Archive | Carlos Quintanilla

Honduran Migrants

Posted on 31 May 2011 by John Johnson

Latin América

Honduran Migrants Risk Violence and Murder to Reach US

By Carlos Quintanilla

The bodies of at least 120 Honduran citizens who were killed while trying to reach the United States since January 1st have been sent home.
So far, about one hundred Hondurans have left the country every day this year, a quarter of those who did so in 2010, due to stricter US immigration laws.
More Honduran migrants are dying en route through México to the co‑called American dream, because of increased violence attributed to Mexican gangs of human smugglers.
Women, minors and young adults make up the bulk of those traveling this dangerous route to the United States. Writing in August, 2010, Wall Street Journal reporter David Luhnow cited an Amnesty International report that six out of every ten women who reach migrant shelters in Southern México suffer sexual violence on their journey.
According to data from the National Forum for Migration in Honduras (FONAMIH), a total 100,000 18 to 32 year old Hondurans leave every year to go to the United States, but only two percent of them are allowed to enter the US, while the rest are returned to their country, including the bodies of those who died during their journey.
International humanitarian organizations report that most undocumented immigrants who pass through México are Hondurans.
The Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin América recently stated that almost five million Hondurans live below the poverty line. Honduras, with a population of 8.2 million, is one of the poorest countries with the most unequally distributed wealth, where 1.7 million households subsist or survive on $1.50 US daily.
Two out of every three Honduran children are malnourished and lack access to safe water, sanitation and schools.
UN agencies have announced that poverty also affects nearly 81 million children under 18 in Latin América and the Caribbean. They call upon the region’s governments to promote social programs, employment and macroeconomic policies to end poverty and migration, a challenge to which these governments appear to be unresponsive. Especially Honduras.

Carlos Quintanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica,” which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Wednesdays at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E mail: <mailto:notipaci@hotmail.com>.

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Peruvian Election

Posted on 01 May 2011 by John Johnson

Perú

Run-Up to Peruvian Presidential Run-off

By Carlos Quintanilla

The winner of Perú’s first round of presidential elections, progressive Ollanta Humala, has explained that the purpose of the dialogues he has initiated with political, social and labor organizations is to offer the necessary concessions and to outline the principles upon which his government will operate, if elected. Round two will be on June 5th.

Humala, who received 32% of the vote, is pitted against conservative Keiko Fujimori, eldest daughter of ex President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who is currently imprisoned for crimes against humanity and corruption.

The April 10 primaries left behind a long list of defeated parties, including the ruling APRA Party and candidates whom they believed they were the favorites. The APRA Party got the 5% minimum needed to maintain legal standing, giving it four to six of the 130 congressional seats.

Radio Programas del Perú described as an electoral catastrophe the results obtained by APRA, the Party of current President Alan Garcia, who now seems to lean toward Keiko Fujimori. Stating that both she and Humala have strengths and weaknesses, he emphasized that the electorate must choose between a radical change in the economic model or a continuous social improvement. He supports the latter option.

Nobel Peace Prize winner for Literature , Mario Vargas Llosa, has announced that he will vote for Fujimori’s daughter because she poses less of a threat to free market capitalism than Humala. Vargas Llosa warns voters that Humala, of the Gana Perú Party (Perú Wins Party), is a proponent of Venezuela’s Socialism.

Carlos Quintanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica” which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Wednesdays at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P.O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail: <mailto:notipaci@hotmail.com>.

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Repression in Honduras

Posted on 01 April 2011 by John Johnson

Latin América

Repression Continues in Honduras

By Carlos Quintanilla

Social organizations condemn the recent wave of repression against demonstrators protesting the privatization of education and the high cost of living in Honduras.

La Federación de Organizaciones de la Enseñanza (Federation of Teaching Organization) in Honduras, has stated that police have been firing tear gas shells and rubber bullets at demonstrators in several cities and detaining dozens of educators for demanding that the government pay what’s owed them.

