Greetings from Honduras once again. I am sure most of you know by now about the crisis here in Honduras. The president has been taken out of power by the military and Honduras has brought a new president to power. It’s being called a coup d’etat by the military but a peaceful one. The situation here is calm but many are concerned about how the country will now move forward. What I can tell you is that I am okay. Peace Corps Honduras is now on an alert level of standfast and shelter-in-place. This means that we aren’t aloud to leave our sites and have to stay in our residencies until further notice. These are all precautionary measures. After talking to volunteers all over the country the situation is calm. We are not sure what will happen in the coming days but it will most likely be peaceful and take time for the government to figure out.
This all started when President Mel Zelaya wanted to have a “caurta urna” vote. This vote would permit the government to change the constitution, specifically stretch out term limits for presidents much like Chaves did in Venezuela. However Zelaya stated it was for the people and he would not be president again. Those statements are questionable. Today was supposed to be the day there was an encuesta, or survey, to see if the people wanted to make this cautra urna as part of the elections in November. Why there is a survey to see if a vote can even take place is beyond me. In short, today was the day to vote to see if there should be a vote.
However, the coup happened and the encuesta will not take place. The military, congress, and judicial branch were all against the cuarta urna and the Supreme Court even ruled it illegal. President Zelaya was pushing through it though as he said this is what the people want. Over the past week he gradually pinning himself against his own government but there were people on his side. According to the government, he was going against the constitution but President Zelaya said he was in fact doing what the constitution said he could do.
Now many countries are around the world are denouncing the coup by the military and the US government is stating its against democracy. President Zelaya was motivated a lot by legacy along with his buddies in Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia. We will see what comes in the following week.
To understand how something like this happens you have to understand the culture, the politics, and the way things work down here. It’s complicated and still a bit confusing to me. What I will say is that this situation was not a huge surprise. Hopefully Honduras will figure this out them selves…but we will see what happens. I am glad Obama said no other countries should interfere with the current situation.
Alright, so all in all I am fine, safe, and comfortable. I will update here if there are any huge changes.
…until next time