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The Political Effects of Disaster and Foreign Aid: National and Subnational Governance in Honduras After Hurricane Mitch


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THE POLITICAL EFFECTS OF DI SASTER AND FOREIGN AID: NATIONAL AND SUBNATIONAL GO VERNANCE IN HONDURAS AFTER HURRICANE MITCH By VILMA ELISA FUENTES A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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Copyright 2003 by Vilma Elisa Fuentes

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This dissertation is dedicated to all th ose Hondurans who struggle to promote the development of their country.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The work presented here would not have been possible without the support of several institutions and individuals. I thank the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the University of Florida’s College of Li beral Arts and Sciences and this same institution’s Graduate Minority Office for funding this project. Their generous financial support enabled me to conduct approximately a year of field research in Honduras and begin writing several chapters of this dissertation. I am grateful to my committee members for the guidance and support they offered me throughout the different phases of this work. Dr. Leslie Anderson and Dr. Philip Williams shared with me their vast knowledge of Central America, democratization and peasant politics during my first few years in the Political Science doctoral program. They unwittingly convinced me that I should undert ake doctoral research related to these issues. Dr. Goran Hyden helped me deve lop the theoretical framework for this dissertation. His books, gradua te classes and experiences in the development field encouraged me to grapple with the concep t of governance and appr eciate how foreign donors and non-government organizations can influe nce this process. Dr. Oliver-Smith’s early enthusiasm for and interest in my topi c convinced me that a political analysis of Hurricane Mitch’s impact could make a valuable contribution to the existing literature on disasters. All of these advi sors took a fairly open-minded approach to my study. Rather than demand that I present a rigid research design, they suggested that I approach my subject matter with some flexibility. Post -disaster situations were so dynamic and

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v Honduran politics so poorly understood, they argue d, that I had to just “get my feet on the ground” and be willing to change my theori es and study design to better understand political reality. This I did and my resear ch is significantly stronger for it. Dr. Rene Johnson kindly agreed to join my dissertati on committee after I retu rned from Honduras. She helped me interpret my quantitative da ta and make sense of what thousands of Hondurans had told me. The work presented here is methodologically sounder as a result of her guidance. She together with the re st of my committee patiently read numerous drafts of my dissertation a nd guided my thinking throughout. This work is as much an ideological product of them as it is of me. Several individuals facilitated my work in Honduras and enhanced my knowledge of this country. Roberto Reina and Patricia Licona graciously welcomed me into their home during the many months I spent in Teguc igalpa. They allowed me to use their personal vehicle to travel around the city a nd spent countless hours sh aring their political insights with me. Their three children—Cam ila, Lucia and Roberto—regularly forced me to set aside my work in order to laugh, pl ay and appreciate the beauty of life. The happy moments they shared with me will be treasured always. Dennis Cubero also facilitated much of my work in Tegucigalpa. He introduced me to many of his colleagues in the National Congre ss, helped me obtain interviews with key government officials and granted me valu able lists describing the organization and composition of different political bodies. Dennis Cubero also gave me invaluable support with my research in Northern Honduras. He a nd his wife, Reyna Arias, introduced me to various people and places in the department of Corts that had been devastated by Hurricane Mitch. This gave me a good general view of how this part of the

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vi country had been affected by the disaster and eventually enabled me to select Potrerillos as one of my municipal resear ch sites. Dennis and Reyna al so welcomed me into their home, allowed me to convert parts of it into my private office and, when possible, offered me the use their vehicle. Their two teenag e children often accomp anied me in my miniexcursions around San Pedro Sula and helped me carry out tedious office tasks. We fought, laughed and enjoyed life as siblings often do. They will always have a special place in my heart. The Municipal government of Potrerillos ga ve me unlimited support in my study of its region. It helped me determine the house hold population of Potrer illos, find and train research assistants, discover the socio-poli tical history of its m unicipality and better understand how citizens there responded to the impact of disaster. The staff at Potrerillos’ Centro de Salud also generously offered their time and labor. The Asociacin de Organizaciones No-Gubernamentales de Honduras (ASONOG) provided logistical support for the research I c onducted in San Marcos and Dolores Merendn, Ocotepeque. They not onl y transported me to these locations on numerous occasions but also helped me find reliable research assistants there. They together with the Consejo Departamental de Ocotepeque (CODEPO) also allowed me to use their office equipment to facilitate my resear ch. Efran Deras, the regional director of ASONOG in Ocotepeque, deserves particular thanks. He offered me the use of his personal vehicle whenever those belonging to ASONOG were unavailable, gave me countless hours of advice and support and in troduced me to his family who lovingly received me into their home. Juan Manuel Espinoza and his family also were extremely

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vii gracious. They not only assisted me in my research but also o ffered me many hours of laughter and good food during my stay in Western Honduras. Both the Catholic Parish and local governme nt of Sab facilitate d my work in their municipality. They invited me to numerous meetings and special events, offered me logistical support and helped me obtain fairly accurate data on the region’s population. The warmth and generosity shown to me by countless residents of the region will always be remembered and appreciated. I especially thank my family for their unending support and encouragement. My mother motivated me to pursue my doctoral degree and continually urged me to complete my dissertation. She was my main source of counsel during difficult and trying times. I doubt whether anybody has believed in me more than her or whether anybody deserves more credit for my academic achievements than she. My maternal grandmother prepared me for my research in Potr erillos and Honduras, more gene rally, by sharing with me her vast knowledge of these areas. Her many, ente rtaining stories helped me develop a better appreciation for the changing Honduran landscape and the lives of some of this country’s key historical figures. My hus band made countless sa crifices to facilit ate this work and make my graduation possible. His endle ss love, kind words and support sustained me throughout all my years in this doctoral progr am. I could not have asked for a more caring and understanding partner in life. I look forward to sharing the fr uits of these many years of sacrifice with him. Above a ll, I thank God for listening to my family’s and my prayers, keeping me safe during my adventures in Honduras and ensuring this project would come to fruition.

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viii TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................xi LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................xiv LIST OF ACRONYMS.....................................................................................................xv ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xx CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 DISASTERS, FOREIGN AID AND GOVERNANCE.............................................13 Introduction.................................................................................................................13 The Political Effects of Disasters...............................................................................13 The Political Effects of Foreign Aid...........................................................................25 International Donor Impact.................................................................................26 NGO Impact........................................................................................................34 Theorizing Governance..............................................................................................40 Conclusion..................................................................................................................52 3 A HISTORY OF HON DURAN GOVERNANCE.....................................................54 Introduction.................................................................................................................54 Early Civil Society......................................................................................................54 The Development of Civ il Society (1950’s-1960’s)..................................................61 The Growing Strength of Civil Society (1965-1974).................................................79 The Fragmentation of Civil Society (1975-1980’s)....................................................88 The Reunification and Political In corporation of Civil Society...............................104 Conclusion................................................................................................................120 4 NATIONAL-LEVEL GOVERNANCE AFTER MITCH........................................125 Introduction...............................................................................................................125 State and Societal Responses to Disaster..................................................................125 Preparing for Stockholm...........................................................................................135

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ix Civil Society Responds to Stockholm......................................................................144 Donor Pressure for Change.......................................................................................148 The Government’s Response to Donor and Civil Society Demands........................153 Foreign Donors and Civil Society Deepen their Cooperation..................................161 The Political Consequences of Greater Civil Society Activism and Donor Pressure................................................................................................................163 The Limits to Transformation...................................................................................166 Conclusion................................................................................................................171 5 INTRODUCING MUNICIPAL CASE STUDIES...................................................174 Introduction...............................................................................................................174 Potrerillos..................................................................................................................17 7 Sab........................................................................................................................... 186 San Marcos...............................................................................................................194 Dolores Merendon....................................................................................................200 Conclusion................................................................................................................204 6 COMPARING MUNICIPAL HISTORIES..............................................................206 Introduction...............................................................................................................206 Potrerillos..................................................................................................................20 9 Sab........................................................................................................................... 220 San Marcos...............................................................................................................241 Dolores Merendn....................................................................................................259 Conclusion................................................................................................................264 7 MUNICIPAL-LEVEL GOVERNANCE AFTER MITCH AND AID....................266 Introduction...............................................................................................................266 Potrerillos..................................................................................................................26 9 Sab........................................................................................................................... 292 Dolores Merendn....................................................................................................328 San Marcos...............................................................................................................345 Conclusion................................................................................................................360 8 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................365 The Socio-Political Effects of Disasters...................................................................365 The Political Effects of Foreign Aid.........................................................................369 The Insights of Governance......................................................................................376 Conclusion................................................................................................................378 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH METHODS........................................................380

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x The National Level...................................................................................................380 The Municipal Level.................................................................................................382 Survey Collection in Potrerillos........................................................................382 Survey Collection in San Marcos......................................................................385 Survey Collection in Dolores Merendn...........................................................387 Survey Collection in Sab.................................................................................388 B SAMPLE CITIZEN SURVEY.................................................................................391 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................402 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................417

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xi LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Reported cooperation among civil society groups...............................................145 4-2 One-sample t test comparing reported levels of civil society participation in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period.......................................................................145 4-3 Perceptions of communi ty organization before and after Mitch in urban centers..................................................................................................................147 4-4 How civil society groups particip ated in national government forums, commissions or consultative groups....................................................................157 4-5 One-sample t test comparing ur ban residents’ participation in cabildos abiertos before and after Mitch..........................................................................................158 4-6 One-sample t test comparing urban residents’ contact with government officials before and after Mitch............................................................................159 5-1 Selection of municipal case studies.....................................................................176 5-2 Household structures compared across the four municipal case studies.............198 5-3 Education levels compared among the four municipalities.................................202 6-1 Land distributed in Potrerillos through agrarian reform......................................213 6-2 Land distributed in Sab th rough agrarian reform program................................226 6-3 Land distributed in San Ma rcos through agrarian reform....................................245 6-4 A comparison of agrarian reform bene fits in Potrerillos, Sab and San Marcos..................................................................................................................246 6-5 Organizational histories compared among the municipalities under study.........265 7-1 Perceptions of community organization before and after mitch in Potrerillos....275 7-2 One-sample t test comparing percep tions of community organization in Potrerillos in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period......................................................276

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xii 7-3 A logit analysis of how different va riables are associated with post-Mitch group membership in Potrerillos..........................................................................277 7-4 A logit equation analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with government contact in Potrerillos........................................................................279 7-5 A logit equation analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with cabildo attendance in Potrerillos.......................................................................................281 7-6 How residents from Potrer illos have participated in cabildos .............................285 7-7 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with past voting in Potrerillos..............................................................................................289 7.8 A logit equation analyzing how different va riables are associated with a desire to vote in the future in Potrerillos........................................................................290 7-9 Comparing Mitch-induced damage......................................................................293 7-10 Perceptions of communi ty organization before and after Mitch in Sab.............311 7-11 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch perceptions of community organization in Sab..................................................311 7-12 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch group membership in Sab...................................................................................312 7-13 A logit model showing how different va riables are associated with post-Mitch group membership in Sab...................................................................................316 7-14 One-sample t test comparing post-Mitch levels of government contact in Sab with the pre-Mitch period....................................................................................317 7-15 A logit equation analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with participation in public marches in Sab after Mitch............................................318 7-16 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with ever having participated in public marches in Sab....................................................320 7-17 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with pre Mitch government contact in Sab......................................................................321 7-18 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch government contact in Sab......................................................................322 7-19 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in Dolores........332 7-20 One-sample t test comparing percep tions of community organization in Dolores Merendn in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period........................................333

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xiii 7-21 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch group membership in Dolores Merendn............................................................334 7-22 A logit analysis of how different vari ables are related to group membership in Dolores Merendn during 2000...........................................................................335 7-23 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch cabildo attendance in Dolores Merendn.........................................................................337 7-24 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch cabildo attendance...............................................................................................338 7-25 How residents from Dolores Merendn have participated in cabildos ................340 7-26 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch government contact in Dolores Merendn..........................................................341 7-27 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch government contact in Dolores Merendn...........................................................342 7-28 A logit model analyzing how different variables are asso ciated with group membership in San Marcos during 2000.............................................................347 7-29 Perceptions of community organization before and af ter Mitch in San Marcos.348 7-30 One-sample t test comparing percep tions of community organization in San Marcos in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period..........................................................348 7-31 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch government contact in San Marcos......................................................................352 7-32 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch cabildo attendance in San Marcos....................................................................................353 7-33 A logit model analyzing post-Mitc h cabildo attendance in San Marcos.............354 7-34 How residents from San Ma rcos have participated in cabildos abiertos .............354

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xiv LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Municipal case studies in Honduras...........................................................................9 5-1 Theorized causes of governance change ...............................................................175

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xv LIST OF ACRONYMS ADEVAS Asociacin para el Desarrollo del Valle de Sensenti Development Association for the Valley of Sensenti AESMO Asociacin Ecolgica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque Ecological Association of San Marcos, Ocotepeque AMHON Asociacin de Municipios de Honduras Association of Honduran Municipalities ANACH Asociacin Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras National Association of Honduran Peasants ANDI Asociacin Nacional de Industriales National Association of Industrialists APOPA Asamblea Permanente de las Or ganizaciones Populares del Agun Popular Assembly of Popular Organizations from the Agun APROBANOR Asociacin de Productores Bananeros del Norte Northern Banana Producers Association ASONOG Asociacin de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales Association of Honduran N on-Governmental Organizations CCD Comisin Cristiana de Desarrollo Christian Development Commission CCIC Camara de Comercio e Industria de Corts Cortes Chamber of Commerce and Industry CCIT Camara de Comercio e Industria de Tegucigalpa Tegucigalpa’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry CCUC Comit Central de Unificacin Campesina Central Committee for Peasant Union CEDEN Comit Evangelica de Emergencias Nacionales Evangelical National Emergency Committee

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xvi CGT Confederacin General de Trabajadores General Workers Confederation COAPALMA Cooperativa Agroindustrial de Palma Agroindustrial Palm Tree Cooperative CODECO Comisiones de Desarrollo Comunal Community Development Commissions CODEH Comit para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos Committee for the Defense of Human Rights CODEM Comit de Desarrollo Municipal Municipal Development Committee CODEPO Comisin de Desarrollo Depar tamental de Ocotepeque Development Commission of the Department of Ocotepeque COFADEH Comit de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras Committee of Honduran Families of the Detained and Disappeared COHEP Corporacin Hondurea de la Empresa Privada Honduran Private Enterprise Corporation CONE Comisin Nacional de Emergencia National Emergency Commission COPECO Comisin Permanente de Contingencias Permanent Contingency Commission CPSC Comisin para la Participacion de la Sociedad Civil en el Proceso de Reconstruccion y Transformacin Nacional Commission for the Participation of Civil Society in National Reconstruction and Transformation CTH Confederacin de Trabajadores de Honduras Confederation of Honduran Workers EAC Empresas Campesinas Asociativas Associative Peasant Enterprises FACACH Federacin de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crdito de Honduras Federation of Honduran Credit and Savings Cooperatives FAFH Federacin de Asociaciones Femeninas de Honduras Federation of Female Associations of Honduras

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xvii FASH Federacin Autentica Sindical de Honduras Authentic Federation of Honduran Syndicates FECESITLIH Federacin Central de Sindicato s de Trabajadores Libres de Honduras Central Federation of Honduran Free Workers’ Syndicates FECORAH Federacin de Cooperativas de la Reforma Agraria de Honduras Federation of the Agrarian Re form Cooperatives of Honduras FEHMUC Federacin Hondurea de Mujeres Campesinas Honduran Federation of Peasant Women FENACH Federacin Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras National Federation of Honduran Peasants FENAGH Federacin Nacional de Agricu ltores y Ganaderos de Honduras National Federation of Agricultural Workers and Cattlemen FESITRANH Federacin Sindical de Trabaj adores Norteos de Honduras Honduran Syndicated Federation of North Coast Workers FEUH Federacin de Estudiantes Universitarios de Honduras Federation of Honduran University Students FHIS Fondo Hondureo de Inversin Social Honduran Social Investment Fund FOH Federacin Obrera Hondurea Honduran Workers’ Federation FONAC Foro Nacional de Convergencias National Convergence Forum FONADERS Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible National Fund for Sustainable Rural Development FOSDEH Foro Social para la Deuda Externa Social Forum on Foreign Debt FOPRIDEH Federacin Privada de Organizaciones en Desarrollo Private Federation of Development Organizations FREPOCSA Frente Popular de Organizaciones Populares de Sab Popular Front of Popular Organizations from Sab

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xviii FRU Frente de Reforma Universitaria University Reform Front FSH Federacin Sindical Hondurea Sindicated Workers’ Federation FUNACAMH Frente Nacional Campesina Hondurea Honduran National Peasant Front FUNDEMUN Fundacin de Desarrollo Municipal Foundation for Municipal Development HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative IADB Inter American Development Bank IMF International Monetary Fund INA Instituto Nacional Agrario National Agrarian Institute ORIT Organizacin Regional Interamericana del Trabajadores Regional Organization of Interamerican Workers PRODERE Programa de Desarrollo para Repatriados Development Project for Ref ugees and Repatriated Exiles PROHECO Proyecto Hondureo de Educacin Comunitaria Honduran Project for Community Education SETCO Secretara Tcnica de Cooperacin Secretariat for Technical Cooperation SITIAMASH Sindicato de Trabajadores de Mieles, Alcoles y Similares Workers Syndicate of Honey, Alcohol and the Like SITRAEACI Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Asociative de Isletas Workers Syndicate of the Is letas Associative Emterprise SITRADIM Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Madedera Workers Syndicate of the Timber Industry SITRAFRUSCO Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company Workers Syndicate of the Standard Fruit Company

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xix SITRATERCO Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Tela Railroad Company Workers Syndicate of the Tela Railroad Company SUTRASFCO Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company Unified Workers Syndicate of the Standard Fruit Company UFCO United Fruit Company UNAT Unidad Nacional de Asistencia Tcnica National Technical Assistance Unit UNC Unin Nacional Campesina National Peasant Union UNCAH Unin Nacional de Campesinos Autnticos de Honduras National Union of Authentic Peasants UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNHCR United Nations High Commission for Refugees USAID United States Agency for International Development

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xx Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE POLITICAL EFFECTS OF DI SASTER AND FOREIGN AID: NATIONAL AND SUBNATIONAL GO VERNANCE IN HONDURAS AFTER HURRICANE MITCH By Vilma Elisa Fuentes May 2003 Chair: Leslie E. Anderson Major Department: Political Science This dissertation presents qualitative and quantitative data to analyze how Hurricane Mitch and the foreign aid that fo llowed it affected national and subnational governance in Honduras. Govern ance is understood as the way a state and its society interact in order to manage their institu tions and public affairs. The national level analysis revealed that the state initially became more centralized and authoritarian in response to the disaster while civil societ y increased its intragroup cooperation and political activity. Foreign donor s pressured the Honduran stat e to alter its relationship with civil society by conditioning its aid a nd disseminating a development discourse based on concepts such as citizen participa tion, decentralization and transparency. This foreign pressure, though not aimed directly at civil society, nevertheless motivated it to demand political inclusion and change. This domestic and foreign pressure together forced the Honduran government to incorpor ate civil society in its decision-making processes. This shift towards a more part icipatory style governan ce did not represent a

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xxi dramatic break with the past. The experi ence of disaster and foreign aid intervention merely accelerated a political transformation that had been underway for at least a decade. The subnational level analysis sought to determine whether the changes witnessed at the national level had been replicated in different Honduran munici palities. It also tried to ascertain whether the disaster, fore ign aid or both were re sponsible for producing socio-political changes. Four municipalities were selected for this part of the study. One was impacted by both the disaster and forei gn aid, another by neither, and the remaining two by only one of the independent variables. The subnational leve l research suggests that the experience of disa ster created a window of opport unity for change but that foreign aid organizations were responsible for much of the socio-political transformations that were observed.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Hurricane Mitch, a storm with sustaine d one-minute surface winds of 155 knots, began battering the small country of Honduras on October 27, 1998. Mitch made landfall near the city of La Ceiba on October 29 after hoveri ng off the northern coast of Honduras for nearly two days. The storm moved southward then westward, slowly dissecting the country until finally enteri ng Guatemalan territory on November 1.1 Although Mitch was downgraded to a tropical storm the day af ter reaching land, it poured as much as 50 cubic inches of water in some parts of the country.2 The floods it produced were larger and more damaging than any that had been recorded previously.3 The predominantly mountainous topography of Honduras aggravated the rainfall’s effects by producing several flash floods and mudslides. Within just a few days, most of the country’s major rivers had broken their banks deposited large quanti ties of sediment in new areas and thus reshaped the Honduran landscape. 1 John L. Guiney and Miles B. Lawrence, Preliminary Report: Hurricane Mitch (Miami: National Hurricane Center, 28 January 1 999) Accessed on line at http://www.nhc.noaa. gov/1998mitch.html on March 20, 2003. 2 Mark C. Mastin, Flood-hazard mapping in Honduras in response to Hurricane Mitch (Tacoma, Wash. : U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 2002): 10. Available on-line at http://water.usgs.gov/pubs /wri/wri01-4277. Accesse d on March 20, 2003. 3 Ibid.

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2 The disaster took a severe human toll.4 Approximately 5,600 Hondurans died,5 over 12,000 were injured and more than 8,000 we re never found. The storm destroyed or severely damaged over 85,000 homes, leaving 396,000 people homeless. An additional 260,000 individuals were forced to seek temporar y shelter. Most of these victims came from the northern departments of Corts a nd Coln and the southern department of Choluteca. In total, it is estimated that approximately two million people or a third of Honduras’ 1998 population were direc tly impacted by the storm. Mitch had a devastating effect on Hondur as’ infrastructure. Approximately 100 bridges and 70% of the country’s road system was damaged or destroyed.6 This inhibited the national government ’s ability to respond quickly to the disaster and left the capital city of Tegucigalpa temporarily cut o ff from major North Coast towns. Most of the urban and nearly half of the rural aqueduct system in th e country was impaired also. Tegucigalpa was left with no potable water fo r several days while other urban centers had only limited access to this resource. Several rural areas were unabl e to repair their aqueduct system for over a year after Mitch. The heavy rains and mudslides also wiped 4 Unless otherwise noted, the information reported in this paragraph is derived from Gobierno de Honduras (GOH), Estimaciones preliminaries sobre daos causados por el Huracn Mitch a la infraestructura pblica y costos de recuperacin (Tegucigalpa: GOH, 1998); Naciones Unidas, Comisin Econmica para Amrica Latna y el Caribe (CEPAL), Honduras: evaluacin de daos ocasionados por el Huracn Mitch, 1998 internal report written 26 de enero de 1999. 5 More conservative though also less reliable sources estimate that the death toll was less than half the official figure. See Richard Olson et al., The Storms of '98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch—Impacts, Institutional Response, and Disaster Politics in Three Countries Special Publication #38 (Boulder: Natural Hazards Research and Applicati ons Information Center, Univers ity of Colorado, 2001): 41. 6 Secretaria Tecnica y de Cooper acin Internacional (SETCO), Repub lica de Honduras “Actualizacin daos ocasionados por el Huracn-T ormenta Tropical Mitch,” noviembr e diciembre 1998. Accessed online at www.cetco@gbm.hn on August 15, 1999.

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3 away 63% of the land under agricultural production.7 Banana and sugar, two main export crops, suffered the bulk of the damage. In addition, over half of the surface area cultivated with corn, beans and rice—the st aples of the Honduran diet—were destroyed. The international community responded quick ly to this devastation. Bilateral and multilateral aid agencies channeled over $93 million in emergency assistance to Honduras. This was followed by an additiona l $2.38 billion in fo reign assistance to support the reconstruction process.8 Most of this money was channeled directly to the national government. Meanwhile, countle ss non-governmental organizations (NGOs) offered more direct assistance to the comm unities that had been most affected by the storm. This national and local-level aid help ed disaster victims not only reconstruct the material goods that had been destroyed by th e storm, but also reshape socio-political relations. Although the Honduran government and donor agencies have analyzed the material effects of Hurricane Mitch, little is known a bout the political impact of the storm or the foreign aid that followed it. This dissertati on seeks to fill this gap by exploring how this natural disaster and the concomitant aid that followed it have affected the nature of democratic governance in Honduras. Rather th an privy either elites, civil society or institutions, this dissertation will look at the interaction among all of these by using the theoretical lens of governance. Governance is understood here as the way states and societies interact in order to create, manage and change both political institutions and the 7 Direccin General de Estadistica y Censos (DGEC), Secretara de Industra y Comercio, Gobierno de Honduras, Encuesta para estimar perdidas ocasionadas po r el Huracn Mitch en el sector agropecuario (Tegucigalpa: DGEC, 1999). 8 Gobierno de Honduras, La nueva Honduras tarea para todos: informe de avances en la reconstruccin y transformacin nacional (Tegucigalpa: Gobierno de Honduras, 1999).

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4 public policies that are designed within them. This study explores whether disasters and foreign aid agencies encouraged political elites and civil society groups to relate to each other in new ways and change existing institutions. This dissertation acknowledges that govern ance is a multi-layered process. The way a state and civil society in teract in the capital may be very different from the way local political elites and citizens interact at the grassroots leve l. Moreover, a disaster and foreign aid organizations may ha ve a different impact on dist inct regions of a country. Therefore, this work analyzes both na tional and subnational g overnance change in Honduras. The subnational level analysis not on ly tries to determin e whether the changes witnessed in the capital were replicated at a mu nicipal level. It also tries to control two independent variables—the experi ence of disaster and foreign assistance—in order to test whether one or both of these was responsible for the political changes observed at the national level. Chapter two of this dissertation presents th e theoretical framework that is to guide the analysis of Honduran politics. It revi ews the literatu re on disasters, foreign aid, NGOs and governance in order to show how th ese diverse theoretical approaches can be used to understand state-society relations in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch. The embryonic literature on the politics of disast er reveals that hurri canes, earthquakes and other such unforeseen events can produce si gnificant political tran sformations, but it has not specified how this change might arise. Although disasters have been shown to increase the social cohesion a nd organization of an affected community, this cooperative spirit tends to be fleeting. In a few cases civil society has been strengthened in the aftermath of disaster, but only because other fact ors have contributed to this process. The

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5 NGO literature reveals that these aid organizations often contri bute to the development of a strong civil society. They do this by encour aging target groups to organize and become politically involved and by b ecoming active participants in the political process themselves. In either case, NGOs can cont ribute to democratization by working at the grass-roots level and increasing domestic social pressure for political change. Bilateral and multilateral aid agencies can deepen democracy also by pressuring national governments to alter existing institutions or policies. They accomplish this by conditioning their aid, disseminating a specifi c development discourse and influencing the norms held by a country’s po litical elite. All of these measures can coerce a national government to change its clos ed, authoritarian structures and improve its relationship with civil society. When cons idered together, thes e three theoretical approaches suggest that if NGOs and foreign donors are sufficiently present and influential in a country after a disaster, they may animate and help sustai n autonomous forms of social organization and pressure the state to work more closely with these groups. The literature on governance offers us a way of studying the na ture and effects of this state-society relationship. It forces us to look at the st rength and political ac tivism of civil society organizations, the state’s responsiveness to th em, and the extent to which both participate in the maintenance and creation of public po licies and institutions. In other words, theories of governance help us focus on how ex ternal forces such as disasters, donors and NGOs affect the relational patterns th at maintain democratic regimes. Chapter three of this dissertation offers a historical review of national-level governance in Honduras. Since few organized groups existed in the country before the 1950’s, most of this chapter is dedicated to discussing the evolution of civil society and

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6 the way it interacted with the state after this period. The chapter notes that the initial mass-based groups in the country—labor uni ons, peasant organizations and women’s groups—were forced to take a confrontational a pproach to the state in order to be heard by the political elite. These organizations grew to command such a large and militant following that by the late 1960’s and 1970’s they were demanding that the traditionally closed, partisan and unrepresentative state structures be reformed. Through various public protest activities, these groups successful ly pressured for the creation of a National Unity Government and, when this failed, for a reformist military government that was more responsive to them. Despite these achie vements, civil society groups continued to be excluded from public decision-making pro cesses. Moreover, these groups were demobilized during the late 1970’s and 1980’s by conservative, military elements who assumed control of the state. The state re pression that was unleashed during this period not only failed to destroy traditional, mass-based groups but also gave birth to a new generation of civil society organizations which struggled to secure human rights, indigenous rights and democratiz ation. This domestic pressure eventually combined with a changing international environment to bri ng about a slow transition to democracy in Honduras. Although civil society groups were unable to sustain a strong level of cooperation and mobilization after the re-e stablishment of constitutional rule, they succeeded in enticing political elites to wo rk more closely with them and begin integrating them into the decision-making proc ess. State-centered elites created new, corporatist arrangements during th e 1990’s in order to unite di fferent civil society groups and dialogue more easily with them. Although these corporatist stru ctures enabled the government to coopt and appease mass organizations, they also established a new, non-

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7 confrontational channel of communication between the state and civil society. Consequently, the traditional, exclusionary and state-centered patte rn of governance that had typified Honduras for most of its history began to change. It was within this context of slow, political transition that Hurrican e Mitch struck Honduras in late 1998. Chapter four discusses how this devastat ing natural event and the flood of foreign aid that followed it affected the Honduran stat e, civil society and th eir relationship with each other. Both of these groups initially res ponded to the disaster in distinct ways. The state, though clearly unable to manage emergency operations on its own, tried to implement the authoritarian and exclusionary pattern of governance th at traditionally had characterized Honduras. Meanwh ile, much of civil society was mobilized by the disaster. Regular citizens, NGOs and other interest gr oups began to cooperate with one another and undertake relief work that the state was unable to tackle on its own. This activism and cooperative spirit continue d in 1999 as the Honduran gov ernment began to shift its attention to the longer-term goal of reconstr uction. Initially, the state accepted the recommendations of traditional, mass-based groups represented in the corporatist structures it had created in the mid-1990’s. But it refused to collaborate with other members of civil society, pa rticularly NGOs and intellectua l-based groups. These later organizations began to question the legitim acy of existing corporatist arrangements and challenge the state to transform pre-existing social, economic and pol itical structures. Though hesitant to cooperate w ith these groups, the state wa s persuaded to change its stance toward them by foreign donors who cond itioned their reconstruction assistance on the government’s willingness to increase ci tizen participation in government. Thus, foreign aid organizations ensured that Hondur as continued the process it had begun years

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8 earlier of establishing an open and inclus ive style of governance. Although the new spaces of citizen participation that were cr eated during the three years after Mitch had several limitations, citizen groups successfully used them to pressure the government for institutional change. The subsequent three chapters explore whet her the gradual shift in governance that was observed at the national level was replicated at the local level. Chapter five introduces the reader to four municipal case stud ies. Each of these was chosen in order to determine whether the experience of disaster, ad vent of foreign aid or both improved civil society’s activism and relationship with munici pal officials. Sab and Potrerillos were two of the most disaster-stricken areas of the country. Most of the in frastructure in these regions was damaged or destroyed and a majo rity of the population there suffered partial or total home loss. As a result, multiple NGOs began working in Sab during the two years after the storm and encouraged targ et groups to organize and become active participants in their recons truction. Despite also having e xperienced major storm damage, Potrerillos at first did not receive the same de gree of external assistance as Sab. Disaster victims were supplied with vinyl tents a nd basic food supplies, but they received relatively little NGO assistance. An analysis of this case allows us to control for the effect of aid and explore how the experience of disaster alon e affected civil society and its relationship with local government authorit ies. Unlike these tw o municipalities, San Marcos and Dolores Merendn experienced al most no storm damage. Nevertheless, NGOs began working in Dolores Merendn during 1999 and 2000 in order to counter the high level of poverty in the region. This municipally shows how NGO assistance alone can contribute to the developm ent of civil society and aff ect local-level governance.

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9 Sab, which experienced a disaster and ma ssive NGO assistance, measures the sociopolitical effects of both of these independent variables while San Marcos, which was not affected by either of these external events is used to test the null hypothesis. Figure 1-1. Municipal ca se studies in Honduras. Chapter six tries to add historical cont ext to our municipal level analysis by comparing the pre-disaster, or ganizational experiences of th ese four case studies. Both Potrerillos and Sab were integrated into the world capitalist system and labor market during the early part of the twentieth centu ry foreign-owned banana plantations who operated in these regions. Consequently, labor unions became active in both municipalities beginning in the 1950’s. Agra rian reform and othe r popular based groups also proliferated there during the followi ng two decades. In addition, the Catholic Church became very socially active in Sa b during 1970’s and afterward—a pattern that

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10 was not replicated in Potrerillos. Alt hough the population of Sab was somewhat more militant than the one in Potrerillos, the citizens of both regions were fairly well organized up until the 1990’s when civil soci ety in both of these munici palities began to weaken. Unlike these two Northern Coast towns, San Marco and Dolores Merendn were not as well integrated into the wo rld capitalist system. Although farmers from both regions were involved in coffee production, they worked for themselves and also produced basic food crops. As a result, few labor unions emerge d in these municipalities. A very active civil society did emerge in San Marcos as a re sult of national agrarian reform policies, the Catholic Church’s activism and the impl ementation of a multi-million dollar United Nations development program during the early 1990’s. But no such social organization developed in Dolores Merendon. These different organizational histor ies are highlighted in order to see if citizens here responded to exogenous forces in ways that were familiar to them. Chapter seven presents a qualitative and qua ntitative analysis of how a disaster and NGO assistance influenced grass-roots civil so ciety and its relationship with municipal authorities. The chapter reveals that the resi dents of Sab and Potrerillos reverted to preexisting, often defunct forms of organization in order to confront the disaster. Although this solidarity was maintained for several weeks after Mitch, it began to decline once emergency and relief operations came to an end. Over a year after Mi tch, the residents of Potrerillos were unorganized and maintained littl e contact with their political officials. Consequently, this municipality maintained its traditional pattern of governance. The advent of NGOs in Sab, however, seems to have prevented citizens there from falling into a state of disunity. NGOs encouraged residents to maintain and deepen their new

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11 level of cooperation. They also worked to raise citizen awaren ess of broader sociopolitical issues and encouraged them to become active political participants. As a result, citizens began to question the closed and au thoritarian nature of governance in this municipality. They demanded to have town hall meetings and be included in local, public decision-making processes. All of this succeeded in initiati ng a change in locallevel governance here. Although Dolores Merendn began receiving some external assistance from NGOs during 1999 and 2000, it di d note reveal as high a percentage increase in community organi zation or political activity as did Sab. Nevertheless, citizens did cooperate more with each other and try to contact their government officials more frequently than previously. Most likely, the absence of a major crisis event coupled with the regions’ lack of organi zational and political experience lessened the socio-political effects of NGO intervention. San Marcos, which was not affected by either a disaster or new NGOs, did not experi ence an increase in social or political activity, as expected. However, this muni cipality had been hailed as a model of “good governance” during the early to mid 1990’s as a result of the socio-po litical changes that several NGOs and a United Nations program ha d encouraged there at the time. An analysis of this case in 2000 shows wh ether and under what conditions governance change can endure once the forces that cata lyzed this process have disappeared. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the pres ence of foreign assistance has a greater impact on social organization and governance than the experience of disaster alone. However, the presence of both of these exoge nous forces seems to heighten their sociopolitical impact. Moreover, pre-existing orga nizational experiences can facilitate the reorganization and political activism of civil society.

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12 The final chapter of this dissertation summarizes the results of our post-Mitch governance study and discusses thei r theoretical relevance. Building on the events that transpired in Honduras afte r Mitch and the experience of San Marcos, the chapter speculates as to whether the socio-political changes that were observed in the two years after Mitch can be sustained in the long term to contribu te to a broader process of democratization. Together, all of thes e chapters help deepen our knowledge of governance, the political effects of disast er and the way NGOs and foreign donors can reinforce each other’s soci o-political effects.

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13 CHAPTER 2 DISASTERS, FOREIGN AID AND GOVERNANCE Introduction Disasters represent dramatic shocks to hum an systems. They temporarily disrupt livelihood strategies, deconstruct social arra ngements and give victims the opportunity to reconstruct their lives in ne w ways. Although a handful of scholars have considered how such extraordinary events can affect the political sphere, much of this literature is still in an embryonic stage and in need of further res earch. Since foreign aid often is channeled to a locality after a disaster, th e political effects of this type of intervention must also be considered. Some scholars view the assistance that follows a disaster as part of the experience of disaster itself. Although these two events are in terrelated, this dissertation tries to disentangle them in order to st udy their individual effects on governance. The following sections will review what is curren tly known about the pol itical effects of both disasters and external assistance. Then it will explain why theori es of governance are best suited to understanding these phenomena. The Political Effects of Disasters Disasters such as hurricanes, earthquak es and floods are more than just environmental events. They disrupt the daily lives and social inter actions of those who experience them and call into question prev ailing social arrangements. They must, therefore, be viewed as socio-political as we ll as natural events. Disasters may impact individual behavior, community organizations and broader m acro structures. They tend to unite and mobilize victims as well as alter political structures th at are unresponsive to

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14 them. The changes prompted by natural disa sters are not always enduring, however. As life reverts to some state of pre-disaster normalcy, so too does people’s behavior. Individuals who suffer through natural disasters respond to these events in varying ways. Hoffman, Form and Nosow claim that during the minutes immediately following this crisis, victims act in an individualistic manner in order to safeguard their basic needs and that of their family.1 Oliver-Smith has suggested that people’s responses to disaster may be more varied: some flee, others st ruggle to rescue both themselves and close family members, while still others offer a ssistance to anyone who may be in need of help.2 However, most agree that once the initial impact of a disaster subsides, community solidarity and cooperation increases. 3 Victims may unite to share scarce food, clothing or other belongings and work teams may be formed to jointly cook food, rescue others or build temporary shelters.4 The extended though non-affected community also usually responds to this crisis by volunt eering their time and belongings to those less fortunate than they. Sociocultural differences tend to be ignored during emergency periods as people from different ethnic, racial, cla ss or religious bac kgrounds assist one 1 William H. Form and Sigmund Nosow, Community in Disaster (New York: Harper, 1958): 17-18 and Susanna Hoffman, “The Worst of Times the Best of Times: Towards a Model of Cultural Responses to Disaster,” The Angry Earth, Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hoffman, eds. (New York: Routledge, 1999): 134-155. 2 Anthony Oliver-Smith, “Post Disaster Concensu s and Conflict in a Traditional Society: The 1970 Avalanche of Yungay, Peru,” Mass Emergencies 4 (1979): 43-45. 3 Ibid and Form and Sigmund Nosow, Community in Disaster ; Hoffman, “The Worst of Times the Best of Times”; James Thompson and Robert Hawkes “Disaster, Community Organization and Administrative Process,” Man and Society in Disasters George Baker and Dwight Chapman, eds. (New York: Basic Books, 1962): 268-300; Dennis Miletti, Thomas Drabek, and J. Eugene Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments: A Sociological Perspective Program on Technology, Environment and Man, Monograph #21 (Boulder: Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, 1975). 4 Anthony Oliver-Smith, Martyred City: Death and Rebirth in the Andes (Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1986): chapter 4.

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15 another.5 Often times, those previously isol ated from their neighbors may unite and cooperate with them after a di saster. Women, for instance, may be encouraged to leave the confines of their homes a nd participate in community i ssues or join support groups after a major crisis.6 All of these activities help to tem porarily strengthen civil society. The organizational history of a locality shapes the way people will respond to a crisis.7 The relief crews formed during an emer gency may be patterned along the lines of pre-existing and often def unct modes of organization.8 The way people handle or bury the dead may be consistent with long-standing community norms.9 And long-standing, social class distinctions may shape who undertakes what type of emergency work.10 In some cases, disasters may prompt the reemergen ce of deeply rooted cultural patterns that had been replaced by more modern ones.11 All of this suggests, as Drabek has argued, that “the theme of continuity is the lo gical starting point for trying to understand 5 Ibid and Miletti, Drabek, and Susanna Hoffman, “The Worst of Times the Best of Times,” 138 and Allen Barton, Communities in Disaster: A Sociological Analysis of Collective Stress Situations (New York: Doubleday, 1969): 206-207. 6 Hoffman, “The Worst of Times the Best of Times,” and Alejandro Massolo y Martha Schteingart, Participacin social, reconstruccin y mujer: el sismo de 1985 (Mexico: Colegio de Mexico, 1987). 7 E.L. Quarantelli and Russell R. Dynes, “Res ponse to Social Crisis and Disaster,” Annual Review of Sociology 3 (1977): 34. 8 John F. Alexander and Marta Lee Atkinson, Proyecto interdisciplinario de reconstruccion despus del sismo: el caso de El Progreso, Guatemala (Gainesville, Florida: Departamen to de Planificacin Urbana y Regional, Universidad de la Florida, 1977): 158-160 and Juan Briseo Guerrero and Ludka de Gortari Krauss, De la cama a la calle: sismos y organizacin popular (Mexico: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologa Social, 1987): 58-61. 9 E.L. Quarantelli, “The Vaiont Dam Overflow: A Ca se Study of Extra Community Responses in Massive Disaster,” Disasters 3:2 (1979): 199-212 and Thomas E. Drabek, Human Systems Responses to Disaster An Inventory of Sociological Findings (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986): 189-190. 10 Dennis E. Wenger and Thomas F. James, “The Convergence of Volunteers in a Concensus Crisis: The Case of the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake,” Disasters, Collective Behavior and Social Organization Russell R. Dynes and Kathleen J. Tierney, eds. (Del aware:University of Dela ware Press, 1994): 242. 11 Susanna Hoffman, “The Regenesis of Traditiona l Gender Patterns in the Wake of Disaster,” The Angry Earth, Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hoffman, eds. (New York: Routledge, 1999): 173-191.

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16 organizational responses immediately after di saster impact. People do not abandon their social histories when confronted with adve rsity—and organizationa l systems reflect it.”12 Disaster victims do not unite and organize only in ways that are familiar to them. New groups frequently emerge during the post-disaster, emergency phase. These may include search and rescue teams, communa l soup kitchens or shelter coordinating committees.13 Although the existence of some previous organizational experience facilitates the emergence of th is type of activity, the peopl e participating in these new groups need not be those who were organi zed in the past. Various conditions may facilitate the creation of new associations.14 Stallings has noted that “emergent groups tend to appear where people are isolated fr om emergency organizations and where there is a lack of information, control and coordination.”15 Paar, Palmer and Sells also have suggested that when the offici al authority lapses and fails to respond adequately to the needs of a community or when a community is either unprepared or has no previous experience dealing with a disaster, then new groups are more likely to arise.16 These emergent groups differ from those that exist during normal times in that they tend to be informal in structure and temporal in nature. Once the crisis has subsided, they generally disappear. 12 Drabek, Human Systems Responses to Disaster 158. 13 Ibid, 154-157 and 160-162. 14 Miletti, Drabek, and Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments 72-75. 15 Robert A. Stallings, “The Structural Patterns of Four Types of Organizations in Disaster,” Disasters: Theory and Research E.L. Quarantelli, ed. (Bev erly Hills: Sage, 1978): 91. 16 George Palmer and S.B. Sells, “Behavioral Factors in Disaster Situations,” Journal of Social Psychology 66 (1965): 65-71 as summarized in Miletti, Drabek, and Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments 72-73.

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17 More formal and permanent organizations al so may arise in response to disasters. Fox and Hernndez have noted that the numbe r of NGOs in Mexico increased after the 1985 earthquake there.17 The same occurred in Nicaragua after the 1972 quake.18 In both cases, the NGOs that arose and proliferat ed after the disaster eventually formed linkages with one another as well as with br oader, national social movements. These organizations did not disappear as do most emergent groups. Instead, they helped build stronger civil societies and enab led citizens to tackle national, socio-political issues in their countries. Disasters may affect broader political st ructures because they represent exogenous shocks to the political system, increasing the number of citizen demands while simultaneously reducing a government’s response capabilities.19 Cuny explains that “disasters often highlight the social struggl es in society and unde rscore the inherent inequities within a political system. Earthqua kes and hurricanes, for example, affect a disproportionately high percen tage of the poor in devel oping countries … A disaster makes it very evident that the poor ar e vulnerable because they are poor.”20 Shefner, Drury and Olson have supporte d this assertion by presenti ng a longitudinal study, which shows that countries with an inequitable distri bution of wealth and/or a history of social 17 Jonathan Fox and Luis Hernandez, “Mexico’s Difficult Democracy: Grassroots Movements, NGOs and Local Government,” Alternatives 17 (1992): 165-208. 18 Laura Mac Donald, Supporting Civil Society: The Political Role of Non Governmental Organizations in Central America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997): 99. 19 Richard Stuart Olson, “Towards a Politics of Disaster: Losses, Values, Agendas and Blame,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 18:2 (August 2000). 20 Frederick C. Cuny, Disasters and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983): 54.

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18 or political strife tend to experience a ri se in political confli ct after disasters.21 The incidence of such politically uns ettling events has led Olson to assert that disasters “may throw into question the very legitimacy of th e authoritative allocati on process itself—the regime.”22 Case studies reveal that the political sy stems of several Latin American countries have been destabilized by natural disast ers during the last half century. The 1972 Managua earthquake set in motion forces that ev entually led to the demise of the Somoza regime and gave rise to socialism there.23 Black argues that “the importance of the earthquake as a pivotal moment in the disintegration of Somocismo can hardly be overstated.”24 In the aftermath of the disaster Somoza, the National Guard and members of the ruling triumvirate were involve d in several incidents of corruption.25 Although such behavior may have been accepted or ma y have typified the Nicaraguan political system during normal times, citizens were unw illing to tolerate corruption during the 21 A. Cooper Drury and Richard Stuart Olson, “Disaste rs and Political Unrest: An Empirical Investigation,” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 6:3 (September 1998): 153-161 and Jon Shefner, “Pre and Post Disaster Instability and Contentious Supporters: A Case Study of Political Ferment,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 17:2 (August 1999): 137-190. 22 Richard Stuart Olson, “Towards a Politics of Disaster.” 23 George Black, Triumph of the People: The Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua (London: Zed Press, 1981): 58-62; Vincent Gawronski, “The 1985 Mexico City Disaster: A Critical Juncture?” paper presented at the XXII Latin American Studies Association Co nference, 16-18 March 2000; and Drury and Olson, “Disasters and Political Unrest: An Empirical Investigation.” 24 George Black, Triumph of the People, 58. 25 Ibid, Thomas P. Anderson, Politics in Central America: Guatem ala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (New York: Praeger, 1982): 155-156 and John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981): 89 and 93. Even Somoza acknowledged that some of his army officers engaged in looting but presented excuses for his own personal gain after the earthquake. See Anastasio Somoza, Nicaragua Betrayed (Boston: Western Islands, 1980): 3-22.

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19 emergency and reconstruction periods.26 The press exposed and denounced such behavior27 and the bourgeoisie, which until then had offered tenuous support to Somoza, turned against him.28 Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the regime also grew among the lower and middle classes who increasingly de manded fundamental political changes in their country.29 All of these factors revive d and strengthened support for the Frente Sandinista de Liberacin Nacional (FSLN), a guerrilla group that had been “presumed dead since 1970.”30 The mounting opposition to the regime and rise in political violence during the years after the earthqua ke eventually led to a regime transition in Nicaragua in 1979. The Guatemalan political system also wa s strained after the 1976 earthquake there. Dunkerley notes that “the political impact of the earthquake was sharp if not—in the short term—quite the same in form as th at in Nicaragua four years earlier.”31 Part of the problem arose from the government’s mish andling of emergency and reconstruction assistance. Although approximately 25,000 Gu atemalans were killed and 1.25 million were left homeless, the government offere d only scant relief to the highland Mayan 26 Olson and Gawronski have shown in the case of Me xico that although incidents of corruption may be tolerated by citizens during normal times, they ar e not accepted during post di saster periods. Citizen reactions to corruption charges in Nicaragua afte r the 1972 earthquake suggest that the populace there experienced a similar decline in tolerance for such behavior. See Richard Stuart Olson and Vincent T. Gawronski, “’Normal Versus Special Time Corr uption: An Exploration of Mexican Attitudes,” forthcoming Cambridge Journal of International Affairs 15:1 (Spring-Summer 2001). 27 Denis Lynn Daly Heyck, Life Stories of the Nicaraguan Revolution (New York: Routledge, 1990): 49. 28 James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of Modern Central America (New York: Verso, 1988): 235-236 and John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution 81. 29 John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution 84, 113, 124-125 and 277. 30 Anderson, Politics in Central America 156-159. 31 Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus 469.

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20 communities which had been most affected by the disaster. In addition, the government persecuted missionary and other humanitarian gr oups who tried to supply needed help to these areas independently of official, state channels.32 Peasants, particularly those in affected areas of the country, responded by organizing, criticizing the government and articulating their demands be tter than ever before.33 Meanwhile, several companies took advantage of the post-disaster crisis to lay off hundreds of workers and thus weaken labor unions. Workers responded by consolidati ng themselves into a united front and demanding that both their labor rights be s ecured and that the government respond to the needs of disaster victims.34 Jonas has noted that “some of the most important, urbanbased movements” in Guatemala emerged “fro m the rubble of the massive earthquake of 1976 ... Not long after the earthqua ke, when the potential of these organizations became clear, the repression began.”35 Eventually, this post-disast er organization and the state’s responsiveness to it helped strengthen the Guerrilla Army of the Poor, which gained much of its support from those highland comm unities most affected by the disaster. Unlike the FSLN, this guerrilla group was uns uccessful in overthrowing the government or prompting a true regime transition in Gu atemala. Instead, the increasing discontent and organization among civil society groups here led to a prolonged civil war. The political violence that engrossed Ni caragua and Guatemal a after the 1972 and 1976 earthquakes does not arise after all disaster s. Nevertheless, such events may prompt 32 Ibid and Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit (New York: Anchor Books, 1983): 249. 33 Ibid, captulo VII. 34 Jos Manuel Fernndez, “Comunidades indgenas y conflicto social en Guat emala,” Ph.D. Dissertation Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1988: 207-215. 35 Susanne Jonas, The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads and U.S. Power (Boulder,CO.: Westview Press, 1991): 124-125.

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21 equally destabilizing but less violent effects on a country’s political system. During the 1840’s three, devastating hurricanes passed over Cuba leaving a trail of destruction in their path. The experience of disaster and recovery united residents of the island and encouraged them to begin viewing themselves as Cubans. The disasters, in other words, contributed to the creation of a national identity. The Spanis h government’s reluctance to offer emergency assistance to its subjects on the island or to ease temporarily import taxes on them caused a schism between Creoles and the crown.36 Although the dissatisfaction with monarchical rule and growing sense of na tional identity did not have any immediate political or violent repercussi ons, they contributed to the Cuban struggle for independence during the late 1800’s. The 1985 Mexico City Earthquake also ha d a non violent thou gh more immediate effect on that country’s political system The earthquake led to a dramatic and spontaneous upsurge in civil society orga nizations whose prompt and coordinated response to this crisis juxtaposed it to th e government’s slow, ina ppropriate and corrupt mismanagement of emergency assistance.37 Many civil society groups eventually united into an Earthquake Victim’s Movement whic h effectively “undermined the repressive discourse with which the government justif ied its exclusion of citizens from local government, challenged the legitimacy of the poli tical status quo in the Federal District 36 Louis A. Prez, Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth Century Cuba (Chapel Hill : University of North Carolin a Press, 2001): 135-138 and 143-147. 37 Ligia Tavera-Fenellosa, “The Movimiento de Damn ificados: Democratic Transformation of Citizenry and Government in Mexico City,” Subnational Politics and Democratization in Mexico Wayne A. Cornelius, Todd A. Eisenstadt and Jane Hindley, eds. (La Jolla: Center fr U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California at San Diego, 1999) and Vincent Gawronski, “The 1985 Mexico City Disaster: A Critical Juncture?” paper presented at the XXII Latin Amer ican Studies Association Conference, 16-18 March 2000.

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22 and opened the door for the democratization of … Mexico City.”38 Although neither the earthquake nor these emergent groups radically altered the na tional political system, they accelerated socio-political cha nges that had already been underway and thus contributed to the democratization process in Mexico. Disasters may also prompt more subtle po licy changes. Using the United States as a focus of study, Birkland has argued that na tural and technological disasters serve as focusing events in public policies. They help bring new issues to the agenda and allow new players to form part of the policy-making process.39 This may lead to the passage of new legislation, even ones that politicians ha d been hesitant to consider previously.40 Although disasters can serve as catalysts for political change, they do not always serve this function. If well ma naged, these events may legitimi ze rather than destabilize a government or system of rule. The Argent ine military’s adept response to the 1944 San Juan Earthquake helped the recently installe d military junta leg itimize its undemocratic hold of government. Pern’s seemingly compa ssionate role and invol vement in relief efforts helped him rise in popularity and gain political control of Ar gentina soon after this event.41 Similarly, Hurricane Fifi (1974) helped the Honduran military solidify and extend its political control in Honduras. Although massive corruption diminished the 38 Tavera-Fenellosa, “The Movimi ento de Damnificados,” 108. 39 Thomas A. Birkland, After Disaster: Agenda Setting, Public Policy and Focusing Events (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1997) and Thomas A. Birkland, “Natural Disasters as Focusing Events: Policy Communities and Political Responses,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 14:2 (August 1996). 40 Ibid and Stephanie Joan Willson, “Disaster, Law and Power: The Oil Spill Pollution Act of 1990,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Delaware, 1998. 41 Mark Allen Healy, “The Ruins of the New Argentina: Peronism, Architecture and the Remaking of San Juan After the 1944 Earthquake,” Ph.D Dissertation, Duke University, 2000.

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23 effectiveness of the foreign aid that was received, the military government responded to this disaster by implementing an agrarian re form law and distributing land to thousands of Hondurans, many of whom had been adve rsely affected by the hurricane. This enabled the military to gain support of the peasants and re main in power until the early 1980’s. Although disasters can contribu te to socio-political ch anges, their ability to contribute to long-lasting, social transformations has been questioned by several sociological and anthropological studies. Si egel et al have pres ented a longitudinal study revealing that neither social cohesion nor disunity persis ts for long after a disaster.42 Once people’s emergency needs have been met and they have returned to their normal and routinized mode of life, co mmunities tend to revert back to the way they were before the disaster. This has been further corrobor ated by qualitative, post-disaster studies.43 The groups that arise during the emergency phase tend to disappear, and traditional leaders and organizations re-emerge.44 Sweet has shown that social behavior may return to its pre-disaster pattern as early as a month after the initial shock.45 All of this suggests that long-term, disaster-induced, social change is rare. Thos e changes that do persist tend to be ones that were under way or und er consideration before the crisis.46 42 Judith M. Siegel, Linda B. Bourque and Kimberley I. Shoaf, “V ictimization after a Disaster: Social Disorganization or Community Cohesion?” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 17:3 (November 1999): 265-294. 43 Susanna Hoffman, “After Atlas Shrugs: Cultura l Change or Persistence after Disaster,” The Angry Earth, Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hoffman eds. (New York: Routledge, 1999): 302-325. 44 Oliver-Smith, Martyred City 120-121. 45 Stephen Sweet, “The Effect of a Natural Disaster on Social Cohesion: A Longitudinal Study,” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 16:3 (November 1998): 321-331. 46 Quarantelli and Dynes, “Response to Social Crisis and Disaster,” 34-35; and Miletti, Drabek, and Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments : 138 and Oliver-Smith, Martyred City

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24 The preceding literature review suggests that countries that are devastated by disasters often experience significant polit ical transformations soon afterward. Such changes are more likely to occur in places with an inequitable distri bution of wealth and a history of socio-political c onflict. What has not been adequately explained is why political change arises in these contexts. One could argue that di sasters encourage the organization of victims, highlight the comm onalities between them, and encourage them to act in the interest of th e public good. Such mobilizati on eventually spills into the political sphere, increases people’s voice in po litics and often leads to a change in the political system. In other words, one could ar gue that disasters strengthen civil society, change existing governance patterns and thus contribute to a pr ocess of democratization. Unfortunately, the existing disaster litera ture does not support this contention. Although various studies have shown that disasters prompt the organization and mobilization of affected communities, they also reveal that this activity is evanescent. The only social transformations that do persist are those that were already underway before the disaster. So how or why might a political change arise? Do disasters cause enduring transformations in the way citizens part icipate in politics but not in the way they interact with neighbors? Do they only cat alyze political changes among people with a history of strong organization and political mobilization? Do they hasten political transformations that had been initiated before the disaster or can they spur new ones? Could other factors mediate how or when disasters affect the political sphere? These are just some of the questions to be explored in this dissertation. Be fore these queries are answered, we must consider the socio-political effects of foreign ai d, be it derived from foreign governments, multilateral agencies or NGOs.

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25 The Political Effects of Foreign Aid Foreign aid is frequently transferred to di saster-afflicted areas soon after the initial shock of such an event. But the way such assistance is channeled varies considerably depending on the source of such funds. B ilateral and multilateral agencies usually extend assistance to the central government rather than to those communities or regions most affected by disasters. Their aid frequently is used to undertake broad socio-economic policies or infrastructural projects as well as to improve the state’s ability to implement these. Due to their macro focus, such aid te nds to have little impact on average citizens or local structures. NGOs, on the other hand, generally offer their assistance directly to target communities, often bypassi ng political authorities or at least excluding them from participating in the dissemina tion of such aid. Unlike bila teral and multilateral donors, NGOs try to address localized issues and c oncerns, many of which are self-identified by recipient groups. Due to their level of inte rvention, international donors tend to influence national level politics. They do so by encour aging state agencies to be more open and responsive to the general populace and thus creating spaces for improved state-society relations. NGOs are most likely to influe nce local, socio-political issues. They encourage the organization and mobilization of aid recipients and thus enable them to engage their government representatives mo re efficiently. Although both types of donors play an active role in developing countries during normal times, their level and degree of intervention usually increases in the aftermat h of disaster, making their socio-political impact more evident. The following sect ions will review what is known about the political effects of both in ternational donors and NGOs.

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26 International Donor Impact Bilateral and multilateral donor s have been shown to have a significant impact on the process of democratic consolidation. They have accomplished this by conditioning their financial assistance, popularizing a particular development discourse and disseminating their norms and ideas through these means. This external pressure partly resulted in a “Third Wave” of demo cracy during the late 1970’s and 1980’s47 and to a deepening of democracy since then. The use of conditionalities has been one of the principal ways through which bilateral and multilateral agencies have promoted their vision of democratic governance. A conditionality, as Nelson explains, “entails offering a benefit if … the receiver takes specific actions (or refrains from taki ng actions which the donor disapproves).”48 These benefits may be economic such as when an international agency offers a loan to a developing country on the condi tion that certain public po licies be adopted. Or the incentive may be political such as when th e European Union makes membership in its organization contingent upon ha ving a stable democracy.49 The incentive may also be positive or negative in form. A donor may use its assistance to reward a country for adopting certain policy or institutional change s or it may threaten to withdraw or not distribute aid if specific conditi ons are not met. Not all countries are affected equally by 47 Huntington, The Third Wave 48 Joan M. Nelson, Encouraging Democracy: What Role for Conditioned Aid? (Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1992): 10. 49 Geoffrey Pridham, “The European Union, Democra tic Conditionality and Transnational Party Linkages,” Democracy Without Borders: Transnationaliz ation and Conditionality in New Democracies Jean Grugel, ed. (London: Routledge: 1999); Geoffrey Pridham, “The Politics of the European Community: Transnational Networks and Democratic Transition in Southern Europe,” Encouraging Democracy: The International Context of Regime Transition in Southern Europe Geoffrey Pridham, eds. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991); an d Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: Universit of Oklahoma Press, 1993): 87-91.

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27 such conditionalities.50 Those possessing strong exports such as oil tend to be more insulated from these external pressures th an countries such as Honduras that are dependent on banana and coffee production. The use of conditionalities has evolved significantly during the last half century. The World Bank, International Monetary F und (IMF) and several bilateral donors have been attaching conditions to th e loans they disburse since th eir foundation. Initially, most of these conditions we re project specific.51 The focus was on designing good development projects and policie s. After the oil crisis of the 1970’s, international financial institutions began broadening and increasing the qualifying factors for their aid by requiring loan recipients to implement neoliberal economic reforms. This led several governments to transfer many of its functi ons to the market and adopt structural adjustment packages.52 Initially, neither these fina ncial institutions nor other international donors conditioned their aid on poli tical reforms, but this began to change during the 1970’s when a network of NGOs began publicizing and raising public awareness of human rights abuses being committed throughout the world.53 President Jimmy Carter’s administration responded to this situation by making U.S. foreign development assistance contingent on hu man rights protection. Other European governments adopted the same policy. Sin ce most human rights violations were 50 Nelson, Encouraging Democracy 47. 51 Joan M. Nelson and Stephanie J. Englinton, Global Goals, Contentious Means: Issues of Multiple Aid Conditionality (Washington, D.C.: Overseas Deve lopment Council, 1993): 12-15. 52 Ibid and Nelson, Encouraging Democracy 33-39. 53 Kathryn Sikkink, “The Emergence, Evolution and Effectiveness of the Latin American Human Rights Network,” Constructing Democracy: Human Rights, Citizenship and Society in Latin America Elizabeth Jelin and Eric Hershberg, eds. (Boulder: Westview, 1996): 59-84.

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28 committed by military or authoritarian govern ments at the time, bilateral donors began using their aid packages to promot e transitions to democracy, as well.54 By the 1980’s most bilateral donors were encouraging both democratization and human rights protection through the use of conditionalities. Some multilateral aid agencies were more hesitant to advocate these political reforms. The World Bank and International Monetary Funds, for example, claimed that their founding charters prohibited them fr om becoming involved in the political institutions and procedures of aid recipient countries.55 They together with other donors also did not want to bias We stern political norms a nd institutions such as those inherent in liberal democracy. Interestingly, these fi nancial institutions did not refrain from encouraging the political changes associated with neo-liberal ec onomic policies—that also had a Western bias. Nevertheless, by the 1980’s this unfettered faith in market capitalism had begun to waiver as the private sector proved itself unable to address the myriad problems faced by developing nations. The impressive economic accomplishments of a few industrializing count ries in Eastern Asia and Latin America during the1970’s and 1980’s prove d that a strong, interventionist state could help achieve economic growth.56 Although the need for political refo rms continued to be evidenced in many countries, theorists and policy makers a like increasingly acknowledged the need to 54 Adam Przeworski et al., Sustainable Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge Universiy Press, 1995): 6 and Oda Van Canenburgh, “International Policies to Promote African Democratization,” Democracy Without Borders: Transnationalization and Conditionality in New Democracies Jean Grugel, ed. (London: Routledge: 1999): 92-105. 55 Joan M. Nelson and Stephanie J. Englinton, Global Goals, Contentious Means: Issues of Multiple Aid Conditionality (Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1993): 53. 56 World Bank, The East Asian Miracle: Econo mic Growth and Public Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

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29 include the government in development polic ies. Still wary of promoting liberal democracy, international policy makers bega n discussing the need for better, more accountable governance.57 Donors generally defined governance as the way states, markets and civil society manage public affa irs. The focus on governance allowed aid agencies to question the legitimacy of a po litical regime while seemingly avoiding the normative bias inherent in democratic systems.58 As Hewitt de Alcntara explains, By talking about ‘governance’—rather than ‘state reform’ or ‘social and political change’—multilateral banks and agencies within the development establishment were able to address sensitive questions that could be lumped together under a relatively inoffensive heading and usually couched in technical terms, thus avoiding any implication that these ins titutions were exceeding their statutory authority by intervening in the internal political affairs of sovereign states.59 The adoption of good governance as a policy concern did not entail the abandonment of neo-liberalism. On the cont rary, attention to governance enabled many organizations to advocate transferring what had traditionally been government respons ibilities to either civil society or the market while also not ignor ing the important role of the state in public affairs. Some development agencies, choosing not to forgo their emphasis on democracy, began espousing the need for democratic governance rather than the more generic good governance. By the 1990’s most development agencies were conditioning their aid on the presence of either one of these. 57 Cynthia Hewlitt de Alcntar a, “Uses and Abuses of th e Concept of Governance,” International Social Science Journal 50:1 (March 1998): 105-113. 58 See Goran Hyden, “Governan ce and the Study of Politics,” Governance and Politics in Africa eds. Goran Hyden and Michael Bratton (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992): 5; David Rothchild, “Conclusion: Management of Conflict in West Africa,” Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in West Africa ed. I. William Zartman (Washington: Broo kings Institute Pres s, 1998): 198-199. 59 Hewlitt de Alcntara, “Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Governance,” 107.

