Daughter of a poisoned land

At almost 79 years of age, Trân Tô Nga says she is fighting “the” battle of her life: trying to hold 14 multinational corporations accountable for the use of “Agent Orange” during the Vietnam War, which destroyed her body and life, and the bodies and lives of many of her fellow nationals. The court action she brought against these corporations in 2014 in France is now in its final stage.

“Fyffes’s nobodies”

In abject poverty. Completely forsaken. This is how workers of the multinational corporation Fyffes/Sumitomo live in Honduras. Workers who have given the company years of their lives, yet are denied a dignified life.

FESTRAS union leader brutally beaten

Odilia Caal Có, local leader in a branch of the IUF-affiliated Federación Sindical de Trabajadores de la Alimentación y Afines Servicios y Similares (FESTRAS) was brutally beaten earlier this month in an attack which left her with multiple injuries including a broken rib. The attack took place in an export processing zone (maquiladora) on the premises of Winners Textil.

We are all Odilia Caal Có

Odilia Caal Có, general secretary of the Winner Workers’ Union (Sitrawinner), was held against her will in the offices of the company, where she was beaten and threatened until she signed a statement withdrawing from the union. The Korean-owned Winners Textil maquiladora company makes clothes for several companies that are very well-known around the globe. In that microcosm, labor persecution is characterized by brutally violent practices and vicious harassment.

“They plan to solve the problem with more neoliberalism”

Honduras is a nationwide living experiment for testing out political, social, and economic trends that are later transplanted to other latitudes. The 2009 coup d’état heralded similar situations that would soon spread across Latin America. Labor reform, the invasion of paid-by-the-hour and intermittent work, political assassinations disguised as crimes of passion, criminalization and judicialization of popular struggles, a new penal code, the application of novel union-busting tactics, and institutionalized and unpunished corruption. Of that pandemic, Honduras is the hotspot.