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Updated 03/26/2007

MISF Media Launches 25-Year Retrospective of Honduran Rights Abuses

In December 2006, May I Speak Freely Media launched a new Web site feature chronicling the pattern of Honduran state-sponsored murder, disappearance and torture that began in 1981 and continued through the decade.

In the early ‘80s Central America was a hotbed of leftist revolutionary activity, and the Honduran government, with help from the United States, attempted to stem the tide by cracking down on perceived subversion within its borders. Hundreds of civilians were abducted off the street or taken from their homes, often in front of eyewitnesses. Survivors told stories of interrogation and torture, and those whose bodies were found showed signs of brutal abuse; many individuals simply disappeared.

Despite official denials at the time, it is now known that the Honduran military was responsible for most of these operations. Today Hondurans are still trying to heal the wounds of the period that they call the “lost decade.”

“Remembering 25 Years Ago: A Look Back at a National Trauma” presents a month-by-month chronicle of every known case of disappearance as well as other key events related to this dark era in Honduran history. A new month’s edition will be added as its 25th anniversary passes. Through this new feature, MISF Media hopes to honor the many individuals and families who have suffered and to increase public awareness of this tragedy.

“Remembering 25 Years Ago” is part of a larger effort to examine current and historical events in Honduras related to human rights. The MISF Honduras project takes a hard look at the impact of U.S. involvement in Honduras in the 1980s, when the country served as the staging ground for the U.S.-led war against communism.

The Honduras project reports on how this history is still relevant today, from the return of Reagan’s cold warriors in the current Bush administration, to similar human rights abuses revealed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Honduras project offers news review and reporting, historical records and other educational material on the MISF Web site. A documentary film, “Lost Decade: The Legacy of U.S. Involvement in Honduras,” is in production.