Today, January 18th, marks 6 months since the forced disappearance of Albert Sneider Centeno Thomas, Milton Joel Martínez Ávila, Suami Mejía Garcia, and Gerardo Misael Trochez Cálix from the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz on Honduras’ northern coast.
The young Garifuna men were forcibly kidnapped by armed men identified as agents of Honduras’ Investigative Police Agency (DPI) and never seen or heard from again. The Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, part of the Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), has been demanding the Honduran government comply with an Inter-American Court of Human Rights sentence to clearly demarcate their land and ensure their right to it. Albert Sneider Centano (pictured above on right), President of the Triunfo de la Cruz community and one of the forcibly disappeared men, was a vocal leader in these efforts. Six months after the forced disappearances of Albert Sneider Centano and the other Garifuna young people, the U.S.-funded and backed Honduran government has given no real answers.
Today, OFRANEH is asking people around the world to participate in a Global Mobilization on social media ‘for life, territory, justice, and truth’ by sharing the image on the right with your message of support.
Here are sample messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can share these, share your own message, or even upload a short video calling for the Garifuna men to be returned alive and for the Honduran state to respect the life and territory of the Garifuna people. Please use one or more of the following hashtags:
Please tag OFRANEH (@OFRANEH on Twitter and Facebook) and SOA Watch (@Schooloftheamericaswatch on Facebook, @soawatch on Twitter and Instagram) in your post so we can also share it! If you are not on social media but would like to share a short video of support you can send it to Brigitte@soaw.org.
Finally, as we remember Martin Luther King Jr. today, we leave you with an excerpt from his words from May 10, 1967, which are extremely relevant today:
”Three major evils – the evil of racism, the evil of poverty, and the evil of war. These are the three things that I want to deal with today. Now let us turn first to the evil of racism. There can be no gainsaying of the fact that racism is still alive all over America. Racial injustice is still the Negro’s burden and America’s shame. And we must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over black Americans….
Now let us be sure that we will have to keep the pressure alive. We’ve never made any gain in civil rights without constant, persistent, legal and non-violent pressure. Don’t let anybody make you feel that the problem will work itself out….
And we must know on some positions, cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there are times when you must take a stand that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but you must do it because it is right.”
Thank you for continuing to speak out and protest for what is right and just,