I saw this series of pictures of the elections in Honduras by the Honduran documentary photographer Delmer Membreño on his Facebook page. And I remembered the pictures Christin Sandberg, my former colleague, and I took during the elections of 2009, see above: The same tension, the military and the cops everywhere, the desperation for change, at least from part of the Resistencia-movement…
So now it´s set, the future of Honduras for the four years to come, with 34 % of the votes in favour of Juan Orlando Hernández from the ruling party Partido Nacional and almost 29 % in favour of Xiomara Castro, from the Libre party, spouse of Manuel Zelaya who was kicked off the throne in the coup d’état in 2009.
Scenery: Maintain the biggest social gaps of Latin America, the highest levels of violence in the world, among the highest levels of migration, among the highest levels of murders of journalists …Iron fists against violence, more military…
Did you want this, Honduras?
Apparently. But the Resistencia is going out on the streets this afternoon , protesting against alleged fraud in the elections. But the EU and the OAS have given their verdict: the elections were transparent. Ni modo, Resistencia, you have to wait another four years.
So do we others. Among other things, Xiomara Castro promised prevention and rehabilitation as means of combatting violence, as well as community police, with reference mainly to the gangs.
The gangs of Honduras, in May, announced that they wanted to follow El Salvador´s example and introduce truce between themselves. In the rest of the region we sighed a small, hopeful sigh of relief, well knowing it would be difficult with the weak institutions and the infiltration of organized crime at all levels of society.
The elections gave new hope – and the people who are fighting for a new Honduras did well in the elections, but not well enough! They will hopefully do even better next time.
Two steps forward, one step back.
Update Dec. 4th.: Things are complicated in Honduras. The Guardian reports on too many reports of rampant vote-buying, fraud and violence. The role of the OEA and the EU as the watch-dogs of the elections is questioned here.