By S. Brian Willson (October 23, 2018)
The massive forced flight of people from Honduras is not new; it is the legacy of US intervention in the country.
Since the 2009 US-backed and Hillary-supported coup in Honduras, the post-coup regime has perpetuated a system based on disregard for human rights, impunity, corruption, repression and the influence of organized crime groups in the government and in the economic power elite. Since the coup, we have seen the destruction of public education and health services through privatization. The imposition of mining, hydro-electric mega-projects and the concentration of land in agro-industry has plunged 66 percent of the Honduran population into poverty and extreme poverty. In the last 9 years, we have witnessed how the murder of Berta Cáceres and many other activists, indigenous leaders, lawyers, journalists, LGBTQ community members and students has triggered a humanitarian crisis. This crisis is reflected in the internal displacement and the unprecedented exodus of the Honduran people that has caught the public’s eye during recent days.
The fraudulent November 2017 elections, in which Juan Orlando Hernández – the incumbent president since questionable elections in 2013 – fraudulently refused to leave office despite losing the popular vote, and in violation of the Honduran constitution, sparked a national outrage confronted by an extremely violent government campaign with military and US-trained security forces to suppress the protests against the fraud, resulting in a number of people killed by government forces, more than a thousand arrested.