On April 8 Vos el Soberano posted a document dated March 18 issued by the union of the Ministry of Culture, SITRAECAD, demanding the immediate firing of Virgilio Paredes.
Who is Paredes? At present, he occupies the office of director of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia (IHAH). During the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti, he served Myrna Castro as administrator of the Ministry of Culture.
The union of workers in the Ministry of Culture accuse Paredes of continuing involvement in appointments to positions there, which they say went to relatives of Paredes. They specifically accuse Paredes and a colleague of manipulating the new Minister of Culture, Bernard Martinez, not letting him develop and exploiting the power that he is supposed to wield.
They also suggest that Paredes should be considered responsible for some of the financial irregularities that Minister of Culture Martinez publicized when he took over after the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa. They suggest the Tribunal Superior de Cuentas is ignoring these irregularities because Mirna Castro moved there as a high official after the end of the Micheletti regime.
The post notes that Castro named Virgilio Paredes as director of IHAH on December 14, 2009, filling the position left open when Castro moved against internationally respected historian Darío Euraque. As Vos el Soberano notes, Paredes lacks legally required qualifications: he does not have a degree in one of the academic fields specified (anthropology, archaeology, history) or a related discipline.
The inauguration of Lobo Sosa did not magically heal the damage done during the Micheletti regime. The ministry of culture, which went terribly off course under Myrna Castro, and the IHAH, where projects underway were canceled, are potentially important sites of creation of national identity, warped in the wake of the coup. The willingness of the unions to speak out shows that resistance extends broadly in Honduras today, and establishes a challenge for Minister Martinez.