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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI) at California State University, Northridge, and affiliated faculty, intellectuals, academic leaders, and supporters whose signatures appear below, strongly condemn the assassination of Mr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana, marketing and sales director of Radio Progreso, and member of the Reflection, Investigation and Communication Team (ERIC for its initials in Spanish) of the Company of Jesus, the Jesuit order in Honduras. Mr. Mejía Orellana was 35 years old when he was stabbed in the thorax on the night of April 11, 2014 at his home in El Progreso Yoro, Honduras.

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) in San José, Costa Rica had identified Mr. Mejía Orellana as a possible target due to threats that he and the entire team of Radio Progreso had received. As a result, the CIDH had demanded precautionary measures on the part of the Honduran State for the protection of the integrity and the life of Mr. Mejía Orellana since 2009. If the honorable government of Honduras had taken proper actions to protect Mr. Mejia Orellana’s life, he would be among us today. Regrettably, his life was cut short.

Therefore, we support Radio Progreso’s demand for an effective and efficient investigation to promptly clarify the assassination of Mr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana. Finding the intellectual and material authors of this crime will not only strengthen the judicial system in Honduras, but most importantly, it will dignify Mr. Mejía Orellana’s life and legacy, and it will send a strong message to the enemies of life in Honduras.

We are very concerned for the life and safety of all the workers of Radio Progreso because most of them have been victims of threats and have precautionary measurements issued by the CIDH on their behalf. Since the June 28, 2009 coup d’état Honduras has experienced increasing levels of violence. Currently, its homicide rates are among the highest in the world according to the United Nations. Journalists, human rights activist, indigenous groups, African descendants, teachers, lawyers, artists and LGBTQ members have been targets of persecution and assassination due to their civil engagement. In the 21st century freedom of information, human rights, and civic participation are imperative for a healthy democracy in Honduras and the world.

Consequently, we urge the honorable government of Honduras to act promptly to apply justice and protect the life of all the workers of Radio Progreso.

1. Freya Rojo, Director, Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI), California State University, Northridge

2. Douglas Carranza Mena, Director and Professor, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

3. Beatriz Cortez, Professor, Central American Studies, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

4. David Pedersen, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

5. Uriel Quesada, Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Loyola University, New Orleans

6. Jeffrey Browitt, Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

7. Evelyn Galindo-Doucette, University of Wisconsin, Madison

8. José Aníbal Meza, S.J., Externado de San José, San Salvador

9. Timothy Wadkins, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York

10. Axel Montepeque, California State University, Northridge

11. Kency Cornejo, Duke University

12. Brinton Lykes, Associate Director, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College

13. David Hollenbach, S.J., Director, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College

14. Richard L. Wood, University of New Mexico

15. Celia Simonds, California State University, Northridge

16. Van Gosse, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College

17. Nelson Portillo, State University of New York (SUNY), Brockport, New York

18. Yansi Y. Pérez, Carleton College, Minnesota

19. Martín Álvarez Alberto, Instituto Mora, Ciudad de México

20. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD)

21. Equipo Regional de Monitoreo y Análisis de Derechos Humanos en Centroamérica

22. Kevin A. Ferreira, Boston College

23. Fernando Soto Tock, Colectivo No’j, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

24. Adrienne Pine, Department of Anthropology, American University

25. Beth Baker-Cristales, Professor, Department of Anthropology, California State Univeristy, Los Angeles

26. Gloria Melara, California State University, Northridge

27. Leisy J. Abrego, Assistant Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

28. Carlos Castellanos, México

29. Leonardo Lorca, Nuestra Voz, KRFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles

30. Ruben Tapia, Enfoque Latino, KPFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles

31. Felix Aguilar, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility

32. Benedicte Bull, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo

33. Cecilia Gosso, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italia

34. Hannes Warnecke, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Leipzig, Germany

35. Ralph Sprenkels, Utrecht University

36. Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics and Director, International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS), Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK

37. Mark Anner, Center for Global Workers’ Rights, Penn State University

38. Carlos Morfín Otero, S.J., México

39. Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens, California State University, Northridge

40. Alexandra Ortiz Wallner, Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Libre de Berlín, Alemania

41. José Miguel Cruz, Florida International University

42. Rosemary Robleto Flores, colaboradora laica de la Compañía de Jesús, Chiriquí, Panamá

43. Miranda Cady Hallett, Otterbein University, Ohio

44. Juan José Ramírez Valladares, Universidad Internacional para el Desarrollo Sostenible, UNIDES, Managua, Nicaragua

45. Héctor Lindo, Fordham University

46. Heider Tun, University of Minnesota

47. Kalina Brabeck, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership & School Psychology, Rhode Island College

48. David Gandolfo, Furman University

49. Elizabeth Alvarez, Northwood Neighbourhood Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

50. Molly Todd, Montana State University

51. Robin Maria DeLugan, University of California, Merced

52. Ellen Moodie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

53. Jorge E. Cuéllar, Yale University

54. William Stanley, University of New Mexico

55. Ricardo Roque Baldovinos, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas”, San Salvador

56. Elana Zilberg, University of California, San Diego

57. Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

58. Elizabeth Pérez Márquez, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) sede Occidente, Guadajalara, México

59. Carlos Vaquerano, Executive Director, Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF), Los Angeles

60. José Artiga, Director Ejecutivo, SHARE Foundation

61. Manuela Camus Bergareche, Profesora investigadora en el Centro de Estudios de Género, Universidad de Guadalajara

62. Santiago Bastos, CIESAS Occidente, México

63. Thomas Ward, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

64. Kimberly Gauderman, Associate Professor, History, University of New Mexico

65. Werner Mackenbach, Cátedra Wilhelm y Alexander von Humboldt en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Costa Rica

66. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, University of Maryland, College Park

67. Mary Addis, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Chair, Program in Comparative Literature, The College of Wooster

68. Valeria Grinberg Pla, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies, Department of Romance and Classical Studies, Bowling Green State University

69. Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University

70. Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University

71. Ricardo Moreno, Asociación Simón Bolívar, Los Ángeles

72. Erik Ching, Professor, History Department, Furman University

73. José Luis Benavides, Journalism Department, California State University, Northridge

74. Yajaira M. Padilla, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

75. Cecilia Menjívar, Arizona State University

76. Mónica Toussaint, Instituto Mora, México

77. Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University

78. Richard J. File-Muriel, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of New Mexico

79. Rose Spalding, DePaul University

80. Karina Zelaya, Writing Coordinator, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge

81. Leonel Delgado Aburto, Profesor Asistente, Centro de Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos, Universidad de Chile

82. John McDargh, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College

83. Jenny Donaire, California State University, Northridge

84. Nancy Pérez, Arizona State University

85. Jeannette Aguilar, Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas”, El Salvador

86. René Olate, The Ohio State University

87. Leigh Binford, College of Staten Island and Graduate Center, City University of New York

88. Ana Patricia Fumero Vargas, Profesora e investigadora, Cátedra de Historia de la Cultura, Escuela de Estudios Generales, Centro de Investigación en Identidad y Cultura Latinoamericana (CIICLA), Universidad de Costa Rica

89. Paul Mitchell, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College

90. Odilia Dolores Marroquín Cornejo, Ministerio de Hacienda, El Salvador

91. Susan Whittaker Mullins, Mediator, Facilitator, Conflict Coach, Los Angeles

92. Fernando de Necochea, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

93. Linda J. Craft, North Park University, Chicago, Illinois

94. Miguel Ángel Herrera C., Universidad de Costa Rica

95. Martha Arévalo, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

96. Angela Sanbrano, president, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

97. Periodistas de a pie, México

98. Kristina Pirker, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

99. Jody Williams, Nobel Prize Laureate, Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative

100. Henrik Rønsbo, Director of Operations, Prevention of Urban Violence, Danish Institute Against Torture, DIGNITY, Denmark

101. Eileen Truax, periodista freelance, directora de medios en español de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos, Los Ángeles (NAHJ-LA)

102. Diego Sedano, documentalista, Malaespina Producciones

103. Alejandro Maciel, Editor, Hoy Los Ángeles, Los Ángeles, California

104. Carmen Elena Villacorta, Candidata a Doctora en Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

105. Eileen McDargh, CEO, The Resiliency Group, California

106. Gabriel Lerner, HispanicLA, Los Angeles

107. Cultural Survival

108. Ava Berinstein

109. Geoff Thale, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

110. Hugo Lucero, Consultor de “Cultural Competency” en el Área de la Bahía, California

111. Raúl E. Godínez, Law Office of Raúl E. Godínez

112. Víctor Narro, UCLA Labor Center, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

113. Jonathan B. Martínez, California State University, Northridge

114. Linton Joaquin, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

115. Jon Horne Carter, Department of Anthropology, Criminology, and Sociology, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York

116. Brandt Peterson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University

117. Omar Corletto, Confederación Centroamericana “COFECA,” and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

118. Agustín Durán, editor de noticias locales, Hoy, Los Ángeles

119. Marjorie Bray, Latin American Studies, California State University, Los Angeles

120. Donald Bray, Political Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles

121. Diane M. Nelson, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

122. Linda Álvarez, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge

123. Daniel Sharp, Legal Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

124. Jorge Rivera, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

Jueves 17 de abril, 2014

El Instituto de Investigaciones y Políticas Centroamericanas (CARPI por sus siglas en inglés) en la Universidad Estatal de California, Northridge, y los profesores afiliados, intelectuales, líderes comunitarios, y colaboradores cuyas firmas aparecen listadas abajo, condenamos el asesinato del Sr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana, director de mercadeo y ventas de Radio Progreso, y miembro del Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC) de la Compañía de Jesús en Honduras. El Sr. Mejía Orellana tenía 35 años cuando fue acuchillado en el tórax en la noche del viernes 11 de abril de 2014 en su casa de habitación en El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras.

La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) en San José, Costa Rica había identificado al Sr. Mejía Orellana como un posible blanco debido a las amenazas que tanto él como el equipo de Radio Progreso habían recibido. Como resultado, la CIDH había demandado medidas cautelares de parte del Estado hondureño para la protección de la integridad y la vida del Sr. Mejía Orellana desde 2009. Si el honorable gobierno de Honduras hubiese tomado las acciones apropiadas para proteger la vida y la integridad del Sr. Mejía Orellana, él todavía estaría entre nosotros el día de hoy. Desafortunadamente, su vida fue truncada.

