Honduras and its relationship to human rights is a product of the rest of the world’s progress. This country in Latin America has never held a space of predominant attention due to the western world’s domination of the international spheres. However, Honduras has never allowed itself to fade completely into obscurity, because it has accepted the terms and signed all the treaties necessary to ensure its position in the western world’s good graces. Honduras has been the host of innumerable foreign investments, but its modest societal advances have hindered their own political and economic progress. Since the early twentieth century, Honduras has struggled with human rights violations ranging from governmental terrorism and political violence. These two categories allow an entirely new subset of problems to form, which include human trafficking, gender inequality, and restrictions of personal freedoms. All of these problems contain their infinite complexities and differences, but they can all be tied under the umbrella term “human right violations”.
This dossier is a case study of Honduran human rights violations, but it will predominantly focus on three specific turning points in its history that created an incredible amount of repercussions. These historic dividers in Honduran human rights will begin with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights’ first formal complaint of human rights violations. This section will compose of early incidents in the 1980’s and will culminate with an introduction to the Honduran coup in 2009. The second section of the dossier will serve as critical point, because the transition of power was the first of its kind in modern history: a Democratically elected president was deposed in favor of a militaristic leader. This transition brought an insurmountable series of consequences that will create a clean cut to the final section of this case study, which focuses on the present-day human rights violations it suffers.
In essence, this dossier will revolve around the 2009 Honduran Coup, because our research has led us to the conclusion that this was the highest point of Honduran human rights violations. It brings to light the question that if a democracy can collapse and be supported in the international scene, what crime won’t be condoned? Honduras has not been the same since 2009. One human rights violation after the other has created a snowball effect of repercussions that has left Honduran citizens at the mercy of a militarized government. This new government liberally uses governmental terrorism to silence any possible moves of justice, but the rest of the world’s attitude of apathy only exacerbates this.
Innumerable atrocities and violent acts have always dictated humanity’s history. In 1945, World War II was the most recent calamity humanity had faced. The millions of lives lost and the memories of those who lived enlightened the minds of survivors with the knowledge and ambition to prevent anything like it from happening again. However, these individuals knew that their attempt at prevention could not be hindered by the limitations and constraints of national alliances, ethnicity, or religion. World War II had involved people from all backgrounds, and consequently, they sought protection for everyone. These events were what led to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
All of this is worth mentioning because it shows that even less than a century has passed and the world still suffers human rights violations. A little more than half a century ago, the world was united in its understanding that people are people regardless of societal categorization. However that united front has crumbled and only the most successful countries exhibit some respect towards people’s human rights. How can the world still allow this? How can the international sphere still allow cases like Honduras to exist? These questions cannot be ignored or mitigated, because they are real issues. It should be a source of international shame, but instead Honduras is put on the back burner while trivial topics are given more importance.
In the end, what this dossier hopes to do is to bring attention to a situation that needs to improve. Since 2009, the Honduran government has distorted the image of democracy, created the facade of peace, and desensitized its citizens to situations where others would be horrified. Honduras is embroiled in human rights violations, and it is about time that the rest of the world understands that something must be done. The world must unite like it did at the culmination of the Second World War and put aside its differences for the sake of a better tomorrow.
To read the complete dossier CLICK HERE!
This video is relevant to our dossier because it is a brief introduction to how the collapse of the democracy has led to human rights violations since 2009.
By Carla Apodaca, Kenia Munguia and Vahe Sargsyan