Friday, December 10, 2010

We Are Blocked in By Angry Protesters

It has been raining  for several weeks now.  The campesinos have disrupted life in Colon while protesting  that a bridge that was washed out several weeks ago still has not been fixed.  They protest by taking over all the roads, including the back roads leading to a town, and cut off all traffic.  What causes this type of protest?  The campesinos feel, and rightly so, that this is the only way they will be heard.

Macho Man says there is  no gasoline in Trujillo.  That makes three days now and the taxistas are unable to pick up fares.  Buses cannot travel between here and Tocoa, the nearest town of any size.  It also means that no fresh produce was delivered  yesterday, so the produce market is pretty much empty.  The bread trucks cannot get through, so there is no bread.  The dairy delivery trucks......well, you get the picture.   MM just came from the market and the grocery store.  He says there is very little to be had, even rice and beans.  The citizens of Trujillo are angry.  They say the campesinos have kidnapped Trujillo and are holding her for ransom

There are semi's from Dole lined up for miles on either side of the road block.  If they are there too much longer you can expect to pay more for bananas, pineapple and other tropical fruits.  Dole uses Puerta Castilla as its biggest port in Central America, and the trucks headed this way are loaded with perishables.

The ambulance from our little hospital cannot get to Tocoa or La Ceiba and we have no ICU, orthopedic surgeons or other specialists, nor the ability to take care of trauma.  There is no CT scanner, no MRI, no NICU nor many other things you expect in a modern hospital.  There certainly is no air rescue. The government has promised in the past not to allow the campesinos to tie up the roads and take cities hostage, but the government knows this could get very ugly very quickly.  They are not doing anything right now because the Human Rights inspectors are coming tomorrow. 

Courtesy La Prensa
Campesinos blocking the road to Trujillo

Human Rights would love to report that Honduras abuses the rights of its citizens.  They will not report that soldiers and police officers are facing a large group of men armed with rifles, shotguns and machetes, along with big sticks and rocks, and have not made any type of aggressive move.

I don't know where this is going, but I hope it will be resolved peaceably.  That is not always the case. 

I will try to write about the construction and post some pictures this week end.

Please pray this will not end in bloodshed. 

We have food in the house.  We are blessed.'


This morning the Army and the National Police broke up the blockade.  It ended very peacefully, with the campesinos jusst walking away.  The government is going to set up a permanent  post at the entrance to the back road to prevent this from happening again.  That means that everyone going that way will be stopped, and if they don't like you, your car will be searched.  That's OK by me.  I would rather spend a few minutes telling the police who I am and where I live, than to have people blocking the road so that we cannot even get food into Trujillo.  The people here deserve better than that.

There was no bloodshed, so we are blessed.