Mass mobilisation in Honduras
“Our country has become the butcher shop of Latin America,” the Congressman Sergio Castellanos of the Democratic Unification Party says to the news magazine In These Times. Honduras was last year the most violent country in the world. With a murder rate of 82 per 100.000 the country moves in first in a UN global study on homicide. In December last year the Peace Corps decided to withdraw from the country because of “comprehensive safety and security concerns”. The majority of the 7.3 million population live in poverty and the country is overloaded with drugs and gang violence.
Despite this very dark picture, a mass mobilisation is rising in the country. Gilberto Ríos Munguía from the Honduran resistance movement Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) visited Enhedslistens headquarter inCopenhagenin January. He is coordinator of FNRP and the political party Libre’s international committees. The movement is, according to Munguia, experiencing a massive support from the Honduran population. A support they will try to turn into votes for their political party Libre in the upcoming elections in November 2013.
The resistance movement created after the military coup was based on a broad number of social and political organizations. Many of those were originally formed as part of the social mobilization following the hurricane Mitch in 1998, including the Bloque Popular created in 1999 by trade unions and political organizations. Bloque Popular gave birth to National Coordination of Popular Resistance before the coup and many new organizations joined this movement; including significant parts of the Liberal Party from which the deposed president Zelaya came.
The resistance movement led to, early in 2010, the formation of Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, The Popular National Resistance Front, which succeeded in uniting the resistance to the coup of June 2009. After the return of the former president Zelaya mid-2011 the FNRP took the initiative to establish the political party LIBRE, Libertad y Refundación (Freedom and Refoundation). Libre is now in the process of legal recognition in order to run for the elections in November 2013.
LIBRE has, in accordance with other political parties in Honduras, established a number of internal groups. The biggest group is FNRP, representing the FNRP, while other groups have been formed by former members of the Liberal Party. The groups are going to find a common candidate for the presidential election, and the most likely candidate is Xiomara Castro, the wife of the former president Zelaya. She stayed inHonduraswhile her husband was expelled and was fighting alongside “the people in the streets”, as Munguía puts it, explaining why she has the potential to gather the people of Honduras.
But there are still challenges to be overcome. Munguía’s request to the international society is to follow the process of their legal recognition closely and to put pressure on the regime to initiate the constitutional process and stop violating human rights. “They are killing us,” the Honduran politician says making the threat of an instable political climate very concrete.
Enhedslisten is launching a pilot project in collaboration with the resistance movement FNRP within the framework of DIPD. The project will contribute to clarifying how FNRP can continue its work for a new Constitution in Honduras. This will be done by inviting politicians from Bolivia and Ecuador to share their experiences regarding constitutional reforms.