Por consiguiente, apoyamos las demandas de Radio Progreso por que se lleve a cabo una pronta, efectiva y eficiente investigación que clarifique el asesinato del Sr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana. Encontrar a los autores intelectuales y materiales de este crimen no solamente fortalecerá al sistema judicial de Honduras, sino que además dignificará la vida y el legado del Sr. Mejía Orellana, y enviará un fuerte mensaje a los enemigos de la vida en Honduras.

Estamos preocupados por la vida y la seguridad de todos los trabajadores de Radio Progreso porque la mayoría de ellos han sido víctimas de amenazas y han sido nombrados como beneficiarios de medidas cautelares por parte de la CIDH. Desde el golpe de estado el 28 de junio de 2009, Honduras ha experimentado crecientes niveles de violencia. De acuerdo con las Naciones Unidas, en la actualidad, sus tasas de homicidios están entre las más altas en el mundo. Periodistas, activistas por los derechos humanos, grupos indígenas y descendientes africanos, maestros, abogados, artistas y miembros de las comunidades LGBTQ han sido blancos de persecución y asesinatos debido a su activismo civil. En el siglo 21, la libertad de información, los derechos humanos, y la participación cívica son imperativos para una democracia saludable en Honduras y en el resto del mundo.

En consecuencia, exhortamos al honorable gobierno de Honduras a actuar con prontitud, a aplicar la justicia y a proteger la vida de todos los trabajadores de Radio Progreso.

1. Freya Rojo, Director, Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI), California State University, Northridge

2. Douglas Carranza Mena, Director and Professor, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

3. Beatriz Cortez, Professor, Central American Studies, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

4. David Pedersen, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

5. Uriel Quesada, Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Loyola University, New Orleans

6. Jeffrey Browitt, Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

7. Evelyn Galindo-Doucette, University of Wisconsin, Madison

8. José Aníbal Meza, S.J., Externado de San José, San Salvador

9. Timothy Wadkins, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York

10. Axel Montepeque, California State University, Northridge

11. Kency Cornejo, Duke University

12. Brinton Lykes, Associate Director, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College

13. David Hollenbach, S.J., Director, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College

14. Richard L. Wood, University of New Mexico

15. Celia Simonds, California State University, Northridge

16. Van Gosse, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College

17. Nelson Portillo, State University of New York (SUNY), Brockport, New York

18. Yansi Y. Pérez, Carleton College, Minnesota

19. Martín Álvarez Alberto, Instituto Mora, Ciudad de México

20. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD)

21. Equipo Regional de Monitoreo y Análisis de Derechos Humanos en Centroamérica

22. Kevin A. Ferreira, Boston College

23. Fernando Soto Tock, Colectivo No’j, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

24. Adrienne Pine, Department of Anthropology, American University

25. Beth Baker-Cristales, Professor, Department of Anthropology, California State Univeristy, Los Angeles

26. Gloria Melara, California State University, Northridge

27. Leisy J. Abrego, Assistant Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

28. Carlos Castellanos, México

29. Leonardo Lorca, Nuestra Voz, KRFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles

30. Ruben Tapia, Enfoque Latino, KPFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles

31. Felix Aguilar, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility

32. Benedicte Bull, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo

33. Cecilia Gosso, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italia

34. Hannes Warnecke, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Leipzig, Germany

35. Ralph Sprenkels, Utrecht University

36. Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics and Director, International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS), Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK

37. Mark Anner, Center for Global Workers’ Rights, Penn State University

38. Carlos Morfín Otero, S.J., México

39. Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens, California State University, Northridge

40. Alexandra Ortiz Wallner, Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Libre de Berlín, Alemania

41. José Miguel Cruz, Florida International University

42. Rosemary Robleto Flores, colaboradora laica de la Compañía de Jesús, Chiriquí, Panamá

43. Miranda Cady Hallett, Otterbein University, Ohio

44. Juan José Ramírez Valladares, Universidad Internacional para el Desarrollo Sostenible, UNIDES, Managua, Nicaragua

45. Héctor Lindo, Fordham University

46. Heider Tun, University of Minnesota

47. Kalina Brabeck, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership & School Psychology, Rhode Island College

48. David Gandolfo, Furman University

49. Elizabeth Alvarez, Northwood Neighbourhood Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

50. Molly Todd, Montana State University

51. Robin Maria DeLugan, University of California, Merced

52. Ellen Moodie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

53. Jorge E. Cuéllar, Yale University

54. William Stanley, University of New Mexico

55. Ricardo Roque Baldovinos, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas”, San Salvador

56. Elana Zilberg, University of California, San Diego

57. Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

58. Elizabeth Pérez Márquez, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) sede Occidente, Guadajalara, México

59. Carlos Vaquerano, Executive Director, Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF), Los Angeles

60. José Artiga, Director Ejecutivo, SHARE Foundation

61. Manuela Camus Bergareche, Profesora investigadora en el Centro de Estudios de Género, Universidad de Guadalajara

62. Santiago Bastos, CIESAS Occidente, México

63. Thomas Ward, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

64. Kimberly Gauderman, Associate Professor, History, University of New Mexico

65. Werner Mackenbach, Cátedra Wilhelm y Alexander von Humboldt en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Costa Rica

66. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, University of Maryland, College Park

67. Mary Addis, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Chair, Program in Comparative Literature, The College of Wooster

68. Valeria Grinberg Pla, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies, Department of Romance and Classical Studies, Bowling Green State University

69. Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University

70. Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University

71. Ricardo Moreno, Asociación Simón Bolívar, Los Ángeles

72. Erik Ching, Professor, History Department, Furman University

73. José Luis Benavides, Journalism Department, California State University, Northridge

74. Yajaira M. Padilla, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

75. Cecilia Menjívar, Arizona State University

76. Mónica Toussaint, Instituto Mora, México

77. Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University

78. Richard J. File-Muriel, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of New Mexico

79. Rose Spalding, DePaul University

80. Karina Zelaya, Writing Coordinator, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge

81. Leonel Delgado Aburto, Profesor Asistente, Centro de Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos, Universidad de Chile

82. John McDargh, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College

83. Jenny Donaire, California State University, Northridge

84. Nancy Pérez, Arizona State University

85. Jeannette Aguilar, Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas”, El Salvador

86. René Olate, The Ohio State University

87. Leigh Binford, College of Staten Island and Graduate Center, City University of New York

88. Ana Patricia Fumero Vargas, Profesora e investigadora, Cátedra de Historia de la Cultura, Escuela de Estudios Generales, Centro de Investigación en Identidad y Cultura Latinoamericana (CIICLA), Universidad de Costa Rica

89. Paul Mitchell, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College

90. Odilia Dolores Marroquín Cornejo, Ministerio de Hacienda, El Salvador

91. Susan Whittaker Mullins, Mediator, Facilitator, Conflict Coach, Los Angeles

92. Fernando de Necochea, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

93. Linda J. Craft, North Park University, Chicago, Illinois

94. Miguel Ángel Herrera C., Universidad de Costa Rica

95. Martha Arévalo, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

96. Angela Sanbrano, president, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

97. Periodistas de a pie, México

98. Kristina Pirker, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

99. Jody Williams, Nobel Prize Laureate, Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative

100. Henrik Rønsbo, Director of Operations, Prevention of Urban Violence, Danish Institute Against Torture, DIGNITY, Denmark

101. Eileen Truax, periodista freelance, directora de medios en español de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos, Los Ángeles (NAHJ-LA)

102. Diego Sedano, documentalista, Malaespina Producciones

103. Alejandro Maciel, Editor, Hoy Los Ángeles, Los Ángeles, California

104. Carmen Elena Villacorta, Candidata a Doctora en Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

105. Eileen McDargh, CEO, The Resiliency Group, California

106. Gabriel Lerner, HispanicLA, Los Angeles

107. Cultural Survival

108. Ava Berinstein

109. Geoff Thale, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

110. Hugo Lucero, Consultor de “Cultural Competency” en el Área de la Bahía, California

111. Raúl E. Godínez, Law Office of Raúl E. Godínez

112. Víctor Narro, UCLA Labor Center, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

113. Jonathan B. Martínez, California State University, Northridge

114. Linton Joaquin, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

115. Jon Horne Carter, Department of Anthropology, Criminology, and Sociology, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York

116. Brandt Peterson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University

117. Omar Corletto, Confederación Centroamericana “COFECA,” and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

118. Agustín Durán, editor de noticias locales, Hoy, Los Ángeles

119. Marjorie Bray, Latin American Studies, California State University, Los Angeles

120. Donald Bray, Political Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles

121. Diane M. Nelson, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

122. Linda Álvarez, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge

123. Daniel Sharp, Legal Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

124. Jorge Rivera, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

RESPONSE TO “HISTORY MATTERS”

Northridge, California. By Harold Hellenbrand.

Several people have forwarded to me Professor Acuña’s recent essay, “History Matters.” It has been cited and reprinted in blogs across the web. Acuña presents Mexican history as an allegory. Foreigners privatize indigenous communal land holdings; he traces this back to the “Conquest.” The crowning episode is the illegitimate, clandestine marriage of UNAM and Cal State Northridge. The satanic spawn of this secretive pact will be courses fathered by the patriarchal Westernized intellectuals in UNAM and midwifed by CSUN’s College of Social Sciences. This bastard brood will displace, colonize, disrupt, and/or privatize, the authentic voice of the peasantry, as channeled through a few faculty in Chicano Studies.

I have addresses these charges, as well as the general claim that CSUN is racist elsewhere (http://www.csun.edu/academic.affairs/trojan_horses_centers_slings_arrows_hellenbrand_nov2013.pdf). Essentially, the proposed Center will sponsor scholarly exchange and research, as approved by a board of faculty from Social Sciences, Chicano Studies, and Central American Studies. Professor Acuña knows this. Yes, consultation with Chicano Studies was handled poorly. College deans followed an unfortunate practice on this campus; they did not sit down with all potentially interested parties. We have changed this practice, and meanwhile Chicano Studies has been and is being consulted.

