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Honduras

Yearbook 1997

Honduras. In the December presidential election, Liberal Party (PL) candidate Carlos Flores won over Conservative Nationalist Party (PN) candidate Alba Nora Gúnera de Melgar Castro. According to Countryaah, a total of five parties voted in the election, but in the latter it was uncertain whether the election would be lost as the risk of election fraud from all parties was deemed to be too great. Of the three million eligible voters, one third abstained. It was the fifth election in the country since the introduction of civil government in 1982.

Throughout the fall, the country was shaken by extensive prison riots. The inmates in many cases set fire to their prisons and then managed to escape in the general disorder that ensued. The reason for the uprising was partly the poor conditions in the severely overcrowded prisons and partly that the majority of the inmates sat there waiting for either trial or judgment.

1997 Honduras

In 1989, the National Party candidate, Rafael Callejas, won a major in the election, which was otherwise described as full of scams. Backed by the United States and business circles, Callejas initiated a total liberalization of the economy.

In February 1990, the Sandinists lost the elections in Nicaragua, prompting the United States to cut its financial aid to Honduras. Callejas now approached the armed forces to ensure that the situation was under control as the social situation deteriorated.

In early 1990, the government raised taxes, increased the price of fuel 50% and devalued the country's currency. In December, the government granted amnesty to the country's political prisoners and persecuted. The Anti-Terrorism Act was repealed and a political opening was implemented to cover all political movements - including the left that had hitherto been excluded from legal political activity.

After 8 years in exile, on January 12, 1991, four left-wing leaders returned to Honduras, declaring the armed struggle to be over. In October 1991, the guerrilla movement Fuerzas Populares Revolucionarias Lorenzo Zelaya (Lorenzo Zelaya's Popular Revolutionary Forces) joined the decree of democratization and abandoned armed struggle.

The commander of the armed forces, General Arnulfo Cantarera, was accused of committing human rights violations. He was dismissed and replaced by General Luis Discua, who indicated an increasing interference by the military in the country's political life. The political murders of opposition and other assaults by the military were condemned by the Honduran Human Rights Organization (CODEH).

Callejas' implementation of a " structural adjustment program " made it possible to negotiate $ 3.5 billion in foreign debt. The new land legislation made it possible to sell expropriated land, which was in favor of the multinational agricultural companies.

The military's increased power and political instability were further exacerbated by the country's financial problems, which were compounded when US military assistance ceased.

The popular dissatisfaction was clearly expressed in the November 28, 1993, election of the opposition candidate Carlos Roberto Reina.

One of the new government's first decisions was the abolition of compulsory military service, but in August 1994 the government gave in to pressure from the army and allowed it to acquire 7,000 recruits. The government disbanded the intelligence service (DNI) accused of torture against detainees.

As a result of the fall in banana exports to the EU, the North American banana company, Tela Railroad Company closed 4 plantations and laid off 3,000, but the government forced the company to reopen the plantations and reinstate the workers. The company negotiated a deal in place with the union to recruit 1,200 workers, but 1,000 female workers remained fired.

As a result of the drought in the first half of the year, 90 municipalities lost more than 60% of the crops. Faced with the danger that 1½ million people would be affected by hunger, the authorities asked for support from the FAO. The increasing felling of the country's forests has intensified soil erosion.

 

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