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Political Crisis in Honduras

Political Crisis in Honduras

Last Sunday was the first presidential election after the Honduran government amended the constitution to allow for re-elections. The amendment was a controversial action taken by the government that some do not agree with. President Juan Orlando Hernandez ran for re-election representing the Partido Nacional de Honduras (National Party of Honduras). Salvador Nasralla of the Alianza de Oposición (Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship) ran against Hernandez. The first preliminary results released less than 12 hours after the polls had closed gave Nasralla a 5% lead over Hernandez last Monday. However, the lead took a turn after a 36-hour pause in the count when the computer systems unexpectedly shut down, leaving workers to hand-count the unsigned ballots. Due to the lack of transparency in the voting re-count, along with the sudden reversal of Nasralla's lead, Opposition Alliance supporters flocked to the streets all over Honduras to protest, which have been met with military forces, resulting in many being injured and killed. The protests and riots continue to become more dangerous, and right now, Honduras is on the brink of a civil war due to alleged electoral fraud if there is not a peaceful resolution soon.

State of Emergency

Honduras has declared a state of emergency and has suspended all constitutional rights, empowering the military and police to enforce a 10-day curfew in attempt to curb the violent protests. Two days ago, a major turn occurred when the military went on strike and have not been enforcing the curfew hours, leading to a even more dangerous state of uncertain hostility in the country.

Riots in the Streets

Riots have continued in the streets all over Honduras, including the larger cities of San Pedro Sula (where I fly into Honduras), Tegucigalpa (capital of Honduras), and even in La Ceiba (a port city where our ministry purchases food and other supplies). Many people have been killed as a result of the protests, with many more injured. Protesters are creating road blocks by burning items in the streets. They have also burned banks, malls, toll booths, public transportation vehicles, other vehicles, stores, etc. and have looted grocery stores.

Ministry and Missionaries in Honduras

Since there is no media coverage of what is going on in Honduras here in the States, I have been in close contact with my directors of my sending agency and missionary co-workers who are in Honduras right now. With their permission, I am sending what they have told me. "I'm sure you're aware of riots and protests going on because of the elections right now. The road from here to La Ceiba is blocked with protests in 4 places {just to remind you, this is the closest city where we purchase food and other supplies}. No one can get in or out of here. It's super dangerous. We were trying to get a boat to bring us groceries in La Ceiba but all the stores are closed." "Lots of patients can't get to us due to road closures. We can't get to the city to buy food or transport visitors. Hoping there is a peaceful resolution soon." "We are closely watching it. Roatan is safe but there is no passage from La Ceiba to the hospital at present, except by boat, so we will keep a close eye on everything. Please keep everyone in prayer. They have no access to food or supplies at present." "Such a contrast...rocking a sleeping baby while I listen to the fireworks and noise of protestors outside. The disorder that is around us has nothing to do with God and the peace He offers. One side of me just wants this to be over so we can go back to normal. But I realize God is at work here, working justice, working so that the people of Honduras would know real peace that only comes through salvation in Jesus Christ, not through their government. Please continue to pray for the people of Honduras and its leadership. Roads continue to be blocked, some of the police are now striking, and of coarse injuries and death. May justice prevail, and may the light of Christ go forth."

My Departure Update

The plan for me to move to Honduras next month is drawing nearer by the day, expecting to leave in mid-late January. The plan remains to depart next month but will not be put in an unsafe situation. I have spoken to the directors of my sending agency in Texas and we have agreed to hold off on purchasing my plane ticket right now. They will continue to closely monitor things in Honduras, and when safe to do so, will allow me to purchase my ticket to move to Honduras to begin my ministry there.