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30 Donors have promoted democratizati on and good governance not only through the use of conditionalities and ma terial incentives, but also by disseminating a particular political discourse. Politicians and ci vil society groups in developing nations increasingly speak of the need to make gove rnments more accountable, increase society’s role in public decision-making and create mechanisms and institutions that will improve state-society relations. The ideas disseminat ed through this discourse can help change a state’s conceptions of development.60 Although the degree of actual commitment to these ideational goals among thos e who profess them may be questionable, the mere fact that this language is being employed is politically significant. As Yee explains, “Language is crucial to the constitution of . reality.”61 In order for democracy to be consolidated, it must be preceded by a discussi on of this process. The terms democracy and human rights, for example, were populari zed by various interna tional forces during the 1970’s and 1980’s until they became fundament al aspects of the political lexicon in much of the developed and developing world. This change in discourse eventually contributed to the increased protection of hu man rights and transiti on to elected civilian governments in dozens of countries.62 Of course, the mere use of such language did not ensure that those employing it acted in concer t with what they professed. Schirmer has shown how the Guatemalan military altered its discourse during the 1980’s in order to correspond better with the one being used by in ternational donors at the time yet did little 60 Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996). 61 Albert S. Yee, “The Causal Effects of Ideation on Policy,” International Organization 50:1 (Winter 1996):86. 62 Huntington, The Third Wave and Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

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31 to change its policies.63 This period of dissonance betw een speech and action was shortlived, however, and the country eventually began to abide by human rights norms.64 This time lapse between when the government adopt ed a particular discourse and when it actually abided by what it said is not unique to Guatemala. Risse and Sikkink have argued that although governments sometimes alter their discursive practices for instrumental reasons, they eventually come to accept the validity of what they profess.65 By popularizing a particular discourse, fore ign aid agencies can induce a shift in political norms. Since “a norm … creates im petus for behavior consistent with the belief,”66 a shift in norms usually leads to a concomitant behavioral adjustment. Therefore, normative changes can lead to significant political transformations. As Schmitz and Sell have explained, “the di ffusion of democratic values and norms institutionalizes new ideas in a given nationa l context, thus making available images of alternative regime types and influencing the changes in actors’ preferences and choices.”67 By transforming normative structur es, donor agencies can also prompt 63 Jennifer Schirmer, “The Looting of Democratic Di scourse by the Guatemalan Military: Implications for Human Rights,” Constructing Democracy: Human Rights, Citizenship and Society in Latin America Elizabeth Jelin and Eric Hershberg, eds. (Boulder: Westview, 1996): 85-97. 64 Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, “International Norms into Domestic Politics in Chile and Guatemala,” The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999): 172-204. 65 Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink, The Socialization of International Human Rights Norms into Domestic Practices: Introduction,” The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999): 1-38. 66 Ibid, 7. 67 Hans Peter Schmitz and Ka trin Sell, “International Factors in Pr ocesses of Political Democratization,” Democracy Without Borders: Transnationaliz ation and Conditionality in New Democracies Jean Grugel, ed. (London: Routledge: 1999): 37-38.

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32 domestic policy changes.68 As ideas gain prominence among a large group of people they form an ideological structure that “infor m[s] the structure of institutions, the nature of social cooperation and conflict, and the attitudes and predispositions of the population.”69 The use of a particular discourse can also be used to gauge the performance of both the politicians who employ it and the regime th ey represent. Politicians who speak of human rights protection, government accountab ility, social auditing and eliminating corruption will likely be judge d by international actors and th eir constituents on the basis of these concepts. In addition, political language helps frame the nature of political interactions. It “lends repres entative legitimacy to some soci al interests more than others, delineates the accepted boundaries of state action . and . privilege[s] some lines of policy over others.”70 All of this suggests that the new discourse on democratic governance that has been popularized since the 1990’s can help bring new actors to the political scene and make the policie s they advocate more tenable. Although bilateral and multilateral donors can exert significant influence over an aid recipient country, they do not determine the nature of politics ther e. The interests of local elites as well as a seri es of socio-economic factors mediate the extent to which international donors can affect national-level politics. Democracy, for example, seems more likely to arise in countries that have industrialized and developed a bourgeoisie 68 Albert S. Yee, “The Causal Effects of Ideation on Policy,” International Organization 50:1 (Winter 1996). 69 William H. Sewell, Jr., “Ideologies and Social Revolutions: Reflections on the French Case,” The Journal of Modern History 57:1 (1985): 173. 70 Peter A. Hall, “Policy Paradigms, Social Learning and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain,” Comparative Politics 25: 3 (April 993): 289.

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33 class than in those characterized by agrarian and feudal-type structures.71 It is also best sustained by a strong civil society.72 Yet, the absence of these conditions does not preclude the rise and consolidation of democr acy. Politicians may decide to strengthen democratic institutions despite the absence of these structural factors or instead choose to weaken them in order to pursue their personal interests. Foreign actors can hasten the process of democratization within either one of these contexts, particul arly if a country is ripe for such a change.73 They do so by changing the ince ntive structure of national level politicians and forcing them to play what Putnam calls “two level games.”74 In an effort to appease international donor s, national politicians may abide by their preconditions, adopt their discourse, accept new norms and thus improve their democracy. Periods of domestic crisis can increas e the influence of foreign agents by weakening the power of local el ites and/or altering socio-ec onomic conditions. Ikenberry and Kupchan argue that during such times hege monic states are better able to socialize the elites of developing or “secondary” stat es into accepting their political ideas and norms. In their words, “crisis creates an envi ronment in which elites seek alternatives to existing norms that have been discredited by events and in which new norms offer opportunities for political gains and coalition realignment.”75 Therefore, crisis can make 71 Barrington Moore, The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966). 72 Putnam, Making Democracy Work 73 Huntington, The Third Wave 86. 74 Robert Putnam, “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two Level Games,” International Organization 42:3 (Summer 1988): 427-460. For a similar argument see Geoffrey Pridham, eds. Encouraging Democracy: The International Cont ext of Regime Transition in Southern Europe (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991). 75 John G. Ikenberry and Charles A. Kupchan, “Socialization and Hegemonic Power,” International Organization 44:3 (Summer 1990).

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34 ideas of democracy and good governance more attractive to domestic power brokers. Although Ikenberry and Kupchan analyze peri ods of political turmoil such as those created by war, foreign agents may be able to exert similar power over domestic actors during times of disaster-induced crisis. This research will explore whether this has occurred in Honduras. NGO Impact NGOs may contribute to the pr ocess of democratization as well. Unlike bilateral and multilateral donors, they do not do this by pressuring national governments to adopt certain ideas or policies. Instead, NGOs often contribute to this pr ocess by affecting the nature and constitution of civil society. Their intervention, in other words, is directed at the grass roots level rather than at th e state-centered realm of high politics. Several theorists have argued that NGOs can help strengthen civil society and thus advance democratization in a country.76 They accomplish this in part by bringing people together to implement NGO-sponsored develo pment projects. This community building process has a direct beari ng on civil society. As Wapner explains, NGOs “organize people into new forms of social interaction, and this makes for a more tightly woven web of associational life.”77 Yet NGOs do more than just unite people. They help beneficiary groups translate their needs in to a set of well formulated objectives and then develop methods of action for achieving these.78 According to Carroll, this is accomplished by 76 G. Sidney Silliman and Lela Garner Noble, ed. ORGANIZING FOR DEMOCRACY: NGOs, Civil Society, and the Philippine State ( Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 1988) and Leilah Landim, “NGOs in Latin America,” World Development 15 supplement (1987):29-38. 77 Paul Wapner, “Politics Beyond the State: Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics,” World Politics 47 (April 1995): 333. 78 Telmo Frantz, “The Role of NGOs in the Strengthening of Civil Society,” World Development 15 supplement (1987): 126.

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35 encouraging beneficiaries to participate in project decision making and implementation.79 Clark adds that NGOs foster strong local leadership, bu ild communication skills, and encourage locals to tackle injustice.80 This often leads people to become more involved in local political issues.81 As a result of this political activism, NGOs as well as the community groups they support can affect the implementation of government policies and even challenge established power structures at the local level.82 An NGOs’ impact is not always constrained to this level of politics, however. These organizations may support social movements or encourage project beneficiaries to mobilize in order to influence national policies. The potentially positive impact that NGOs can have on civil society has led many bilateral and multilateral donors to finance the activities of such organizations since the 1980s.83 Not all NGOs have this democratizing effect. Those non-governmental organizations that only distribute credit or similar assistance or who primarily serve a social or recreational purpose are unlikely to have any political impact. Carroll argues that NGOs that focus on grassroots devel opment and on organizing target communities 79 Thomas F. Carroll, Intermediary NGOs: The Supporting Link in Grassroots Development (West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1992). 80 John Clark, Democratizing Development: The Ro le of Voluntary Organizations (London: Earthscan Publications, 1991): 91 and John Clark, “The State, Popular Participation and the Voluntary Sector,” World Development 23:4 (1995): 593-601. 81 Julie Fisher, The Road from Rio: Sustai nable Development and the No ngovernmental Movement in the Third World (London: Praeger, 1993): 16. 82 Michael Bratton, “Non Governmental Organizations in Africa: Can They Influence Government Policy?” Development and Change 21 (1990): 87-118. 83 Harry Blair, “Donors, Democratisation and Ci vil Society: Relating Theory to Practice,” NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds. (New York: St Martin’s, 1997).

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36 are the ones most likely to encourage people to act together to tackle political issues.84 Similarly, Frantz contends that NGOs that s upport social movements or initiatives that express the free will of the people are the one s most likely to strengthen civil society.85 Some scholars doubt that even these specifi c NGOs can make such contributions to democracy. Hulme and Edwards accept th e contention that NGOs can help form community organizations. However, they argu e that these groups ar e often created only to achieve project goals and do not articu late, represent or achieve member needs.86 They together with Huduck and Bazaara contend that the relationship between NGOs and donors can limit further the extent to which th ese organizations can contribute to social change. 87 This is because NGO projects tend to respond to the goals of and be accountable to donor agencies rather than target groups.88 As a result, the latter are rarely allowed to affect the design and implementation of the projects that are meant to benefit them. This situation may engender a patern alistic and dependent relationship between 84 Carroll, Intermediary NGOs 85 Frantz, “The Role of NGOs in the Strengthening of Civil Society,”123. 86 Michael Edwards and David Hulme, eds. Beyond the Magic Bullet: NGO Performance and Accountability in the Post Cold War (West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian, 1996); David Hulme and Michael Edwards, “Too Cl ose to the Powerful, Too Far from the Powerless,” NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds. (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997). 87 Ann Huduck, NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999) and Nyangabyak Bazaara, Contemporary Civil Society and the Democratisation Process in U ganda: A Preliminary Exploration (Kampala, Uganda: CBR Publications 2000) and David Hulm e and Michael Edwards, eds., NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997).. 88 Ibid and Cristina Ewig, “The Strengths and Limits of the NGOs Women’s Movement Model: Shaping Nicaragua’s Democratic Institutions,” Latin American Research Review 34:3 (1999): 75-102.

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37 NGOs and the communities they seek to benefit.89 Abramson argues that in some developing countries NGOs are used by a small, professional elite as vehicles to secure jobs and higher incomes for themselves and their cohorts and do little to contribute to socio-political change or development.90 Although such scenarios due not typify all NGOs, they do caution that these organizations should not be seen as “a panacea for making uncivil societies civil.”91 NGOs’ potential contribution to democracy is not limited to their ability to organize target groups and encourage them to participate in politics. NGOs are often active participants in their country’s political system, as well. Therefore, they do not merely help strengthen civil society through th eir effects on others, but are themselves an active part of it. NGOs use their experience to position themselves into and influence political debates of the day. As Pyle ha s explained, “NGOs are uniquely equipped to work simultaneously at the grassroots and the public policy levels. Their close connection with the target beneficiary population a nd strong grounding in community issues by virtue of their ongoing work with those communities makes them ideal policy advocates.”92 This unique position often leads NGOs to undertake public awareness campaigns, propose government policies, and lo bby politicians. Such activities tend to be particularly successful when these organi zations form horizontal ties with other NGOs 89 Sarah C. White “NGOs, Civil Society, and the St ate in Bangladesh: The Politics of Representing the Poor,” Development and Change 30:2 (1999): 307 and David Lehmann, Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, Politics and Religion in the Postwar (Cambridge: Polity, 1990). 90 David M. Abramson, “A Critical Look at NGOs and Civil Society as a Means to an End in Uzbekistan,” Human Organization 58:3 (Fall 1999): 240-251. 91 Ibid 242. 92 Kathryn Smith Pyle, “From Policy Advocate To Policy Maker: NGOs in Recife,” Grassroots Development 21:1 (1997).

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38 and jointly tackle political issues.93 NGOs may also influence governments through indirect means. Their positive experiences with development and popular participation may inspire public officials to modify the operation of government and improve their relationship with citizens.94 In addition, NGOs can democratize the informal political processes in countries by bu ilding stronger institutions, ed ucating citizens and promoting micro-reform.95 Socio-political factors mediate the exte nt to which politically-engaged NGOs can affect the public sphere. Ewig argues th at NGOs can help shape public policies and collaborate with government agencies so as to change the way the state delivers services only when government officials are open to these organizations and their intervention.96 Therefore, political opportunity is a critical factor in expl aining the extent to which NGOs can contribute to democracy. Marsouk, Luong and Weinthal have shown that if a state limits or tries to contro l the activities of NGOs, these organizations will make little contribution to deepening democracy, even if they are actively e ngaged in the political sphere.97 Although Ho argues that “citizens are not stopped by state regulations” that seek to limit non-governmental and commun ity-based organizations, he acknowledges 93 John W. Garrison II and Leilah Landim, “Harvesting the Bounty of Citizenship: The Fight Against Hunger and Poverty in Brazil,” Grassroots Development 19:2 (1995). 94 Clark, Democratizing Development 65. 95 John Friedmann, Empowerment: the politics of alternative development (Cambridge, MA : Blackwell, 1992). 96 Ewig, “The Strengths and Limits of the NGOs Women’s Movement Model: Shaping Nicaragua’s Democratic Institutions.” 97 Mohsen Marsouk, “The Associative Phenomenon in the Arab World: Engine of Democratisation or Wirness to the Crisis?” NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds. (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997) and Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal, “ The NGO Paradox: Democratic Goals and Non De mocratic Outcomes in Kazakhstan,” Europe-Asia Studies 51: 7 (November 1999).

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39 that they can be prevented from tackli ng the state through broad, nationally-based movements as a result of such restrictions.98 A state can also limit the extent to which an NGO can strengthen civil society. Mac D onald has shown that when governments encourage or complement the politically-focused work of NGOs, these organizations are better able to transfer democratic skills to and encourage politic al participation among target groups. When such support is una vailable, NGOs run the risk of creating a dependence on external assistance and reinforc ing traditional, client elist behavior among project beneficiaries.99 This does not mean that NGOs must operate under a friendly or liberal democratic government to contribu te to civil society and democracy more generally. Such organizations can emerge and function successfully even in authoritarian systems and both promote democratic values an d resist the state’s attempts to control their activities within such environments.100 However, the political system within which they operate, be it officially democratic or not, can help to either constrain or enable their work. The literature on NGOs suggests that orga nizations that support grass-roots development can make a positive contribution to democracy. They help organize target groups, raise the socio-political awareness of participants, develop their leadership skills and encourage them to become politically act ive. Some NGOs further strengthen civil society by becoming active participants in pol itics. But an NGOs’ capacity to affect 98 Peter Ho, “Greening Without Conflict? Environm entalism, NGOs and Civil Society in China,” Development and Change 32, no. 5 (2001): 893-921. 99 Laura Mac Donald, Supporting Civil Society: The Political Role of Non Governmental Organizations in Central America (New York: St. Mar tin’s Press, 1997). 100 Ho, “Greening Without Conflict?” and Brian Loveman, “Chilean NGOs: Forging a Role in Transition to Democracy,” New Paths to Democratic Development in Latin America Charles A. Reilley, ed. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner: 1995): 119-144.

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40 broad structures and policies is determined by political opportunity. They are most politically influential if the state either supports or at l east does not interfere with their work. Theorizing Governance This dissertation will use the theoretical lens of governance to explore how a major natural disaster, international aid organiza tions and NGOs affected state-civil society relations in Honduras. Governance generally refers to the way states a nd societies interact in order to manage their public affairs. Historically, political governance has been viewed as a primacy of states or governments101 and has been associated with those actions that result in public policies. R ecently, however, these assumptions have come into question.102 Scholars have recognized that st ates cannot and often do not determine socio-political outcomes and th at important aspects of govern ance often exist outside of government. 103 Scholars have also stopped associ ating governance with just policy and have begun analyzing also how states a nd their societies govern the regimes or institutions that constrain them. Unfortunately, the literature on governance is far from consolidated. Different subfields of political science have adopted slightly different interpretations of this process. Public administration scholars te nd to view governance as a process of steering 101 Gerry Stoker, “Governance as Theory: Five Propositions,” International Social Science Journal 50:1 (March 1998): 17 102 Several theorists emphasize that government is not the same thing as government. For example see Meghnad Desai, “Global Governance,” Global Governance: Ethics and Economics of the World Order Meghnad Desai and Paul Redfern, eds. (London: Pinter, 1995): 7; James Rosenau, “Governance, Order and Change in World Politics,” Governance Without Government: Order and Change in World Politics eds. James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992): 4; and R.A.W. Rhodes, Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, Reflexivity and Accountability (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1997): 53. 103 James Rosenau, “Governance, Order and Change in World Politics,” 4.

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41 or controlling public po licy while students of international relations and comparative politics tend see it as the way state-society relations maintain and are affected by existing institutions. These different understandings of governance are not mutually exclusive, however. They merely reflect and are a respons e to the distinct theo retical concerns that have driven scholarship in these subfields. The concept of governance arose in policy circles during the 1 980’s as a result of previous disappointment s with state reform. 104 During the 1950’s and 1960’s, governments and international aid organizati ons had expressed an almost unwavering faith in the state’s ability to promote socioeconomic development. As the limitations of this approach became evident, scholars and pr actitioners began procla iming the failure of the welfare state in Europe and of state-le d development in the Africa, Asia and Latin America. They suggested that downsizing gov ernments and shifting some of the state’s previous responsibilities to the private sect or could secure socio-economic and political goals more effectively. A new development discourse was needed to justify these neoliberal policies and have them accepted by both governments and citizens. New theoretical constructs also had to be deve loped in order to better understand the sociopolitical repercussions of these policies. Governance was able to fill both of these needs. International aid organizati ons began using the concept of governance in order to explain how public policies would have to be conducted in the c ontext of neo-liberal economics and a smaller state. The World Ba nk described governance as “the manner in 104 For a historical review of why governance aros e in applied policy circles see Cynthia Hewlitt de Alcntara, “Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Governance,” International Social Science Journal 50:1 (March 1998) and Renate Mayntz, “Governing Failures and the Problem of Governability: Some Comments on a Theoretical Paradigm,” Modern Governance: New Gover nment-Society Interactions ed. Jan Kooiman (London: Sage, 1993).

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42 which power is exercised in the manageme nt of a country’s economic and social resources for development.”105 It emphasized that the state was not the only actor responsible for this activity; gov ernments, the private sector and civil society all had to participate in this process. In practice, however, the World Bank has treated the concept of governance as little more than government management. It has claimed that effective governance is based on technical expertise, eff ectiveness, accountabi lity, rule of law and transparency.106 Political corruption has been described as its antithesis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a dopted a similar view of governance and focused its energy on improving government management of economic issues.107 NGOs have been encouraged to adopt a relativ ely minor or less powerful role in the management process—that of monitoring th e activities of governments and holding them accountable for their actions. The Unite d Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also has emphasized that accountability and publ ic participation are integral parts of good governance. However, this organization has de-emphasized the role of government and highlighted the position society plays in this process. It sees governance not merely as management, but as the way that societies di stribute power to ma nage public resources and problems. It further defines the term as the way in “which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise thei r rights and obligations and mediate their 105 See World Bank, Governance and Development (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992): 1 and World Bank, Governance: The World Bank’s Experience (Washington, D.C.: United Nations, 1994). 106 Ibid and World Bank, Managing Development: The Governance Dimension (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1991). 107 International Monetary Fund (IMF), Good Governance: The IMF’s Role (Washington, D.C.: IMF, 1997).

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43 differences.”108 Although the UNDP’s view of govern ance is more encompassing than that of the IMF and the World Bank, all of these institutions have used the term as a code word for government down-sizing, reform and privatization.109 Unlike these development organizations, pub lic policy and administration analysts turned to governance in order to study the way ne o-liberalism had changed the nature of politics. European scholars observed that thei r political systems were less centralized and hierarchical during the 1990’s th an they had been in the pa st. Not only were decisions being made in multiple, decentralized sphe res of governing, but societal groups were having an increasingly important role in this process. Kooi man et al suggested that the concept of governance be used to describe th e regularized patterns of interactions that emerge when public and private actors try to shape the political development of their societies.110 They argued that a governance approach to politics ceased associating needs with society and capaciti es with the state. Instead, it r ecognized that each of these groups had needs and capacities re levant to the other.111 Since the distinction between the state and society was increasingly i ndeterminate, Rhodes also suggested that the concept of networks be used to describe the inter actions that arose between these two groups.112 108 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Reconceptualizing Governance Discussion Paper #2 (New York: UNDP, 1997): 9. 109 See Robert Picciotto, Putting Institutional Economics to Work: From Participation to Governance World bank Discussion paper #304 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1995): 13-16. For a similar view see Gerry Stoker, “Local Governance,” Public Administration 75:1 (1997): 18. 110 Jan Kooiman, ed. Modern Governance: New Gover nment-Society Interactions (London: Sage, 1993). 111 Jan Kooiman, “Governance and Governability: Using Complexity, Dynamics and Diversity,” Modern Governance: New Governmen t-Society Interactions ed. Jan Kooiman (London: Sage, 1993): 43-44. 112 R.A.W. Rhodes, Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, and Accountability 57.

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44 Some public policy scholars argued that it was not enough to view governance as merely the negotiations or interactions among actors, as most of the policy literature was doing. March and Olsen asserted that governan ce also “involves affecting the framework within which citizens and [state] officials act and politics occurs.”113 They claimed that an analysis of democratic governance, thei r particular focus of study, requires “a discussion of how institutional frameworks can be organized to achieve democratic ideals and how institutions are constituted and ch anged within the pro cesses they define.”114 Rhodes had also acknowledged, at least implicit ly, that governance involves some degree of institutional maintenance for he had noted th at state-society interactions are “regulated by rules of the game negotiated and agreed by network participants.”115 International relations scholars also emphasized the institutional aspects of governance. However, their interest in th is derived not from the political changes associated with neo-liberalism but rather w ith those resulting from the collapse of communism. These scholars tried to explai n why our world had not been thrown into disarray after the collapse of both a world hegemon and a bipolar world order. Their explanation was the emergence of world governan ce. Proponents of th is view accept that interdependence is an increasing characteristic of our world and argue that this has helped create commonly accepted norms, rules and pa tterns of behavior that facilitate international cooperation.116 Consequently, they try to examine those factors that enable 113 James G. March and Johan P. Olsen, Democratic Governance (New York: Free Press, 1998): 6 114 Ibid 115 Rhodes, Understanding Governance, 53. 116 See K.J. Holsti, “Governance without Governme nt: Polyarchy in Nineteenth Century European International Politics,” Governance Without Government: Order and Change in World Politics eds. James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambr idge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

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45 agreement and collaboration to arise beyond the nation-state.117 While there is still some disagreement in this subfield regarding what constitutes gove rnance, most theorists have defined it as either a system of rules (i.e., an institution) and/or as the act of managing them. The latter one of these definitions has become increasingly popular in recent years. Holsti, for example, describes governance as the authoritative and legitimate management of the international system.118 Similarly, Young defines it as “the establishment and operation of social institutions (in the sense of rules of the game that serve to define practices, assign roles, and guide interactions among the occupa nts of these roles) capable of resolving conflicts, facil itating cooperation or, more gene rally, alleviating collectiveaction problems in a world of interdependent actors.”119 Historically, international relation scholars have assumed that governance is a process undertaken by governments.120 However, the recent literature on the subject has emphasized that governance is more than just government.121 In other words, the order it creates is not solely a product of state or government actions.122 Non state-actors also 117 See Olav Schram Stokke, “Regimes as Governance Systems,” Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997): 58. 118 K.J. Holsti, “Governance Without Government: Polyarchy in Nineteenth Century European International Politics,” Governance Without Government: Order and Change in World Politics eds. James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1992): 32-33. 119 Oran R. Young, International Governance: Protecting th e Environment in a Stateless Society, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994): 15 and Oran R. Young, “Rights, Rules and Resources in World Affairs,” Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience ed. Oran R. Young (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997): 4. 120 Stoker, “Governance as Theory: Five Propositions,” 17. 121 For example see Meghnad Desai, “Global Governance,” 7; James Rosenau, “Governance, Order and Change in World Politics,” 4 and Smouts, “The Proper Use of Governance in International Relations,” 82. 121 James Rosenau, “Governance, Order and Change in World Politics,” 4. 122 See Global Governance: Ethics and Economics of the World Order (London: Pinter, 1995).

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46 play a significant role in this process. Wapner has argued that it is important to consider not only the actions of non-state actors when explaining the maintenance of institutions, but also their interactions w ithin and across national boundaries.123 He along and other theorists have suggested that non-statal, transnational intera ctions create a “global civil society.”124 These can impact not only a state’s public policies, but also the policies pursued by international institutions.125 By emphasizing the domestic and international linkages between and among state and non-state actors, international relations theorists are implicitly or explicitly suggesting that governance is the creati on and management of institutions by states and societies .126 Comparative politics scholars have adopted a similar view of governance. But, their interest in the subject originates from a different concern—the proliferation of democracy in the last quarter of the twentieth century, particularly after the demise of communism in Eastern Europe. While most of this subfield dedicated itself to exploring the factors that contribute to the estab lishment, consolidation and deepening of democracy, some African scholars cautione d that this scholarly focus was causing various political systems to be judged on th e basis of Western norms and standards and that the democracy paradigm might be ina ppropriate for studying some regions of the world. They suggested that attention to governance would allow analysts to determine 123 Paul Wapner, Governance in Global Civil Society,” Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience ed. Oran R. Young (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997). 124 Ibid, Scott Turner, “Global Civil Society, Anarch y and Governance: Assessing an Emerging Paradigm,” Journal of Peace Research 35:1 (January 1998); 125 Robert O'Brien et al., Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). 126 See Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood (Oxford University Press, 1995).

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47 whether a regime was legitimate while avoiding the normative bias inherent in studies of democracy.127 Since these African specialists also were interested in explaining regime maintenance and change, they adopted an in stitutional view of gove rnance. Hyden, one of the leading proponents of this appro ach, defined governance as “the conscious management of regime structures” by state-so ciety interactions in order to increase the legitimacy of the public realm.128 “Its central concern,” according to Bratton and Rothchild, “is with the intera ctive processes of bargaini ng among actors in a state and society over the permissible limits of politics.”129 They further suggested that an analysis of governance must involve “an assessment of the capacities of contending parties to promote or block regime-altering reforms.”130 As can be seen, each of these subfields of political science has adopted the concept of governance in order to explain different f acets of political reality and address varying theoretical concerns. Nevert heless, they share some commo n views on the subject. All agree that governance is maintained by the in teractions or relationship patterns between states and societies. Comparative politic s and international relations scholars are interested in the way these actors manage pol itical regimes. They acknowledge that although existing institutions cons train the nature of state-so ciety relations, these actors can change the rules of the game as sometimes occurs during a regime transition. Policy 127 See Goran Hyden, “Governan ce and the Study of Politics,” Governance and Politics in Africa eds. Goran Hyden and Michael Bratton (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992): 5; David Rothchild, “Conclusion: Management of Conflict in West Africa,” Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in West Africa ed. I. William Zartman (Washington: Broo kings Institute Pres s, 1998): 198-199. 128 Hyden, “Governance and the Study of Politics,” 7. 129 Bratton and Rothchild, “The Institutional Bases of Governance in Africa,” 270. 130 Ibid

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48 analysts and practitioners are less interested in regime change and management. They tend to view governance as the way state-soci ety actors negotiate a nd arrive at policy decisions within given institutions. However, some policy scholars argue that in order to understand these decision-making processes, one must also evaluate the institutional frameworks within which they are made and th e ways in which these can be altered. This dissertation accepts many of the insights offered by these varying approaches. Consequently, governance is underst ood here to be the way states and societies interact in order to manage their regimes and reach policy decisions within these mutually accepted rules of the game. Hyden suggests that in order to study governance, one must analyze 1) how citizens participate in the political process, influen ce their political repres entatives and oversee their actions; 2) how political leaders respond to the demands of their constituents; and 3) whether citizens are equal participants in the political game.131 In addition, Rothchild suggests that one analyze the nature and in tensity of the demands made by different actors on the political system.132 Unfortunately, few studies have tried to study these issues systematically. As a result, the li terature on governance has been constrained to the level of theory and has been applied on rarely. This dissertation will contribute to this body of literature by presenting a cas e study analysis of governance. Although theories of governance have been presented as an alternative to those on democracy, particularly by comparativists, the two approaches need not be antithetical. Their difference lies mostly in their focus. The democratization l iterature explores the 131 Goran Hyden, “Governance and the Study of Politics,” 14-16. 132 Ibid

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49 various factors that affect the performance a nd longevity of democracies. Consequently, scholars writing within this field tend to analyze how civil societ y, political elites and institutions affect these regimes. Unfort unately, they rarely e xplore how these three factors interact with one another.133 Studies of governance, on the other hand, emphasize the relational aspect of a regime. They evalua te the nature of stat e-society interactions and then deduce the possible effects this ma y have on political institutions. Although the concept of governance is relate d to that of democracy, the two should be viewed as distinct. A democracy is a ty pe of political system characterized, among other things, by the presence of regular elect ions for choosing government officials. Although it is often assumed that those elected into office will make most or all of the relevant public decisions there, this is often not the case. Non-state actors frequently influence the policies that are developed in such systems as well as the institutions or rules of the game within which these are made. The more participatory a democracy becomes, the more societal groups affect this process. The concept of governance captures the behavioral dimension of demo cracy and the increasingly complex set of actors involved in decision-making there. This has led Hirst to suggest that his associative model of democracy is the one most compatible with the governance approach to politics because it empha sizes the ongoing co mmunication between 133 One exception is Leonardo Morlino, Democracy Between Consolidation and Crisis: Parties, Groups and Citizens in Southern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). Morlino looks at how the relationship between elites and civil society affect the legitimacy and thus longevity of a democracy. Unfortunately, he focuses almost exclusively on how political parties mediate and represent citizen interests and ignores how other organized groups in society may do the same. Although this approach advances our understanding of how non-elite, political interactions impact democratization, it may be inappropriate for other newly democratic settings where parties fail to channel citizen demands.

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50 governors and governed.134 Yet the applicability of governance is not limited to democracies. It can be used to analyze th e relational processes that occur within any regime. Democracies, when understood in their mi nimalist sense, may be sustained by various models of governance. The stat e-centered model is the most common and traditional form of governance. The state te nds to dominate decision-making in these settings to the exclusion of most societal groups. Consequently, most policies and institutions are designed in an authoritarian, hierarchical and exclusionary manner. Although this style of governance may be pres ent in a country that has adopted formal democratic structures (i.e., a constitution, el ections, etc.), it is not compatible with a deeper or consolidated democracy because social actors generally are excluded from political participation and po litical elites remain unresponsive to them. This may limit the legitimacy of the regime and cause it to be unstable. Countries like Honduras that have recently made a transition to democracy tend to be characterized by this form of governance. At the other end of the spect rum lies the society-centered model of governance. In such settings, public decisi on-making occurs in diffuse nodes comprised of multiple societal actors. The state, though present, is too weak vis a vis society to perform key decision-making tasks. A lthough this style of governance is highly participatory, it too may be incompatible with democracy if the social groups who make most policy decisions are unknown or not accoun table to voters. Moreover, these social actors may themselves be organized in a high ly hierarchical and undemocratic manner. 134 Paul Hirst, “Democ racy and Governance,” Debating Governance: Authority, Steering and Democracy ed. Jon Pierre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and Paul Hirst, Associative Democracy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994).

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51 When taken to the extreme, this style of governance can breed political anarchy and destabilize a political regime. In between th ese two ideal-types lie various shades of governance. No one style of governance is co mpatible with all se ttings. Citizens and political elites must determine jointly the mo st appropriate form of governance for them. But for a democracy to be stable, a state a nd societal actors must cooperate with one another on an equal footing in order to mana ge their regime and public affairs. This suggests, as Hyden has noted, that the mo re governance is characterized by trust, reciprocity, authority and accountability, the mo re legitimate a political regime will be.135 Since the hierarchical or state-cente red model of governance has been the traditional way of organizing and interpreting political relationships and continues to characterize many existing regimes, Pierre a nd Peters suggest that it be used as the benchmark against which newer, emerging models of governance should be assessed.136 But the use of this model s hould not preclude an analysis of society. Indeed Peters argues that studies of governance sh ould begin with a focus on society.137 This is particularly critical in case s such as Honduras where civil society has traditionally been weak. One must approach a study of govern ance there by analyzing the strength of different social groups and the ways they are interacting with politic al elites (e.g., through confrontation, negotiation, clientelism, etc). Only then can one determine how society is challenging a hierarchical stat e and forcing it to open new ch annels of participation. 135 Hyden, “Governance and the Study of Politics.” 136 Pierre and Peters, Governance, Politics and the State 14-18. 137 B. Guy Peters, “Governance and Comparative Politics,” Debating Governance: Authority, Steering and Democracy ed. Jon Pierre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000): 49.

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52 This dissertation acknowledges that g overnance occurs at multiple levels.138 In the international arena, it involves establishing and maintaining institutions or rules of the game that enable cooperation a nd the peaceful resolution of conf licts. At a national level, it helps maintain constitutional laws and arrive at public decisions that are made within these legal parameters. Governance is also relevant at the subnati onal level. Citizens may negotiate with local government author ities the proper conduct of politics and may determine the types of policies that are to be implemented in their communities.139 Although the nature of governance in any one of these levels may impact what occurs in another, this need not always be the case. St ates and social actors may maintain distinct relationship patterns in different settings. For example, although civil society may play a prominent role in the maintenance of national, democratic institutions, they may be excluded from participating in key, decision-ma king processes at the lo cal level. Such a scenario could lead to the partia l consolidation of democracy. Conclusion This chapter has reviewed four seemingly di stinct bodies of theory to see how they may inform our understanding of political cha nge in Honduras afte r Hurricane Mitch. The literature on disasters suggest s that crisis events can serv e as catalysts for political transformation, but it fails to specify how this might occur. Although some studies have shown that pre-existing groups are strengthened and new one s emerge after a disaster, both tend to disappear once the emergency peri od has passed. Consequently, there is no 138 This point has been made by David Rothchild, “Conclusion: Management of Conflict in West Africa,” 197 Pierre and Peters, Governance, Politics and the State 139 For a recent analysis of some of the problems associated with local governance see Mike Raco and John Flint, “Communities, places and In stitutional Relations: Assessing the Role of Area-Based Community Representation in Local Governance,” Political Geography 20:5 (June 2001): 585-612.

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53 strong evidence to show that disasters aff ect civil society. Ne vertheless, mass-based groups have arisen and become politically activ e in some countries during the years after such a crisis. This suggests that other factor s, not merely the experi ence of disaster, must contribute to this development. Since bilate ral, multilateral and NGO assistance often are channeled to victims after a disa ster, this chapter has explored how the presence of either one of these can affect a soci o-political environment. The literature on foreign aid notes that donor countries and instit utions often pressure aid-re cipient governments to alter existing political practices or structures by conditioning their aid and disseminating a particular development discourse. NGOs may al so affect socio-politi cal processes at the grass-roots level by encouragi ng target groups to organize and become more politically active. When viewed together, these three bod ies of literature suggest that bilateral and multilateral donors may lead to political chan ge through their effect on government while disasters and NGOs may achieve the same by af fecting the nature and activity of civil society. In order to determine whether thes e changes arose in Honduras, this dissertation has adopted the theoretical lens of governance. Governance theories a ssert that both state and societal actors affect public policies and in stitutions. Thus an analysis of political change, when approached from this perspective, must consider the nature of both of these groups of actors and the pattern of interactions that exists be tween them. This theoretical focus should reveal whether and how the expe rience of disaster and the advent of aid affected the Honduran political system.

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54 CHAPTER 3 A HISTORY OF HONDURAN GOVERNANCE Introduction Governance has been an el itist and state-centric pr ocess throughout most of Honduran history. Intra-elite bargaining, periodic civil wars and the economic influence of foreign interests determined political decision-making during the first century after independence. Honduran society remained atomized, unorganized and detached from politics during this period. Vibrant, mass-based, social or ganizations began to emerge during the mid-twentieth century and quickly challenged elite, political hegemony. Initially, these groups succeeded in obtaining some concessions from the state through intense public protest. However, they remained excluded from the decision-making process. As Honduran civil society developed, diversified and strength ened, its repertoire of demands grew to include calls for institut ional change. The state and political elites reacted to this continual mass pressure through a vari ety of tactics, including acquiescence, cooptation, repressi on and the extension of poli tical representation. Each of these responses impacted the strength a nd unity of civil society and their its demand for greater political inclusion. This chapte r traces the developmen t of Honduran civil society, its participation in po litics and the state’s responsiveness to it. It will end by discussing the nature of Honduran gove rnance on the eve of Hurricane Mitch. Early Civil Society Honduran civil society remained atomized and undeveloped throughout most of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The prevalence of small farm, subsistence-

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55 oriented agricultural activities during this pe riod kept most citizens isolated from each other and more interested in survival than in socio-political issues. Caudillo politics and occasional armed conflicts further discouraged social organization.1 Unlike other Latin American countries, Honduras’ wealthy and elite classes also remained divided.2 This is due to the fact that no bour geoisie or significant landed o ligarchy ever developed here.3 Elite families continued to engage in feudal economic activities much as they had during colonial times and did not take advantage of the capitalist opportunities associated with export-led growth.4 Although elites established some social clubs during the nineteenth and early twentieth century,5 these were dedicated primarily to leisure activities and did not encourage broader socio-politic al organization and mobilization. The country’s first civil soci ety groups emerged during th e early twentieth century. Mutual aid societies prolifer ated during the early 1900’s such that by 1927 approximately twenty of them existed in the country. Most of these organizations were based in the capital. None sought to vindicate workers’ righ ts or challenge the existing socio-political structure. Members merely helped each othe r confront periods of personal crisis brought on by illness, unemployment or death. More belligerent workers’ groups arose during this time in the export-oriented, mining and ba nana enclaves that ha d been established in 1 This view is also supported by Daro A. Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic: Region and State in Honduras, 1870-1972 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996): 45 2Ibid 49. 3 Daro A. Euraque, “La ‘reforma liberal’ en Honduras y la hiptesis de la oligarqua ausente’:1870-1930,” Revista de Historia 23 (January-June 1991): 7-56. 4 Daro A. Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidad y raza en la historia de Honduras: ensayos (Tegucigalpa: Ediciones Subirana, 1996):46. 5 Alberto Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos en Honduras 1900-1950 (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 1997): 91-99.

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56 Honduras at the end of the 1880’s. Employ ees of the Rosario Mining Company staged one of the country’s first strikes in 1 909 in demand of higher wages. Although the movement was repressed and its participants jailed, miners con tinued to engage in similar acts of protest in 1912, 1932, 1947 and during the early 1950’s.6 Strikes first occurred in the Northern Coast banana plantations in 1916 and recurred thereafter with increasing frequency and worker participation. However, most of these labor activities remained isolated from each other.7 Existing workers’ groups coalesced into two labor federations during the 1920’s.8 The Federacin Obrera Hondurea (FOH, Honduran Workers’ Federation) was constituted in 1921 by twenty-five labor gr oups from both the Northern Coast and interior of the country. Initia lly, this organization was not very belligerent, and its leader was easily coopted by the Liberal Party during the 1926 municipal elections.9 This caused the more militant, Northern Coast labor unions who formed part of this federation to disassociate themselves from it and form the Federacin de Sociedades Obreras del Norte in 1926. Three years later, they together with other dissident members of the FOH established the Federacin Sindical Hondurea (FSH, Sindicated Workers’ Federation). 6 Mario Argueta, Historia de los sin historia (Tegucigalpa: Guaymuras, 1992): 15-26. 7 Mario Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones sindicales de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Estudio de Artes Graficas, 1987): 1-15; Argueta, Historia de los sin historia ; and Pablo Yankelevich, Honduras (Mexico, D.F.: Alianza Editorial, 1988): 200-201 and 210-12. 8 Unless otherwise stated, the following discussion of the FOH and FSH is derived from Argueta, Historia de los sin historia ; Yankelevich, Honduras 203-217; Mario Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero Hondureno (Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio : Editorial Universitaria Centroam ericana, 1981): 83-89; Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 1566; and Ernesto Paz Aguilar and Miguel Pineda, Origenes, desarrollo y posibilidades de la socialdemocracia en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1986): 10. 9 Rina Villars, “La Sociedad Cultura Femenina,” Entre Amigas: Antologa (1992-1997) ed. Blanca Guifarro (Tegucigalpa: Guardabarranco, 1999): 394-395.

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57 This new labor federation was influenced by Communist ideology and led by Communist Party activists.10 The FOH, on the other hand, now mainly composed of groups from the interior of the country, came to be influen ced by social democratic thinking. In 1931 its leaders founded the Socialist Revolutionary Part y, an anti-Bolshevik group. Both the FOH and FSH sponsored several strikes duri ng the 1920’s and early 1930’s in demand of national legislation to protect worker’s rights and better working conditions. The FSH also encouraged the formation of peasant leagues.11 All of this activity became possible, as Euraque has noted, because “labor agit ators …at least until 1930, did not suffer the systematic repression from the state visite d on labor elsewhere in Central America.”12 Unfortunately, neither the FSH nor the FOH were able to achieve any long lasting benefits for their members. President Meja Colindres (1928-1932) began repressing strikes along the Northern Coast in 1930.13 This state repression was heightened after 1932 when Tiburcio Caras came to power. By the 1940’s the FOH, FSH and peasant leagues that had been established during this period had ceased to exist. Its members either had been incarcerat ed, killed or exiled. Female socio-political organization increas ed also during the early 1900’s. In 1913 a group of women formed the League of Cent ral American National Defense to protest U.S. imperialist activities in the region. This group receiv ed so much support that it 10 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 37 and Rina Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo: Sufragismo y feminismo en la historia de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 2001): 208-209 and 241-242. 11 Mario Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Estudio de Artes Grficas, 19??):6-7 12 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 38. 13 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 58 and Rina Villars, “La Sociedad Cultura Femenina.”

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58 established a national and several municipal-level committees.14 Another group of women established a mutual aid society, the Sociedad de Cultura Femenina (Feminine Culture Society), in 1926. This group transc ended its self-help orie ntation shortly after its founding and began organizing meetings that allowed women to discuss their country’s socio-political real ity and the need to end both caudillismo and political violence. Some members became influe nced by communist ideology. In 1929 the Sociedad de Cultura Femenina together with a few female labor unions that had been established during the same decade helped f ound the communist-inspired FSH. The First National Women’s Assembly was held the foll owing year. Those present resolved to demand new laws that would protect female workers and join other laborers in the struggle for better working conditions.15 Interestingly, these early wo men’s groups worked more in defense of labor rights than to secure female suffrage. Although th eir closeness to unions and leftist political organizations partly explains the former activ ity, their relative indifference to advancing women’s formal political incorporation seem s curious. A handful of liberal-minded politicians had been arguing for the need to extend voting rights to women since 1894; yet, females showed little support for such measures during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.16 Villars theorizes that women were uninspired to seek their own suffrage during this period because th ey associated voting with caudillismo and political violence. 14 Villars, Para la casa 232-242. 15 Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo chapter 3. 16 For a detailed discussion of the history of women’s suffrage in Honduras see Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo.

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59 Rather than participate in these often chao tic events, women chose to secure political progress through other, peaceful forms of political activity.17 Although women achieved a significant am ount of organization during the 1920’s and 1930’s, the groups they established were short-lived and met w ith little political success. The Sociedad de Cultura Femenina remained in existence for only seven years. Neither this nor any of the other female la bor union in the country was able to pass any significant workers’ legislati on during this perio d. Women’s groups ei ther were branded as communist or were not taken seriously by most of the political establishment. When the state’s anti-labor repression increased during the 1930’s, women’ s organizations fell into inactivity and eventually ceased to exist. The Camara de Comercio e Industria de Tegucigalpa (CCIT or Tegucigalpa’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry) was the only civil society gr oup established during the early twentieth century th at persisted beyond this pe riod. The CCIT was organized due to state initiative, howe ver, and not strong business organization. An incipient bourgeoisie class had begun to emerge in H onduras during the early twentieth century with the immigration of Christian Arabs (p rimarily Palestinians). Anti-immigrant legislation passed during the 1920’ s and 1930’s had encouraged th ese foreigners to invest in new economic activities or face deportation.18 This legislation enabled Arabs to gain almost complete control of the growing im port and export commercial sector and become an incipient bourgeoisie class.19 Despite their financial power, these immigrants were 17 Villars, Para la casa 226-231 and 402-408. 18 Daro A. Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidad y raza en la historia de Honduras: ensayos (Tegucigalpa: Ediciones Subirana, 1996): 54. 19 Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidad ; Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 33; and Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos 111-128.

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60 excluded from participating in Honduran high society20 and prohibited from engaging in political activities well into the 1940’s.21 During that decade, the relationship between Arabs and the state began to improve partly due to the monetary support some Arabs extended to President Caras and the pers onal relationship that they consequently established with him.22 In 1947 Caras passed legisl ation that created the CCIT. Initially, the CCIT was composed primarily of Arab businessmen; it was very conservative in orientation and easily manipulated by the state.23 As a result, it did not represent a significant counterwe ight to the state’s monopoly of governance. Moreover, the CCIT did not help extend the political rights of Arabs, its original constituents, nor unite business groups of different racial backgrounds during its first few years of existence. Business groups did not begin to organize and unite politically until the late 1950’s, and Arabs were not gr anted suffrage nor allowed more formal participation in the Honduran political system until the 1960’s.24 Despite its weak and state-initiated origin, the CCIT developed into an active, independent civil society group by the late 1950’s. It represents one of the first organizations to formally link the country’s bourgeoisie to the state. As the first half of the tw entieth century came to a close, Honduras had developed only a weak civil society. The few labor groups that had arisen during the 1910’s and 20 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic and Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos 88-91. 21 Some Arabs were granted citizenship directly by the executive before this time (See Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos 84-87). However, these opportunities were not extended to the Arab population in general. 22 Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos 96-101. 23 James Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics in Ho nduras,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of New Mexico, 1977, 76-77. 24 Amaya, Los rabes y Palestinos 98.

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61 1920’s had been repressed to the point of ex tinction. This violence also had weakened women’s groups who had maintained a close rela tionship with labor. The country’s elite classes had failed to form a unified group. Th e only business organizations that had been created arose due to state in itiative and excluded most na tive Hondurans. The weakness of civil society during the first half of the twentieth century enabled the state, or rather, key individuals within the st ate, to dominate public decision-making. Although this style of governance would persist for several decades, the nature of state-society relations would begin to change during the 1950’s with the rise of new citiz en groups willing to defend their rights and demand greater state responsiveness to them. The Development of Civil Society (1950’s-1960’s) The Honduran political landscape changed si gnificantly with the end of Caras dictatorship and election of President Ju an Manuel Glvez in 1948. Citizens enjoyed greater associational freedom and both old a nd new political parties were (re)organized. By the 1950’s mass-based, citizen groups had gath ered enough social capital to burst onto the political scene demanding more responsive st ate policies. Revive d or newly-created political parties tried to tap into this political resource by further organizing popular groups, channeling their discont ent and representing new citizen demands. Eventually, this invigorated civil society and more res ponsive political society gave birth to a new period of governance in Honduras—one in which social groups pressured the state more effectively than ever before, found greater political represen tation and sometimes succeeded in getting their demands met. Women were among the first to organize and become politically active during the mid-20th century. Female residents from the capital established two political pressure groups in the early 1940’s: the Frente Femenil Pro-Legalidad (Female Pro-Legality

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62 Front) and the Comit Pro-Liberacin de Presos Polticos (Committee Pro-Liberation of Political Prisoners). Members of both of these organizations were mainly wives of prominent Liberal Party leaders who had been jailed, exiled or otherwise persecuted during the Caras dictatorship.25 These Liberal Party sympathizers wrote petitions and staged street marches requesting the return of political exiles, the release of political prisoners, a free press, free el ections and Caras’ resignation from office. The president responded to these protests by placing dem onstrators under house arrest, cutting their homes’ water and electricity supply or imprisoning them.26 Although the women who participated in these events were not explicit ly trying to secure thei r formal incorporation into national politics, their wi llingness to publicly critici ze the government inadvertently advanced such a process. While Honduran women were calling for de mocracy and greater political freedom on the streets of Tegucigalpa, international organizations we re pressuring the government to extend female political participation. In ter-American organizations dedicated to promoting women’s suffrage established natio nal chapters in Honduras during the early 1940’s. Female intellectuals as well as the wives of prominent poli ticians joined these groups and began publishing magazine articles on women’s right to vote. International pressure for women’s political rights was heightened at the end of this decade when the United Nations passed the Universal Declara tion of the Rights of Man (1948) and Latin American states ratified the Conventi on on Women’s Political Rights (1948)—two documents that affirmed women’s right to vote. New Hondu ran political parties 25 Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo 309-312. 26 Ibid and Mario Argueta, Tiburcio Caras: anatoma de una poca, 1923-1948 (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 1990): 304-305.

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63 responded to this changing political clim ate by advocating female suffrage. The Partido Democrtico Revolucionario Hondureno (PDRH or Honduran Revolutionary Democratic Party) was founded in 1946 from an anti-Cara s movement that female organizations had initiated during the early part of that decad e. The PDRH recognized women’s political contributions, partly owed its creation to it and hoped to benefit from their electoral strength. Existing women’s groups united in 1951 to form the Federacin de Asociaciones Femeninas de Honduras (FAFH or Federation of Female Associations of Honduras). The FAFH eventually became the largest and most politically active women’s organization in the country. Th e FAFH held workshops and published educational material to raise consciousn ess among Honduran women on their political rights. They also lobbied the government and several political leader s for new legislation granting female suffrage. The Honduran Na tional Congress finally acceded to their demands in 1954.27 Although this legislation wa s never signed into law by a democratically-elected president, Julio Lozano Daz respected the spirit of this legislation by granting women suffrage in 1955 through Decree Law #29.28 Student groups also become more politic ally active during the 1950’s. A student government association, the Federacin de Estudiantes Universitarios de Honduras 27 Before the executive could sign this legislation into law, the country entered a political crisis. Presidential elections were held late in 1954 and no ca ndidate obtained a majority of the votes cast. Liberal Villeda Morales who garnered a plurality of the votes had declared his commitment to female suffrage. This political stance was undoubtedly influenced by his wife who had been an activists in the FAFH. Since the newly elected congress would not agree to nominate Villeda or any other candidate as the new president, Vice President Lozano Daz declared himself the de facto head of state. Lozano’s wife was also a member of FAFH and pressured him to extend the vote to women. Since the constitutional order had been disrupted, Lozano Diaz could not approve Co ngress’s recent law extending female suffrage. Therefore, he legalized women’s electoral participation through decree law #29 in 1955. 28 The information reported in this paragraph is derived from Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo chapters 4 and 5 and an interview with Mara Elbina Elvir, FAFH president, November 2, 2000.

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64 (FEUH), had existed since the first half of th e twentieth century in order to represent the interests of those enrolled in the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Honduras (UNAH). Initially, the FEUH limited its act ivities to the university setting and to matters involving the student body. However, this began to change during the 1950’s. The FEUH began publishing a humorist newspaper in 1956 that sharply criticized the Lozano Daz government. Lozano responded by shutting down the paper and exili ng several student leaders. University students organized a ma ssive street march to protest this event and demand an end to the Lozano dictatorship. Although the march was repressed,29 students were unabated. A few months after the marc h FEUH members together with a faction of the military sympathetic to their cause t ook over an army barrack in the heart of Tegucigalpa. Troops loyal to the presid ent quickly put down the insurrection and arrested its participants.30 But this only postponed the inevitable: Lozano Daz was deposed by a military coup just a few months later. The 1956 coup against Lozano Daz as well as the rise in military tensions w ith Nicaragua during the following year helped rally student support for the military junt a. In April 1957 FEUH even organized a meeting headed by members of the military in order to raise nationalist sentiments and increase student enlistment in the armed forces.31 But university st udent support for the military was short-lived. In 1959 university students together with members of the Liberal Party took up arms in order to defend reformist President Villeda Morales against 29 Longino Becerra, Evolucin histrica de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Baktun Editorial, 1998): 163. 30 Matas Funes, Los deliberantes: el poder militar en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1995): 182-189; Stefania Natalini de Castro et al, Significado histrico del gobierno del Dr. Ramn Villeda Morales (Tegucigalpa: Universidad Nacional Autonoma, 1985): 47. 31 Funes, Los deliberantes 191.

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65 an attempted military coup.32 By then, the FEUH had come to be controlled by a new, Marxist student front known as the Frente de Reforma Universitaria (FRU). NonMarxists groups inspired by either the right -wing of the Nationalis t Party or by Social Christian doctrine had also been formed in 1958 and 1959 in order to vie for control of the FEUH.33 This further politicized the unive rsity student body and increased the FEUH’s involvement in broader national politics These student groups would give rise to a broader Social Christian movement in Honduras and to the establishment of the Christian Democratic Party during the 1960’s. They would also become active in supporting the organization and political act ivity of new labor and peasant groups. While females organized through the FAFH and university students increased their political activity, workers had be gun reorganizing throughout Honduras. The Glvez administration (1948-1954) had allowed labor groups to emerge in the interior of the country and form a broad coalition, the Comit Coordinador Obrero (Workers’ Coordinating Committee), in 1950. This organization began publishing a newspaper that spoke of the need for new labor laws, free uni ons and a social security system. Not all labor groups were permitted such freedom of speech and association, however. Workers organizations from the Northern Coast bana na plantations, the mining sector and other capitalist enterprises continued to be repre ssed during the Glvez administration. Foreign owned companies either used private armed guards to squash incipient labor unions or easily influenced local police un its and military bodies within th e still fragmented state to 32 Andr-Marcel d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, de un estado, trans. Albert LePienne (Tegucigalpa: Renal Video Production, 1998): 211. 33 Robert Anthony White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development: The Church and the Peasant in Honduras,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1977: 111.

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66 assist them in this process. President Galvz, a former United Fruit Company lawyer, either condoned or did nothing to end thes e abuses. Despite this labor repression, workers outside the capital continued to orga nize. A handful of leaders tried educating workers on their rights and succeeded in esta blishing a few, clandestine, labor groups during this period. 34 Worker discontent erupted in a massive strike in 1954.35 The protest originated with workers of the Tela Railroad Company, a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company (UFCO), who were being forced to work on holidays but not being paid extra for their labor. The strike opened a flood gate of work er discontent. Protesters demanded better working conditions, a wage increase, double pa y for work on Sundays and holidays, the right to unionize and national labo r legislation. Within three days the strike had spread to all of UFCO’s 25,000 employees. A few days later the 10,000 workers from the Standard Fruit Company (SFCO) joined the struggle, e ffectively bringing most of the North Coast to a standstill. Workers’ from other parts of the country joined the st rike soon thereafter. Small business owners, teachers, women’s or ganizations and student groups expressed their solidarity with the move ment through their moral and financial support. The PDRH and recently reorganized Communist Party played a key role in encouraging this national strike. Mainstream political parties, on the other hand, initially reacted both negatively 34 Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero Hondureo 48-54, 123-129 and 134-142. 35 For more information on the 1954 strike see Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero Hondureo 130-185; Mario Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical en Honduras 1954-65 (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 5-9; Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera: los 69 das que estremecieron a Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1995); Agapito Robledo Castro, 40 aos despus: la verdad de la huelga de 1954 y de la formacin del SITRATERCO (Tegucigalpa: Ediciones del SEDAL, 1995); Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo (Tegucigalpa, Honduras : Editorial Guaymuras, 1980); and Robert MacCameron, Bananas,Labor and Politics in Honduras: 1954-1963 Foreign and Comparative Studies / Latin American Seri es No.5 (Syracuse: Syr acuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 1983).

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67 and defensively to this protest. Since 1954 was an election year, Nationalist President Glvez did not respond to this popular movement with the same leve l of repression that he had used against labor in the past. Ho wever, he did use state force to replace the members of the combative Comit Central de Huelga (Central Strike Committee) with a more conciliatory group of leaders. Presid ent Glvez then mediated negotiations between the Comit Central de Huelga and company executives, effec tively bringing an end to the strike after sixty-nine days of protest. Employers agreed to increase workers salaries by 10-15% (not the 50% that had been request ed), improve working conditions and cede other concessions. Meanwhile, President Glv ez agreed to create a Ministry of Labor and grant workers the right to organize. Northern Coast laborers were among the firs t to unionize. SFCO and Tela Railroad Company workers established two separate uni ons just months after the 1954 strike’s end: the Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Tela Railroad Company (SITRATERCO) and the Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company (SITRAFRUSCO). The SITRATERCO was organized and its leader ship trained with the assistance of the American Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) and the Inter-American Regional Labor Organization ( Organizacin Regional Interamericana del Trabajadores ORIT). The U.S. government influenced these foreign la bor organizations. Th ey, therefore, tried steering Honduran labor groups away from co mmunist ideas and teaching them how to work within existing political and socio-ec onomic structures. As a result of such training, the SITRATERCO limited its str uggle to obtaining mode rate economic and social benefits for its members.36 The SITRAFRUSCO, on the other hand, was 36 Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, AIFLD in Central America: Agents as Organizers (Albuquerque: InterHemispheric Resource Cent er, 1990): 39-43; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 100-109;

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68 influenced by communist ideology and was more belligerent in demanding workers’ rights. The state responded very differently to these two organizations. The leaders of the SITRATERCO were offered training, U.S. backed housing loans and posts as congressional deputies while those of the SITRAFRUSC O were beaten, imprisoned periodically and some even killed.37 Despite their differing ideo logies and relationship with the state, these two unions joined togeth er towards the end of 1954 in order to form the Federacin Sindical de Trabajad ores Norteos de Honduras (FESITRANH or Honduran Syndicated Federation of North Coas t Workers). Twenty-five additional labor unions joined this federation by 1963 effectiv ely bringing all worker s from the Northern Coast banana plantations under one organization.38 The FESITRANH soon became the strongest labor federation in the countr y. Like the SITRATERCO, the FESITRANH received significant support from the AFL-CI O and the ORIT. However, it did not force a particular ideological orientation on its member unions and tolerated significant diversity. Although the 1954 strike had originated and most impacted North Coast workers, laborers elsewhere in the country benefited fr om its occurrence. New unions emerged in the central and southern part of Honduras during the later half of the 1950’s. These represented a variety of smaller business se ctors: construction workers, mechanics, Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical 11; Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 99102; and Mario Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1987): 12. 37 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 109-110; Mario Posas and Rafael del Cid, La construccin del sector pblico y del estad nacional de Honduras, 1876-1979 (Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, Costa Rica: Editori al Universitaria Centroamericana, 1981): 122-126 and Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 101 and 104-105. 38 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 109-111 and Natalini de Castro et al., Significado histrico 109.

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69 tailors, shoemakers, theater workers, etc. Those unions based pr imarily in the capital formed the Federacin de Sindicatos del Centro de Honduras (Federation of Syndicates from the Center of Honduras) in 1958. The federation demanded a Labor Code, the observance of a minimum wage law, the right to strike and social be nefits for workers. Although state-centered, political elites had liberalized sign ificantly from the preceding decades, they were unprepared to accept such demands. Some politicians and business leaders began accusing members of the Federacin de Sindicatos del Centro of being communists. Although President Villeda Mora les showed a willingness to work with organized labor groups and respond to some of their demands, he simultaneously wanted to purge them of any communi st ideological influences.39 Rather than use violence to achieve this goal, as some of his pred ecessor had done, Villeda passed anticommunist legislation and encouraged the ORIT to work with Honduran labor unions in order to prevent their radicalization.40 By the end of 1958 the state’s and ORIT’s efforts led to the creation of a parallel labo r federation in the interior of the country: the Federacin Central de Sindicatos de Tr abajadores Libres de Honduras (FECESITLIH or Central Federation of Free Workers’ Syndicates).41 The FECESITLIH united all labor unions from the interior of Honduras except those suspected of having a communist orientation. The FECESITLIH was relatively docile and non -confrontational with the state during its first years of existence. Moreover, its creation weakened the internally divided 39 Villeda Morales passed several anticommunist laws in order to prevent the radicalization of the Honduran labor force. 40 Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical 33-36. 41 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 111.

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70 Federacin de Sindicatos del Centro and helped assure its quick demise. However, the FECESITLIH did not go unchallenged for long. The Federacin Autentica Sindical de Honduras (FASH of Authentic Federation of Honduran Syndicates) was established in 1963 by a group of unions dissatisfied with the government friendly and ORIT-oriented FECE SITLIH. The FASH was influenced by Social Christian doctrine. It was also le ss docile and less suscep tible to government cooptation than the FECESITLIH and directly challenged the later group’s hegemony of working class groups in the interior of the Honduras. However, it shared the FECESITLIH’s concern for containing the sp read of communism among working class groups.42 The FASH quickly spread to the Southe rn part of Honduras where it built on the Catholic Church’s radio schools and co mmunity building activit ies which had been ongoing since the 1950’s in order to orga nize both labor and peasant groups.43 Less than a decade after the 1954 national st rike, Honduran workers from all parts of the country had united to form local and regional level syndicates. By the 1960’s Honduras had the largest numb er of unionized workers in all of Central America.44 Organized labor became such a significant pol itical force in the country by 1959 that the government of Villeda Morales was forced to placate their demands by creating a Social Security System and passing both a Collectiv e Bargaining Law and the country’s first Labor Code.45 42 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 117 and White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” 113. 43 White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development.” 44 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 97-99. 45 Natalini de Castro et al., Significado histrico 103-109.

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71 Initially, business leaders remained atomi zed and politically inactive relative to labor's growing strength. Politi cal elites within the state were forced to seek out business leaders and obtain their opini on on certain issues. In 1957, for example, the recently installed military j unta instructed the National Elec tion Council to incorporate people appointed by the commercial, industrial, agricu ltural and cattlemen a ssociations into its membership. That same year, the Constituent Assembly consulted members of these same groups on the government’s economic policy.46 Encouraged by this political opening, business leaders and large landowners began establishing formal organizations that could both coalesce and represent their interests before the st ate as well as counter workers’ demands. Landed elites formed the Asociacin Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Honduras (ANAGH or National Associati on of Agricultural Workers and Cattlemen) in 1957. That same year Northern Coast businessmen formed a regional chamber of commerce, the Camara de Comercio e Industria de Corts (CCIC), in 1957. The CCIC was more progressive and less pron e to comply with government directives than the CCIT, the chamber of commerce established by Caras. The country’s industrialists also coalesced in 1958 to form the Asociacin Nacional de Industriales (ANDI or National Associati on of Industrialists). A lthough ANAGH dissolved within three years of its creation, ANDI, CCIC and CCI T quickly grew in pol itical strength and activity. All of these business groups expre ssed their opposition to the 1959 Labor Code. Although they did not prevent the law’s passage, they were able to eliminate those 46 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 62-63.

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72 clauses that they deemed most harmful to their interests and thus counter labor demands.47 The labor organizations th at arose within Honduran capitalist enclaves during the 1950’s spread to the agrarian sector of th e country the following decade and directly contributed to the rise of peas ant associations. Th e origins of the count ry’s first peasant groups can be traced to the massive layoffs of UFCO and SFCO workers during the late 1950’s. Just two months after the 1954 nati onal strike had been concluded, a hurricane ravished the Northern Coast of Honduras, de stroying most banana plantations there. Foreign fruit companies claimed that they c ould not bear the costs of both the disaster and recent labor concessions. They responded to both events by laying-off thousands of employees. By 1959 UFCO and SFCO employed le ss than half of the workers they had had in 1953.48 The companies used this post-hurricane labor restructuring as an excuse to dismiss its most militant and leftist labor leaders. Although these layoffs had the immediate effect of reducing the numerical strength and militancy of the Honduran labor movement, it inadvertently spread popular unrest to the countrys ide. Landless and unemployed, former banana company worker s tapped into their pub lic protest and union forming experience in order to organize peasant groups that could pressure the government for farmland. Communist-leaning, former strike leaders established the Comit Central de Unificacin Campesina (CCUC or Central Committee for Peasant Union) in 1959. The group began occupying la nds that had been abandoned by Northern 47 Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics,” 76-79; Posas and del Cid, La construccin del sector pblico 119 and Natalini de Castro et al., Significado histrico 103-109. 48 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 102; Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical 9; and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 97.

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73 Coast businesses during preceding years. The CCUC was transformed into the Federacin Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras (FENACH or National Federation of Honduran Peasants) in 1962. Like its predecessor, FENACH had a Communist orientation and was very critical of existi ng land tenure relations in Honduras. It took much of its inspiration from the still r ecent Cuban Revolution and quickly grew to represent approximately 15,000 members.49 The Villeda Morales government responde d to FENACH’s creation by encouraging the establishment of a new, anti-communist peasant group: the Asociacin Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras (ANACH or National Associati on of Honduran Peasants). ANACH was created towards th e end of 1962 as a result of the top-down organizing work of the FESITRANH, the AFL-CIO and ORIT.50 It also received support from the Unites States Agency of International Development (USAID).51 The group tried to contain both the prolifer ation of communism and radicalization of unemployed and landless agricultural workers in Honduras. Initially, ANACH was lit tle more than an appendage of the FESITRANH. The later gr oup curtailed any inde pendent or innovative steps that the former undert ook. During the late 1960’s, fo r example, ANACH leaders began establishing a close relationship with university professors and students in the hopes that these could council th em on agrarian issues. These measures were quickly 49 Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 11-13; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 119-120; and Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic ,103. 50 Barry and Preusch, AIFLD in Central America 40-42 and Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics,” 167. 51 White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” 177.

