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Media Distortions Legitimize Honduras Regime

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 06:26 AM
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Media Distortions Legitimize Honduras Regime
Media Distortions Legitimize Honduras Regime
Wednesday 24 November 2010
by: Michael Corcoran, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis

Honduras held elections on November 29, 2009, that were deemed illegitimate by most of the international community and resulted in the presidency of Porfirio Lobo, a conservative politician and agricultural landowner. The election occurred just months after the illegal coup overthrowing President Manuel Zelaya and, as a result of a significant boycott, only included candidates who supported the coup.

At the time of the elections, the US mainstream media had an atrocious record of reporting on the coup itself, as well as on the elections that followed, helping to legitimize a startling attack on Honduran democracy. Despite the illegal nature of the coup and numerous accounts of human rights abuses against supporters of Manuel Zelaya - including violence against protesters, mass arrests and crackdowns on press freedom - the US media portrayed the events in a way that painted Zelaya as a villainous follower of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and legitimized those who ousted him, in part by ignoring their many crimes and abuses.

Unfortunately, in the year that has followed these two troubling events, little has changed: the Lobo regime has continued the human rights abuses that have plagued the country for more than a year, while the media has downplayed, distorted or ignored the crimes of his regime. The press also continues to amplify calls for the international acceptance of the new leadership, despite continuing reports of abuse. As a result, the US media remains an active participant in an attack on Honduran democracy that has continued for almost a year and a half.

Ignoring the Documentary Record
Since the June 2009 coup and throughout Lobo's tenure, widespread human rights abuses such as the targeted killings of journalists, the removal of opposition judges, mass arrests, beatings and torture have been thoroughly documented by human rights organizations. Amnesty International's finding indicated the extent and brutality of abuses against opposition forces in the country:

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