According to educators quoted by El Heraldo newspaper, a Honduran teacher, “Ilda Rodriguez, 59, died after she was hospitalized due to a traumatic brain injury,” sustained during a police crack down on thousands of teachers, March 19.

Radio Progreso, a community radio station which has been covering the teacher demonstrations, also confirms the use of brutal force by anti-riot police and military troops to disperse thousands of demonstrators in main cities.

The educators have received the support of other sectors, including transportation workers, who have been protesting a rise in fuel prices, and many who oppose the rising costs in family food baskets.

Despite these actions, the Honduran Government announced that it will not negotiate with the teachers, and will discount the wages and suspend the jobs of teachers participating in the protests.

A mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council of the UN, visited Honduras in 2010, and reported that a total of 19 Honduran peasants had been killed in Bajo Aguan between January and mid March, last year. All the crimes remain unpunished.

Between February 25 and March 4, these investigators found numerous human rights violations, including kidnaping, torture, injuries, and arbitrary detentions of peasants. Many of the victims were members of the resistance or their family.

Human rights violation have worsened in Honduras since the US-supported coup nearly two years ago during which President Manuel Zeleyas was ousted, followed by the questionable election of Porfirio Lobo.

Carlos Quintanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica”, which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Wednesdays  at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail: <mailto:notipaci@hotmail.com>.

Honduran Detainees:

Call for action by Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) in support of 26 people including 6 minors detained after the repression of 2011-03-24. All are being held at the police station Core 7 Metropolitana. (1) Spanish speakers please call 011-504-2237-6830 and express your concern for their safety and that their human rights be respected – including freedom of expression. (2) English speakers, please express your concern for the safety of Honduran Human Rights Defenders who have been in Washington DC this week – speaking with members of Congress and testifying before the Inter American Commission for Human Rights. These human rights defenders have documented and given testimony regarding intense repression in Honduras, impunity and the lack of rule of law.  Please express your concern for their physical safety on their return to Honduras.  Please call on the Government of the United States to strongly uphold the rights of Honduran human rights defenders to defend human rights. US Embassy in Honduras: 011-504-2236-9320 or 2238-5114. State Department:  202-647-3482 – Ben Gedan, Honduras desk officer. 202-647-2126

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Honduras’s Social Problems

Posted on 28 February 2011 by John Johnson

Latin América

Social Problems in Honduras

By Carlos Quintanilla

The UN World Food Program (WFP) recently reported that about 800,000 Honduran children suffer from chronic malnutrition. An alarming number of Honduran families live without access to basic foods, where seven of every 10 people live in poverty, according to the WFP.

President Porfirio Lobo declared 2011 as a year of food and nutrition security, and announced a strategy to guarantee the right to food; however, the Honduran medical sector says that no part of that promise has yet been fulfilled.

The WFP warns that malnourished children suffer from physical and intellectual development that impairs their social integration. “A country in which 27% of its children suffer chronic malnutrition is not only a developmental problem, but also one of security,” announced the Honduran Doctors Association, as quoted by El Heraldo newspaper.

The Plataforma Agraria or Agrarian Platform, describes these problems as having their roots in the unfair distribution of wealth. In that Central American nation, 1% of producers controls one-third of the best and most productive land.

El Frente de Resistencia or Resistence Front, denounced shortages and higher prices for basic foods. This social organization stated that the prices have unexpectedly risen for beans and dairy.

Honduran children also face the threat of privatized public education. Since the beginning of the year teachers have been marching to protest this policy. The Honduran Teachers Federation alerted La Tribuna newspaper that “education is in danger” if the government continues its privatization plans.

Another grave issue affecting Honduran children is the alarming rise in fatal violence against women. More than 800 women have been murdered in the country in the last two years. According to La Tribuna over 40 more women have been killed since January 1st and their cases remained unsolved.

Poverty and food shortages destroy lives and breed violence. While all suffer, Honduran children and women face the greatest risks, at this time. The Lobo Administration needs to implement strategies to keep farmlands productive for all its citizens, public schools free and women safe.