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74 labeled as leftist by the FESITRANH’s lead ership. ANACH’s executive committee was forcefully replaced, and all relations w ith the university were discontinued.52 Meanwhile, the Catholic Church encouraged the organization of peasant groups in the Southern part of the country. The Ca tholic Church had initiated a radio school program and begun training lay spiritual leader s (i.e., Delegates of the Word) here during the 1950s. Initially, these activ ities were undertaken in orde r to increase the Catholic Church’s presence in rural communities, deep en people’s Catholic faith and contain the spread of both Protestantism and Communism. In order to achieve the later, the Catholic Church encouraged the faithful to organize peasant leagues, women’s clubs and other self-help groups that coul d address the existing social problems in the country.53 But these grass-roots organizations were unable to confront the dramatic increase in landlessness caused by the state-sponsored e xpansion of non-traditi onal exports in the South during the 1950’s and 1960’s.54 Some peasants responded to these events by occupying privately-held properties and nego tiating better land access with the national government. Although some peasants from S outhern Honduras were granted provisional land titles as a result of this activity, they were unable to secure broader gains for the 52 Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 20-21 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 120-121. 53 White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” an d Rodolfo Cardenal, “The Catholic Church and the Politics of Accomadation in Honduras,” Church and Politics in Latin America ed. Dermot Keogh (London: Macmillan, 1990): 187-204. 54 Susan Stonich, “I am Destroying the Land!” Political Ecology of Poverty and Environmental Destruction in Honduras (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993): 66-76; Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics,” 157-160; Robert G. Williams, Export Agriculture and the Crisis in Central America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986) and J. Mark Ruhl, “Agrarian Structure and Political Stability in Honduras,” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 26:1 (February 1984): 39-41; and White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” 172-175.

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75 peasant population in their area.55 The FASH, the country’s first Social Christian labor organization, together with several Ca tholic-inspired community groups began organizing landless peasants here more forma lly during the early 1960’s in order to better represent peasant needs before the state.56 Their actions helped give rise to a third Honduran peasant group, the Asociacin Campesina Soc ial Cristiana de Honduras (ACASCH or Social Christian Peasant Asso ciation of Honduras) in 1962. ANACH was renamed twice until it adopt ed the present title of Unin Nacional Campesina (UNC or National Peasant Union) in 1970.57 Unlike the regionally-based. Villeda Morales tried to contain peasan t militancy as well as respond to their demands by promulgating the country’s firs t agrarian reform law in 1962. The law created the Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA or National Agrarian Institute) and gave the state the authority to ex propriate unused national, ejidal58 or private property and redistribute it to individual landless peasants. Despite its stated objective, this agrarian reform law did relatively little to alleviate peasant land pressure. In 1965 about a quarter of Honduras’ rural population (over 63,000 families) was landless.59 Yet the state redistributed land to less than 9000 families dur ing the ten years that the 1962 agrarian 55 Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 16-17; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 121; and Morris, “Inter est Group Politics,” 149. 56 White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” and Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics,” 160-168. 57 There is some disagreement abou t precisely when the UNC was found ed. All agree that the group emerged sometime between 1969 and 1972. See Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 16-17. 58 Ejidal lands are held in common by towns or villages. 59 CEPAL, FAO, OIT, SIECA, IICA, Tenencia de la tierra y desarrollo rural en Centroamrica (San Jose, 1973): 70 cited in Rachel Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception and Military Rule (1972-1978),” Journal of Latin American Studies 27:1 (February 1995): 108.

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76 reform law was in effect.60 However, this legislation di d encourage reform beneficiaries to organize further. Seventy-six cooper atives with a total of 3504 members were established from 1962 to 1972.61 These coalesced into a national level Federacin de Cooperativas de la Reforma Agraria de Honduras (FECORAH or Federation of the Agrarian Reform Cooperatives of Honduras) in 1972.62 By the following year over 100,000 peasants were organized in the country.63 Conservative groups viewed the increas ing organization and militancy of both peasant and labor groups with much trepida tion. Although Villeda Mo rales had tried to weaken leftist organizations and control popul ar discontent by implementing a few social reforms, conservative groups considered his tactics to be insufficient. Popular-based groups were becoming more politically influe ntial, and they seemed sure to tilt the outcome of the 1964 election in their favor. It seemed unlikely that a conservative presidential candidate would be able to gain control of government through electoral means. This state of affairs encouraged the Honduran Armed Forces to depose Villeda Morales at the end of his term in offi ce and prevent upcoming general elections. The 1963 military coup should be underst ood as a conservative reaction to increasing student, labor and peasant activism during the preceding decade. It was followed by a major crackdown on recently formed, popular organizations. The leftist peasant group, FENACH, was brutally repres sed and effectively destroyed. Agrarian 60 Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA), Resumen bsico de los grupos campesinos beneficiarios de la reforma agraria (Tegucugalpa: INA, 1985): 5 61 Ibid. 62 Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 25. 63See White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development,” 119 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 154.

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77 reform practically ground to a halt and peas ant activism entered a period of inertia. Leaders of the communist inspired SITRAF RUSCO were forcefully replaced with conservative leaders while some of its rank a nd file members were imprisoned in order to discourage their militant activities. In spite of this persecuti on, mass-based organizations formed an even stronger union and began challenging military rule The SITRAFRUSCO, though temporarily demobilized, did not fall into inactivity. The group continued to fight for labor rights and even expanded its membership in 1964 by incorporating employees of SFCO’s port and railroad facilities. The new organization, the Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company (SUTRASFCO), represente d over 3600 workers and became more militant and leftist than in the past.64 The FECESITLIH, the relatively passive labor union that had been formed in the interior of the country with the state’s encouragement, began demanding a series of socio-economic reforms, the release of political prisoners and the retu rn of political exiles. This echoed the Liberal Party’s condemnation of the armed forces ’ unconstitutional rise to power.65 The FECESITLIH also sponsored a general strike in 1965 de manding that the military government respect and apply existing labor laws. The march wa s dissolved and the federation’s leaders were forcefully replaced by the Manch Brava a paramilitary group associated with the Nationalist Party.66 But other mass-based groups con tinued to demand political change. Two Northern Coast labor groups, the FE SITRANH and SITRATERCO, called for a 64 Mario Posas, Lucha ideologica y organizacione sindical en Honduras (1954-1965), (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 31. 65 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 125. 66 Posas and del Cid, La construccin del sector pblico 132-133 and Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical 47.

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78 return to constitutional rule and the establishment of a unity government.67 These groups further asked that they be granted direct re presentation in the new, civilian government. The military initially ignored these petitions but finally agreed to schedule elections for the end of 1965. The increasing organization and mobilizat ion of both labor and peasant groups encouraged Honduras’ business and landed elite to unite further. As was mentioned earlier, large-scale farmers a nd cattlemen had tried uniting th eir interest in 1957 through the creation of ANAGH, but the group dissolved after only thr ee years of existence. The increasing incidence of land invasions and organization of peasant groups encouraged this conservative class to reorganize again into the Federacin Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Honduras (FENAGH or National Federation of Agricultural Workers and Cattlemen) in 1966. The following year the CCIC suggested that FENAGH unite with the business and industrial groups in th e country to form a single organization that could represent their joint political needs before the state. This peak business organization was established in 1967 under the name of Corporacin Hondurea de la Empresa Privada (COHEP or Honduran Privat e Enterprise Corporation). As the preceding section reveals, H onduran civil society organized, became politically active and gained considerable concessions from the state during the 1950’s and early 1960’s. However, the right of association continued to be curtailed as the state periodically destroyed communi st-inspired organizations a nd encouraged the formation of more conciliatory ones. Despite a general political opening, civil society groups were unable to establish permanent dialog channels with the state or significantly alter the 67 Funes, Los deliberantes 241-242 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 126-127.

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79 nature of governance. When state-centered political elites granted political concessions during this period, they did so in order to appease mobilized groups and secure their support. This pattern of governance would not be altered significantly until civil society reached a more mature level of development in succeeding decades. The Growing Strength of Civil Society (1965-1974) Honduran civil society became more unified and politically active during the mid to late 1960’s. The pending retu rn to constitutional rule in 1965 and continued abuses by the military encouraged civil so ciety groups to join with gr oups outside their sector in order to maintain a constant and heightened level of political pressure on the government. Unlike the previous decade, mass-based gr oups were no longer asking for the mere vindication of their specific group rights, but for a more profound, socio-political restructuring of society. Civil society’s ne w belligerence eventually enabled it to push for the creation of a National Unity Govern ment. When this government failed to respond to needs or demands of organized groups, these called upon the military to intervene in the political pro cess. The military responded not by repressing mass based groups, as it had done in the past, but by heralding a new pha se of state-civil society relations in Honduras: a peri od of populist military rule. Peasant and labor groups began uniting acr oss their respective sectors during the 1960’s in order to form stronger, mass base d groups. The peasant group ANACH united with two labor federations—the FESITRANH and FECESITLIH—in 1964 to establish the Confederacin de Trabajadores de Honduras (CTH or Confederation of Honduran Workers). Like its members, the CTH was an ti-communist in orientation and influenced by both the ORIT and the AFL-CIO. This t ogether with the organization’s numerical strength encouraged state cente red elites to be responsive to the CTH and dialog with its

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80 leaders. The two labor federations from Southern Honduras, the FASH and FESISUR, united with the UNC, one peasant group that ex isted in the same re gion to establish the Confederacin General de Trabajadores (CGT or General Work ers Confederation) in 1970. The CGT was inspired by Social Chri stian doctrine and ma intained a close relationship with both the Catholic Church and the newly formed Christian Democratic Party. The CGT was more inclined to chal lenge the state and existing socio-economic structures than the CTH.68 Consequently, the state tried to limit its strength and ability to obtain credit by not granting it le gal recognition until the 1980’s.69 Student groups, labor unions, peasant organi zation and political parties coalesced in January 1965 to form the Comit Civico Nacional (National Civic Committee). This broad-based organization demanded an end to the military’s arbitrary attacks on citizens and sought to ensure that the constituent asse mbly to be elected in February 1965 would establish the proper basis for a de mocratic government. Although the Comit Civico Nacional was short lived, it led to two significant accomplishments. First, it assured that there was a return to constitutional rule Second, it inspired the newly elected government to grant civil societ y groups representation in the Consejo Superior de Planificacin Econmica (CONSUPLANE or Superior National Council of Economic Planning), a government agency founded in 1965.70 The 1965 Constituent Assembly elections were characterized by violence and significant voter fraud. This enabled the h ead of the armed forces, Gen. Walter Lpez 68 Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics,” 167. 69 Posas, Lucha ideolgica y organizacion sindical 51 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 129-130 and 141. 70 Funes, Los deliberantes 245-247 and Rafael Leiva, Un pas en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Imprenta Caldern, 1970): 9.

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81 Arellano, to place conservative supporters in th e Assembly and retain his control of the executive. Initially, few Liberal Party and ci vil society leaders protested these events.71 But discontent over the country’s political situation erupted in to political action after the 1968 Municipal elections. Fraud and voting irregularities had a llowed the Nationalist Party to secure 235 of the 260 mayoral seats in the country during th is later election. Labor unions and business groups jointly denoun ced these events. This represented the first time any civil society organization had protested an election in Honduras. Initially, Gen. Lpez Arellano ignored these complaints But labor unions and business groups persisted. They requested a “civic dialogu e” between themselves, the government and the armed forces in order to discuss how the constitution could be guaranteed. The requested meeting was held on April 1968. Civil society leaders us ed this opportunity to express their concerns and needs to the pres ident and to request participation in the government’s policy-making process. Initiall y, their petition was denied. Three days later, as if to remind po liticians of the mass following they commanded, 10,000 workers affiliated with the SITRATERCO participat ed in a street march to commemorate el Da del Trabajo (Labor Day). Union leaders used this public display of power to declare that their organization would no longer allow “Hondur an-style” elections to take place. In order to appease the masses, President L pez Arellano sought to reach a compromise with the Liberal Party regard ing the 1968 municipal election. The Liberal Party settled for nothing less than its nullification. Pres ident Lpez Arellano would not accede. Talks between the government and opposition groups re ached a stand still. Organized labor 71 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 123-124.

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82 responded by having its representative w ithdraw from the government’s Superior Planning Council of which it had formed a part since 1967.72 Later that year a new problem emerged. The Honduran National Congress ratified the Protocol of San Jos, a Central Am erican Common Market (CACM) agreement designed to limit imports from outside of this regional trading block. The agreement would have imposed taxes of 10-20% on food imports and of 20-30% on non-durable good imports. It also would have reduced the supply of commercial credit. Businesses and labor groups from the Northern Coast of Honduras united once again to express their opposition to these levies. The twenty-two labor unions associated with the FESITRANH went on strike while Northern busi nesses closed their operations in protest. The government responded by declaring a thirty day state of siege. Those newspapers and radio stations that sympat hized with the protesters were shut down. Strike leaders and participants were impr isoned, and businesses were fo rced to reopen at gun point.73 Although the movement was repressed, orga nized groups in the country did not cease expressing their discontent with the Lpez Arellano regime.74 The CCIC continued to challenge the existing political system. In addition, over 40,000 workers took to the streets in 1969 demanding a series of political reforms and the establishment of a new, unity government. Their petitions were backed by the major labor unions, peasant groups 72 Vivas, Un pas en Honduras 87-112; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 131-134; Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 130-132; and James A. Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rulers (Boulder: Westview Press, 1984): 40-41. 73 Leiva Vivas, Un pas en Honduras 113-132; Morris, “Interest Grou ps and Politics,” 227-228; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 135-139; Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 132135; Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics 40-41; and Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Military Exception,” 110 (footnote 34) 74 Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 135.

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83 and business associations in the country. Th ese events convinced both politicians and the military alike that they needed to respond to civil society’s demands in order to gain legitimacy.75 The 1969 war between Honduras and El Sa lvador temporarily shifted popular attention away from domestic concerns as organized groups ral lied behind President Lpez Arellano in a show of nationalist support.76 But this climate of national unity also was used by civil society groups to maintain a broad-based coali tion that could more forcefully pressure for a stable and truly democratic government.77 In October 1969 the business group COHEP sponsored a reunion of civil society groups who together designed a Plan of National Unity. The pact pr oposed that a single-apolitical presidential candidate be chosen and that the two major parties in the c ountry equally divide seats in the congress and bureaucracy.78 They also requested that the Armed Forces be the guarantors and enforcers of this accord. The National and Liberal parties refused to accept the proposal, insisting that the head of state and the members of the national congress should be chosen by the electorate via competitive elections. However, the parties did agree to share political power with the opposition and to realize the demands that leading civil society groups had been making during the preceding six years. The 75 Leiva Vivas, Un pas en Honduras and Posas and del Cid, La construccin del sector pblico 142-160; and d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 223-224. 76 d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 225-226; Posas and del Cid, La construccin del sector pblico 171-173; and Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 137-140.. 77 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 139. 78 Funes, Los deliberantes 261-264.

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84 1971 election allowed Nationalists to retain control of c ongress by a small margin and name the country’s new President, Ernesto Cruz Ucls.79 The National Unity government took office amidst a plethora of popular demands. Labor unions wanted a minimum wage law, a revision of foreign-controlled monopolies, the establishment of mixed public and private owned ente rprises and new state owned companies. Peasants asked that the 1962 ag rarian reform law to be reactivated while business groups wanted the state to foment i ndustrialization by aiding nascent industries. Since few dialogue channels existed at the time between these civil society groups and the state, popular sectors expressed thei r demands through public marches and land invasions. This popular mobilization began to divide the recently formed union between business and mass based groups. FENAGH, the group of landed elites that formed part of COHEP, responded to the increasing num ber of land invasions in the country by boycotting agriculture and liv estock activities. The Na tional Unity government was unable to respond to these developments and helped create an in creasingly unstable political situation. ORIT-supported labor a nd peasant groups began calling for a review of the National Unity Plan in mid-1972. The military, CTH and COHEP sponsored several meetings to encourag e and help the two ruling parties settle their political differences, but partisan non-cooperation co ntinued. Meanwhile, civil society groups continued to place demands on the government and protest the political impasse in the country. The ANACH threatened the Cruz gove rnment with a national hunger march if it did not develop an agrarian policy and dismi ss the existing INA director. At the same 79 Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics in Honduras,” 220-248; Mario Posas, Modalidades del proceso de democratizacin en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: UNAH, 1988) and d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 232-234

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85 time, the SITRATERCO and the FESITRANH pr omised to launch a general strike in solidarity. Neither of these protest events ever took place.80 After a year and a half of political inac tivity and stalemate, the guarantors of the National Unity Plan, the Hondur an military, deposed the Cruz government and promised to achieve a true national unity by meeti ng popular demands. Ge n. Lpez Arellano, the new head of state, dramatically altered his earlier stance towards mass-based groups. Rather than repress them, as he had done a fe w years earlier, he now chose to garner their support by acceding to their demands. Ju st days after the 1972 coup, Gen. Lpez Arellano emitted Decree Law #8 which enabled the National Agrarian Institute to grant peasants temporary usufruct rights to national and ejidal lands and force private landowners to rent their unused property for a two year period. This gave 21,518 families immediate access to land81 and placated rural unrest. Members of the anticommunist ANACH were the main bene ficiaries of this land adjudication.82 A new agrarian reform law was instituted in 1975; it proposed distribu ting 600,000 hectares of public or unused private lands to 120,000 peas ant families with little (less than five hectares) or no land.83 Although the government never ach ieved the goal set forth in this law, it did take aggressive steps duri ng the mid-1970’s to redistribute land.84 It also 80 Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics in Honduras,” 185-192 and 220-261; Randy Stringer, “Honduras: Toward Conflict and Agrarian Reform,” Searching for Agrarian Reform in Latin America ed. William C. Thiesenhusen (Bostonr: Unwyin Hyman, 1989): 368-369; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 143-144 and Posas, Modalidades del proceso, chapter 1. 81 Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA), PROCCARA 46 Meses (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1978): III-6. 82 INA, PROCCARA 46 Meses III-16 and Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 120. 83 Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA), Plan Nacional de Reforma Agraria (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1973): 31 and Government of Honduras, Decreto Ley #170 (15 de enero 1975). 84 Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA), Resumen bsico de los grupos campesinos beneficiarios de la reforma agraria (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1985): 5-6.

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86 challenged the monopoly of multinational fr uit companies by expropriating over 140,000 hectares of their unused landholdings and doubli ng banana export taxes from twenty five to fifty cents per every forty pound box.85 Gen. Lpez Arellano appeased labor demands by instituting a minimum wage law in 1974. He also garnered union support through Decree Law #30, which required i ndividuals to contribute due s to unions that protected their interests whether or not they were me mbers of them. The CTH had been petitioning for such a law since 1965. The new military government also took steps to protect the country’s nascent industrial sector. It restor ed the exemptions and import privileges that had been removed by the San Jos Protocol and created two new state agencies to promote domestic businesses: the Corporacin Nacional de Inversiones (CONADI or National Investment Corporation) was to di stribute state-funded loans to the business sector, and the Instituto de Fomento Professional (INFOP or Institute for Professional Development) was to enhance the technical and vocational skills of workers.86 The immediate effect of th ese policies was to garner popular organized support for the new, reformist military government. The ORIT-backed labor and peasant groups were most supportive of Gen. Lpez Arellano. This was most clearly evidenced by a 100,000 member march they sponsored in Janua ry 1974 to express th eir approval of the government’s proposed National Development Plan.87 The Christian Democratic UNC and CGT, though often critical of the new regi me, also offered it th eir tenuous support. 85 Originally the new military government had decided to raise this export tax to $1 for every forty pound box of bananas. However, the multinational corporations operating in the country purportedly bribed senior level government officials (possibly Lpez Arellano himself) to reduce the tax to fifty cents a box. 86 Morris, “Interest Groups and Politics in Honduras,” 273-275; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 147-154; Funes, Los deliberantes 270-272 and d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin 235246. 87 Becerra, Evolucin histrica de Honduras 204 and d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 242.

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87 Even COHEP (for the exception of its memb er FENAGH) favorably embraced the new government’s policies88 though some of its members did urge for a prompt return to constitutional rule.89 Although key laws had been implemented and social benefits distributed by this new reformist, military government, it had been done in an effort to appease popular discontent, coopt new social groups and legitimi ze the military’s control of the state. As Sieder explains, “between 1972 and 1978, patron -client relationships were restructured, recreated and selectively extended in an atte mpt to incorporate emergent social actors on the terms of those controlli ng the balance of power with in the reformist state.”90 More significantly, the nature of governance had not been altered. Political power continued to be centralized and civil society groups were not given a significant ro le political decisionmaking. Civil society obtained favorable government policies only when they mobilized actively for it and threatened to destab ilize the political system through their mass protests. Although the state continued to monopolize governance, the presence of a more tolerant and conciliatory state did foment the growth and increasing militancy of popular organizations. Decree Law #30 encouraged approximately 75,000 previously unorganized workers to join a union betw een 1972 and 1975, thereby doubling total 88 COHEP’s stance toward Lpez Arellano changed in 1974 when FENAGH, the conservative agrarian and cattlemen’s group, gained control of COHEP’s leadership. After that time COHEP began opposing the new agrarian reform law and accusing the gove rnment of facilitating communist organization. 89 Posas, Modalidades del proceso, 21-22. 90 Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 113.

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88 union membership.91 Members of the SITRATERCO and its parent federation, FESITRANH, increasingly questioned the ORIT -trained leaders wh ich had controlled their organizations since their founding. The anti-communist leaders of the SITRATERCO were deposed in October 1975 and replaced by a new generation of militant leaders while the FESITRANH risked facing a similar fate.92 Meanwhile, peasant groups were becoming more aggressi ve in demanding a swift implementation of the new agrarian reform law. Women’s gr oups benefited from this renewed peasant belligerence. In 1978 a group of female peasant groups coalesced to form the Federacin Hondurena de Mujeres Campesinas (FEHMUC). This organization became a member of the UNC and helped advance the cause of both rural women and landless peasants.93 The increasing militancy of these popular group s and the government’s toleration of them led to the eventual demise of Lpez Arella no. Conservative military officers replaced this general as head of stat e in 1975 after news broke out of his possible complicity in a bribery scandal.94 The new government presided by Ge n. Melgar Castro was hesitant to follow Lpez Arellano’s populist policies. The Fragmentation of Ci vil Society (1975-1980’s) The state sought various measure to divide and weaken mass-based groups during the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Repression was used to pacify communist, socialist or belligerent popular groups. In addition, the st ate together with cons ervative elites tried 91 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 153 and Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic 99. 92 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 155-163. 93 Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo 469 and 473-479. 94 Donald E. Schulz and Deborah Sundloff Schulz, The United State, Honduras and the Crisis in Central America (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994): 42-45.

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89 to penetrate mass based, civil society groups a nd turn members against each other. Both of these tactics succeeded in fragmenting the labor and peasant organizations in the country. The more malleable of these groups were coopted by the state and discouraged from participating in mass, public protest. In exchange, they received small, token concessions. Although civil so ciety groups were weakened by these events, they did not cease to engage in politics. Ironically, it is during this period of continual organizational attack that civil society groups most demanded and succeeded in achieving major political-institutional change in Honduras. Gen. Melgar Castro’s ascendancy to po wer in 1975 represented a new, more conservative phase of Honduran military rule. Although he chose to continue implementing the country’s new agrarian reform law, peasant groups found the pace of land redistribution to be too slow. This was pa rticularly true of th e Social Christian UNC who received the least amount of reform land and no government credit or technical assistance.95 Dissatisfaction over this situation eventually led 10,000 UNC members to occupy over one hundred farms and block key bridges around the country in mid-1975.96 Group members also continued to pressure the government for reform land and assistance by sponsoring a mass march and hunger strike in the capital. Conservatives within the military and FENAGH responded to these ev ents by intimidating peasant groups and launching a handful of armed attacks against them (The most notable of these was the Massacre of Los Horcones and the att ack on the Center of Santa Clara).97 These attacks 95 Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 120-121. 96 Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rule 48 and Schulz and Sundloff Schulz, The United State, 45. 97 Becerra, Evolucin histrica 207-209 and Gustavo Blanco y Jaime Valdaverde, Honduras: iglesia y cambio social (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 1990): 95-103.

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90 drove the three main peasant groups in th e country (the UNC, ANACH and FECORAH) to form a United Peasant Front in 1975 to collectively pressure the government for the continued implementation of agrarian reform.98 Meanwhile, the FENAGH and COHEP continued to oppose agrarian reform and th reatened to implement investment and production strikes if the law was not altered.99 These landed elite and business groups also initiated national dialogs with the ma jor political parties and other anti-reformist organizations. In March of 1976 thes e conservative groups created the Union Nacional de las Instituciones Democrticas (UNID) in order to begi n pressing for a return to constitutional rule.100 Other civil society groups were ambivalent about whether they wfavored a return to constitutional rule: popu lar sectors desired democracy but did not want a return to the traditional, bi-party politics of the past. The Melgar Castro government addressed these conflicting citi zen demands by redistributing public and foreign-owned lands, repressing both Chri stian Democratic an d Communist-inspired organizations and scheduling elections for a constituent assembly.101 The increase in state-sponsored repression contributed to the internal division and fragmentation of peasant and labor groups during the late 1970’s. Some ANACH members disassociated themselves from this organization after mounting frustration over its leadership’s conservative and pro-government stance. Meanwhile some UNC affiliates began accusing group members of adhe ring to a more leftist ideology than the 98 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 156 and Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rule 80-81 and 134 (footnote 134). 99 Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 118. 100 d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 247-248. 101 Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 118-119; Morris, Honduras: Caudillo Politics and Military Rule 49 and Funes, Los deliberantes 276-283.

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91 one that their group officially espoused. This prompted socialists within the UNC to leave the group. Both of these diss ident factions united to form the Unin Nacional de Campesinos Autnticos de Honduras (UNCAH or National Uni on of Authentic Peasants) in 1977. That same year were former UNC members founded several other peasant organizations. Eventually, five splinter groups emerged from the ranks of the UNC. This significantly weakened the most independe nt peasant organization in the country.102 The ANACH also was weakened as those disillus ioned with the group broke off to form six, smaller peasant organizations. This divi siveness also weakened Honduras’ labor movement. Conservative groups within the FESITRANH formed “democratic fronts” to help depose the recently elec ted leadership of its memb er union, the SITRATERCO, and purge all member groups of leftists influences.103 These intra-labor conservative forces united with the large-landed elite group, FEN AGH, in 1977 to pressure Melgar Castro for the destitution of his Minister and Vice-Minis ter of Labor as well as his Minister and Vice-Minister of Public H ealth and Social Assistance.104 This coincided with the gradual removal of reformist officers from their military command.105 As conservative and more liberal forces st ruggled for power within the military and civil society groups, Melgar Castro took steps to make a transition to constitutional rule. He scheduled constituent assembly elections for 1977 (later changed to 1979) and invited leading civil society groups to form part of a 48 member Presidential Advisory Council, 102 Posas, Breve historia de las organizaciones campesinas 32-35 and Sieder, “Honduras: The Politics of Exception,” 123-124. 103 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 162-167. 104 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureo 158. 105 Leticia Salomn, Poltica y militares en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 11.

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92 the Consejo Asesor de la Jefatura de Estado (CONASE), that was asked to help draft a new electoral law and prepare the way for a de mocratic transition. The idea to create such an organization had been proposed by the CTH a few years earlier. CONASE represented the first time that broad sectors of Honduran ci vil society had been given representation in an in stitution-building process.106 Thirteen of the or ganizations that had been invited to form part of this advisory council refused to do so. Among these were the country’s two major political parties and the business group, COHEP. Consequently, CONASE was constituted in 1976 with only thirty-five represen tatives from civil society groups, minor political parties a nd the Armed Forces. It is im portant to highlight that at the time bilateral and international organiza tions did not encourag e such active citizen political participation. Th e creation of CONASE was larg ely a result of domestic pressure for democratization a nd civil society participation.107 Opposition groups tried to de-legitimize CONASE by criticizing it and referring to it as a CADEJE.108 Despite such derogatory remarks, CONASE members contri buted to the transition process by making a series of recommendations regarding how elections and political parties should be constituted. Although some of these were modified, key proposals were adopted. Among these was the suggestion to facilitate the electora l participation of minority parties and create both a National Citizen Re gistry and a National Election Tribunal. 106 Specific business organizations had been given political representation in economic decision-making before this time. Similarly, peasant groups had been allowed to help formulate agrarian policies through their representation in INA. CONASE differs in that it brought together all key sectors of Honduran civil society and asked them to help formulate the new rules of the political game, not just a particular government policy. 107 I thank Carlos Arita Valdiviesco for emphasizing this point. 108 CADEJE is a play on words of the popular term cadejo which refers to a mythic dog that roams around in cementaries, hypnotizing people and not letting them cross the road.

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93 CONASE’s suggestions also helped begin the internal democratization of the country’s political parties. The new el ectoral law required that all of the factions or movements within each political party be represented in congress and be allowed to participate in the selection of that part y’s executive committee.109 State-civil society relations deteriorated after August 1978 when Melgar Castro was deposed by more conservative military officers. The new government now headed by a military triumvirate disbanded CONASE110 and purged the armed forces of reformist officers. Although the new government did not abandon plans for a return to constitutional rule (largely due to continued U.S. pressure for such a measure), it did pursue more conservative public policies. Agrarian reform, for example, came to a virtual halt during the first few months after the coup. Peasant groups responded by forming a Frente Nacional Campesina Hondurea (FUNACAMH or Honduran National Peasant Front) and continuing to demand la nd redistribution and favorable agrarian policies. FUNACAMH sponsored land invasions in four departments th at resulted in the settlement of 6000 hectares of unoccupied la nd. As in 1975, this renewed peasant front succeeded in replacing the head of INA.111 The government reacted to increasing peasant militancy by continuing its land reform progr am but guaranteeing the inviolability of private property. Essentially, this meant that the government c ontinued redistributing national lands but increased its repression of organized groups Marches and strikes were forcefully disbanded, squatters were brutally dislodged, and pa rticipants in these events 109 Becerra, Evolucin histrica de Honduras 209; Posas, Modalidades del proceso 26-44; and Interview with Carlos Arita Valdiviesco, Representativ e of FEUH in CONASE, November 29, 1999. 110 Posas, Modalidades del proceso 45-47. 111 Randy Stringer, “Honduras: Toward Conflict,” 370 and Mario Posas, El movimiento campesino en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 1981): 39.

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94 were jailed and beaten. The military al so quelled popular activism by forcefully replacing leaders of popular or ganizations with corrupt and pro-government ones. Some civil society groups continued to mobilize desp ite such acts. The Social Christian UNC and CGT demanded the implementation of agrarian reform, the protection of labor union rights, better salaries and work ing conditions and increasingly also the need to return to constitutional rule.112 They together with other labor groups also issued a barrage of public declarations in 1979 condemning the governments’ repression and involvement in organized civil society affairs.113 But these were to no avail. With the Sandinista revolutionary victory in Nicar agua and the increasing armed conflict in El Salvador and Guatemala, domestic and international pres sure to suppress popular protest movements mounted. While the government demobilized and coopted popular groups who engaged in public protest activities, c onservatives outside of governme nt tried to establish new, popular organizations. Right-wing indus trialists and bankers formed the Asociacin Para el Progreso de Honduras (APROH or Association for th e Progress of Honduras) during the late 1970’s. APROH distributed land to 125,000 landless families in order to prevent their radicalization and build an anti -communist political support base.114 The transition to constitutional rule wa s accompanied by a further deterioration in state-society relations. The new civilian government of Roberto Suazo Cordoba brought some of the most conservative elements of Honduran society to power. Perhaps of greatest significance was the nomination of General Gustavo Alvarez Martnez, a 112 Personal Interview with Felicito Avila, Secretary General of the CGT, October 25, 1999. 113 To read some of these ma nifestos see Victor Meza, Antologa de documentos sobre la situacin del movimiento obrero en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1981): 362-439. 114 Funes, 337-339.

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95 graduate of the Argentine Military School, as the new head of the armed forces. Meanwhile, the U.S. mounted its political pressure on Honduras to combat armed insurgents in the isthmus. This confluence of events encouraged the development of an even more closed and repressive state a pparatus. Beginning in 1980 the Honduran state sponsored a systematic campaign of tortur e, executions and disappearances against organized civil society groups. The purporte d aim was to counter leftists guerrilla movements and contain the spread of Co mmunism. Between 1980 and 1984 there were 133 political assassinations 293 disappearances and near ly 200 reported cases of torture.115 Such violent attacks had occurred only rarely in Honduras before the 1980’s. So “it was particularly tragic and ironic that the pattern of [human rights] abuse … increased notoriously with the advent of democracy and civilian rule.”116 This state-sponsored violence never reached the level of those being committed in neighboring states, but it led to the ideologica l polarization and demobilization of peasant and labor organizations. Several leftists unions that had formed part of the progovernment CTH decided to separate from this federation in 1981 and establish the socialist Federacin Unitaria de Trabajadores de Honduras (FUTH or Unitary Federation of Honduran Workers) The FUTH was influenced by the Honduran 115 Ramn Custodio, “The Human Rights Crisis in Honduras,” Honduras Confronts its Future: Contending Perspectives on Critical Issues eds. Mark B. Rosenberg and Philip L. Shepherd (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1986): 69-72 and Comit para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (CODEH), La situacin de los derechos humanos en Honduras 1988 (Tegucigalpa: CODEH, 1989): 20. The National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras has offered slightly more conservative figures for such human rights violations. See Comi sionado Nacional de Prot eccin de los Derechos Humanos [Leo Valladares Lanza], Los hechos hablan por s mismos : informe preliminar sobre los desaparecidos en Honduras 1980-1993 (Tegucigalpa, Honduras : Editorial Guaymuras, 1994) and the english version of this text, Honduras: The Facts Speak for Themselves 116 National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras, Honduras : The Facts Speak for Themselves trans. Human Rights Watch (Americas) and th e Center for Justice and International Law (New York : Human Rights Watch, 1994): 225.

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96 Communist Party during its first year of existence. C onsequently, the state refused to grant it legal recognition and launched a series of violent attacks against its member unions: offices were vandalized and key union leaders were assassinated.117 FUNACAMH, the peasant front that had b een organized in 1979, also began to disintegrate in 1982 when the ANACH a nd FECORAH decided to disassociate themselves from it because of the group’s belligerence. The few, unfederated peasant organizations that remained decided to di sband FUNACAMH officially in 1984 and form the Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo (CNTC or National Rural Workers’ Central) the following year. Newly formed wo men’s groups were also divided as a result of the ideological differences among their me mbers. Members of FEHMUC, the female peasant group founded in 1978, who demanded great er political participation and social justice were accused of being communists a nd expelled from this organization in 1985. They went on to found the Consejo para el Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer (CODIMCA or Council for the Integrated De velopment of Women) three y ears later. Another faction within FEHMUC accused their organization’ s leadership of mismanaging funds and chose to form a new female peasant group in 1989.118 The constant fragmentation of Honduran peasant groups inhibi ted their ability to pressure the government for land reform. This is most clearly evidenced by the fact that between 1980 and 1983 different peasants groups solicited the distributi on of over 384,000 hectares of land but were granted only 20% of these.119 117 Schulz and Sundloff Schulz, The United State, 210-211. 118 Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo 475-477. 119 Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Boletn Informativo #34 (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1988).

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97 The government also used less violent tactics to appease and divide popular organizations. It continued to penetrate la bor and peasant groups through the formation of democratic fronts. These managed to gain control of the SITRATERCO, FEUH and the electrical company union.120 They also weakened the internal struct ure of other popular groups and turned members agains t each other. During the early 1980’s the ultra-conservative APROH tried to take over the leadership of ANACH and succeeded in incorporating the group’s secretar y general into its membership.121 The state also coopted organizations in order to contain their militancy. The Social Christian UNC and CGT were granted legal recognition in 1984 and br ought into closer dialog with the state. Government officials took advantage of th e improved communication with these groups to discourage them from engaging in mass prot est activities. They warned that if popular mobilization continued, the military would be encouraged reassume direct control of government once again.122 In order to further dissuad e popular groups from undertaking mass protest activities, the government also emitted an anti-terrorist law (Decree Law #33-82) that outlawed land invasions, factory occupations and street demonstrations. Hundreds of peasant and labor activists were imprisoned for such activities.123 The reemergence of party politics further contri buted to the division of popular groups. Military rule had weakened political parties and encour aged Hondurans to organize themselves on the basis of shared class or group interests. But the resurrection of partisan 120 Schulz and Sundloff Schulz, The United State, Honduras and the Crisis 91 and 209-215. 121 Ibid and Ruhl, “The Honduran Agrarian Reform,” 75. 122 Ibid, 116-117 and Interview with Felicito Avila, secretary General of the CGT, October 25, 1999. 123 Schulz and Sundloff Schulz, The United State, Honduras and the Crisis 83 + 91 and Ruhl, “The Honduran Agrarian Reform,” 76.

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98 politics re-ignited old political divisions a nd diminished the cohesion of many civil society groups.124 As a result, the “role of civ il society in the post-transition consolidation was efficiently weakened dur ing the first few years of the 1980’s.”125 This has led several popular group leaders to describe the 1980’s as a lost decade.126 Nevertheless, newer civil society groups be gan to form amidst the fragmentation of traditional mass-based organizations. Indigeno us groups began to emerge during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The various tribal group s inhabiting the heavily forested area of Eastern Honduras formed the Moskitia Asla Takanka (MASTA or Mosquitia Unity) in 1976. The following year, the Garfuna, a mi x race of indigenous groups and African descendants, established the Organizacin Fraternal Negra Hondurea (OFRANEH or Fraternal Honduran Black Organi zation). At first, these or ganizations tried to advance their needs independently of one another with li ttle success. But the disparate, ethnic communities in the country coalesced in 1980 to form the Confederacin de Pueblos Autctonos de Honduras (CONPAH or Confederation of Honduran Autoctonous People). Other indigenous groups joined CONPAH as th ey were formed. Initially, CONPAH tried to secure basic social, economic and politic al rights for its members through peaceful dialogue, but it was not taken seriously by the state. When indigenous leaders managed to secure an appointment with a government agency, they were assigned to speak with lower-level officials who could not respond to their needs or he lp them in any real way. 124 Interview with Felicito Avila, secretary General of the CGT, October 25, 1999. 125 Rachel Sieder, Elecciones y democratizacin en Honduras desde 1980 (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1998): 19-20, 23 (quote). 126 Interview with Andrs Pavn, Director of CODEM, October 27, 1999.

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99 Nevertheless, race-based groups continued to unite and strengthen during this period. They would become more politic ally active the following decade. 127 Several human rights organizations also emerged in the 1980’s. The Comit para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CODEH or Committee for the Defense of Human Rights) was founded in mid-1981 by a group of five upper-middle class professionals who were concerned about the increasing level of violence in the country. The following year a group of primarily women whose fam ily members had been disappeared founded the Comit de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH). Many of those who joined COFADEH had no pr evious organizationa l experience but had been spurred into action by the increasing le vel of violence in the country. COFADEH members marched in the center of Tegucig alpa one Friday of every month, holding pictures of missing relatives a nd signs asking, “Where are they?”128 They also helped relatives of the disappeared f ile formal inquiries into thei r loved ones’ whereabouts. The CODEH, however, developed into the la rgest and most belligerent human rights organizations in the country. By the end of the decade they had established regional offices throughout Honduras and formed vol untary, local committees in 70% of the country’s municipalities. CODEH kept a public record of human rights abuses, denounced these before national and internat ional agencies, and helped citizens bring criminal cases to court.129 The Honduran Bar Association also formed a human rights 127 Interview with Gregoria Flores, President of OFRNA and secretary of COMPAH, October 18, 1999. 128 See the autobiographical account of Liduvina Hernndez, former president of COFADEH in Liduvina Hernndez, Mujeres contra la muerte compiled Oscar Anbal Puerto (Tegucigalpa, Honduras : Editorial Guaymuras, 1993): 71-72 and Funes, Los deliberantes 334-335. 129 Interview with Andrs Pavn, Director of CODEM, October 27, 1999 and Guillermo Perez, “Enhancing the Instruments for Human Rights Protection in Honduras,” Honduras Confronts its Future: Contending Perspectives on Critical Issues eds. Mark B. Rosenberg and Philip L. Shepherd (Boulder: Lynne Rienner,

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100 committee that offered legal services to victims of violence.130 The judiciary often refused to investigate or prosecute th e human rights cases brought before it.131 Nevertheless, the legal and political actio ns undertaken by the newly-created human rights groups were significant because, as the Director of CODEH explained, “ por primera vez [los que estaban en poder] se em pezaron a sentir vigilados, se empezaron a sentir analizados .”132 The newly formed human rights groups un ited with labor, peasant, student and teachers groups in 1984 to form el Comit Coordinador de Organizaciones Populares (CCOP). The CCOP demanded that the governme nt put an end to human rights abuses, respect the nation’s sovereignty and not interven e in the internal affairs of civil society groups. The CCOP became the principal, ma ss-based opposition force to President Suazo Cordoba’s conservative regime.133 Suazo Crdoba’s attempts to curtail the independence of the other branches of government, manipulate the leadership of the National and Liberal Parties and unlawfully extend his presidential term further galvani zed civil society groups into action. An ad hoc group of distinguished Hondurans from th e country’s four major political parties issued a manifesto in 1984 demanding resp ect for the constitu tion, punishment for 1986). For more on CODEH see Schulz and Sundloff Schulz, The United State, Honduras and the Crisis 245-249. 130 America’s Watch, Human Rights in Honduras: Central America’s Sideshow New York: Americas Watch, 1987): 111-113. 131 Ibid, 72-74 and Honduran Human Rights Commissioner, Honduras : The Facts Speak for Themselves 229. 132 “For the first time [those in power] started to feel watched, started to feel an alyzed.” Andrs Pavn, Director of CODEH, October 26, 1999. 133 Posas, Modalidades del proceso 95-96 and Posas, Breve historia 42..

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101 government corruption, primary elections and an end to the state’s intervention in political party affairs. Leading labor a nd peasant groups (including the CGT, CTH, FESITRANH, FECESITLIH, UNC ANACH and FECORAH) also united in early1985 to denounce the country’s political situation. In order to reso lve the country’s immediate institutional crisis these ci vil society groups presented th e Suazo government with two main options: a) that primary elections be held or b) that all presidential candidates within each party be allowed to participate in the general election set for the end of 1985. These mass-based groups threatened to sponsor a gene ral labor strike if the government did not act on these matters by April 10, 1985. The Honduran Armed Forces responded by hosting discussions among representatives of ke y labor and peasant groups, the Catholic Church and the country’s leading political pa rties. The Armed Forces threatened to sponsor a coup if a political compromise was not reached. Participants in these negotiations finally drafted a Compromise Act on May 19, 1985. Signatory groups agreed to accept “Option B” that had been proposed by la bor and peasant groups, thereby allowing presidential candidates from each party to participate in the 1985 general election. They also agreed to institute electoral reform s and grant peasant and labor unions participation in the design and impl ementation of a National Development Plan.134 Civil society groups began to reorgani ze almost immediately after President Azcona’s new government was installed. Those labor and peasant groups who had mediated the 1985 crisis—the CGT, CTH, CNTC, FCH, FECOR AH and CNTC—united more formally in 1986 to form the Consejo Nacional Obrero y Campesio de Honduras (CONOCH or National Peasant and Labor C ouncil of Honduras). The CONOCH sought 134 Ibid, 102 and 109-111; Schulz and Schulz, The United States 122-128; and Mario Posas, Momentos estelares de la participacin de la CTH en la vida poltica nacional (Tegucigalpa: Artes Grficas, 1987).

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102 to ensure that the 1985 Compromise Act, part icularly the clause granting civil society groups participation in government decisionmaking, would be respected. Unfortunately, the CONOCH suffered a premature death. The ORIT-backed CGT was hesitant to support some of this group’s political activi ties. In addition, Azc ona tried to divide CONOCH by inviting the peas ant groups that composed it to become part of the Asociacin Campesina Unificadora (ACU or Unified Peasant Association). He appeased ACU members by offering them land, credit and other benefits and encouraged them to oppose belligerent labor unions. Although the CN TC refused to join the ACU, the FCH and FECORAH were lured into it. This tem porarily destroyed the new peasant and labor union that had been achieved through CONOCH.135 In the absence of such a mass-based pressure group, President Azcona easily i gnored the 1985 agreement he had signed. Not only did he not allow civil society groups to help develop and execute a National Development Plan, but he al so replaced CONSUPLANE, a g overnment planning agency which granted civil society groups limited participation, with a technocratic National Planning Council in 1986.136 International events and th e active political role of th e Honduran Catholic Church enabled civil society groups to continue pr essuring for institutional reform. The signing of the Central American Peace Accord on August 7, 1987 created a National Reconciliation Commission unde r the direction of the Ar chbishop of Tegucigalpa, Monsignor Hctor Enrique Sa ntos. The National Reconci liation Commission accepted 135 Posas, Momentos estelares 38-39; Mario Posas, Hay democracia en Honduras? Puntos de Vista: Temas Polticos (Tegicigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 107; and inte rview with Marvin Ponce, executive director of COCOCH, November 2, 1999. 136 Posas, Modalidades del proceso 127-128.

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103 petitions from citizens and civil society groups and made recommendations to the government based on these. Civil society groups used this new forum to demand a series of political changes, including the end of state-sponsored violence, the derogation of the 1982 anti-terrorism law, the retu rn of political exiles, reforms to the existing electoral law and the expulsion of both Nicaraguan Contra s and U.S. troops from Honduran soil. Unfortunately, there was no mechanism to en sure that the government would implement or even respond to the demands placed before it. Meanwhile, the fragmentation and polarization of civil society groups inhibited these from pr essuring the government more forcefully. Monsignor Santos tried to re medy this problem by calling for a “National Dialogue.” This was intended to encourag e civil society groups to dialogue and cooperate with one another and form a stronger political block. Unfortunately, participants were unable to form a lasti ng, union. Future governme nts would appropriate the idea of a national dialogue to further legitimate their rule.137 Although Honduran mass-based groups were divided and weakened during the late 1970’s and 1980’s by the state’s repression, cooptation and me ddling in their internal affairs, they continued to i nvolve themselves in national politics. As a result, Honduras took some qualitative steps towards democr acy. A new electoral law was drafted and implemented with the help of CONASE. A constitutional crisis was averted in 1985 due to the military’s and civil society’s mediation. As a result, there was a peaceful transition from one elected civilian to another, the Supreme Court was reorganized and new laws were passed guaranteeing that primary electio ns would be held in the future under the supervision of the National El ections Tribunal. Although stat e-centered elites continued 137 Posas, Modalidades del proceso 124-125.

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104 to dominate political decision-making during th is period, it was clear that they could not continue to ignore civil society groups in this process. Moreover, their attempts to divide and weaken mass-based groups in order to temp er their political involvement had failed. Despite these affronts, mass-based groups con tinued to challenge political elites and demand significant political changes. Thei r intransigence and commitment to sociopolitical democracy would force future governme nts to confront this social force in new and innovative ways. The Reunification and Political Incorporation of Civil Society Civil society organizations began to set aside their group-differences and tackle common socio-political goals during the late 1980’s. The disparate peasant and labor groups in the country began to coalesce into broader federations and form cross-sectoral linkages with other interest gr oups. Initially, the state res ponded to these events with coercion. But as the Cold War came to an e nd and the threat of Communism was abated, political elites were forced to develop new ways of confr onting the renewed activism of civil society groups. In order to discourage these organizations from resorting to mass protests as a means of polit ical negotiation, civilian govern ments began creating forums to institutionalize regular and peaceful statesociety communication. These new dialogue channels had the dual effect of increasing civil society’s voice in public decision-making while facilitating the state’s ability to pacify and coopt them. Although the state remained the dominant political actor, these political changes mark ed the beginning of a slow shift in Honduran governance. Peasant and labor groups began to unite once again during the last two years of Azcona’s term in office. By then it had b ecome clear that the President Azcona would not grant ACU members the land, credit and bene fits he had promised them and that he

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105 had only tried to divide mass-based orga nizations through these empty promises. Meanwhile, the country was sinking into a deeper economic crisis. Inflation was skyrocketing and there was an increasing shor tage of gasoline, food and medicine. The government declared its inability to repay its foreign debt in 1988. In response, the U.S. cut bilateral aid to H onduras, the World Bank declared it ineligible for further loans and international lending agencies began dema nding the implementation of neo-liberal economic reforms. The political economic situation in the country encouraged the CNTC, FECORAH and a few smaller peasan t groups to unite in 1988 to form the Consejo Coordinador de Organizaciones Campesinas de Honduras (COCOCH or Coordinated Council of Honduran Peasants). COCOCH represented some of the most militant peasant organizations in the country. The following year leading labor unions (the CGT, CTH, FUTH, and FITH), peas ant groups (COCOCH, CHC and FECORAH) and professional organizations formed the Plataforma de Lucha (Fighting Platform) in order to promote the democratization and socially just development of Honduras. Members of the Plataforma de Lucha issued a document on October 1989, just a month before general elections were scheduled to take place, demanding a series of social, economic and political reforms. They asked the government to end its national security doctrine, grant civil society groups particip ation in public decision-making and reform the existing electoral law so th at voters could elect mayors, congressional representatives and a president from different parties.138 Members of the Plataforma de Lucha also committed themselves to strengthening and consolidating their constitutive groups, 138 Up until then, Hondurans merely voted for a party when they went to the polls. The party that won the most votes in a municipality would se lect a mayor there, and the party who received the most votes in the nation would appoint their presidential candidate as the new head of state.

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106 raising the political awareness of their aff iliates and preventing foreign interference in their organization’s affairs.139 Meanwhile, new social actors were incr easing their political militancy. After several decades of non-involvement in nationa l political events, females organized the First Congress of Honduran Women’s Groups in 1992 where they resolved to demand greater participation in government and po litical responsiveness to issues such as domestic violence.140 The traditionally neglected, i ndigenous inhabitants of Honduras also increased their level of organization and political ac tivism during this period. The Organizacin Nacional Indgena Lenca (ONILH or National Indigenous Lenca Organization) was founded in 1989. It began training local Lenca leaders and sponsoring mass pilgrimages to the capital in order to de mand more land and social services for its people. The divided Maya C horti in Western Honduras also began uniting at around this time and joined CONPAH, a group that had come to represent nine black and indigenous groups in the country by the early 1990’s.141 COMPAH became more militant ,as well. Since the state continued to be unresponsive to their needs, these indigenous groups sponsored mass protests, led pilgrimages to th e capital and took over foreign embassies in order to voice their demands.142 Initially, the still autonomous armed forces continued to use repression to contain mass based groups. During just the first te n months of 1990 there were 200 illegal 139 Interview with Marvin Ponce, executive director of COCOCH, November 2, 1999; Posas, Hay democracia en Honduras? 105-106; and COCOCH et al, Plataforma de lucha del movimiento obrero, campesino, cooperativo y profesional (Tegucigalpa: CHC, 1989). 140 Villars, Para la casa ms que para el mundo 551-650. 141 Interview with Napolen Meja, Consejero menor de los Maya Chorti de Ocotepeque, April 5, 2000. 142 Interview with Gregoria Flores, President of OFRNA and secretary of COMPAH, October 18, 1999.

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107 detentions, 79 reported cases of torture a nd four political assa ssinations in Honduras.143 The yearly incidence of torture continued to increase from 1991-1993 while the yearly number of political assassin ations and illegal detentions remained about the same.144 But with the end of the Cold War and the signi ng of the Central American Peace Accords, military repression became a less acceptable fo rm of containing popular discontent. Leonardo Callejas, who had risen to the pr esidency in 1990, used multiple tactics to confront the increasing unity and mobilization of civil society groups. First, he tried to divide and coopt member of mass based organi zations, particularly t hose associated with the Plataforma de Lucha Callejas invited the president of the CGT to be a representative in Congress while a key CTH l eader was offered the post of designado presidencial (similar to a vice president) in his administra tion. Such political opportunities had never been extended to civil society leaders. So me of the individuals who were offered these positions accepted them, believing that it would enhance their ability to defend labor and peasant interests. But once they assumed these jobs, it became more difficult for them to confront the government and represent their group needs.145 The CGT, for example, discouraged its members from engaging in publ ic marches or protests during Callejas’ presidency and opposed fellow worker federatio ns who did the same. This brought them into direct conflict with more belligerent groups such as the FUTH and weakened the solidarity between members of the Plataforma de Lucha Further division and inter143 CODEH, Informe de violaciones a los derechos humanos en Honduras, enero-octubre 1990 (Tegucigalpa: CODEH, 1990). 144 CODEH, Informe sobre la situacin de los derechos humanos en Honduras, enero 1990-junio 1998 (Tegucigalpa: CODEH, 1998) and CODEH, La situacin de los derechos humanos en Honduras 1992 (Tegucigalpa: CODEH, 1992). 145 Interview with Conrado Lando, general secretary of the CTH, November 3, 1999;

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108 organizational resentment was bred by the f act that the government offered coopted labor and peasant groups an abandoned government bu ilding (the former CONADI building) as office space while other organizatio ns received no such aid. Whenever Callejas could not coopt a popular organization, he tried to break them. In 1991, for example, the FUTH-affiliated Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Nacional de Energa Electrica (STENEE or Workers Sindicate of the National Electric Energy Company) went on strike in order to protest the privatization of the national energy company ( Empresa Nacional de Energa Electrica or ENEE), the layoff of 500 workers and an increase in energy prices. Callejas responded by ordering the military to take over the ENEE’s facilities dismissing workers, evicting some from their homes and imposing a new, executive committee with whom it negotiated an end to the labor strike. The STENEE practically ceased to ex ist as a result of these events.146 Callejas adeptly demobilized popular groups through dialogue as well. Throughout his presidential campaign he had spoken of the need to reach a concertacin nacional (or national agreement) on matters of public importance. The concertacin was conceived as a semi-corporatist arrangement wherein organized civil soci ety groups would be encouraged to debate and advise the government on policy issues.147 Soon after assuming the presidency, Callejas organized se veral public forums in order to achieve a concertacin over his new economic policies. His government had drafted a structural adjustment law with the assistance of inte rnational financial in stitutions. Although the 146 Federacin Unitaria de Trabaj adores de Honduras (FUTH), Sindicalismo: crisis y perspectivas, el caso STENEE (Tegucigalpa: Friedric h Ebert Stiftung, 1992). 147 Hugo Noe Pino, “La concertacin econmico social y el primer ao de la administracin de Callejas,” Puntos de Vista (septiembre 1991): 20-26

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109 business group, COHEP, supporte d these neo-liberal reforms, most of the mass-based organizations in the countr y, including members of the Plataforma de Lucha vehemently opposed them. These sponsored a total of 40 general strikes in 1990 alone to express their opposition to the government’s proposed economic policies.148 The Catholic bishops in Honduras backed these mass-based groups by demanding a more equitable structural adjustment package.149 Callejas wanted to secu re popular support for his economic policies in order to avoid further protests. Members of the Plataforma de Lucha were key participants in these forums The government was able to manipulate these proceedings by not giving participan t groups enough time to read and study the proposed legislation. Conrado Lando, presiden t of the CTH, claims that civil society representatives were given about half an hour to read a 1000 page document. The government then explained the contents of the draft law, accepted questions and comments on it and ultimately convinced part icipants of the country’s need for its passage. They assured those pr esent that the negative effect s of structural adjustment would be outweighed by the creation of tw o new autonomous government agencies that would be charged with promoting social programs to counter poverty.150 In the end, several civil society groups approved the stru ctural adjustment law either because they had been coopted by the government and/or because they did not understand well what it 148 d’Ans, Emergencia difcil de una nacin, 291. 149 Jos Mara Ferrero, “La Iglesia Catlica ante el gobierno del cambio,” Puntos de Vista (marzo 1991): 13-25 150 These agencies are the Fondo Hondureno de Inversion Social (FHIS or Honduran Social Investment Fund) and the Programa Rural de Asistencia Familiar (PRAF or Rural Program for Family Assistance).

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110 contained. The government, on the other ha nd, was able to justify its new economic policies by claiming that civil society groups had approved it.151 The Callejas government promoted a similar concertacin in the agricultural sector by inviting FENAGH, which represented Hond uras’ landed elites, and various peasant groups to develop a new agrarian law that would secure basic food needs and foment agricultural production. As had occurred with the structural adjustment law, several peasant groups were coopted by the government through this process. They together with FENAGH eventually supported a new agricultur al law which 1) made it more difficult for privately-owned land to be expropriated for agrarian reform; 2) relieved the National Agrarian Institute from its legally prescr ibed role of offering training, credit and counseling to peasant groups; and 3) allowed co operatives to parcel out, privatize and sell the agrarian reform land they had been gran ted. In return, the government promised to distribute titles to la nds that had been occupied illeg ally. Although some key peasant groups such as the ANACH and CNTC refu sed to support this bill, the Callejas government justified its passage of the Law for Agricultural Modernization by claiming that it had been developed w ith the participation and suppor t of peasant and agricultural groups. In both of these cases, the concertacin granted mass-based groups only limited participation in political decision-maki ng while improving the state’s ability to manipulate them.152 Callejas’ adept cooptation and ma nipulation of civ il society leaders led also to the weakening of some of the strongest civil society groups. Members of 151 Interview with Conrado Lando, general secretary of the CTH, November 3, 1999. 152 Pino, “La concertacin econmico social,” and Gustavo Alfaro, “Observaciones y comentarios al proyecto de Ley para la Modernizacin y Desarrollo del Sector Agrcola,” Puntos de Vista (julio 1992): 3441.

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111 these organizations simply lost faith in thei r leadership and came to believe that these individuals were corrupt and easily coopted. As Conrado Lando, president of the CTH explained, “ Habia que recobrar la confianza del pueblo porque lo habiamos perdido .”153 The concertacin was more successful in addres sing popular demands for political reform. The government sponsored two nati onal forums in 1991 to ask civil society groups suggestions on how to improve and mode rnize the Honduran state. A few months later the National Congre ss passed a law that crea ted a Commission for the Modernization of the State—a group compos ed of seventeen government and twentythree civil society representativ es and presided by the presiden t. This was intended to be a permanent, deliberative body that analyzed existing political conditions and proposed reforms that would improve the operation of the state.154 Participants believed the Commission for the Modernization of the Stat e would reorganize stat e-society relations and democratize the Hondur an political system.155 Manuel Bonilla, the program’s first coordinator, notes that the idea for such a government body originated with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) These internati onal organizations developed a list of administrative procedures that they felt should be improved and then provided the funds to develop the bureaucratic structure needed to ta ckle these problems. Initially, these international donors did not consider the need to reform Honduran 153 “We had to regain the people’s confidence because we had lost it.” Interview with Conrado Lando, general secretary of the CTH, November 3, 1999. 154 Julio Navarro, “Apuntes sobre los intentos de modernizacin de l estado Hondureno,” Puntos de Vista (octubre 1992): 49-62 and Luis Co senza Jimnez, “La modernizacin del estado en Honduras,” paper presented at the UNDP workshop, “Ahora las Institu ciones: Desarrollo Institucional para el Desarrollo Humano,” Mara Isabel Sheraton Hotel, Mexico City, 18-19 October 1999. 155 Comisin Presidencial de Modernizacin del Estado, Programa global de modernizacin del estado (Tegucigalpa: Comisin Presidencial de Modernizacin del Estado, 1992).

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112 political institutions. The idea for that was proposed by civil societ y groups in the two concertacin forums held in 1991 where they expr essed their desire to reform the country’s electoral laws, eliminate corrupt ion, depoliticize the j udicial system and improve the operation of Congress.156 On the basis of these suggestions the Commission for the Modernization of the State developed and submitted to Congress a series of laws intended to change existing politic al institutions. This led to various electoral reforms, a new Law of Municipalities (1990), and the creation of both a Human Rights Commissioner and a Public Ministry. Th e later was an independent branch of government charged with investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by state officials. Although civil societ y groups were able to infl uence key institutional changes such as these, they did not achieve the drama tic transformations that they had originally envisioned. The electoral reforms that were passed in 1991-1994, for example, only slightly altered the country’ s electoral system. Although th e new Law of Municipalities established the framework for decentraliz ing power and resources to municipal governments and created mechanisms for citizen participation at a lo cal level, there was little political will to implement the prescrib ed changes. Moreover, the reforms to the judicial and legislative syst ems that had been called for by civil society groups were never approved because there was insuffi cient political party support for them.157 Nevertheless, the Commission for the Moderniz ation of the State did mark an important change in Honduran governance and was able to propel the process of democratization forward. 156 Interview with Manuel Acosta Bonilla, Coordinado r for the National Program for the Modernization of the State (1990-1994), printed in Astrolabio (noviembre 1998): 25-33. 157 Cosenza Jimnez, “La modernizaci n del estado en Honduras.”

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113 Traditional, mass based groups were re invigorated by Carlos Roberto Reina’s assumption to the presidency in 1994. Reina was a former president of the Interamerican Human Rights Court and represented the soci al democratic wing of the Liberal Party—a group that had persistently been impede d from taking control of government by conservative forces. Reina committed hims elf to launching a ne w phase in Honduras’ political history wherein true representative democracy a nd social justice would be achieved. Mass-based groups increased their de mands and level of public protests in the hopes that this new government would be mo re responsive to them. Indigenous groups, for example, launched their most aggressive public march until then—la Marcha de la Dignidad—just months into Reina’s new presid ency in order to demand that their basic socio-economic needs be met.158 They continued to sponsor a series of marches and protests thereafter. Although peasant and labor groups found it difficult to reunite and garner grass roots support, th e increasing poverty brought abou t by structural adjustment encouraged members to overcome these cha llenges and fight for a common cause. The same was true of newer organizations repr esenting urban slum dwellers and street vendors. Not surprisingly, most of the demands made by these groups were economic in nature. But many were political, as we ll. They demanded institutional change, administrative efficiency and grea ter participation in government.159 During just the first two years of Reina’s presidency, these massbased groups sponsored 28 marches, 13 road blockades and issued 83 manifestos.160 158 Interview with Gregoria Flores, President of OFRNA and secretary of COMPAH, October 18, 1999. 159 Leticia Salomn, Julietta Castellanos and Mirna Flores, Ciudadana y participacin en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1996): chapter III. 160 Salomn, Castellanos and Flores, Ciudadana y participacin Chapter V, especially 125.

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114 Reina responded to many of these demands by increasing the participation of civil society in government policy-making. Th e Commission for the Modernization of the State was expanded to include four, new s ub-commissions assigned to study how to strengthen the rule of law and reform th e executive, judiciary and electoral systems.161 Although these groups were unable to promote dr amatic institutional changes, they did introduce some notable reforms. For instance, they drafted and succeeded in passing amendments to the existing el ectoral law thus enabling H ondurans to vote for mayors, congressional deputies and the president on se parate ballots. Reina also created new government oversight commissions with civil society representation within the public energy and telephone companies, the banki ng regulatory body and the Human Rights Commission. Reina also established the Consejo Nacional de Convergencia (CONACON or National Convergence Council) in 1995 in orde r to encourage civil society groups from different sectors to dialogue with each othe r, formulate coherent policies and jointly propose these to the government. CONACON was composed of representatives from labor unions, peasant groups, human ri ghts organizations, women’s groups and professional associations. Unlike the CONASE that had been established by the military in the late 1970’s, the Nationa l Dialogue that had been promoted by Monsignor Santos in the late 1980’s and Callejas’ concertacin nacional the CONACON was meant to be a permanent dialogue forum. It was divided in to five working groups that were charged with discussing issues related to health, educ ation, infrastructure, la nd and agricu lture. Each of these met at a nationa l level about once or twice a month. Representatives would 161 Cosenza Jimnez, “La modernizaci n del estado en Honduras.”

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115 then report the proceedings to their civil so ciety group and obtained their suggestions for future actions. Through this process, seve ral policy recommendations were made, and a total of fourteen accords were signed with the government. However, the organization’s work was hindered by the fact that it lack ed a main office or a permanent office personnel. In the end, only about a tenth of the accords drafted by CONACON resulted in concrete policy outcomes.162 Reina was more successful in restructuring civil-military relations. He removed the armed forces from the control of seven strate gic, public agencies including the national telephone and electric company. He also eliminated forced military recruitment as well as those police and military units that had been responsible for the most heinous human rights violations during the 1980’s. A new civilian police force was created instead and placed under the direction of a new, civilian-led Security Ministry, the Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Interior (CONASIN). Civil society groups was significant participation in this ministerial body Meanwhile, all crimin al investigations were placed under the supervision of the Public Ministry.163 All of these reforms aros e in large part due to the incessant work of the country’s human rights groups during the preceding decade and the activism of a new organization, the Foro Ciudadano sobre Seguridad Pblica The Human Rights Commissioner encouraged human rights groups to form the Foro 162 Interview with Marco Orlando Iriarte, Executive Secr etary of FONAC, October 6, 1999; Interview with Gregoria Flores, President of OFRNA and secretary of COMPAH, October 18, 1999 and Interview with Carlos Arita Valdiviesco, General S ecretary of the Commissi on for the Participation of Civil Society in National Reconstruction, November 29, 1999. 163 Ruhl, “Honduras: Militarism and Democratization” 58-60; Funes, Los deliberantes 385-396; Leticia Salomn, Las relaciones civilies-militares en Honduras: balance y perspectivas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1999): 64-83.

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116 Ciudadano in 1997.164 Originally the government simply wanted to transfer the existing police body from military to civilian contro l. The Human Rights Commissioner and the Foro Ciudadano successfully lobbied to create an entirely new police force to protect citizen rights. They helped draft an Or ganic Police Law which created CONASIN, a supervisory body composed of civil society and government representatives who was charged with overseeing the operations of the new police force. Moreover, five out of CONASIN’s eleven members cam e from civil society groups.165 As can be expected, all of these reforms led to a dramatic decline in human rights abuses.166 The Reina administration was also very responsive to civil society’s calls for a reduction in Honduras’ unsustai nable foreign debt, which equaled 100% of the country’s GDP in 1995.167 The Foro Social de la Deuda Externa de Honduras (FOSDEH) was established in 1996 by professional associa tions, coffee cooperatives, NGOs and the peasant and labor group COCO CH. FOSDEH tried to educate the Honduran public about the unsustainability of th eir country’s foreign debt. Th ey also initiated discussions with the Finance Ministry on how the count ry could combat this problem. FOSDEH worked incessantly with the state to make the case before international lending agencies that Honduras’ foreign debt should be condoned as part of the IMF’s Heavily Indebted 164 The CODEH, COFADEH, CPRT and CIPRODEH formed the core of the Foro Ciudadano 165 The information reported here on the Foro Ciudadano is derived from Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH), Derechos humanos: dos anos de realidades y retos, 1998-1999 (Tegucigalpa: CONADEH, 2000): 41-42 and an inte rview with Victor Meza, Member of the Foro Ciudadano, October 12, 1999. 166 CODEH, La situacin de los derechos humanos en Honduras 1994 1995, 1996, 1997 (Tegucigalpa: CODEH, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998). 167 The information in this paragraph is derived from an interview with Martn Orlando Barahona, member of FOSDEH and President of the Federation of Associ ations of University Professional of Honduras, August 1, 1999 and an interview with Irvin Jerez, member of FOSDEH, October 19, 1999.

