Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Resisting in Honduras

Very soon, Honduras will largely drop off the U.S. media radar.  Pepe Lobo will be inaugurated as president today, Mel Zelaya will leave the country for the Dominican Republic, and those responsible for the coup will sit in contented impunity.

So now the country will return to its traditional oligarchic style of governance.  There is a resistance movement, the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) that has called for demonstrations against the inauguration and rejection of the Lobo government.  Its primary challenge, however, is similar to many other social movements that form during a time of crisis.  Very disparate groups come together to deal with a specific problem, and when that problem is resolved (one way or another) they must either find a new purpose or split apart. (There is, for example, a large literature on women's movements during Latin American dictatorships and the challenges they faced in the postauthoritarian era).

The main goal seems to be constitutional reform, though this will be problematic given the movement's non-recognition of the government, with which it will have to work.  Plus, the different groups within the resistance will have to come to agreement on specific goals and strategies, which is no small task.  And, of course, they will face the same issue of the non-reformable parts of the constitution.  There is a good post at Honduras Coup 2009 about the resistance, though I would argue that it is premature to assume continued unity.

Hondurans pushing for substantive change therefore have an enormous amount of work cut out for them and face long odds.  Can the resistance movement gain traction as it moves forward from today?


Anonymous,  8:38 AM  

Honduras coup 2009? Home of RAJ and her famous legal explanations? They of the totally wrong "no one will recognize the elections" predictions?

Hondurans that want change just have to get their candidates elected and follow the rules. But that's hard work. It's much easier to claim conspiracies when the voters don't agree with you.

Latin America appears to be getting tired of all the crazy left losers. About time.

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