it the right way and how they wanted her to do it some other way, how years and passed, and they hadn't paid her, and they had her bank account, she didn't know why they wouldn't pay her, did I have an idea? Feeling guilty about just how annoyed I was feeling by the conversation, yet not being able to pinpoint the source of my annoyance other than the fact that all I had said for about ten minutes was "aha," and "mmhm," I did my best to stay focused. Suddenly, I realized she'd stopped. She was waiting for me to respond. "Can you help me?" she repeated. I stalled, trying to remember the last thing she said. "pues..." She reiterated, "usted puede hacer algo para que me pague el banco mundial?" "So, can you do something to make the World Bank pay me?" I tried to explain that my influence with said entity was about as minimal as hers, even though I'd met Hugo Noé Pino in DC a few times. "But you could talk to someone, you could explain..." I apologized.
Mildred later asked me, while I was in the middle of a conversation with the young social scientists I'd met at the concert in Progreso, who my favorite U.S. politician was. I thought for a half second, and responded, "no, none of them." She seemed shocked. Not Obama, not John F. Kennedy, not Clinton? I was shocked back that someone at this concert (which by now was in the process of being canceled due to rain) would like Obama, after his support for the coup. The young people I was with, either because they look up to me or because they agree or both, strongly agreed. And Clinton, the strongest force behind neoliberal imperialism in Latin America in the past three decades? Really? In that half second I'd been mulling over whether I should have said Kucinich, Grijalva, Schakowsky...but John F. Kennedy? Creator of the Peace Corps and Alliance for Progress? But I guess people here still believe in those instruments of (from a simplistic but generally accurate structural perspective) cultural and economic imperialism too, or more likely, just in the man himself. After all, we were in La Colonia Kennedy.
I spoke to my young friends a little about their survey, and about my analysis regarding the contest of suffering in the resistance. They responded right away, yes! That's the revolucionómetro. I cackled, tripping over the pronunciation of this delightful new word. With the revolucionómetro, they said, people who were well-dressed (as in dressed like someone from the upper class) scored low. But if you're wearing sarapes (in this case, hand-sewn or patched hippie outfits, long skirts or jeans for women and crusty Guatemalan or South Asian accessories, resistance t-shirts and jeans and a red rag or two for guys), then you're full resistance. Which was stupid, they added, since resistance is in the mind, not in what you're wearing.
My insightful young friend making this funny yet poignant observation was, I noticed, well-dressed. Himself a victim of the revolucionómetro.
Soon thereafter four of us and Jonny piled into Jonny's little car to go to the Bull Bar. This caused no small degree of amusement to the driver and passengers, who pointed out that the super macho name BullBar sounds like bulba—or, according to the Spanish pronunciation—vulva. Adriana, they asked, do you know what a vulva is? No, I answered. Really, I have no idea. Affecting a mother talking birds and bees voice, Jonny said entre las piernas, las niñas tienen una flor (between their legs, girls have a flower...) and the ribald jokes continued until we'd worn ourselves out, although at one point Jorge made the interesting commentary that in his house, since his mother had worked as a social worker and was a feminist, words like "pipi" were never used, instead they always spoke of penes and vaginas and his mother's sisters, who were more conservative than his mom, never let him play alone with his cousins because they were afraid he'd share some of his sex-ed info with them, which they of course all desperately wanted. His was the better upbringing, he said. All his cousins (if I remember this detail correctly) already had kids.
In the same ride, they joked about religion and faith and the coup. Apparently, the ultra-right-wing UCD (Civic-Democratic Union) sponsored a series of anti-Zelaya ads (before and/or after the coup? Must check dates) that threatened "Chavez te quiere robar tu fé"—"[Hugo] Chavez want to rob your faith." How do you steal someone's faith, they asked, laughing and incredulous. They then proceeded to act out a series of ridiculous mock vignettes in which the evil Chavez came to steal a person's faith, underscoring the oxymoron that is golpista logic.
The Vulva was very loud, with 1980s rock and a Bull/strange rock poster motif. I sat down with Jonny and his group of 20-something friends. The signs on the walls informed us that bulls were not allowed to smoke (and good thing it wasn't humans, because the guy sitting to my right went through about a pack in the hour or two we were there), and no sneakers. When I took this picture and the other people at the table noticed the signs along with me, the sneaker prohibition caused great amusement, since the woman sitting to my left had that exact pair on. For some reason my camera didn't want to take a picture of her feet, though I tried, so you'll have to take my word for it.
The young man next to me introduced himself as Javier and started up a conversation. He had been at the canceled concert too, he told me. It had been rescheduled for Sunday. On such short notice? I asked. How would people find out? On facebook, he said, as if it were obvious. "Pero ¿y la gente que no tiene facebook?" I asked. "Casi todos tienen," he said. But, I pressed, what about all the people without internet access? He reflected and answered that among those people "pues se pasa de boca en boca"—"it spreads by word of mouth."
Javier told me that he worked in Pizza Hut. He had to work there because he needed to money to attend university. Sometimes other young people with their ideologies gave him shit, calling him a golpista and saying he shouldn't work there, but it wasn't like he had a choice. He works there por necesidad and hates it when they say that. The people who are so strict with their ideology don't understand the struggle he has to be able to complete his university degree. And people are hypocrites. At first they stayed away, after the coup, pero lo que pasa es que la gente es bien consumista—the thing is, people are so consumerist. Siempre se llena—Pizza Hut always fills up. And even among the radicals- he told me about a big huge group of students from the FRU that came to meet there once while he was working, and he asked them ¿por qué vienen a reunirse en un lugar golpista?—why are you meeting in a golpista restaurant?