Contributing to the hesitation to talk with Chicano Studies, in particular, is fear of the vitriol that Professor Acuña spews on those whom he regards as antagonists. He has labeled a senior faculty in Social Sciences as a CIA operative in order to discredit the College that will house the Center. By the way, this faculty has no role in the Center. He has linked, without credible evidence, two mid-career faculty in his College to reactionary forces in Central America. Their crime is that they support the arrangement with UNAM. He has broadcast these allegations across the web. As a result, at least one respondent to a Facebook posting volunteered to assault physically anyone whom Professor Acuña suggested.

Professor Acuña, have you no shame, no shame at all?

Professor Acuña is a wonderful man, a great scholar. If I could accomplish 1/1,000th of what he has done, I would be proud. But he has inflated an academic spat into an epic struggle so that he regains the stage as “vox populi.”

He has, I fear, Arizona envy. In his mind, de-legitimation by the powers that be is the imprimatur of legitimation. He does not admit that he, as an intellectual in a university sinecure, is enmeshed in institutional power. Consequently, he does not credit how his rash words can influence the careers of others in this institution and the profession generally.

What is particularly sad about the essay, “History Matters,” is that it shows that history does not matter when it can complicate rant, rectify cant. Here are several examples:

  • When the Spanish arrived, he says, they set about privatizing the peasants’ communal landholding. And there were no quasi-feudal states at hand?
  • Later, church holdings were challenged. Another “public institution,” like those peasant communal villages, was disappropriated. The Catholic Church was/is a “public institution”? Its holdings were communal like the indigenous villages?
  • Nationalization after the Revolution restored the community property ideal of the villages. Greedy privatization is the only reason state-owned monopolies—oh yes, the people’s properties—was de-nationalized. Really?

History indeed does matter. Argument and ideology should not ride rough-shod over it. That is why this essay is so troubling.

Harry Hellenbrand

Provost, CSUN, Nov. 30, 2013.

A Collective Letter from Central American Studies Students and Alumni at California State University, Northridge, in Response to Rudy Acuña’s “Los Muertos de Hambre: The War on Chicano Studies”

 

On Thursday, November 15, 2013, WE, Central American Studies Alumni and current students in the Central American Studies (CAS) program at California State University, Northridge, woke up to personal accusations spreading about two of our professors, Beatriz Cortez and Douglas Carranza.  These accusations were published in Rudy Acuña’s “Los Muertos de Hambre: The War on Chicano Studies.” This article has spread through social media, has been posted and reposted by the Chicana/o community, and by others that helped fund the Central American Studies Program but are no longer involved with any of its students.  Rudy Acuña makes derogatory accusations toward Professor Beatriz Cortez and Professor Douglas Carranza by calling them muertos de hambre interested solely on financial gains, accuses them of being a threat to Chicana/o Studies (CHS) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and refers to them as colonizers with “an obsession to rewrite history and mask their privilege.” These accusations have been a direct hit to not only Professor Cortez and Professor Carranza, but also to the Central American Studies Program, current students, and alumni.

 

These remarks are in direct opposition to what we have learned in our classrooms in regards to government.  Let us not forget that there is a growing Central American community in the United States that has been a result of U.S-backed state-enforced terror, a historical understanding that we have come to learn in our classrooms.  Supporting the Peña Nieto government is something that we cannot fathom since we understand the historicity of right-wing governments within a political geographical perspective. In addition, the accusation of seeking to destroy CHS goes against the very aim of the program, which is to understand the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, experiences, and worldviews from an interdisciplinary global perspective.  In our program, we acknowledge our ancestors that have undergone a history of colonialism, while we aim at decolonizing our minds. Such aims, and accomplishments, could not and would not be put forth by individuals whose goal would be to colonize. These accusations are nowhere in line with the reality of the program and who better to assert this than the students that have proudly passed through the classrooms, have been involved with the Central American United Student Association (CAUSA), and have remained in contact with these dedicated professors, whom, if we may add, have never claimed to be the founders of the program. They have always given credit, where credit is due. As alumni and students, we have conversed about the accusations and stand united behind Beatriz Cortez, Douglas Carranza, the Central American Studies Program, the faculty, current students, and alumni, as we feel this is an attack to the heart of our Central American community. We find these accusations incredibly threatening to the future of our alliance with CHS students, as they cause separation and tension between the students of each program.

 

The program has been life-changing in not only teaching the histories of displacement and migration that we always yearned for, but also expanding our understanding of the transnational Central American community’s experience, their economic and cultural contributions, and the importance of placing at the forefront indigenous and afro-descendant communities who have historically been excluded. The ties and work we have created alongside these communities have been the most transformative for us in producing a passion for social change. This work is extensively documented via images, videos, flyers, podcasts, and essays that we have produced inspired by these multiple events. These exchanges have shaped our critical thinking and writing skills, which have been crucial in allowing us to continue our education towards advanced degrees. The Central American Studies Program has always prioritized our needs as students working on continuing our education into graduate school, or our decisions to seek a specific career path. They have always welcomed and opened doors for us, and have provided us with the support to follow what it is we are passionate about.

