Today marks the ninth year anniversary of the U.S.-backed coup in Honduras where former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted as he tried to gear the Central American country to join the Leftist Block on the Latin American continent by forging ties with progressive Latin American governments — Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia — while also joining the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, ALBA.
In 2009, Zelaya also arranged plans to hold a popular referendum to convene a national constituent assembly with the intention of amending the constitution of 1981, intended to empower historically-marginalized groups — like Black, Indigenous and LGBT people — and workers.
But the conservatives in power resisted Zelaya's stance, and certain members in the Supreme Court of Justice, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the National Congress, including Honduras’ business elites and those aligned with these groups, also opposed the national constituent assembly.
"The elites were threatened," Honduran activist Raymond Sanchez told teleSUR last year. "What they saw was an ascension of a revolutionary left movement in Latin America and Zelaya getting closer to them. Under Zelaya, Honduras was marching toward reducing poverty and eliminating foreign debt."
Como hoy, 2009, Manuel Zelaya, presidente democrático de Honduras, fue destituido por un golpe de Estado, tramado por la oligarquía, el congreso, las FFAA y EEUU. Sus políticas económicas a favor del pueblo y el ingreso de Honduras a la ALBA, propiciaron ese golpe. pic.twitter.com/VnqugPfkM8— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) June 28, 2018
This year's coup anniversary comes less than a year after the November elections in which amid massive public outrage over soaring rates of corruption, crime, Juan Orlando Hernandez of the right-wing National Party of Honduras was reelected as the president in a dubious election filled with irregularities.
A March 12 UNHCHR report, "Human Rights Violations in the Context of the 2017 Honduran Elections" which denounced Hernandez, recounted the horrors of human rights violations that followed in the aftermath of the elections.
In the days following the elections, accounts of state repression "leading to massive and indiscriminate arrests, resulting in limiting the right to peaceful assembly and association" were also mentioned in the U.N. report, which added "the government has implemented other practices to identify and sanction opposition, resulting in house raids, improper searches and the improper use of criminal law to criminalize social protest."
Situated in the Northern Triangle of Central America along with Guatemala and El Salvador, the Central American nation is one of the most crisis-ridden countries in the region.
Gripped with neoliberal policies and drug-related violence, Hondurans continue to suffer the coup-like conditions, while those who are trying to seek asylum in other countries face similar or worse conditions, as they wait in limbo, something Manuel Zelaya attempted to fix.