Honduras

The Murder Capital of the World Won't Debate Gun Control

Honduras has a gun problem, but its presidential candidates won't discuss it

It's election season in the murder capital of the world. And presidential candidates won't even discuss guns.

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As the revolt that started this past winter in Tunisia spread to Egypt, Libya, and beyond, dissidents the world over were looking to the Middle East for inspiration. In China, online activists inspired by the Arab Spring called for a “jasmine revolution.” In Singapore, one of the quietest countries in the world, opposition members called for an “orchid evolution” in the run-up to this month’s national elections. Perhaps as a result, those watching from the West have been positively triumphalist in their predictions.

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Double Take

Miguel Estrada seemed to be a shoo-in for the federal bench. Nominated by George W. Bush to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001 when he was just 39, Estrada was born in Honduras. He arrived in the United States as a teenager speaking little English and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He then worked at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, arguably the most prestigious law firm in the nation, and, later, as an Assistant U.S.

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The ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has provided Latin America with a revelatory moment. Beginning with the Monroe Doctrine--and extending through countless invasions, occupations, and covert operations--Washington has considered the region its backyard. So where was this superpower these past few months, as Honduras hung in the balance? More or less sitting on its hands. The fact is that the United States is no longer willing, or perhaps even able, to select who governs from Tegucigalpa, or anywhere else in the region for that matter.

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A report released at the Copenhagen summit today calls on wealthy countries to help developing nations adapt to climate change before it's too late. The Climate Risk Index 2010, published by the international climate and development group Germanwatch, "analysed the impacts of weather-related loss events—mainly storms, floods and heatwaves—for all countries currently negotiating in Copenhagen," according to the press release.

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Francisco Toro and Juan Nagel write the Venezuelan news blog Caracas Chronicles. A version of this post originally appeared there. The Honduran tragicomedy that has consumed the hemisphere's diplomats for months is at an end (read the details here).

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Ousting Zelaya

On September 12, the United States government revoked the visas of de facto Honduran President Roberto Micheletti and 14 of the country’s Supreme Court justices. Days earlier, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S.-government body, voted to cut off $11 million in aid to the cash-strapped Central American country.

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David Fontana is associate professor of law at George Washington University. Here in the United States, the removal of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras has prompted disparate reactions from the political right and political left. Conservatives (fearing the influence of Hugo Chavez and his authoritarian brand of politics, with which Zelaya had aligned himself) have tended to side with the coup leaders.

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The Discovery Of Pride

Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus GarveyBy Colin Grant (Oxford University Press, 530 pp., $27.95) I. In the pantheon of the past century's African American leaders, Marcus Garvey holds an exceedingly ambiguous place.

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Flash Back

In April, when the Senate begins considering John D. Negroponte's nomination as the nation's first intelligence czar, much of the hearings are likely to focus on his role in Central America's "dirty wars" of the 1980s. Questions abound over just how much Negroponte, who was ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, knew at the time about death squads and other abuses in the region, and Democratic Senate staffers have promised to grill Negroponte about this history. The answers they uncover promise to have more than historical relevance.

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