incredible pro-democracy resistance movement (known as the National Front of
Popular Resistance-FNRP) has collected 1,269,142 million signatures (and
counting) demanding a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) that will mark an
important step in their struggle towards the refoundation of their society and
the last 5 months, volunteers from all the various groups and organizations
that come together under the name of the FNRP, have gone to villages,
departments, neighbourhoods, cities, parks and door-to-door all over country to
educate the Honduran people about the NCA and to collect the signatures.
gathering in La Esperanza, Honduras in March 2010 organized by COPINH called
the ‘Refoundation of Honduras’ where various organizations and individuals,
including the FNRP participated in a mock Constituent National Assembly. This
event is one of the many carried out to help educate and prepare Hondurans for
the Assembly that they are working to form.)
widespread repression, murders and torturing by death squads of resistance
members, day-to-day the collection occurred. Given the severe repression, the
FNRP reports that many were reluctant to give their signature for fear that
they would later be identified and then threatened or killed for participating
in the process.
with many other organizations, the indigenous and campesino organization COPINH
(Counsel of Indigenous and Popular Organization of Honduras) was part of this
process, collecting thousands of signatures in the four western departments
where they work, during community workshops, gatherings, assemblies and other “places
reports that their efforts in the collection are “a tribute to the martyrs of
the Honduran society in the struggle for the refoundation of Honduras.” COPINH
also denounced that it was not an easy mission as many of the volunteer members
of the organization were detained, repressed, threatened and jailed during the
process. At one point, police even tried to confiscate papers containing
signatures that COPINH had collected.
Taking matters into their own hands
very day President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown on Sunday, June 28, 2009,
Hondurans were going to participate in a non-binding, national opinion poll as
to whether they supported including a question on the ballot, during the
November 2009 elections, concerning the formal establishment of a National
Constituent Assembly. Along with electing their president, congressman and mayor,
people would have indicated—in a 4th ballot—whether or not they were in favour
of a National Constituent Assembly.
opinion poll and the hopes and rights of the Honduran people were crushed that
day by the military coup, an attempt by the oligarchy to stop a process that
would challenge their power and position in Honduran society.
that the Congress and Supreme Court, the oligarchy and the two dominant
political parties would never permit nor support a process that would give the
majority of Honduras a voice in the political, social and economic processes of
the country, the FNRP announced their commitment to the campaign and began to
gather signatures to demand the Assembly in July 2010.
Not just any Independence Day in Honduras
Honduras, Wednesday, 15th of September will not just be like any Independence
Day marked by the typical Central American-wide celebrations with firecrackers,
marching bands and parades that will mark 189 years of “independence” from
Wednesday, the resistance movement will participate in the celebration of the
hard work carried out to gather the 1.26 million signatures and the end of the
it is still to be announced, the FNRP are planning to present the signatures to
national and international institutions to continue in their struggle for the
Constituent National Assembly. COPINH has proposed that ex-President Zelaya,
the elected coordinator of the FNRP, present the signatures to international
institutions including the United Nations, ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the
People’s of the Americas), UNASUR (Union of South American Countries) and SICA
(Central American Integration System).
tuned; stay involved. The amazing pro-democracy people’s movement in Honduras
can use all the support they can get as they march resolutely forward.