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117 Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) begun in 1997.168 Their collaborative work helped Honduras qualified for the HIPC in 2002. Reina tried but was less successful at responding to popular group demands to curtail government corruption. Under his administration, the Public Ministry and General Comptroller’s Office la unched a veritable war agains t those state officials who had misused or expropriated public funds or s ponsored other criminal acts in the past. All of this was done with th e active participation of civ il society representatives. Unfortunately, these government bodies only pursued members of the opposition party, particularly those that had been part of the Callejas administration, but overlooked equally illegal acts that were occurring unde r Reina or that had been committed by past Liberal governments. Moreover, Cosenza Jim nez argues that “instead of fighting the root causes of corruption, … st ate comptrollers and the Publ ic Ministry [were used] to combat corruption, forgetting that these comptroller agencies … traditionally had been controlled and manipulated by professional politicians.”169 As a result, government corruption continued to flourish. By the e nd of the decade Transp arency International rated Honduras as having the most corrupt pub lic administration system in all of Latin America.170 168 For more detailed information on HIPC see David Andrews, Anthony R. Boote, Sy ed S. Rizavi, and Sukhwinder Singh, Debt Relief for Low-Income Countries: The Enhanced HIPC Initiative IMF Pamphlet Series #55 (Washington, D.C.: IMF, 1999). Available on-line at http://www.imf.org/external/pub s/ft/pam/pam51/contents.htm 169 Cosenza Jimnez, “La modernizaci n del estado en Honduras.” 170 Johann Graf Lamsdorff, The Transparency International Corruption Perception Index: Framework Document (City of Publication Unknown: Transparency International, 1999). Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.transparency.de/.

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118 Despite these failings, Reina improved the nature of governance and advanced the process of democratization in Honduras by allowing an unprecedented level of civil society participation in government. As a result, civil-military relations were reformulated and important steps were take n to democratize the country’s electoral system. Unlike Callejas, Reina did not coopt divide and manipulate civil society groups in order to implement policies that went ag ainst popular groups de sires. He either responded to their calls for change or, when th ere was insufficient poli tical will to do this, simply dialogued with civil society represen tatives and did not act on their demands. Carlos Flores Facusse’s assumption to th e presidency in 1998 initially worsened state-society relations. A lthough he had stated throughout hi s presidential campaign that he was committed to expanding civil soci ety participation in government and decentralization, he did little to advance either. Flores refused to summon the Commission for the Modernization of the St ate or the CONACON into session during the first few months of this administration. (This highlighted one of the problems with these organizations—that their ability to promot e a dialogue among civil society groups and increase their influence over public policies was dependent on the wi ll of state-centered, political elites.) Flores also reversed a process of decentralization that had been developing in the health sect or since 1990 and refused to tr ansfer 5% of the national budget to municipal governments as mandate d by law. This brought him in direct conflict with the Asociacin de Municipios de Honduras (AMHON or the Association of Honduran Municipalities), a gr oup that represented the intere st of municipal governments and that had become increasingly active during the 1990’s.

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119 Carlos Flores Facuss expressed his willi ngness to continue promoting the process of convergence. Yet many doubted his commitm ent to this. Flores represented the conservative arm of the Liberal Party. Both he and key members of his cabinet had been part of Suazo Cordoba’s administration in the 1980’s and had had a tendency to centralize decision-making in the past. However, in May of 1998 Flores finally convoked a meeting of leading civ il society groups. Rather than continue supporting the CONACON, Flores chose to create another, almost id entical organization: the Foro de Convergencia Naconal (FONAC or Forum of National C onvergence). This essentially destroyed much of the work that had b een undertaken by CONACON and created a new institutional structure. Flor es justified this move by clai ming that the FONAC’s creation had been mandated by law whereas th e CONACON had no legal standing.171 Like the CONACON, the FONAC encouraged civil soci ety groups to analyze and discuss national problems, reach a consensus on these and make proposals to the government on how to tackle these. Unlike its predecessor, this new forum was supplied with an office and secretarial personnel by the government. Alt hough the group was required to meet only once every six months, participants manage d to meet more frequently and make a proposal in September 1998 on how to improve national security.172 Some civil society groups questioned th e FONAC’s purpose. Many feared that since the state had initiated the formation of and ultimately directed the agenda of both 171 Flores was president of the National Congress during Reina’s presidency and of ten tried to assert his political power and oppose presidential directives. The FONAC is a case in point. Flores had helped pass legislation calling for the creation of the FONAC in December of 1994. Reina had chosen to ignore the law but respect its spirit by creating the CONACON. Flores argued that this organization had no legal foundation. Therefore, he dissolved the CONAC ON and instituted the FONAC upon assuming the presidency in 1997. 172 Interview with Marco Orlando Iriarte, Execu tive Secretary of FONA C, October 6, 1999.

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120 the CONACON and the Commission on the Moderniz ation of the State, participants were susceptible to government manipulation a nd cooptation. The continued weakness of many traditional groups increased th e possibility of this arising. Many also criticized that the government had extended representation only to traditional, mass-based organizations but not to newer groups such as NGOs. The la ter continued to find it difficult to dialogue with the state. ASONOG, a Honduran NGO ba sed in the Western part of the country, tried to encourage organized groups to form a broad based forum independently of the state, but was unsuccessful. Civil society l eaders continued to dist rust each other and resist cooperating with others outside the offi cial institutions constructed by the state. This revealed that despite the many advances that had been achieved in terms of citizen participation, civil society had not recovered from the fr agmentation and co-optation it had experienced during the preceding two decades This together with the conservative nature of the Flores government made it pos sible that recent governance changes might be stalled or reversed under his administration. Conclusion Honduran civil society underwent a dr amatic transformation during the second half of the twentieth century and significan tly challenged the ex clusionary and statecentered style of governance that predominated in Honduras. Yet, the internal structure of organized groups, the politic al activities they undertook and the state’s responsiveness to them differed notably from one decade to another (See Table 3.1). A vibrant civil society first emerged in Honduras during th e 1950’s when women, laborers and landless peasants began to organize in order to de fend their common interests and secure basic political and socio-economic ri ghts. State-centered elites responded to these events by meeting some popular demands, repressing thos e groups they deemed threatening and

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121 Table 3.1 Honduran Governance Duri ng the Late Twentieth Century Time Period The Nature of Civil Society State Responses Style of Governance 1950’s to the 1960’s Labor, business, peasant, student and women’s groups emerged and demanded suffrage, basic labor rights, access to land and democracy. They repressed groups inspired by Communist or Social Christian thought. They also contained the radicalization of organized sectors by granting them some basic demands and encouraging the creation of more conciliatory, parallel groups. State-centered, exclusionary and repressive. Civil society adopted a confrontational approach to the state and received concessions from it only after significant mass protests. late 1960’s and early 1970’s Mass-based groups strengthed and demanded an end to partisan politics, and greater state responsiveness to their demands. Political elites agreed to create a National Unity Government. When this failed, the armed forces launched a period of reformist, military rule which met some popular socioeconomic demands. State-centered and exclusionary. Slightly less repressive. Civil society continued to adopt a confrontational approach to the state. The state tried to pacify these groups by meeting some of their demands in a patronizing manner. late 1970’s and 1980’s Traditional massbased groups began to fragment. New groups emerged and demanded human rights and democracy They tried to weaken traditional, mass based groups by repressing and penetrating them. Yet civil society groups were asked to participate in CONASE. State-centered, exclusionary and repressive. Civil society adopted a confrontational approach to the state but received little in return. However, the state did invite civil society to help draft the electoral laws that guided the return to constitutional rule. late 1980’s and early 1990’s Traditional massbased groups tried to reorganize while the newer groups strengthed. They demanded human rights, socially-just economic policies, greater political participation and democratic deepening They sought civil society’s input and approval on different policies yet simultaneously tried to coopt these groups in order to secure their support for elitedesigned policies. State-centered but less repressive. Punctuated by periods of civil society participation in public decisionmaking. mid to late 1990’s They remained moderately well organized. They demanded sociallyjust economic policies, the state’s demilitarization, political participation and democracy. They created permanent forums that allowed civil society groups to dialogue with each other, develop policy recommendations and maintain a closer level of communication with the state. State-centered but slightly more participatory. encouraging the creation of more conciliatory, parallel organizations. Although a few groups were consulted on policy issues during this period, civil societ y in general was not granted a formal or permanent participation in government. The best and often only way

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122 for them to get their demands heard or met was through mass mobilization and public protests. Although confronta tional approach led to impor tant social benefits, it contributed to an unstable pol itical system that was susceptible to constitutional breakdown and military intervention. During the late 1960’s civil society groups began criticizing the Honduran political system and encouraged the creation of a National Unity Government. When this administration pr oved unresponsive to popular demands, it was deposed by a military coup. The new govern ment contained mass mobilization and postponed demands for democratic govern ance by meeting popular socio-economic demands. Although this military government was re formist, it did not alter the nature of Honduran governance: the state continued to monopolize political decision-making and maintain a patrimonial relationship with ci vil society. More conservative military and civilian elites took control of the state duri ng the late 1970’s and 1980’s. They tried to demobilize mass-based groups by repressing them, penetrating them and turning members against each other. Civil soci ety groups maintained a confrontational relationship with the state dur ing this period, but often su ffered extreme repression for their activities. Nevertheless, civilsociety groups were allowed to negotiate the rules of the political game for the first time: they he lped draft a new electoral law through their participation in CONASE and thus began a tran sition to constitutional rule. Civil society also played a crucial role in politics once again in 1985 by helping to resolve the constitutional crisis sparked by Suazo Cor doba’s attempts to extend his presidency. The traditional, state-centered and exclus ionary pattern of governance in Honduras began to change during the 1990’s. Civil society groups began to reorganize while political elites acknowledged the need to expand civil society participation in

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123 government. President Callejas allowed organi zed groups to help al ter existing political institutions through their participation in the Commission for the Modernization of the State. He also promoted a concertacin nacional wherein he presented policy proposals to civil society groups, allowed them to ma ke recommendations on these and eventually sought their approval of them. Although these forums were used to coopt and appease popular organizations, they allowed “ un rgimen de discusin ”173 to emerge between the state and civil society. Moreover, the fact that the state allowed organized groups to influence the process of institutional de sign and sought their p ublic policy approval suggests that a new style of governance wa s developing—one that was more conducive to a democratic political system. Civil society played an even greater role in achieving institutional change during President Rein a’s administration. Popular groups and political elites succeeded in demilitarizi ng the Honduran state and assuring civilian control over the armed forces. They also su ccessfully pressured the government to alter electoral laws so as to enable citizens to elect candidates from different political parties to different government posts. Although civil so ciety was less successful in influencing the government’s socio-economic policies, it was granted a greater amount of representation in government ministries than previously. All of these changes suggest that Honduran governance was continuing to change: it wa s becoming less statecentric and more dependent on state-society di alogue and negotiation. President Flores’ ascension to the presidency in 1998 brought these recent governance changes into question. Although Flores claimed to support the process of national convergence begun by his predecessors, he did little to support it duri ng his first few months in office. This together with Flores 173 “A regime of discussion” Interview with Jos Obdu lio Fuentes, Secretary General of the Federacin de Comits Agropecuarias Diversificadas de Honduras (FECADH), October 26, 1999.

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124 historic tendency to centrali ze political decision-making made the future development of Honduran governance uncertain. It is within th is political context that Hurricane Mitch battered this tiny country of six million people in October of 1998.

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125 CHAPTER 4 NATIONAL-LEVEL GOVERNANCE AFTER MITCH Introduction Hurricane Mitch was a landmark event in Hon duran political history. It tested the state’s capacity to meet citizen needs, civi l society’s ability to collaborate in this endeavor and the political el ite’s willingness to respond to popular demands. Although the storm did not destabilize the country’s political system, it did reveal the state’s inability to respond to the disaster or unde rtake reconstruction on its own. It also highlighted the deficiencies of Honduran democracy and led many to question how it could be improved. This chapter analyzes how national-level gove rnance was affected by both the experience of disaster and the international assistance that followed it. It begins by recounting how the Honduran st ate and civil society responded to the emergency and interacted with each other durin g the initial months after Mitch. It then discusses how foreign donors and domestic gr oups pressured for political change and how the government responded to these challenges. State and Societal Responses to Disaster Hurricane Mitch highlighted the weaknesse s and inefficiencies of the Honduran state. The military-staffed Comisin Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO), the national emergency management agency, tr ied warning the Honduran population through the radio, print and TV news about the appro aching hurricane for se veral days before it made landfall. But it was unable to reach or evacuate many of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the country. COPECO responded to the storm as best it could,

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126 relying on eighteen helicopters and twelve small planes for its national-level rescue work. But it was handicapped by a shortage of personne l and equipment. The agency had been weakened throughout the 1990’s as part of a br oader political effort to demilitarize the Honduran state. As a result, COPECO’s budget before Mitch was only about $200,000 a year. This enabled the agency to maintain mere ly two telephone lines and a skeletal staff. These organizational limitations inhibited COPECO’s ability to receive adequate information on the disaster, respond to it e ffectively or coordinate relief efforts.1 Although the agency counted on several helicopt ers and planes, its operations chief was forced to acknowledge just a few days after the storm that it need ed twice as many air vehicles in order to manage rescue operati ons adequately just along the Northern Coast.2 President Flores tried to help the agency carry out its emergency work by ordering that the remaining yearly budget allocated for COPE CO be transferred to it immediately. In addition, members of the National Congress cont ributed two days of their salary to the state’s relief work.3 But these funds were unable to overcome COPECO’s institutional problems. Already overburdened with the emer gency in the Northern part of the country, COPECO proved entirely unable to confront th is natural disaster as floods and landslides spread to the Central and Southern regions of Honduras. The Honduran armed forces tried to respond to the crisis on its own by es tablishing a command and operations center 1 Interview with Arturo Corrales, Commisioner of CO PECO, Ocotober 19, 1999 and Richard Olson et al., The Storms of '98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch Impacts, Institutional Response, and Disaster Politics in Three Countries Special Publication #38 (Boulder: Natu ral Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, 2001): 44. 2 “COPECO planifica masiva operacin area,” La Prensa on the Web 31 octubre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9810/n29002.htm. 3 “Gobierno declara emergencia en zona insular y costera,” La Prensa on the Web 29 octubre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9810/n29002.htm

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127 (the Centro de Operaciones y Comando). They focused on logi stical operations such as air rescue and road clearance which they perf ormed together with foreign armed service units.4 But, their work was hampered by its lack of information on the crisis. Meanwhile, the floods and infrastructura l damage caused by the storm had knocked down telephone lines, blocked roads and prevented several municipalities from contacting COPECO or any other national, government agency to report needs and damages. Consequently, many local govern ments and communities were forced to undertake relief efforts on their own for a few days to up to three weeks. Fortunately, COPECO had organized and trained both local and regional level emergency committees along the flood-prone Atlantic Coast just a few months before the advent of Mitch. These helped lead local rescue activities during the immediate af termath of the storm independently of the national level COPECO Some towns that did not possess local emergency committees immediately organized them in order to coordinate relief work.5 Citizens with access to boats and canoes help ed rescue neighbors stranded on trees and rooftops. Communities also united to harvest undamaged crops and feed disaster victims through communal kitchens. In many areas, lo cal schools, health c linics and churches were transformed into temporary shelters. Some local leaders whose communities had lost access to even these basic resources over came incredible logistic al barriers to seek outside help. For example, the mayor of Morolica, a small town in the Southern department of Choluteca, traveled approxima tely 200 miles on foot to Tegucigalpa (a 4 For example see “Inician rescates areo s y envan ayuda al norte del pas,” La Prensa on the Web 1 noviembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9811/n01009.htm 5 Maria-Jesus Olivo Daz Lpez, “Relocating Morolica: Vulnerability and Resilience in Post-Mitch Honduras,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, 2002: 110.

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128 voyage of two days) in order to request nati onal and foreign assistan ce for his devastated town.6 Although the interrup tion of the country’s comm unication and transportation systems inhibited the state’s ab ility to receive information on and respond to the disaster, national government agencies failed to offe r adequate emergency assistance even once these systems were restored. Some isolat ed communities in the Mosquitia region of Eastern Honduras were unable to contact COPECO until mid-November. During this time, residents, municipal governments and NGOs operating in the region were forced to undertake rescue efforts on their own. Un fortunately, the state did not provide emergency assistance to this regi on even after it was requested.7 This lack of government responsiveness prompted communities in this and other parts of the country to bypass the state and seek help directly from foreign governments and charitable organizations. As the mayor of Morolica explained, “If we had waited for the [national] government, the people of Morolica would s till be living in tents.”8 Private citizens in the cap ital also began to undertake emergency-related activities in order to compensate for the state’s wea kness and inefficiency. Arturo Corrales, a specialist in geographic information systems (GIS) began producing data on Mitch and the disaster it had cau sed through his company, Ingenieria Gerencial At the time, this was the only Honduran business capable of ma naging satellite-based geographic imagery and information electronically. Possessing faxes, computers and multiple phone lines 6 Ibid, 114. 7 This See Gregory W. DeVries, “P ost Hurricane Reconstruction in La Moskitia, Honduras,” M.A. Thesis, University of Florida, 2000: chapter four. 8 Mayor of Morolica, quoted in L pez, “Relocating Morolica,” 118.

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129 Ingenieria Gerencial quickly took over the informationgathering job that should have been done by COPECO.9 President Flores tried to improve the government’s emergency-response capacity by creating a special and temporary emer gency commission on November 1, 1998: the Comisin Nacional de Emergencia (CONE or National Emergency Commission). Corrales and his company became the core of CONE. In fact, most of this commission’s operations were held in the offices of Ingenieria Gerencial CONE essentially became an emergency information center: it gathered data on the disaster and distributed these to different government agencies. However, CONE did not involve itself with the operational side of recovery work no r did it coordinate relief efforts.10 The creation of CONE did little to improve the government’s management of the emergency. The estimated ninety internat ional NGOs and countless local development organizations operating in Honduras were for ced to gather disaster information and distribute emergency assistance on their ow n “because there was no strong, central coordinating agency” to cooperate with them or facilitate their work.11 Meanwhile, state agencies distributed foreign, hum anitarian aid at a painstakingl y slow pace to those most in need. Some citizens were still trapped on roof tops tw o weeks after the storm while many of those housed in temporary shelters did not receive food or other humanitarian assistance for over three weeks.12 During this period, municipal governments and NGOs 9 Interview with Arturo Corrales on October 19, 1999. 10 Richard Olson et al., The Storms of '98 45. 11 Sarah Lister, “Scaling-Up in Emergenc ies: British NGOs after Hurricane Mitch,” Disasters 25:1 (2001): 41. 12 “Todava no llega ayuda se quejan en el interior,” La Prensa on the Web 18 noviembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9811/n18004.htm

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130 responded to the disaster as best they coul d. The paucity of aid distribution caused many to question the government’s ability to distribu te foreign aid efficien tly, fairly and with transparency. The Human Rights Commissioner, Leo Valladares, expressed the fear that corruption would hinder the stat e’s relief efforts and reminded the public that Honduras had been rated as the second most corrupt country in Latin America earlier in 1998.13 The increasing domestic and international concern over the government’s ability to administer aid led President Flores to give the task of receiving, managing and distributing foreign assistance to both Catholic and Evangelical Churches on November 17, 1998.14 Since the Catholic Church was the largest of these religious institutions, it assumed the bulk of this responsibility. In some areas the Church worked through a strong network of Delegates of the Word15 and Christian Base Communities while in others it created new community organizati ons to carry out relief work. Although the Catholic Church had become a key protagon ist in the emergency phase, Church leaders represented in the Bishops Council and the CA RITAS Council continually stated that the Catholic Church should only cooperate in th e emergency and reconstruction process, not manage it. These religious leaders were hopeful that the Church’s work would help strengthen the Honduran state. They believed that the best way to achieve this end was by strengthening civil society and encouraging it to become more active in the emergency and eventual reconstruction process. 13 “Fiscala y Controlara supervisan manejo de ayuda internacional,” La Prensa on the Web 5 noviembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9805/n050010.htm 14 “Iglesia Catlica y Evanglica asumen destribucin de las ayudas,” La Prensa on the Web 18 noviembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9811/n18008.htm 15 It is estimated that there were over 10,000 Delegate s of the Word in Honduras by the late 1990’s. See Chris Humphrey, Honduras Handbook (Chico, CA: Moon Publications, 1997): 28.

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131 President Flores, on the other hand, seemed to believe that the best way of responding to the crisis was by centralizing power. On October 29, 1998, just two days after Mitch made landfall, President Carlos Flores declared a state of emergency and ordered the armed forces and National Police to take possession of affected Atlantic Coast areas in order to prevent looting and maintain order. He also began ruling by decree in early November 1998 so that member s of Congress could remain in and better assist the communities that they represented. Flores suspended civil liberties (articles 71, 81, 84 99 and 103 of the constitution) on Novemb er 3 and imposed a fifteen day curfew lasting from 9PM to 5 AM. Two days later he announced that a group of technocrats had begun drafting a national plan for reconstruction. The government’s work on this document was highly secretive. Few people knew who was working on it or what the plan would entail. Once the Congress was r ecalled, this legislative body facilitated rather than halted the president’s centralization of power. The Congress approved the executive decree suspending civil liberties and extended the night-time curfew until the end of November. It also quickly approved a bi ll—the Law for Administrative Facility— submitted by the executive which allowed the president to modify the national budget, determine what state expenditures should be prioritized, bypass re gular bureaucratic channels and form a Special Cabinet for Nati onal Reconstruction. This institutionalized a highly centralized reconstructi on process. On November 25, 1998 the president began to organize his new Cabinet.16 This group of five minister s was expected to supervise the development and monitor the implementation of the government’s r econstruction plan. 16 The Reconstruction Cabinet was to be composed of the Minister of the Presidency; Minister of Finance, Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Housing; Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; and the Minister of International Cooperatio n. The Minister of Foreign Affair s and the President of the Central Bank were designated as special advisors to the new cabinet.

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132 Municipal governments as well as those mini stries not represented in the new cabinet were required by law to implement the master reconstruction plan even though they were not guaranteed participation in its design.17 In fact, mayors and congressional representatives found it increasingly difficu lt to access members of the Reconstruction Cabinet or have any influence on them after Mitch.18 Nevertheless, all branches of government a nd sectors of civil society were expected to do their part to contribute to the recovery effort being directed by the executive. The Honduran Congress began passing a series of la ws in late November and early December of 1998 aimed at increasing national econom ic productivity. It reformed existing legislation on tourism, mining and agricultural in order to fo ment business investment in these sectors. Congress also passed several other laws that seemed to attack labor and indigenous rights. It suspe nded for three years part of article 339 of the Labor Code which required that workers be paid doubl e for working on national holidays. In addition, Congress repealed article 107 of th e Constitution which prohibited foreigners from owning land within approximately 25 miles of the Honduran border—an area inhabited by several indigenous and Black group s. Private sector representatives were invited to form advisory bodies to the Recons truction Cabinet and help prioritize projects. Yet labor, peasant and indigenous groups were excluded from this process and, instead, 17 “Conforman Gabinete de Reconstruccin,” La Prensa on the Web 26 noviembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9811/n260010.htm 18 Several mayors and congressional deputies expressed their frustration over this matter in personal interviews with the author in 1999 and 2000.

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133 asked to channel their suggestions on r econstruction through FONAC, a group that was believed to have little influence on the government.19 CARITAS, the Catholic Church’s de velopment agency (Otherwise known as Catholic Charities in the United States), res ponded to these events by inviting leaders of several civil society organizations to m eet in December 1998 and discuss what the process of reconstruction should entail. Se veral professionals, in tellectuals and civil society leaders had been arguing since the onslaught of Mitch that socio-economic and environmental factors had contributed to the co untry’s recent natural disaster. Informally and through newspaper editorials these indivi duals argued that that the process of reconstruction should try to transform these pre-existing conditions, not simply rebuild houses and infrastructure. But, there was no st ructure or unity to th ese disparate views. Father Germn Calix, the executive director of CARITAS, believes that civil society groups would have united on their own wit hout his group’s intervention. But because CARITAS and the Catholic Church, more gene rally, were playing such a large role in relief work, he and other Church leaders t hought they could facilitate a dialogue among civil society groups and encourage them to begin thinking more formally about reconstruction. The December reunion did not s eek to unite all civil society groups in Honduras. In fact, most of th e traditional, mass-based organi zations in the country were excluded from this meeting. CARITAS merely invited those organizations (most of them NGOs) with whom it had coordinated developmen t projects in the past. The attempt to unite NGOs seemed logical at the time si nce these groups together with municipal governments were the ones who were perfor ming much of the grass-roots, emergency 19 “Ejecutivo crea grupos de asesora al Gabinete de Reconstruccin,” La Prensa on the Web 8 diciembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/natarc/9812/n08003.htm

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134 work. Meeting attendants formed working gr oups dedicated to discussing education, health, housing, agrarian reform and other such topics. These brain-storming groups continued to meet on various occasions during the following weeks. Traditional civil society groups also bega n to meet at the end of 1998 in order to discuss reconstruction. However, they united through the government-led FONAC—a corporatist group whose activit ies were partly limited by th e executive branch. Members of FONAC drafted a short paper summarizing their views on reconstruction in midDecember. It suggested that the government prioritize meeting basic needs, increasing jobs, diversifying exports, expanding Centra l American integrati on and ensuring civil society participation.20 The FONAC reaffirmed its desi re for these goals in another proposal it completed in 1999. Meanwhile, international donors began wo rking more closely with the Honduran government in order to facil itate the process of disaster recovery. The World Bank established a Central American Emergency Tr ust Fund with the contribution of several donors in November of 1998 to help countries affected by Mitch continue to make debt repayments.21 This enabled Honduras to channel the millions of dollars normally spent on repaying foreign loans to relief and emergency work. In December 1998 the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) began co ordinating longer-term recovery work by hosting a Consultative Group meeting on the Reconstruction of Central America in Washington, D.C. Representatives from ma jor bilateral and mu ltilateral donors met the 20 FONAC, “Aportes para la agenda de la reunin del grupo consultivo de Centro Amrica que se realizar en Washington el 10 y 11 de diciembr e de 1998,” drafted December 8, 1998. 21 World Bank, “World Bank Responses to Hurricane Mitch,” accessed online at http://www.worldbank.org/htm l/extdr/spring99/mitch-pb.htm on February 3, 2003.

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135 Central American Presidents here to disc uss the region’s needs and coordinate the international community’s commitment to rec onstruction. Attendants at this Consultative Group meeting agreed that rec onstruction should be seen as an opportunity to pursue a more sustainable development than what had been achieved in the past. They decided that reconstruction should cont ribute to a broader process of 1) lessening ecological and social vulnerability, 2) reducing foreign debt 3) achieving greater social equity, 4) promoting decentralization, 5) increasing civ il society participation and 6) encouraging good governance.22 Another Consultative Group m eeting was scheduled for May of 1999 in Stockholm, Sweden. Unlike the D ecember meeting, this second reunion would include civil society groups. Central American governments were asked to present their reconstruction in Stockhol m while donors promised to announce their financial commitment to the region there. Donor agenci es agreed to send consultants to assist in the development of these reconstruction plans an d encouraged civil society to be part of this design process. Preparing for Stockholm Although participants at the Washington meeting committed themselves to improving the nature of governance in Ce ntral America, the Honduran government initially did little to change its authoritarian and centralist tendencies. President Flores replaced Foreign Relations Mi nister Fernando Martnez in ea rly January of 1999 after he criticized the unproductive nature of the Reconstruction Cabinet and the lack of competitive bidding for new projects.23 Martnez claimed that the Reconstruction 22 Interview with Jan Robberts, Counsellor at the Swedish Embassy in Honduras, October 13, 1999. 23 Interview with Fernando Martnez, former Honduran Mi nister of Foreign Relations, February 28, 2000.

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136 Cabinet tended to act like a coffee break club during this early peri od: members discussed reconstruction only in abstract terms instea d of tackling signifi cant policy matters. Meanwhile, contracts for reconstruction projects were being granted to friends and family members of senior-level polit ical officials. When Mart nez suggested that these be subject to public licitation and audite d, his recommendations were dismissed.24 Martnez resigned from the Reconstruction Cabinet in late December 1998 only to be discharged from his ministerial post a few days later. President Flores also exerted greater control over the Honduran Armed Forces—one of the few positive examples of his centralist tendencies. He named Edgardo Dumas as De fense Minister in January 1999—the first civilian to hold this post since the Superior Council of the Armed Forces was dissolved. Dumas curtailed the military’s remaini ng autonomy by supervising its budget and pension fund. The Flores government also resisted attempts at decentralization.25 It refused to transfer 5% of the national budget to the country’s muni cipal governments as mandated by law. Instead, only 1.7% of the 1999 budget (or about $14.7 million) was distributed among these local public entities. The president jus tified this action by claiming that he had condoned municipal government debts with the Autonomous Municipal Bank and that he needed more f unds to direct the reconstruction process.26 The Minister and Vice Minist er of Finance also argued that municipal governments lacked the capacity to administer 5% of th e national budget; therefore, they were being 24 See Paul Jeffrey, “Rhetoric and Reco nstruction in Post-Mitch Honduras,” NACLA: Report on the Americas 33:2 (September/October 1999): 32 and “Renunci a Canciller del Gabinete de Reconstruccin,” La Prensa on the Web 23 diciembre 1998 found at http://www.laprensahn.com/ natarc/9812/n23006.htm 25 Interview with Guadalupe Lopez, Executive Secr etary of the Honduran Association for municipalities (AMHON), November 3, 1999 and interview with Arnold David Sanchez, President of AMHON, November 12, 1999. 26 Alcades luchan por obtener el 5% del presupuesto,” Infopress Centroamericana 30 July 1999.

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137 given only what they could manage.27 The Flores government did agree to allow civil society participation in the drafting of th e Reconstruction Plan. But only the FONAC was accepted as a legitimate interlocutor of civil society demands since it assembled all the mass-based organizations in Honduras. Mo reover, the government did not assure that it would integrate the pro posals submitted by FONAC. While FONAC worked on its reconstr uction proposal, CARITAS convoked a second general meeting of civil society groups in January of 1999. Those present agreed to create a more formal, broad based coali tion that came to be known as INTERFOROS. Although CARITAS had encouraged the unifi cation of civil society groups not represented in FONAC, it adopte d a less proactive role toward s these organizations once INTERFOROS was formed. INTERFOROS was comprised initially of the Foro Ciudadano (Citizen’s Forum), the Foro Social para la Deuda Externa (FOSDEH), the Federacin Privada de Organizaciones en Desarrollo (FOPRIDEH), ASONOG (the Asociacin de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales ), CARITAS and various women’s organizations. Several labor, peasant and i ndigenous groups—some of whom were part of the FONAC—also asked to be incorporat ed into INTERFOROS in February 1999. By the middle of 1999 INTERFOROS encomp assed twelve forums which together represented approximately 575 civil society gr oups. Some of these organizations had united in December of the previous year to denounce the fact that President Flores continued to rule by decree. As a result of their protests, the president stopped this authoritarian practice at the end of Decembe r. Now, these groups joined forces once 27 Speech given by the Gabriela Nuez, Minister of Finance, at the World Bank’s Country Assesment Strategy Workshop, October 28, 1999. See also “Dem andan al estado por incumplimiento en entrega de fondos municipales,” Infopress Centroamericana 11 February 2000.

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138 again to draft a propos al on reconstruction.28 The document, which was submitted to the government in mid-March of 1999, emphasized the need to strengthen the country’s democracy, institute citizen controls on govern ment, alleviate Honduras ’ foreign debt and develop new agrarian and economic policies that were less detrimental to the poor. Throughout the group’s formative period, repres entatives of INTERFOROS tried to meet with government officials in order to expound their views on reconstruction and assist in the design of the master document. But th ere were limited opportunities for dialogue. Although some of FONAC’s me mbers also were incorporated into INTERFOROS, these two organizations had li ttle formal contact with each other. The government refused to incorporate the NGOs that fo rmed part of INTERFOROS into FONAC claiming that they were not mass-based organizations. Meanwhile, members of INTERFOROS viewed FONAC as a group that had been coopted by the government and which had little influence on the executive. Indeed, many civil society leaders both within and outside of FONAC explained that th e issues that this or ganization prioritized for discussion were not the same as those th at Honduran civil society considered to be most important because the government infl uenced FONAC’s agenda. For example, although FONAC designed and presented a r econstruction proposal in early 1999, the organization’s resources were channeled to other matters soon thereafter. Members began concentrating on strengthening and deepening FONAC’s internal structure, analyzing the country’s educat ional system and discussing women’s participation. By diverting attention to these issues, FONAC was limited in its ability to follow through on its reconstruction proposal. 28 Interview with Conrado Lando, Memb er of the Executive Committee of the Consejo de Trabajadores de Honduras (CTH), November 3, 1999.

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139 The level of dialogue between the state and civil society improved slightly in March of 1999 when the Unidad Nacional de Asistencia Tcnica (UNAT), the technical office in charge of drafting the government ’s reconstruction plan, offered to meet representatives of INTERFOROS, FONAC a nd other public and private institutions. Hundreds of people attended this meetings. Unfortunately, UNAT’s meetings were not designed to obtain much citizen input into the content of the reconstruction plan. The government presented an outline of its master plan through slides and overheads. Then those present were allowed to comment on wh at they had seen. The structure and large number of people in this reuni on allowed little room for civil society participation in the decision-making process. However, those pres ent were able to persuade the government to think more about transformation, not mere ly reconstruction. Based on these general suggestions, the government slightly altered its reconstruction plan (beginning with its title). It then held another meeting with civil society groups in early April 1999 wherein it presented its Master Plan for National Reconstruction and Transformation. The plan estimated that approximately $4 billion were needed to rebuild the country—a sum the government hoped to obtain at the upcoming Stockholm meeting. Shortly after the government published its reconstruction plan, the Human Rights Commissioner, Leo Valladares, issued a repor t alleging seventeen cases of foreign aid mismanagement by high-ranking public offici als during the immediate aftermath of Mitch. The government responded by harshl y criticizing Valladares for tarnishing Honduras’ foreign image and hi ndering its ability to contr act funding. Within days, President Flores sent a bill to Congress (It was formally introduced by a Liberal Party congressman) which proposed reducing the Hu man Rights Commissioner’s term from six

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140 to four years and limiting his mandate only to investigating cases of human rights abuses. Essentially, this would have prevented the commissioner from investigating cases of corruption. The Congress then dominated by President Flores’ Liberal Party approved the constitutional reform on April 20, 1999 w ith 28 votes in favor, 26 against and 74 abstentions. Civil society gr oups responded with outrage. The Foro Ciudadano INTERFOROS and the FONAC, publicly de nounced the government’s actions and demanded that the Commissioner’s term a nd mandate be left unaltered. Meanwhile, several mass-based groups prepared to launch public protest activities. The political influence of Honduran civil society was rein forced by international pressure. Foreign ambassadors and representatives of multilateral institutions met with the President of the Congress and other senior level officials to urge the Congress to reconsider its recent legislative vote. President Flores pub licly condemned the recent legal decision. Meanwhile, the President of the Congress promised to reconsider the measure and tried to convince the media that the executive had not proposed the bill. With hundreds of protesters in the streets, Congress unanimously voted to leave the Human Right Commissioner’s term and mandate unchanged on April 27, 1999.29 While in the midst of this political crisis, President Flores tried to polish the government’s image by inviti ng representatives of the Foro Ciudadano to meet with him on April 26, 1999. The Foro Ciudadano was composed of dis tinguished intellectuals who had been lobbying for several years to deepen democracy and reform existing political institutions. The group had not only denounced the Congr ess’ attack on the 29 The information reported here was obtained from various newspaper reports published in April 1999. See also Jeffrey, “Rhetoric and Reconstruction in Post-Mitch Honduras,” NACLA: Report on the Americas 33: 2 (September/October 1999): 28-35.

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141 Human Rights Commissioner. It also had la unched a barrage of cr iticisms against the government during the preceding months. Moreover, the Foro Ciudadano had drafted a series of recommendations on how to impr ove the country’s political system and integrated these into INTERFO ROS’ reconstruction proposal. The President most likely sought to dialogue with the Foro Ciudadano instead of the broader INTERFOROS of which it formed a part because one of its key members, Victor Meza, was his former legislative advisor. The president may have wanted to use this pe rsonal asso ciation to coopt and pacify the group. Instead, the Foro Ciudadano adeptly used its meeting with the president to pressure the government to commit to a series of reforms. These sought to 1) ensure transparency in the management of public affairs and re sources, 2) increase both civil society and munici pal government participation in public decision-making and 3) reduce Honduras’ social and ecological vulnerability,. The president together with all the members of the Reconstruction Cabine t committed themselves to pursuing these goals by signing a seven page declaration on May 20, 1999. President Flores agreed to add this agreement as a supplement to the Master Reconstruction Plan.30 Despite this willingness to dialogue with and concede to several civil society demands, the government continued to ignore INTERFOROS. Representatives of this group had been unable to meet the president and had had few meetings with members of the Reconstruction Cabinet. When INTERFOROS submitted its reconstruction proposal to the government in mid-March, they were to ld that the Master R econstruction Plan was already completed and could not be altere d to accommodate their suggestions. The president’s meeting with the Foro Ciudadano caused a rift between this group and 30 Interview with Victor Meza, Members of Foro Ciudadano, October 12, 1999.

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142 INTERFOROS. Members of the later felt that the Foro Ciudadano should have asked them to participate in this session. The Foro Ciudadano argued that the president had not asked to dialogue with this larger group. Due to this difference, the Foro Ciudadano withdrew from INTERFOROS in May of 1999. Nevertheless, Honduran civil society con tinued to pressure their government and donor agencies to approach reconstruction with a new vision. Two days before the second Consultative Group meeting was set to begin, Central American NGOs and civil society organizations met w ith their North American a nd European counterparts in Stockholm to discuss how they could partic ipate in reconstruction. Those present emphasized the need to transform existing soci o-economic and political structures. They suggested that international donor agencies develop multiple follow-up mechanisms to ensure the active participa tion of civil society groups in the implementation and supervision of reconstruction. They also asked that “effective conditionalities” be attached to the aid offered by these donor s so as to reward the governments that developed formal, participatory mechanisms. The second Consultative Group mee ting took place from May 25-28, 1999. Approximately fifteen leaders of Honduran civil society groups attended this event. Most represented traditional organizations such as labor unions, women’s groups and peasant organizations. However, newer groups such as INTERFOROS, the Foro Ciudadano and CONPAH also sent delegates. The Honduran government had met with all of these organizations either directly or via FONAC before Stockholm. But its relationship with INTERFOROS remained tense. Moreover, desp ite its attempts to inform and involve civil society in the recons truction plan during the earl y part of 1999, many donors and

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143 civil society groups continued to believe that the government was too closed and centralized. Donors hoped to use this meeti ng to encourage the Honduran government to continue cooperating with civil society a nd incorporating its participation in the reconstruction process. As a first step in th is endeavor, forums were held on topics such as transparency and good governance, eco logical and social vulnerability, decentralization and local development. These offered donor agency, national government and civil society representatives the opportunity to dial ogue with each other and exchange ideas about how to achieve the reconstruction a nd transformation of Central America.31 Donors also encouraged the Honduran government to improve its level of dialogue with INTERFOROS. At one point in the consultative group meeting, a Swedish representative invited President Flor es to his chamber to meet Mauricio Daz, the head delegate of INTERFOROS. This wa s the first time the president had agreed to meet with a representati ve of this organization.32 All of these events sent a clear message to the government that it had to do more to open up to civil societ y. The Consultative Group meeting ended with the drafting and signing of what is simply known as the Stockholm Declaration. Through it, signatory states agreed to Reduce the social and ecological vulnerabili ty of the region, as an overriding goal Reconstruct and transform Central Amer ica on the basis of an integrated approachto transparency and good governance, Reinforce the process of decentralizati on of governmental functions and powers, with the active participation of the civil society, 31 Papers summarizing the results of these and other workshops can be obtain from the IADB online at http://www.iadb.org/regions/re2/consultative_group/toc.htm 32 Conversation with Mauricio Daz, representative of INTERFOROS, October 21, 1999. See also Paul Jeffrey, Rhetoric and Reconstruction in Post-Mitch Honduras,” NACLA: Report on the Americas 33:2 (September/October 1999): 35.

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144 Promote respect for human rights as a permanent objective, and give special, attention to the promotion of equality between women and men, the rights of children, ethnic groups and other minorities, Coordinate donor efforts, gui ded by priorities set by the recipient countries, and Intensify efforts to reduce th e external debt burden of the countries of the region. The Stockholm Declaration essentially co mmitted Central American governments to advancing three political processes: transp arency, decentralization and civil society participation. At the end of this Cons ultative Group meeting, donors pledged to give Honduras approximately $2.8 billion during a four-year period to finance emergency, reconstruction and transformation pr ograms, as well as debt relief. Civil Society Respo nds to Stockholm The Consultative Group meeting in St ockholm reinvigorated Honduran civil society. Surveys conducted at the end of 1999 with thirty-eight leaders of second and third level civil society groups33 revealed that the organizations they represented were cooperating more frequently with one anothe r than they had done before Mitch (See Table 4-1). Whereas half of those consulted had worked with other civil society organizations only sporadically before the disaster, approximately 47% were doing so on a weekly or bi-weekly basis a year after the storm. A one sa mple T-test determined that there was a significant difference between th e level of intra-group cooperation reported for both time periods (See Table 4-2). Not surprisingly, 71% of those questioned said that it was easier to cooper ate with other civil society groups in 2000 than it had been before Mitch. Moreover, nearly 37% of th em reported that th eir organization’s 33 First level civil society groups are understood here as community-based groups. Second level organizations represent multiple first level one. Lastly, third level organizations are comprised of several second level groups.

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145 Table 4-1. Reported cooperati on among civil society groups* How frequently did your organization work with other civil society groups before Mitch? How frequently has your organization worked with other civil society groups since Mitch? Weekly 10.5% Weekly 21.1% Bi-weekly 7.9% Bi-weekly 26.3% Monthly 23.7% Monthly 36.8% Sporadically 50.0% Sporadically 13.2% Never 5.3% Never 2.6% Don’t Know 2.6% Don’t Know 0% N=38 membership had increased afte r the disaster. Several new civic groups also arose during this post-Mitch period. A recent study of H onduran civil society has reported that 298 second and third level civil soci ety organizations obtained their personera jurdica (i.e., legal government recognition) between January 1999 and July 2001. Their yearly rate of inscription was almost twice what it had been from 1991 to 1998.34 The new numerical strength and unity of Honduran civil societ y enabled it to challenge the state more vigorously and reinforce internat ional calls for political change. Table 4-2. One-sample t test comparing report ed levels of civil society participation in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = 1.68*) N = 38 4.773 37 .869 .000 .47 Lower 1.17 Upper Test value represents the mean of survey par ticipants’ perceptions of how frequently their organization cooperated with other civil society groups before Mitch. Peasant, labor and indigenous groups, for example, united to form the Frente Solidario para la Defens a de la Soberana Nacional This Frente Solidario sponsored 34 Comisin Ad Hoc de la Sociedad Civil, Caracterizacin y mapeo de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: ASDI – BID, 2002): 34. Accessed on-line at http://www.lasociedadcivilhon.org/documentos on April 20, 2003.

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146 several public marches during the later part of 1999 and 2000 in order to protest the damaging effects of some of the pro-business an d pro-foreign investor legislation that had been passed by the National C ongress after Mitch. Alt hough the government initially ignored the group’s demands, it was forced to change its stance after armed guards fired on and killed several protesters in October 1999 as they marched before the presidential palace. The government entered into formal negotiations with the Frente Solidario after this event and agreed to compensate the families of those injured. In addition, the Congress repealed legislation it had passed in December of 1998 granting foreigners the right to invest along Hon duras’ territorial border. INTERFOROS adopted a less militant though no less challenging stance towards the state. Soon after the Stockholm Consultative Group M eeting it began publishing a weekly newspaper supplement titled “ Transformando la Reconstruccin ” which was distributed to citizens thr ough leading Honduran newspapers. The supplement informed the public on the government’s progress in transforming existing socio-political structures and challenged ci tizens to become more invol ved in this process. INTERFOROS also began working more closel y with grassroots organization in various regions of Honduras during 2000 in order to counter accusations that it lacked massbased support. Two years later INTERFORO S was reorganized to represent eight regional forums instead of twel ve issue-oriented ones. This essentially decentralized the group’s decision-making power.35 The FONAC also began organizing local ci vil society forums during this period in order to channel grass-roots demands and in terests more efficiently into its national 35 Comisin Ad Hoc de la Sociedad Civil, Caracterizacin y mapeo 107.

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147 meetings. It also drafted a development plan in close consultation with regional organizations. The plan, titled Visin de pas y estrategia nacional de transformacin para el desarrollo human sostenible (2002-2021) is now seen by some as the guiding map for Honduras’ development in the next two decades. Although civil society organizations exhibi ted a greater level of cooperation and political activism than they did before Mi tch, this cooperative spirit does not seem to have spread to most regular Hondurans. A stratified random sample of 1220 adult residents from ten of the country’s largest c ities was selected and surveyed in February 2000 as part of this dissertation research. A pproximately one out of every five of these individuals described the level of organization in their comm unity as active both before and after Mitch (See Table 4-3). But, 45.9% of those questioned said th at there was little Table 4-3 Perceptions of community orga nization before and after Mitch in urban centers How Urban Residents Described Community Organization Before Mitch How Urban Residents Described Community Organization in 2000 Active Organization 20% Moderate Organization 31.7% Weak Organization 27.7% No Organization 20.6% Active Organization 21% Moderate Organization 33.2% Weak Organization 25.6% No Organization 20.3% or no organization in their community and near ly half described their surrounding area in these terms during the pre-Mitch period. A one sample T-test revealed that there was no significant difference in the way urban resident described their communities during both time periods. Survey participants also were divided in their assessment of how easy it was to cooperate with neighbors at the time of the survey: 40.1% described the process as easy while 37.6% said it was difficult. In a ddition, only 2.5% of them said that it was easier to work with ne ighbors in 2000 than it had been be fore Mitch. This reveals that the new cooperation and organization seen among national-level, civic groups was not

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148 extended to regular citizens—at least not to those living in large cities. Municipal case studies presented in later chapters will discuss whether smaller towns had a different organizational experience. Donor Pressure for Change Foreign donors encouraged the political act ivism of civil society organizations and reaffirmed their demands by requiring the government’s compliance with the Stockholm Declaration. The IADB tried to promote transparency, civ il society participation and decentralization through most of the nearly half a billion dollars in loans it offered Honduras during the three years af ter Mitch. Almost all of the loans it gave to the central government required participatory mechanisms and some type of social control or auditing. In addition, the IADB channeled nearly $100 million directly to municipal governments or local NGOs.36 Although the World Bank did not condition any of its loans, it encouraged compliance with the Stockholm Declarati on through other means. It fomented decentralization by channeling some of its funds to municipal governments through the Fondo Hondureo de Inversin Social (FHIS or Honduran Social Investment Fund), an institution that it had created during the early 1990’s in order to reduce the economic impacts of structural adjustment on the poor The FHIS sponsored thousands of grassroots meetings in Honduras during the tw o years after Mitch so that municipal governments and local residents could identif y their needs and prioritize community projects. In addition, the FHIS helped tr ain municipal governments so that they could administer these projects with some outside assistance. 36 The information in this paragraph is based on an analysis of IADB loans made to Honduras between 1999 and 2001.

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149 The International Monetary Fund (I MF) also committed itself to helping Honduras in the reconstruction process. Mo reover, it together with the World Bank agreed to consider the count ry’s eligibility for a debt-forgiveness program under the Heavily Indebted Poor C ountries Initiative (HIPC).37 But before condoning past loans or funding reconstruction, the IMF required the Honduran govern ment to comply with a series of conditionalities. It asked for the c ontinued application of structural adjustment and social policy reforms as well as th e privatization of public service (e.g., telecommunications, airport, port, water and sewage, etc.) agencies. None of these demands were new. The IMF and other multilateral banks had been pressuring for these for over a decade. But Mitch in creased their ability to induce such change. The IMF also required that the Honduran government form ulate a poverty-reduction strategy, reform the social security system, develop an anti -corruption strategy and improve the country’s judicial system—all of which had to be done with the active participation of civil society groups .38 Although all three multilateral donors adopt ed slightly different means of pressuring compliance with the Stockholm Decl aration, they mutually reinforced each other’s efforts for achieving this end. Both the World Bank and the IMF coordinated the HIPC initiative while IADB funds were us ed to support some of the participatory processes that the IMF require d for Honduras to qualify for debt forgiveness. Had the 37 For more detailed information on HIPC see David Andrews, Anthony R. Boote, Sy ed S. Rizavi, and Sukhwinder Singh, Debt Relief for Low-Income Countries: The Enhanced HIPC Initiative IMF Pamphlet Series #55 (Washington, D.C.: IMF, 1999). Accessed on-line at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/pam/p am51/contents.htm on March 30, 2003. 38 IMF and World Bank in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, Decision Point Document for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (Washington: IMF, 2000). Accessed on-line at http://www.imf.org/external/NP/hipc/2 000/hnd.pdf on March 30, 2003.

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150 Honduran government failed to comply with IMF requirements, it would have lost its eligibility for HIPC and would have risked ha ving future IMF loans suspended. News of this would have spread quickly to the other multilateral banks and would have encouraged them to discontinue their loans to Honduras, as well. Therefore, it really was not necessary for the IADB and the World Bank to attach such stringent requirements to its loans. The IMF did the job for them. Some bilateral donors were also very for ceful in encouraging the socio-political transformation of Honduras. The Swedis h Government conditioned all of its $100 million in aid on the Honduran government’s compliance with the Stockholm Declaration.39 The United States, the largest bilate ral donor, also supported the principles enshrined in this document. However, it placed special emphasis on the need for transparency, decentralization and greater civ il society participation through most of the approximately $300 million it distributed through USAID.40 Much of its aid was channeled to NGOs and municipal governments. Other donors adopted this same tactic to encourage decentralization and citizen participation Not all bilateral donors pre ssured for these changes. The Japanese government, for example, placed no conditions on its aid. It simply supported reconstruction by offering to build seven major bridges in Honduras through Japanese firms. Although they supported the Stockholm Declaration, they did not try to ensure th at the principles 39 Interview with Jan Robberts, Counsellor at the Swedish Embassy in Honduras, October 13, 1999. 40 Interview with a Senior U.S. Embassy official in Honduras who asked that his name not be disclosed, August 26, 1999.

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151 enshrined therein would be fulfilled.41 Moreover, they did not work with local government agencies or even contract local busin ess in order to administer their projects. Bilateral donors tried to offer their aid through channels othe r than those established by the central government in pa rt because they doubted the cen tral government’s ability to administer all the assistance it was receiving.42 In fact, one senior level official within the Honduran Foreign Relations Ministry frankly admitted that the government suffered from an institutional weakness and was overwhelmed by the task of reconstruction.43 Yet donor’s decision to transfer aid directly to NGOs and municipal governments was also made to disperse their area of influen ce and induce all Hondur ans to abide by the principles embodied in the Stockholm Declaration. In addition to conditioning reconstruc tion assistance and transferring it in decentralized ways, donors decided to oversee the reconstruction process in order to ensure that it was proceeding according to the principles set forth in the Stockholm Declaration. The five larg est bilateral donors (The U.S ., Canada, Spain, Sweden and Germany) formed an oversight committee ( Grupo de Seguimiento ) after the May Stockholm meeting. Japan, the IADB and th e United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) were incorporated into this oversight group after the September 1999 Consultative Group meeting in Madrid, Sp ain. The World Bank and International 41 Interview with Takahizo Yamauchi, Second Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Honduras, August 12, 1999. For information on U.S. reconstruction assist ance to Honduras see USAID, “USAID Assistance to Honduras,” memo rel eased January 16, 2002. Accessed online at http://www.usaid.gov/press/releases/2002/ 02fs_honduras.html on March 30, 2003. 42 Interview with a Senior U.S. Embassy official in Honduras who asked that his name not be disclosed, August 26, 1999. 43 Interview with a senior Ministry of Foreign Relations official who asked that his name not be disclosed, August 24, 1999.

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152 Monetary Fund (IMF) later joined in July of 2000. Together, they created three types of oversight committees to supervise reconstructio n. At the political level, the ambassadors of each bilateral donor and representatives fr om the multilateral organizations met about once every one or two months with the Reconstruction Cabinet to discuss how reconstruction was proceeding. Underneath them, a technical follow-up group was formed by the development agencies of the major bilateral donors. These met on a weekly basis with their Hondur an counterparts (either the Ministry of Finance, the Secretariat for Technical Cooperation (SETCO) or the UNAT) to analyze the Stockholm Declaration and develop standards for inte rpreting and applying it. These technical oversight committees helped establish thirteen sectoral groups within different government ministries that were responsible for supervising the act ual implementation of projects. Together, these follow-up groups enabled donor agencies to develop a close relationship with each other and jointly pressure the government to abide by the Stockholm Declaration. 44 As the presence and influence of foreign donors dramatically increased, so too did their ability to popularize a particular de velopment discourse—one based on concepts such as decentralization, transparency, ci tizen participation and good governance. The use of such language was not new in Hondur as. Foreign donors had been disseminating it since the late 1980’s and 1990’ s. Not coincidentally, H onduran social scientists published several books on governance and civ il society participation during this 44 Interview with Fernando Mudarra, Executive Director of the Agencia Espaola de Cooperacin Internacional (AECI) in Honduras, September 1, 2000 and interview with Duty Greene, Economist for the Project Strategy and Support Office, USAID-Honduras, August 28, 2000.

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153 period.45 However, use of these terms were c onfined to those government officials, intellectuals and NGOs most directly involved with the donor community. This development discourse had not permeated Hondu ran society in genera l. Mitch and the subsequent flood of foreign aid to Honduras he lped change this. As citizens increased their contact with donor agencies and became more dependent on them for survival, they increased their exposure to the development di scourse that these foreign agencies were promoting. Consequently, terms such as govern ance and transparency that had been used only scantily during the early 1990’s becam e commonplace after Mitch in both news reports and daily conversation. The populariza tion of this new development discourse forced government officials to begin thinking of recons truction in new ways and encouraged civil society to begin judging its government’s performance on the basis of these concepts. The Government’s Response to Donor and Civil Society Demands The Honduran government adeptly appr opriated the discourse used by donor agencies to show its commitment to the Stockholm Declaration. In order to ensure transparency and involve Honduran citizens in the rebuilding process, the Reconstruction Cabinet sponsored a meeting with civil society groups on August 20, 1999 in Tegucigalpa where it informed participants of the agreements that had been reached in Stockholm. Attendants were told the am ount each donor had committed, how much of this aid had been disbursed at that tim e and when the remaining funds would be distributed. The content of the Stockholm Declaration as well as how the government 45 For example, see Leticia Salomn, Democratizacin y sociedad civil en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH: 1994); Leticia Salomn, Julieta Castellanos and Mirna Flores, Ciudadana y participacin en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH: 1996) Jos Rafael del Cid and Dirk Kruijt, Los pobres cuentan : pobreza y gobernabilidad en Honduras (San Jos, Costa Rica : FLACSO, 1997).

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154 proposed to abide by it was discussed as well. The Reconstruction Cabinet committed itself to improving transparency and gove rnance by strengtheni ng the Comptroller General’s office, creating a Project Inspect ion Agency, training a technical commission on public licitation and periodically inform ing citizens of how reconstruction was proceeding. It also promised to decentralize the health and education systems and work more closely with municipal governments.46 Lastly, the government pledged to involve civil society in new projects by creating the Comisin para la Participacion de la Sociedad Civil en el Proceso de Rec onstruccion y Transformacin Nacional (CPSC). This was meant to be a temporary organi zation that would mo nitor reconstruction projects, advise the Recons truction Cabinet and comple ment the FONAC’s work. As promised in this August meeting, the Flores government made an effort to inform citizens of its recons truction activities. During th e end of 1999 and beginning of 2000, the government periodically blocked lo cal television stations during prime time hours and listed projects to be undertaken, noting their cost, location and duration. Although this was meant to increase transpar ency, these programs revealed just how unaccustomed the government was to this ty pe of public accountability. Rather than present reconstruction in a lively and interesting manner, the government simply displayed a long and seemingly endless li st of detailed project information. The government also took several steps to advance the process of decentralization. President Flores passed a decree towards the end of 1999 transferring 100 million lempiras to municipal governments in order to help fund community 46 This information is derived from the author’s personal attendance at this meeting. See also Gobierno de Honduras, La nueva Honduras tarea para todos: informe de avances en la reconstruccin y transformacin nacional (Tegucigalpa: Gobierno de Honduras, 1999).

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155 projects. He also promised to transfer an additional 90 million lempiras in 2000. These funds were meant to supplement the national budget transfers made to local governments every year.47 The President also reactivated the Technical Decentralization Unit within the Commission for the Modernizati on of the State in October of 2000.48 After nearly four years of inactivity, this technical group was asked to submit studies on the advances that had been made in decentralization and suggest additional measures that should be taken to advance this process. Various government ministries were encouraged to support the process of decentralization, as well. The Ministry of Governance began offering municipal governments training so that they could better manage local development projects. In addition, the Mi nistries of Education, Health, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Livestoc k began implementing pilot projects on decentralization. For example, the Proyecto Hondureo de Educacin Comunitaria (PROHECO) gave neglected, rural communities the responsibility of supervising their schools and the authority to request new teacher s or principals if the ones that had been assigned to them were not meeting expected st andards. Similarly, an agricultural project known as Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible (FONADERS) tried to encourage poor, rural communities to identify their agricultural needs and develop the capacity to address these.49 The government also tried to involve civi l society in the reco nstruction process by creating the Comisin para la Participacion de la Sociedad Civil en el Proceso de 47 Interview with Arnold Snchez, President of AMHON, November 12, 1999. 48 Interview with Mirna Andino, Director of the Technical Unit on Decentralization within the Ministry of Governance, September 2, 2000. 49 Secretara de Agricultu ra y Ganadera (SAG), Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible (FONADERS), Resumen Ejecutivo, (Tegucigalpa: SAG, 1999).

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156 Reconstruccion y Transformacin Nacional (CPSC). The CPSC was composed of two representatives from each of five orga nizations: the FONAC, INTERFOROS, the Foro Ciudadano the Consejo Hondureo de la Empresa Privada (COHEP), and the Asociacin de Municipios de Honduras (AMHON). Each of these embodied different member groups. The FONAC coalesced most mass-based organizations in the country. INTERFOROS was comprised of several NGOs as well as some traditional, mass-based groups. The Foro Ciudadano bought together leading intellectuals. The COHEP represented Honduran busine ss associations, and the AM HON represented all Honduran municipalities. The fact that COHEP was a member of FONAC but was also granted direct representation in this new commission (a privileg e not granted to any other FONAC member) reveals the gove rnment’s continued bias to wards big business. But, the fact that all of these organizations were allowed to supervise the reconstruction process reveals that th e government had been forced to acknowledge that there were other legitimate civil society gr oups outside of the FONAC. The CPSC began meeting in October 1999. Initially, the group members tried to determine how they could contribute to the reconstruction process and coordinate tasks among themselves. Carlos Arita Valdiviesco, the government-appointed executive director of this commission, indicated that members tended to distrust each other at first.50 INTERFOROS still seemed to resent the Foro Ciudadano for the meeting the later group had held with the president immedi ately before the Stockholm meeting. In addition, the FONAC was hesitant to accept ot her groups on an equal footing as itself because they lacked the same mass-based support. The commission’s slow and tense 50 Carlos Arita Valdiviesco, Executive Director of the Comisin para la Participacin de la Sociedad Civil en el Proceso de Reconstruccin y Transformacin, September 1, 2000.

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157 start eventually encouraged the Foro Ciudadano to withdraw its participation from it. Despite these initial problems, the CPSC con tinued to meet regularly. By the end of 2000 it had developed a working plan to m onitor reconstruction, had made several recommendations on this process and ha d begun working on the Poverty Reduction Strategy that the government was preparing in order to qualify for the HIPC debt forgiveness program. The Flores government also adopted le ss formal means to work with different interest groups. Surveys conducted with Hondur an civil society repr esentatives revealed that 84% of the groups they represented had participated in a government-organized forum, commission or consultative group af ter Mitch whereas only 55% had done so previously. Three quarters of those ques tioned also reported that they had more opportunities to express their opi nions, discuss matters of concern to them and make proposals during late 1999 and 2000 than in the past (See Table 4-4). However, their ability to take a more active role in govern ment projects or policies remained limited. The improved level of dialogue led nearly 58% of the civil soci ety representatives surveyed to believe that their organiza tion had more influence on the state than previously. Table 4-4. How civil society groups part icipated in national government forums, commissions or consultative groups Activity Before Mitch After Mitch Expressed an Opinion 55% of attendees 82% of attendees Discussed an Issue 53% of attendees 74% of attendees Made a Proposal 50% of attendees 76% of attendees Voted 24% of attendees 26% of attendees Made a Decision 21% of attendees 24% of attendees Implemented a Project 24% of attendees 29% of attendees

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158 Regular citizens also experienced a closer re lationship with the st ate than previously during the year and a half after Mitch. Surv eys conducted on urban residents in February of 2000 revealed that 17.4% of thos e questioned had participated in a cabildo abierto or town hall meeting during the fourteen mont h period after Mitch. However, only 10.7% of them had attended a similar meeting before Mi tch. A one Sample T-Test confirmed that there was a significant difference in citizen ’s reported level of participation in cabildos during both time periods (See Table 4-5). A more extensive national-level survey conducted by Mitchell Seligson in early 2001 revealed that 18.3% of Hondurans had attended cabildos abiertos during the previous year.51 This suggests that urban residents sustained the level of politic al participation observed in 2000. Urban resident also increased their contact with public officials outside of cabildos abiertos Fifteen percent of those sampled as part of this research reported that they ha d contacted a government official during the fourteen month period afte r Mitch while only 7.7% of them had done the same before the disaster. Moreover, over 90% of these individuals had contacted either their mayor or some other local offici al during both time periods. A one sample TTest once again confirmed that there was a si gnificant difference in the reported level of contact between urban residents and government officials both before and after Mitch. Table 4-5. One-sample t test compari ng urban residents’ participation in cabildos abiertos before and after Mitch t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = .11*) 5.779 1186 .000 .063 .042 Lower .085 Upper Test value represents the mean of urban residents’ participation in cabildos abiertos before Mitch. 51 The sample had a margin of error or 1.7% and a 95% confidence level. See Mitchell A. Seligson, “Governabilidad y transparenci en Honduras despus del Huracn Mitch: un estudio de opinin ciudadana,” (Casals & Associates, 2001): 70.

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159 Table 4-6 One-sample t test comparing urban residents’ contact with government officials before and after Mitch t df Si g nificance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = .077*) 6.892 1176 .000 .071 .051 Lower .091 Upper Test value represents the mean of urban residents’ who contacte d government officials before Mitch. Although the level of organi zation and cooperation among ur ban citizens does not seem to have increased beyond the emergency phase, these data suggest that their contact with government officials did improve. Moreover, the fact that citi zens sought out local officials seems to support the argum ent for advancing decentralization. Although the national government adopted steps to promote transparency and ensure civil society partic ipation in the reconstructi on process after the Stockholm Consultative Group meeting, it continued to be plagued by problems of corruption. The Human Rights Commissioner issued a st udy in April of 1999 wherein it reported receiving 400 citizen complaints of judi ciary corruption during the preceding five months.52 Transparency International issued a report the following year that ranked Honduras as one of the most corrupt countries in all of Latin America.53 The United State’s Agency for International Developm ent funded a nation-wide study in 2001 to corroborate these allegations. The study reveal ed that one in every five Hondurans had been victimized by acts of co rruption during the previous year and 62% of them had 52 “CONADES revela corrupci n en sistema judicial,” Infopress Centroamrica 28 April 2000. 53 Transparency International, Transparency International Annual Report (Berlin: Transparency International, 2000): 13. Accessed online at http://www.transparency.org/about_ti/annual_rep /ar_2000/ti2000.pdf on March 20, 2003.

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160 come to accept bribery as a means of facilitating bureaucrat ic transactions.54 Perhaps more troubling, this study showed that vic tims of corruption had less support for the country’s political system, were more indi fferent to democracy and had less trust in public officials than those who had not been di rectly affected by these acts. A separate nation-wide study funded by the World Bank that same year arrived at similar conclusions.55 All of these revelations led civ il society groups and foreign donors to demand that government corruption be curtailed in Honduras. President Flores responded to these ev ents by creating a Special Commission of Notables on May 2, 1999 to study problems within the judiciary system and suggest ways of addressing these. Twenty-two represen tatives from the Congress, civil society and public agencies integrated the Commission.56 The Commission of Notables revealed that arrest warrants had been issued to elev en former judges while criminal charges had been brought before another eight of them during 1999. In addition, it reported that Honduran judges had illegally released 800 confiscated vehicles that same year.57 The Commission of Notables and civil society groups submitted legislative proposals to the Congress suggesting that the country’s judi ciary and electoral system be reformed.58 54Mitchell A. Seligson, “Governabilidad y transparen cia en Honduras despus del Huracn Mitch: un estudio de opinin ciudadana,” (Casals & Associates, 2001). 55 World Bank, “Governance and Anti-Corruption in Honduras: An Input for Action,” preliminary draft report, January 9, 2002. Accessed online at http://www.worldba nk.org/wbi/governance/ho nduras/pdf/hon_gac.pdf on March 20, 2003. 56 “Buscan medidas para mejo rar el sistema judicial,” Infopress Centroamrica 12 May 2000. 57 Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH), Derechos humanos: dos aos de realidades y retos, 1998-1999 (Tegucigalpa: CONADEH, 2000): 58. 58 See “Sociedad civil pide reformar Ley Electoral,” Infopress Centroamrica 11 agosto, 2000.

