Porfirio Lobo a Failure, LIBRE Party Inaugurated in HondurasDos años de Lobo, con fuerte desgaste popular


UPDATE on March 28:

Honduran resistance celebrates the birth of LIBRE party

Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular

Tegucigalpa. March 15, 2012. An authentic people’s party was seen near the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) on Thursday where militants and supporters of the National Front of People’s Resistance (FNRP) gathered to cheer and celebrate the birth of its political branch that took place as a formal event at the TSE building.

TSE magistrates make symbolic delivery of party registration over the stage platform after formal event at the national headquarters of the institution in Tegucigalpa (Credit: FNRP).

The TSE allowed the registration of the new party Partido Libertad y Refundación (Freedom and Refoundation, LIBRE), led by former president Manuel Zelaya, to become the seventh political institution in the country.

From early hours and from all over the country thousands of resistance members arrived following a call by FNRP’s National Coordination Committee which on Tuesday received notice from TSE authorities confirming recognition of the party as a new political institution fully registered and qualified to participate in the upcoming elections.

During its General Assembly of Delegates in June, 2011, the FNRP decided to create a political instrument with which to confront the traditional political parties that represent the business elite. With the birth of LIBRE the Honduran people in general and the resistance in particular predicts the end of the duopoly that has ruled the country so far.

Inside the TSE building, the members of the National Coordination Committee of the FNRP through its general coordinator, former president Manuel Zelaya, undertook formal reception of the documents. In a gesture of spontaneity and upon request of the party’s representatives, the magistrates accepted to do the symbolic delivery of documents outside the building over the rally stage platform.

Last October, the FNRP presented as part of the process, the charter of the new party, its electoral plans for the upcoming elections, and evidence of existent organizational structures in the municipalities of Honduras.

LIBRE party’s slogan is “the revolution is inevitable in Honduras” and a chart of principles has been drafted to establish its political approach and reaffirm its socialist commitment.

On the other hand, all five political streams within the party are proposing Xiomara Castro, wife of Zelaya, as the only candidate to the presidency. Castro did not attend the event due to medical leave.

Last week, the TSE approved the request of registry of Partido Anticorrupción (PAC) that postulates television announcer Salvador Nasralla for the Presidency of the Republic.

Until then, the Liberal, National, Innovation and Unity (PINU), Christian Democracy (DC) and Democratic Unification (UD) parties were legally enrolled.

“Si se pudo” (yes we did) was the rally’s main chanted slogan.


VIDEO: First video by LIBRE party (Courtesy of MrLagulego, 1 min).


Source: Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular



Support for President Lobo hits all-time low

By Thelma Mejía

English | Spanish

Tegucigalpa, Honduras — Last Friday marked two years since the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo as president of Honduras, amidst accusations of corruption, an unprecedented crime wave, and his lowest approval rating yet.

Porfirio Lobo speaking in Congress at the inauguration of the new legislative session (Credit: Honduran Presidency).

A poll conducted by two Jesuit research centres revealed that halfway through Lobo’s term, Hondurans give his right-wing government a rating of 4.6 points out of 10, down from the 5.11 rating of a year ago.

“This is the lowest rating for the president’s administration, with respondents indicating as his sole achievement the 10,000-lempira subsidies (some 526 dollars) granted every three months to the poor,”

Father Ismael Moreno, Jesuit provincial superior for Honduras, told IPS.

“In everything else, Porfirio Lobo scores an overwhelming failing grade,”

he said, commenting on the results of the survey conducted jointly by Honduras’ Reflection, Research and Communication Team (Eric) and the El Salvador-based “José Simeón Cañas” Central American University (UCA).

Such widespread disapproval

“would appear to be connected with the belief that Lobo has done nothing to respond to popular demands and has achieved little in his administration,”

he said, noting that the 1,540 respondents agreed that Lobo’s greatest failure is his inability to curb rising violence and insecurity.

Official data also points to growing criminal violence, with an average of 17 murders a day in a country of 8.4 million inhabitants.

Results from the survey were only just released but are based on polls conducted over the second half of November in 16 of 18 departments (or provinces) Honduras is divided into.

Increasing criminality is just one of the many problems affecting the country. High unemployment and widespread corruption are also major concerns.

On Jan. 24, Lobo admitted that he would not be able to make good on his election promise of creating 100,000 new jobs.

“At most we’ll be able to generate some 10,000 jobs,” the president said.

Lobo’s admission came during the presentation of his second annual report before Congress, at the formal inauguration of the 2012 legislative session.

In his address, Lobo highlighted Honduras’s return to the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the reopening of credit lines by multilateral financial institutions as leading achievements of his administration.

He also credited his administration for the establishment of a unity government, giving participation to every political group in the country, and a drop in the social unrest that followed the civilian-military coup d’état that deposed democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya, in June 2009.

After the coup, Honduras was isolated by the international community and, in particular, by most countries of the Americas.

