Friday, July 10, 2009

Will the Situation in Honduras Affect the August 2009 Mission Trip?

We received this message from Yovany Munguía in Honduras.

July 9, 2009
Special Situation in Honduras: Political Crisis
And its Impact on the Arrival of the Group.

As you know, on June 28, the National Congress, supported by the Armed Forces and other government entities, proceeded to remove from power the country's president until that time, Manuel Zelaya..

The main reason was that he was acting in illegality to promote and implement the June 28 political poll, for people to see if they want the establishment of a National Constitutional Assembly, with the veiled en of his reelection, as have several other countries in South America (Venezuela, Ecuador and recently Bolivia). Therefore, Mel Zelaya is facing a number of charges in this country, because apart from this poll being illegal, there are a number of other administrative anomalies.

The error of the new authorities was to have the former president unexpectedly sacked and sent into exile, rather than start a trial in the country and if convicted, sent to prison. This resulted in demonstrations for and against the former president in the major cities, and a climate of uncertainty and tension in the whole population, but most people still live their daily lives and this has not generated extreme violence.

With regard to the arrival of the group under the current circumstances, I do not see any problem, both in their security, or how to develop their work. Airports are operating and airlines arrive. Taking of the roads is not occurring (to prevent the passage to Yoro from SPS) and if blocked, they are cleared by the police. Trade is open for the purchase of supplies and materials. No anti-American sentiment. Once reaching the tribe, everything goes normally, because while there are people who are on one side or another there, this is not open or violent. Clearly we must be prepared for some discomfort along the route to the recreation areas, because we are in an "abnormal" situation in relation to other groups that have come.

It is expected that in the coming days and mainly in the next week the situation will improve and we will have a clearer picture. Today and tomorrow, ¨Mel" Zelaya and the current government will have to move closer to meeting the President of Costa Rica, to find common ground. The majority of the population has this expectation, but are not very confident about it, since both are locked in their positions, but it is a beginning to the end of the crisis. I hope for an early agreement, before the arrival of the group, as I do not think that we can continue in this position for another month.

I will keep you informed on Saturday night and during the next week.

Yovany Munguía, Coordinator, NY/HELP

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