Hondurans get online despite gov’t media ban

Photo by Claudia Sevilla

Photo by Claudia Sevilla

Last week’s coup in Honduras is the latest incident where a government shut down radio and television stations during a political crisis, which has yet again outraged the international community. Just in the last month, China and Iran have made all efforts to create media blackouts in their respective countries. Digital activism has now made its way to the Central American country and making an impact in citizen journalism.

Discussions and protests about the coup lit up the Internet over the last week. People from around the world have been debating each other on Twitter at #Honduras and #crisisHN in both English and Spanish. There have been many videos shared also shared on Twitter relating to the coup, including this one. Since Honduras is not usually a country that makes international headlines, some folks are taking over the role of traditional media and have started up their own blogs with the sole purpose of educating the world about the issues that led up to the crisis. One blog compared the ousting of President Manual Zelaya to the 1974 pending impeachment and resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon. Another blog was started up by a group of academics and writers to address “the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.”

The Latin Americanist hosted spirited discussions on its blog on the mixed Honduran reaction to the overthrow. Many anonymous comments left on the blog posts relating to the topic have been deemed suspicious by others, like this blogger.

These comments are typical. Clearly from right-wing Hondurans, probably in
the United States – as Tegucigalpa has no internet with the military blocking
access.

I posted on my blog a short update immediately as I heard of it. Just to
update readers. Within hours I got two posts (similar, huh?), and have seen this
elsewhere, of what appears to be trollers commenting:

“we hondurans are proud of this day in which we defended our constitutional
system viva honduras!”

and

“WE DON’T WANT MEL ZELAYA HERE!!! TRAITOR!!! OUR COUNTRY IS NOT FOR SALE! LISTEN VERY WELL CHAVEZ, OUR COUNTRY IS NOT FOR SALE!!!”
The top above me are more wordy but express the same sentiments. Curfews, murder, running over protesters are freedom-loving expressions. The military is
“defending” the constitution – which these people have not yet read.

 

It is still too early to determine the impact of social media used during this crisis, as Zelaya is now demanding his rivals to give up power, and met with U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton yesterday in Washington. However, whatever happens, Hondurans are determined to make sure their voices are hear.
“The silent majority of Honduras offers you our support and personal testimonies,” said one blogger. “We are here to defend our democracy and constitution, and will help the international community in anything that may be needed to provide them with authentic facts and eventualities. We will be silent no more.”
Posted in Americas, Blogs, Twitter, Video and tagged , .

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