The country was immediately cast out of the OAS and only readmitted two years later following an agreement brokered by Colombia and Venezuela, which included Zelaya’s return from exile and the recognition of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) – the broad popular movement that emerged to protest the coup, among other conditions.

President Lobo admitted that he has failed to meet a promise that was instrumental in his securing 56.6 percent of the votes and winning the November 2009 election. In his electoral campaign he had vowed to make Honduras a safe country.

But two years on, not only has criminal activity not fallen, it has soared to all-time highs, and the police entrusted with combating it is mired in corruption scandals, fuelling the already reigning impunity.

Of the respondents polled by Eric and UCA, 67 percent say the police have ties to organised crime, and 72 percent say they do not feel safe with the current police force.

The military troops that have been called in patrol the streets are somewhat better perceived, with 46 percent of respondents saying they trust them.

Historian and analyst Marvin Barahona said to IPS that the Lobo administration inherited a multifaceted crisis, and in some aspects

“such as security, he’s made no effort to improve the situation”.

Another aspect of this crisis is corruption, Barahona said. He recalled how government officials have been implicated in rigged electric power and basic grain import contracts, procurement contracts awarded without tender, and other irregularities.

As a result, Honduras is one of the countries of Latin America with the highest level of perceived corruption, according to international transparency indexes.

“Underlying it all is impunity, and a rift between the government and its citizens caused by the lack of solutions to (the country’s) problems,” Barahona said.

The survey also reveals increasing disillusionment with political leaders and government institutions, as Lobo

“has failed to inspire even a minimum of trust,” he added.

Lobo has arrived at the halfway mark of his term

“with hardly any room for manoeuvring and his administration’s image will be even more tarnished in May when primary campaigns for the candidates of next year’s general election begin,”

the historian and analyst said.

In Honduras, presidents traditionally have two years to actually govern. During the third year, pre-election campaigns wear down the administration, as most contenders are executive branch officers and acting legislators who hope to continue in the government in the following term.

Hondurans will go to the polls this November to elect the presidential candidates who will vie for the presidency a year later, when both president and national legislators and local government authorities will be elected.

For over a century, power in Honduras has been shared by the Liberal Party, now in the opposition, and the National Party, currently in power. Both parties are considered right-wing.

Although Zelaya was elected president of Honduras in 2005 running as the Liberal Party candidate, after coming back to Honduras in May 2011 he chose to leave the party and build a new political left-wing party, called Libertad y Refundación or Libre (Freedom and Refoundation – Free), which is currently applying to register with electoral authorities.

The Eric-UCA survey reveals a 2.8 percent voter preference for the new Libre party, with the majority of electors saying they intend to vote for one of the traditional parties, although voter support for both parties combined is under 60 percent.

Honduras has five political parties, which will be joined by three new ones in the next elections. Two of these new parties are left-wing and the third party is a right-wing group formed by retired military officers.

For sociologist Eugenio Sosa, this pre-election atmosphere

“will speed up Lobo’s steady descent, as he will only be able to improve his image slightly if he takes firm actions to root out police corruption and address insecurity.”

“Otherwise, he will be the most unpopular president in recent years,” he said.


Source: IPS


 Por Thelma Mejía
IPS via Cambio Politico

español | inglés

Tegucigalpa, Honduras — El presidente de Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, cumple este viernes 27 dos años en el poder, salpicado por denuncias de corrupción, una ola criminal sin precedentes y la peor calificación popular desde que comenzó el mandato.

Porfirio Lobo, en el podio de oradores, durante la apertura del año legislativo (Crédito: Presidencia de Honduras).

Una encuesta elaborada por dos instituciones de la católica Compañía de Jesús reveló que los hondureños dan al derechista gobernante, cuando llega a la mitad de su mandato, una calificación de 4,6 puntos sobre 10, frente los 5,11 puntos de hace un año.

“Estamos ante la nota más baja en la gestión del presidente donde el único logro que resaltan los encuestados son los subsidios de 10.000 lempiras (526 dólares), que entrega cada tres meses a los pobres”,

dijo a IPS el sacerdote Ismael Moreno, provincial de los jesuitas en Honduras.

“Por lo demás, Porfirio Lobo sale altamente reprobado”,

puntualizó al comentar los resultados del sondeo realizado por el jesuita Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (Eric) de Honduras y la Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA), de la misma orden y con sede en El Salvador.

El suspenso popular

“parece estar vinculado con la percepción de que Lobo no ha resuelto las demandas de la población y ha tenido escasos logros en su administración”,

acotó al señalar que los 1.540 encuestados consideran que el mayor fracaso de Lobo es el fracaso en la lucha contra la inseguridad ciudadana.

Datos oficiales reconocen un repunte de la violencia criminal, con 17 asesinatos diarios en promedio, en un país de 8,4 millones de habitantes.