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161 President Flores also created a National Anti-Corruption Council in February 2001. The group was asked to study and make proposals on how to combat government corruption in general, not just that found in the judiciary system The Anti Corruption Council is integrated by five civil society and five governme nt representatives and is chaired by Monsignor Oscar A ndrs Rodrguez, Transparen cy International’s Honduran representative. The Anti-Corruption Council gave President Flores an anti-corruption strategy in January of 2002. The plan pr oposed limiting political immunity for highranking political officials, depoliticizing the comptrolle r's office and reforming the constitution so that plebiscites and refe rendums could be used to enhance citizen participation in public decision-making.59 Although the Anti-Corruption Council was intended to be only a temporary group at first, domestic and international pressure forced the National Congress to pass a new law that transformed this institution into a permanent one in 2002. Foreign Donors and Civil Soci ety Deepen their Cooperation While the state took steps to increase ci tizen participation in government and address problems of corruption, Honduran ci vil society and foreign donors worked to improve their level of communication and coope ration with each other. Civic groups, for example, played an active role in drafting the World Bank’s five-year Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Honduras at the end of 1999. The CAS outlines the World Bank’s medium-term strategy for promoting developm ent in a country. The Honduran Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Honduras and World Bank representatives traditionally 59 Comisin Nacional Anticorrupcin, “Estrategia Nacional Anticorrupcin,” unpublished document. Accessed online at http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/governance/honduras/pdf/hon_nat_ac.pdf on March 30, 2003.

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162 had developed the CAS behind closed doors and then kept it from public eye. Honduran civil society groups demanded that this cl osed decision-making pr ocess be changed. Mauricio Daz, one of the l eading representatives of IN TERFOROS, approached World Bank officials to request that the CAS be designed in cons ultation with Honduran civil society. Initially, the Honduran government expressed some resistance to this. But eventually, it together with World Bank officials agreed to draft the CAS in a participatory manner.60 Dozens of interest group represen tatives gathered together with World Bank and Honduran government officials in October of 1999 in order to present their recommendations on how Honduras’ deve lopment should proceed. The final CAS document reflected many of the recomme ndations presented by these groups. Foreign donors also agreed in 2000 to incor porate civil society re presentatives into the sectoral oversight committees that were charged with monitoring the implementation of reconstruction projects. The sectoral groups enabled donor agencies to develop a closer relationship with Hondur an civil society and jointly pressure the government to abide by the Stockholm Declaration.61 They together with the CPSC also tried to assure that Honduras would not experience the misa ppropriation of reconstruction funds that was plaguing Nicaragua at th e time or that had occurred in Honduras twenty four years earlier after Hurricane Fif (1974). Civil society and donor organizations chose to unite further in order to promote Honduran democratization, as well. The Foro de Fortalecimiento para la Democracia 60 Interview with Mauricio Daz, representative of INTERFOROS, October 21, 1999. 61 Interview with Fernando Mudarra, Executive Director of the Agencia Espaola de Cooperacin Internacional (AECI) in Honduras, September 1, 2000 and interview with Duty Greene, Economist for the Project Strategy and Support Office, USAID-Honduras, August 28, 2000.

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163 (FFD) was organized in October of 2000 by ni neteen foreign embassies, the European Union, the United Nations and thirteen of the most politically-active civil society groups in Honduras. The FFD seeks to ensure that future Honduran governments will commit themselves to promoting the political transf ormation of their country along the lines envisioned in the Stockholm D eclaration. In the short term, the FFD has tried to improve Honduran democracy by fomenting civil so ciety’s participation in government, improving political party competition and encouraging the development of a freer and less corrupt press. Unlike the previous ly mentioned organizations, the FFD has not limited its work to the reconstruction peri od, but has adopted a longer-term political focus.62 The Political Consequences of Greater Ci vil Society Activism and Donor Pressure Donor agency and civil society pressu re have led to significant political transformations in Honduras. First, nati onal level governance has improved in Honduras since Hurricane Mitch. The st ate has expanded the spaces for the participation of civil society and this sector has come to feel that it is more influential in public policies than in the past. Although civil societ y has not achieved the same d ecision-making power as the state, the country has clearly embarked on a path from an exclusionary and semiauthoritarian style of gov ernance to a more partic ipatory and inclusive one. The development of this more participat ory style of governance has facilitated the development of several significant institutional changes as well. The National Congress to reform the Law of Municipalities at the e nd of 2000 in order to increase the efficiency and political power of local governments. These legislative reforms gave municipal 62 Foro de Fortalecimiento a la Democracia (FFD), Informe anual octubre 2000 a diciembre 2001 (Tegucigalpa: FFD, 2002). Accessed on-line at h ttp://www.ffd.hn/informe_01.htm on March 20, 2003.

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164 governments control over the forests and ejidal lands in their jurisdiction.63 The Congress also altered the rule s through which it selects Supr eme Court judges in response to the recommendations it received from th e Commission of Notabl es and other civic groups. Instead of nominating magistra tes on the basis of political party recommendations—a highly politicized proces s—it agreed to choose these individuals from a list of names submitted to it from a new, independent nomi nating committee. The latter was established on Oct ober 15, 2001 and is integrated by representatives of several civil society groups and the Supreme Court of Justice.64 This new judiciary selection process went into effect in 2002, a few mont hs after the country’s last election. The Congress also responded to political pressure from the FFD and other civic groups to advance political reform. It passed le gislation at the end of 2001 replacing the Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones (TNE) with a new, depoliticized electoral agency: the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE). Unlike its predecessor, the TSE is separate from the National Citizen’s Registry ( Registro Nacional de las Personas ). The Congress also replaced the positions of three presidential designates ( designados presidenciales ) with that of a single vice president. This has attacked one type of senior-level clientelism and reduced unnecessary government expenditures. As Honduras prepared for national electi ons at the end of 2001, the FFD, FONAC, CPSC and other civil society groups jointly pressured presidential candidates to sign a political accord that had they had drafted: the Acuerdo de Transformacin Nacional para el Desarrollo Humano en el Siglo XXI The plan essentially committed signatories to 63 “Reforman Ley de Municipalidades,” Infopress Centroamericana 3 november 2000. 64 “Avanza proceso de reformas judiciales,” Infopress Centroamrica 28 April 2000.

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165 upholding the goals enshrined in the Stockhol m Declaration beyond the reconstruction period. Politically, the accord pledges to reform the country’s political system, decentralize power and strengthen the financ ial and technical cap acity of municipal governments.65 Since its signing, civil society gro ups have used this document to hold President Ricardo Maduro accoun table for his actions and de mand that he abide by his political promises.66 Domestic and international pressure also has forced the government to make a greater effort to combat poverty and corr uption. The Honduran government consulted approximately 3500 civic associations betw een 2000 and 2001 in order to gain input on how it should design a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).67 After the document was approved, a poverty reduction fund was created in April 2002 with the monetary transfers that had been destined to repay newlycondoned foreign loans. Although different government agencies are charged with executi ng the PRS, their work is supervised and counseled by a new Poverty Reduction Consu ltative Group formed in September 2002. The group is integrated by five civil soci ety and several local and national government representatives. Thus far, this Cons ultative Group has developed a methodology for monitoring and evaluating the PRS in a part icipatory and decentralized manner and has begun testing this methodology through a pilot poverty reduction program.68 65 The accord can be accessed online at http://www.ffd.hn/declaraciones.htm 66 “Sociedad civil exige que Maduro cumpla promesas,” Infopress Centroamericana 16 agosto de 2002. 67 Secretara de Despacho Presid encial, Gobierno de Honduras, Estrategia de reduccin de la pobreza (Tegucigalpa: Gobierno de Honduras, 2001). Accessed on-line at http://www.sdp.gob.hn/erp.htm on March 20, 2003. 68 Comisin Tcnica, Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia para la Reduccin de la Pobreza, “Propuesta de Plan de Trabajo del Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia para la Reduccin de la Pobreza,” internal memo, March 2003.

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166 The Anti-Corruption Council’s strategy fo r combating government fraud and illicit behavior also has been integrated into President Ricardo Maduro’ s plan of government.69 Although it remains to be seen whether th is plan will achieve its objective, the Prosecutor's Office has filed several charges against public officials for fraud and the misappropriation of government funds.70 Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Council has continued denouncing acts of corruption a nd monitoring the implementation of its proposal. The Limits to Transformation Notable political changes have transpired recently in Honduras as a result of donor and civil society cooperation and demands fo r change. Nevertheless, there have been significant limits to what has been achieve d. Although civil society has been given a greater voice in government, its ability to make decisions on, supervise or implement projects continues to be limited. The Pa rticipation Commission, for example, was allowed to become involved in the reconstruction process at a conceptual level. But the group was rarely given detailed informati on on the adjudication and implementation of particular projects. What little project-spec ific information it did receive was fragmented and, in some cases, incomplete.71 Corruption also conti nues to plague the Honduran state. Although steps have been taken to remedy this problem, it is doubtful whether 69 Presidencia de la Repb lica, Gobierno de Honduras, Plan de gobierno 2002-2006: un compromiso con Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Gobierno de Hondu ras, 2002). Acce ssed on-line at http://www.sdp.gob.hn/Plan%20Gobierno.htm on March 20, 2003. 70 “Honduras Corruption: Honduras Officials to be Charged with Corruption,” EFE News Services 21 April 2002. 71 INTERFOROS, “Informe del espacio INTERFOROS sobre su participacin en la Comisin de Participacin de la Sociedad Civil y valoracin de sus avances en reconstruccin y transformacin nacional,” presented at the Consultative Group Meeting held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 7-8 February 2000.

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167 political corruption has diminished signi ficantly since Mitch. The process of decentralization also has been limited. The national government has offered local officials training and has allowed both them and their communities to make limited policy decisions through pilot projects. But mo st of the critical decisions related to health, education, agriculture and public infrastructure c ontinue to be made by the ministries responsible for these sectors. The central government also refuses to give municipal governments the financial tools they need to spearhead their own local development. This intransigence led AMHON to file a lawsuit against the central government towards the end of 1999 demanding th at it give municipalities the legally mandated 5% of the national budget as well as pa y arrears for the funds that had not been transferred to them since 1991.72 President Flores threatened to use his political influence to lock the case in the court system until the end of his admini stration. He also decided to punish this legal action by rescinding his offer to disburse 90 million lempiras to municipal governments in 2000.73 Although President Ricardo Maduro has promised to give municipal governments the 5% of the national budget that is mandated by law, he has failed to comply with th is promise as of early 2003. Several factors help explain why Honduras ’ socio-political tr ansformation has not been more extensive. First, neither the Flores nor the Maduro government have been comitted to radical, political change. Those measures that have been adopted to promote transparency, decentralization and citizen part icipation were undertaken as a result of significant domestic and intern ational pressure. Moreover, many of these measures were 72 “Demandan al estado por incumplimiento en entrega de fondos municipales,” Infopress Centroamericana 11 February 2000. 73 Interview with Arnold Snches, Pr esident of AMHON, November 12, 1999.

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168 limited to a short time horizon. The CPSC, fo r example, was supposed to ensure civil society’s involvement in reconstruction. Ther efore, it was dissolved once this process was completed. Although theorists have s uggested that post-disaster reconstruction requires several years to undert ake, Honduran government officials determined the length of this process on the basis of foreign fundi ng for it—a period lasti ng approximately three years or until the end of Presid ent Flores’ term in office. Civil society participation in government beyond this period has been limited by conflicting understandings of what this process entails. The Honduran government tends to view participation as merely the act of granting a voice to civi c groups. The latter, on the other hand, tends to have a more expans ive view of participation, believing this should entail the ability to make decisions and implement projects or policies. This disjuncture between the way the state and civ il society interpret participation has limited the level of recent political ope nings and reduced civil societ y’s satisfaction with this process.74 Honduran civil society also continues to be plagued by internal division and a lack of institutional capacity. Some of th e founding members of INTERFOROS have withdrawn from this organization in orde r to pursue their own agenda, and the Frente Solidario para la Defens a de la Soberana Nacional has ceased to exist. Fernando Mudarra, head of the Spanish Cooperation Ag ency, noted that those civic groups who participated in the sectoral oversight committ ees to monitor reconstruction were not well consolidated. Each wanted to do its ow n thing and there was little cooperation among 74These conclusions are based on interviews with dozen s of civil society leader s and Honduran government officials during 1999 and 2000. A similar assessment is presented in Comisin Ad Hoc de las Sociedad Civil, La sociedad civi 100.

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169 them. 75 Carlos Arita Valdiviesco, executive di rector of the Civil Society Commission, said his group was hampered by similar proble ms. This divisiveness is aggravated by the fact that many third level civil society groups—the civi c organizations that most frequently dialogue with the state—tend to ac t autonomously from its members. This has led some analysts to question the repres entative nature of these organizations.76 Honduran civil society also suffers from a lack of technical capacity. This is particularly the case with traditional, mass-based groups (labor unions, peasant cooperatives, etc.). Although these organizatio ns have a high capacity for mobilization, they are unaccustomed to nego tiating with state officials and designing well formulated proposals. Mudarra noted that those groups who participated in the sectoral oversight committees lacked the technical capacity to undertake project or pol icy decisions on an equal footing with the state.77 Former U.S. Ambassador Frank Almaguer expressed a similar sentiment.78 This partly explains why the Honduran government has been so hesitant to increase civil society participati on in decision-making pro cesses in the past. Carlos Arita Valdiviesco offered a slightly different perspective. According to him, Mas de un problema de falta de capaci dad de gestin hay una desarticulacin institucional tanto en el gobierno como en la sociedad civil … Existe capacidad pero para cuando cada quien este haciendo lo suyo. … El problema es que no ha habido una cultura de participacin en Hondur as si no que una de confrontacin. Entonces se estn dando los primeros pas os para una cultura distinta. 75 Interview with Fernando Mudarra, Executive Director of the Agencia Espaola de Cooperacin Internacional (AECI) in Honduras, September 1, 2000. 76 Cruz y Espinoza, Caracterizacin y mapeo 105-106. 77 Interview with Fernando Mudarra, Executive Director of the Agencia Espaola de Cooperacin Internacional (AECI) in Honduras, September 1, 2000. 78 Conversation with Frank Almaguer, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras (1998-2001), August 28, 2000.

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170 Indeed, Hondurans have had littl e experience with political pa rticipation. Most of the political goals that were secured by mass-base d groups in the past were achieved only after intense mass mobilization and public pr otests. The transition from a culture of confrontation to one of cooperation and accomm odation can not be a rapid or easy one. But, if the recent shif t in state-civil society relation s continues, Hondurans can acquire the skills needed to secure a deep er and more participatory democracy. Foreign donors also may have done mo re to promote the socio-political transformation of Honduras. Instead of dema nding in abstract terms that the government decentralize, have greater transparency and increase civil society participation, donors should have outlined what specific steps should have been taken to achieve these goals. For example, they could have demanded that the central government abide by the Law of Municipalities and transfer 5% of its budget to municipal governments. They also could have required that civil soci ety and municipal governments participate in the oversight and auditing of reconstruction projects. This level of specificity is not uncommon. After all, the IMF conditioned some of its post-M itch loans on the privatization of government agencies and the implementation of specifi c economic policies. Foreign donors also should have demanded that permanent political -institutional changes be adopted. Instead they required only that reconstruction be carried out in compliance with the Stockholm Declaration. Yet even thes e conditions were not carried out. This is because donor agencies were more interested in monito ring how the government was progressing on the issue of reconstruc tion than on that of transformation.79 Consequently, the Honduran 79 This view was expressed by Duty Greene, Econom ist for the Project Strategy and Support Office, USAID-Honduras, August 28, 2000 and Jan Robberts, Counsellor at the Swedish Embassy in Honduras, October 13, 1999.

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171 government was able to claim compliance with their conditions by establishing a handful of new commissions and projects but keepi ng the institutio nal structure of government relatively intact. Although th is has improved the style of governance in Honduras and resulted in significant institutional changes, Honduras has not achieved the structural transformations envisioned in the Stockholm Declaration. Conclusion The infant literature on the politics of disasters suggests that a country may experience significant political changes after unf oreseen crisis events. However, it does not specify how these transformations might ar ise or precisely what causes them. The case study presented here suggests that natural disasters can prompt political shifts by highlighting the deficiencies of a state, animating civil society and increasing both domestic and international pressure for poli tical reform. It also reveals that donor agencies may further promote these tr ansformations by conditioning their aid, disseminating a development discourse and indirectly encouraging civil society’s organization and political activism. Resultant political changes, however, do not seem to represent a radical break with the past. Rather, this case s uggests that both a disaster and donor pressure tend to hasten political and organizational processe s that were already underway. Initially, the Honduran state tried to respond to Hurricane Mitch in a highly centralized and exclusionary manner. This threatened to reverse many of the advances that had been made during the previous decad e in terms of democratic governance. But the state was unable to confront the emerge ncy on its own. Fortunately, the onslaught of Mitch revitalized many civ il society groups in the country. NGOs, municipal governments and regular citizens also became ac tive in the relief effort. Within a month

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172 of the disaster the government had given local churches the ta sk of managing and distributing foreign emergency assistance. The state then turned its attention to the longer-term task of recons truction. The Catholic Chur ch capitalized on its new leadership role by encouraging NGOs in the c ountry to organize and begin to think about reconstruction. Meanwhile, traditional, mass-ba sed groups began to unite and tackle this same issue through the government-led FONAC. All of these responses were based on pre-existing patterns of organi zation and political conduct: th e state relapsed into its traditional, authoritarian and exclusionary pattern of governance while Honduran civil society reverted to a level of organization and political activity reminiscent of earlier decades. The problem was that both of these gr oups were trying to (re)establish different patterns of governance. During the few months after Mitch it was still unclear whether the country would regress into a closed, centr alist and authoritarian style of governing or whether an open and participatory style of public decision-making would prevail. Foreign donors helped determine which st yle of governance was constituted after Mitch. They helped draft the Stockholm Declaration—a document that committed the Honduran government to increasing citizen participation, promoting transparency, deepening decentralization and generally promoting good governance. Foreign donors also pressured the national government to co mply with these measures by attaching a series of conditionalities to their economic assi stance, channeling part of their aid to local governments and NGOs and disseminating a deve lopment discourse that emphasized the need for political reform. All of this rein forced civil society’s activism and demands for democratic deepening. Together, the combin ation of this domestic and international pressure forced the national government to continue improving the democratic style of

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173 governance it had begun to implement during the early 1990’s. Although the Honduran government failed to implement many of th e institutional reforms that both donors and civil society were hoping to achieve, it did create several spaces for citizen participation and institute significant institutional reforms. All of this represented important steps toward the deepening of Honduran democrac y. Civil society’s renewed political activism as well as the recent popularization of a development discourse based on the concepts of participation, transparenc y, decentralization and good governance suggests that Honduran society may continue to pressu re for greater political change on its own once the political infl uence of internationa l donors has waned. The following chapters will discuss whether the experience of disast er and foreign aid had the same positive effects on municipal-level governance as were noted at the national level.

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174 CHAPTER 5 INTRODUCING MUNICIPAL CASE STUDIES Introduction The research in Tegucigalpa suggested that the traditional patt ern of governance in Honduras had continued to become more pa rticipatory and inclus ive after Hurricane Mitch. Civil society groups became more organized and politically active while the central government showed a greater willingne ss to respond to citizen demands. Several formal structures were established in order to facilitate a continual dialogue between these two groups. These governance changes, in turn, led to some signi ficant institutional changes. What was difficult to determine was whether this political shift had been induced by the experience of disaster, the in tervention of foreign donors or a combination of both of these factors. A focus on nationa l level politics alone would not allow these variables to be controlled and individually tested. In additio n, it provided only a partial view of how Honduran society had responded to these events. After all, most of the country is dramatically different from the politically-centered world of Tegucigalpa. More research was needed to analyze whet her and why any socio-political changes had occurred locally. It was hypothesized that if Honduran govern ance had changed, it had occurred in at least a three step process. First, either Hu rricane Mitch and/or the intervention of foreign aid agencies had encouraged citizens to unite and become more organized. This is a phenomena that had occurred among leading ci vil society groups in the country and which the academic literature reviewed in chapter two ha d suggested would occur among

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175 disaster victims. Second, a heightened leve l of organization was expected to prompt greater citizen involvement in po litics. As the literature on ci vil society asserts, socially cohesive population groups tend to be more politically active. This political activism leads, as we saw in our national-level analys is, to a greater dialogue between citizens and their government and, thus, to an improveme nt in governance. The following diagram illustrates visually how governance changes were thought to have arisen in Honduras. Hurricane Mitch More More Organized Citizen Governance Society Political Change Activism Pressures from External Aid Organizations Figure 5-1 Theorized causes of governance change Four hypotheses were developed with the process illustrated above in mind. H1: A major natural disaster causes disaster victims to become more organized. H2: External aid organizations who enco urage greater community organization cause target groups to become more organized. H3: A more organized citizenry will become more politically active. H4: A politically active citizenry prom otes a participatory kind of governance. The first two hypotheses were used to se lect cases in which to observe how expected socio-political changes had occu rred. The municipality of Sab in the department of Coln was chosen for study b ecause it was severely impacted by Hurricane Mitch and received post-disast er assistance from agencies who required community participation in their projects. Potrerillos, Corts was also selected because it suffered the effects of a natural disaster yet did not receive much support from external aid

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176 Table 5-1 Selection of municipal case studies H2 Has Received External Aid that Encourages Community Organization No H2 Has Not Received External Aid that Encourages Community Organization H1 Experienced a Disaster Sab, Coln Potrerillos, Corts No H1 No Disaster Dolores Merendn, Ocotepeque San Marcos, Ocotepeque organizations after this event. Although Po trerillos did have two NGOs working in its territory, both of these had been sponsoring programs fo r several years beforehand. Therefore, their continued presence in the ar ea did not represent a significant change in outside agency support. Dolores Merendn in the department of Ocotepeque was chosen in order to test the second hypothesis. It was one of the few municipalities in Honduras that received significant development assistan ce in the aftermath of Mitch despite having suffered only minimal damage due to this stor m. All of the NGOs that were working in this municipality encourage residents to be well organized and work jointly on community projects. Lastly, San Marcos, Ocot epeque was selected as a control case. This municipality was neither afflicted by a natural disaster nor received new NGO support after 1998. Therefore, it was expected that no significant change in governance had occurred there. San Marcos also stood as one of the best examples of good, local level governance in Honduras immediately before Mitch. A United Nations program implemented here during the early 1990’s noticeably altered and improved relations between the local government and its citizen s. Consequently, in addition to being a

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177 control case, San Marcos was expected to pr ovide some indication as to whether and how much governance had improved in the othe r three cases since Hurricane Mitch. Despite the careful selection of case studies, it is recognized at the onset that it will not be possible to determine definitively the relationship between the dependent and independent variables proposed here. Alt hough each of the selected municipalities represents a different combination of H1 and H2, their environment can not be controlled so as to test our hypotheses pe rfectly. A host of other factor s may have affected the way the residents of these regions have responded to our independent variables. This chapter will take four such factors into cons ideration: the geography, poverty, economic production and organizational hist ory of these regions. Altho ugh attention to these issues will give us a richer and more in depth understa nding of our municipal cases, it will also complicate our efforts to determine why certain socio-political cha nges may have arisen in these localities since Mitch. This ric hness has been chosen at the expense of simplicity, however, because it offers us a better understanding of the complexity of social interactions. With these caveats in mind, it is hoped that the following analysis will improve our understanding of whether and why Honduran governance has changed in the aftermath of Mitch. Potrerillos Potrerillos covers an area of 83.3 km2 in the Department of Corts. Most of the municipality is locate d in the Sula Valley and is dissect ed by two major bodies of water, the Humuya and Blanco Rivers. Potrerillos is located in the development corridor of Honduras, an area that runs fr om Puerto Corts on the Caribbean Coast to the Gulf of

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178 Fonseca on the Pacific.1 One of the main highways in th e country also runs through this municipality, making access to the two largest cities in H onduras relatively easy. San Pedro Sula is only about an hour drive away, while the capital can be reached in two and a half hours by car. Despite its centrally locate d position, Potrerillos is not a wealthy region. The Honduran Government’s Presidential Commi ssion on State Modernization reported in 1994 that approximately 30% of the population here was malnurished and lacked access to basic health services while another 25% did not have access to potable water.2 A more recent report by the FHIS suggests that the le vel of poverty in Potrerillos is worse than what was estimated previously. Accordi ng to FHIS, 50% of the population of this municipality suffered from malnutrition in 1995, 36% did not have access to basic health services in 1996, 25% did not have potabl e water in 1988 and 58% were illiterate in 1988.3 Using this updated information, the FHIS classified Potrerillo s as a municipality with a moderate level of poverty, compared to that of other areas in the country. Despite the poor level of health, sanita tion and education in Potrerillos, the households here were construc ted better than those found in many other municipalities of comparable size. Three hundred sixty nine out of the approximately 2860 houses in 1 This development corridor is considered to cover th e area of land a few miles on either side of the road that runs from Puerto Cortes to Tegucigalpa and th e one that runs from Tegucigalpa to Choluteca on the Pacific Coast. 2 Comisin Presidencial de Modernizacin de l Estado, Presidencia de la Repblica, Cuadernos de descentralizacin: categorizacin municipal, volumen 2 (Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Presidencia de la Republica, 1994). 3 Fondo Hondureo de Inversin Social—Poltica de Focalizacin, FHIS-3 Indice de Pobreza (Tegucigalpa: FHIS, febrero 1998).

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179 Potrerillos were selected at random as part of this di ssertation research.4 One adult member from each of these households was interviewed in January and February of 2000. Survey participants were asked to describe th e houses they lived in when Mitch struck the area. More specifically, they were asked to describe the dominant floor and wall material in their homes, the number of rooms in it and whether the house was owned or rented. These survey data revealed that most of th e houses in Potrerillos tended to be small before Mitch: 37% of them were single r oom structures, 25% of them were two room structures, 18% were three room structures and 14% had four or more rooms. Despite their small size, these houses seem to have been built well. Sixty three percent of the houses in Potrerillos before Hurricane Mitch had concrete walls, and another 71% had concrete floors. Approximately on fifth of them had dirt floors and wooden walls. These household level data was used to de velop a poverty index fo r Potrerillos. The poverty index was derived by simply adding the coded responses of the number of rooms, wall and floor material that composed the houses where our survey participants lived before Mitch. The responses for the type of floor material in each house were coded as follows: dirt floor = 1, wood floors = 2, cem ent floor = 3 and tile floor = 4. The responses for the type of wall material in ea ch house were coded as follows: perishable goods = 1; wood, adobe or cane = 2 and concrete = 3. In order to obtain a poverty index, the coded numbers for each of these three variables were added. If the survey participant’s family rented the house they lived in before Mitch, one point was subtracted from the sum while if they owned the struct ure nothing was done to al ter the equation. In other words, the poverty index formula was derived as follows: 4 Please refer to Appendix A for more detailed inform ation on how this sample size was determined and how surveys were gathered.

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180 Poverty Index = Floor Material Code + Wall Material Code + Rooms Code (-1 if renting) The poverty index values ranged from a mi nimum of 3 to a maximum of 13. Using this method, it was determined that the mean poverty index in Poterillos was 7.30 with a standard error of 0.11. This corroborates the national government’s classification of poverty in Potrerillos when Mitch struck. Th ese survey data furthe r revealed that the poverty in this municipality is of a semi-urban nature. Only 25% of the sampled households were located in rural neighbor hoods before Mitch, and a mere 10% owned farms, suggesting that less than half of the area’s rural population depended on family farming for subsistence when the floods struck. The surveys collected in Potr erillos also revealed that most residents here had had limited access to education. Twenty-three percent of those interviewed said they had never received formal schooling. Another 36% had received but not completed a primary school education, making it likely that many of them were not fully literate. Only a quarter of those surveyed had completed sixt h grade and less than 5% had received postelementary schooling. This data seems to corroborate the nationa l government’s report that 58% of the municipality’s population was ill iterate in 1988. Potrerillos has been integrated into th e national and international world economy since the early part of the twentieth century. During the 1910’s the Honduran Government extended the National Railroa d, whose construction had begun in 1868 at the northern Port of Co rts, to Potrerillos.5 This transformed this town into a major commercial and transportation center. All produc ts and passengers that needed to reach 5 See Delmer G. Ross, Visionaries and Swindlers: The Development of the Railways of Honduras (Mobile, Alabama: Institute for Research in Latin America, 1975) or Delmer G. Ross, “The Construction of the Railroads of Central America,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ ersity of California, 1970 (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1971).

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181 the capital from the Northern coast traveled on the National Railway to Potrerillos. The municipality remained an important comme rcial center until 1958 when a paved road connecting Puerto Corts to Tegucigalpa was completed, making it unnecessary for travelers to stop in this municipality.6 In 1920 a subsidiary of the Cuyamel Fruit Company, one of the four main banana pr oducing companies in Honduras at the time, was granted the right to admini ster the National Railroad. Th is together with the boom in Honduran banana production during the 1920’s7 made Potrerillos an attractive site for banana cultivation. Potrerillos did not become a typical, ba nana-producing area, however. From the 1920’s to the 1950’s bananas were not produced as extensively here as they were in other areas of the country. While Puerto Corts, San Pedro Sula, El Progreso and San Manuel (later La Lima) all had between 2000 and 4000 h ectares of land cultivated with banana in 1952,8 this fruit never occupied more than 2000 hectares in Potrer illos between 1952 and 1974.9 Land tenure patterns here also were quite different from those of the previously mentioned cities. The land in larger, bana na producing areas had come under almost complete control of the banana compan ies during the first half of the 1900’s.10 However, 6 Vincent Checchi, Honduras: A Problem in Economic Development (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1959): 31. 7 See Victor Bulmer-Thomas, The Political Economy of Central America since 1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987): chapter 2. 8 Direccin General de Censos y Estadis tica (DGEC), Ministerio de Gobernacin, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 (Tegucigalpa, Repblica de Honduras, 1954): 86, 207, and 572. 9 See Direccin General de Censos y Estadisti ca (DGEC), Secretaria de Economia y Hacienda, Segundo Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1965-1966 (Tegucigalpa: Repblica de Honduras, 1967): 162d and Direccin General de Censos y Estadis tica (DGEC), Ministerio de Economia, Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1974 Tomo VI (Tegucigalpa: Repblica de Honduras, 1978): 186. 10 In other parts of the country, fruit companies had obtained extensive track of land in exchange for constructing railroads. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the Honduran State granted companies

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182 much of the territory in Potrerillos remain ed in the hands of Honduran farmers until the late 1940’s.11 In addition, banana companies di d not intervene as directly into the agricultural production of the area as it did in larger, banana producing regions. Although the Cuyamel Fruit Company (purchas ed by the United Fruit Company in 1929) had begun acquiring land in Potrerillos during the 1920’s, neither they nor UFCO directly brought this land into producti on during the first half of th e 1900’s as they did in other areas of the country. Instead, these companie s granted local farmers usufruct rights to their property so that they w ould clear and cultivate banana s on it. Many of the local, large and medium-scale farmers here also engaged in banana production during this period. They, like the usufruct farmers, cu ltivated and transported this fruit to the National Railroad station in the urban heart of Potrerillos. The Cuyamel and later United Fruit Company bought their fruit and supplie d the farmers with the fertilizers and equipment they required to continue produci ng it. The relatively moderate level of banana production in Potreri llos during the first half of the twentieth century kept population levels low here relative to other banana producing regions. Until 1945 Potrerillos had less than 2000 inhabitants or 400 houses.12 250+ hectares of land for every k ilometer of railroad they built. S ee Vilma Lainez and Victor Meza, “El Enclave Bananero en la Historia de Honduras,” Estudios Sociales Centroamericanos (mayo-agosto 1973): 142; Antonio Murga Frasinetti, Enclave y Sociedad en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: UNAH, 1978): 63-66; Filander Diaz Chavez, Analisis Critico de las Condiciones Tcnic as de los Ferrocariles de la Standard Fruit Company (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Liberacin Nacional, 1973): 22; and Frank Ellis, Las Transnacionales de Banano en Centroamerica traduccin del ingls por Juan Mario Castellanos (San Jos: EDUCA, 1983): 63-69. The Cuyamel Fruit Company did not acquire land in Potrerillos through these means because the national government constructed the few miles of railroad inside and just to the north of this municipality. This enabled smaller, national farmers to maintain or acquire land in this municipality with greater ease than in other areas of the country. 11 This information was obtained from interviews with local residents of Potrerillos in January and February 2000. 12 Municipalidad de Potrerillos, Informe del Primer Censo Comunitario

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183 UFCO began promoting the expansion of banana production in Potrerillos during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. This proc ess was facilitated by Juan Manuel Galvez’ rise to presidential power in 1949. Galvez ha d been a lawyer for both the Cuyamel and the United Fruit Companies and unashamedly helped advance the interests of both.13 In 1952 the national government granted UFCO di rect control of the National Railroad, which had been managed by UFCO’s subsidiary, the Cuyamel Fruit Company, for the previous twenty two years.14 The national government also agreed to finance the extension of the National Railroad a few m iles southwest to a property UFCO owned in Higuerito, an area deeper into the heart of Potrerillos.15 The new railroad expansion traversed most of the fertile land in this municipality. Foreseeing the new political opportunities in the country, UF CO began purchasing much of the land in Potrerillos during the late 1940’s that ha d until then been owned by Honduran farmers. By 1952, farm land in the area had become just as concentrated into a few, large holdings as it had in other, banana producing areas. Approximately 4% of the farms in Potrerillos occupied 67% of the land there in 1952 while in San Manuel, San Pedro, El Progreso and Puerto Cortes three to seven per cent of the farms occupied 60-77% of the farm lands.16 UFCO did not directly cultivate bananas on all the new territory it acquired in Potrerillos during the Galvez pe riod. Instead, it parceled some of this land into plots ranging from 45-60 hectares in size and granted it to 120 of its most experienced 13 Buchard, Poder poltico, inters bananero capitulo II. 14 Ethel Garca Buchard, Poder poltico, inters bananero e identidad nacional en centro amrica: un estudio comparativo : Corta Rica (1884-1938) y Honduras (1902-1958) (Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Editorial Universitaria, 1997): 54 15 Ibid. 16 See DGEC, Segundo Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1965-1966 194 and 572.

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184 employees through a raffle. 17 UFCO constructed the houses and basic infrastructure (roads, electricity, etc.) these people needed to establish new communities. In addition, it supplied these new farmers with the pesticides and machinery they re quired to cultivate bananas. The independent banana grower s’ previous experi ence working on UFCO plantations enabled them to replicate the te chnology and methods of cultivation used by this company. This together with the expa nsion of the National Railroad allowed UFCO to extract greater quantities of bananas from Potrerillos while ensuring that the fruit suffered less damage during tran sportation than previously. The distribution of land by UF CO together with the cultivation of new banana plantations provoked a massive migration of people to Potrerillos. From 1945 to 1950 the population of the municipality more than doubled from 2018 to 4127 residents.18 Sixty five percent of these people settled in rural areas.19 Unlike other banana producing regions of the country, however, a minority of the agricultural workers in Potrerillos were rural proletariats during this period. Out of the total 627 registered agricultural workers here in 1952, only 38% of them received a salary for their work.20 The remainder most likely lived from the sale of their crop s or from subsistence agriculture. During the 1970’s the national government helped agricultu ral workers in Potrerillos have greater acce ss to land and diversify thei r crop production. In December 1972, just twenty two days after launching a coup d’etat the military-populist 17 This information has been obtained through interviews with local residents. 18 Municipalidad de Potrerillos, Informe del Primer Censo Comunitario and DGEC, Censo General de Poblacin 1950 67. 19 Ibid. 20 DGEC, Segundo Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1965-1966 198-199.

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185 government of Oswaldo Lpez Arellano pr onounced Decree Law #8 which temporarily allowed peasants in the country to occupy a nd begin cultivating eith er national or unused, privately-owned lands. Two years later an ag rarian reform program was initiated through Decree Law #170.21 Both led to the distribution of 989 hectares of land to ten peasant groups in Potrerillos (See Table 6-1). The Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA or National Agrarian Institute) encouraged all of thes e farmers to cultivate basic grains and motivated half of the reform groups to cult ivate non-traditional export crops such as sugar cane and pineapples.22 Despite government efforts to encourage the diversification of agricultural production in Potrerillos, bana na remained the dominant crop in the area. The last agricultural census re veals that 685 hectares of land here were cultivated with banana in 1974 while only 170 hectares were cultivated with sugar cane and another 14 hectares with pineapples.23 Banana remained the main crop produced in this municipality until the mid 1990’s when the independent bana na growers in the area began cultivating sugar cane on a mass scale.24 The population of Potrerillos began rely ing less on agriculture and more on industry during the 1990’s. The nearby munici pality of Villanueva became one of the country’s largest industrial processing zone s in the early 1990’s. Garment assembly plants or maquiladoras were the main types of industries that were established here. In 21 For a discussion of both laws and their effects see Instituto Hond ureno de Desarrolo Rural (IHDER), 84 Meses de reforma agraria del gobierno de las fuerzas armadas de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: IHDER, 1980): 77-102. 22 See INA, Informacin Bsica de los Grupos Campesinos de la Reforma Agraria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1994). 23 DGEC, Ministerio de Economia, Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1974 Tomo VI 186 and 242. 24 This information was obtained from interviews with local residents.

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186 1993 the maquiladora industry in Villanueva ha d grown to employ 2803 people.25 The industry and its demand for labor continued to expand dramatically during the next few years. By 1996 the maquiladoras in this town employe d approximately 50,000 people.26 Most of this industry’s workers are women.27 The residents of Potrerillos have benefited greatly from this boom in garment assemb ly plants. Although no one knows precisely how many people from Potr erillos work for the maquiladoras buses transport hundreds of residents from this municipality to the industrial processing zone in Villanueva on a daily basis. Potrerillo s’ increasing reliance on maquiladoras rather than agriculture has altered the rural to urban population distribution here. By 1994, when the most recent census was taken, 72% of the 13,053 residents of Potrerillos lived in urban centers.28 The advent of disaster promised to increa se further the degree of urbanization and proletarianization in this municipality. The three, formerly rural communities that were housed in temporary shelters af ter Mitch were forced to relo cate to areas near the urban heart of town in 2000 so that they w ould be less vulnerable to future flooding. Sab Sab shares some of the same characteristi cs as Potrerillos. The municipality is located in the department of Coln in one of the country’s largest and most fertile valleys, the Agun Valley. The Agun River together wi th several of its tributaries cut through 25 DGEC, Honduras Anuario Estadistico (Comayaguela: SECPLAN, 1996): 104. 26 Mirna Flores and Mirta Kennedy, Trabajadores de las maquilas en Villanueva: mujeres jovenes, familia y vida cotidiana (Tegucigalpa: Centro de Estudios de Mujer, marzo 1996). 27 Banco Central de Honduras, La actividad maquiladora en Honduras 1996-1998 (Tegucigalpa: Banco Central de Honduras, septiembre 1999). 28 Municipalidad de Potrerillos, Corts, Informe del Primer Censo Comunitario del Municipio de Potrerillos 1994 (Potrerillos, Corts, Honduras: Municipalid ad de Potrerillos, 26 de enero 1994).

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187 and encircle Sab. This municipality encompasses a greater area of land—370.0 km2— and has a larger population than any of the other municipalities under study. According to the 1988 national census, the last populat ion census taken in Honduras, Sab had slightly over 15,000 inhabitants, two thir ds of which lived in rural areas.29 The Honduran government estimates that the population of the region should have grown to about 16,576 in 1995.30 However, municipal authorities believe that the population here is greater than this, having reached a figure of approximately 25,000 people by 2000. Poverty indicators in Sab are comparable to those found in Potrerillos. The Honduran Government’s Presidential Commi ssion on State Modernization reported in 1994 that 32% of the residents of Sab lacked access to basic health services and potable water.31 In addition, 37% of the peopl e here were malnourished in 1995.32 Yet the population of Sab was more literate than that of Potrerillos. It estimated that only a quarter of the people here could not read in 1988—half the rate of illiteracy found in Potrerillos that same year. Using this info rmation on sanitation, health and literacy, FHIS labeled Sab as having a moderate level of poverty.33 The buildings in this municipality resemble those found in Potrerillos. A sample of 352 out of a total of nearly 4000 households he re were selected at random in September 29 Secretaria de Planificacin, Coor dinacin y Presupuesto (SECPLAN), Censo Nacional de Poblacin y Vivienda 1988 (Tegucigalpa: SECPLAN, 1989). 30 and Secretaria de Planificacin, Co ordinacin y Presupuesto (SECPLAN), Honduras Libro Q: Pobreza, Potencialidad y Focalizacin Municipal (Tegucigalpa: SECPLAN, enero 1994): 50. 31 Comisin Presidencial de Modernizacin de l Estado, Presidencia de la Repblica, Cuadernos de descentralizacin: categorizacin municipal, volumen 2 (Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Presidencia de la Republica, 1994): 194. 32 FHIS, FHIS-3 Indice de Pobreza (Tegucigalpa: FHIS, febrero 1998). 33 Ibid.

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188 2000 as part of this dissertation research.34 One adult member from each of these households was surveyed. They revealed that immediately before Mitch 69% of the homes in Sab had concrete walls and floors while another one fifth had dirt floors and either adobe or mud walls. The houses in Sa b tended to be sligh tly larger than those found in Potrerillos, however. Surveys data revealed that only 15% of the households here (compared to 37% in Potrerillos) were single room structures before Mitch, 22% were two room structures, 25% were three r oom structures and 34% (compared to only 14% in Potrerillos) had four or more rooms. This household level data was used to develop a poverty index for Sab.35 The method for deriving this index was the same as the one used for Potrerillos. The survey data determined that the mean poverty index for Sab was 8.27 with a standard deviation of 2.39. The degree of urbaniza tion here was also significant though not as great as that found in Potrerillos. Slightly over a third of all families he re resided in rural areas in 2000. In other words, urbanization here was not as great as in Potrerillos. Although some rural households were relocated to urban cente rs after Mitch, a signifi cant portion of them remained in their previous location. The education level in Sab was comparable to that found in Po trerillos. Twenty one percent of the adults surveyed reported that they had never received formal schooling, and 33% had been exposed only to some primary-level education. This suggests that approximately half of the a dult population here had limited reading and 34 Please refer to Appendix A for more detailed inform ation on how this sample size was determined and how surveys were gathered. 35 A more detailed description of how this poverty index was developed can be found in this chapter’s section on Potrerillos.

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189 writing skills or was completely illitera te. However, 31% of those consulted had completed six grade, and the remaining 16% ha d received some post-primary instruction. Sab, in other words, had a higher percentage of a well-educated citizenry when Mitch struck than Potrerillos. Sab has been an important site of bana na production in Hondur as since the early part of the twentieth century—a f eature that further likens this municipality to Potrerillos. The first modern settlers to the area arrived here in the first decade of the twentieth century when Sab was still part of the neighboring munici pality of Sonaguera.36 In 1905 the Vaccaro Brothers Company (reorganized in 1924 into the Standard Fruit Company or SFCO) began constructing a railway that exte nded from the Port of La Ceiba to the Agun River.37 The railway ran throu gh most of what is toda y the northeastern tip of Sab—the land area located just left or north of the Agun River. In 1913 the Trujillo Railroad Company, a subsidiary of UFCO, bega n constructing another railroad that ran from the Port of Castilla through most of the Agun Valley.38 The Trujillo Railroad dissected Sab from the east and ended a coupl e of miles to the ri ght or south of the Agun River. Although the two railroads ne ver met, they made Sab a center of commercial and passenger exchange as well as an important site for banana cultivation. Sab began to decline in economic impor tance in the 1930’s when a plant fungus commonly known as sigatoka ( mycosphaerella musicola leach ) assaulted banana 36 Ana Martnez de Sikaffy, “Cono zca nuestro municipio,” unpublished doc ument available with the author, (Sab, Coln: 1980). 37 Lester Langley and Thomas Schoonover, The Banana Men: American Me rcenaries & Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880-1930 (Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1995): 38. 38 Delmer G. Ross, Visionaries and Swindlers, 89-90.

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190 plantations along the Nort hern Coast of Honduras.39 The spread of the disease prompted the Trujillo Railroad Company to discontin ue its operations in the area in 1935 and dismantle 125 km of its railway lines in the Agun Valley.40 The land abandoned by the Trujillo Railroad Company reverted back to the national governm ent. Although SFCO’s plantations were severely aff ected by sigatoka as well, the company chose to combat the spread of this disease by delving deeper in to the Agun Valley in search of new land.41 In order to facilitate this process, SFCO purchased 43 km of the Trujillo Railroad Company’s rail lines in 1938.42 Eventually, SFCO was able to acquire over 10,000 acres of land in the Agun Valley during the 1930’s.43 The continual spread of sigatoka, however, eventually forced SFCO to discont inue its banana oper ations and railway services in 1942.44 This completely isolated Sab leaving it without roads or other means of transportation to the outside world. From the 1940’s to the 1960’s Sab became a scantly populated, backwater area. The withdrawal of the two banana companies encouraged some of the residents here to emigrate while others simply reverted to subsistence agriculture.45 Sonaguera, the municipality to which Sab belonged until 1964, had a rural population of 2217 people in 39 Thomas L. Karnes, Tropical Enterprise: Standard Fruit and Steamship Company in Latin America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana St ate University, 1978): 186. 40 Frank Ellis, Las Transnacionales de Banano en Centroamerica 57. 41 Karnes, Tropical Enterprise 267. 42 Filander Diaz Chavez, Analisis Critico de las Condiciones Tcnicas de los Ferrocariles, 16. 43 Karnes, Tropical Enterprise 261-263. 44 Delmer G. Ross, Visionaries and Swindlers, 90. 45 Ana Martnez de Sikaffy, “Conozca Nuestro Municipio”; John Maxwell Hamilton et al., Honduras Rural Roads: Old Directions and New AID Project Impact Evaluation Report #17 (Washington: AID, 1981): 303;1and Ellis, Las Transnacionales de Banano en Centroamerica 57.

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191 1950.46 Therefore, Sab’s populati on must have been lower than that during this period, making it comparable to Potrerillos’ popul ation during the 1940’s. A total of 3291 hectares of land were under cultivation in S onaguera in 1952, most of which was used to grow corn, beans and rice.47 Only 245 hectares was used for banana production.48 SFCO seems to have reactivated its bana na plantations in the area during the 1950’s or early 1960’s. The 1965 agricultural census, which gives us a more accurate depiction of land use patterns in the newly-fo rmed municipality of Sab, reports that out of the 1786 hectares of land under cultivation th ere that year, 1050 hectares were used for banana production.49 The remaining agricultural lands, were dedicated to basic grain production.50 By way of comparison, Potrerillos on ly had 836 hectares of the total 1345 hectares in production that year dedicated to banana.51 This fruit, in other words, had gained a similar degree of importance in both municipalities by 1965, accounting for 62% of total agricultural production in Potrerillos and 59% of agricultural production in Sab. The Honduran government began planning how to reactivate the Agun Valley where Sab is located during the 1960’s. It asked the Organization of American states for technical assistance on how it could increase a nd diversify agricultur al production in the 46 DGEC, Ministerio de Gobernacin, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 102 and 110. 47 DGEC, Censo General de Poblacin 1950 48 Ibid, 114. 49 The 1965 agricultural census reports that 2551 manzanas of land in Sab were being cultivated with either permanent or annual crops. Banana was being cultivated on 1522 manzanas One manzana equals 0.7 hectares. See DGEC, Secretar ia de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Segundo Censo Agropecuario 1965-1966 67 and 162b. 50 Ibid, 80, 92, and 104. 51 Ibid, 68 and 162d.

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192 country.52 In 1965 an independent consulting co mpany concluded, “the Agun Valley is one of the most promising agricultural lands in all of Honduras … provided that communications facilities can be restored and effective arrangements for production and marketing of crops can be made.”53 The Honduran government began devising a development program for the Agun Valley in response to this advice. The pr oject sought to place 40,000 hectares of land into agricultural pr oduction, giving priority to citr us, palm oil and basic grain cultivation.54 USAID agreed to facilitate this pr ocess by funding the construction of a 60 km paved road from Sab to the nearby citi es of Tocoa and Corocito which would allow residents in the area to have access to the port of La Ceiba. The national government committed itself to building 475 km of s econdary access roads to the new highway. 55 In addition, it sought to promote a ma ssive colonization program here.56 The Agrarian Reform Program was the principal means th rough which this colonization was to be achieved. 52 Interview with Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, Director of INA (1967-71 and 1976-77), printed in Hugo Noe Pinto et al, Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 106. 53 Continental-Allied Company, Northeastern Honduras Transportation Program (Washington, D.C.: Continental-Allied Co., 1965) cited in John Maxwell Hamilton et al., Honduras Rural Roads, 6-7. 54 See Mario Posas, “Politica estatal y estr uctura agraria en Honduras (1950-1978), Estudios Sociales Centroamericanos 2 (sept-oct 1973): 72. 55 John Maxwell Hamilton et al., Honduras Rural Roads, 6-9. 56 Interview with Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, Director of INA (1967-71 and 1976-77), printed in Hugo Noe Pinto et al, Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 106.

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193 The 1974 Agrarian Reform Program sought bot h to diminish the political tensions that had arisen in some areas of the country57 and populate the underdeveloped Agun region. The national government induced th e migration of hundreds of farmers from more combative, border areas of the country to this fertile and land-plentiful region by offering them free land. During the 1970’s INA di stributed over 6000 hectares of land to new cooperatives in Sab58 (See Table 6.2) while an addi tional 5000 hectares were used to create a reform group composed of resi dents from Sab, Sonague ra and Olanchito. Thus, the agrarian reform program helped put into production more than three times the amount of land that had been under cultivation here during 1965. The distribution of land and induced migra tions of people into Sab dramatically altered this municipality ’s demography and agricultural production. By 1974 the population of Sab had risen to 9596 people—fi ve times what it had been twenty years earlier. More than two thirds of these individuals were living in rural areas.59 The municipality’s population con tinued to increase throughout the remainder of the decade such that by 1988 more than 15,000 people were living here.60 Previously uncultivated areas of Sab were brought into agricultu ral production during the 1970’s, just as the government had hoped. By 1983 African palm trees occupied 6569 hectares of land in 57 These land scarcity problems had taken one of its most violent expressions just a few years earlier during a brief war between Honduras and El Salvador. See William Durham, Scarcity and Survival in Central America: Ecological Origins of the Soccer War (Stanford: Stanford University press, 1979). 58 INA, Inventario de Grupos Campesinos de la Reforma Agraria (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1995): 184-187. 59 SECPLAN, Censo Nacional de Poblacin y Vivienda 1988 3. 60 Ibid

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194 the Sab-Tocoa area while grapefruit trees extended over another 1619 hectares.61 In other words, both crops had come to occupy mo re land in Sab than what bananas ever had. Today, African palm trees and bananas co ntinue to be the main crops produced in the area followed by citrus and basic grains. San Marcos San Marcos differs in significant ways fr om both Potrerillos and Sab. It is not located in the Northern part of Honduras, as ar e the other two municipa lities, but rather in the western Department of Ocotep eque. San Marcos covers 161 km2, an area almost twice the size of Potrerillos yet less than half the size of Sab. Much of this land extends over mountainous terrain that reaches a hei ght of 1700 meters above sea level while another, smaller portion of this municipal ity forms part of the Valley of Sensenti.62 Although several rivers dissect San Marcos, none are as long or wide as the Humuya or Agun Rivers. San Marcos lies relatively close to the Guatemalan and Salvadoran borders. Consequently, the residents from th is area historically have maintained a significant level of contact with th ese two neighboring countries. San Marcos has been more politically and economically isolated from the capital than either Potrerillos or Sab. This is largely explained by the fact that no road connected the department of Ocotepeque to either San Pedro or Tegucigalpa until the 1960’s. Consequently, vehicle transportation between San Marc os and other major cities in the country was nearly im possible for most of its history. In 1945 TACA, a Central American airline, began offering air transpor tation service between San Marcos and both 61 Hugo Noe Pino, “La agroindustria de la palma africana en el proy ecto bajo Agun,” Masters Thesis, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (1986):48. 62 Municipalidad de San Marcos, Ocotepeque, “Informe General de las Acciones Realizadas en el Municipio,” unpublished government document (San Marcos: Municipalidad de San Marcos, 1994)

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195 San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa via a DC3 plane which seated up to thirty people.63 Two decades later the first dirt road suitable for vehicles was opened in the area, connecting San Marcos to the neigh boring municipality of La Labor.64 However, vehicle transportation to San Pedro or Tegucigalpa rema ined unavailable for several more years. In 1965 the Western Highway was complete d, running from San Pedro Sula to the western most tip of Ocotepeque where the road connects to both Guatemala and El Salvador. A few years later an all-vehicle, dirt road was constructed between San Marcos and the Western Highway, enabling local reside nts to travel to the capital by car for the first time. This extension road was pave d in 1994. Although land transportation between San Marcos and the capital has improved signi ficantly over the last few decades, the trip to the capital is still a lengthy one, la sting approximately seven hours by car. The completion of the Western Highway helped stimulate agricultural production in San Marcos. Corn, beans and coffee trad itionally have been the three major crops cultivated in this region of the country. Before the Western Highway’s completion, it was either unprofitable or only mildly profitabl e for these three crops to be cultivated for sale in the relatively large markets of San Pedro Sula and El Salvador.65 As a result, these crops were grown primarily for subsis tence purposes or sold in smaller, local markets. The completion of the Western Hi ghway lowered transportation costs to El Salvador so dramatically that farmers in the area were encouraged to begin producing more coffee for sale there where market prices for the bean were higher than in 63 Vctor Saravia, “Breve resena historica de San Marcos,” 6. 64 Ibid, 7. 65 Tommy Lee Martinso, “Selected Changes in Agricultural Production,” 71, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156 and 159.

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196 Honduras.66 Between 1952 and 1965 the land area under coffee cultivation in San Marcos increased from 260 to 440 hectares.67 The harvesting and sale of this crop was so profitable that during the succeeding decades mo st of the farmers here began cultivating the bean. By 1993 over 70% of them were cultivating coffee on a total of 1890 hectares of land.68 Today, San Marcos is one of the leading coffee-producing regions in Honduras. Basic grain production has been the second mo st important agricu ltural activity in San Marcos. However, there was only a mild increase in basic grain production here during the second half of the tw entieth century. In 1952 ther e were 936 hectares of farm land here dedicated to corn, bean and rice production.69 These crops grew to cover 1152 hectares in 1965 and then declined sligh tly again in 1974 to cover only 1088 hectares.70 Although the Western Highway’s construction made the marke ting of coffee in larger, regional markets more profitable after 1962, it did not change the economic rent of selling basic grains in these areas.71 Consequently, rice, beans and corn continued to be produced in San Marcos for local consump tion. During the 1970’s INA distributed 589 hectares of land to 193 farmers in the municipali ty as part of the agrarian reform program 66 Ibid, 85 and 183. 67 See DGEC, Ministerio de Gobernacin, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 452 and DGEC, Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Segundo Censo Agropecuario 1965-1966 162u. 68 Programa de Desplazados y Repatriados (PRODERE), Informe de Avance 1993 (San Marcos, Ocotepeque: PRODERE, 1993). 69 See DGEC, Ministerio de Gobernacin, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 445-446. 70 DGEC, Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Segundo Censo Agropecuario 1965-1966 87, 99 and 111; DGEC, Ministerio de Economia, Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1974 11, 39 and 80. 71 Tommy Lee Martinso, “Selected Changes in Agricultural Production,” 71, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156 and 159.

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197 and encouraged them to cultivate more basic grains. Yet, this does not seem to have significantly increased basic grain production in San Marcos. By 1993 the area of land dedicated to these crops had declined in favor of coffee production: less than 700 hectares of land were being used to grow corn and beans.72 The gradual increase in coffee producti on in San Marcos after 1960 has helped make this municipality one of the most ec onomically prosperous ones in the country. FHIS has labeled San Marcos as one of onl y three municipalities in Honduras with an acceptable level of poverty.73 (The other two are San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.) Only 14% of the population here lacked access to ba sic health services in 1996. Most of the houses in San Marcos have indoor plumbi ng, over 92% had potable water and 80% had either a letrine or a bathroom in 1999.74 The houses in San Marcos tend to be larger and better built than those in the other municipalities under study here. Three hundred thirty households were selected at random out of a population of slightly over 2000.75 One adult member from each of these was surveyed during April and May 2000 as part of this disse rtation research and asked to describe the number of rooms in his/her house, the predominant floor and wall material there and whether the home was owne d or rented. Only 7% of the surveyed households (compared to 37% in Potreri llos and 15% in Sab) were single room structures. Twenty percent had two rooms, 27% had three rooms and 45% (compared to 72 PRODERE, Informe de Avance 1993 73 Ibid 74 Ministerio de Salud, Area 3, “E valuacin Semestral 1999 Area Ocotepeque,” (Ocotepeque: Ministerio de Salud, julio 1999). 75 Please refer to Appendix A for more detailed inform ation on how this sample size was determined and how surveys were gathered.

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198 only 14% in Potrerillos and 34% in Sab) had fo ur or more rooms. The majority of these houses were made of adobe, the traditional building material in Western Honduras. The remaining third were built of concrete wa lls and floors. Although there were more houses in San Marcos with dirt floors then thos e in either Potrerillos or Sab, there was a significantly greater percen tage of houses here (32%) with tile floors (See Table 5-2). The household level data gathered in San Marcos were used to develop a poverty index for this municipality which ranged in scale from 3 to 13.76 Survey results determined that San Marcos had a mean poverty index of 8.52 suggesting, as had the Table 5-2 Household structures compared across the four mu nicipal case studies Potrerillos Sab San Marcos Dolores Merendn Poverty Index (3-13 scale) Mean 7.30 8.27 8.52 5.34 Standard Deviation 0.11 2.39 2.74 1.68 Rooms Houses with 5+ rooms 6% 19% 28% 2% Houses with 4 rooms 9% 18% 18% 3% Houses with 3 rooms 19% 26% 28% 18% Houses with 2 rooms 26% 23% 19% 37% Houses with 1 room 39% 15% 7% 40% Floor Houses with tiled floor 4% 5% 32% 9% Houses with cement floor 72% 69% 34% 7% Houses with wooden floor 6% 4% 0% 1% Houses with dirt floor 18% 22% 35% 83% Walls Houses with concrete walls 63% 69% 29% 1% Houses with adobe walls 10% 20% 71% 79% Houses with wooden or cane walls 25% 10% 1% 19% Houses with walls made of perishable goods 2% 1% 0% 1% 76 A more detailed description of how this poverty index was developed can be found in this chapter’s section on Potrerillos.

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199 national government’s data, that this municipality wa s generally more affluent than all of the other cases under study here. However, the surveys gathered in San Marcos also revealed that this municipality had a large wealth disparity, something which the national government’s data had not revealed. The standard deviation for San Marcos’ mean Poverty Index was 2.74—a standard deviati on greater than that found in the other municipalities under considerati on. A crosstab analysis comp aring this Poverty Index to the rural/urban distribution of houses in San Ma rcos further elucidated that the wealthier households in the municipality were located in the urban heart of town while the poorer ones were found in rural areas. The chi-s quare of significance for this bivariate comparison is 65.587 with 9 degrees of freed om, suggesting that we can be over 99% confident that there is a relationship between the wealth and locati on of households in this municipality. It should be emphasized that unlike Potrerillos and Sab over half of the households in San Marcos are located in ru ral areas and almost a ll of these depend on family farms for subsistence. Therefore, wh at poverty does exist here is primarily rural. Although San Marcos enjoys gr eater material wealth than the other municipalities under study, it still suffers from significant nut ritional and educational problems. FHIS reported that 41% of the population of San Marcos was malnurished in 1995.77 Four years later, the Ministry of Health obs erved that this condi tion had not changed.78 This means that the level of malnutrition here is comparable to that f ound in Potrerillos and slightly higher that in Sab. San Marcos also had a 35% illiteracy rate in 1988, a 77 FHIS, FHIS-3 Indice de Pobreza 78 Ministerio de Salud, Area 3, “Evaluaci n Semestral 1999 Area Ocotepeque.”

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200 percentage between that of Sab’s (25%) and Potrerillos’ (58%) that same year.79 The surveys gathered in 2000 sugge st that the level of schoo ling in San Marcos had not improved much during the preceding twelve years. Thirty one percent of the people consulted said they had never been expos ed to formal schooling. Another 37% had received but not completed a primary school education, 12% had completed sixth grade and less than a fifth had studied beyond primar y school. All of this information suggests that although San Marcos may possess grea ter physical capita l than the other municipalities under study, it suffers from sim ilar if not greater deficiencies in human capital than Potrerillos and Sab. Dolores Merendon Dolores Merendn stands in sharp contrast to the other three municipalities that have just been described. It covers only 44.43 km2 and has under 3000 inhabitants, making it the smallest of the four selected municipalities in both size and population.80 Like San Marcos, Dolores Merendn is loca ted in the Department of Ocotepeque. However, its land surface does not form part of a valley, as do the other three cases. Instead, Dolores Merendn is located in a m ountainous region of Honduras that extends 1700 to 1900 meters above sea level. A few small rivers flow between the hills and mountains of this municipality, but none of these are as long or wide as those found in Sab or Potrerillos. Due to its altitude, a dense fog often covers this region during the evening and early morning hours. In addition, the climate here is significantly colder 79 Ibid and FHIS, FHIS-3 Indice de Pobreza 80 Ministerio de Salud, Area 3, “Evaluaci n Semestral 1999 Area Ocotepeque.”

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201 than that found in the other municipalities c hosen for study. The temperature here rarely rises above 80 F and can drop below 60 F in the evenings. Transportation between Dolores Merendn a nd the outside world has always been difficult. But, unlike San Marc os, these transportation limits have not been overcome. A poorly managed, dirt road that is only tr aversable by a 4x4 vehicle connects Dolores Merendn to the Western Highway. Travel on this road lasts one to two hours, depending on where one is located within the municipality. Once on the Western Highway one must travel an additional fort y five minutes by car in order to access the nearest cities of Ocotepeque and San Marcos. Dolores Merendn is poorer than the ot her municipalities under study. One hundred seventy nine of the a pproximately 400 households here were surveyed in April 2000 as part of this dissertation research.81 These surveys revealed that the majority of houses in Dolores are small: 40% are single room and 36% two room structures. Eighty three percent of the homes surveyed had dirt floors and 79% were made of adobe. It was rare to find houses with concre te floors or walls. Indoor plumbing was also unusual. The Ministry of Health reports that only 35% of the houses here had letrines and 44% potable water in 1999.82 Moreover, only half the population ha d access to basic health services in 1996, and 75% of the children were malnourished in 1999.83 Few of the adults in this municipality have graduated from elementary school, the only type of schooling available here. Sixty percent of those surveyed in 2000 had never 81 Please refer to Appendix A for more detailed inform ation on how this sample size was determined and how surveys were gathered. 82 Ministerio de Salud, Area 3, “Evalu acin Semestral 1999 Area Ocotepeque.” 83 FHIS, FHIS-3 Indice de Pobreza and Ministerio de Salud, Area 3, “Evaluacin Semestral 1999 Area Ocotepeque.”

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202 Table 5-3 Education levels compared among the four municipalities Potrerillos Sab San Marcos Dolores No Formal Schooling 23% 21% 31% 59% Some Primary 36% 33% 37% 27% Completed Primary 25% 30% 12% 13% Some Secondary 7% 7% 5% 0% Completed Secondary 7% 6% 9% 0% Some University 2% 3% 5% 1% received formal schooling, and 27% had not completed an elementary education. Only 13% of those consulted had graduated from si x grade. Not surprisingly, the national government reports that Dolores Mere ndn has an 80% illiteracy rate. Dolores Merendn is significantly poorer than the other three municipalities under study. The survey data collected here in 2000 was used to develop a poverty index for each household in this municipality that ra nged in scale from a minimum score of 3 to a maximum of 13. The survey data revealed that Dolores had a mean poverty rate of 5.34, a score significantly lower than that found in our other three case studies. The standard deviation for this poverty index was 1.68. Therefore, 95% of the households here have a poverty index rangi ng from 3 to 7. This means that unlike San Marcos, there is no significant wealth disparity in Dolores. Most of the ho useholds here live in extreme poverty. Using a different set of poverty m easures (i.e., data on health, education and sanitation conditions), FHIS ha s classified Dolores Merend n as having a high level of poverty and has ranked it as one of th e poorest municipalities in Honduras. Dolores Merendn is overwhelmingly rural. The survey data gathered in the area revealed that over 77% of the families here own farms. Two thirds of these were no larger than three manzanas (or 2.1 hectares) and a third were only a fraction of a

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203 manzana Those households who did not own a farm either rented land from others or worked as hired agricultural laborers. Historically, subsistence agri culture has been the main t ype of economic activity in Dolores Merendn. The last thre e agricultural censuses report that corn and beans were the principal crops cultivated in this area of the country from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.84 Unlike the other three municipalities under st udy, INA did not distribute any land in Dolores Merendn as part of the agrarian re form program nor did it help farmers here diversify their crop production. Moreover, the Western Highway’s completion did not significantly alter the level or type of agricultural production in this municipality between 1952 and 1974, as occurred in San Marcos.85 This is largely because several kilometers of mountainous terrain separate Dolore s Merendn from this highway, keeping transportation costs into and out of this area high. However, coffee cultivation did increase slightly here duri ng the late 1970’s. Whereas on ly 16.5 hectares of farmland was cultivated with this crop in 1974, by th e end of the decade coffee was being grown on 43 hectares.86 Today, most of the coffee grown in Dolores is exported to Guatemala via tertiary, dirt roads. Although this b ean has brought some additional income to a handful of farmers here, most continue to cu ltivate mainly basic grains for subsistence purposes. 84 See DGEC, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 ; DGEC, Secretaria de Ag ricultura y Ganaderia, Segundo Censo Agropecuario 1965-1966 and DGEC, Ministerio de Economia, Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1974 85 Tommy Lee Martinso, “Selected Changes in Agricultural Production,” 71, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156 and 159. 86 DGEC, Ministerio de Economia, Censo Nacional Agropecuario 1974, Tomo VI and Instituto Hondureno del Caf (IHCAFE), Censo Nacional Cafetalero 1979 (Tegucigalpa: IHCAFE, 1980).

