Editorial

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Why is Colombia Smuggling Coca Base to Honduras?

Jan 14, 2015

Why is Colombia Smuggling Coca Base to Honduras?

The police in Honduras report they seized 645 kilos of coca base in several containers that originated in Colombia, prompting the question as to why smugglers are moving the raw material rather than crystallized cocaine into Central America. The reason is that it makes good business sense. The Honduran newspaper El Tiempo  reported that customs agents found the coca base in a shipment of wood that passed through the port city of Puerto Cortés.    Read more

The Wolves of Honduras

Sep 26, 2014

The Wolves of Honduras

The Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS) is currently experiencing the worst financial crisis in its history, facing a US$302.5 million debt. President Juan Orlando Hernández ordered an investigation earlier this year, which uncovered the lack of a cohesive administration and a blatant misuse of public funds. Abuses included unjustified salary increases for many employees and purchases that were recorded as high as 500 percent over the items’ real value. Earlier this month, the institute’s ex-director Mario Zelaya, was apprehended along with other former staffers. The investigation made Hondurans... Read more

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

Culture

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The Dying Coconut Trees

Jan 15, 2015

The Dying Coconut Trees

Several years before Hurricane Mitch hit the Honduran North Coast in 1998, Lethal Yellowing coconut disease began affecting Honduran coconut palms, first in the Bay Islands. Just before Hurricane Mitch it had begun doing serious damage of the coconut trees on Honduras’s North Coast, first in the area of the Garifunas and then in the Honduran Mosquitia. Hurricane Mitch made the problem worse on the coast and carrying the disease into Olancho where it also affected the Coyol Palm, used to make wine, and all... Read more

Art and Cultural Exhibits as Catalysts of Curiosity

Sep 24, 2014

Art and Cultural Exhibits as Catalysts of Curiosity

Art promotion plays an important role in the dissemination of ideas, encouraging curiosity and motivating individuals to cultivate their interests, largely awakened when exposed to educational exhibits, conferences, workshops and seminars. I remember the day I started my relationship with this wonderful world of curiosity, and it was precisely when I as a freshman in high school in San Pedro Sula, when I was fourteen years old. Every year, my school held an “Expression Week”, whereby all students prepared and presented different projects in each... Read more

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

Opinion

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The Wealthiest of Hondurans

Jan 15, 2015

The Wealthiest of Hondurans

Despite Honduras being horrifically unequal (or perhaps because of this) in terms of income distribution, three of Central America's 12 richest millionaires are Honduran. According to Forbes magazine, the following three Hondurans are multi-millionaires: Jaime Rosenthal Oliva, Miguel Facussé Barjum, and Mohamad Yusuf Amdani Bai. Mr. Amdani Bai, who is fifth on the list, is the head of a group called the Karim Group, based in Pakistan, specializing in textile production and real estate. Mr. Rosenthal is number six, and he is the chairman of Continental which does banking, real estate, technology, energy,... Read more

Socialism Instead of Neoliberalism?

Sep 06, 2014

Socialism Instead of Neoliberalism?

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

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International

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A Canal Dividing Nicaragua

Jan 13, 2015

A Canal Dividing Nicaragua

The proposal to build a trans-oceanic canal across Nicaragua seems mostly like the scenario for a slightly implausible summer blockbuster movie. The movie would have it all. Powerful business forces, environmental risks, social upheaval and conflict and even global intrigue -- Chinese interests are behind the project. And lots and lots of mystery. I can see Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie racing from Caribbean villages in Nicaragua to skyscrapers in Hong Kong in a race to... Read more

South-South Trade and Latin America

Sep 24, 2014

South-South Trade and Latin America

The economic rise of the developing south is one of the biggest trends of the last decade, accelerated by the 2008 global economic downturn. Since 2001 trade between these countries has grown 18 percent a year on average, outpacing global trade growth of 11 percent. Nearly half of all exports worldwide now originate in emerging markets -- predominantly Asia. A recent Inter-American Development Bank report lays out how Latin America is faring with these global shifts. Overall... Read more

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

National

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Report: Honduras Solves 1% of Homicide Cases

Jan 14, 2015

A new study conducted by the Alliance for Peace and Justice (APJ), a Honduran NGO, revealed that only one percent of homicide cases in Honduras' three major cities ever resulted in convictions, underscoring the rampant impunity fostered by the country's dysfunctional criminal justice system. The study examined 566 homicide cases in the cities of San Pedro Sula, Comayagua and Tegucigalpa, and found that only one percent resulted in convictions, reported Revistazo.  Read more

Honduras Militarizing Prison System

Sep 24, 2014

Around 300 army reserve soldiers are being trained to serve as prison guards in Honduras, a measure that could improve security, but is unlikely to provide a lasting solution to high levels of overcrowding and violence in the country's penitentiary system. On September 16, President Juan Orlando Hernández inaugurated the first course to train members of the army reserve to serve as prison guards, reported Proceso Digital.  Read more

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

Volunteerism

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Sustainability Begins With Practical Empowerment

Jan 13, 2015

Sustainability Begins With Practical Empowerment

What I'm proposing may seem radical -- teach people how to help themselves rather than continuing to rely on the kindness of others. Our efforts in Honduras over the last twelve years prove this approach works and is sustainable. It gives people a sense of pride and self-reliance. As more groups use this plan the results could be transformational. These lessons have been applied not only in Honduras but in poverty stricken areas within the... Read more

The Third Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

Sep 24, 2014

The Third Day of the Sustainable Honduras Conference in Copán Ruinas

The 15th annual Sustainable Honduras Conference will take place in Copán Ruinas. It will begin today and run through Saturday. We have many organizations that work on community development, education, youth violence prevention, microfinance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agricultural and environmental programs in Honduras signed up to attend. We are expecting more than 180 conferees. Our theme this year is "Collective Impact," and we have a very strong program in place. This article is the third and... Read more

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

Money & Investment

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Bond Sale of US$250 Million Placed

Jan 13, 2015

Honduras has finally succeeded in placing US$250 million in bonds to be used to help pay down its debt to private energy providers, but first it had to sweeten the offering. As of July, 2014, Honduras had a debt of US$355 million with private power producers. The country's state energy company, Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica (ENEE) pays private companies for power generation. That's not to say it doesn't generate power as well, but it generates far less that the country uses.  It must therefore buy power from the Central American power grid, or pay private companies to generate the... Read more

Yingli Solar Will Supply Panels to Pavana Solar Park in Choluteca

Sep 25, 2014

Yingli Solar of Baoding, China announced it will supply more than 24 megawatts of solar panels for the Pavana Solar Park, which will be the largest solar farm in Honduras. Located in the city of Choluteca, the Pavana Solar power plant will feature close to 80,000 YGE 72 Cell Series modules. The facility is expected to be operational during the first quarter of next year and will generate approximately 40,000 megawatt-hours annually. “We are thrilled to contribute to Honduras’ largest solar project to date, which will help the country reach its goal of meeting sixty percent of domestic electricity demand... Read more

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


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. .
—Marco Cáceres, Editor


 

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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