Latin@s need to embrace skepticism (as shown by using Honduras)

Skepticism: a skeptical attitude; doubt as to the truth of something.

Latin@s face a wide variety of problems. From gang violence, to corrupt institutions, a wide-spread general attitude of sexism (which is collectively known as “Machismo”), health issues that vary from community to community, and in more than a few countries issues with education, the problems that we as a collective culture face are massive and frightening. These issues cannot be fought in conventional ways. And the proof for that claim is that these issues have persisted in some cases for nearly a decade. These issues can in several cases create a cycle which manages to strengthen itself so that it can be repeated.

For example in Honduras gangs target schools for the purpose of gathering recruits. These gangs will go into schools and take students, using them for various needs, which weakens classes and the presence of teachers so that later the cycle can repeat itself. Additionally it’s thought that gangs use children because children face lighter sentences if caught and sent to jail. The schools are extorted through the director who is made to pay a “protection tax” of sorts so that teachers will be allowed to teach with minimal disruptions. This of course doesn’t mean that the schools are safe, or that students won’t be abducted, it just means there’s less of a chance of outright violence within the classrooms.

Another example from Honduras could be when the government attempted to report that there were no were deaths connected to dengue. The head of one of the national association of nurses attempted to report this and claimed that it was false and she (Janeth Almendarez) was fired. Additionally later on a few media outlets in Honduras would report that she was correct and that deaths which had been tied to the disease had occurred in Choluteca, Valle, and Comayagua. This was occurring in November of 2015, and would occur before some of the first cases of Zika began to hit Honduras further complicating Honduras’s national health.

The issues in Honduras, and in other Latin American countries are complex and difficult to handle. So much so that even when the government announces successes, one can and should be skeptical. It’s okay that these problems are difficult to handle, but when the media announces that government has been successful there are always people who are skeptical.

Embracing skepticism can and should also mean actively working to propose solutions. It shouldn’t mean SOLELY being cynical. Especially because successes happen. In the case of Honduras, the country has objectively been successful in lowering homicides throughout the past few years. The causes are disputed, but the data is honest. Don’t confuse this with meaning that the country is getting safer, but at the very least in the context of homicides, the data is honest and it exists.

These issues, while gradually improving still exist. Honduras’s homicide rate is still high. Extortion is still rampant. Murders still occur. And even those involved with the majority party, the Nationalists, aren’t safe. Just moments ago Honduran media began to report that Marcos Trochez a businessman and activist aligned with Juan Orlando’s (the president) party was shot.

We must be skeptical. And we must not be cynical. We cannot accept these actions as the “norm”. Accepting that our nations are dangerous will not help us. We are aware of the dangers. But we must find a way to devote ourselves to seeking solutions which amplify our successes.

Many people are skeptical. They are skeptical of the government and of the institute which it proposes and is currently installing. Which is why they go out and protest and demand greater institutions which help ensure that the government is honest. They demand a Honduran CICI (mission against corruption and impunity). They believe that the system won’t do as it is intended to do. This is the attitude to have, because not only are they skeptics, but they have a solution in mind.

I hope to urge others throughout Latin America to follow in their example. Let’s be grateful for active skeptics.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Luciano Joshua Gonzalez’s story.