Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Future of Honduras

I have a commentary on Honduras in the Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor newsletter. I was asked to respond to several questions pertaining to the short- to medium-term future of Honduras in light of its recent economic difficulties. Obviously, I'm not optimistic. Here's how it starts
While every other Central American country has something positive going for it, it is unfortunately very difficult to find any bright spot in Honduras. Drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption, institutional dysfunction and deterioration of the country's finances make Honduras the most unstable country in Latin America. 
Honduras has the world's highest murder rate. It has one of the most corrupt police forces in the region, and Transparency International ranks it as the most corrupt country in Central America. Political rights and civil liberties show no sign of improving. There is no rule of law of which to speak. President Lobo and Congress have given no reason to believe that they will successfully tackle Honduras' current economic problems nor is there much hope that the next government will be able to do much more than muddle through. Political and economic interests are so deeply entrenched as to make reform nearly impossible.
Click through to read other responses from Federico Álvarez (former president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration), Donald J. Planty (president of Planty & Associates LLC and former U.S. ambassador to Guatemala), and Carlos Imendia (economic consultant based in San Francisco).

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