Murder and revolution

The situation in Egypt has gotten worse yet again:

More than 50 supporters of Egypt’s ousted president were killed by security forces Monday in one of the deadliest single episodes of violence in more than 2 ½ years of turmoil. The toppled leader’s Muslim Brotherhood called for an uprising, accusing troops of gunning down protesters, while the military blamed armed Islamists for provoking its forces.

The early morning carnage at a sit-in by Islamists outside the Republican Guard headquarters, where ousted President Mohammed Morsi was first held last week, further entrenched the battle lines between the ousted president supporters and his opponents. The uproar weakened the political coalition that backed the military’s removal of the country’s first freely elected leader.

Far away in Honduras, they’re worried that

Ousted four years ago in a coup, former Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya is angling for a return to the presidential palace, once more setting up a proxy fight in this country between Latin America’s left and right.

Zelaya isn’t eligible to run in the Nov. 24 presidential election. But his wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, formally launched her campaign last month and has a narrow lead in polls. The couple say she’ll carry forward with Zelaya’s Venezuela-backed tilt toward “democratic socialism,” the course that put him at odds with conservative elites and ended with his forced expulsion in June 2009.

Zelaya said his wife was not available for an interview because she was recovering from knee surgery. But in a recent speech to supporters, she said Honduras had become “a sanctuary of paramilitaries and drug traffickers, where justice is bought and sold,” and described the country as stricken by “debt, poverty, death, systematic human rights violations and the murder of journalists, peasants, lawyers, students and businessmen.”

Castro and Zelaya say they want to wrest power from the military and wealthy elites and give it to the people through greater “participation.”

“Xiomara is going to give Honduran women a place in society that has always been denied to them,” Zelaya said.

So, they are both countries that have been wracked by revolution in the past few years but the amount of violence is much worse in Honduras despite the fact that the revolution there happened in 2009. The murder rate in Egypt in 2009 (the last year given) was 1.2 per 100,000 for a total of 992 murders. In Honduras the in 2011 was 91.6 per 100,000 for 7104 murders, the highest rate in the world (the rate in 2009 was 70.7). Given that the population of Egypt is about ten times the population of Honduras, the rate in Honduras would mean 70,000 murders per year. The terrible things going on in Egypt would be barely a blip on the murder rate in Honduras. That’s a sad commentary on the state of the Central American countries.

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