PBI-Honduras accompanies ASOPODEHU at march against deaths from dengue epidemic
On July 10, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted that it had accompanied ASOPODEHU to the observation of a march called by the Platform for the Defence of Health and Education to denounce corruption and the lack of resources in the face of the dengue epidemic that Honduras suffers between other issues.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says that a total of 11,436 cases of dengue had been reported in Honduras as of June 2-8.
Proceso Digital highlights (in Spanish), “So far this year the dengue epidemic registers 90 deaths suspected of dengue, of which 48 have already been confirmed.”
The outreach for the march said that the number of deaths could be as high as 101.
The Platform says, “We regret that children are dying in our country, which are the future, due to the negligence and corruption of the rulers.”
Prensa Latina reports (in Spanish) that the mobilization condemned increases in dengue deaths and demanded the departure of the country’s president Juan Orlando Hernández.
On June 22, a controversy emerged when a truck donated to the Ministry of Health in Honduras by the Government of Canada to help address the dengue crisis was photographed being used to transport security forces.
The Canadian ambassador to Honduras James K. Hill issued a sternly worded statement that read: “We have insisted that immediate steps be taken to ensure that this unacceptable use of development cooperation resources provided by Canada does not happen again.”
There have been ongoing strikes and protests in Honduras since late April over President Juan Orlando Hernández’s proposed ‘reforms’ of the health and education systems, deep public dissatisfaction with his government, allegations of corruption, and findings of widespread irregularities in the November 2017 election.
On June 28, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement noting that it is investigating the deaths of four people and that “another 78 people, including journalists and human rights defenders, have reportedly been injured by the security forces in the context of the protests.”
ASOPODEHU refers to the Association for Democracy and Human Rights in Honduras, an organization headed by journalist Dina Meza.
Its mission (translated from Spanish) is “to accompany victims of violations of their fundamental human rights, with emphasis on vulnerable groups: journalists, social communicators, women, youth, indigenous people, blacks and the community of sexual diversity.”
PBI-Honduras has accompanied Meza since May 2014.