Teachers and human rights advocates face government attacks in Honduras

April 5, 2011

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(Getty Images/Win McNamee)
Former Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a 2009 military coup.

While the protests in the Middle East continue to make news, the protests in Honduras barely make a ripple. The country’s divisions spilled out into the open in June 2009 when President Manuel Zelaya was removed from power by the military.

The administration of the current president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, has taken a hard line against the opposition. The country has been embroiled in a month-long teacher's strike, which President Lobo declared illegal last week.  Yesterday, he suspended 5,000 teachers for three months and he has threatened to fire and suspend more if they don’t show up for work today. The union says 40,000 teachers will return to work, but the strike is the just the tip of the discontent iceberg.

Gary Cozette is program director of the Chicago Religous Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN). He published a report on his latest visit to Honduras.  Vicki Cervantes is from La Voz de los de Abajo, a Chicago-based Honduran human rights organization. They were both in the Central American country in January 2011.