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204 Conclusion As the preceding discussion reveals, the four municipalities that have been selected to test our four hypotheses share some sim ilarities yet have significant differences. Potrerillos and Sab are both located in fertil e valleys in the norther n part of the country while San Marcos and Dolores Merendn are in the mountainous regions of western Honduras. Potrerillos and Sab have been banana producing regions that have been shaped by the intervention of multinational co rporations (MNCs). By contrast, the two cases in Ocotepeque have had no contact with MNCs. Most farmers here are independent and have not been well integr ated into the intern ational world economy. Only during the later part of the twentieth century did San Marcos become an important coffee exporter and, thus dependent on the in ternational coffee mark et. Poverty levels also differ among these areas. Sab and Potr erillos both have a comparable level of poverty. However, San Marcos is slightly wealthier than they and Dolores Merendn significantly poorer than all. In addition, Dolores has had an organizational history that is much weaker than that of our other three case s, as the next chapte r will explain. Ideally, it would have been best to select a munici pality that was not as poor, isolated or unorganized as Dolores in order to compare it to the other sele cted cases. However, it is due to these very factors that residents here have received new, NGO assistance after Mitch despite not having suffered the eff ects of a natural disaster. Few other municipalities in Honduras have been so posit ioned. Since the social world can not be manipulated and controlled as can many na tural science experiments, these four municipalities were selected because they provided the best means for testing our hypotheses. Given the acknowle dged differences among the four areas that have been selected, it is still possible to test how residents here have responded to H1 H4.

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205 Although the research resu lts reported here were not collect ed in a perfectly controlled, laboratory experiment, they do, at a minimu m, provide a better understanding of how communities in Honduras have responded to fore ign aid agencies and a natural disaster.

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206 CHAPTER 6 COMPARING MUNICIPAL HISTORIES Introduction Historical context affects the socio-polit ical development of groups of people and their responses to external stimuli. Initially, it wa s hoped that by studying four municipalities within a single nation-state the variable of history would be controlled. After all, the selected localities have experi enced simultaneous shifts from authoritarian to democratic rule, are exposed to similar economic policies, and have been governed by the same national, political leaders and laws. Archival and on the ground research, however, revealed that despite these similarities, each of the four municipalities selected for study has experienced place-specific events that have shaped its people and social organizations. The development of Potrerillos, for example, has been influenced by the intervention of large, capitalist enterp rises and the relative weakness of government in local affairs. During the last half of the twentieth century residents have united into various labor unions and peasant organizations in order to defend their rights before larger, economic interests. Most of thei r protests and demands have revolved around bread and butter issues such as wage increa ses, fair working hours and labor safety. Although the national government has intervened at times to either implement labor laws or enforce existing ones, the or ganizations in Potrerillos rare ly have protested or taken a stance on broader, political issues Community councils known as patronatos have

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207 represented residents before their municipa l government for many decades. But they have been weak, entrenched in traditional, cl ientelist politics and subj ect to mani pulation. Sab’s history also has been shaped by the presence of powerful, multinational corporations (MNCs). As in Potrerillos, la bor unions have been active here during the later twentieth century. However, unlike th e previously mentioned municipality, the national government began having an active presence in Sab in the late 1960’s when the Agun Valley became the target of an ambitious colonization program. The government induced the migration of people from other re gions of the country, helped them organize into agrarian reform groups during the 1970’ s, granted them vast tracts of land and offered them continual training and financial support. The Catholic Church also became active in the area duri ng the 1970’s. It further supported the ideological development and social formation of reform groups in order to prevent them from becoming political pawns of the state. Initia lly, the government’s work in Sab was an experiment in socialist, community groups. Ho wever, the revolutionary pote ntial of these organizations was soon recognized by conservative groups who launched a series of political attacks on them and soon brought an end to this experiment In spite of this repression or perhaps because of it, many residents of Sab ha ve looked beyond their immediate, economic interests and have focused on th e larger, political issues that have affected them and the nation at large. In waves of periodic activit y, residents from the area have become active in national-level politics. This local-nati onal nexus has given Sab a unique historical context. San Marcos’ history has not been infl uenced by MNCs or large capitalist enterprises. Having no common enemy towards wh ich they could direct their grievances,

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208 residents have had little reason to organize around labor issues. In addition, there has been little experience with publ ic protest or political demands as has been the case in other northern coast areas of Honduras. Hi storically, the nationa l government has had only a marginal presence in San Marcos. Ra ther than wait for the government to initiate infrastructure projects here, residents traditio nally have united in order to promote their own self-development. During the 1980’s and 1990’s the Honduran military increased its presence in this municipality due to th e spill-over effects of armed conflicts in neighboring countries. But the military’s pres ence in San Marcos did not increase the national government’s support of local development, leaving re sidents to continue to fend for themselves. The United Nations and vari ous NGOs began working here in the 1990’s in order to help manage a Salvadoran re fugee camp and promote the socio-political development of the region. These external ai d organizations strengthened pre-existing and propelled the formation of new commun ity groups. These were encouraged to communicate and cooperate with their m unicipal government. Although the national government continues to have a weak pr esence in San Marcos, a good level of participatory local governance has been maintained which permits municipal representatives to make their demands or needs more readily heard by the central government. Dolores Merendn stands in sharp contra st to these other three cases. The municipality is isolated from much of the outside world. Neither national nor international economic enterprises have a significant presence in the area. The municipality is almost completely ne glected by the national government, and the municipal government is too weak, poor and di sorganized to respond to citizen’s needs.

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209 Consequently, residents here have disassociat ed themselves from the public sphere and focused on mainly private concerns. Unlike th e residents in San Marcos, the inhabitants of Dolores have not organized for the purposes of their own self-advancement. Instead, people here have adopted an individualistic approach to life and cooperate with one another only rarely. The remain ing sections of this chapter will explain in greater detail the history and past organizational experiences of these four communities in the hopes that this may enable us to better understand why the residents from these areas responded to both Hurricane Mitch and the intervention of foreign aid organizations in the manner that they did. Potrerillos Much of Potrerillos’ curren t organizational life may be explained with events that have transpired in the region since the mid-twenti eth century. In 1954, shortly after the new, independent banana growers had estab lished themselves here, a massive strike exploded among the workers of the United and Standard Fruit Companies.1 The strike was centered in the larger, banana-growing regions of La Lima, El Progreso, Puerto Cortes, Tela and La Ceiba. Employees there demanded better working conditions, a wage increase, double pay for work on Sunday, a nd other such labor benefits. Residents in Potrerillos heard about the strike through th e radio. Most of them had never witnessed a strike nor fully understood its purpose. Ne vertheless, many UFCO employees from the area decided to participate in this protest. They were joined in an act of solidarity by 1 See Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera: los 69 das que estremecieron a Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1995); Agapito Robledo Castro, 40 anos despus: la verdad de la huelga de 1954 y de la formacin del SITRATERCO (Tegucigalpa: Ediciones del SEDAL, 1995); Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureno (Tegucigalpa, Honduras : Editorial Guaymuras, 1980); and Robert MacCameron, Bananas,Labor and Politics in Honduras: 1954-1963 Foreign and Comparative Studies / Latin American Series No.5, (Syracuse: Syracuse Un iversity, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 1983).

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210 employees of the independent banana grow ers association. Women packed knapsacks full of food for these men who then walked one and a half to two days to either La Lima or El Progreso, the two striking cities closes t to Potrerillos. Eventually, over 100,000 people from different parts of the country joined the strike, successfully freezing all banana production in Honduras. After sixty-nine days of protest, the workers finally obtained many of the concessions they had demanded. The general strike of 1954 is a landmar k in the history of organization in Potrerillos.2 Through this event many workers in the area participated in their first act of public protest. The success of the strike seems to have encouraged many to become organized and more active in demanding th eir labor rights. UFCO employees in Potrerillos became members of the newly formed Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Tela Railroad Company (SITRATERCO), a labor union form ed just a few months after the strike. Some of the older residents of Potrer illos claim that the first generation of workers here were quite active in this organization and militant in their demands, as their participation in the 1954 strike reveals. Labor unions appear to have been active in Potrerillos until the mid 1980’s. In addition to the SITRATERCO, tw o other labor unions had a st rong presence in the area. One of these, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Madedera (SITRADIM), represented all those workers involved in the cutting and sa wing of raw wood materials. The other labor union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Mieles, Alcoles y Similares (SITIAMASH) represented people who worked in the sugar industry. Although no exact figures were available regard ing the number of individuals that belonged to these 2 All of the forthcoming information on organizati onal life in Potrerillos has been obtained through interviews with local community leaders.

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211 organizations, the SITRATERCO seems by far to have encompassed the greatest number of workers from the area. Nevertheless, all three labor unions seem to have been quite active in organizing people and demanding work ers’ rights. The labor movement began to weaken in the 1980’s when government repr ession against all organized groups in the country dramatically increased. By 1986 th e SITRADIM had disintegrated. Five years later UFCO ceased its operations in Potrer illos, effectively marking the end of the SITRATERCO there. Although SITIAMASH con tinues to exist, the organization seems to be very weak and few people fr om Potrerillos belong to it. The independent banana growers in the area have also been relatively well organized since the 1970’s. During that decade they formed a banana producers’ association ( Asociacin de Productores Bananeros del Norte or APROBANOR) to represent their interests before UFCO. Ho wever, the insignific ance of their banana production relative to what was produced in other areas of the count ry as well as their lack of power vis a vis UFCO rendered their organization weak and inefficient. In the early 1990’s when UFCO ceased its ope rations in Potrerillos APROBANOR’s organization solidified as members applied for and received a 15 million lempira bank loan from the National Development Bank to buy and manage UFCO’s old processing and packaging facilities. Unfortunately, world banana prices dropped dramatically during this period and neither UFCO nor the SFCO were willing to buy bananas from these farmers. APROBANOR was not able to protect its members against larger market forces, and, eventually, they were fo rced to default on their loan. Although this economic crisis weakened the independent banana grower’s organization, it did not eliminate it. A local sugar processing comp any, Azucarera Yojoa,

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212 agreed to cancel APROBANOR’s bank loan in 1997 if the association’s members agreed to switch to sugar cane production and supply the company with a percentage of their harvest for the next five years. Many of the independent banana growers accepted the offer and began growing the new crop. Banana cultivation was not completely abandoned, however. Many felt that once world market prices stabilized, bananas which are harvested throughout the year would be more profitable than sugar which is harvested only twice a year. Consequen tly, approximately half of the farm land in Potrerillos continues to cultivate bananas while the rest is dedicated to sugar. The production and financial changes that o ccurred within APROBANOR during the 1990’s eventually weakened the integration and organization of this group. Only a loose association of sugar and banana growers remained in the area during 2000. Fourteen agrarian reform groups have b een established in Potrerillos since 1974 (See Table 6-1). One of thes e was a cooperative, ten were empresas campesinas asociativas (associative peasant enterpri ses or EAC) and three were asentamientos campesinos (peasant settlements). Each of these reform groups has a different organizational structure. Cooperatives a nd EACs are group-owned businesses where members equally own land and capital and supp ly the labor needed to put these into production. Members are often given a small plot of the group-owned land for family subsistence needs, but most of the group’s property is farmed collectively.3 EACs and cooperatives tend to be better organized than asentamientos Members meet at least once a year through a general assembly where they elect a board of directors who administers 3 Randy Stringer, “Honduras: Toward Conflict and Agrarian Reform,” Searching for Agrarian Reform in Latin America Ed. William Thiesenhusen (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989): 371-374.

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213 Table 6-1 Land distributed in Po trerillos through agrarian reform Name of Reform Groups Land Area Granted Suitable for Cultiv. Year Establ Type of Organ # of Original Members Has. per Original Member National Organiz Affiliat La Fraternidad 103 has 103 has 1973 Coop. 104 1 hectare ANACH Orqueta Entre Rios 91 has 91 has 1977 EAC 17 5.35 has None San Jos Independ. 200 has 200 has 1980 EAC 27 9.52 has None Brisas de Comayagua 68 has 68 has 1981 EAC 15 4.53 has None 15 de Noviembre 14 has 14 has 1981 EAC 50 0.28 N/A San Ramn 104 has 104 has 1981 Asent 39 2.66 has ANACH La San 70 has 70 has 1982 Asent. 37 1.89 has ANACH Santa Ines 23 has 23 has 1984 Asent. 9 2.55 has None Los Invencibles 67 has 67 has 1987 E.A.C. 20 3.35 has UNC Bella Vista** 85 has 60 has 1987 EAC 35 1.49 has CNTC Nueva Esperanza 23 has 23 has 1995 EAC 12 1.92 has CNTC 24 de Mayo* 50 has 50 has 1995 EAC 16 3.13 has CNTC San Miguel* 31 has 31 has 1995 EAC 13 2.38 has CNTC Nuevo *** Mundo 60 has 45 has 1995 EAC 10 6.00 has CNTC TOTAL: 14 Groups 989 has 949 has var. var. 404 2.45 has var. Unless otherwise indicated, the information in th is chart is derived from INA, Inventario de grupos campesinos de la reforma agraria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1995) and INA, Informacin bsica de los grupos campesinos de la reforma agraria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1994). The information on these reform groups was no t available in the a bove cited source and was obtained through intervie ws with beneficiaries. ** INA reported that this group was initiated as an asentamiento in 1993. However, group members explained that they were legally constituted as an EAC in 1987. *** Although the community of Nuevo Mundo was an asentamiento in 1995, as reported by INA, it became an Empresa Asociativa Campesina the following year.

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214 the group’s profits, distribu ting part among the members and both reserving and reinvesting the remainder.4 Cooperatives and EACs differ mainly in that the former allows members to employ hired labor while th e later tries to discourage such practices by requiring that membership rights be ex tended to those who have worked for the enterprise for more than a year.5 EACs, in other words, di scourage capitalist modes of production while cooperatives allow it.6 Asentamientos campesinos differ from these two groups in that they do not have a formal struct ure nor a formal set of rules to guide their operations. In addition, the farmers that form asentamientos tend to have larger individual-family plots and smaller collectiv e plots than do member s of cooperatives or EACs.7 Asentamientos often are composed of people with family ties.8 The informal structure and composition of these settlement s tends to prevent members from developing a strong collective conscious.9 The EACs that have been established in Po trerillos, particularly in the 1990’s, are extremely well organized. Three EACs (San Miguel, Nueva Esperanza and 24 de Mayo) were relocated to Potrerillos in 1997 from Guay mas in the department of Yoro, one of the 4 PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses Borrador Confidencial, Informe Tcnico (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1978): III, 50A-61 5 Bradford L. Barham and Malcol m Childress, “Membership Desertion as an Adjustment Process on Honduran Agrarian Reform Enterprises,” Economic Development and Cultural Change 40:3 (April 1992): 611, footnote 20. 6 Martiniano Lombrana, Historia de las organizaciones campesinas de Honduras (La Ceiba, 1989): 25-26. 7 Stringer, “Honduras: Toward Conflict and Agrarian Reform,” 371-374. 8 PROCARA, PROCCARA 46 Meses III 50A. 9 Ibid, III 60-61.

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215 oldest and best organized peasant sectors in Honduras.10 The members of these EACs are second generation reform group memb ers. As they explain it, “ Nacimos en la organizacin ” (We were born into organization). They know no other way of life than that provided through cooperative work. No t surprisingly, these members meet on an almost weekly basis to coordi nate their work activities. The members of the Buena Vista and Nuevo Mundo EACs are also extremely well organized. They came to Potrerillos in the 1980’s from Colomoncagua, Intibuc where one of the country’s three Salvadoran refugee camps had been establis hed. These individuals fled their native town after being accused of supporting Salvadoran guerilla groups and receiving military threats. They settled in an isolated, sparsely populated a nd mountainous region of Potrerillos. Their long migration here and isolati on from others contributed to their current social cohesion. They, like the three groups fr om Guaymas, work jointly on their farms on a daily basis and meet formally as often as once a week. A ll five of these EACs are part of the CNTC, one of the most combative and socially-m inded peasant federations in the country.11 The four EACs and one cooperative that we re established in Potrerillos during the 1970’s and early 1980’s are not as well organized as the groups just discussed. None of these EACs were affiliated with national peasant federations—something which has tended to strengthen the organi zation and political activism of reform groups. Although they had a well-structured organizational syst em, they, like other EACs in the country, 10 See Martiniano Lombrana, Historia de las organizaciones campesinas 3-6 and Mario Posas, Conflictos agrarios y organizacin campesina: sobre los origenes de las primeras organizaciones campesinas de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1981): 18-21 and 36-52. 11 Martiniano Lombrana, Historia del movimiento campesino de Honduras 20-23.

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216 allowed INA to intervene in its assemblies and management.12 As a result, these groups developed a paternalistic rela tionship with this state institution. Something similar occurred to the cooperative, La Fraterni dad, which suffered significant membership desertion because the original group was give n an insufficient amount of land to sustain the needs of all. This made agricultu ral production unprofitable and led to member defection.13 Nevertheless, all of these EACs and coops remain moderately well organized. Asentamientos campesinos have been significantly we aker than the previously mentioned reform groups. The five asentamientos that existed in Potrerillos in 2000 were established after 1982 when th e national government was trying to weaken organized groups in the country, often through oppressi on. During this period INA wanted to continue complying with the Agrarian Refo rm Law yet avoid organizing or mobilizing peasant beneficiaries.14 Consequently, the agrarian re form program of the 1980’s ceased to be one that promoted collective land us e and, instead, advocated the principles of private property by titling land to small farmer beneficiaries.15 Today, these groups function much like typical family-owned, s ubsistence farms. Each member of the 12 Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary: An Autobiography (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985): 398. 13 For a discussion of how small land disbursements have contributed to reform group desertion in Honduras see Barham and Childress, “Membership De sertion as an Adjustme nt Process,” 587-613. 14 See Mark Ruhl, “The Honduran Agrarian Reform Under Suazo Cordova, 1982-85: An Assesment,” InterAmerican Economic Affairs 39:2 (Autumn 1985) and Douglas Kincaid, “We are the Agrarian Reform’: Rural Politics an d Agrarian Reform,” Honduras: Portrait of a Captive Nation Ed. Nancy Peckenham ans Annie Street (New York: Praeger, 1985): 143-145. 15 USAID, Honduras Project Paper: Small Farmer Titling (Washington: USAID, 1982).

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217 asentamiento cultivates a parcel of land for his family’s consumption while another, smaller plot of land is used co llectively for grazing animals. Aside from the labor unions and farmers groups just mentioned, community organizations in Potrerillos appear to have been weak before Mitch. The first patronatos or community councils in the municipality were formed in the 1950’s. However, these have tended to be inactive, periodically disappearing altogether. As one community member expressed, “ Los patronatos dejan mucho que desear en el aspecto social .”16 Many patronato leaders acknowledge their group’s weakness but at tribute this to the lack of interest or support expressed by local re sidents. As a result of this apathy, the existence and strength of these groups has often depended on whether municipal authorities have promoted them. The m unicipal government, for example, began encouraging every community in Potrerillos to form its own patronato in 1994, threatening that if they did not do so they w ould be unable to receive assistance from the local government.17 In response to this inducement, patronatos proliferated in the area. However, many of these local councils ha ve been unable to acquire an identity independent of the municipal government’s. Some residents claim that the heads of the patronatos are selected by the mayor—a practi ce which seems to have occurred with some local councils. Consequently, many resi dents view these groups as instruments of the party in political power.18 16 Interview with Jos Octavio Lpez, resident of Potrerillos, March 28, 2000. 17 Interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, February 1, 2000. 18 This information is based on interviews with various presidents of patronatos in January and February 2000.

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218 Comits de Emergencia (Emergency Committees), anot her local-level organization, have existed in Potrerillos for nearly three de cades. The first one of these was formed by the Comisin Permanente de Emergencia (COPEN), the Honduran national emergency management agency that preceded COPECO, in 1974 in response to Hurricane Fif. However, this emergency committee disappeared shortly after the hurricane had passed. Since then, other Comits de Emergencia have been formed, but they have functioned only for brief periods. They generally arise during floods or other crisis periods and disintegrate shortly thereafter Throughout most of the year these organizations remain inactive. During the few months before Mitch, COPECO (formerly COPEN) and the local Red Cross helped reanimate new Comits de Emergencia in Potrerillos and draft Emergency Plans. Between June and Septem ber 1998 they concentrated their efforts on four communities located between the Hu muya and Blanco Rivers, the areas in Potrerillos at greatest risk of floods. The Red Cross sponsored two-day workshops on how to prepare for emergency responses. A lthough they were unsuccessful in organizing a Comit de Emergencia in one of these communities, th ey did succeed in establishing a fairly well trained, mostly female, emerge ncy response team in the other three areas.19 Church groups also have been weak in Potrerillos. Although many residents attend religious services on Sundays, few church or ganizations exist here Protestants attend church more regularly than Ca tholics; however, they limit th eir activities to praying and reading the Bible, and are discouraged from organizing or becomi ng involved in larger social issues. The Catholic Church, which ha s historically been more socially active in Honduras, has had a weak presence in Potrer illos. Until early 1998 no Catholic clergy 19 Interview with Romn Garcia, Representative of Poterrillo’s Red Cross, March 29, 2000.

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219 resided in the area. Priests traveled here from the neighboring municipality of Villanueva only to give weekly mass. In order to counter act a shortage of prie sts in the country, the Catholic Church began encouraging the formation of Delegados de la Palabra (Delegates of the Word) during the 1960’s.20 But, these lay activists were not trained in Potrerillos until 1989. Even then, only a handful of community members became Delegados de la Palabra During the 1990’s the Catho lic Church began establishing Comunidades Eclesiales de Base (CEBs or Christian Base Comm unities) throughout the country; but, the absence of permanent priest s and only scant presence of Delegados in Potrerillos hampered this process here. Although a few CEBs were formed, they quickly disintegrated due to a lack of both interest and commitment on the part of its members. No CEBs existed in this muni cipality during the late 1990’s.21 The organizational history of Potrerillos has been quite diverse. Labor unions, farmers associations and agrarian reform gr oups became fairly well organized and active here after the 1950’s. Economic factors seem to have debilitated the labor unions and one farmer association during the 1990’s. Only the EACs and recently formed Comits de Emergencia remained well organized when Mitch afflicted the area in 1998. All other groups were frail or non-existent. This, at least, is the perspective of community members. 20 See Robert Anthony White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development: The Church and the Peasant in Honduras,” Ph.D. dissertation (Cornell Univers ity, 1977); Gustavo Blanco and Jaime Valverde, Honduras: Iglesia y Cambio Social (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 1990): 39-86; Zacaras Dez, C.P., Historia de la Catequesis de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Centro de Publicaciones Obispado de Choluteca, 1993): 9097; and Jos Mara Tojeira, Panorama histrico de la iglesia en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1986): 213-216. 21 Interview with Rev. John Freddy Carr, Pastor of Catholic Church in Potrerillos, March 28, 2000 and Jorge Panyagua, Coordinator of the Delegados de la Palabra for the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, January, 28, 2000.

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220 The 369 adults that were surveyed in Potrer illos as part of this study were asked to describe the state of their community’s or ganization immediately before Mitch. Only 10% of those surveyed said they thought community groups were active in Potrerillos before Mitch while another 12% thought these ha d been moderate in strength. A third of those surveyed said that there had been no organization in their community before the disaster while another third sa id that what organization did exist had been weak. Later sections of this dissertation will explore whet her the experience of disaster had any sociopolitical impact on the reside nts of this municipality. Sab Many of the organizations that have been pr esent in Potrerillos have also arisen in Sab. Labor unions, for example, have had a significant presence in this municipality since the mid-1950’s and severa l cooperatives were established here as part of the agrarian reform program. Despite these sim ilarities, the various groups that have been established in Sab have deve loped under a different set of circumstances than those in Potrerillos. The following sect ion will try to outline the par ticular context and evolution of organizations here in orde r to explain later how this history bears upon the current socio-political character istics of the region. The first community groups to arise in Sab were organized so as to fight for the municipal independen ce of the region.22 During the 1950’s three separate commissions were established who sought Sab’s political-t erritorial separation from Sonaguera. The first two of these petitioned for independence via letters to the nati onal government from 22 The information presented in this paragraph is draw n from a personal interview with Victor Carcamo on September 16, 2000 and Ana Martnez de Sikaffy, “Conozca Nuestro Municipio,” unpublished document available with the author (Sab, Coln: 1980).

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221 whom they received no response. A third group formed in 1959 was more proactive. It sent a commission of four residents to Te gucigalpa where they initiated the legal procedures required to convert Sab into a new municipality. The government of Sonaguera, however, successfully managed to hi nder this process and keep Sab under its jurisdiction. A fourth commissi on was established in 1964. This one was larger than its predecessors and encompassed all the school teachers in the area as well as four prominent community members. The 1964 commission was more belligerent than the ones that had preceded it. In addition to writing letters and resubmitting the paperwork required to make Sab a municipality, all of this group’s members met with regional and national level government officials requesting he lp in obtaining their political objective. Their request was granted on May 1964 when Sab was declared a municipality via Decree #918. The 1950’s signaled a rise in yet anothe r type of organization in Sab: labor unions. On May 7, 1954 employees of the Standard Fruit Company joined the general strike which had originated a few days ear lier among UFCO workers in demand of higher wages and just treatment from supervisors.23 At the time, the municipality of Sonaguera to which Sab was still a part had over 1100 salaried employees,24 most of whom worked for SFCO. Although the nation-wide strike lasted a total of 69 days, SFCO workers reached an agreement with their employer after only a two week labor stoppage.25 A year 23 See Robert MacCameron, Bananas, Labor and Politics in Honduras: 1954-1963 (Syracuse: Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and P ublic Affairs, 1983): 32-35; Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera, 228-230; and Thomas L. Karnes, Tropical Enterprise 279-282. 24 See Direccin General de Censos y Es tadistica, Ministerio de Gobernacin, Primer Censo Agropecuario 1952 (Tegucigalpa, Repblica de Honduras, 1954): 105. 25 See Robert MacCameron, Bananas, Labor and Politics in Honduras, 32-35; Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera, 228-230 and Thomas L. Karnes, Tropical Enterprise 280-282.

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222 after the strike’s end, all of SFCO’s employees united to form the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company (SITRASFRUCO).26 SITRASFRUCO became the second largest and one of the mo st combative labor organizations in the country. In 1964 it joined with the employees of the SFCO’s port and railroad facilities to form the Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company (SUTRASFCO), an organization that represented over 3600 employees.27 Despite periods of labor repression during the ear ly 1960’s, both the SI TRASFRUCO and later the SUTRASFCO remained active in the region. The SUTRASFCO ceased functioning in Sab in 1974. Hurricane Fif ravished the northern coast of Honduras in that year, destroying ove r 20,000 hectares of banana plantations that SFCO owned in both Sab and neighboring municipalities.28 The company found it economically unfeasible to re store its plantations. In addition, SFCO wanted to disassociate itse lf from SUTRASFCO which had become increasingly more militant and leftist in its activities.29 Consequently, the company responded to this disaster by dismissing 2000 workers and abandoni ng its plantations in the area. Although former SUTRASFCO members were granted se verance pay, they did not accept their job 26 Ibid and Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureno (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1997): 109. 27 Mario Posas, Lucha ideologica y organizacione sindical en Honduras (1954-1965), (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 31. 28 Andr-Marcel d’Ans, Honduras: emergencia difcil de una nacin, de un estado trad. Albert Depienne (Tegucigalpa: Renal Video Produccin, 1998): 245. 29 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary: An Autobiography 327.

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223 loss passively. They invaded the proper ty that had been abandoned by SFCO and demanded that the government grant this to them as part of an agrarian reform program.30 The Empresa Asociativa Campesina de Isletas (EACI) was established in May 1975 in response to these de mands with 325 former SFCO employees, many of whom were residents of Sab. The group’s membership soon increased to over 1500 associates.31 INA granted them over 32,000 hectares of formerly SFCO-land which spread across the municipalities of Sab, Sonaguera and Olanchito.32 The group’s members began replanting bananas on this pr operty soon after SFCO’s retreat from the area. They did this without pay or benefits relying only on the food they were receiving from the United Nations World Food Programme.33 EACI was given strong support from INA and a new Food and Agriculture Organization-funded program w ithin INA called PROCCARA ( Programa de Capacitacin Capesina para la Reforma Agraria ). PROCCARA was headed by a Brazilian, Clodomir Santos de Morais, with st rong socialist inclinations. He together with the rest of the progre ssively-minded members of I NA and PROCCARA wanted to avoid many of the problems encountered by the cooperatives that had been established in Honduras after the first agrari an reform law of 1962. Th ey considered that past cooperatives had been mere capitalist enterprise s run by an administrative council who 30 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno: el caso de la Empresa Asociativa de Isletas (EACI) (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1992): 33-46. 31 Ibid, 60 and Martiniano Lombrana, Historia del movimiento campesino de Honduras 26-29. 32 PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses Borrador Confidencial, Informe Tcnico (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1978): III-107; Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 57. 33 Mario Posas, “Politica estatal y estructura agraria en Honduras (1950-1978), Estudios Sociales Centroamericanos 2 (sept-oct 1973): 94 and Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 64-66.

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224 made all of the decisions and gave little participation to its members. The INAPROCCARA team advocated the establishment of empresas associativas campesinas —a model that had recently been developed in Pe ru. EACs, they believed, were examples of true self-government because they allowed me mbers to participate in the decision-making process. Isletas was selected to be the fi rst and by far the largest EAC experiment in Honduras. Consequently, from its incepti on, EACI was heavily counseled by both INA and PROCCARA technicians.34 EACI soon became a model of peasant organization. When it was formally constituted in 1975 EACI did not have a form al organizational structure in place. A provisional administrative council was esta blished to temporarily direct the group’s operations and help develop a more permanent structure for the enterprise. The council was composed of six former SUTRASFCO lead ers, one delegate from each of the eight banana plantations that SFCO had abandoned, four unit leader s (in charge of overseeing the areas of transportation, mechanization, construction a nd vigilance) and two INA officials.35 Some INA officials and Catholic Chur ch advisors suggest ed that EACI be divided into eight smaller peasan t groups so as to better ensure the participation of all its members.36 However, this idea was rejected by the group’s members in favor of having one larger enterprise with over 1200 associates Slightly over a year after this group’s formation, a formal statute was developed fo r EACI with strong t echnical assistance from 34 Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 322-324, 335 and Lombrana, Historia del movimiento campesino 25. 35 PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses III-109-110. 36 Interview with Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, Director of INA (1967-71 and 1976-77), printed in Hugo Noe Pinto et al, Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 129-130.

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225 PROCCARA.37 The new statute abided by the new Statute of Empresas Asociativas Campesinas which stated the all EACs should ha ve a board of directors exclusively composed of a president, vice president, se cretary general and tr easurer. Although this formal structure gave a more limited part icipation to EACs than the provisional administrative council had, EACI members es tablished a consultativ e body apart from the board of directors that would ensure the par ticipation of a larger group of people in the decision-making process th an that required by law.38 In addition to being a model of orga nization, EACI was also economically successful. With the financia l and technical support it re ceived from INA, the National Development Bank and the Honduran Banana Corporation, EACI quickly replanted the plantations abandoned by SFCO and dramati cally expanded its level of production between 1975 and 1977.39 Within a few short years it almost equaled SFCO’s prehurricane banana production.40 Several other community groups also were established in Sab as part of the agrarian reform program. Between 1974 and 1977 thirteen cooperativ es with 386 initial members were founded in this municipality (See Table 6-2). The majority of these coops were composed of members that had migrated here from border regions where peasants 37 The full statute is reprinted in PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses anexo #15. 38 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 76-77. 39 Andr-Marcel d’Ans, Honduras: emergencia difcil de una nacin, de un estado 249 and Martiniano Lombrana, Historia del movimiento campesino de Honduras 26. 40 Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 141.

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226 Table 6-2 Land distributed in Sab through the agrarian reform program Name of Beneficiaries Land Area Granted Suitable for Cultivat. Year Establ. Type of Organ # of Original Members Hectares per Member National Organ. Affiliation Sab Lmtda. 417 has 407 has 1974 Coop. 21 19.86 has FECORAH Luzn Palmeras 511 has 511 has 1974 Coop. 30 17.03 has ANACH + FECORAH Unin San Francisco 384 has 384 has 1974 Coop. 25 15.36 has FECORAH Sagrado Corazn 492 has 450 has 1974 Coop. 35 14.06 has FECORAH Orica 393 has 393 has 1974 Coop. 20 19.65 has FECORAH Nueva Jerusalem 498 has 498 has 1974 Coop. 12 41.5 has UNC Unidad Surena 467 has 467 has 1975 Coop. 33 14.15 has ANACH Central Palos de Agua 395 has 395 has 1975 Coop. 25 15.8 has FECORAH El Esfuerzo Hondureno 639 has 639 has 1975 Coop. 36 17.75 has FECORAH Voluntades Unidas 448 has 448 has 1975 Coop. 38 11.79 has FECORAH La Cholomena 584 has 557 has 1976 Coop. 27 21.63 has FECORAH Pires 703 has 498 has 1976 Coop. 56 12.55 has ANACH Las Mercedez 453 has 421 has 1977 Coop. 28 16.18 has FECORAH TOTAL 13 groups 6384 has 6068 has var. All Coops 386 has variable The information on this chart is derived from INA, Inventario de grupos campesinos de la reforma agraria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1995) a nd INA, Informacin bsica de los grupos campesinos de la reforma agra ria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1994). had become increasingly more be lligerent in their demand for land.41 Not surprisingly, many of these cooperatives obtained land concessions because they had first pressured INA for them. EACs was instituted in a ll of the ANACH and FECORAH cooperatives that were working in the Agun Valley.42 41 Interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000 and Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary: An Autobiography (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985): 359. 42 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 323-324.

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227 Present and former cooperative members in Sab explain that their organizations had a high degree of social cohesion during th e 1970’s. Members meet frequently, made decisions jointly and worked well in groups.43 In fact, the three peasant associations with which cooperatives in Sab were affiliated (the Federacin de Cooperativas de la Reforma Agraria Hondurena [FECORAH], the Unin Nacional Campesina [UNC] and the Asociacin Nacional de Campesinos Hondurenos [ANACH]) were the reform groups who most communally managed their land and machinery.44 The four cooperatives in Sab that belonged to the UNC and ANACH also had a leftis t political orientation which emphasized the need to work communally not me rely for the sake of profit, but in order toachieve workers’ liberation from exploitation.45 Although the cooperatives and EACs generally have different organizational stru ctures, there was little difference between these two types of organizations in Sab. The system of work committees typical of The thirteen cooperatives in Sab were not all economically pr ofitable during their first few years of operation as was the case with EACI. Approximately half of these groups began cultivating citrus while the rest planted African palm trees upon their formation. Citrus-growing cooperatives had to wa it two years for their trees to bear fruit. During that time, coop members and their fa milies subsisted on basic grain production. Unfortunately, the harvest of citrus proved ve ry unprofitable for thes e groups and led to the near bankruptcy of many. By the ear ly 1980’s those cooperatives who had begun cultivating citrus had switched, at least in part, to palm oil production. African palm tree 43 This is based on personal interviews held in Sab on September 2000 with several current and former cooperative members. See also Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 370. 44 PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses III-16. 45 Ibid, 304-305 and PROCARA 46 Meses III-123.

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228 growers suffered similar hardships. They ha d to wait five years after planting for their trees to bear oil-producing nuts. Yet even when these groups began harvesting the longawaited palm nut, they did not reap significant profits be cause there were few buyers willing to purchase their raw product. Despite early financial difficulties, these reform groups remained committed to working together. This commitment is ev idenced not only in th e persistence of the thirteen cooperatives, but also in the creation of a new, second tier organization in the region. Fifty four palm coope ratives in the Agun Valley, including all t hose in Sab, united to form an industrial processing company, the Cooperativa Agroindustrial de Palma (COAPALMA), in 1980. Unlike like most other cooperatives in the region, COAPALMA was established due to memb er initiatives and not INA promotion.46 The Honduran state tried to control COAPALMA fr om its inception by legally stipulating that this cooperative be jointly managed by its members and the state. However, this condition was eliminated after a strike by COAPALMA’s members forced the government to allow them to manage their company independently.47 The establishment of COAPALMA not only increa s inter-reform group cooperation in Sab but also made palm producers in the region more profitable. By extracting oil from palm nuts this company was able to obtain a better market price for the raw material its members produced. In addition, COAPALMA helped its members acquire loans and purchase fertilizers with greater ease than they would have individually.48 46 Interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000. 47 Hugo Noe Pino, “La agroindustria de la palma africana en el proy ecto bajo Agun,” Masters Thesis, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (1986): 51. 48 Ibid, 64.

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229 Various factors may account for the organi zational strength of the cooperatives in Sab. First, reform groups in the Agu n Valley received significantly more land—an average of 16.5 hectares of land per person—tha n did most other reform beneficiaries in the country.49 Secondly, all reform groups in this municipality had access to good transportation due to the secondary road program initiated by the Honduran government in the late 1960’s. They al so received strong technical a nd financial support from the government—seemingly more support than wh at was offered to reform groups in Potrerillos and San Marcos. FECORAH and EAC affiliates, in particular, received preferential assistance from INA.50 Another critical factor that may account for the strength and cohesion of reform groups in Sab was their high degree of gr oup consciousness. Since most coop members were transplanted here from other regions of the country and selectively grouped together into coops by INA, this collective consciousne ss had to be instille d in them by different support organizations. During th e 1970’s and 1980’s INA, the Instituto de Formacin Profesional (INFOP) and the Instituto Nacional de Capac itacin y Desarrollo Humano (INCADEH) continually offered tr aining courses to reform bene ficiaries in the area. The topic of organizational strengthening was a major focus of these courses.51 The Catholic Church also became active in training cooperativ es in the area. Jesuit priests took over the four parishes in department of Coln where Sab is located in 1975.52 They worked 49 See INA, Resumen Bsico de los Grupos Campesinos Beneficiarios de la Reforma Agraria (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1985). 50 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 323. 51 See PROCARA, PROCARA 46 Meses section IV. 52 Ricardo Falla, Jesuitas en Honduras: 50 Anos (El Progreso: AMDG, 1996): 23 and Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary 324 (see also chapters 17-19).

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230 closely with reform groups ther e in order to strengthen thei r organization and ensure that they did not become pawns of the state. In order to facilitate this process the Church constructed a training center, the Centro de Capacitacin Salam in the nearby town of Tocoa where cooperative groups were regularly assembled and offered retreats and courses with a clearly leftist, socio-political orientation.53 In addition, Jesuits offered literacy programs, a critical analysis of nationa l, socio-political issu es and discussions on the function and importance of organized gr oups through a radio station they managed, Radio Progreso.54 Such radio programs had had a ra dicalizing effect on the peasantry elsewhere in the country55 and came to have a similar impact on cooperatives here. The organizational fervor of both agrarian reform beneficiaries and their supporters soon made them subjects of political concern. Conservative, political groups increasingly described the Agun Valley as a leftist st ronghold and threat to Honduran political stability. The Centro de Capacitacin Salam was viewed as a center for guerrilla indoctrination and the Jesuits who worked in the area were branded as communists.56 Various cooperative leaders were also given th e same label. It was only a matter of time before right-wing political f actions would seek to quell th e popular movement that had been developing in the area. The first political assault on organized groups in Sab came in 1977 when a military batallion from La Ceiba took over EACI’s operations, jailed all its board of 53 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 18 20 and 366-368. 54 Ricardo Falla, Jesuitas en Honduras: 50 Anos 22. 55 See Robert Anthony White, “Structural Factors in Rural Development: The Church and the Peasant in Honduras,” Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 1977. 56 Ricardo Falla, Jesuitas en Honduras: 50 Anos 26-27.

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231 directors and replaced them w ith new, hand picked leaders.57 EACI had been producing bananas and selling these to SFCO since 1975. At first it sold its produce directly to this multinational and late r through a state-managed intermediary called COHBANA. Despite the official independe nce of EACI, SFCO controlled its operations by setting the company’s quality control standards and produc t market price. EACI’s first board of directors began criticizing both SFCO and COHB ANA and threatened to sell its products to another banana company at a more favor able price. SFCO pur portedly retaliated by bribing Col. Gustavo Alvarez Martnez of th e fourth military battalion to take over EACI and depose its leaders.58 It is unclear whether SFCO’s payoff was the only impetus for the military take-over of EACI. Most likel y, EACI’s criticism of SFCO was the mere impetus for the military’s intervention in th e its affairs, for the group’s organizational strength had been a subject of concern among conservatives in Honduras since its foundation. The military’s involvement in EACI prom pted a critical reaction from various groups and individuals in the country. The Cat holic Church protested what transpired in EACI through Radio Progreso only to have it s program forcefully shut down shortly thereafter.59 Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, then director of INA, also condemned the military’s intervention.60 However, neither he nor ot her INA officials could do much 57 Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureo, 89-96 and Posas, El movimiento campesino Hondureo 42-47. 58 Andr-Marcel d’Ans, Honduras: emergencia difcil de una nacin, de un estado 249-250. 59 Ricardo Falla, Jesuitas en Honduras: 50 Anos 24-25 and Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 160. 60 Interview with Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, Director of INA (1967-71 and 1976-77), printed in Hugo Noe Pinto et al, Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 129.

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232 about this event. INA’s most progressive thinkers had been dismissed from the institution just two years earlier when a more conservative military faction had taken over the government.61 Many of INA’s remaining workers had become corrupted62 and were uncommitted to the original ideals that drove th e experiment in socilist organizations in the Agun Valley. EACI members were even less able to respond to the military’s intervention in its affairs. The newly-imposed board of dire ctors expelled 200 of EACI’s most militant members and initiated a campaign of terror agai nst the remaining associates in order to silence their protests.63 A permanent military camp was established in Isletas to further intimidate members into quiescence.64 Ironically, Raphael Snchez, one of the board of directors that had been imposed by the m ilitary, began revealing proof in 1979 that COHBANA was cheating and causing the economic demise of EACI. The military responded by jailing and replacing him with a new, corrupt group of leaders. Snchez continued to denounce EACI’s corruption unt il 1980 when he was gunned down just days after his release from prison. His assassins were purportedly hire d by the newly-imposed board of directors and paid with fu nds from this peasant enterprise.65 61 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 69. 62 Interview with Rigoberto Sandoval Corea, Director of INA (1967-71 and 1976-77), printed in Hugo Noe Pinto et al, Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 135. 63 Mario Posas, El movimiento campesino Hondureno 42-47; Hugo No Pino, “La Empresa Asociativa de Isletas: en usfuerzo por concluir,” Puntos de vista: temas agrarios (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1992): 7; Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 97 and CEDOH, Honduras: historias no contadas 143. 64 Interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000 and CEDOH, Honduras: historias no contadas 145. 65 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno, 99-104; Mario Posas, “In the Jaws of the Standard Fruit Company,” Honduras: Portrait of a Captive Nation Ed. Nancy Peckenham and Annie Street (New York: Praeger, 1985): 155; and Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 371.

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233 EACI members did not passively accept thes e and other similar events. They held strikes, protests and tried to eliminate the corrupt leaders in their organization.66 But, these actions were in vain. Every time EACI members tried to assert their will, the military responded with repression and secured the positions of corrupt leaders.67 In return, the illegitimate EACI leaders tha nked their military body guards with payoffs from their company’s coffers.68 One group of EACI members chose to simply separate themselves from this organization and establis h a separate cooperative, Unin y Lucha, in order to escape the proble ms that plagued this group.69 The cooperatives in Sab suffered simila r assaults as did EACI. Conservative groups resented COAPALMA’s organizationa l strength and early economic success. They had been unable to corrupt the company’ s first board of directors despite several attempts. Consequently, conservative groups changed tactics and began using ideological warfare to weaken COAPALMA. They convinced members of this c ooperative that their directive was composed of communist who threatened their existence. COAPALMA members increasingly became convinced of the need for a new group of leaders. In 1982 they deposed their first board of direct ors and replaced them with a new, more corruptable group of leaders. The state’s manipulation of COAPALMA was often more direct: it periodically threatened to retreat its support of the organization if certain 66 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno 67 Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 139-149. 68 Ibid. 69 Ibid, 125.

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234 individuals were not selected as leaders.70 When members refused to comply or sought to select leaders irrespective of external wi lls, the military would intervene in much the same way it had in EACI.71 The incessant intervention of the state and other conservative forces in COAPALMA’s affairs eventually led to the organization’s corruption and indebtedness. Despite producing over 30,000 metr ic tons of palm oil, more than any other domestic, agro-industrial plant of its kind,72 COAPALMA began to lose money during the 1980’s and frequently delayed dist ributing its profits among its associates.73 Although the group’s corruption soon became evident, members were scared into silence. Those who did criticize the company’s lead ers or their corruption were threatened, sequestered and beaten. Thus, through th eir control of COAPALMA, conservative political groups were able to weaken peopl e’s trust in their lead ers and in cooperative endeavors.74 The Catholic Church responded to all of these events by critic izing the militarybacked corruption of organized groups a nd denouncing human rights abuses in the region. A Justice and Peace Commission was es tablished in the parishes of Sonaguera (to which Sab still belonged) and Tocoa in 1979. The ideological basis of these commissions was the Church’s teachings on social justice. Soon afterward, popular 70 Hugo Noe Pino, “La agroindustria de la palma afri cana en el proyecto bajo Agun,” 70 and interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000. 71 Hugo Noe Pino, “La agroindustria de la palma africana en el proy ecto bajo Agun,” Masters Thesis, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (1986): 140-141. 72 Ibid, 149. 73 Interview with former members of the Cooperative Unin San Francisco, September 20, 2000 and interview with Luis Hernndez, president of Cooperativa Sab, September 13, 2000.. 74 Interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000 and Hugo Noe Pino, “La agroindustria de la palma a fricana en el proyect o bajo Agun,” 70.

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235 organizations from Coln were invited to uni te with the Justice and Peace Commission in forming a regional Committee for the Defe nse of Human Rights. Thirty popular organizations responded to this call, but fear of repression so on forced them to withdraw from this organization. The Church, however continued unabated in denouncing abuses in the area.75 A diocesan, legal assistance program called Socorro Juridico (judicial help) was also initiated in the 1980’s. Socorro Juridico offered free legal assistance to people within the Agun Valley who were victims of human rights abuses. At the height of its operations, Socorro Jurdico had seven permanent employees and approximately 600 volunteers working in the diocese.76 In 1981, shortly after the Church had become involved with human rights issues, the national-level Comit de Derechos Humanos (CODEH or Committee on Huma n Rights) was founded. CODEH set-up a regional office in Sab and began working closely with Socorro Jurdico to present human rights cases before the Honduran courts. In spite of this activity or perhaps in response to it, the Catholic Church in the Agun Valley began sufferi ng persecution in the 1980’s.77 Aside from defending human rights and denouncing the economic and politic al oppression of the poor, most lay and clergy leaders had become activists in the newly formed Democratic Christian Party.78 Some, had even joined social ist or communist groups. Fath er Guadalupe Carney, one of 75 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 395-398. 76 Interview with Ana Cristina Pineda, coordinator of Socorro Juridico for the Diocese of Trujillo (19881995) on September 28, 2000. 77 For a more general account of the persecution suferred by the Catholic Church at this time see Jos Mara Tojeira, “Historial de la pers ecucin a la iglesia hondurena,” Honduras, historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 159-169. 78 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, 346.

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236 the most outspoken Jesuits in the area, was expelled from Honduras in 1979 and was killed four years later when trying to re-enter the country from Nicar agua as the spiritual advisor of an armed guerrilla group.79 Father Juan Donald and Sister Marina Eseverri, two clergy members that had been assigned to work in Sab, were also deported from Honduras in 1985.80 In addition, countless lay activist s from the region were forced to flee the country or were captured and beaten during the 1980’s. The government’s continual repression even tually succeeded in pacifying most organized groups in Sab. Former members of EACI explain that the corruption of this peasant enterprise actually weakened the organization th at had once existed among its members. Although everyone knew of the mone y being stolen from the enterprise, few denounced it for fear of death.81 The few people who did speak out against this injustice were either sequestered and tortured or forced to flee.82 Cooperatives encountered a similar problem. The fear of organization r eached such a degree that the Catholic Church was unable to encourage the formation of Comunidades Eclesiales de Base (CEBs or Christian Base Communities) in EACI83 or other cooperative settlements. By the 1990’s the agrarian reform groups in the area wh ich had once been models of organization and economic cooperation had been weakened significantly. Group members had ceased 79 Padre Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary, chapter 22 and epilogue. 80 Ricardo Falla, Jesuitas en Honduras: 50 Anos (El Progreso: AMDG, 1996): 27 + 37. 81 Interview with Domitila Hernndez, form er member of EACI, September 10, 2000. 82 Interview with Luis River, former member of EACI, September 23, 2000. 83 Guadalup Carney, To be a Revolutionary: An Autobiography (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985): 373.

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237 participating in decision making processes a nd allowed a handful of corrupt leaders to make decisions for them. The oppression and fear that pervaded the Agun Valley during the 1980’s did not succeed in permanently discouraging civil societ y groups in Sab. After almost a decade of quiescence, residents from the area slowly began to organize again in the late 1980’s. However, people united to a lesser degree than previously and avoi ded using a leftist discourse. Moreover, the types of organizations that were formed during this period and the people who joined them were different fr om those who had been organized during the 1970’s. The Catholic Church succeeded in establis hing some of the fi rst community groups in Sab during the late 1980’s. Between 1986 and 1988 three CEBs were founded in this municipality, two of which we re still in existence in 2000.84 Although these groups analyzed their socio-political reality in light of biblical teachings, as do most CEBs in Latin America,85 they did not become politically ac tive. Instead, they confined their activities to a mere discussion and analysis of these realities. A few CEB members did begin working in the Socorro Jurdico program, but they engaged in non-confrontational and defensive political activities. Labor unions also resurface after an absen ce of nearly fifteen years. Local chapters of teacher labor unions were established in Sab during the mid-1980’s. At first, teachers were hesitant to join these groups because teachers’ unions had been heavily 84 Interview with Mercedez Pacheco, one of the first CEB members in Sab, September 29, 2000. 85 See Daniel Levine, Popular Voices in Latin American Catholicism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Philip Berrymen, The Religious Roots of Rebellion: Christians in Central American Revolutions (New York: Orbis Books, 1984) and Johannes P.A. von Vugt, Democratic Organization for Social Change : Latin American Christian Base Communities and Literacy Campaigns (New York : Bergin & Garvey, 1991).

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238 persecuted elsewhere in the count ry during the preceding years.86 Nevertheless, the membership of these groups gradually in creased. Another labor union was created among non-member workers of EACI in 1986. The Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Asociative de Isletas (SITRAEACI), as this worker’s group was called, soon became active in demanding just pay and labor treatment from the cooperative enterprise for whom they worked. In 1988 they prev ented EACI from dismissing hundreds of its members and succeeded in signing a collective labor contract signed between itself and its employers soon thereafter.87 Patronatos or local community councils also we re animated during the late 1980’s. Individually, patronatos in Sab, as elsewhere in the c ountry, often had be en subject to political manipulation. Howe ver, in 1988 several rural patronatos united to form a local, political pressure group: the Frente Popular de Organiza ciones Populares de Sab (FREPOCSA or Popular Front of Popular Orga nizations from Sab). The organization arose due to a desire to expand the municipa lity’s urban radius and obtain land for needy families. In order to prevent military re pression of the group, FREPOCSA leaders sought permission from the commander of La Ceiba’ s fourth battalion before engaging in any activities. Once such permission was obt ained, the group started pressuring the municipal government for help. They staged marches, street blockades and even took over local government offices for a twelve day period. Through such means FREPOCSA 86 Interview with Rolando Canizales, Director del Frente de Organzaciones Magsteriales (FOM), September 23, 2000. 87 Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno: el caso de la Empresa Asociativa de Isletas (EACI) (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1992): 210-222.

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239 succeeded not only in acquiring land for needy families, but also in obtaining road and electrification projects fo r newly-created urban areas.88 Although there was a clear resurgence of popular organizations during the late 1980’s, these groups remained too fragmented a nd weak to have any significant effect on national or regional-level politic al decisions. But as discus sion increased during the 1989 presidential election over the country’s need to implement a structural adjustment package, pass a new law of municipalities a nd reverse the agrarian reform process, the Catholic Church began uniting the different organizations in the Agun Valley so as to form a political pressure group that could repr esent the interests of the area before the central government. The Church invited all the popular organiza tions in the area to meet in 1990 in order to discuss the possibility of esta blishing such an united front. Attendees represented a heterogene ous mix of groups that included cooperatives, patronatos labor unions and religious organizati ons. Group representatives deci ded to meet frequently in order to monitor political even ts in the country and discuss ways of responding to them. Thus was born the Asamblea Permanente de las Organi zaciones Populares del Agun (APOPA). The coopera tives, labor unions, and patronatos from Sab all joined this group. APOPA began protesting various nationa l-level, political developments such as the Law for Agricultural Modernization and a new structural adjustment package. The group was quite belligerent in its protests In 1991, for example, it mobilized approximately 12,000 people from the region and occupied the Agun bridge in Sab. APOPA also participated in three nationallevel public protests together with other 88 Interview with Rolando Canizales, Organizer of (FREPOCSA), September 23, 2000.

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240 Honduran civil society groups. The Catholic Ch urch played a critic al role in APOPA’s activities. It helped rally protesters and supplied the fi nancial and logistical support needed to mobilize them. The hope was that as the group became stronger and more consolidated, the Church woul d retreat its support. Unfort unately, this organization did not evolve in the manner hoped. As APOPA’ s belligerence increase d, external forces began trying to orient the group in one of tw o different directions. Leaders of leftists political organizations began infiltrating AP OPA and trying to radicalize the movement while local politicians, military officials and wealthy landowners tried corrupting and pacifying cooperative group leaders as they had done in the past. Although the Church worked to increase the sociopolitical awareness and organi zation of APOPA, the support it offered was unable to counter these other external forces. After two years of existence APOPA was unable to adopt poli tical stances independently of the Church. In 1993 the diocese completely withdrew its support from the group and allowed it to disintegrate.89 Not coincidentally, the agrarian reform groups from Sab began to fragment at around this period. Congress had passed the Law for the Modernization and Development of the Agricultural Sector in 1992 which allowed reform groups in the country to partition and sell the land they ha d been given by INA. Politicians, military officials and wealthy landowners corrupted coop leaders to convince fellow members that dividing and/or selling thei r landholdings would be more beneficial for them than continuing with their cooperative ventures.90 Some INA offici als tried convincing 89 The information on APOPA is derived from an interview with Rolando Canizales, Organizer of (FREPOCSA), September 23, 2000, interview with Fath er Juventino Mendoza, pastor of the Catholic Church in Sab, September 28, 2000 and interview with Ana Cristina Pineda, coordinator of Socorro Juridico for the Diocese of Trujillo (1988-1995), September 28, 2000. 90 Interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000.

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241 agrarian reform groups of the same. These atte mpts to reverse the agrarian reform in the area were not merely limited to a few corr upt individuals. The state was also an accomplice. During the late 1980’s and early 199 0’s INA began distributing land titles to reform groups. In addition, various governme nt agencies offered to condone reform groups loans if they sold their propertie s. Given the high debt of many reform beneficiaries and their distrust towards both their leaders and the cooperative movement, more generally, it was relatively easy to convi nce them to sell. EACI was the first to do this. Its members sold their bana na plantations to SFCO for 67 million lempiras a fourth of their property’s value. Other reform groups soon followed. Although the promise of short-term, financial gain helped convince re form beneficiaries to sell their landholdings, most also agreed to do this because they no longer trusted their l eaders and wanted to escape the government’s oppression and domin ation. Only three cooperatives still existed in Sab in 2000.91 San Marcos San Marcos has had a significant level of social organization fo r at least half a century. The first, formal associations arose in this municipality in the 1950’s. Although labor unions have not been as prominent here as they have in the other two municipalities just reviewed, San Marcos has had active cooperative and church groups. NGOs have also had a significant presence here since th e 1970’s. Community or ganizations in San Marcos have evolved quite differently fr om those in the other municipalities under consideration. Unlike Sab, th e national government has interv ened only slightly in the 91 Ral Rubn and Francisco Fnez, La compra-venta de tierras de la reforma agraria (Tegucigalpa: Edictorial Guaymuras, 1993); Mario Posas, La autogestin en el agro Hondureno: el caso de la Empresa Asociativa de Isletas (EACI) (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1992): eplogo; interview with Cenen Martnez, regional INA official (1977-2001), September 13, 2000; and interviews with various former cooperative members during th e month of September 2000.

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242 creation and growth of civil society. Moreove r, unlike Potrerillos and Sab, few residents have organized in order to seek labor or fi nancial justice in the face of larger economic forces. Rather, most of the groups that have been established here have been created in order to pursue the self-development of this region. The following section will review the organizational history of San Marcos, high lighting those unique e xperiences that have made this municipality what it is today. The Catholic Church has been active in training and organizing San Marcos’ residents since the late 1960’s when the Cat holic parish of the area began training lay, religious leaders as Delegados de la Palabra These individuals led religious services in their communities, read and interpreted the Bible when no priests were available and offered religious education to others. Ev entually, almost every community in San Marcos had a Delegado de la Palabra Although most of these individuals were illiterate, the training they received from the Church empowered them by encouraging them to become outspoken leaders of their communities. The leadership positions adopted by Delegados de la Palabra often transcended their purel y religious role. In the years following their training, many of these indi viduals went on to become leaders or at least members of other local organizations in the area.92 The cooperative movement began evolvi ng in San Marcos much earlier than in the other municipalities under study here. The first Honduran cooperative was founded in San Marcos in 1957. That year a group of female residents formed the Cooperativa Industrial Conservadora de Alimentos Limitada (CICAL). The group produced pickled fruit and vegetable jars as well as fruit pres erves for sale in local markets. Although the 92 Interview with Rev. Raymond Richard, Pastor of the Catholic Church in San Marcos, November 22, 1999.

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243 organization has managed to persist for over forty years, it has not grown significantly since its creation. CICAL still maintains a sm all-scale production and continues to be dominated by women. In addition, the orga nization has a weak level of organization. CICAL is not self-sufficient and has depende d on the financial and technical support of various national and regional orga nizations throughout its history.93 A second cooperative was established in San Marcos in 1967. At the time, there were no banks in the area94 and transportation to other part s of the country was difficult. Consequently, there was no financial servic e institution in the municipality. The Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Rio Grande was created in order to fill this void. The cooperative was born under the tutelage of the USAID-backed Honduran Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (FACACH or Federacin de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crdito de Honduras ) who began promoting rural credit unions in the country during the 1960’s.95 The Rio Grande cooperative functions much like a bank. Membership is open to all residents of the area. They are encour aged to save their money with the cooperative and, in exchange, are offered both a percenta ge interest return on their deposits and affordable loans. FACACH subsidized the Rio Grande’s deposits during its first few years of existence. In 1982 the cooperative participated in a USAID program aimed at improving the financial sustainabilit y of rural credit unions. The Rio Grande’s deposits 93 Vctor Saravia, “Breve resena historica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque,” Revista Amarilla 2 (Octubre 1999): 7 and Interview with Alberto Rodezno, senior resident of San Marcos, July 13, 2000. 94 Vctor Saravia, “Breve resena historica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque,” Revista Amarilla 2 (Octubre 1999): 7-8; Interview with Jos Calvin Fuen tes, President of ADEVAS, November 19, 1999. 95 For more on the USAID-backed origins of FACACH see Aldo A. Cardona Arango, Las cooperativas en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Instituto de Investigacin y Formacin Cooperativa, 1979): 53-56.

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244 and reserves markedly increased as a result of this program.96 Today the Cooperativa Rio Grande remains one of the largest financial service providers in the area. As the cooperative movement began to gr ow in this municipality, two non-profit, service organizations also were established here. A local chapter of the Lion’s Club was founded in 1966 by some of the more affluent re sidents of San Marcos in order to help raise money and sponsor development project s in the area. Alt hough this organization has received financial assistance from the Lions Club International in the past, most of its development projects have been sponsored w ith money raised by the local chapter. A similar organization, Hermandad de Honduras, was established in San Marcos in 1976. Hermandad was created due to the motivation an d leadership of a North American priest, Rev. James Francis McTager, who was working in the area at the time. Initially, the organization was associated with Hermandad Inc., a U.S.-based agency that promotes community development in Latin America. Together, both organizations initiated various development programs and constructed a rural leadership tr aining center in San Marcos. USAID offered significant suppor t to these endeavors during the late 1970’s and 1980’s in the hopes that such develo pment projects would prevent the rural population of the area from participating in the armed revolution that was embroiling neighboring Central American countries. The Hermandad branch in San Marcos became independent from Hermandad Inc. in 1985 and adopted the name of Hermandad de Honduras. USAID also withdrew its support from the local organi zation at around this period. Despite this, Hermandad de Honduras has sustained its operations through the support of other international organizations a nd the distributio n of rural, micro-credit. 96 See Jeffrey Poyo, “Development without Dependency : Financial repression and Deposit Mobilization Among Rural Credit Unions in Honduras,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Syracuse University, 1987.

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245 Today, Hermandad de Honduras is one of the largest NGOs in the country. Although it is based in San Marcos, the organiza tion works throughout Western Honduras.97 Eight agrarian reform groups also were established in San Marcos from the 1970’s to the 1990’s (See Table 6-3). Most of them were EACs and all were associated with either the Unin Nacional de Campesinos (UNC) or FECORAH. The UNC is a peasant federation with a socialist-communitarian ideo logy which has often placed it at odds with the national government.98 Not surprisingly, the reform gr oups affiliated with it received significantly less government suppor t than the coops in Sab. INA training courses were Table 6-3 Land distributed in San Marcos through agrarian reform Name of Beneficiaries Land Area Grante d Suitable for Cultivat Year Estbl Type of Organ # of Original Members Hectares per Member National Organ. Affiliation Platanares 77 has 10 has 1974 EAC 65 1.18 has UNC El Granzal #1 42 has 27 has 1974 EAC. 30 1.4 has UNC Flor de Caf 48 has 42 has 1975 EAC 16 3.0 has FECORAH Recuperacin 18 de Nov. 95 has 85 has 1980 EAC 22 4.32 has UNC Brisas de Colopeca 35 has 31 has 1980 Coop 13 2.69 has FECORAH El Granzal #2 25 has 25 has 1982 EAC 16 1.56 has UNC Efran Diaz Gale 20 has 15 has 1991 EAC 19 1.05 has FECORAH 18 de Nov. 36 has 28 has 1993 EAC 29 1.24 has UNC TOTAL 8 groups 376 has 263 has var. var. 210 1.80 has variable The information on this chart is derived from INA, Inventario de grupos campesinos de la reforma agraria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1995) a nd INA, Informacin bsica de los grupos campesinos de la reforma agra ria, (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1994). 97 Vctor Saravia, “Breve resena historica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque,” Revista Amarilla 2 (Octubre 1999): 7; interview with Alberto Rodezno, founding member of Hermandad de Honduras, July 13, 2000 and personal communication with George Gerardi, Hermandad Inc. Vice President for Programs, November 29, 2000. 98 Martiniano Lombrana, Historia del movimiento campesino de Honduras 20-23.