 

Our credibility and reputation as scholars has been challenged by someone with a lot of power in a community that has not taken the time to understand the intricacies of our program, our work, and our activism. We are not exclusive, rather we are inclusive and think of ourselves as communities with similar struggles. We are not against Rudy Acuña or his allies or CHS, we are thankful for the space they provided us to get the program to where it is now. But his intent to hurt our professors has created a chain reaction that has hurt us, the students, our program, and the university. We are not under the dime of Peña Nieto, and we most certainly are not under any other program, we are our own entity that once was supported by Rudy Acuña. We ask that he continue to respect our space that we have worked so hard to maintain, to make rightfully ours. By not doing so, he is silencing our voices, erasing our struggle, and destroying the dignity of our program.

 

Sincerely,

 

1. Susana Aguilar-Marcelo

2. Connie Alas

3. Robin Alfaro

4. Jason Alvarado

5. Alma Baez

6. Milagros Beltrán

7. Karen Bonilla

8. Jocelyn Bonilla-Ruiz

9. Armando Carrasco

10. Rosee M. Condor

11. Rigo Díaz

12. Jocelyn Duarte

13. Robby Duarte

14. Arturo Elías

15. Shahrazad Encinias

16. Aaron Rudy Flores

17. Luis Gallegos

18. Glenda García-Oliva

19. Albert Girón

20. Devora González

21. Josué A. Guaján Orellana

22. Vanessa Guerrero

23. Evelyn Guillén

24. Joanna Hernández

25. Jennifer Herrera

26. Miriam Joya

27. Cecia Juárez

28. María Lemus

29. Nelson Lemus

30. Stephanie Lemus

31. Moisés Linares

32. Elizabeth López

33. Ashley Luke

34. Stephany Magaña

35. Dayana Mendoza

36. Patty Mendoza

37. Nancy Menjívar

38. Cindy Monzón

39. Delia G. Morales

40. Julia Morales

41. Edward Murillo

42. Pedro Noé

43. Stephanie Olmedo

44. Fátima Orellana

45. José Roberto Orellana

46. Diego Ortiz

47. Osvaldo B. Ortiz

48. Cathie Pacheco

49. Carol Paniagua

50. Teresa Peña

51. Nancy Pérez

52. Luzita Pineda

53. Jenny Perdomo

54. Geraldine Ramirez

55. Julio Ramos-Beltrán

56. Randy M. Rodríguez

57. Diana Rivera

58. Ana Cecilia Rosas

59. Roberto Saravia

60. Cathy Smith

61. Maira Solis

62. Yuri Treminio

63. Amy Ulloa

64. Sharon Vargas

65. Mirna Maria Ventura

66. Karla Zapata

67. Cindy Zelaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declaración colectiva de alumnos y ex-alumnos del Programa de Estudios Centroamericanos en la Universidad Estatal de California, Northridge en respuesta a el artículo por el Sr. Rudy Acuña “Los Muertos de Hambre: La guerra contra los Estudios Chicanos”

 

El Jueves 15 de noviembre de 2013, Nosotros, ex alumnos y alumnos del Programa de Estudios Centroamericanos de la Universidad Estatal de California, Northridge, despertamos para encontrarnos con acusaciones personales diseminadas en contra de dos de nuestros profesores, Beatriz Cortez y Douglas Carranza. Estas acusaciones fueron publicadas en un artículo del Sr. Acuña titulado “Los Muertos de hambre: La guerra en contra de los Estudios Chicanos”. Este artículo ha sido propagado por las redes sociales y ha sido posteado y reposteado por la comunidad chicana y por otros que ayudaron a fundar el programa de Estudios Centroamericanos pero que ya no están involucrados con ninguno de sus estudiantes actuales. Rudy Acuña hace acusaciones despectivas contra los profesores Beatriz Cortez y Douglas Carranza llamándoles muertos de hambre interesados únicamente en obtener beneficios financieros, los acusa de que ellos son una amenaza al Departamento de Estudios Chicanos (CHS) de la Universidad Estatal de California, Northridge (CSUN) y se refiere a ellos como colonizadores con “una obsesión por re-escribir la historia y enmascarar sus privilegios.” Estas acusaciones han sido un golpe directo no sólo a los profesores Cortez y Carranza, sino también al programa de estudios centroamericanos, sus alumnos y sus ex-alumnos.

 

Estas declaraciones están en una oposición directa con lo que hemos aprendido en nuestras clases en lo que se refiere a política. Que no se nos olvide que el crecimiento de la comunidad centroamericana en los Estados Unidos ha sido el resultado de estrategias de terror conducidas por el estado y apoyadas por el gobierno estadounidense, un antecedente histórico que hemos aprendido en nuestras clases. Apoyar al gobierno de Peña Nieto es algo que no podemos imaginar, ya que conocemos profundamente la historia de gobiernos de derecha dentro del contexto geográfico político. Además, la acusación de que buscamos destruir CHS va en contra de la misión del programa CAS, la cual es el entender la diversidad cultural, étnica, de experiencias y cosmovisiones desde una perspectiva global interdisciplinaria. En nuestro programa, nosotros reconocemos a nuestros antepasados que han vivido una historia de colonialismo, por lo que buscamos descolonizar nuestras mentes. Tales metas y logros, no podrían ni serían propuestos por individuos cuyo objetivo fuera colonizar. Estas acusaciones no están en ningún modo centradas en la realidad del programa y quién mejor para poder expresar esto que los mismos estudiantes que han pasado por los salones de clase, que han estado involucrados en la Asociación de Estudiantes Centroamericanos Unidos (CAUSA, por sus siglas en inglés), y que siempre mantienen contacto con sus profesores, quienes, si podemos agregar, nunca han proclamado ser fundadores del programa. Ellos siempre han dado crédito a quien el crédito le es merecido. Como alumnos y ex-alumnos, sentimos que este es un ataque al corazón de la comunidad centroamericana. Consideramos estas acusaciones como una gran amenaza al futuro de nuestra alianza con los estudiantes de CHS, ya que esto causa separación y tensión entre los estudiantes de cada programa.

