In February, media groups and corporations began to quietly discuss a shocking development that had occurred when the drug lords “Los Cachiros” surrendered to U.S. authorities after witnessing firsthand the lengths to which a crackdown was beginning to occur nationwide against narco-traffickers. The reports of movements against the organization that the brothers controlled would continue on for months.
Another event that occurred in February was the kidnapping of Luis Betancourth by rogue members of the PMOP (the militarized police).
In March, one of the more notable events that was even actively discussed in English, was the arrest of Gladys Ochoa, related to her support of a former employee of Fundevi (the foundation for development of urban and rural social housing). This came at a time when other leaders were also facing mount persecution, and increased pressure from authorities to cease activities related to non-violent resistance and activism. Some examples from this time-period (and a bit further on in the year) could be articles about the Garifuna community facing pressure from CONATEL (the national telecommunications commission) related to independent radio stations that some communities used to communicate and help establish relationships between largely otherwise isolated villages.
At this time, more and more articles were appearing in Honduras newspapers relateing to the ease of acquiring drugs in San Pedro Sula. Many of these articles also mention “Project Victoria” which is an organization that works on raising awareness of issues related to drug usage, addiction, and crime.
In April, events begin to get more heated. April is the month in which arguably the most important Supreme Court decision in recent history took place. The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court decided to green-light the process for presidential reelection, despite the harsh stance the Honduran constitution takes on the matter. This got more complicated once one of the judges, Jose Lizardo decides to rescind his vote; but, that attempt is ultimately rejected by Honduran authorities, and the “original decision” stays valid.
In May, the very first protests begin to take place, but most of them are small.
In June, the protests begin to get bigger. More and more people begin to speak out against both reelection and against the administration of Juan Orlando, specifically.
In July, English publications begin to circulate news about the protests in Honduras. They get most of the facts, leaving out minor things. Some of them don’t mention presidential reelection. Others don’t discuss the IHSS scandal at length. Other articles that circulate on the Internet include an article centered around mental health in San Pedro Sula, and one discussing the disturbing length municipal corruption might be spread within Honduras, focusing on embezzlement.
In August, a tiny number of English articles mention that El Nino is reportedly connected to a drought impacting Honduras and other Central American nations. International Youth Day occurs and an article says that over 20% of Honduras’s population have an age between 15-24 years old. This was also the time period in which deadly storms, floods, and landslides began to more regularly make the news.
In September, more articles begin to appear discussing the Outraged movement. In September, U.S. Democrats sent a letter to John Kerry asking him to rethink his and Obama’s support of the Honduran security and law-enforcement agencies. Also in September, numerous incidents occur where the PMOP and the National Police take on apparently peaceful protesters using violent force. Two of the main incidents occur in Yoro and Colon.
In October, the Rosenthal Case occurred. This was the infamous event which led to the inactivity of Diario Tiempo, and the Continental Bank, among MANY other not as high profile businesses. This was the event which made many English speakers begin to see Honduras again, after the interest in the Outraged movement began to dwindle internationally.
In November, numerous massacres took place. These “massacres” were generally defined as instances in which two or more people died at the hands of the same criminals within a relatively short period of time. Additionally, following the Paris attack, Syrians were found trying to use Honduras as part of a travel plan, which ended in Honduras.
In December, a Honduran soccer player, Arnold Peralta, was assassinated in La Ceiba. In December, the DEI went into Roatan and closed down dozens of businesses for errors related to taxes. Additionally in December, several thousand Hondurans graduated from college, ready and eager to enter the workforce.
These are some of the more discussed events in Honduras, that I saw and discussed. These events all had an impact, and some of them were larger than others. What events did you see, or hear about through the news? I’d love to see what you think I missed, or didn’t get to hear about!