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246 scant and credit often difficult to obtain. In addition, there were significantly fewer agrarian reform beneficiaries in San Marcos th an in either Potrerillo s or Sab, and reform groups here received less cultivable land on average than their counterparts in the other two municipalities (See Table 6-4). Despite these obstacles, the three EACs that wereestablished in San Marcos during the 1970’s had a strong colle ctive conscious and worked closely together. Those reform gr oups that were established during the 1980’s and 1990’s were not as well orga nized as their predecessors. By then, INA had started encouraging more individualistic forms of orga nizations and capitalis t notions of private property. In addition, FECORAH had been co -opted by the state and the UNC had been weakened substantially. The lack of suppor t received by reform groups in the area and the difficulties they encountered cultivating th e little land they shared contributed to Table 6-4 A comparison of agrarian reform benefits in Potrerillos, Sab and San Marcos Municipality Poterillos Sab San Marcos Total Land Area in Each Municipality 83.3 km2 (8330 has) 370 km2 (37,000 has) 161 km2 (16,100 has) Total Land Area Granted through the Agrarian Reform Program 989 has 6384 has 376 has Percent of Total Land in Municipality Granted 12% 17% 2% Land Granted Suitable for Cultivation 949 has 6068 has 263 has Percent of Land Granted Suitable Cultivation 96% 95% 70% Total Number of Reform Group Beneficiaries 404 386 210 Average Land Granted per Beneficiary 2.45 has 16.54 has 1.80 has Average Cultivable Land Granted per Beneficiary 2.35 has 15.72 has 1.25 has

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247 membership desertion. By December of 1994 only 161 of the original 210 reform group members remained part of a cooperative or EAC.99 The political context of San Marcos changed drastically during the 1980’s. Thousands of Salvadoran peasants migrated to Honduras during this decade in response to their army’s offensive against FMLN-contro lled areas of the country. Initially, three camps were established in Honduras near the border to offer refugee for Salvador migrants and facilitate their return home once the violence there subsided. Both Honduran and Salvadoran military officials accused these refugees housed there of collaborating with and offering safe harbor to FMLN troops. In orde r to avoid problems of guerrilla infiltration, the camp in La Virt ud, Lempira which was less than three miles from the Salvadoran border was relocated to an isolated area of San Marcos known as Mesa Grande in November 1981.100 Nearly 11,500 Salvadoran refugees occupied this camp until 1987.101 This represented a sum almost e qual to the entire population of San Marcos during this period. A lthough most refugees were repa triated to El Salvador in 1988 and 1989 after the signing of the Central Am erican Peace Accords, the last refugees did not leave Mesa Grande until 1997.102 The presence of thousands of Salvadoran refugees in San Marcos had a significant impact on the native residents of the area. Although the new camp had been moved almost twenty-five miles from the Salvadoran border, military officials continued to view 99 INA, Inventario de grupos campesinos de la reforma agraria (Tegucigalpa: INA, 1995). 100 See Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 210-213 and Alan Riding, “In Honduras Refugee Tangle U.N. Takes Control,” New York Times 27 April 1982: A2. 101 Inter Press Service, “Honduras Home for 40,0 00 Refugees says UNHCR,” February 4, 1986. 102 “Last Refugees Leave Camp in Honduras,” Mennonite Reporter 27: 12 (June 9, 1997): 5.

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248 the refugees there as communist s and FMLN sympathizers. Th ey thus took great care to contain the refugees’ alleged ideological in clination and revolutionary activity. In addition to preventing people from leaving the Mesa Grande Camp,103 military troops regularly patrolled the munici pality. People found walking th e streets at night would be detained104 and peasants seen carrying a weapon or traveling to or from the direction of the Salvadoran border would either be cap tured, beaten or instantly killed. Many residents grew to fear simply walking with a machete to their farm lands for fear of repression.105 San Marcos was changed by the numerous organizations that came to work with the Salvadoran refugees. The Evangelical Committee for National Emergencies (CEDEN or Comit Evangelica de Emergencias Nacioanles ) and CARITAS de Honduras, the organizations that execute so cial development programs on behalf of Protestant and the Catholic Churches in Honduras respec tively, were among the first organizations to begin working with Salva doran refugees. The Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, World Vision, Hermandad a nd other such NGOs soon joined in the relief work, as well. These organizations pr ovided shelter, food, water, clothes and basic health services to the refug ee population. In addition, they wo rked to protect those in the Mesa Grande Camp from human rights abuses. Most of the funds required to sustain this type of relief work was provided by the Un ited Nations High Comm ission for Refugees 103 Bertrand de la Grange, “Salvadoran Re fugees Threaten Their Own Long March,” Manchester Guardian 18 October 1987 and Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 206. 104 Interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos, November 17, 1999. 105 Interview with a peasant from San Marcos, May 6, 2000.

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249 (UNHCR) who channeled its money through the various organizat ions in the area.106 Initially, CEDEN coordinated relief activity. Although not all organizations received the same amount of aid or support, they ma intained a strong level of coordination.107 The human rights work conducted by the various organizations in San Marcos became very contentious. Those working with Salvadoran refugees were branded as communists and frequently harass ed, threatened and detained.108 In 1983 the Protestant churches that supported CEDE N asked that this organization cease working with the refugee population. Over thir ty of CEDEN’s employees re fused to do so and instead chose to found a new, independent NGO, the Comisin Cristiana de Desarrollo (CCD), an organization inspired by a social-Christian doctrine.109 In addition, many of the aid organizations in the area united to form the Asociacin de Organismos No Gubernamentales de Honduras (ASONOG or Association of Honduran NonGovernmental Organizations) in 1988 in or der to better defend themselves against political attacks and make demands upon the Honduran state.110 Although local citizens in San Marcos ac knowledged the positive work that the UNHCR and various NGOs were doing with th e refugee population, many also resented 106 Interview with Francisco Machado, Executi ve President of ASONOG, April 11, 2000. 107 Interview with Noemi Espinoza, President of CCD and member of CEDEN (1974-1982), November 30, 1999; Centro de Documentacin de Honduras (CEDOH), Honduras: historias no contadas (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, 1985): 165 and Philip E. Wheaton, Inside Honduras: Regional Counterinsurgency Base (Washington, D.C.: EPICA, 1982): 14. 108 CEDOH, Honduras: historias no contadas 160 and 166; “Last Refugees Leave Camp in Honduras,” Mennonite Reporter 27: 12 (June 9, 1997): 5; and interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos (1987-2000), November 17, 1999. 109 The new organization was first named Comite de De sarrollo y Emergencia, but the name was changed in 1988 to CCD. Interview with Noemi Espinoza, Pr esident of CCD, November 30, 1999; Interview with Noemi Mejia, Program Director for CCD, November 29, 1999. 110 Interview with Francisco Machado, Executi ve President of ASONOG, April 11, 2000.

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250 the massive assistance given to Salvadorans. Residents thought it unfair that they had to endure the pressure of thousands of refugees as well as suffer military hostility and human rights abuses as a result of them yet receive no compensation for this. They also resented that the Salvadoran population in Me sa Grande was offered many basic services not available to them. At the time, San Marcos was a very poor municipality with little infrastructure.111 Eventually, local citizens prot ested this unequal treatment and demanded that they too be gr anted development assistance.112 The United Nations responded to these demands with the Central American Development Project for Displ aced Populations, Refugees and Repatriated Exiles (known in Spanish as the Programa de Desarrollo para Repatriados or PRODERE). The idea for PRODERE arose a year after the signing of the 1987 Ce ntral American Peace Plan. The program was executed by the United Na tions Development Program (UNDP) and financed through a $115 million contributi on from the Italian government. Although PRODERE primarily sought to help resettle Ce ntral American refugees, its general goal was to rehabilitate the lives of those who had been affected by the region’s population displacement in the 1980’s. San Marcos qua lified for assistance under this program because its citizens were adversely aff ected by the refugees in Mesa Grande. 113 PRODERE was initiated in 1992 in San Ma rcos in order to improve both the physical and social fabric of life in the m unicipality. The UN program offered residents the funds they requested to implement self-i dentified projects on the condition that they 111 Interview with Olvin Romero, Mayor of San Marcos (1994-1997), July 18, 2000. 112 Interview with Alberto Rodezno, founding member of Hermandad de Honduras, July 13, 2000. 113 Alfredo Lazarte, Hans Hofmijer and Maria Zwanenburg, Local Economic Devel opment in Central America: The PRODERE Experience (Geneva: ILO, 1999) and “El Salvador: New Program to Better Conditions for War Refugees,” Inter Press Service 30 September 1988.

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251 have a group in place to execute and supervise these.114 PRODERE thus provided a strong financial incentive for people to organize. Residents who had never participated in community groups in the past began to do s o. The organizational fervor encouraged by PRODERE helped weaken traditional patron-c lient relations by teaching people that if they did not participate in their own development, they would not receive assistance. Some residents believed th at PRODERE emphasized community organization more than basic infrastructure projects.115 PRODERE together with COPECO helped form the first Comit de Emergencias in San Marcos in 1992. The group’s formation was preceded by a workshop which taught residents about their municipali ty’s risks to, past experiences with and historic responses to disaster. Those interested in joining the Comit de Emergencia were then offered courses on how to prepare and best respond to such unexpected events.116 PRODERE also helped restructure the patronatos or community councils in San Marcos. Members of these groups had traditionally been appointed by mayors and been more instruments of political manipulation than true represen tatives of their communities. PRODERE suggested that new local counc ils be established based on po pular elections. These local bodies, named Comisiones de Desarrollo Comunal (CODECO), were to represent both residents and organized groups from each neighborhood and aldea .117 Today, the terms 114 Interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos, November 17, 1999. 115 Interview with Olvin Romero, Mayor of San Marcos (1994-1997), July 18, 2000. 116 Municipalidad de San Marcos, Informe general de las acciones realizadas en el municipio (San Marcos, Ocotepeque: Municipalidad de San Marcos, 1994): anexo VII. 117 Presidencia de la Repblica, Comisin Presidencial del Estado, Cuadernos de descentralizacin Volumen 3, mapeo social de Honduras: estudios de caso sobre la participacin comunitaria (Tegucigalpa: Repblica de Honduras, 1994): 41.

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252 CODECO and patronato are used interchangeably to refer to the same group. Although the members of these organizations are gene rally more active in problem-solving than regular citizens,118 they have become democratic representatives of their communities. Some residents argue that San Marcos was already well organized before PRODERE’s arrival and that this UN program merely strengthened the organizational process that had been initiated beforehand.119 A few years before PRODERE was initiated, for example, a few local citizens had become concerned about the increasing forest destruction and envir onmental degradation of their municipality. In 1990 they established the Asociacin Ecolgica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque (AESMO or Ecological Association of San Marcos, Ocotep eque) in order to address these issues. However, AESMO sponsored few environmenta l projects during its first few years of existence due to limited funds. AESMO s ought support from PRODERE soon after this project was initiated in San Marcos. PR ODERE responded by helping the group obtain legal recognition from the state, granting them 15,000 lempiras to initiate conservation projects and supporting some of thei r environmental education programs.120 Other preexisting groups were offered similar suppor t from this UN program during the 1990’s. PRODERE’s stimulation of citizen groups was reinforced by the work of others in the area. CCD, which had initially only wo rked with refugees in San Marcos began encouraging community organizations and part icipation with local residents there after 118 Ibid, 44. 119 Interview with Fernando Espinoza, former director of AESMO, July 13, 2000; interview with Alberto Rodezno, founding member of Hermandad de Honduras, July 13, 2000; and interview with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executive Director of ADEVAS, November 19, 2000. 120 Interview with Victor Saravia, President of AE SMO, November 17, 1999 and AESMO, “Antecedentes de AESMO” unpublished document available with author, (San Marcos: AESMO, 1999).

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253 1990. Their work primarily focused on rural se ttlements. Six leaders (half men, half women) from these areas were selected and as ked to help organize their neighbors. Then, using popular education methods, these groups were asked to identify ten problems in their communities and find ways of so lving them. Although CCD counseled and financially supported these lo cal organizations, the decisi on-making process was left up to residents.121 Hermandad de Honduras initiated a similar process in the early 1990’s. They began forming agricultural groups com posed of approximately fifteen community members who were offered training on how to work together to implement environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques.122 They also helped form local health groups. All of Hermandad’s projects educated participants on the importance of being organized.123 Neither CCD nor Hermandad had been able to distribute popular education materials or encourage such group formati on during the previous decade because this work had been viewed as a politically threatening within the Cold War context.124 The Catholic Church further motivated people’s organization during the 1990’s. The Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copn, to whic h San Marcos belongs, asked its parishes to begin encouraging the formation of Comunidades Eclesiales de Base (CEBs) in 1993.125 CEBs had been promoted elsewhere in Cent ral America during the previous two decades 121 Interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos, November 17, 1999. 122 Interviews with Jorge Alcides Linares and Melencio La Rama, extension workers for Hermandad de Honduras, November 22, 1999. 123 Hermandad de Honduras, Memoria 1993, (San Marcos: PROAVEH, 1994). 124 Interview with Noemi Espinoza, Pr esident of CCD, November 30, 1999. 125 Interview with Rev. Raymond Richard, Pastor of the Catholic Church in San Marcos, November 22, 1999 and Dicesis de Santa Rosa de Copn, Primer Plan de Pastoral de Conjunto (1993-1996) : (Santa Rosa de Copn: Dicesis de Santa Rosa de Copn, 1993).

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254 but had become associated with armed uprisings there.126 In order to prevent politicians or regular citizens from either associating CEBs with revolu tionary movements or fearing these organizations, the Diocese renamed these groups “ pequeas comunidades ” (or little communities).127 The Delegados de la Palabra in San Marcos were asked to help form these new church organizations. In order to prevent them from falling into their old, paternalistic, leadership roles, Delegados de la Palabra were offered training courses which explained to them the structure and purpose of CEBs. In addition, CEB members were given booklets to guide their weekly meetings. Initially, it was difficult to encourage people to join these new organizatio ns. However, after a year and a half of work, CEBs began to proliferate in San Marc os. By the end of the century there were thirty seven of these religious groups in the municipality, and each had a membership ranging from twelve to thirty individuals. CEBs encouraged participants to read the Bible, interpret their socio-political reality in light of scripture a nd try to improve their surroundings. Thus these groups complemented the participatory development projects promoted by other organizations in the area.128 Unlike CCD, Hermandad and the Cathol ic Church, PRODERE motivated the organization and participation of local residents in order to change th e traditional style of governance in San Marcos. PRODERE, therefor e, worked with both citizens and local politicians in order to improve the level of communication between them. One way this was achieved was through cabildos abiertos or town hall meetings. A new Law of 126 For one account of how CEBs contributed to the rise of revolutions in Central America see Philip Berryman, The Religious Roots of Rebellion: Christians in Central American Revolutions (New York: Orbis Books, 1984). 127 Interview with Father Andrs, Preist of the Ca tholic Church in Ocotepeque, November 20, 1999. 128 Interview with Sister Francisca from the Catholic Church in Sab, July 13, 2000.

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255 Municipalities passed in 1990 stipulated that each municipality should have at least six cabildos abiertos per year. PRODERE helped make this a reality in San Marcos by providing the financial and l ogistical support necessary to advertise, organize and transport people to such meetings.129 The first cabildos in San Marcos were not limited to just the adult population of the area. A children’s cabildos was sponsored there as well. Child attendees were asked to identi fy community problems, suggest solutions to them, make recommendations to their muni cipal government and determine how they could contribute to solving these problems.130 Through such means, citizens were taught at an early age how they could pa rticipate in local-level governance Many of the instances of participation that PRODERE helped establish were consolidated into a mutually reinforcing, multitiered system that linked local, municipal, and regional organizations in the area. A municipal-level, representative body called Comit de Desarrollo Municipal (CODEM) was established in San Marcos in 1992. CODEMs advanced citizen pol itical participa tion beyond the arena of consultation provided by cabildos abiertos to a permanent structure of local, co-government. Through CODEMs representatives of organized groups in a community are allowed to advise municipal governments and assist them in the planning, implementation and evaluation of development projects. The 1990 Law of Municipalities required CODEMs to be established in every municipali ty in the country. However, this requirement had not been enforced. San Marcos was the first municipa lity in Honduras to form a CODEM. This 129 Interview with Jesus Orlando Gue rra, Mayor of San Marcos (1990-1994 and 1998-2001), July 17, 2000. 130 Municipalidad de San Marcos, Informe general de las acciones realizadas en el municipio (San Marcos, Ocotepeque: Municipalidad de San Marcos, 1994): anexo VIII.

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256 consultative body was established in respons e to the strong motivation of PRODERE.131 Initially, the mayor of San Marcos was hesitant to accept this new political structure; but, after being convinced of its be nefit, became a supporter of it.132 The first CODEM in San Marcos was composed of elected representatives from every patronato and organized group in the municipality.133 Since the Law of Municipali ties contemplated a smaller and less representative consultative body,134 six committees were created as part of this citizen body in order to allow the participation of a greater number of people. These committees proposed and implemented projec ts related to infra structure, production, health, education, and e nvironmental protection.135 The first CODEM of San Marcos was extremely active: it hosted forty six reun ions and helped mob ilize 570 people in its first year of existence.136 Based on this model of c itizen political participation, PRODERE helped establish similar cons ultative bodies throu ghout the rest of Ocotepeque. In addition, the central govern ment began encouraging the formation of 131 Interview with Jesus Orlando Gue rra, Mayor of San Marcos (1990-1994 and 1998-2001), July 17, 2000. 132 Leticia Salomon y M. Oscar Avila, “Descentrali zacin y participacion ciudadana en Honduras,” unpublished document (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, UNDP an d MIT, 1998): 34-35; Interview with Fernando Espinoza, former Director of AESMO, July 13, 2000. 133 Interview with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executive Di rector of ADEVAS, November 19, 1999 and interview with Jesus Orlando Guerra, Mayor of San Marcos (1990-1994 and 1998-2001), July 17, 2000. 134 The Law of Municipalities does not require members of the CODEM to be elected, but rather states that these should be appointed by the municipal government. It further indicates that the members of the CODEM must be equal to the number of regents in the municipal government. In the case of San Marcos, that means the CODEM would have had to be composed of eight members. 135 Municipalidad de San Marcos, Informe general de las acciones realizadas en el municipio (San Marcos, Ocotepeque: Municipalidad de San Marcos, 1994): anexo XII. 136 Ibid, 3.

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257 CODEMs in other areas of the country soon af ter this department’s positive experience with them.137 A regional-level orga nization called the Asociacin para el Desarrollo del Valle de Sensenti (ADEVAS or Development Association fo r the Valley of Sensenti) was also established by PRODERE in 1993. The id ea for ADEVAS came from an informal, cooperation network that had arisen in th e area during the early 1990’s. Soon after PRODERE was initiated, the mayors from Sa n Marcos and its nei ghboring municipalities began meeting with each other and local NGOs in order to coordinate development projects.138 PRODERE wanted to strengthen this intra-municipal cooperation and make it more sustainable. It did this by esta blishing ADEVAS, an umbrella organization integrated by the Cooperativa Rio Grande Hermandad de Honduras, AESMO, two teachers unions, a coffee association, seve ral regionally-based national government agencies and the mayors and CODEMs from seven municipalities.139 Although ADEVAS was originally con ceived as a coordination agency,140 practical considerations soon forced it to evolve into an NGO. As PRODERE prepared to discontinue its operations in Honduras, it had a significant po ol of money that had not been used. The coordinators of the UN program chose to distribute part of this money as rural credit to farmers, train local citizens on how to manage it and help them form part of 137 CIPRODEH, Analysis de la Situacin de los Consejos de Desarrollo Municipal (CODEM) en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: CIPRODEH, 1997): 23. 138 Interview with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executi ve Director of ADEVAS, November 19, 1999. 139 ADEVAS, ADEVAS Informe Bsico unpublished document (San Marcos, Ocoepeque: ADEVAS, 1999). 140 Interiew with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executive Di rector of ADEVAS, July 17, 2000; interview with Santos Arita, Coordinator of CODEPO, November 18, 2000.

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258 ADEVAS who would then be charged with th e long term management and reinvestment of these funds. Today, ADEVAS functions pr imarily like a rural credit association. However, it promotes the coordination of governmental and non-governmental bodies in the region through its admi nistrative structure. Based on the successful mode l of ADEVAS, PRODERE en couraged the formation of a department-level, coope ration agency in 1995: the Comisin de Desarrollo Departamental de Ocotepeque (CODEPO). This organization attempted to integrate all the municipal governments, organized civi l society groups and central government offices in Ocotepeque into one coope rating body that could better promote the development of the department. Ideally, CODEPO should have represented various regional groups from the department, but when it was established in 1995, ADEVAS was the only regional organization in Ocotepeque Consequently, C ODEPO was organized with the representation of ADEVAS, the si xteen municipal governments and various national government extension offices in the department. Initially, civil society organizations were not as well represented in CODEPO as were governmental bodies. However, towards the end of 1999 various civi l society groups were encouraged to join CODEPO’s structure largely due to the pressures exerted by one such group, ASONOG. In addition, regional organizations similar to ADEVAS started being incorporated into CODEPO as they were created. Although CODE Ms are not directly represented in this organization, CODEPO reinforces their im portance by accepting only those projects or proposals approved by them. CODEPO has not only helped coordinate development projects in Ocotepeque but has enabled citizens and local go vernments from the department to have better access to both the central government and international aid

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259 organizations. CODEPO represents the pinnacle of the multi-level organizational structure that PRODERE initiated in San Ma rcos during the 1990’s.141 Dolores Merendn Dolores Merendn has an organizationa l and political history that differs significantly from that of the other three areas selected for study. Residents have been isolated almost completely from national and international political economic forces. No large, capitalist enterprises ha ve infiltrated this region of the country and the national government has almost no presence here. This together with the region’s dependence on subsistence agriculture have discoura ged the creation of community groups. The world of national politics has been quite foreign to residents of Dolores Merendn. Whereas Potrerillos was part of th e country’s development corridor, Sab and San Marcos were exposed to the Cold War strugg le and all three were part of the agrarian reform program, Dolores Merendn was excluded from any such events of national significance. The residents of this region did not even receive daily newspapers in 2000—a service available to all of our other se lected municipalities. Short-wave radio stations did broadcast national news informa tion here. However, 85% of those surveyed admitted they received little or no news at all. The subsistence economy and political isol ation of the region encouraged the inhabitants of Dolores Merendn to focus pr imarily on their household’s needs and take little interest in matters outside of their hom e. Males worked daily on their family farms while the women cooked, cleaned and took care of their children. There was no significant history of social organization here. Although there were instances of 141 Interview with Santos Arita, Coordi nator of CODEPO, November 18, 2000.

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260 cooperation, most of these te nded to be among relatives. Fathers, sons and brothers frequently worked together to plant and harvest crops. Similarly, female relatives assisted each other with child rearing and household chores. Non-relatives periodically cooperated with one another al so in order to resolve common problems. For instance, families living near a creek periodically united to build a wooden bridge when the old one fell or assisted each other in cases of illne ss or injury. But collaborative efforts such as these were the exception rather than the rule In general, resident s spent most of their time caring for their household’s needs and ha d little interest in working communally with those outside their family.142 The individualism of the region was evident also in the distribution of living structures When field research was co nducted in this municipality, houses were dispersed across a vast and mount ainous terrain as if to mark a physical separation between residents. Even within an aldea or rural settlement, houses tended to be scattered into small groups that shared a familial bond. People who lived outside of Dolores Mere ndn but traveled to work on community service activities there reported that reside nts were often unwilling to help them meet their basic necessities. Repr esentatives from the NGO, AS ONOG, explained that when they first started working in this municipality they were unable to fi nd people to sell them a plate of food—a problem they had not enc ountered in other communities of comparable size and poverty. After some begging during several trips to the area, they were finally able to find a family willing to provide them with lunch.143 Interestingly, this family had 142 The information from this paragraph is based on personal observations and on conversations with various community members during the month of April 2000. 143 Interview with Efran Deras, director of ASONOG’s activities in Ocotepeque, April 3, 2000 and interview with Jennifer Erazo, AS ONOG technician, April 3, 2000.

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261 a pre-existing willingness to engage in prof it-making activities because they managed a local store. One school teacher also explai ned that although he tries to bring his own food from home because of the difficulties of obtaining meals in the area, neighbors have at times refused to even heat his lunch. Th ey have been uncooperative with him despite the fact that he had distributed free clot hes and school supplies to local children.144 The individualism of Dolores Merendn sometimes manifested itself in a warped and destructive forms. For example, three families from San Jeronimo, the largest aldea in the municipality, had been engaging in a feud for several years. Residents reported that when the men from any one of these families became inebriated (a condition which arose quite frequently), they launched arme d attacks on each other. While collecting surveys in this aldea, a congl omerate of approximately fifteen houses had to be excluded from study because some of the men there were drunk and firing gunshots at each other from their respective houses. Aa week la ter, a member of one of these households resulted dead. Although the three feuding families in San Jeronimo were among the more notoriously violent residents of this municipality, they were not the only ones to receive or launch armed attacks. Incidents of violence seemed to be somewhat common in the area. The doctor and nurse assigned to this district in 1999-2000 explained that they frequently received patients with machete cuts, gun shot wounds and other such injuries.145 Women were sometimes victims of se xual assaults, as well. Although violent events such as these occurred periodically in the other munici palities under study, the police intervened to k eep these incidents in check and punish perpetrators. In Dolores 144 Interview with Carlos Espinoza, teacher in Las Toreras, Dolores Merendn, June 5, 2000. 145 Interview with the nurse from the Health Center in San Jeronimo, April 26, 20 00 and interview with Dr. Fernando Estebez, June 6, 2000.

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262 Merendn, however, there was no police presence. Although law officers had come to the area in the past in order to investigate criminal activities, they had been forced out of town by local residents. The individualistic and often antagonist ic behavior found in Dolores Merendn is not uncommon to other peasant settings. Seve ral, social science st udies have found that life in small, rural villages is often typifi ed by distrust, a lack of cooperation and an almost exclusive focus on indi vidual and family concerns.146 The social dynamics of such peasant societies have been so interes ting as to make them the subject of various works of film147 and literature.148 What remains unclear, however, is why such behavior arises. Some of the NGO representatives w ho work in Dolores believe that the extreme poverty and low education level of the area accounts for much of the introverted and antisocial behavior here.149 Some researchers have sugge sted that land tenure patterns and culture may be additional factors accounting for the social behavior in these and other similar villages.150 However, since the causes of group interaction in Dolores was not explored through field research, no defin itive explanation for it may be offered here. 146 See Edward C. Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (New York: Free Pr ess, 1958); Oscar Lewis, Life in a Mexican Village: Tepoztlan Restudied (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1963); George M. Foster, Tzintzuntzan: Mexican Peasants in a Changing World (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1967) and David Zweig, “Peasant Household Individualism,” Chinese Rural Development : The Great Transformation William L. Parish, ed. (New York: : M.E. Sharpe, 1985). 147 See the Jean de Florette trilogy, dir. Claude Berri, (New York : Orion Home Video, 1988). 148 See Emile Zola, The Earth trans. Ann Lindsay, (New York: Grove Press, 1955) and Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year trans. Frances Frenaye, (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Co., 1947). 149 Interview with Efran Deras, director of AS ONOG’s activities in Ocotepeque, May 10, 2000 and interview with Alexander Villeda, ASONOG technician, April 19, 2000. 150 Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society

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263 Despite the grim picture of individualis tic and often warped behavior in this municipality, some community groups had b een established in Dolores Merendn before the intervention of various NGO groups in 1999. However, all of these organizations were formed due to the incitement of exte rnal agents and either remained weak or disappeared soon after their cr eation. One such group was the Asociacin de Padres de Familia (parents’ association) which existed in three of the four settlements in the municipality. These groups were establishe d during the late 1990’s due to the leadership of local school teachers, none of whom were permanent residents of Dolores. Although some parents had agreed to attend these asso ciation meetings, they did so sporadically and with little apparent commitment. The Asociacin de Padres de Familia seemed to exist more because of the constant encouragement of school teachers than due to residents’ initiatives. A wome n’s micro-enterprise also wa s established here in 1995 due to the technical and financia l support of ADEVAS. The twel ve women who joined this group were taught how to grow vegetable gard ens and produce pickled vegetable jars for sale in their community. Not surprisi ngly, the group disintegrated once ADEVAS stopped supporting their work. Former memb ers said they ceased working together because it was too difficult for them to acquire the jars and lids needed to produce and sell their products. Yet ex-members not only stopped selling their products. They also ceased growing family gardens and simply return ed to their traditional diet of corn and beans. Only one women continued to cultiv ate vegetables for the purposes of household consumption in 2000.151 151 Interviews with five former female members of this women’s micro-enterprise on April 26, 2000.

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264 Residents did show a greater willingn ess to unite for religious purposes. Although there was no permanent Catholic prie st in the municipal ity, nine CEBs had been established here between 1995 and 2000. Each of these had an average of ten to fifteen members. The groups meet regularly and were among the st rongest organizations in Dolores Merendn. The three Evangelical churches in the municipality also had a small but loyal following. Members met two to three times a week to hear the Word of God, receive a message from their pastor and pray. People’s response to these religious groups revealed their desire to learn more about Christiani ty but not necessarily their interest in collaborating with ne ighbors. All of these organi zations restricted their work to strengthening personal re ligiosity and undertook few activ ities aimed at benefiting the community as a whole. Conclusion The preceding discussion has tried to expl ain in the most detailed and descriptive manner possible the different orga nizational histories of the fo ur municipalities selected for analysis. Potrerillos, Sab and San Ma rcos have a history of moderate social organization. The former two have had act ive labor unions, agrarian reform groups and agricultural associations. Yet, most of these were weaken ed severely during the 1990’s due to a series of diverse, political economic factors. Community groups were encouraged and strengthened in San Marcos during this same period due to PRODERE. Consequently, civil society groups participated actively in local politics, at least for a few years. Although residents here became less socially and politically involved during the later part of the 1990’s, San Marcos had managed to maintain a moderately well organized civil society. This was not the cas e in Sab and Potrerillos where many civil society groups had weakened or disappeared by that time. Nevertheless, the memory of

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265 Table 6-5 Organizational histories compar ed among the Municipalities under study H2 Has Received External Aid that Encourages Community Organization No H2 Has Not Received External Aid that Encourages Community Organization H1 Experienced a Disaster Sab, Colon Moderate organizational history Potrerillos, Corts Moderate organizational history No H1 No Disaster Dolores Merendn, Ocotepeque No organizational history San Marcos, Ocotepeque Moderate organizational history organization was still very much present in both areas. In addition, church-related groups and teachers unions had started to become active in Sab during the 1990’s— something which had not occurred in Potrerillos. Dolores Merendn stands in sharp contrast to our other three municipal cases. It had no history of organization. Residents there were very individualistic and unaccust omed to cooperating with those outside of their families. Nevertheless, church gr oups had grown here during the late 1990’s, suggesting that some incipient form of asso ciational life was developing. The following chapter will see how these m unicipalities responded to bot h disaster and foreign aid organizations given their historic patterns of social organization.

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266 CHAPTER 7 MUNICIPAL-LEVEL GOVERNANC E AFTER MITCH AND AID Introduction The four municipalities under study here have been diffe rentially affected by both Mitch and foreign aid organiza tions and reveal varied leve ls of responses to these external interventions. As was indicated in chapter four, Po trerillos and Sab experienced the effects of a major natura l disaster while San Marcos and Dolores Merendon did not. In response to this event, several aid organizations have sponsored reconstruction projects in Sab which empha size community organization. Development projects have also been initiated in Dolo res Merendn. Although this latter municipality was affected by Mitch only minimally, several NGOs have begun working here in order to counter the extreme poverty in the area. Neither San Marcos nor Potrerillos had received a noticeable increase in external or ganization support when field research for this study was conducted. Each of these municipalities has responded differently to these external events. These responses may be due either completely to the independent variables being tested or partially to the di fferent histories and ch aracteristics of each place. Potrerillos, which was affected by Hurrica ne Mitch but did not receive significant amounts of external aid support, has reveal ed no long-term change in its social organization and political participation. A lthough this municipality had a significant history of organization, partic ularly of labor union activit y, this social activism had almost completely disappeared during the 1990’s. When Mitch arrived Potrerillos had

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267 few and weak community organizations. In addition, most resident s were politically uninvolved. Politics here was typified by traditio nal, clientelistic behavior. The advent of disaster did not induce any long term change s in this socio-politic al context. Although there was a brief period of heightened solidarity and co mmunity activism during the emergency period, this soon subsided and the re sidents relapsed into their pre-disaster state of behavior. Sab was affected by both a natural disa ster and the intervention of various aid organizations. Like Potrerillo s, this municipality had had an active organizational history which had suffered significant weakening in the 1990’s. However, people here had not been completely engrossed in clientelistic po litics. Many residents had participated in public marches and other such political ac tivities in the past through which they demanded that the national and local government s respond to their demands. This form of behavior gave Sab a very unique socio-political history. In the immediate aftermath of Mitch residents responded in much the same way as did people in Potrerillos: residents helped neighbors and united in solving public service problems. Once the emergency period had passed, the emergent groups that ha d been formed during the previous months began to weaken and disband. However, th e intervention of external aid agencies prevented a total relapse into inactivity. The agencies that began working in Sab during the reconstruction period required that resi dents be well organized and involved in the projects that promised to bene fit them. In addition to requ iring this social cohesion and activity, these aid organiza tions supported it through training and workshops. Consequently, the residents of this municipa lity have remained relatively well active and are more organized now than they were dur ing the pre-disaster period. Although it may

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268 be too early to determine whether this hei ghtened social activity has impacted political activity in the area, early evidence suggest s that residents here are becoming more politically involved in respons e to the new training and suppor t they are receiving. What remains to be seen is whether this increased socio-political activism will be sustainable in the long-run. Dolores Merendn did not experience the e ffects of disaster. However, several NGOs have initiated development projects in this region since 1999. All are encouraging community members to become organized a nd undertake joint projects. This is a challenging objective given the little history of organization in this municipality and resident’s individualistic and fa mily-centered behavior. Thus far, the inhabitants of this region have responded favorably to this exte rnal aid intervention. Several new working groups have been established and resident s have begun working together on several projects. Although Dolores Merendn has not achieved the same level of organization as Sab, it does now resemble the level of organization in Potrerillos. These changing patterns of behavior have not, however, been tr anslated into increased political activity. Residents remain disinterested and disengaged from politics. San Marcos has experienced no signifi cant socio-political changes since the immediate pre-Mitch period, as was expected, for it did not experien ce either a disaster nor receive aid from external organizatio ns in late 1998 and 1999 did the other three municipalities. In addition to serving as a te st for the null hypothesis, this municipality reveals how the socio-political changes initiated by the intervention of external aid organizations may persist into the future. Th e following will discuss each of these cases

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269 in greater detail, highlighting the specific ways they have responded to our two, independent variables. Potrerillos Potrerillos experienced signi ficant damage as a result of Mitch. The Humuya and Blanco Rivers which dissect this municipa lity, overflowed and inundated the valley region and about half of the ur ban center of Potrerillos. The flooding destroyed or caused major damage to 28 kilometers of river di kes, fifteen bridges and 42.5 kilometers of unpaved roads. The bridge connecting Potrerillo s to the northern town of San Pedro Sula was destroyed and the paved road connecting it to the capital was partially damaged and blocked by a mud slide. Consequently, reside nts were unable to leave the area or receive external assistance for over a week after the storm. The municipali ty’s entire water and sewage system was destroyed as well. A lthough none of the residents from Potrerillos died or disappeared as a result of Mitch, ove r 3000 people or about one fifth of the local population had to be evacuated.1 Although Mitch caused the temporary disp lacement of thousands of people and devastated the municipality’s infrastructure and agricultural productivity, it had a less grave effect on individual house holds in the area. One adult representative from 379 out of the total 2860 houses in Potrerillos was surv eyed as part of this dissertation research and asked whether their family had suffered any of the following as a result of Mitch: house damage total house loss crop damage total crop loss some animal deaths total animal loss 1 This information is derived from a hand written tally of damages caused by Mitch that is stored in the Municipality of Potrerillos.

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270 Based on people’s responses to these i ndicators, a Mitch Affect Index was developed. If a respondent said their family had experienced either some crop loss, some animal loss or some house damage, they we re coded as having suffered minor damage due to Mitch. If they responded that they had suffered at least two of these types of effects, they were coded as having suffered si gnificant damage. If the family lost either all their crops, all their animals or their en tire house they were coded as having suffered major damage. If they lost all three of thes e possessions they were coded as having experienced a total loss. Fina lly, if a family had experienced none of these losses, they were coded as having suffered no damage Based on this coding method it was determined that 43% of the households in Potrerillos experienced no damage due to Mitch, 18% experienced minor damage, 10% had significant damage, 24% had major damage and 34% experienced a tota l loss of their possessions. The households that suffered the greatest losses were located in low-lying, rural areas while those in the urban heart of to wn and the few mountainous rural communities suffered little to no damage. A crosstab r un between the rural/urb an distribution of households in Potrerillos and their Mitch Eff ect Index revealed that nearly 70% of all rural households experienced either major dama ge or a total loss due to the storm while 75% of the urban ones experienced little or no damage. The chi-square of significance for this bivariate analysis was 122.943 with 4 de grees of freedom, allowing us to be over 99% confident that there is a significant a ssociation between the pre-Mitch location of households and the storm damage they suffered. The residents of Potrerillos responded to the immediate, post-Mitch period with a heightened amount of solidarity. Residents w ho had a car or canoe helped the local Red

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271 Cross and municipal authoritie s evacuate people from inunda ted areas while the one town doctor, public health personnel and volunteers worked around the clock in order to tend to the sick and injured. Some disaster vic tims were offered shelter and food by friends and relatives while churches, schools and ot her public buildings offered temporary shelters to the remaining flood victims. Fa rmers in the few mountainous communities of the municipality donated bags of basic gr ains which were then used by groups of housewives to cook and feed those in shelters. The more formal organizations in Potrerillo s also responded to this natural disaster as best they could. The local-level, Comits de Emergencia that had been established just months before Mitch’s arrival helped evacu ate people in their co mmunities before the floods and, thus, prevented deaths or injuries.2 Patronatos helped rescue neighbors and began meeting on an almost weekly basis in order to assess and report damages in their communities. Since Potrerillos did not have a municipal-level agency that could respond to the disaster, the mayor invited key lead ers of the community (e.g., the town doctor, priest, several pastors, some teachers and members of the municipal government) to organize a municipal-level Comit de Emergencia Municipal that could coordinate relief efforts. External emergency assistance began flowi ng into Potrerillos a few days after the storm when the bridge connection to San Pedr o Sula was reestablished. The Red Cross, CARITAS, COPECO, OCDIH a nd the World Food Programme among others, donated food and clothing to disaster victims. In addition, the Organization for International 2 Interview with Romn Garcia, Representative of Pote rrillo’s Red Cross, March 29, 2000, interview with Hector Guardado, Mayor of Potrer illos (1994-2001), April 1, 2000 and interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, September 8, 1999.

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272 Migration (OIM) provided the s upplies needed to build tempor ary, nylon shelters for the homeless. The local Red Cross was assigne d the task of managing the new shelter communities on November 1, 1999.3 The municipality coordinated its efforts with these organizations in order to feed and house disast er victims. As thes e agencies increased their emergency response activities, comm unity activism and volunteerism gradually declined. The crisis, so it seemed, was being managed by those best ab le to confront this situation, and the activ e participation of the community was less necessary than during the days immediately after the disaster. Nevertheless, some residents continued to recognize the need to organize in order to confront the on-going effects of Mitc h. On December 20, 1998 a group of urban dwellers formed the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos The seventy two people who attended the group’s first meeting were concer ned about the lack of potable water in the municipality and the local government’s inability to respond to this crisis. Some residents had started monopolizing the few wells in town and selling water drawn from them—an act which many viewed as immoral. The group mobilized to request help from the national government in addressing Potrer illos’ water crisis. They also undertook various public works projects such as th e cleaning of local schools and parks.4 Life in Potrerillos began to return to normal during the first weeks of 1999. The local Red Cross had stopped managing the shelters on December 31, 1998 because of a lack of government support and both CARITAS and COPECO had ended their 3 Interview with Romn Garcia, Representative of Poterrillo’s Red Cross, March 29, 2000. 4 Interview with Jos Octavi o Lpez, President of the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos March 28, 2000.

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273 emergency assistance.5 The flood waters had rece ded by then and schools were scheduled to begin in early February. Gradually, people be gan returning to their homes in order to clean, rebuild and replant. Most of the residents in Potrerillos return ed to their pre-Mitc h way of life. The municipal-level Comit de Emergencia disintegrated after only a month of existence. The group’s relief work had been hampered by religious and partisan differences: the Catholic and Protestant church es had been hesitant to work together while those with Liberal or National Party affiliations had accused each other of politicizing aid.6 Locallevel Comits de Emergencia also disbanded, as had occurr ed historically once crisis periods had passed. The Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos also fell into inactivity after March 1999 when residents gained access to water through under ground pumps. Although residents continued to attend this group’s mee tings, they showed little willingness to work together on community projects.7 The patronatos also reverted to a state of passivity and relative inactivity as citizens concentrated on rehabilitating their own lives and homes rather th an on cooperative endeavors. Yet the communities that had maintained a strong level of organization before Mitch either maintained or fortified their co llective identity. The peasant families in the mountainous region of Potrerillos, for example, continued to work as closely as before. They had been well organized into EACs and OCDIH had helped them form patronatos micro-enterprises, rural banks and women’ s groups during the five years preceding 5 Interview with Romn Garcia, Representative of Poterrillo’s Red Cross, March 29, 2000. 6 Interview with Rev. John Freddy Carr, Pastor of the Catholic Chur ch in Poterillos, March 28, 2000. 7 Interview with Jos Octavi o Lpez, President of the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos March 28, 2000.

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274 Mitch. Since these communities suffered little damage as a result of this storm, they were able to continue with their communal work just as they had done previously. The three peasant groups that had come to Potrerillos from Guaymas also maintained their level of unity despite having experienced an almost total loss of house, property and personal goods. In the aftermat h of Mitch, members worked together to rescue personal belongings, settle into a new area and begin c onstructing new homes. They also continued to meet on a weekly and at times more frequent basis. OCDIH and the Red Cross began working with these commun ities after the disaster in order to help them settle into shelters and initiate development projects. Although community organization was an integral component of all of these post-disaster assistance projects, external aid agencies did not have to emphasize the importance of collaborative endeavors because these families were already committed to such work.8 However, NGOs did help residents established new groups that could undertake new responsibilities. The Red Cross, for example, helped form water and health committees in the shelters that could manage a wate r pump and respond to basic medical concerns should they arise. OCDIH, on the othe r hand, encouraged resident to form a patronato — something they had not done before—and to organize work groups to begin building new concrete homes. Residents responded by forming both of these new groups based on the structure of their pre-existing peasant organization. OCDIH also encouraged females, the gender group that had been least organized in the past, to form a group to raise chickens and pigs for the community. The women estab lished this organization just as easily as the other community groups had been formed. 8 Interview with Marvn Argueta, OCDIH employee, March 28, 2000 and interview with Romn Garcia, Representative of Poterrillo’s Red Cross, March 29, 2000.

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275 These community experiences have b een uncharacteristic of the rest of Potrerillos. The surveys conducted in the area seventeen months after Mitch revealed that the majority of this municipality’s re sidents were not well or ganized nor willing to engage in cooperative endeavors. In general, the region’s organizati on had reverted to its pre-Mitch state. Each of the 370 residents surveyed in January and February 2000 were asked to describe how easy it was to work w ith other members of their community and to compare this to how easy it had been to do th is before Mitch. Only 18% of respondents believed it was easier to work with neighbors in 2000 while over half believed it was the same or more difficult to do so than in the past. These responses collaborate the information gathered through qualitative methods and suggest that no long-term, socialorganizational change occurred in Potrerillos as a result of the floods. The solidarity or cooperative behavior that aros e here during the emergency period was brief and fleeting. Survey participants also were aske d whether they thought their community’s organization was active, moderate, weak or non-existent at the time surveys were being collected. The majority (65%) believed eith er that there was no organization in their community or that what little did exist wa s weak. Only 13% of respondents thought the organization there was active while another 10% believed it was moderate (See Table 71). When residents were asked to descri be how their community’s organization had Table 7-1 Perceptions of community organiza tion before and after Mitch in Potrerillos How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization Before Mitch How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization in 2000 Active Organization 13% Moderate Organization 10% Weak Organization 32% No Organization 33% Didn’t Know 11% Active Organization 13% Moderate Organization 10% Weak Organization 32% No Organization 32% Didn’t Know 12%

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276 Table 7-2 One-sample t test comparing perceptions of commun ity organization in Potrerillos in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = 2.38*) .165 364 .869 1.18E-02 -.13 Lower .15 Upper Test value represents the mean of surv ey participants’ perceptions of how their community’s organization was before Mitch. been before Mitch, almost all said that it had been the same as in 2000 (See Table 7-1). The mean response for both time periods was almost identical. A one sample T-test determined that there was no significant di fference in the mean responses regarding people’s perception of pre-Mitch and pos t-Mitch organization (See Table 7-2). The survey instrument also was used to determine whether a greater number of local residents had begun part icipating in community organizations after Mitch. At a municipal level, it appears as if the advent of Mitch did not prompt such a change. Fifteen percent of those surveyed said they had been members of a group before Mitch while only 13% claimed to be members in 2000. A One Sample T-te st revealed that there was no significant difference between the mean group membership in both time periods. Therefore, this data also lends no support to H1, the hypothesis that a major natural disaster causes disaster vic tims to become more organized. Logistic regression was used to analy ze further whether those most affected by Mitch were more likely to either join local groups or become politic ally active than those who had experienced little or no damage due to the storm. As the logit model reported in Table 7-3 reveals, a person’s disaster experience was found to have no statistically significant effect on post Mitc h group membership in Potrerillos. Hence, this

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277 Table 7-3 A logit analysis of how different variables are associated with post-Mitch group membership in Potrerillos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Past Member of a Group 3.141 0.521 0.000 Gender 0.964 0.508 0.058 Rural/Urban -0.784 0.589 0.183 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.878 0.556 0.392 0.550 0.029 0.025 0.312 Poverty Index Very Poor (3-6) Moderately Poor (7-10) Better Off (11-13) -0.883 1.597 0.344 0.515 0.006 0.010 0.002 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + -0.330 0.248 0.319 0.552 0.606 0.411 0.760 0.550 0.683 0.437 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest -1.030 0.466 0.619 0.560 0.601 0.625 0.315 0.066 0.437 0.322 Age 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ 0.460 0.527 0.300 -0.856 0.427 0.418 0.526 0.609 0.416 0.280 0.207 0.568 0.160 Constant -3.108 0.709 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Group Membership % Correctly Predicting No Group Member. 91.9 50.0 97.8 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 310 0.263 136.153 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Are you currently a member of a community group?” The an swers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. multivariate analysis also offers no support for H1. Nevertheless, the logit model in Table 7.5 did show that those residents who were most severely impacted by the storm were five times more likely to attend a cabildo abierto (town hall meeting) than those who had experienced no storm damage. A lthough this suggests that the disaster experience may have increased political partic ipation in the area, there is insufficient

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278 evidence to support this contention. Interviews and informal conversations with residents revealed that those who had been most aff ected by Mitch, particularly those who were still residing in temporary shelters during early 2000, were disillusioned with their political representatives and beli eved most of them did not ca re about their needs. These individuals expressed little inte rest in participating in poli tics and had done so during the months after Mitch only when they felt they n eeded to for survival. A crosstab and logit analysis of the survey data confirmed this impression by revealing that those who had suffered either significant or major damage due to Mitch were more ambivalent or opposed to participating in the 2001 elections th an those who had been affected little or not at all by the storm (See Tabl e 7-8). A separate logit anal ysis also showed that Mitch had no significant effect on a person’s likeli hood to contact a government official after the disaster (See Table 7-4). Given this sta tistical data, one can not conclude that the experience of disaster alone led to either grea ter organization or poli tical participation in this municipality. The surveys gathered in Potrerillos did highlight that people with a history of organization tend to participate more in community groups than those with no such experience. The logit model in Table 7-3 indi cates a series of independent variables that could help account for group membership. As can be seen, gender, education, poverty and past organizational expe riences all had a statistica lly significant impact on group membership in 2000. A very poor male with some primary schooling and previous group experience had an 87% probability of being a group member after Mitch when holding all other variables in th e logit model constant at zero while a very poor woman with no formal schooling or organizational experience on ly had a 4% probability of being a group

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279 Table 7-4 A logit equation analyzing how different vari ables are associated with government contact in Potrerillos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.366 0.447 0.413 Rural/Urban -0.287 0.526 0.585 Age -0.021 0.019 0.280 Poverty Index 0.013 0.100 0.899 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.026 0.305 0.312 0.431 0.755 0.933 0.479 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + -0.139 -0.070 0.519 0.436 0.524 0.376 0.525 0.750 0.893 0.168 Member of a Group 1.758 0.582 0.003 Past Member of a Group -0.018 0.581 0.975 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.531 0.030 0.033 0.383 0.521 0.502 0.187 0.166 0.955 0.947 Voted Never Voted Voted Once in Past 4 elections Voted Twice in Past 4 elections Voted Thrice in Past 4 elections Voted in All of the Past 4 elections -0.192 -0.373 -0.009 0.976 0.705 0.644 0.990 0.457 0.238 0.785 0.563 0.993 0.033 Contacted a government official before Mitch 1.168 0.510 0.022 Attended a Cabildo after Mitch -0.549 0.615 0.372 Attended a Cabildo before Mitch 0.329 0.577 0.569 Constant -2.003 1.108 0.071 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 89.3 36.6 97.7 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 298 0.195 173.918 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “From Mitch until now, have you contacted anyone in government to talk to them about a need, problem or concern?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. member when holding all other variables constant at zero. Out of all of the statistically significant independent variable s in the model, past group ex periences had the strongest predictive power over the like lihood of being organized. People who had been members

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280 of a group before Mitch were twenty three times more likely to be involved in a local organization in 2000 than people with no such experience. The survey data collected in Potrerillos further revealed that there is a strong association between organizati on and political participati on, as the literature on civil society has persistently argued. Surveys pa rticipants were asked whether they had contacted a government official after Mitch in order to discuss a problem, need or worry. Logistic regression was then us ed to determine whether any of several possible variables had a positive effect on people’s responses to this question. The logit model reported in Table 8.4 shows that the only variables that ha d a statistically signi ficant effect on this type of political activity was whether someone was a member of a group and whether they had initiated a similar form of govern ment contact in the past (See Table 7-4). Group members were nearly six times more lik ely to contact a government official than those who did not belong to any organizations while those who had e ngaged in this type of political activity in the past were three ti mes more likely to do the same after Mitch than someone who had no such experience. In other words, being organized increased one’s chances of contacting a government offici al more than having had comparable past experiences in politic al participation. Belonging to a group was also a statistical ly significant predictor of post-Mitch cabildo attendance (See Table 7-5). Residents who were involved in a community group were nearly five times more likely to attend a cabildo than those who did not participate in any local organizations. Unlike the case of government contact, having had similar experiences in this form of political part icipation in the past was a more powerful predictor of post-Mitch cabildo attendance than solely being a member of a group.

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281 Table 7-5 A logit equation analyzing how Different vari ables are associated with cabildo attendance in Potrerillos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.757 0.461 0.100 Rural/Urban 0.907 0.580 0.118 Age 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ -0.160 -0.948 -0.458 0.563 0.428 0.443 0.543 0.475 0.116 0.710 0.032 0.399 0.236 Poverty Index Very Poor (3-6) Moderately Poor (7-10) Better Off (11-13) 0.419 -0.297 0.405 0.671 0.477 0.301 0.658 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.331 -0.399 0.335 0.512 0.575 0.323 0.435 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + 0.194 -0.824 0.955 0.464 0.629 0.441 0.136 0.676 0.190 0.030 Member of a Group 1.571 0.716 0.028 Past Member of a Group 0.504 0.610 0.409 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.666 -0.331 -0.493 0.473 0.625 0.585 0.538 0.159 0.596 0.400 Voted Never Voted Once in Past 4 elections Twice in Past 4 elections Thrice in Past 4 elections In All of the Past 4 elections 0.239 2.305 -6.708 2.416 4.346 4.271 16.969 4.273 0.455 0.956 0.589 0.693 0.572 Contacted gov’t offi cial after Mitch -0.740 0.668 0.477 Contacted gov’t official before Mitch 0.442 0.632 0.485 Attended a Cabildo before Mitch 3.316 0.534 0.000 Constant -6.952 4.359 0.111 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Cabildo Attend. % Correctly Predicting No Cabildo Attend 89.3 55.3 95.6 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 298 0.293 156.453 Note: The dependent variable is a res ponse to the question, “Have you attended a cabildo abierto since Mitch?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes.

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282 People who had attended at least one cabildo abierto before Mitch were 28 times more likely to do so again after the storm than those with no such experience. But, participation in a local group made it more lik ely that someone would participate in these types of meetings. Interestingly, many residents recognize the political implications of being organized. One individual said he knew that “ Solo el que esta organizado puede hablar. Solo al que esta organizado se le oye. Co mo no estamos organizados, el gobierno no nos responde .”9 Many others expressed similar view s. Given this realization, why are residents not organized better? Some expl ain that people here are too busy and do not have time to join community groups. During th eir spare time, they prefer to focus only on issues of personal concern. Maquiladora workers, for example, often work ten or twelve hour shifts, six days a week. When they have time off, they usually tend to household matters. Similarly, sugar cane labore rs work seven days a week from dusk until dawn during harvest time. The labor intensity of cane cutting makes them just want to rest when at home. But not everyone in Potrerillos works in such time consuming jobs. Other residents could be more active in their communities but are not. Some believe that this is because people here ar e apathetic and do not care to participate in anything. Others believe that party politics is what has weakened the social cohesion of the area. “ La cosa partidiaria es lo que arruina las organizaciones ,”10 explained one resident. Whatever the explanation, the fact is that few people in Potrerillos were well organized before Mitch, and they remained th is way a year and a ha lf after this event. 9 Interview with Alfonso Rodrguez, resident of Potrerillos, January 25, 2000. 10 Interview with Bessy de Arellana, resident and ac tive member of the Nationalist Party in Potrerillos, March 29, 2000.

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283 The literature on civil society suggests that given the weak organization of Potrerillos, citizen political participation th ere should have been and continue to be minimal as well. In order to determine wh ether this suspicion is correct, survey participants were asked whet her they had 1) attended a cabildo abierto both before and after Mitch, 2) contacted a government official both before and after the disaster, and 3) voted in the last four elections and intended to do so again in the future. Survey results revealed that the residents of the area part icipate only minimally in politics. Less than one fifth of the Potrerillos sample said that they had attended a cabildo abierto both before and after the storm. A One Sample Ttest revealed that there was no significant difference between the mean respondents who atte nded these events in both time periods. There also was no significant increase in th e level of contact between residents in Potrerillos and their political representatives after the storm. Eleven percent of those interviewed said they had cont acted a government official at least once before Mitch and another 11% admitted having done so again afte rward. A One Sample T-test showed that there was no significant difference between the responses for both time periods. This information supports what the ci vil society literature had led us to suspect: that there would be no significant change in the political participati on of communities who had not experienced organizational changes after Mitch. Part of the reason why citizens maintain such little contact with their local, political representatives is because of the actions and at times inaction of their municipal government. The first public meetings sponsor ed by local political authorities were in 1979. Mayors announced these events via loud speakers on cars which drove around town. Yet these meetings were infrequent a nd generally held in order to inform the

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284 public of a particular event, not to dialog with residents.11 The 1990 Law of Municipalities tried to in crease and improve this form of public, state-society communication by stipulating that each munici pal government had to sponsor a minimum of five cabildos abiertos per year. But little was done in Potrerillos to abide by this law. The current mayor sponsored his first cabildo in April 1994 shortly after assuming office.12 Since then, he has held these events on ly sporadically, and the goal of five per year has not been met.13 Many of the so-called cabildos that are sponsored take place in a single community.14 Residents claim that the municipal-level, cabildos abiertos that have been held in recent years have not been announced publicly nor been open to all citizens. The mayor invites those whom he wi shes to attend; most of these individuals are considered to be community leaders by virtue of the fact that they belong to or lead a civil society group.15 This partly explains why bein g a member of a group is such an important predictor of cabildo attendance in Potrerillos. But belonging to a particular group does not ensure th at one will attend a cabildo Leaders of patronatos who are not aligned with the mayor, for example, often are not informed of nor invited to these reunions.16 The few people who attend these m eetings are selected by the mayor and tend to be loyal to him. This largely accounts for why pre-Mitch cabildo attendance was 11 Interview with Francisco Melndez, mayor of Potrerillos (1984-85 ), April 1, 2000. 12 Interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, March 28, 2000. 13 Ibid. 14 Interview with Hector Guardado, Mayor of Potrerillos (1994-2001), April 1, 2000. 15 Interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, March 28, 2000. 16 Interview with Elsa Calix, President of the Patron ato of Campo Garroba, Potrerillos, January 19, 2000.

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285 Table 7-6 How residents from Potrerillos have participated in cabildos Activity Before Mitch After Mitch Expressed an Opinion 65% of attendees 65% of attendees Discussed an Issue 33% of attendees 30% of attendees Made a Proposal 15% of attendees 14% of attendees Voted 17% of attendees 13% of attendees Made a Decision 11% of attendees 8% of attendees Implemented a Project 15% of attendees 6% of attendees Just Listened 27% of attendees 29% of attendees found to be the strongest predictor for post Mitch cabildo attendance in the logit model reported in Table 7-5. Not su rprisingly, the people who attend cabildos abiertos typically do not question the mayor’s actio ns nor propose alternatives to them.17 Cabildos follow an agenda set by the mayor and tend to be informative in content. Surveys gathered in the area revealed that over a quarter of those individuals who have participated in such forums either before or after Mitch have only gone to listen to what was being said. Although a majority of a ttendants have expressed some opinion, less than a fifth of them have either made a propos al or had the opportunity to participate in a decision-making process, be it either through vo ting or some other means (See Table 7-6) Attendees generally do not partic ipate in these meetings nor di scuss issues of concern to them either because they feel they can not alter the meeting’s agenda, have not learned how to participate more actively in such events or feel a clientelist loyalty to the mayor which precludes them challenging him in public. 18 The 1990 Law of Municipalities stipulates that each local government should have a Comit de Desarrollo Municipal (CODEM)—a counseling and supervisory body 17 Interview with Dr. Eugenio Diaz, Doctor of th e Health Center in Potrerillos, January 2000. 18 Interview with Jorge Alberto Espinoza, President of the Patronato of Barrio Cabanas, Potrerillos, February 1, 2000 and interview with Manuel Mayor ca, President of the Patr onato of Barrio CalejasMaradiaga, April 1, 2000.

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286 composed of representatives from civil society groups. CODEMs were designed to increase civil society’s participati on in local government decision-making. Unfortunately, this also has not been a good means through which citizens in Potrerillos can communicate with their political repr esentatives. The first CODEM in this municipality was established a few months before Mitch in response to the demands of a group known as El Grupo Gestor which was composed of representatives from twenty three communities.19 This group had been formed due to the suggestion and encouragement of OCDIH.20 The mayor agreed to form a CODEM by signing an Acta de Concertacin (Act of Agreement) with the Grupo Gestor He then selected members of this consultative group, assuring that representatives from both the Grupo Gestor and the three, strongest political parties in Potrer illos would compose it. Unfortunately, the CODEM was non-functional during its first two years of existence. The mayor rarely convoked them.21 The group met only once in 1998 for the purposes of its inauguration. The CODEM was slightly reactivated again after Mitch. Its members united with the municipality to carry out disast er relief activities and met fo rmally in February and April of 1999.22 But the group initiated no projects nor was well informed of the municipal government’s activities. Some people believ e that the CODEM’s weakness is due to the members who compose. One municipal govern ment official said CODEM members, “ no 19 Interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, February 1, 2000. 20 Interview with Vicente Villanueva, member of Potrerillos’ CODEM, March 28, 2000. 21 The Law of Municipalities states that as president of the CODEM, the mayor convokes this group’s meetings. 22 Interview with Vicente Villanueva, member of Potrerillos’ CODEM, March 28, 2000.

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287 tienen conciencia. No demandan nada .”23 The mayor acknowledged that this consultative body, “ No nos ha funcionado muy bien. ”24 On April 1, 2000 he announced his intent to form a new CODEM with representatives of all the patronatos and civil society groups in the municipality. Howe ver, it seemed as if the announcement was being made partly in response to the research being conducted for this dissertation rather than due to a real commitment to incorpor ate greater citizen participation in local political decisions. It is unknown whether a new CODEM in f act has been instituted in Potrerillos since then. As was previously mentioned, some citizen s of Potrerillos also tried to become politically active and increase people’s co mmunication with the municipal government through the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos The group informed residents via radio programs of the emergency assistance being r eceived in the municipality after Mitch, the problems that citizens were encountering dur ing the post disaster period and how their local government was responding to these.25 Unfortunately, this group found it difficult to dialog with their local polit ical representatives. The Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos tried to collaborate with their mayor by inviting him to meetings and asking him to officially swear in their members.26 But he refused believing that the group was 23 “[They] don’t have any consciousness. They don’t demand anything.” Interview with Miguel Sabala, Coordinator of Potrerillos’ Municipal Program on Community Development, February 1, 2000. 24 “It hasn’t worked very well.” Interview with Hect or Guardado, Mayor of Potr erillos (1994-2001), April 1, 2000. 25 Interview with Transito Bautista, a school teacher in Potrerillos, January 30, 2000. 26 Interview with Jos Octavi o Lpez, President of the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos March 28, 2000.

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288 led by his political opponents a nd was trying to delegitimize him.27 The group, however, was composed of members of va rious parties, including his ow n. Feeling that they would not be heard by their own mayor, the members of the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos traveled to the capital on four separate o ccasions to solicit help from various national government offices. No one replied to thei r petitions. As a result of the political inattention it received, the group began to w eaken until it ceased functioning altogether. The only form of political participation that residents from Potrerillos have undertaken consistently through time and in large numbers is voting. Eighty six percent of those consulted had exercised their suffrage in at least one of the last four elections. The majority of these had voted all four times Those who had participated in only one or two elections in the past generally had done so because they were too young to have voted more frequently. In fact, age was the only independent variable that was significantly correlated with past voting, (r = 0.245, approximate significance of 0.000) in a simple bivariate analysis. Logistic regres sion confirmed that age as well as education had a statistically significant effect on past voting (See Table 7-7). Younger and less educated citizens were generally less likely to vote than older and more educated ones. Interestingly, a person’s interest in politics had no statistically si gnificant effect on past voting patterns. In other word s, most of the Potrerillos sample had voted in the past despite the fact that 65% of them had admitted having no interest in politics and one fifth claimed to receive no news on this issue. In light of this information, the high percentage of voter turn out seemed surprising. Wh en residents were asked through informal conversation why they vote, an overwhelm ing number responded, “because it is my 27 Interview with Hector Guardado, Mayor of Potrerillos (1994-2001), April 1, 2000.

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289 Table 7-7 A logit equation an alyzing how different variable s are associated with past voting in Potrerillos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.423 0.344 0.219 Rural/Urban -0.494 0.421 0.241 Age 0.068 0.015 0.000 Poverty Index 0.013 0.100 0.899 Education Some Secondary Education + No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education -0.073 0.795 0.241 0.360 0.049 0.762 0.027 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest -0.384 -0.234 1.012 0.425 0.577 0.810 0.621 0.367 0.685 0.211 Constant -0.463 0.748 0.536 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Past Voting % Correctly Predicting No Past Voting 86.4 100.0 4.3 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 298 0.095 237.311 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “In how ma ny of the last four elections have you voted?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. duty.” This qualitative information sugge sts that citizens here do not vote because they really care about political issues. They do so because they feel they must. This sense of duty is instilled in residents th rough time by families and neighbors and through educational institutions. This partly explai ns why older and more educated individuals have voted more frequently than others. The percentage of people refusing to vot e in the future did not rise in the aftermath of Mitch, as may have been expected given resident’s stated disillusionment with their elected officials. Only 14% of th e Potrerillos sample sa id they would not vote in the 2001 election. This is th e same percentage of people who had not voted in the past. However, a notable percentage of those surveyed (27%) did express ambivalence regarding participating in future elections. The logit model in Table 7-8 revealed that three independent variables had a statistica lly significant effect on respondents’

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290 Table 7.8 A logit equation analyz ing how different variables ar e associated with a desire to vote in the future in Potrerillos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.295 0.291 0.311 Rural/Urban -0.917 0.385 0.017 Age 0.007 0.011 0.532 Poverty Index -0.088 0.075 0.238 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.162 -0.019 0.206 0.307 0.682 0.431 0.950 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + 0.570 -0.130 -1.063 0.313 0.355 0.290 0.001 0.068 0.714 0.000 Member of a Group -0.891 0.591 0.131 Past Member of a Group 0.158 0.482 0.743 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.895 -0.042 0.471 0.384 0.446 0.479 0.000 0.020 0.925 0.325 Voted in the Past 1.743 0.468 0.000 Contacted a government official after Mitch 0.715 0.486 0.142 Contacted a government official before Mitch -0.317 0.529 0.550 Attended a Cabildo after Mitch 0.395 0.479 0.410 Attended a Cabildo before Mitch 0.442 0.474 0.351 Constant 0.304 0.778 0.696 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Future Vote % Correctly Predicting No Future Vote 72.2 81.1 59.2 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 295 0.243 316.452 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Do you plan to vote in the next election?” The answer s are coded 0=no, 1=yes. willingness to vote in 2001: past voting e xperience, the rural/urban distribution of residents and the degree to which they had been affected by Mitch. Residents who had voted in the past were six times more likely to want to participate in future elections than those with no such political experience, and urbanites were two times less likely to want to vote than rural dwellers. A person’s experience with Mitch was also a strong predictor

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291 of future voting commitment. A crosstab an alysis revealed that over a third of those residents who had experienced significant or major storm damage were dubious as to whether they would vote again in the fu ture while only 15% of the people who experienced minor damage and a quarter of those who were not affected by Mitch expressed the same ambivalence. The logi t model reported in Table 8.8 confirmed the statistical significance of the relationship between Mitch Effect and future voting commitment. People who had suffered major storm damage were approximately three times less likely to want to participate in fu ture elections than those who had not been affected by Mitch. The case of Potrerillos sought to test whethe r the advent of a natural disaster alone would prompt 1) citizens to become more organized and politically active, 2) the municipal government to become more responsive to citizen demands and 3) a change in sub-national governance. The previous discus sion has shown that residents from this municipality did unite and work together after the disaster, bu t primarily during the emergency period. Once the crisis had subsid ed, people reverted to their pre-disaster state of social atomization. Seventeen months after Mitch, few of th e residents surveyed said they were members of a group and most believed their community’s organization was weak or non-existent, just as it had been before the storm. Political participation also has been frail in both time periods. Less than a fifth of those sampled had ever participated in a cabildo abierto or contacted a government official. They few politically-oriented, grassroots organizations that were es tablished here after Mitch ceased functioning soon after their creation. Although most residents do vote, they do not do so because they care about politics, bu t rather because they feel they must. The

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292 lack of citizen involvement in politics has permitted municipal authorities to continue monopolizing decision-making power as they have done historic ally. In other words, it has allowed the maintenance of an exclusiona ry and state-centric pa ttern of governance. The case of Potrerillos disproves H1. It suggests that a natu ral disaster alone does not lead to greater social organization, citizen political participation or governance change. Although these socio-political changes may aris e after a disaster, they do so only when combined with other factors, as the succeeding analysis of Sab will reveal. Sab Sab was one of the areas of the country most severely impacted by Mitch. The storm made landfall approximately 50 kilome ters away from this municipality and dumped six feet of rain in the area in th e span of only a week. The Agun River and several of its tributaries overflowed the vall ey where Sab is located to form a sea of water three meters high. Some of the homes in the area were entirely submerged under water. Most of the agricultural crops were lost due to the floods,28 and all the bridges and roads in the municipality were severely damaged or destroyed.29 In addition, 80% of the electrical system and 70% of th e telephone system was damaged. Individual households also experience d significant damage due to the storm. Representatives from 351 out of the almost 4000 houses in Sab were surveyed as part of this dissertation research and asked whet her their family had suffered any of the following as a result of Mitch: 28 Corporacin Municipal de Sab, Fondo Agricola de Sav (FAS), (Sab: Corporacin Municipal de Sab, enero 2000): 2. 29 Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia, “Plan de reconstruccin y desarrollo de los CODELs del municipio de Sab,” (Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia: Sab, septiembre 1999).