 

Nuestro programa ha sido un lugar donde han cambiado nuestras vidas no sólo por las enseñanzas de las historias de desplazamiento y migración que siempre habíamos añorado, sino también por la expansión y entendimiento de la experiencia transnacional de la comunidad centroamericana en sus contribuciones económicas y culturales, y por poner en un lugar prioritario a las comunidades indígenas y afro-descendientes que históricamente han sido excluidas. Los lazos y el trabajo que hemos creado junto con estas comunidades han sido las experiencias más transformativas para nosotros, y que han producido una pasión por el cambio social en nosotros. Este trabajo ha sido extensamente documentado con imágenes, videos, volantes, podcasts y ensayos que hemos producido inspirados por estos múltiples eventos. Estos intercambios han formado en nosotros pensamiento crítico y han forjado nuestra capacidad de escritura, lo que ha sido crucial al continuar nuestra educación por medio de especializaciones más avanzadas. El Programa de Estudios Centroamericanos siempre ha a dado prioridad a nuestras necesidades como estudiantes que trabajamos en nuevas etapas de nuestra educación en especializaciones de postgrado o encontrando un camino específico en profesiones que nosotros hemos escogido. Ellos siempre nos han abierto sus puertas y nos han proveído su apoyo para lograr lo que más nos apasiona.

 

Nuestra credibilidad y reputación como académicos han sido desafiados por alguien con mucho poder en la comunidad que no se ha tomado el tiempo para entender la complejidad de nuestro programa, trabajo y activismo. Nosotros no excluimos, por el contrario, incluimos y pensamos en nosotros como comunidades con luchas similares. No estamos en contra de Rudy Acuña ni de sus aliados ni de CHS, estamos agradecidos por el espacio que se nos proveyó para llevar al departamento a lo que es hoy. Pero su intento de lastimar a nuestros profesores ha creado una reacción en cadena que también nos ha lastimado a nosotros, los estudiantes, a nuestro programa y a la Universidad. Nosotros no estamos bajo la tutela de Peña Nieto y ciertamente no estamos bajo ningún otro programa, nosotros somos nuestra propia entidad que en algún tiempo tuvo el apoyo de Rudy Acuña. Pedimos que él siga respetando el espacio que hemos trabajado tan arduamente por mantener, por poder proclamarlo nuestro. De no hacerlo, él estará silenciando nuestras voces, borrando nuestra lucha y destruyendo la dignidad de nuestro programa.
Atentamente,

 

1. Susana Aguilar-Marcelo

2. Connie Alas

3. Robin Alfaro

4. Jason Alvarado

5. Alma Baez

6. Milagros Beltrán

7. Karen Bonilla

8. Jocelyn Bonilla-Ruiz

9. Armando Carrasco

10. Rosee M. Condor

11. Rigo Díaz

12. Jocelyn Duarte

13. Robby Duarte

14. Arturo Elías

15. Shahrazad Encinias

16. Aaron Rudy Flores

17. Luis Gallegos

18. Glenda García-Oliva

19. Albert Girón

20. Devora González

21. Josué A. Guaján Orellana

22. Vanessa Guerrero

23. Evelyn Guillén

24. Joanna Hernández

25. Jennifer Herrera

26. Miriam Joya

27. Cecia Juárez

28. María Lemus

29. Nelson Lemus

30. Stephanie Lemus

31. Moisés Linares

32. Elizabeth López

33. Ashley Luke

34. Stephany Magaña

35. Dayana Mendoza

36. Patty Mendoza

37. Nancy Menjívar

38. Cindy Monzón

39. Delia G. Morales

40. Julia Morales

41. Edward Murillo

42. Pedro Noé

43. Stephanie Olmedo

44. Fátima Orellana

45. José Roberto Orellana

46. Diego Ortiz

47. Osvaldo B. Ortiz

48. Cathie Pacheco

49. Carol Paniagua

50. Teresa Peña

51. Nancy Pérez

52. Luzita Pineda

53. Jenny Perdomo

54. Geraldine Ramírez

55. Julio Ramos-Beltrán

56. Randy M. Rodríguez

57. Diana Rivera

58. Ana Cecilia Rosas

59. Roberto Saravia

60. Cathy Smith

61. Maira Solis

62. Yuri Treminio

63. Amy Ulloa

64. Sharon Vargas

65. Mirna María Ventura

66. Karla Zapata

67. Cindy Zelaya

Los Angeles. By Douglas Carranza and Beatriz Cortez.