Javier has a (kind of public access) TV program about children, wants to start an organization to help children. Although the past year was a notable improvement, Hondurans are still in diapers politically, he told me ("estamos en pañales politicamente aquí"). One of his resistance friends said to him, about street children asking for money, that it was the government's fault that they were so poor, and the government should make itself responsible instead in private citizens. Okay, he said to me, it's the government's fault. But in the meantime, these children are still starving. We have to help them now.
I look over to another table of young fancy-dressed woman and one hefty man, all of them clearly way off the scale of the revolucionómetro. I noted that there a marked difference in median alcohol preference. At my table, everyone but me was drinking happy-hour priced (L.20) domestic beers, whereas at the presumably golpista table? Daquiris.
It was way too loud, even though I was enjoying the company. About two-thirds of the young crowd, including Jonny, decided to go to another bar. So we crowded in, this time five plus Jonny, cramped, and drove to a bar nearby. On the way to the bar I noticed this sign, unfortunately grainy:
Waiting at a light, a very fancy car pulled up to our left. I think it had actually ceded the way a block or so back. Jonny and Jorge started laughing about the car, how they must be golpistas to have a car like that (or was it I who said that?). Jonny rolled down his window and said ¡golpistas! really quickly, far too quietly for anyone to hear, and rolled the window back up. This caused laughter. He then scribbled golpistas on his steamy side window for them to see (I have to admit, this was making me a little nervous), but Jorge said no! you have to write it backwards, otherwise they can't read it, so Jonny wrote it backwards, and was almost done when the light changed, and he rubbed the whole thing off.
We arrived at a smaller, darker, not nearly as loud but still hip enough for the crowd hole in the wall kind of place. Much better. I met a friendly young woman, Maciela, who refered to me as usted throughout the conversation, which bummed me out. I learned Spanish in Mexico, so being called usted here, even after so many years of working in Honduras, always makes me feel like I'm being slapped in the face with my class and/or age difference, even though here, it's just being polite. It had been nice that the other folks, following Jonny's lead, had been addressing me as vos. In any case, she and the other people at my small table, Javier and his friend, got into a long 20-something conversation about the feasibility of open relationships (Maciela wasn't buying it, Javier said it was the most honest way) and masculinity. Javier and his friend talked about how sometimes they cried, and how much their former girlfriends had hurt them, about whether they'd been in love, etc. Javier's friend insisted, when for some reason (I can't remember why) Javier and I were agreeing that society was patriarchal and we all carried that within us, that he wasn't macho, not at all. He hated machismo, and it wasn't true that you internalized it, you could choose to not be macho if you wanted. I said something about feminism and Javier responded negatively—feminists are too extreme, they hate men, he said. I did a little bit of gentle educating, and, perhaps trying to appease me, he spoke about what a strong woman his grandmother had been, how she had left his grandfather the second he'd raised a hand against her, and how much he admired all she'd sacrificed for them, and how strong she was. Pause. "Are you a feminist?" he asked me. "Por supuesto," I answered. He took it in, and seemed like he might just be reassessing his position. Him and that woman last week who couldn't be a feminist because she had a son...
Just before I left to go back to the house with Jonny and Jorge, Maciela came back from another conversation and exclaimed "¡No sabía que eras Adriana Pine! ¿No me conoces? ¡Somos amigas en Facebook!" "I didn't know you were Adrienne Pine! Don't you recognize me? We're friends on Facebook!"
Back at the house, Jonny and Jorge and I talked for just a little while before going to bed; we had to wake up very early to go to the resistance assembly in Siguatepeque. Jorge said that when Renán Fajardo was killed by the golpistas, that was when he realized he really had to involve himself more seriously in the resistance. He had been good friends with Renán and his boyfriend, and Renán had being doing such important work with the artists in resistance. One of the saddest things was that Renán hadn't seen his family in months; he was from Roatán and didn't get to go home that frequently. For Jorge, that was the turning point. I mentioned this conversation to Enrique later, and he said, sadly, "that's what martyrs are for."
In the morning Jonny and Jorge came into the house and made themselves coffee before we left. They were watching soccer news (it's pretty much what's on these days). "If I were president of FIFA," Jonny declared, "I would make a rule that all players would have to wear shorter shorts. Like in the seventies." A whole series of comments gleefully objectifying the various players ensued, while I walked in and out of the room going between my computer there, my breakfast in the kitchen, and my stuff in the room upstairs. "Adriana," Jonny said, "¿tú tienes amigos gay en los Estados Unidos?"—"Do you have gay friends in the United States?" [I should note that gay here pretty much only refers to men; lesbians are just called lesbians, never gay women] He and Jorge waited expectanly for my response. "¿Qué creen?" I said, making a "duh" face. "¿Per son tan gay como nosotros?"—"But are they as gay as us?" I laugh, and they say no, really, you know. I think about it. "Pues...la mayoría de mis amigos gay son más grandes que ustedes" ("most of my gay friends are older than you"). "Aha," they say ("mmmhmm"). But, I add, when they were your age...
Enrique later pointed out that arguably, my older friends back home were more gay, because they had more years of being gay encima.
Meanwhile, a story that in another context might be a happy, or at least hopeful one, is instead bitterly ironic, as the state continues to assassinate, torture and terrorize Hondurans fighting for environmental and other forms of justice. Honduras officially apologized for the 1995 murder of environmentalist Jeannette Kawas. The apology was offered on June 10th by Minister of the Interior and Justice Áfrico Madrid in compliance with a sentence handed down by the International Human Rights Court.