June 28, 2009 – June 28, 2019
Statement from the Honduras Solidarity Network
Right now, Hondurans in the cities and countryside are still in nonviolent resistance to the continuation of the June 28, 2009, coup. Under the regime of Juan Orlando Hernández, the economic and political crisis has deepened. Since the coup poverty has increased by at least 10%, schools have been closed and the health care system nearly destroyed by outright theft of public funds and privatization. Violence by government security forces and death squad type groups have killed hundreds since 2009 and that political violence has increased again since the 2017 election fraud, when the current president Hernández was re-elected against the constitution and Honduran democracy. Criminal violence has also increased with the destruction of the rule of law and the growth of a narco-state.
On June 28, 2009: Only hours before a scheduled non-binding national referendum on beginning the process of a constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a coup d’etat, led by the right-wing Honduran oligarchy, its ultra-conservative, corrupt politicians, and the military command, sent the military and police to arrest elected President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Zelaya had moved away from dependency on the US economically and militarily, and aligned himself with progressive governments in South America. He implemented or proposed reforms to the minimum wage, access to land for small farmers, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. The United States under President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to support the restoration of President Zelaya and democracy in Honduras. Since then, the main economic and political support for the continuing dictatorship is from the US government, the Canadian Government and business interests.
In May, protests became bigger across Honduras in reaction to a new law that would have further decimated the public education and public health sectors. Teachers unions and Health Care unions began national strikes that were then supported by the majority of Honduran people and other organizations. At this time, there has been more than 40 days of non-violent massive protests and road takeovers, as well as civil dialogue assemblies defending public health and education and demanding that Juan Orlando and his regime leave power. Protests continue despite a violent repression from police and military with at least 5 people killed since May.
It is no surprise that the economic and political crisis in Honduras means that migration has turned into a flow of refugees fleeing an unlivable situation. The reaction of the U.S. government and the Honduran government has been to blame the refugees, to accuse humanitarian and journalist accompaniment of being “traffickers”, to increase border militarization and try to make the problem belong to Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador. The US is blatantly violating its own regulations, as well as international law in its separation of families, child detentions, negation of legal and human rights and ongoing violence against migrants and refugees. As long as the crisis continues in Honduras, refugees will flee.
The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America was founded almost 10 years ago in order to articulate actions in solidarity with Hondurans resisting interventionist policies in defense of life and its sovereignty. Today, 30 organizations from the United States and Canada stand with the Honduran people in demanding that the US and Canada stop supporting dictatorship and militarization in Honduras.