About a week before the alleged ¨elections¨that ex-president Manuel Zelaya was supposed to be making, peace corps sent everyone a text message telling us that we had to stay in our sites the entire weekend just in case something extreme happened. Elections? I asked a fellow volunteer. What elections? I had no idea what everyone was talking about. What fourth urn?
Honestly, although there was apparently a bunch of hype about the cuarta urna (fourth urn), I still don´t know what exactly Mel´s plans were. All I know is that it was illegal, and he basically was doing it so he could stay in power more than 4 years (much like the same thing Chavez did nearly 10 years ago, as well as various other Latin American presidents following his lead). Well, Sunday morning I get a text saying, to my shock and surprise, that there has been a ¨golpe de estado.¨ What´s that? I asked a friend of mine. He said that it´s when the government in power is overthrown, and a new government takes over. A coup??? Can it really be? I didn´t believe Honduras was capable of such a thing. But they were. Although it´s still unknown exactly if it was a coup or not. Basically, what we were told was that the supreme court, congress, and the military acted together to kick Mel out, and put in the president of Congress, Roberto Michelleti (they couldn´t put in the vice president, the next in line, because he is running for presidency during the next term, and if he were president, even for such a short period of time, it´s against the Honduran constitution for him to run).
So since then, it has been interesting here in Honduras. It´s the first time ever that I´ve really talked politics with the people in my town. Normally they don´t seem to care much, but when I talk to them, they all seem to be strong in their beliefs that what Mel did was wrong, and that they want democracy, not a dictatorship. There have been many protestors to reinstate Mel Zalaya, but it seems to me like the majority are for democracy and the new president. Even last week, there were demonstrations all over the country of hundreds of thousands of people peacefully demonstrating that they want peace and democracy, not a dictatorship. I remember hearing that over the radio, and wanting to cry it was so touching to me. Although there are so many countries who are against Honduras and what they did, Hondurans have held strong to their beliefs and won´t back down. And all, on both sides, have demonstrated their beliefs peacefully. I hope and pray for the best for this county, because God knows that they deserve it.