Something very sinister afoot

The horrific death of journalist Carol Cabrera's 16-year old, 8-month pregnant daughter—killed by the the same method as Walter, perfected by years of military drive-by shootings first of "communists" then of "gang members" and other "delinquents" (all in quotes because more often than not those identities were false labels)—is being loudly denounced in national and international media by Micheletti as the work of the resistance (see article in Spanish below).

Why is this a lie?

  1. As of yet, there is no evidence that the resistance has used violence against any human being.
  2. Their accusations that Radio Globo & other oppositional media were to blame for the bloodshed run counter to everything anyone ever hears on this media—and I listen frequently. There are never calls for violence against human beings (or anything else for that matter, unless you are one of those who considers marching and perhaps graffiti "violence"); to the contrary, radio announcers are quite specific and even repetitive with their calls for non-violent resistance.
  3. If the resistance were in the business of killing, they would, frankly, pick a better target. Someone who is actually directly responsible. [I was about to name some of them here, but I wouldn't want to be accused of inciting violence myself, or, if I am so accused, I want to be sure that there is no evidence of this—Let me be clear: I am not advocating any bodily violence, even against those directly responsible for the bloodshed of the past six months]
  4. Carol Cabrera was not a logical target because:
    1. She is a mediocre newscaster not considered of great importance by anyone
    2. Only an idiot would think the reaction to her daughter's murder would be anything other than widespread indignation and horror (as it should be)
  5. As mentioned above, the tactics are those of the SOA-trained military death squads, as practiced for decades, since Negroponte's time.

So what purpose does it serve?

  1. It takes the focus off Walter whom everybody knows they killed; there's simply no doubt given that police kidnapped him, tortured him demanding information about the resistance, and told him he'd be killed the previous week (he escaped with his life then by throwing himself out of their truck). This is clearly the express purpose of the media circus surrounding her death, from a national media that never even mentioned Walter's assassination. To international media outlets: shame on you.
  2. It gives fuel to their despicable attempts to piggyback off terrorist rhetoric, borrowing once again from Israel's playbook, the problem being they don't have a home-grown violent insurgency yet, and couldn't find a suicide bomber to do their dirty work. As with international coverage of the Palestinian genocide, we see a dangerous discrepancy in which bodies matter to the press. And here, like there, it is the bodies of those who had been resisting—resisting the usurpation of their human rights, their rights to land, water, freedoms of speech and assembly and life—that are made invisible, whereas the bodies of those who had tacitly or openly approved of the policies of the military dictatorship are used as media spectacles in service of the regime to garner national and international support.

The only logical explanation for this murder is that the military itself carried it out, with the approval (either pre- or post-, it doesn't matter) of Micheletti, for the above reasons. The Honduran military as a whole has no ideological consistency, no aim other than power. As in the 80s, as with the mano dura period, they believe they can kill whomever they want and it will work in their favor; if the victim had oppositional politics or was poor, the fact of their death marked them of deserving of it; if the victim was on their side, they blamed the poor/communists/resistance. But this time, it's not going to work. Hondurans aren't falling for it.

As a final note, I should mention that the symbolism of the murder of a young, burstingly pregnant woman (girl, really) should not be overlooked in a context of a military-religious regime with fascist policies vis-à-vis reproduction. Again, as with yesterday's post, I am using fascist here not in the vague sense that Orwell rightly accused it of having become, but in the specific historical sense of fascist states' virulently anti-abortion, eugenic policies and rhetoric chaining women to their reproductive functions.

Micheletti culpa a "sicarios" de la Resistencia por muerte de hija de periodista.

Miércoles, 16 de Diciembre de 2009 13:26
TEGUCIGALPA El presidente interino Roberto Micheletti culpó a “sicarios de la Resistencia” de haber dado muerte a la hija de la periodista Carol Cabrera, la adolescente Nicolle Rodríguez Cabrera. Además pidió a varias radioemisoras y a un canal de televisión que no apoyaron el golpe de estado “que terminen esa campaña de odio, de terror, de deseos de ver más sangre en nuestro país”, dijo Micheletti durante un evento oficial esta mañana.

Acto seguido pidió un minuto de silencio “por la llegada de esa niña al cielo. Que Dios le dé la protección y que Dios le dé la conformidad a sus padres, a quienes tenemos relación y queremos a esa ciudadana (Carol Cabrera), que con mucha valentía ha enfrentado la situación política del país”.


Possibly not a government-sponsored killing

Method/motive/opportunity certainly make it possible that this was a government killing, but it's also possibly an angry boyfriend. Nicolle was extremely young and unmarried. In conservative Catholic circles, that's the kind of thing that gets emotions very high. While one would think that most of the anger would be against whoever got her pregnant, if the impregnator is untouchable, the anger and violence is directed against the woman.

Time will tell, of course. Could be angry boyfriend, could be government, could even be someone from the resistance who didn't get the memo. But what's inarguable is that Micheletti is, despicably, using the murder for political purposes.

I've gotta disagree here

The angry boyfriend trope is just a little too close to racist for my taste (although I know that's not at all how you mean it). There's no evidence for it whatsoever, and while femicides are indeed on the rise, huge numbers of young women get pregnant, have multiple partners, and have babies in Honduras without their boyfriends killing them- it's just too much of a stereotype of macho Latino men to assume off the bat that that could be it. Also, the drive-by shooting method does not at all fit with a crime of passion. However, there is a not unlikely possibility that—if not a military death squad—it could have been a gang shooting aiming at one of the several other people in the car. That's one of the rumors going around.

Definitely *not* said in a racist manner

True, there's no evidence for any personal motive, no real evidence that the attack was aimed at either Nicolle or Karol, no evidence of anything except a desire to kill someone. A gang killing is one that always has to be considered, especially considering how many of them there have been lately.

I think it's important not to assume that it's the government for the same reason that it's important not to assume that it's a resistance killing: because there's no evidence for it. Let's let the facts emerge, as eventually they will.

partially agreed

I do think, however, that the motorcycle drive-by shooting, which is one of the most important methods used and perfected by death squads since the 80s (who, having no particular ideology, also sometimes do work for non-governmental actors), can lead us to give much greater weight to the military theory. Because of the method and the complete lack of logic of other possible explanations (resistance, for the reasons stated in the post above, and passion killing, since her boyfriend and almost-baby-daddy was in the car with her and again because of the method), I don't think saying it's either a State or a mara killing is on par with saying one of the other parties is to blame. There is evidence for the former two, and not for the latter. We can't silence rational theories when Micheletti is screaming lies all over the news.