Honduras was the first "banana republic", a term coined by the American writer William Sydney Porter to describe a country at the mercy of unscrupulous fruit companies. Today, 80 percent of the cocaine that comes to the United States comes from Honduras, with its violence in its commerce and gangs’ wrongdoing that prospers in such a reality.
Those who for the first time are passing through the popular area of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, can have the impression of being in one of the many suburbs of Latin America, apart from one thing: soldiers with war equipment patrol the streets. The fact is that Honduras has become the most dangerous country outside the declared war zones. The homicide rate was 90.4 per 100,000 residents in 2012 and since then it continues to rise. Large areas of the capital are in the hands of violent and criminal gangs. The poorly equipped, inefficient and often complicit crime police remain inert to the sight of the 20 murders on a daily basis, five times more than Chicago, the most violent city in North America (See Why the murder rate in Honduras is twice as high as anywhere else).
Embedded between Nicaragua to the south and Guatemala to the north, Honduras was the first "banana republic", a term coined by the American writer William Sydney Porter to describe a country at the mercy of unscrupulous fruit companies. Today, 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the US soil comes from Honduras, with its environment of violence in its commerce and of gangs’ wrongdoing that prospers in such a reality. The United States’ anti-drug operations against the cartels of Colombia to the south and Mexico to the north have led drug gangs to Honduras, a country halfway between the coca fields of the Amazon basin and consumers in the cities of North America. Small airplanes cross the airs in the almost uninhabited areas of the border areas of these countries, use hidden tracks in the jungle, fly at night, are abandoned and destroyed after some trips to avoid being identified. The powerful, the traffickers, the politicians become rich and the normal people are submerged in misery, often victims of robberies and the armed bands are present everywhere. Kidnappings and looting, assaults and murders, "war tax" - a local term for protection when it comes to blackmailing - and forced taxes on small businesses, schools and private individuals, remain unpunished.
Everyday life becomes impossible and even more depressing because of the daily reports of murders and riots illustrated by the press and television with gruesome photographs of bloody corpses. This brutal violence becomes agonizing in the poor neighborhoods facing the millions of dollars ostentatiously displayed in the luxurious enclaves guarded by private security agents and by checkpoints on the streets of the city, even with the ban on pedestrians.
In the background, the last presidential elections that took place in a climate of doubt and uncertainty due to mass social discontent, multitudinous and arbitrary arrests, irregularities in the electoral process and in the count. The fundamental human rights of the Honduran people - the right to freedom of assembly, expression, and above all, the right to life - were cruelly suppressed. The election of current President Juan Orlando Hernández (see Juan Orlando Hernández looks headed for re-election in Honduras). Has been qualified as "illegal" by academic analyzis whose results have been accepted by the Organization of American States (OAS) and by the United States Congress. Once installed, Juan Orlando Hernández’s government, refused to be challenged and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was barred from visiting the country.
All this expresses the rampant corruption and the weakness of state institutions. The Carnegie International Foundation for Peace affirms that corruption is the daily operating system in Honduras. Even before the caravan caused a sensation, there were many Hondurans who emigrated by the dozens, declaring themselves tired of living in a country where only 20% of reported crimes are investigated by the authorities and are never prosecuted.
In this situation, only three possible scenarios for the immediate future are presented: continue to submit to an incompetent and corrupt government, leave the country to seek a decent life elsewhere, promote a general insurrection of unsuspected consequences. The caravan is a strong sign that Hondurans are already refusing to accept an incompetent and corrupt government and even without legitimacy (See Dozens From Migrant Caravan Line Up at Border, Seeking Asylum Interviews). If the US and Mexican governments completely close the borders, as they seem intent on doing so, Hondurans will not have to take the third option, whose consequences are unimaginable not only for the country but also for the entire region.
A glimmer of hope comes from a statement of the recently installed President of Mexico, Obrador, who claimed to be open for a dialogue with US President Trump to make a concrete and financial contribution to the pacification and development of those Central American countries that have been so far 'the object of looting': "It is my dream and I wish to see it becoming reality, that nobody would have no more desire to go to work in the United States." A dream or a serious commitment? It is necessary to wait until dawn to know the outcome of it.