[haw-info] an appeal by historians in Honduras
The following message is sent on behalf of Margaret Power, a Latin American historian and a former co-chair (and a current Steering Committee member) of Historians Against the War. We realize that for most people receiving this message, it will come too late for the petition deadline but we hope it will provide information on the repression faced by fellow historians in Honduras.
We just received this urgent message about Professor Dario Euraque from Kevin Coleman, a HAW member. Unfortunately, the time to act is not much: until 10:00 am today, Tuesday, August 25th. So, please read the explanatory letter below and, if you can, sign the petition.
I write to you from the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History requesting that you sign the petition below in support of Professor Darío A. Euraque, who has just been illegally dismissed by the coup government in Honduras.
By noon Tuesday, I will submit the signed petition to the American Historical Association's Conference of Latin American History executive committee. I will also it send to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa. A translated version of this petition will also be presented to the Honduran media.
Please distribute as widely and as quickly as possible to our professional organizations and universities. Please send all signatures to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 10 AM on Tuesday, June 25th. Thank you so much for your support.
Doctoral Candidate in History
Indiana University, Bloomington
Petition of Support for Professor Darío A. Euraque: Illegally dismissed by Coup Government in Honduras
The undersigned, researchers, university faculty, administrators, and students, from a wide range of universities and institutions, condemn the illegal dismissal of Professor Darío A. Euraque by the coup government in Honduras. We urge the international community and, in particular, the United States to use its leverage to restore constitutional rule in Honduras.
Professor Euraque's seminal work, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic: Region and State in Honduras, 1870–1972, transformed the historiography of Honduras. In it, he demonstrated that the relative liberalism on Honduran elites could be traced to a tension between North Coast industrialists of Middle Eastern descent and the conservative criollo (descendants of Spanish colonists) oligarchy of the country's interior. In subsequent studies, he has offered some
Since June 2006, Professor Euraque has served as the Director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), a government agency tasked with overseeing all of Honduras's cultural patrimony, including the national archives, archeological sites, and public museums. Under his leadership, the IHAH has thrived, offering multiple in-depth workshops for local historians from around the country, greatly increasing the quantity, quality, and plurality of its publications, and significantly expanding the number of historical and archaeological sites protected by the national government.
On Friday, August 21st, Ms. Myrna Castro, the new Minister of Culture appointed by the coup government, added to the long list of constitutional breaches committed by the de facto regime. Violating the laws in place for discharging political appointees, she skipped over the IHAH's Board of Directors, who would have to vote on a resolution to dismiss Professor Euraque, and simply sent him a letter of dismissal. Rather than go quietly, he has decided to contest it. This comes on the heels of an attempt by the Reserve Forces of the Honduran Military to occupy the National Archives in Tegucigalpa. When Professor Euraque's office received a letter from the Reservists of Honduras, the IHAH immediately issued a clarification, noting that the building itself and the archives it houses are Honduran cultural patrimony and, as such, protected by the Law for the Protection of the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation (Decree 220-97). Even in the case of a situation of national emergency or a legally declared State of War, this National Monument, and any other National Monument inventoried as Cultural Patrimony of Honduras, is under the protection of the Convention of the Hague of 1954, "Convention for the Protection of Cultural Properties in case of Armed Conflict."
As a community of researchers, we offer our solidarity to Professor Euraque and the tens of thousands of Hondurans who are bravely risking their lives to restore democratic rule in their country. Furthermore, we condemn the coup and the systematic human rights violations that have followed in its wake. We call upon the U.S. government to increase pressure, perhaps by freezing the personal bank accounts of the coup leaders or the funds allocated to Honduras through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, until constitutionality is reestablished in Honduras.