El sondeo cuyos resultados se conocen ahora se basa en encuestas realizadas durante la segunda quincena de noviembre en 16 de los 18 departamentos de Honduras.

Al problema de la criminalidad, se suma el desempleo y la corrupción.

Lobo admitió el martes 24 que no podrá cumplir su promesa de la campaña electoral de que crearía 100.000 nuevos empleos.

“Apenas unos 10.000 empleos es lo más que podemos generar”,

dijo el presidente.

Lobo hizo el reconocimiento durante la presentación de su segundo informe anual ante el unicameral Congreso legislativo, en la apertura formal del año parlamentario.

En su discurso, Lobo destacó entre sus principales logros el retorno de Honduras a la Organización de Estados Americanos y la reapertura de créditos por parte de los organismos financieros multilaterales.

También consideró entre sus activos la instauración de un gobierno de unidad e integración con las distintas fuerzas políticas y la caída de los niveles de conflictividad social, generados tras el golpe cívico-militar que derrocó al presidente constitucional Manuel Zelaya, en junio de 2009.

Tras la ruptura institucional, Honduras fue aislada del concierto internacional y en particular el interamericano, a donde retornó en junio de 2011.

El presidente aceptó que tampoco ha logrado cumplir la que fue su principal campaña que lo llevó al triunfo en noviembre de 2009, con 56,6 por ciento de los votos. Entonces se comprometió a reconvertir a Honduras en un país seguro.

Pero dos años después los niveles de criminalidad han alcanzado cotas sin precedentes y la policía llamada a enfrentarla está inmersa en escándalos de corrupción, lo que alimenta la impunidad del delito.

De los encuestados por el Eric y la UCA, 67 por ciento opinan que la policía está vinculada al crimen organizado y 72 por ciento dicen sentirse inseguros frente a esa fuerza del orden.

Algo mejor parados salen los militares que han sido sumados al patrullaje de las calles y en los que confían 46 por ciento de los consultados.

Marvin Barahona, historiador y analista, dijo a IPS que el gobierno de Lobo vive una crisis heredada con diversos rostros, algunos de los cuales

“ni siquiera ha intentado mejorar, como es la seguridad”.

Otra de las caras negativas, agregó, es la corrupción. Recordó que funcionarios del gobierno han sido implicados en contratos amañados de energía eléctrica, importación de granos básicos, compras sin licitación y otras irregularidades.

Como resultado, Honduras es uno de los países con mayor percepción de corrupto en América Latina, según índices de transparencia internacionales.

“Detrás de todo ello está en la impunidad, y se evidencia un divorcio entre el gobierno y la ciudadanía ante la falta de soluciones a los problemas”, afirmó Barahona.

El sondeo desnuda también un creciente desencanto con la elite política y la institucionalidad, debido a que Lobo

“no ha podido generar consensos mínimos de confianza”, acotó.

Al llegar a la mitad de su mandato,

“el margen de maniobra del presidente no es mucho y deberá enfrentar un mayor desgaste cuando arranquen en mayo las campañas políticas primarias para buscar los candidatos a sucederle en los comicios generales del próximo año”,

advirtió el historiador y analista.

En Honduras tradicionalmente los presidentes tienen dos años efectivos para gobernar. En el tercero el activismo político de las campañas preelectorales desgasta a la administración, porque la mayoría de los aspirantes son funcionarios del Ejecutivo y diputados activos, que buscan seguir en el poder el siguiente cuatrienio.

Los hondureños acudirán en noviembre de este año a escoger los candidatos presidenciales que se disputarán los comicios generales de un año después, cuando se elegirá al presidente, diputados naciones y miembros de los poderes locales.

Desde hace más de un siglo, el poder de Honduras se lo han repartido el Partido Liberal, en la oposición y al cual pertenecía Zelaya, y el Partido Nacional, en el poder. Ambos situados en la derecha política.

El expresidente Zelaya, quien retornó a mediados de 2011 al país, optó por irse del liberalismo y construir una nueva fuerza política de izquierda, denominada Libertad y Refundación (Libre), en proceso de registro ante el poder electoral.

Libre cuenta con una preferencia de 2,8 por ciento del electorado, según la encuesta del Eric y la UCA, que da los partidos Liberal y Nacional la preferencia electoral, aunque sin llegar a sumar 60 por ciento de la intención de voto.

En Honduras existen cinco partidos políticos y tres más se estrenarían en el próximo proceso. De las nuevas fuerzas, dos son de izquierda y otra de derecha y encabezada por militares retirados.

Para el sociólogo Eugenio Sosa, este ambiente preelectoral

“acelerará la caída permanente de Lobo, quien solo puede revertir un poco su imagen si le entra de lleno al tema de la corrupción policial y la inseguridad”.

“De lo contrario, será el gobernante peor evaluado de los últimos tiempos”, pronosticó.


Fuente: IPS via Cambio Politico

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