 

Central American Studies Program at Northridge is under attack because we chose to exercise our first amendment right to express our views that we would like to have a space on our campus to explore not only the cultural and intellectual production of our neighbors to the North but also our neighbors to the South, because Central America is part of Latin America. We were not involved in the formation of the Mexico and Latin America Research Center that was established by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM at our university. In addition, this research center is not an academic program, and will not offer courses, and will not take away anyone’s enrollments and resources. We were invited to the inauguration of this center, as were more than 30 other professors from other departments at our university. The only difference was that we were threatened. We were told that we had to speak against the existence of this center, and if we did not, an article titled Los muertos de hambre would be published against us, as in fact happened. We chose to uphold our right to express our views because we are Latin American and we are committed to maintaining our participation in a Latin American dialogue of equals and not a dialogue where we would be subjects and they would be objects of our studies in absentia.  We believe in democratic and civil participation, in the important role that culture, literature, and art play in the formation of identities, in social and cultural struggle, and in diversity. Our Program is of a transnational nature, and we have worked together to turn it into a successful space that has made an impact in the lives of our students, their families, and our community. We understand that this program exists thanks to many generations of students, community organizations, and the support of different departments and programs at our University. We also understand that this program is not what it was when it was first created and it was a small minor with only five courses. Today it is a Bachelor in Central American Studies, the only one of its kind in the United States, it offers 26 different courses and it has 10 professors who specialize in the field and who hold multiple events every semester. This space and our community deserve respect. We, as scholars, also have the right to build a space that reflects the needs and changing demographics of our community, and we do not want to be bullied into renouncing our ideas. More importantly, we appreciate the support and solidarity that we have always received from members of the Chicana/o community, as well as from other departments, colleagues, and the College of Humanities, and we do not wish to be part of a conversation that seeks to turn personal, to divide our communities, or to spread hate. We will continue our work with the same commitment to serve our students and our regional and transnational communities, because this is and has always been our priority.

* Beatriz Cortez is professor and Douglas Carranza is director and professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge.

Los Ángeles. Por Douglas Carranza y Beatriz Cortez.

 

El Programa de Estudios Centroamericanos en Northridge está bajo ataque porque tomamos la decisión de ejercer nuestro derecho garantizado por la primera enmienda a la constitución de Estados Unidos de expresar nuestras perspectivas sobre nuestro interés en contar con un espacio en nuestra universidad para explorar no solamente la cultura y la producción intelectual de nuestros vecinos del norte sino también de nuestros vecinos del sur, porque Centroamérica es parte de Latinoamérica. Nosotros no estuvimos involucrados en la formación del Centro de Investigaciones sobre México y Latinoamérica que fue establecido por la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM recientemente en nuestra universidad. Además, este centro de investigaciones no es un programa académico, ni ofrecerá cursos, ni le quitará recursos a ningún otro programa. Nosotros fuimos invitados a la inauguración de este centro, al igual que más de otros 30 profesores de otros departamentos en nuestra universidad. La única diferencia fue que nosotros fuimos amenazados. Fuimos informados que debíamos expresarnos en contra de la existencia de este centro, y que si no lo hacíamos, un artículo titulado “Los muertos de hambre” sería publicado en nuestra contra, tal y como sucedió. Decidimos defender nuestro derecho a expresar nuestras perspectivas porque somos latinoamericanos y tenemos un compromiso con mantener nuestra participación en un diálogo latinoamericano de iguales y no un diálogo donde nosotros seríamos los sujetos del discurso y otros serían los objetos de nuestros estudios en absentia. Creemos en la democracia y la participación ciudadana, en el importante papel que la cultura, la literatura y el arte desempeñan en la formación de identidades, en la lucha social y cultural, y en la diversidad. Nuestro programa es de una naturaleza transnacional, y hemos trabajado juntos para convertirlo en un espacio exitoso que ha hecho un impacto en las vidas de nuestros estudiantes, sus familias y nuestra comunidad. Comprendemos que este programa existe gracias a muchas generaciones de estudiantes, organizaciones comunitarias, y el apoyo de diferentes departamentos y programas en nuestra universidad. También comprendemos que este programa no es lo que era en sus inicios cuando era un pequeño programa de sub-especialización con solamente cinco clases. Hoy día es una licenciatura en Estudios Centroamericanos, la única de su tipo en los Estados Unidos, que ofrece 26 cursos diferentes y cuenta con 10 profesores especialistas en este campo que celebran múltiples eventos cada semestre. Este espacio y nuestra comunidad merecen respeto. Nosotros, como intelectuales, también tenemos el derecho de construir un espacio que refleje las necesidades y los cambios demográficos de nuestra comunidad, y no queremos ser amenazados ni forzados a renunciar a nuestras ideas. Más importante aún, apreciamos el apoyo y la solidaridad que siempre hemos recibido de miembros de la comunidad chicana, así como de otros departamentos, colegas, y de la facultad de Humanidades, y no tenemos ningún interés en participar en una conversación colmada de ataques personales, que busca dividir nuestras comunidades o promover el odio. Continuaremos con nuestro trabajo con el mismo compromiso de servir a nuestros estudiantes y a nuestras comunidades regionales y transnacionales, pues ésta es y siempre ha sido nuestra prioridad.

* Beatriz Cortez es catedrática y Douglas Carranza es director y catedrático en Estudios Centroamericanos en la Universidad Estatal de California en Northridge.

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