The group, mostly women, entered the morgue

There is nothing to say about last week’s fire in Comayagua, Honduras. Nothing. A prison at 200 percent capacity is a tinderbox. A prison in Honduras, like prisons all over the world, are not only `congested’. They are filled with people awaiting trial. This detail somehow `complicates’ the situation, adds some sort of `irony’.

Because if they were convicted of crimes, well then … there would be no presumption of innocence.

There is nothing to say about last week’s fire in Comayagua, Honduras. It was a catastrophe long foretold. It was simply another sign of the chaos that is Honduras.

And you know … Honduras … it’s a banana republic, after all. Notorious for its prisons and violence.

There is nothing to say about this week’s fire in a factory in Bhalwani village, in Solapur, Maharashtra, India. Nothing. On Monday, a fireworks factory `suffered’ a fire. Five women workers, at least, were burnt alive, at least nine women workers were injured, and 40 women workers were trapped inside the burning complex. Trapped.

The reports will say the fires were accidental. The one in Honduras, the one in India. The reports will say the death of those burnt alive is `tragic’. But the relatives and friends, and the survivors of the flames, the ones who walked out somehow, they know better. They know the work of mourning, they know the architecture of being-trapped.

They know that the burning factories and the burning prisons are part of the everyday of the global economy. These buildings in flames and the human bodies within them are not some ritual drama nor are they resistant pockets of primitive capitalism. They are the Shining Globe that has replaced the Brave New World. Shining India. Shining Free Trade Zones, such as the DR-CAFTA, Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement. Smoke and ashes from sea to shining sea.

And every time the fire explodes, it is described as somehow exceptional. A throwback. It’s not. It’s the globe itself, today, now, here.

The women who come for their loved ones, they already know all this. They were struggling for their loved ones before the fire, and they will continue after the world’s attention has drifted elsewhere.

That is why the women stormed the morgue in Comayagua on Monday, the same day of the fire in Bhalwani.  That is why their demand for justice is total. Every corner of the prison, every corner of the nation-State that runs the prison, every corner of the Empire-State that runs the world economies on violence, must be swept clean.

But first … begin by honoring the dead, by reclaiming their bodies, by cleaning them of the ash and the gash, and returning them to the earth.

In the landscape of smoke and ashes, women must storm the morgues to reclaim their loved ones. There is nothing to say. Nothing.

 

(Photo Credit: NPR / Esteban Felix / AP)

About Dan Moshenberg

Dan Moshenberg is an organizer educator who has worked with various social movements in the United States and South Africa. Find him on Twitter at @danwibg.