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Hundreds of scholars denounce illegal firing of Professor Darío A. Euraque by the coup government in Honduras

Approximately 350 scholars from around the world urge the international community and, in particular, the United States to use its leverage to restore constitutional rule in Honduras.

Professor Euraque’s seminal work, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic: Region and State in Honduras, 1870–1972, transformed the historiography of Honduras. His investigations into nationalism, ethnic identity, and sexuality have opened new paths of investigation for other researchers in Central America.

Since June 2006, Professor Euraque has served as the Director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), a government agency tasked with overseeing all of Honduras’s cultural patrimony, including the national archives, archeological sites, and public museums. Under his leadership, the IHAH has thrived, offering multiple in-depth workshops for local historians from around the country, greatly increasing the quantity, quality, and plurality of its publications, and significantly expanding the number of historical and archaeological sites protected by the national government. On Friday, August 21st, Ms. Myrna Castro, the new Minister of Culture appointed by the coup government, added to the long list of constitutional breaches committed by the de facto regime. Violating the laws in place for discharging political appointees, she skipped over the IHAH’s Board of Directors, who would have to vote on a resolution to dismiss Professor Euraque, and simply sent him a letter of dismissal. Rather than go quietly, he has decided to contest it.

This comes on the heels of an attempt by the Reserve Forces of the Honduran Military to occupy the National Archives in Tegucigalpa. When Professor Euraque’s office received a letter from the Reservists of Honduras, the IHAH immediately issued a clarification, noting that the building itself and the archives it houses are Honduran cultural patrimony and, as such, protected by the Law for the Protection of the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation (Decree 220-97). Even in the case of a situation of national emergency or a legally declared State of War, this National Monument, and any other National Monument inventoried as Cultural Patrimony of Honduras, is under the protection of the Convention of the Hague of 1954, "Convention for the Protection of Cultural Properties in case of Armed Conflict.”

As a community of researchers, these students and professors offer their solidarity to Professor Euraque and the tens of thousands of Hondurans who are bravely risking their lives to restore democratic rule in their country. Furthermore, they condemn the coup and the systematic human rights violations that have followed in its wake. We call upon the U.S. government to increase pressure, perhaps by freezing the personal bank accounts of the coup leaders or the funds allocated to Honduras through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, until constitutionality is reestablished in Honduras.


To read the entire letter in pdf format click here.

FOR MORE ON THE ILLEGAL DISMISSAL OF PROFESSOR EURAQUE BY THE COUP GOVERNMENT, CONTACT:

Darío A. Euraque, Director
Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History
and
Professor of History
Trinity College
Telephone in Honduras, Country Code (504): 9967-3034
dario.euraque@trincoll.edu

John H. Coatsworth
International Affairs Building, Room 1414
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs
Professor of International and Public Affairs and of History
Columbia University
Phone: 212-854-4604
john.coatsworth@sipa.columbia.edu
Florencia Mallon

Julieta Kirkwood Professor of History
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Phone: (608)263-1822
Email: femallon@wisc.edu
Kevin Coleman
Doctoral Candidate in History
Indiana University, Bloomington
Telephone in Honduras, Country Code (504): 3217--9975
kecolema@indiana.edu

Aviva Chomsky
Professor of History and Coordinator, Latin American Studies
Salem State College
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6389
achomsky@salemstate.edu

Beatriz Cortez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Central American Studies
California State University, Northridge
beatriz.cortez@csun.edu