Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Honduras’s political rights and civil liberties ratings declined from 3 to 4 due to the forced exile of President Manuel Zelaya and subsequent restrictions on citizens’ civil liberties.
Democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was deposed and forced into exile in a June 2009 coup that was widely condemned by the international community. The resulting de facto regime, led by Congress president Roberto Micheletti, oversaw the systematic violation of civil liberties by security forces, including the freedoms of assembly and the press. Zelaya managed to return to the country in September, but he was confined to the Brazilian embassy, and the de facto authorities refused to reinstate him as they pressed forward with the previously scheduled national elections in November. Porfirio Lobo Sosa of the National Party won the presidential vote and was due to take office in early 2010.
Honduras’s 2009 political crisis severely inhibited economic activity, isolated the country from major trading partners, and combined with the global economic downturn to exacerbate existing poverty. In September 2009, the Central Bank announced that remittances from Hondurans working abroad dropped by 13.1 percent during the first eight months of the year, due to recession in the United States.
Honduras is not an electoral democracy. Elected president Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed by the military in a June 2009 coup, and although his term ran through January 2010, he had not been reinstated by year’s end. Roberto Micheletti, the president of Congress, was named the interim leader, and his de facto government oversaw previously scheduled general elections on November 29. Amid a climate of severely compromised civil liberties and press freedoms, November’s elections were generally considered to have met international standards and resulted in a win for conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo.