Editorial

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Bargaining Away the Enee

Sep 04, 2014

Bargaining Away the Enee

The main topic of discussion yesterday afternoon between members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) team and representatives of the Honduran government negotiating terms for a possible IMF credit package of up to US$220 million was the financially-strapped National Electric Energy Company (Enee), which reported losses of Lps 8 billion (US$380.9 million) in 2013 -- more than double what it was a decade ago. In a TV interview last month with journalist Eduardo Maldonado of HCH News, the President of the Central Bank of Honduras,... Read more

Beware of Neoliberal Growth Tips... Oh, Hello IMF

Sep 02, 2014

Beware of Neoliberal Growth Tips... Oh, Hello IMF

Honduras used to be known as the "breadbasket" of Central America. It grew enough of the basic staple crops of beans, rice, and corn to feed its own people and then have enough left over to export to the region. But back in the early-1990s, as part of economic liberalization efforts by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to push for free trade and open up markets around the world -- the so-called policy of "neoliberalism", these institutions persuaded Honduras, governed then by... Read more

Margarita Murillo: A Victim of Neoliberalism?

Aug 31, 2014

Margarita Murillo: A Victim of Neoliberalism?

The killing of peasant activist Margarita Murillo on Tuesday raises questions about the motive behind her murder. At the moment, all that is known is that she was shot on her land in the village of El Planón (municipality of Villanueva) by three individuals wearing ski-masks. As the recently-named president of the Asociativa Campesinos de Producción Las Ventanas (Window Production Peasants Association), Mrs. Murillo had apparently been involved in negotiating a land dispute between her group (consisting of at least 23 peasant families) and a large landowner (or several... Read more

Culture

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Cops and Road Blocks

Sep 05, 2014

Cops and Road Blocks

Being a foreigner while risking the roads in Central America can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. When traveling in groups, usually with a driver or guide, there’s hardly ever a problem. Driving your own car can be a challenge, because a chele (pale faced person) means there might be some money to get. Personally I have never experienced any problem because I don’t drive. The worst that ever happened to me using public transportation (besides the bus breaking down, roadblocks because of strikes, floodings or... Read more

Frida, Maya Language and Joya de Cerén

Aug 30, 2014

Frida, Maya Language and Joya de Cerén

Ancestral heritage needs to reinvent itself, or die. Design, with its ability to synthesize and develop, interpret and create realities, is a powerful tool for representing and reviving our past. For these purposes, Frida Larios has created a "new Maya language." The past is not a "sacred" place. The gods did not inspire the creators of the Temple of the Great Jaguar in Tikal, and the sculptors of the stelae at Copán. Neither artisans at Joya de Cerén. The "sacred" becomes untouchable and just an... Read more

Dead Weight

Aug 28, 2014

Dead Weight

There is here a darkness. Lying like a shadow on this land.   At night sometimes we used to tell ghost stories, sitting around when the power was out with a candle flickering on the table before us. But the darkest story, the story that really made us tremble, was the story of this place. Because it was true. Because there is a darkness here. An evil. For by what other word should it be known than evil when mothers lose their sons to killing or to... Read more


Opinion

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Socialism Instead of Neoliberal Capitalism?

Sep 06, 2014

Socialism Instead of Neoliberal Capitalism?

The Libre Party wants to move Honduras away from an economic model based on neoliberal capitalism and toward one based on socialism. For more than two-thirds of the people in the country who struggle to survive on $3 or less per day, this is probably a good idea because the primary outgrowth of such a move (if implemented competently and without generating excessive civil turmoil -- both very big "ifs") would be the redistribution of power, wealth, and control over national resources. For them, neoliberal capitalism has produced nothing but... Read more

The Patriotism Bill

Sep 03, 2014

The Patriotism Bill

On Tuesday, the National Congress of Honduras approved legislation stating the following: "It is the obligation of all Honduran citizens to acknowledge the National Anthem of Honduras by placing the right hand, extended over the chest, with the palm over the heart, whenever they hear the sound of its sacred notes being played, be it at public or private ceremonies or during any other acts that merits it, with the exception of the Armed Forces and National Police, who are guided by their own appropriate norms." Read more

Liberal Coffers Running on Fumes

Sep 02, 2014

Liberal Coffers Running on Fumes

When Mauricio Villeda announced last week that he would not run against to be the Liberal Party's candidate for the Presidency in 2017, he said that the reason was that he wanted to focus on reorganizing the party following its losses in last year's general elections -- losses which have effectively downgraded the Liberal Party to the third political force in Honduras, behind the conservative National Party and the socialist Libre Party. Not only did the Liberals convincingly lose the presidential election, they also took severe hits in congressional and... Read more

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International

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Obama's Move to Arm and Train 'Moderates' in Syria is a Feint

Sep 11, 2014

Obama's Move to Arm and Train 'Moderates' in Syria is a Feint

There is a common refrain these days voiced by politicians who want to blame President Obama for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It goes something like this: "We all told the president to arm and train the moderate rebel forces in Syria back in 2012. He refused, and this led to the rise of ISIL." The thinking is that had the United States strongly backed the so-called "moderate" Free Syrian Army... Read more

Mass Deportations Don’t Squelch Migration Dreams of Hondurans

Sep 10, 2014

Mass Deportations Don’t Squelch Migration Dreams of Hondurans

The clock marks 9 am when a bus coming from the Mexican city of Tapachula reaches Corinto, on the border between Honduras and Guatemala. It is the first bus of the day, carrying children and their families sent back from a failed attempt at making it across the border into the United States. The bus is carrying 19 children between the ages of five and 12, six women and seven men, all of them families.... Read more

Latin America's Need for Well Trained, Well Armed Police

Sep 02, 2014

Latin America's Need for Well Trained, Well Armed Police

The failures to effectively engage and contain local and transnational organized criminals has given birth and long adult life to strong, heavily armed cadres of ruthless killers and modern day pirates. As they murder and maim with impunity, steal and plunder large swaths of sovereign territory and government land, these murdering marauders have sought to take anything they want with minimal obstruction. Read more

National

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Mario Zelaya Found and Arrested

Sep 10, 2014

The Honduran government announced the arrest of the former head of the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS), Mario Zelaya. He was accused of having stolen or misspending over  US$300 million during his time at IHSS under former President Porfirio Lobo. It's good news for Honduras and a sign (at least a limited one) the government is willing to go after corruption, even within its own party.  While pretty much everyone across the political spectrum can agree that it's worth arresting a fugitive who stole millions from the government, Mr. Zelaya's capture has not... Read more

ZEDES One Step Closer to Reality

Sep 02, 2014

Back in January, the new administration of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was hyping the possibility of what were now officially called Zones for Economic Development and Employment, or ZEDEs. The concept has been known by many names: charter cities, LEAP (for “Legal, Economic, Administrative, Political") zones, free cities, and startup cities. The general idea is creating zones within a country that can experiment with different economic, regulatory, and legal systems than the rest of the country -- with the hope that these innovations might lead that sector to prosper more than the country... Read more

The Killing of Peasant Activist Margarita Murillo

Aug 30, 2014

Margarita Murillo was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in the village of El Planón, located within the municipality of Villanueva in northern Honduras. She was walking to tend a plot of land near her home when she was confronted by three men wearing ski-masks. Her body was found lying beneath a mango tree by members of the Asociativa Campesinos de Producción Las Ventanas (Window Production Peasants Association), made up of at least 23 peasant families who have been involved in a legal dispute over properties in the area. Read more

Volunteerism

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The Second Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

Sep 05, 2014

The Second Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

The 15th annual Sustainable Honduras Conference will take place in Copán Ruinas, Honduras on September 24-26. We will have in attendance many organizations that work on community development, education, youth violence prevention, microfinance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agricultural and environmental programs in Honduras. The theme for this year’s conference is "Collective Impact," and we have a very exciting program lined up. If you are interested in participating, please note that our online registration closes on September... Read more

The Opening Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

Aug 28, 2014

The Opening Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

The 15th annual Sustainable Honduras Conference is taking place in Copán Ruinas, Honduras on September 24-26. We have many organizations who work on community development, education, youth violence prevention, microfinance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agricultural and environmental programs in Honduras signed up to attend. The theme of this year’s conference is "Collective Impact," and we have a very exciting program in place. If you are interested in coming to the conference, please note that our... Read more

Project: Caring for the Elderly of La Ceiba

Aug 18, 2014

Project: Caring for the Elderly of La Ceiba

Responding to the need to care for the impoverished and homeless elderly people in their community, a group of women in La Ceiba have formed an association called El Perpetuo Socorro (Perpetual Aid). Their goal is to raise money to build a new Home for the Elderly of La Ceiba. Unfortunately, there are many ederly men and women in our city who have nowhere to go and no one to care for them. They amble through... Read more

Money & Investment

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National Budget for 2015 Projected at US$8.7 Billion

Sep 05, 2014

The Hernández administration next week will submit a national budget to the National Congress for 2015 that will be at least Lps $4.5 billion (US$214.3 million) less than the current budget. On January 18, Congress approved a budget of Lps 183,635 280,000 (US$8.744 billion) for 2014. Since then, however, it has approved supplemental appropriations estimated at Lps 3.599 billion (US$171.4 million), raising this year's total authorized spending to Lps 187,234,280,000 (US$8.916 billion). The proposed reduction for next year would represent about 2.4 percent of this year's budget. Read more

IMF Credit Deal May Ride on Enee

Aug 29, 2014

The government of President Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras will commence negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on September 2 to obtain access to approximately US$220 million in credit at favorable rates of interest. The money would be used to provide liquidity to the Hernández administration so it can better meet its budgetary obligations. Without this infusion of cash, the administration will continue to have a difficult time paying tens of thousands of public employees and generally keeping the government in operation. Read more

InterContinental Hotels Group Opens Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Tegucigalpa

Aug 17, 2014

InterContinental Hotels Group announced on Friday the opening of the new-build, 108-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in Tegucigalpa. The hotel is located in the heart of the capital city's new financial and commercial district of Plaza San Rafael, and near the country’s major financial institutions, including BAC Honduras, Banco Davivienda and BCIE (Central American Bank for Economic Integration). The Holiday Inn Express Tegucigalpa hotel is also connected to some of the main city thoroughfares such as Boulevard Morazán and is conveniently accessible to a variety of restaurants. Read more


Honduras Weekly  seeks to promote a thoughtful, civil, and balanced exchange about news, events, and people in Honduras (mostly). The idea is to be receptive to everyone's opinions, regardless of philosophical lean. Our underlying assumption is that truth is not usually absolute. In the end, we can always agree to disagree. Meanwhile, we'd like to listen to as many people as may come our way, and encourage a conversation. We are a privately-owned, independent Honduran newspaper, with no government connections (national or foreign). We are solely responsible to our readers. Honduras Weekly  is updated daily in English, with an emphasis on stories we sense have the greatest overall impact on Honduras each week. Write to us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


 

Travel

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Comayagua Cathedral's Famous Old Clock

Sep 10, 2014

Comayagua Cathedral's Famous Old Clock

Having and quantifying time is a subject that has fascinated man for eons. If we think about it we remember that the first solar clocks were used by many civilizations around the world, soon to be followed by sand and then shortly after, the almost perfect mechanical marvels that functioned with gears and weights. Knowing those mechanisms is not just interesting, but also allows one to judge the ingenuity of man over thousands of years.... Read more

Life in Copán: World-Class Events and Weekend Getaways

Aug 27, 2014

Life in Copán: World-Class Events and Weekend Getaways

With the recent success of the Globe theater’s production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet  in Copán Ruinas on August 16, the town has once again shown itself to be a unique stage for social, educational and cultural events. More than 500 people turned out to see the London-based troup’es round-the-world tour to celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday. Copán Ruinas’ old Fort (“El Cuartel”) was turned into a professional stage complete with lighting and sound system, comfy seating,... Read more

Honduras: Bird Paradise Par Excellence

Aug 13, 2014

Honduras: Bird Paradise Par Excellence

In all of the territory of the United States there are about 800 species of birds. What would you think if we told you that in an area equivalent to 1 percent of all that territory there are about as many birds? That place is called Honduras. The country is, par excellence, a paradise for birds, and has more than 750 recorded species including migratory and resident varieties. This large number is due in part to the fact that the... Read more

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