[private] My fellow Bay Islanders and residents, as I write this column, I am staring at a headline in the Miami Herald dated January 22, 2012, that proclaims, “Honduras: murder capital of the world. An unholy alliance of cops, crooks, prisoners, and politicians has turned the nation into a shooting gallery.”
Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the entire world. Eighty-two homicides per 100,000 people. England has the lowest rate with just two murders per 100,000 population. This means that little Honduras has 41 times more violent crime than England, and approximately 16.5 times more homicides than the United States.
The story in the Miami Herald reports that “elements of the Honduras national police are closely tied to the drug cartels which in turn are protected by politicians, judges and prosecutors.” The Herald’s story concludes that Honduras is “a nation on the border of an abyss.” In case you’re not totally familiar with the word “abyss,” it means “anything too deep to measure.” In other words, folks, a bottomless pit. Even the Peace Corp has pulled out of Honduras saying, “Conditions are too dangerous to carry out its mission.”
At the present time a total lack of law enforcement reigns in the country, with leadership that is morally bankrupt and the most corrupt judicial system on the planet. When there is no respect for the law in a society, everything breaks down.
This story has gone global, it is no longer a dirty, little secret. Don’t be surprised if the governments of the European Union and the United States State Department begin to advise their citizens to avoid Honduras because of the danger it presents. Can you blame them? They have a certain responsibility to their people.
As Bay Islanders we have to make a very important choice. Do we continue as a colony of mainland Honduras, or do we become an autonomous state responsible for our own destiny?
Whether you admit it or not, since 1861, we have been nothing more than a colony of the mainland. A colony to plunder and exploit. We have never enjoyed equal status with mainlanders. In the words of my grandmother, the late Joanna Raudleston-Crimmin (1875 – 1979) we have always been considered “steerage.”
Our fragile economy here in the Bay Islands is based on tourism. Since we are a province or department of Honduras, we will share in the misery. With this kind of negative information running in newspapers all around the world as well as on the internet, how much longer will we remain a viable tourist destination?
This kind of negative publicity could destroy us. The best way to avoid this potential catastrophe, would be to gain autonomy, as others have successfully done. As bad as things are right now, take heed, fellow Bay Islanders, because it also presents us with a tremendous opportunity. [/private]