Honduras, one of the poorest and most violent countries

Honduras, one of the poorest and most violent countries

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Honduras, which elects its president on Sunday, is a small country in the heart of Central America's “triangle of death”, plagued by violence, poverty and corruption, a situation made worse by COVID and devastating hurricanes.

Gangs and migrant caravan wars

This country of nearly 10 million inhabitants (World Bank 2020) suffers from one of the highest homicide rates in the world (excluding conflict) of 37.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020.

It is considered, along with Mexico, as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists (92 assassinations in 20 years) and for environmental defenders.

Located in the ” triangle of death ”with El Salvador and Guatemala, it is plagued by the“ maras ”, gangs that control drug trafficking and organized crime.

This phenomenon, combined with massive unemployment, causes a wave of illegal emigration to the United States, especially of minors who fear being forcibly recruited by gangs, sometimes taking the form of spectacular “caravans” of thousands of Hondurans. walking on foot.

Political instability

Independent since 1821, the country has experienced multiple coups d'état, armed revolts and conflicts with its neighbors ( Guatemala in 1880, Salvador during the brief “football war” in 1969).

An almost uninterrupted period of military rule lasting almost 20 years ended in 1982 with the election of President Roberto Suazo Cordova. Since then, the right-wing parties (liberal and national) have dueled in each election.

Elected under the liberal label in 2005, President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in 2009 by a coup d'état military supported by the right and the business world, after having made a turn to the left, in particular approaching the Venezuelan Hugo Chavez.

New elections at the end of 2009 bring Porfirio Lobo Sosa (National Party) to power.

Outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernandez, known as “JOH”, (National Party) was elected in 2013 after contested elections by the left, then re-elected at the end of 2017 in a poll marred by fraud according to the opposition.

Accusations of “narco-state”

The brother of the head of state, former MP Tony Hernandez, was sentenced in March to life imprisonment by a US federal court for shipping some 185 tons of cocaine to the United States, trafficking for which he benefited. protection of his brother, according to US prosecutors.

Traffickers arrested or extradited to the United States by the Hernandez government have questioned the president's entourage, citing the payment of bribes wine.

The President of Honduras castigates what he considers to be false testimonies of drug lords seeking revenge for the war waged against them. The Head of State has installed an air, sea and land shield in an attempt to neutralize the drug cartels, with the support of the United States.

Poor coffee-producing country

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with more than half of its population below the poverty line.

In 2020, its GDP contracted by 9%, weighed down by COVID-19 and the devastating impact of hurricanes Eta and Iota.

It is the fifth largest exporter of coffee in the world, its main source of employment.

Its other productions include bananas, timber, corn, pineapple, palm oil, rice , beans and shrimps.

Remittances to the country of emigrants represent nearly 20% of the GDP. More than a million Hondurans live abroad, especially in the United States, the largest trading partner.

The country is plagued by corruption, ranked 157th out of 180 by the NGO Transparency International.

“Mayan Athens”

The ruins of the Mayan city of Copan, described by archaeologists as “Mayan Athens”, classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, are nevertheless left in a precarious state.

The city, whose ruins include a thousand buildings, was organized around the acropolis and a central square. It includes a hieroglyphic staircase, a ball court, as well as tunnels leading to the royal tombs or the buried temple of Rosalila.

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