In 2019, Hondurans witnessed President Juan Orlando’s brother – Tony Hernandez – being tried in the Southern District Court in New York City. Tony Hernandez was found guilty of cocaine trafficking charges. The president was also implicated in the trial, but denied all claims and allegations. The case was able to highlight how drug-trafficking has infiltrated State institutions in the country.
Between April to July, students, health and education professionals, labor unions, and many more assembled to protest the privatization of the health and education systems. The State used excessive force to quell the protests using tear gas, shooting live rounds, and arbitrarily detaining demonstrators. Human rights defenders – indigenous and Garifuna communities particularly – continue to be targeted for defending their lands.
In January 19, 2020, the mandate for the anti-corruption mission, the MACCIH, should expire. The future of the mission will depend on conversations between the OAS Secretary General and the Honduran government.
Ongoing issues regarding freedom of the press, the decaying penitentiary system, climate change’s effect on farmers’ crops and cattle, and violence continue to affect the daily lives of Hondurans. These are, in many ways, tied to the exodus of people leaving Honduras in search for a better and safer future.