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The Caravan Conundrum: What Happened to Honduras?

Marcus Roberts, Head Writer

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Recently, thousands of asylum-seekers have traveled to the Mexico-US border near San Ysidro, California. Why? The caravan, full of Hondurans, seeks entry into the United States because they are frustrated with the political repression, economic failure, and insecurity within their country.  

How It All Started 

Immediately after gaining its independence from Spain in 1840, Honduras has been economically supported by the United States. To this day, bananas and plantains are among the highest exports in the country each year. In 1932, Honduras became a dictatorship under General Tiburcio Carias Andino. 31 years later, a coup overthrew the government; the following president was bribed to resign by a US company.  

A war with El Salvador and another coup later, Honduras became a civilian government. But Armed Forces Chief General Gustavo Alvarez retained considerable power and Honduras became embroiled in various regional conflicts (“Honduras Profile – Timeline.”). 

From this point on, Honduras has repeatedly been accused and found guilty of numerous human rights violations such as: violence against children, criminal defamation, and inhumane prison conditions. Even after strong efforts of demilitarization, police-backed death squads killed thousands of civilians throughout the early 2000’s. Also, the government used to downplay killings of journalists and human rights activists.  

The country has also suffered brutal environmental effects in the past 30 years. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch killed thousands of people and left millions homeless in Central America. “In Honduras, floods and mudslides brought on by heavy rainfall washed away entire villages, and the majority of the country’s crops and infrastructure were destroyed” (History.com). In 2005, tropical storm Gamma destroyed thousands of Honduran homes, too. 

What Now? 

As human rights offenses are still being prosecuted against Honduran leaders, another political scandal has arisen. The current president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, is the reason that thousands have fled the country. “2015 June – Tens of thousands of Hondurans march in the capital, demanding the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez over opposition claims he received millions of dollars from the country’s public health system for his 2013 election campaign” (“Honduras Profile – Timeline”). The civilians of Honduras continue to lose hope of a free country; hundreds of migrants leave the country daily. The recent caravan demonstration has attracted the attention of millions around the world. In accordance, the violence in Honduras is now in the attention of the entire globe. Hopefully one day the crime and corruption prevalent in Honduras will be controlled, and the civilians will live in peace.  

 

“Honduras Profile – Timeline.” BBC News, BBC, 16 May 2018, www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18974519. 

History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/natural-disasters-and-environment/hurricane-mitch. 

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The Caravan Conundrum: What Happened to Honduras?