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A woman searches through through a municipal rubbish dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras A woman searches through through a municipal rubbish dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras  (AFP or licensors)

Hondurans to elect new President

Hondurans will elect a new President, Congress, Mayors and members of The Central American Parliament on Sunday, as a socio-economic crisis deeply affects the country, so much so that thousands are leaving.

By James Blears

The National Party, which has ruled Honduras for twelve years, since a coup ousted President Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, seeks to retain the Presidency. Its Candidate is the Mayor of Tegucigalpa Nasry "Tito" Asfura. In the opinion polls he trails Xiomara Castro, wife and former First Lady of Zelaya, by twelve points.  She`s the Presidential Candidate of the Liberation Refoundation Party better known as Libre, that they both formed. It's her third attempt for the top job.  Her chances increased last October, when television personality Salvador Nasralla quit the race and threw his support her way. The third main candidate is Yani Rosenthal of the Liberal Party, who only has three percent of the vote in the opinion polls. He served a three-year prison sentence in the United States, after being convicted of money laundering. 

The person who gets the most votes will win outright. In Honduras there's no runoff second round in a Presidential Election. 

Whoever wins and follows President Juan Orlando Hernandez, faces a daunting ongoing task. Thousands are jobless in Honduras where street gangs often terrorize and extort the population. Faced with this dire situation, many choose to leave and try to reach the United States, where they`re convinced they can live a better life. 

But their journey through Guatemala and then Mexico all the way to the US Border via migrant caravans,  is fraught with risks and danger.  The blistering distances they cover are vast in sweltering heat, and they often fall prey to gangs of organized crime people smugglers,  who take their money and then abandon them, long before they reach the fortified US Border, which is shut tight. 

The United States is being urged to provide a four billion dollar fund, to create home grown jobs throughout Central America, in order to convince people to stay put in their countries of origin. But little of these funds are yet available, and even this huge cash inflow, is a veritable drop in an ocean of human crisis, misery and utter desperation. 

27 November 2021, 16:46