Carlos Quintanilla produces and host KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica,” which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Wednesdays at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-maiL <mailto:notipaci@hotmail.com>.

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Ecuador

Posted on 01 February 2011 by John Johnson

Latin América

Ecuador Prioritizes Employment, Health Care, and Education

By Carlos Quintanilla

The Government of Ecuador has announced the reduction of unemployment during recent years to five percent, the lowest rate of Rafael Correa’s Administration. In 2010, over a quarter of a million jobs were created, demonstrating the country’s economic recovery.

Additionally, the Ecuadorian Department of Planning and Development says that the first five years of Civil Revolution show promising results in the reduction of poverty which has fallen by five percent in the last four years, overall, and eight percent in rural areas. These changes have brought about greater equality and a much more integrated and united society.

The Government has also made enormous advances in Health and Education, according to Correa’s Health Ministry. “Since the middle of last year, a huge army of doctors, dentists, obstetricians, psychologists, pharmacists, and nurses, travel all over the country helping people, especially in rural areas,” assures Correa.

The President signed the new Intercultural Education Law which provides options for young people to choose what they want to study after they finish high school.

A recent World Bank report disclosed that Ecuador has a population of 13 million, growing at a rate of 1.4 percent per year. One out of every four Ecuadorians is between 15 and 29 years old.

Correa, born April 6, 1963, is an economist and a former Finance Minister. In December 2008, he declared Ecuador’s National debt illegitimate because it was contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes. Correa is serving his second term in office which ends August 10, 2013.

The Ecuadorian President brought his country into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a political, social and economic project that was created by Hugo Chavez’s initiative. According to Correa, being part of that Alliance is the most “important thing that has happened to Ecuador and its people”.

Carlos Quintanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica,” which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Wednesdays at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail: notipaci@hotmail.com

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Unemployment-Child Exploitation-AIDS

Posted on 01 December 2010 by John Johnson

Latin América

Unemployment, AIDS and Child Exploitation on the Increase

By Carlos Quintanilla

A recent report published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says that at least 48 percent of Salvadorans have substandard jobs and earn less than a minimum wage. According to the report, six percent of that figure constitutes people unable to find any job. The UNDP says that since 1960 there have been no government plans to cut underemployment or improve work quality.

UNDP calls for strategies to increase employment and education levels to improve the population’s income. In the budget approved November 19 by the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly, the government foresaw a salary hike for civil servants and an increase in minimum wages and pensions.

Another issue affecting Salvadorans is AIDS. A total of 2,000 Salvadoran citizens get sick each year, according to statistic data from the National Public Health Ministry.

According to Salvadoran National Sexual Infection Program reports that the incidence of AIDS has increased among females. Hospitals have reported 1,760 deaths between 2005 and the present, with 81.4 percent of the patients ranging in age between 15 to 49. The Program warns the government to strengthen education in the schools, universities and other places, so that adolescents and young adults can become aware of the illness.

A report by the Pan American Health Organization recently announced that El Salvador has no national prevention policy, and that the national public health authorities are limited by lack of resources. Data from the Salvadorian Public Health Ministry says that the first AIDS case was reported in the country in 1984, and since then, 24,000 people have suffered from AIDS, 16,075 of them male, and 8,122 women.

Meanwhile, child exploitation increases, particularly in México, where about 3.5 million Mexican children are exploited for labor, according to data released in November by the Law Faculty of México’s National University.

According to the source, some of those child workers suffer abuse and sometimes live in slavery, without respect for their rights or any guarantees to safeguard their welfare. Mexican child workers also face problems of malnutrition, as well as lack of education and medical attention.

The Mexican Constitution mandates the duty of the state to protect children and to provide for their food, education, and health, but the state seems to be doing the opposite.

Carlos Quinntanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica”, which is broadcast over 90.7FM on Wednesdays at 10:30 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program in the Los Angeles area focusing on Latin American issues. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail:<mailto:notipaci@hotmail.com>

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Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

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