Rosamaria Valeriano Flores was returning home from a visit to a public health clinic and found herself in a crowd of people dispersing from a demonstration in support of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya. As she crossed the central square of the Honduran capital, a group of soldiers and police officers pushed her to the ground and beat her with their truncheons.
She said the men kicked out most of her top teeth, broke her ribs and split open her head. “A policeman spit in my face and said, ‘You will die,’ ” she said, adding that the attack stopped when a police officer shouted at the men that they would kill her.Ms. Valeriano, 39, was sitting in the office of a Tegucigalpa human rights group last week, speaking about the assault, which took place on Aug. 12. As she told her story, mumbling to hide her missing teeth, she pointed to a scar on her scalp and to her still-sore left ribs.
What's even more disturbing is the support the coup is getting from Senator Jim DeMint and many other major Republicans. Sarah has a great article about this at Global Comment. I think some of this support comes from a desire to replicate the neo-imperialistic American relationship with Latin America during the Cold War. I also wonder how much of this isn't a dark fantasy of what conservatives could do in the United States to a popularly elected but (to them) detestable government. I think a lot. I think DeMint might just support this because he thinks such actions, and the beatings of hippies and unionists and anti-war protesters and other undesirables that result, is a desirable response to the Obama presidency. Certainly the violent rhetoric coming out of the teabaggers (when their mouths aren't full of testicles that is...) suggest extremist and authoritarian desires. I don't want to read too much into DeMint's actions, but I do think it's worth considering.