Learning to Live Under Dictatorship Without Accepting It

JASS Mesoamerica Team + Feminist in Resistance, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Ever since I can remember, my country has had democratic governments. That is, until now. We have always been told that democracy is the way to achieve fairness and social justice. And I believe that. I always thought that coup d’états existed just as a dark part of our history. Actually, to be quite honest, I never spent a great deal of time thinking about this. But now I realize: we do have to think about and learn from that past.

We have been learning a lot since last June 28. Our lives have changed so much since that day. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that the reality we desire will defeat the fiction that we are living. A great wave of violence has lashed our sky, our cities, our streets, and especially our bodies. We have been living amidst cruelty. Soldiers have invaded the streets. Every day a member of the Resistance is killed or kidnapped. In only one year, we have had to deal with pain, impotence, rage, fear and hopelessness. They have been trying to cover up the fact that this government is a dictatorship. Yet, just by walking down the street you can see that this is a country overtaken by military forces. In response, we get creative and try to learn how to deal with the threats: how to survive and avoid being killed, detained, raped, or kidnapped.

Still we refuse to give up on the idea of democracy - the real democracy, the one that has been stolen from us with guns, tear gas, beatings, and murder. That is why we protest, even though in doing so, we put our lives in danger. The coup has also given us a strong, diverse, and creative social democratic movement that resists this regime. We keep raising our voices and hoping that one day everything will change.