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293 house damage total house loss crop damage total crop loss some animal deaths total animal loss Responses to these questions were then used to develop a Mitch Affect Index.30 The survey data gathered revealed that 2% of th e households here suffered a total loss of their possessions due to the storm, 47% suffered major damage, 10% experienced significant damage, 11% reported minor damage and th e remaining 30% experienced no adverse effects. These statistics rev eal that the residents of Sab experienced greater personal damage as a result of Mitch than did those in Potrerillos (See Table 7-9) This is further evidenced by the disaster’s toll on human life in Sab. Whereas no one from Potrerillos died or was injured as a result of the storm, a total of 252 re sidents from Sab either lost their lives or were never f ound, 76 were injured and over 6000 had to be evacuated from their homes.31 Table 7-9 Comparing Mitch-induced damage No Damage Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage Total Loss Potrerillos 43% 19% 10% 24% 4% Sab 30% 11% 10% 47% 2% San Marcos 85% 15% 0% 0% 0% Dolores M. 62% 33% 3% 2% 0% As in Potrerillos, rural re sidents from Sab suffered greater damage than did urban ones. A crosstab between th e Mitch Effect Index and the urban/rural distribution of houses in this municipality revealed that ove r half of the urban households here suffered little or no damage while 75% of those in rura l areas experienced either major damage or a total loss as a result of the storm. The chi-square of significance for this bivariate 30 This chapter’s section on Potrerillos explains in detail how this Mitch Affect Index was developed. 31 Ibid

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294 analysis was 61.708 with 4 degrees of freedom, a llowing us to be over 99% that there is a significant association between the pre-M itch location of households and the storm damage they suffered. The adverse effects of Mitch were com pounded in Sab by the delayed receipt of external, emergency assistance. Unlike Potreril los, this municipality did not receive such aid for nearly a month after the onslaught of the storm. During this time, the communities that compose this municipality we re isolated from the rest of the country and, in some cases, from each other and for ced to confront the crisis on their own. Residents reported that during this immediat e post-disaster period there was a noticeable increase in solidarity. As a local pastor explained, “ El pueblo se uni y despus se organizo … en el desastre las comunidades se unieron como pueblo, como gente, como iglesia .”32 Those whose homes were only partially or not at all destroyed offered shelter to neighbors less fortunate than they. Reside nts scavenged for plantains, corn, beans and whatever other crops had not been destroye d by the floods and shared their food with others. In addition, many citizens began wo rking together to evacuate families from precarious situations and transport them to one of the many, tempor ary shelters in the municipality.33 Many of the residents of Sab self-org anized around previously existing, often defunct modes of organization during this em ergency period. CEBs were among the first to unite and offer neighbors assistance. The Comit de Emergencia Municipal a group 32 “The people united during this period and then organized … in the disaster communities united as a people, as a church.” Interview with Eucebio Sandres, Pastor of the Menonite Church in Sab, September 11, 2000. 33 Interview with Eucebio Sandres, Pastor of the Menonite Church in Sab, September 11, 2000,

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295 that rarely met or trained fo r disasters, instantly banded to evacuate people. Patronatos also were re-animated during this period. T hose who had once been part of an agrarian reform group reunited and delegated emergency tasks among themselves in a manner reminiscent of past cooperative experiences. One priest explained that all the people that approached him in search of help during this period represented communities that had self-organized in one form or another.34 When outside food, health and shelter finally began to arrive, local churches were asked to manage this aid in order to ensure that its distribution woul d not be politicized. Since the Catholic Church was by far the la rgest and most influential church in the region, they were given the ta sk of distributing most of this external assistance. However, all the religious institutions in the area participated in this process. They coordinated amongst themselves, drafted work plans and quickly formed committees to supervise and apportion the external aid being received. The job of channeling emergency assistance forced local churches, pa rticularly the Catholic Church, to assume the same duties as other NGOs that began wo rking in Sab after Mitch. Due to the assumption of thier temporary, non-religious ro le, churches will be categorized as an external aid agency for the purposes of this post-disaster analysis of Sab. Although their immediate concern was with meeting basic needs, Catholic Church leaders did not want to centralize and m onopolize emergency assistance, but rather channel it through community-bas ed groups. Church official s chose not to collaborate with patronatos because they feared most of these were politically-tainted. CEBs were also not viewed as a viable alternative because many of its members had become 34 Interview with Rev. Pedro Marquetti, Director of the Diocese of Trujillo’s Pastoral Social, September 23, 2000.

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296 associated with a minority political party, the Unin Democratica (UD) in the years preceding the disaster.35 Consequently, the Catholic Church decided to build upon the post-disaster, emergent groups in the area and enc ourage the formation of more formal, community structures that could he lp manage incoming assistance. Catholic Church leaders held meetings in each community of Sab in November and December of 1998 in order to encourage residents to form Comits de Emergencia Local (CODEL). Typically, thes e organizations are traine d and organized by COPECO, the national government’s emergency management agency. However in Sab, the Church helped create these gr oups based on nascent, forms of social organizations. As the pastor of the Catholic Church in Sab explained, “ Surgi la organizacin por si sola … por la emergencia y entonces La Ig lesia la ha ido acompaando … con formacin y capacitacin .”36 Some communities composed of ex-coop members initially were hesitant to form CODELs. Residents were di strustful of formal organizations given their past experiences with cooperatives.37 Nevertheless, CODELs quickly proliferated in Sab. By the beginning of 1999 a total of forty eight such groups had been established in the municipality, each with an average of fifteen to twenty members.38 In order to ensure gender equity, Church leaders asked that th ese groups to be composed of an equal number of males and females. Alt hough many ex-coop members participated in 35 Interview with Rev. Juventino Mendoza, Pastor of the Catholic Parish of Sab, September 8, 2000. 36 “The organization arose on its own … due to the emergency and then The Church has accompanied it … with formation and training.” Interview with Rev. Ju ventino Mendoza, Pastor of the Catholic Parish of Sab, September 8, 2000. 37 Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia, “Plan de reconstruccin y desarrollo de los CODELs del municipio de Sab,” (Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia: Sab, septiembre 1999). 38 Interview with Albertina Aguilar, Coordinador of the Pastoral Social Program in Sab, September 7, 2000.

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297 CODELs, the majority of the people who join ed these organizations had no previous group experience. CODELs and the municipal government enco uraged other residents to form work groups in order to clean and rebuild their community.39 A churchadministered, Food for Work program initiated in December 1998 provided the material incentive for such collaborative efforts. The result was a flurry of cooperative activity in the area. Between December 1998 and November 1999, a total of 1886 families—almost half of all those in Sab—participated in the Food for Work pr ogram directed by the Catholic Church.40 Hundreds more participated in similar progr ams run by other organizations. Together, neighbors cleaned streets and buildings as we ll as rebuilt water, se wage, and other such public service systems. Residents also were encouraged to work t ogether in the housing projects that were initiated in 1999. Various external agenci es agreed to offer disaster victims the materials for new homes on the condi tion that beneficiaries invest the labor to construct these structures. As a result, approximately eighteen new housing communities were established in the municipality, each by its own team of construction workers. The Catholic Church took several steps to ensure that CODELs would manage emergency aid in a responsible manner. Memb ers were asked to sign a social contract with the Catholic Church through whic h both parties agreed to manage aid democratically with transp arency and citizen particip ation. This agreement was envisioned as something similar to the soci al contract that poli tical theorists have 39 Interview with Jos Santiago Bardales, Mayo r of Sab (1998-2001), September 8, 2000. 40 Parroquia Santa Rita de Cassia, “Proyectos Realizados por comunidad durante el programa de Alimentos por Trabajo, promedios mensuales,” unpublished document available with the author.

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298 suggested should bind states and their societies.41 CODELs were structured in such a way so as to prevent the ex cessive concentration of power into one leader. The group was divided into six different committees. Each was charged with addressing issues related to health, sustainable agriculture, infr astructure, gender and le gal justice. Instead of designating a president to lead the group, a coordinator, sub-coordinator and secretary were selected to synchronize the work of each committee.42 The Catholic Church also recruited co-gestores to accompany and support CODELs in their activities. A total of eight such individuals were selected from the young adult population of Sab to assume these paid jobs. Each of them was assigned a handful of communities which they had to visit at least once a week. They offered CODEL and other community members training on issues such as family planning, disease prevention, agricu lture, construction and group participation.43 The idea was not simply to form a local group that could manage aid, but to initiate an organizational process by whic h communities would later become agents of their own development. Initially, CODELs maintained a tens e relationship with both CEBs and patronatos the two community-level organi zations that had been most active in Sab immediately before Mitch. CEBs resented that the Church had chosen to encurage the development of and work with a new organization instead of theirs. Some people felt as if CODELs had replaced CEBs as the favored Church group. Similarly, patronato members felt that 41 Interview with Rev. Pedro Marquetti, Director of the Diocese of Trujillo’s Pastoral Social, September 23, 2000. 42 Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia, “Plan de reconstruccin y desarrollo de los CODELs del municipio de Sab,” (Parroquia de Santa Rita de Cassia: Sab, septiembre 1999). 43 Interview with Albertina Aguilar, Coordinadora del Programa de Pastoral Social de Sab, September 7, 2000.

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299 CODELs were assuming tasks that they s hould be charged with undertaking. Neither they nor the municipal author ities agreed to recognize COD ELs as representatives of their communities, claiming that the Law of Municipalities bestow ed that recognition only on patronatos The c o-gestores and Church leaders help ed resolve the conflicts between CODELs and patronatos by asking community member s to elect which of these two groups they wanted to represent them be fore outside agencies. The Church then began working with whomever was chosen by offering them training and ensuring that they were a truly democratic, local body. Cl ergy members helped resolve the conflicts between CODELs and CEBs by speaking to members of both these groups and sponsoring a religious retreat for them on September 30-October 1, 2000 where they emphasized the need for them to understand and support one another in their respective tasks. The Comit de Emergencia Municipal also became very active during the reconstruction period. Historically, this gr oup had ceased working together soon after the initial shock of disasters had passed. Howe ver, after Mitch, they committed themselves to not falling into inactivity again. Members began meeting on a weekly basis in order to better prepare themselves for future emerge ncies. COPECO suppor ted this initiative by giving group leaders training on emergency rescue missions—a training that was then passed on to the rest of the members in weekly meetings. The Comit de Emergencia Municipal has managed to remain active over two years after the disaster. The civil society activism that arose in Sab after Mitch experienced a noticeable decline once the Food for Work program was terminated in November 1999. Residents ceased working together on clean-up or public construction jobs and the CODELs fell

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300 into inactivity. Until then the CODELs main job had been that of supervising and recording the labor-hours families were inve sting into the Food for Work program and distributing food to them accordingly. In th e absence of a new task, these organizations were significantly weakened. The few comm unity groups that remained active were those who engaged in the construction of ne w homes. Resident’s in itial reaction to the Food for Work program’s termination suggests th at Sab could have easily fallen into a state of atomization and apathy after the emer gency period had passed, just as occurred in Potrerillos. However, the intervention of various external organi zations soon afterward prevented this from occurring. Leaders of the Catholic Church were conscious of the changes in community activism that began to occur towards the end of 1999. Yet, they were convinced that “ el pueblo quiere la organizacin .”44 They knew that if they did not continue to support and strengthen the still frail CODE Ls, these groups would disappear entirely. The Church did not view CODELs as merely an organization to facilitate the recons truction process, but rather as “an opportunity for achieving true ci tizen participation in the public spheres of municipal and regional power.”45 Church leaders began training co-gestores on a series of socio-political issues towards the end of 1999 and asked them to impart what they were learning on the these community groups. Co-gestores taught CODELs about the benefits of organization, how to particip ate in new groups, how to diagnose their community’s needs, how to de sign strategies to address these, and how to petition 44 Interview with Rev. Pedro Marquetti, Director of the Diocese of Trujillo’s Pastoral Social, September 28, 2000. 45 Dorien Brunt, Fortalecimiento municipal por medio de la participacin ciudadana organizada: la experiencia despus de Mitch en Coln Honduras,” unpubished document available with the author (November 1999).

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301 external support. They also began speaki ng to residents about th e Stockholm Declaration which international donor agenci es had drafted in May 1999. Co-gestores discussed concepts such as decentralization, citizen participation, transparency—all of which had been listed as requirements for Honduras to receive reconstructi on assistance—and asked citizens to consider the implications of these for them and their communities. Some people believed that the met hodology used by the Church to promote CODELs was similar to the one they em ployed to support cooperatives and other community-based organizations during the preceding three decades. 46 What changed, they argued, was the socio-political context wi thin which this work was being performed. Although the Church’s work may still be perc eived as politically threatening by some local leaders,47 it is not viewed as communist or comp letely antagonistic to the process of liberal, democratic deepening in Honduras. Consequently, these groups are not being attacked or delegitimized, but are being allowed to flourish. CODELs have became more united and or ganized during the course of 2000 as a result of the Catholic Church’s work. At the beginning of the year all the CODELs in the area established a municipallevel structure known as the Unin de Organizaciones Comunales del Municipio (UNICOM). UNICOM sought to establish a permanent and constant dialog between the various community organizatio ns in Sab. The group was composed of representati ves from every CODEL and patronato in the municipality and met on a monthly and often weekly basis. Although community repr esentatives did not 46 Interview with Ana Cristina Pineda, Coordinador for the Socorro Juridico Program for the Diocese of Trujillo (1988-1985), September 28, 2000. 47 This sentiment was expressed by mayors from Sab, Sonaguera and Iriona in personal interviews held during the month of September 2000.

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302 always attend UNICOM’s meetings, approximately thirty to forty people united regularly through this forum to discuss issues of importance to them and exchange their community’s experiences. Despite the remarkable work that the Catholic Church did in promoting and training CODELs, these groups continue to be frail. The Church leadership recognized that CODELs were in danger of becoming de pendent on them. Moreover, they believed that if they were to suddenly withdraw their support from these groups, they might disappear altogether. However, Church leaders recognized that a significant organizational process was under development. They believed that the Mitch-induced disaster provided a window of opportunity to reanimate community activism here. They feared that if this opportunity was not sei zed, organizational life in Sab and the Agun Valley, more generally, would never thrive again. As a result, Church leaders committed themselves to supporting and strengthening CODELs until March of 2002. They planned to gradually withdraw their suppo rt of these groups thereafter.48 Although the Catholic Church’s work w ith CODELs was the largest and most encompassing of all the municipal proj ects seeking to encourage community organization, they were not th e only institution promoting th is type of work in Sab. Several NGOs and external aid agencies initiate d programs in this municipality at the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000 which further en couraged communities to work together in order to achieve thei r own development. The Accin Social Menonita for example, began working in the four most disaster-str icken communities of Sab immediately after 48 Interview with Rev. Juventino Mendoza, Pastor of the Catholic Parish of Sab, September 29, 2000.

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303 Mitch.49 Initially, they focused only on emerge ncy projects and helped both the Catholic Church and CODELs administer the Food fo r Work Program. Beginning in January 2000, however, the Accin Social Menonita initiated three development projects in the communities where they had been working prev iously which were to be implemented in a two year period. One of the projects sought to organize groups of citizen and train them on sustainable agricultural methods. After r eceiving training on these issues, each group member was asked to teach what they had le arned to three neighbors who were asked, in turn, to impart what they had learned to thr ee others so as to achieve a multiplier effect. A rural credit bank also was initiated and a group of twenty people from each community was trained to manage it. The final project was explicitly dedicated to promoting community organization and pol itical participation. The Accin Social Menonita helped establish popularly-elected patronatos which were represente d by every organized group in their community including the CODELs. Residents were taught how to participate democratically in their patronatos draft Community Development Plans and solicit outside agency support to implem ent local projects. At first, residents were hesitant to respond to these projects. All of these communities had had traumatizing experiences with corrupt, cooperative groups and were dist rustful of organizations. But, as the projects developed people became more willi ng to participate in them and work with neighbors. These projects, so it seemed, were reminding re sidents of the benefits of organized groups. As an ex-coop member fr om one of these communities expressed, “ No 49 Unless otherwise indicated, the information reported in this paragraph is derived from an interview with Adelinda Quintanillo, Coordinador of Accin Social Menonita in Sab, September 30, 2000.

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304 hay como trabajar unido. La unin es lo me jor. Lo que pasa es que no hay nadie que nos ponga en el buen camino .”50 CARE also initiated several developmen t projects in Sab after Mitch. The organization had worked in one community he re in 1997 where it had helped institute a latrine and water project as well as organized groups to manage these. The 1998 floods effectively destroyed this community’s proj ects. The groups that had been formed by CARE instantly united and repaired the potab le water system and latrines in their community on their own. The extent of disa ster in Sab encouraged CARE to begin working in the area once again. Initially, th ey responded to the disaster by distributing food and sponsoring emergency projects. However, soon afterward, CARE initiated several development projects here. Water and latrinizations projects were sponsored in six rural communities while a latrinization pr oject was started in an additional two. When CARE began working in these areas, there were no community organizations in existence. All cooperatives were defunct and patronatos were non-functional. CARE helped organize water and health committees to not only construct but also give longterm maintenance to the previously-men tioned projects. In addition, watershed management teams were formed in each commun ity to help reforest and care for the land surrounding nearby rivers. At first, community members were mistrustful of these organizations given their unpleasan t experience with agrarian re form groups in the past. But people soon responded to them. Former coop members showed more chispa or spunk when it came to undertaking community proj ects due to the prev ious training they had received and experience they possessed on how to work communally. This chispa 50 Interview with Antonio Durn, former member of the Cooperative Unin San Francisco, September 20, 2000.

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305 soon spread to other members of the community who had had no previous group experience. When the projects ended in December 2000, beneficiaries had reestablished a strong social cohesion and community netw ork. CARE, the municipal government and the Secretara Nacional de Agua y Alcantarillado (SANAA) were supposed to offer follow-up courses to these communities in order to ensure that neither their projects nor their organization fail.51 Outside agencies also initiated programs in 2000 aimed at preventing future natural disasters and preparing residents to re spond to these should they arise. The Corporacin Hondurea de Desarrollo Forestal (COHDEFOR), the nation al forest management agency, began establishing groups in several key communities of Sab to reforest and manage the watersheds of the Agun and Monga Rivers.52 Twenty to thirty people from six different communities were organized into these new organizations. They were given seeds, training on forest management and general education classes on environmental protection. At the end of 2000 the Spanish C ooperation Agency initiated an additional four year, $10 million lempira project to further support COHDEFOR and local group efforts to manage the Rio Monga watershed.53 Several organizations also worked to cr eate a well-organized, emergency response system in Sab. The Panamerican Devel opment Foundation initiated an eighteen month program called El Programa Municipal de Sist ema de Alerta Temprano (PROMSAT) which sought to form Comits de Emergencia Local in seven, urban and rural 51 Interview with Evangelina Montoya, CARE field officer, September 29, 2000. 52 Interviews with various community members during September 2000. 53 Presentation given by Medardo Castillo, Coordinador of the Fondo Agcola de Sav in a cabildo abierto on September 30, 2000.

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306 communities in Sab.54 A U.S. Disaster Corp volunteer who was working with PROMSAT started promoti ng the organization of Comits de Emergencia Local in April 2000.55 Three of the communities targeted by this program were fairly well organized at that time and had a functional patronato and CODEL. Interestingly, some of the residents of these areas had been part of cooperatives in the past Not surprisingly, Comits de Emergencia Local were established here with relative ease. The remaining five communities were not well organized when PROMSAT was initiated. The community groups there had disappeared or fall en into inactivity by then. Residents from these areas were initially hesitant to partic ipate in this program. Community meetings would be announced, for example, but no one would attend them. Within two months, however, Comits de Emergencia Local had been established in fi ve of the seven targeted communities and training course were being given to members of these groups. A few months later a team of six facilitators began working w ith PROMSAT to organize the remaining communities, strengthen all seven Comits de Emergencia Local and better train members to respond to disasters.56 The Italian Internat ional Cooperation Agency (COOPI) initiated another program at the end of 2000 aimed at forming and training Comits de Emergencia Local in the remaining communities of Sab and establishing a strong network of communica tion between them and the municipal level emergency 54 Interview with Luis Rivera, President of the Comits de Emergencia Municipal, September 8, 2000. 55 Interview with Tammy Nolan, U.S. Disaster Corp volunteer who worked with PROMSAT (MarchAugust 2000), September 11, 2000. 56 Presentation given by Medardo Castillo, Coordinador of the Fondo Agcola de Sav in a cabildo abierto on September 30, 2000.

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307 committee.57 Together, these two programs pr omise to leave a well-structured emergency response system in place in this municipality. The social organization of the area has been promoted further by a UNDPsponsored agricultural project that was initia ted in January 2000. The project sought to reactivate agricultural producti on and encourage communal farm ing projects in Sab. During its first year of existence, it organi zed agricultural committees in fifteen rural communities.58 Representatives from each of th ese groups formed a municipal-level agricultural committee to supervise and coordi nate the various farming projects being implemented. Group members were offered tr aining courses on sustai nable agricultural methods and allowed to borrow money at an interest of 1.5% per month (or 18% per year) from a base fund of 921,600 lempiras. The fund is managed by a group integrated by two representatives from the municipal-level agricultural committee, a UNDP representative, a technician and the mayor. The municipal agricultural committee is charged with supervising and auditing the wo rk of this financial-management group. Initially, some rural residents were hesita nt to join the farming groups in their communities, but as the group’s success became evident, interest in them spread. By September 2000 nearly 400 farmers had been organized into these farming groups. The project sought to organize at leas t 800 farmers more by the end of 2001.59 This means 57 Interview with Luis Rivera, President of the Comits de Emergencia Municipal, September 8, 2000. 58 Presentation given by Medardo Castillo, Coordinador of the Fondo Agcola de Sav in a cabildo abierto on September 30, 2000. 59 Corporacin Municipal de Sav, Fondo Agcola de Sav, (Sab: Corporacin Municipal de Sav, enero 2000).

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308 that more local farmers were working together in these rural agricultural committees than the amount who had joined coope ratives in the 1970’s and 1980’s.60 The Coordinator of Popular Organi zations from the Agun (COPA or Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Populares del Agun ) further promoted the process of organizing for self-development. COPA was conceived in 1996 among former labor union and patronato leaders in Sab who had been part of APOPA but disappointed by the latter group’s demise three years earlier. They were conc erned about the reversal of the agrarian reform program and increasing concentration of land in the region. They decided to unite grass-roots organizations in the Agun Valley once again in order to confront these issues. During its first two years of existen ce, COPA focused on organizing peasants and helping them gain acce ss to land. It helped establish forty seven, landless peasant groups, including eight from Sa b, who were then transferred and settled into the underpopulated munici pality of Iriona, Coln. A lthough COPA was conceived in Sab and represented some cooperatives, labor unions and teachers federations from there, it sponsored no activities in this m unicipality before Mitch. In fact, the organizations from Sab who were represente d in COPA participat ed little in this organization before the disaster. Most of CO PA’s work was based in the eastern part of Coln and focused on landless peasant groups.61 Although COPA has been described as an offspring of APOPA, it differs in important respects from this previous organi zation. COPA has not emerged in response to the Catholic Church’s instigation, as di d its predecessor. Rather, several former 60 Ibid and interview with Medardo Castillo, Coordina dor of the Fondo Agcola de Sav, September 13, 2000. 61 Interview with Rolando Canizales, Pr esident of COPA, September 23, 2000.

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309 members of APOPA reunited in order to faci litate their regional coordination. Although COPA does maintain some contact with Ca tholic Church leaders, the relationship between the two is horizontal. COPA is not seen as the organizational child of the Church which must be led and guided, but ra ther as an independent group still in the process of growth.62 The fact that COPA has been reconstructed from the ashes of APOPA is both beneficial and promising. As the group’s president explained, “ Hay mas experiencia, mas crtica de la misma organizacin .”63 Since members are conscious of APOPA’s flaws, they take preemptive steps to prevent these from arising. The group, for example, has purposefully tried to avoid becoming dependent on external financial sources for its activities. All of its memb ers are volunteers and mobilize using their own resources. This suggests that the group may be more sustainable than APOPA who collapsed after the Church withdrew its financial support. COPA has become more organized and ac tive in the aftermath of Mitch and has developed a remarkable capacity for political mobilization.64 On October 12, 1999, for example, 9000 of COPA’s members joined seve ral peasant, indigenous and labor groups in Tegucigalpa to protest the reforms to ar ticle 107 of the constitution that Congress was then considering. The following year seve ral thousand group members staged a public march in Tocoa demanding that the cooperative s in the region be given assistance to confront the low market price for African pa lm oil and other problems that were leading to their bankruptcy. COPA’s activities have not been limited to mere protest, however. 62 Interview with Ana Cristina Pineda, Coordinador for the Socorro Juridico Program for the Diocese of Trujillo (1988-1985), September 28, 2000. 63 Interview with Rolando Canizales, Pr esident of COPA, September 23, 2000. 64 Ibid

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310 The group has been proactive in proposing so lutions to its members’ problems and has tried to negotiate these with government offici als. It also has c ontinued to promote and strengthen community-based organizations in the Agun. This later aspect of COPA’s work received a major boost in the late Summer of 2000 with a $1 million grant from CODA International, an NGO based in the Un ited Kingdom. These funds were used to train thirty capacitadores or technicians in five muni cipalities (Sab will have six capacitadores ). Each of these will be charged wi th teaching grass-roots groups about their political rights, how to define and articu late their development priorities, and how to negotiate the attainment of thes e with political representatives.65 Although all of these new groups suggested th at the level of organization in Sab had increased after the disaster and advent of aid, surveys were administered to a representative sample of the households in the region in order to verify this observance. The 351 people who were surveyed in Sab pe rceived that their community had become more cooperative and organized in the afterm ath of Mitch than it had been before the storm. Study participants were asked how easy it was to work with other members of their community in September 2000 compared to how it had been before Mitch. A minority of the sample—14%—believed that work ing with others was more difficult. Forty percent thought it was the same, and 33% believed it was easier. In other words, Sab had nearly twice the per centage of respondents as did Potrerillos who believed that working with neighbors remained easier over a year and a half after Mitch than during the period before the storm. 65 For a report of CODA Interna tional’s project in Honduras see http://www.cit.org.uk/grants.htm#Honduras.

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311 Survey participants also were asked to explain how strong they thought their community’s organization had been both before and after Mitch. As Table 7-10 reveals, sampled residents indicated that the organi zation in their area had improved after the disaster. Nearly half of th e respondents believed their muni cipality had had a weak or no organization before the storm, but only 37% described Sab in the same way in Table 7-10 Perceptions of co mmunity organization before and after Mitch in Sab How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization Before Mitch How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization in 2000 Active Organization 7% Moderate Organization 26% Weak Organization 43% No Organization 4% Didn’t Know 20% Active Organization 17% Moderate Organization 27% Weak Organization 35% No Organization 2% Didn’t Know 20% September 2000. Moreover, 17% of those surveyed believed their community’s organization was active in 2000 whereas only 7% described Sab in the same way before Mitch. A One Sample T-Test showed th at there was a significant though slight difference in how residents perceived their area’s organization dur ing both time periods (See Table 7-11 ). Evidence of a renewed and sustained organizational activity in Sab Table 7-11 One-sample t test to measure th e mean difference in pre and post Mitch perceptions of community organization in Sab (Test Value = 2.96*) t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Perceptions of Community Organization in 2000 (Sab) 3.531 348 .000 0.22 0.10 Lower .34 Upper Test value represents the mean of surv ey participants’ perceptions of how their community’s organization was before Mitch.

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312 Table 7-12 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch group membership in Sab (Test Value = 0.13*) t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Group Membership in 2000 (Sab) -3.171 348 .002 0.07 -0.11 Lower -0.03 Upper Test value represents the mean survey response to whether people had been members of a community group before Mitch. also was manifested by the increased number of residents who joined community groups after Mitch. Only 13% of th e people surveyed said they had belonged to a local group before the storm, but 20% admitted being members of an organization in September 2000. A One Sample T-Test showed that ther e was a slight but sta tistically significant difference in the mean responses to both of these questions (See Table 7-12). The organizations that citizens mo st belonged to were CODELs, patronatos labor unions and peasant agricultural groups. However, res pondents cited membership in a variety of additional organizations as well. Unlike the case of Potrer illos, all of the community groups mentioned through the surveys were active when field research was being conducted in Sab. Therefore, respondents were not merely claiming to belong to an organization that rarely met, as may have been the case for some group members in Potrerillos. They belonged to local orga nizations that undertook regular and at times even weekly activities. A lthough it can not be argued that Sab had become a strongly organized municipality by the end of 2000, this survey data together with the qualitative accounts of new groups described previously indicate that the level of organization here improved after Mitch and did not dissipat e once the emergency period had passed.

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313 The information just reported could be used to support two of this study’s hypothesis: that either Mitch or the arrival of external aid or ganizations contributed to an increase in organization (i.e., H1 and H2, respectively). It is al so possible that not one but both of these independent variables were causi ng the observed changes in Sab. In order to better determine whether the experience of disaster had encourag ed residents here to become more socially active, the associat ion between group membership and the Mitch Effect Index was measured through a simple biva riate analysis. This revealed that there was a statistically signi ficant correlation between these two variables ( = 0.236 with a 0.000 significance). The Mitch Effect Index then was analyzed jointly with other variables in a multivariate analysis. The log it model reported in Table 7-13 revealed that having experienced severe storm damage ha d a positive effect on group membership. A person who suffered major or total loss as a result of Mitch was twice as likely to participate in a community group than someone who had not been affected by this storm. This information supports H1, the hypothesis that a disast er experience encourages victims to become more organized. It is probable that the active presence of external aid agencies during the two years after Mitch also contributed to a rise in or ganization here. As wa s explained earlier, many of the local groups that had been formed during the emergency phase began to fall into inactivity and disappear on ce the Food for Work Program e nded in Sab at the end of 1999. Had external agencies not intervened at this point to encourage residents to continue working together, the post-disaster collabor ative spirit that arose here may have disappeared entirely in much the same way it did in Potrerillos. Unfortunately, it is difficult to statistically measure the impact of NGO activities on post-Mitch organization.

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314 By September 2000 when surveys were being co llected in Sab, nearly every community in this municipality was receiving some type of support from at least one external aid agency. Consequently, when the presence of NGOs in a community is included in a logit model, it appears to have no statistically significant effect on post Mitch group membership. Nevertheless, simple frequencies do reveal that 43% of survey participants who were organized in 2000 belonged to a group that had received support from an outside aid agency. In some cases thes e agencies helped create new groups in a community while in others they merely enco uraged the continuation and formalization of organizational processes that had arisen s pontaneously in the immediate aftermath of disaster. Although the continua l support offered by foreign ai d agencies partly explains why the citizens in Sab became more activ e after the storm, it can not replace the experience of disaster as an explanatory variable for post Mitch organization. The work that aid agencies performed in Sab arose in direct response to the region’s experience with disaster. These organizations target ed those communities and families that had suffered the most significant storm damage so that they could rebuild their lives and reduce their vulnerability to future disasters. Had Mitc h never afflicted Sab, it is unlikely that this municipality would have received the amount of external support it did in 1999 and 2000. Therefore, it seems most probable that the c onfluence of both a disaster experience and the intervention of external aid organizations helps account for the recent increase and strengthening of organizational activity in Sab. Although these two independe nt variables may have positively affected the organization of this municipality, they did not in and of themselves determine who joined a group during the post-Mitch period. While 61% of all the people claiming to belong to

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315 a group in 2000 had experienced major or tota l loss as a result of Mitch, for example, only 26% of those who encountered this degree of destruction were members of a group. Had the experience of disaster been the ma in determinant of organization, almost all surveyed residents who were affected severe ly by the storm would have belonged to a group in 2000. Similarly, had the presence of external aid agencies been the main agent responsible for the rise in organization, ever y community that was receiving assistance from them should have had a majority of its residents participating in local groups. Such was not the case. Although the disaster ex perience served as an initial catalyst for organization and cooperation a nd external agencies strengt hened this process further through their various projects, other factors help account fo r who actually joined groups in Sab during the aftermath of Mitch. The logit model in Table 7-13 analyzes how several independent variables affected someone’s likelihood of being organized in Sab during 2000. As can be seen, a person’s experience with disaster, education, degree of urbanization and past organizational experiences had a statistically significant effect on thei r likelihood of belonging to a group after Mitch. The logit model allows us to determine that a male rural resident with some organizational experience but no form al schooling who was heavily impacted by Mitch (a very likely scenario) had an 86% probability of belonging to a community group in 2000 while a male, urban resident with no organizational e xperience and some secondary schooling who suffered major storm da mage (also a likely scenario) only had a 29% probability of being a group member. Ha d these fictitious individuals not been affected by Mitch, their probability of being in volved in a local organization would have dropped to 75% and 16% respectively. The l ogit model reveals that although a person’s

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316 Table 7-13 A logit model showing how different variables are associated with post-Mitch group membership in Sab Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Past Member of a Group 2.832 0.417 0.000 Gender 0.372 0.342 0.277 Age 0.017 0.014 0.218 Poverty 0.014 0.085 0.874 Rural/Urban -0.960 0.444 0.031 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.128 1.060 0.240 0.355 0.008 0.594 0.003 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + 0.298 -1.132 0.677 0.455 0.594 0.312 0.116 0.513 0.057 0.030 Constant -2.877 0.841 0.001 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Group Membership % Correctly Predicting No Group Member. 85.8 45.3 96.1 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 318 0.230 236.115 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Are you currently a member of a community group?” The an swers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. encounter with disaster clearly affected th eir odds of belonging to a group, their past experiences with organizations was a much st ronger predictor of this outcome. Someone who was severely impacted by Mitch was twi ce as likely to join a group than someone who had suffered no storm damage. But someone who had been involved in a community group before the disaster was seve nteen times more likely to continue to engage in this type of activ ity than someone with no such experience. This statistic collaborates the qualitative da ta collected in the area. As one NGO worker explained, “the people [in Sab] who tend to get involved always get involved.”66 66 Interview with Tammy Nolan, U.S. Disaster Corp volunteer who worked with PROMSAT (MarchAugust 2000), September 11, 2000.

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317 Although the political effects of Sab’s renewed organizational activity are only slowly being revealed, there are several indicators to suggest th at residents have started to become more politically active in the two year s after Mitch than they were previously. Most of the people surveyed in September 2000 showed a strong commitment to voting. Eighty eight percent of them had voted at l east once in the last four elections and over half had done so in all of these events. Although 16% of the Sab sample had never voted in the past, only 4% said they would not participate in future elections. Resident’s contact with government officials also increase d in the aftermath of Mitch. Only 7% of those surveyed had ever cont acted a government official re garding a problem, need or concern before the disaster. Yet, in the tw o years after Mitch 15% of them had initiated this type of action. A One Sample T-Test confirmed that there was a statistically significant change in the mean level of govern ment contact before and after Mitch (See Table 7-14). A notable per centage of residents had also become active in public forms of political participation. A pproximately 12% of those surveyed had participated in a march or protest at some time before Mitch. For most of these individuals, several years had passed since they had last engaged in this type of activity. Ye t over 8% had joined a public protest again in just the two years since the disaster. Table 7-14 One-sample t test comparing post-Mi tch levels of government contact in Sab with the pre-Mitch period t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = 0.07*) 4.231 340 0.000 0.08 0.04 Lower .12 Upper The test value represents the mean of su rvey participants’ who contacted a government official before Mitch.

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318 Table 7-15 A logit equation analyzing how di fferent variables are associated with participation in public marches in Sab after Mitch Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.579 0.523 0.268 Rural/Urban -0.378 0.662 0.568 Age 0.025 0.024 0.293 Poverty Index 0.001 0.130 0.992 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.132 1.324 0.375 0.543 0.050 0.725 0.015 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + 1.586 -6.059 2.749 6.875 20.535 6.856 0.413 0.818 0.768 0.688 Member of a Group 0.212 0.657 0.747 Past Member of a Group 0.438 0.636 0.491 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.917 -2.390 0.713 0.564 1.048 0.560 0.157 0.104 0.023 0.203 Ever Voted Before -1.337 0.810 0.099 Contacted a government official before Mitch 0.985 0.601 0.101 Contacted a government official after Mitch 1.371 0.718 0.056 Participated in a March before Mitch 1.428 0.588 0.015 Constant -6.141 6.972 0.378 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 94.0 38.5 99.3 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 299 0.173 119.767 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Have you participated in a public march or protest since Mitch? ” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. As in the case of Potrerillos, a citize n’s involvement in community groups was found to have a significant effect on his/her le vel of political activity in Sab. Two thirds of those surveyed who had participated in a public march or protest were members of some type of community group in 2000. A biva riate analysis revealed that there was a

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319 statistically significant rela tionship between post Mitch gr oup membership and public marches (V = 0.245 at 0.000 significance level) However, when multivariate regression was used to analyze the effects of organization and a series of other independent variables on this political activit y, group membership was found to be a weaker predictor of protest activity. As the logit model on Table 7-15 re veals, education, a person’s interest in politics and their past experi ences with marches had the mo st statistically significant impact on their likelihood to engage in public protest during the two years after Mitch. Whether someone was or had been a member of a group continued to have a positive though not statistically significant effect on th is dependent variable. However, when similar independent variables were included in another regression model to determine how they influenced whether a resident had ever engaged in public protest the effects of organization became more evident. As the logit model on Table 7-16 reports, membership in a group was the strongest and mo st statistically sign ificant predictor of public protest activities through time. Organi zed residents were three and a half times more likely to engage in these forms of political activities at some point in their lives than those who had never partic ipated in a group. Educa tion and government contact continued to have a positive e ffect on protest acti vities. The logit model on Table 7-16 allows us to determine that a male reside nt from Sab with some secondary school education, organizational background and e xperience contacting government officials had a 61% probability of having participated in a public march or protest while a comparable male with no education, orga nizational experience or past government contact had only a 6% probability of doing the same.

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320 Table 7-16 A logit equation anal yzing how different variables are associated with ever having participated in public marches in Sab Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.529 0.359 0.141 Rural/Urban -0.853 0.431 0.048 Age 0.010 0.016 0.510 Poverty Index -0.014 0.089 0.871 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.142 0.855 0.250 0.364 0.047 0.570 0.019 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.096 -0.937 0.497 0.347 0.461 0.386 0.193 0.782 0.042 0.198 Ever been a Member of a Group 1.279 0.376 0.001 Voted in any of the last 4 elections -0.744 0.542 0.170 Ever Contacted a Government official 1.074 0.411 0.009 Constant -2.067 0.836 0.013 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Marches % Correctly Predicting No Marches 85.3 23.5 97.0 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 320 0.142 231.739 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Have you ever participated in a public march or protest?” Th e answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. The survey data also revealed that th ere was a significant association between a person’s civic involvement and their likelihood of contacting po litical officials. Table 717 reports a logit model analyzing how a seri es of independent va riables affected pre Mitch government contact in this municipality. As can be seen, the only two factors that had a statistically significan t effect on this dependen t variable were past group membership and participation in public marche s. People who were organized before the storm were four times more like ly to contact their political officials than those who were not, and those who had participated in marches or protests were five times more likely to contact their political representatives than those who had avoided th is type of public

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321 Table 7-17 A logit equation anal yzing how different variable s are associated with Pre Mitch government contact in Sab Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.304 0.580 0.600 Rural/Urban -0.665 0.722 0.357 Age 0.017 0.024 0.481 Poverty Index 0.070 0.147 0.635 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.115 0.783 0.398 0.509 0.291 0.772 0.124 Past Member of a Group 1.369 0.581 0.081 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.427 0.280 0.338 0.461 0.520 0.490 0.120 0.354 0.590 0.490 Ever Voted Before 7.200 24.495 0.769 Participated in a March before Mitch 1.602 0.582 0.006 Constant -11.388 24.516 0.642 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 93.5 15.0 99.0 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 309 0.130 105.028 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Before Mitch, did you ever contact someone in the governme nt to talk to them about a problem, need or concern?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. activity. The relevance of orga nization for politics continued to be evident after Mitch. The logit model in Table 7.18 shows that a person’s participation in a community group was the strongest and most significant pred ictor of post Mitch government contact. Group members were about thr ee and a half times more likely to contact a government official after the storm than nongroup members. It is, therefor e, not surprising that as the percentage of organized residents in Sab increased, citizen direct engagement with political officials rose also. This data supports our hypothesis (H3) that a more organized citizenry will increase its involvement in politics and level of communication with the government.

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322 Table 7-18 A logit equation anal yzing how different variable s are associated with post Mitch government contact in Sab Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 0.002 0.381 0.995 Rural/Urban 0.043 0.507 0.932 Age 0.031 0.015 0.044 Poverty Index -0.072 0.097 0.459 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.041 0.182 0.256 0.382 0.892 0.873 0.634 Mitch Effect Index Not affected Minor Damage Significant Damage Major Damage + 0.193 -0.675 0.157 0.492 0.659 0.348 0.760 0.694 0.305 0.652 Member of a Group 1.288 0.460 0.005 Past Member of a Group 0.644 0.492 0.191 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest -0.297 -0.063 0.344 0.411 0.403 0.408 0.826 0.470 0.875 0.400 Ever Voted Before 0.149 0.715 0.835 Contacted a government official before Mitch 1.045 0.614 0.089 Participated in a March after Mitch 0.837 0.574 0.145 Participated in a March before Mitch -0.018 0.536 0.973 Constant -3.533 0.993 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 86.3 24.4 97.2 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 299 0.151 204.370 Note: The dependent variable is a respons e to the question, “Since Mitch, have you contacted anyone in the governme nt to talk to them about a problem, need or concern?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. Qualitative data further revealed how citizens that became better organized after the storm were able to impact local politics. Before Mitch, no cabildo abierto had ever been staged in Sab. But beginning in 2000, the teachers unions and recently formed CODELs began demanding th at the municipal government abide by the 1990 Law of Municipalities and sponsor such an event. The mayor promised he would host a

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323 cabildo but procrastinated doing so for mont hs. Finally, the CODELs and teachers unions joined forces and threatened to take public action if such an event was not held before the end of October 2000. Local gove rnment authorities responded rapidly by hosting two public meetings. The first was held on September 24 of that year in Elexir, the largest rural community in Sab. Some people saw this event as practice for the formal cabildo abierto held a week later on September 30. The cabildo was clearly an important event in Sab’s history and was br oadcast on local radio a nd television stations, interrupting all other regularly scheduled programs. A total of sixty five people attended this event. Almost all of them were l eaders of community groups. Non group members overwhelmingly choose to listen to and watch the cabildo from home, leaving more active forms of participation in to organized citizens. During the cabildo municipal government authorities gave a report of the new projects that were being initiated in Sab, how much revenue they had collected during the past two years and how these funds had been spent. This was the first time that municipal gove rnment transparency had been available. Participants were invi ted to make comments or pose questions about whatever issues they wished to discuss. Ho wever, they were not asked to vote or make decisions on any issue. Although more could have been done to inco rporate citizen input into local political decision-making, this cabildo established a new form of dialog between residents and their local governments—one that would not have been available had organized groups in the community not demanded it. The thirty five CODELs in the municipal ity also were active in opening other, new channels of communication between citizens and the local government after the disaster. During the later part of 1999 Ca tholic Church leaders and c o-gestores in Sab informed

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324 local communities about the 1999 Stockholm De claration and explained its meaning to them. Simultaneously, Church members began drafting a Carta de Intenciones (Letter of Intention) which sought to get local citizens and officials to abide by this international declaration. The Carta de Intenciones stated that the process of political decentralization would be incomplete if it ex cluded citizens from taking pa rt in local, decision-making processes. In order to guarantee citizen pa rticipation in the form ulation, execution and supervision of municipal plans and pr ojects, the document declared that a Comit de Desarrollo Municipal (CODEM) and a social auditing commission should be formed. Members of the former were to be named by the municipal government, as stipulated by law, while those of the later were to be nominated and elected by civil society groups. The Letter of Intentions further stated that every community in the area was autonomous and had elected either patronatos or CODELs to be their repr esentatives. Implicit in this statement was the notion that the muni cipal government could not control the composition or actions of these grass roots organizations. Once drafted, the Carta de Intenciones was presented to local community gr oups for explanati on, suggestions and ratification. After having been approved by th em, the letter was presented to the mayor of Sab so that he could sign it in agreement. He refused. Both he and several regents opposed signing the letter because it would take power away from them and, they believed, allow residents to take over local government. After several months of unresponsiveness, the CODELs threatened to ta ke over the municipal ha ll in protest if the document was not signed. The mayor, clearly worried by their threats, finally signed the Carta de Intenciones on November 6, 2000. This promised to create a more participatory, municipal-level governance: ci vil society groups will be allowed to design,

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325 implement and manage public polic ies, projects and institutio ns together with municipal government authorities. The renewed organizational fervor and po litical activism in Sab and the Agun Valley, more generally, did not go unheeded by national leaders who recognize, as one local resident explained, that “ Cuando las bases dicen que el Agun se va ha parar, la cupula tiembla .”67 During the month of September 2000 INTERFOROS approached COPA, the Diocese of Trujillo, UNICOMs, cooperatives and economic groups in the Agun Valley proposing that they all unite to form a regional bloc of mass-based, civil society groups groups that could then be li nked up to their own organization. This would help INTERFOROS counter criticisms that it had no grass-roots mandate while also help the various organizations in the area conso lidate themselves and better channel their demands to the national government. On September 23, 2000 repr esentatives of the various groups in the Agun Valley form ed a regional INTERFOROS through a highly democratic election process. One of the re presentatives from the UNICOM in Sab was elected to form part of this group’s directive. The popular assembly that created this new, regional organization determined th at they would undertake a highly political agenda which included securing people’s democr atic access to basic services (i.e., health, education, etc), ensuring that the Stockholm Declaration was being followed, combating corruption and achieving electoral reform. In sum, these groups committed themselves to working more actively and jointly to transform Honduran politics. If successful, this new regional block will exemplify how a well organized base of citizens can influence not only local but also national level politics. 67 “When the bases say the Agun will stand [in protest] the hierarchy trembles.” Interview with Nelson Rios, teacher and former INA offici al in Sab, September 14, 2000.

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326 As the preceding discussion has tried to show, the residents of Sab were reanimated both politically and socially in th e two years after Mitch. Three factors have contributed to these socio-poli tical changes: the advent of disaster, the intervention of external aid agencies and both pre and pos t Mitch organizational experiences. The disaster was the initial catalyst for collabor ative endeavors, forcing residents to work together in order to survive and restore loca l life to something approaching normalcy. However, people did not simply join work groups in random and unpredictable ways. They reverted to pre-existing often defunct pa tterns of organization in order to confront crisis. Past experiences with group work were a form of social capital that many residents had stored and from which they we re able to draw as a way of responding to unforeseen, external shocks. Yet the collabora tive environment induced by disaster and facilitated by past experiences do not appear to have been able to promote a long-term change in social behavior. Community gr oups began to weaken and disappear once the emergency period had passed. They were only reanimated again once they were incited to do so in late 1999 and 2000 by external ai d agencies. Interestingly, all of these agencies reported that reside nts were initially hesitant to work together on longer-term development projects. It was only after they had invested some time convincing residents of the benefits of joint endeavors that some were willing to undertake such tasks. Still, it would be wrong to attribute most of the longer term change in social behavior here to aid agencies. After all, these organizations may ne ver have initiated projec ts in Sab, at least not simultaneously and to the magnitude that they did, had this municipality not been devastated by Mitch. Therefore, it appears th at both Mitch and the a dvent of external aid

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327 agencies helped improve organizational activit y here after the storm. This supports the first two of our hypothesis (H1 and H2). The case of Sab also supports the third hypothesis that a more organized citizenry will become more politically active. As wa s previously discussed, a greater percentage of residents tried contacting government officials during th e two years after the storm than they had previously. A notable percentage of citizens also participated in more public and confrontational fo rms of political action such as marches and protests— political activities that had almost ceased to be practiced here during the few years immediately preceding Mitch. Both the st atistical and qualitative data reported previously reveals that the heightened level of political activism in Sab is positively correlated with the improved level of organization here. Lastly, the case of Sab seems to support our fourth hypothesis, that a politically active citizenry promotes the ex istence of a participatory kind of governance. Some of the strongest and most active civil society groups in Sab tried to establish newer channels of communication w ith their municipal government by calling for the creation of cabildos abiertos CODEMs and social auditing committees. They argued that the 1992 Law of Municipalities and the 1999 Stockholm Declar ation mandated the creation of such spaces for citizen participation. Though initially hesitant to comply, local government officials eventually succumbed to these popular demands. It hosted its first two cabildos abiertos in September 2000. Soon thereafter, the mayor also agreed to create a CODEM and social auditing commissi on in order to prevent local civil society groups from forcefully occupying the municipal palace in protest. All of these measures promised to initiate a new, more part icipatory pattern of governance in Sab.

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328 Dolores Merendn Dolores Merendn did not experience a natural disaster as did Potrerillos and Sab. However the heavy rains produced by Mitch di d cause some minor damage in the area, particularly to those families who had cultivated crops in the steeply sloped mountainous terrain of this region. Representatives of 179 of the approximately 400 households in Dolores were surveyed as part of this di ssertation research. Sixty two percent of respondents revealed that their household ha d not been affected by Mitch. A third reported having experienced minor damage such as some animal deaths, some crop loss or partial house damage and only 5% lost e ither all their crops, an imals or home as a result of this storm. Due to the relative ly mild storm damage experienced here, FHIS reported that this municipality was one of th e ones in the country least affected by Mitch and, therefore, did not qualify for any emergency assistance.68 Despite having suffered relatively little due to this storm, several NGOs initiated development projects in Dolores Merendn in 1999 and 2000 in order to counter the extreme poverty of the region. All of these proj ects have required th e active participation of residents in the decision-making and im plementation process. In addition, some NGOs have worked closely with the municipa l authorities in order to improve their manner of governing and strength en their network of communicat ion with local citizens. This new push for social and political change has had a moderate though notable improvement in local organization and gove rnance in the past few years. The Asociacin de Organismos No Gubernamentales de Honduras (ASONOG or Association of Honduran NonGovernmental Organizations) began working in Dolores 68 FHIS, “Lista de Municipios que no han recibido apoyo del FHIS en proyectos de emergencia,” unpublished internal office report, (Tegucigalpa: FHIS, 1999).

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329 Merendn at the end of 1998. After doing an initial assessment of the community’s needs, ASONOG sponsored a building proj ect in early 1999 by offering loans and technical support to the handful of households that had suffered major damage as a result of Mitch. In order to receive assistance, bene ficiaries were required to work together to repair or rebuild houses. Although resident s did so with ease, the working groups disintegrated as soon as the construction projects were co mpleted. In the Summer of 2000 ASONOG began organizing Comits de Emergencia in order to train local inhabitants how to respond to future emerge ncies. Initially, some residents seemed uninterested in participating in these ne w groups. ASONOG’s representatives had to invest much time traveling to people’s houses and encouraging them to attend training sessions. This time investment eventually paid of and Comits de Emergencia were successfully trained and establishe d in each of the municipality’s aldeas as well as in the urban heart of Dolores.69 ASONOG further encouraged residents from the villages of San Jeronimo and Las Toreras to organize Juntas de Agua in late 1999 and 2000 in order to build and manage a new potable water system in their respective villages. The proce ss of organization was somewhat difficult for the inhabitants of Las Toreras. Although only about forty households occupied this aldea and a manageable group of less than thirty people was established to construct the water project, residents found it difficu lt to cooperate with one another. A series of personal conf licts and power struggles caused neighbors to periodically discontinue work ing on the project and refuse to collaborate together. ASONOG technicians had to intervene with several motivational chats in order to 69 Interview with Jennifer Erazo ASONOG technician in charge of training and organizing Comites de Emergencia in Ocotepeque, May 5, 2000

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330 encourage residents to continue working togeth er. Eventually, the water project here was completed, though three months behind schedule. The process of organization was easier in San Jeronimo despite the fact that this aldea is almost five times the size of Las Toreras. The mayor, an inhabitant of San Jeronimo, actively encouraged local residents to participate in the work groups. In order to ensure the greatest participation of people, neighbors implemented a rule that the households which di d not contribute time to building this project would be charged a f ee for receiving potable water while those who worked on the project would have free access to this resource. As a result of this economic incentive, there was a high level of participation, or ganization and self monitoring among neighbors and the project wa s completed within the scheduled time.70 Towards the end of 2000 ASONOG initiated an integrated health project that further promised to rouse the organization and social activism of local residents. At the time, Dolores Merendn had one nurse, two nurse assistants and a doc tor assigned to care for its entire population. In a ddition, the Ministry of Health had trained approximately thirty local residents to adopt voluntary heal th roles (e.g., midwives) in their community. Unfortunately, the medical personnel and heal th volunteers in Dolores Merendn rarely met nor cooperated together and both ha d received only scant training. ASONOG wanted to change this situation. Their inte grated health project sought to improve the training of each volunteer and permanent health employee. They also wanted to organize these groups into several local and one municipal level Comit de Atencin Integral de Salud (Integrated Health Service Committee) which could better monitor health conditions in the area and impart basic he alth courses to other residents in the 70 Interview with Alexander Villeda, ASONOG techni cian, August 9, 2000 and interview with Efran Deras, Coordinator of ASONOG’s activ ities in Ocotepeque, June 18, 2000

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331 municipality. As a result of this on-go ing project, the level of preparation and organization among salaried and voluntary health personnel in Dolores has improved dramatically. A second NGO known as DIA began working in Dolores Merendn in the Summer of 2000. The organization was subcontracted to implement a six year development project developed and financed by both the UNDP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible (FONADERS or National Fund for Sustainable Rural Developm ent), as the project was named, sought to improve living conditions and reduce vulne rability in the eighty-one, poorest municipalities in Honduras.71 During initial months of work, the two-member DIA team held meetings with the residents of Dolore s Merendn in order to determine their needs and compile a list of projects that could be implemented in the area. These gatherings encouraged residents to meet regularly, di scuss their necessities and develop joint solutions to them. As with ASONOG, DIA required that beneficiaries become active participants in their own development by fo rming work groups to implement their selfidentified projects. By the end of 2000, DI A-FONADERS had initiated three rural banks, a water project, a coffee processing associa tion and a micro-enterprise in Dolores Merendn. The water project reanimated a Junta de Agua that had been formed years earlier in the urban heart of Dolores and which had fallen into a state of inactivity. The micro-enterprise united a group of approxima tely a dozen men to build metallic grain silos for sale in their municipa lity. And each rural credit ba nk enabled citizens to receive training on how to save money, borrow and repa y credit and increase the community’s 71 Secretaria de Agricultura y Gana dera (SAG), Repblica de Honduras, Fondo Nacional De Desarrollo Rural Sostenible (FONADERS): Resumen Ejecutivo, documento de trabajo, (Tegucigalpa: SAG, 1999).

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332 Table 7-19 Perceptions of co mmunity organization before and after Mitch in Dolores How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization Before Mitch How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization in 2000 Active Organization 17% Moderate Organization 35% Weak Organization 28% No Organization 6% Didn’t Know 14% Active Organization 19% Moderate Organization 42% Weak Organization 23% No Organization 2% Didn’t Know 15% financial holdings. All of these initia tives have reemphasized the importance of cooperation and strengthened th e nascent forms of social organization that ASONOG had been nurturing for the previous year. Surveys were conducted in Dolores Merendn in April 2000 in order to determine whether the NGOs that were working in th e area were prompting any significant organizational or political change in the muni cipality. At the time DIA was still in the consultative stage of its work while ASONOG had been working in the area for several months. A sample of 179 out of the approxi mately 1500 adult residents in the area was selected. Each study participant was aske d to describe how well organized their community was then compared to how it had been before Mitch.72 Approximately a third of respondents said that their community’s organization had been weak or non-existent before Mitch, another third be lieved it had been moderate wh ile 17% thought it had been active. These individuals generally perceive d a slight improvement in this situation between the pre-NGO period and April 2000 (See Table 7-19). Whereas only 42% of them thought their community was actively or moderately well orga nized before Mitch and the arrival of NGOs in the area, over 61% described their municipality in this way 72 NGOs began working in the area at about the same time Mitch attacked Honduras. Since Mitch is a historical event that is clearly marked in the minds of all Hondurans, it was used as a landmark to get people to think about the period before and after the intervention of external aid agencies.

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333 Table 7-20 One-sample t test comparing perceptions of community organization in Dolores Merendn in 2000 w ith the pre-Mitch period t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence (Test Value = 3.05*) 2.237 168 .027 0.17 .02 Lower .33 Upper Test value represents the mean of surv ey participants’ perceptions of how their community’s organization was before Mitch. during 2000. A one sample T Test confirmed that there was a sta tistically significant difference between how people viewed the area’s organization during both time periods (See Table 7-20). Although survey participants may have de tected a greater or more active number of groups in their communities, this does not mean they thought residents worked well together. In order to determine the natu re of collaborative endeavors in Dolores Merendn residents were asked to describe how easy it was to work with other members of their community in 2000. Over half belie ved it was easy while a third said it was difficult. Few, however, had detected a no ticeable improvement in community relations between the pre and post NGO period. Only 14% of those surveyed thought cooperative work had become easier since 1998. One fift h thought working with others had become more difficult while 52% said it had remained the same as before. Irrespective of people’s perception of the or ganizational health of their community, the surveys collected in Dolore s revealed that residents had become more socially active after the intervention of NGOs in the area. Only 5% of the people consulted had been members of a community group before Mitch wh en the municipality received almost no attention from outside aid agencies. However, by Apr il 2000 when ASONOG, DIA and

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334 APS were still beginning their work there, the percentage of people engaged in group activities had increased to 10%. Two thirds of them were members of a group that had been created or sponsored by an NGO wh ile the remaining one third belonged to traditional organizations such as a patronato or an Asociacin de Padres de Familia. A one sample T Test revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between the mean level of group membership in both time periods (See Table 7-21). This information together with the previously reported data on organizations in Dolores Merendn lends some support for H2, the hypothesis that external aid agencies encourage target communities to become more organized. Table 7-21 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch group membership in Dolores Merendn (Test Value = 0.05*) t df Si g nificance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Group Membership in Dolores Merendn in 2000 2.282 175 .024 0.05 .01 Lower .10 Upper Test value represents the mean of su rvey response to whether people had been members of a community group before Mitch. A statistical analysis of group membership in this municipality wa s undertaken in order to determine whether other factors aside from the work of NGOs could help account for the observed increase in the regi on’s organization. A crosstab analysis had revealed that men and people with some past group experience were more likely to belong to community groups. Only men, for example, had participated in local organizations during 2000, and all those indivi duals who had been active in their communities before the intervention of NGOs became involved in new groups afterward. Gender and past

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335 Table 7-22 A logit analysis of how different va riables are related to group membership in Dolores Merendn during 2000 Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Past Member of a Group 14.532 139.219 0.917 Gender 10.709 43.879 0.807 Age 0.023 0.031 0.452 Poverty -0.269 0.330 0.414 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 3.473 -5.995 93.411 186.821 0.970 0.974 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 2.142 -7.563 4.162 23.731 71.171 23.735 0.928 0.915 0.861 Constant -3.108 0.709 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Group Membership % Correctly Predicting No Group Member. 94.7 55.6 99.3 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 171 0.344 43.098 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Are you currently a member of a community group?” The an swers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. group experiences also had a significant co rrelation with group membership. This dependent variable was associated with se x by a Cramer’s V of 0.341 and with past group membership with a V = 0.688, both at a 0.000 significance level. When these and a series of other variables were analyzed through logistic regression, however, the influence of both gender and past organiza tional experiences on group membership was rendered statistically insignificant (See Table 7-22). In fact, none of the independent variables that were measured through various logit models seemed to have a statistically significant effect on organizati on. These results make it more probable that NGOs were the critical factor accounting for group membership in 2000. The qualitative data gathered in Dolores Merendn revealed that aid agencies did more than simply encourage an increase in citizen organization. They also worked directly with the municipal government in order to help them improve their

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336 administrative skills and relationship with local residents. An Italian NGO, the Associazone per la Partecipazione all Sviluppo (APS or Association for Participation in Development) began working in Dolores in 1998. APS taught local officials how to conduct a cadastral survey and use it as a basis for tax collection. In addition, they together with ASONOG helped local govern ment officials make projections on their yearly revenue and draft municipal devel opment plans on the basis of this. These organizations also emphasized the need to in corporate regular citiz ens in their decisionmaking process. APS offered workshops on ci tizen participation to political officials from the department of Ocotepeque while ASONOG encouraged this type of political behavior through more informal means. Both of these NGOs tried to strengthen the CODEM ( Comit de Desarrollo Municipal ) in Dolores Merendn, a citizen consulta tive body that had been established here by PRODERE during the mid 1990’s after the successful experience with these types of groups in San Marcos. Unfortuna tely, the CODEM had b een given relatively little support in Dolores and had never become truly functional. Despite its flaws, local residents had not abandoned the idea of th is consultative body. The mayor of Dolores had formed a new CODEM in 1998 soon after entering office even though PRODERE was no longer present to encourage such action. The group, however, had not held a single meeting during its first two years of existence and its members did not understand their proper role or function. Consequently, the CODEM had not fulfilled its role as a political advisory body, and its members knew little about what the municipal government was doing.73 APS and ASONOG sought to improve this situation by 73 Interview with Joaqun Lara and Mara Lida Cruz, Members of the CODEM, June 5, 2000.

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337 working with the members of the CODEM and the mayor in order to clarify the purpose of this organization, strengthe n its consultative powers, and help it maintain a regular level of contact with th e municipal government. APS and ASONOG also convi nced municipal officials from Dolores Merendn that they should sponsor cabildos abiertos in order to improve their communication with local citizens. As a result, the mayor hoste d three such events just in 2000. The existence of cabildos together with the increased organizational activity in the municipality seems to have encouraged citizen s to become more activ e in these types of public forums. Only 13% of th e people surveyed had attended a cabildo abierto before Mitch and the advent of NGOs. But betw een November 1999 and April 2000 20% of them had participated in such events. A One sample T-Test showed that there was a statistically significant though slight difference in mean cabildo attendance during both time periods (See Table 7-23). Table 7-23 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch cabildo attendance in Dolores Merendn (Test Value = 0.13*) t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Cabildo Attendance in Dolores Merendn in 2000 2.419 176 .017 0.07 .01 Lower .13 Upper Test value represents the mean of survey response to whether residents had attended a cabildo abierto before Mitch and the advent of NGOs in Dolores Merendn. A person’s involvement in community groups was strongly associated with their likelihood of attending cabildo abiertos The measure of association between group membership and this form of political par ticipation was V = 0.386 with a 0.000 level of significance. The logit model on Table 7.24 fu rther shows the positiv e and statistically significant effects of organization on cabildo attendance. The beta coefficient for group

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338 Table 7-24 A logit model analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with post Mitch cabildo attendance Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 1.077 0.610 0.078 Age 0.021 0.019 0.270 Poverty Index 0.287 0.147 0.052 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 2.582 -4.267 19.897 39.792 0.282 0.897 0.915 Member of a Group 2.160 0.855 0.012 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.427 0.280 0.338 0.461 0.520 0.490 0.120 0.354 0.590 0.490 Ever Voted Before 8.199 20.505 0.689 Ever Attended a Cabildo Before 2.044 0.649 0.002 Contacted a Government Official after Mitch 0.336 0.783 0.667 Contacted a Government Official before Mitch 2.681 1.322 0.043 Constant -15.540 28.599 0.587 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Cabildo Attendance % Correctly Predicting No Cabildo Attendance 82.2 44.1 92.2 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 163 0.323 103.456 Note: The dependent variable is a res ponse to the question, “Have you attended a cabildo abierto since Mitch?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. membership allows us to determine that the people who participated in local organizations were almost nine times more lik ely to assist these events than those who were not so involved. Given this inform ation, it should come as no surprise that cabildo attendance increased in Dolores at the same time as did group membership. This data helps support H3, the hypothesis that a more orga nized citizenry will increase its participation in politics and level of co mmunication with government officials

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339 Organization was not the only variable that helped explain why a resident from Dolores attended cabildos abiertos Poverty as well as a pers on’s past experiences with political participation also had a signifi cant influence on their likelihood of attending these public events. The logit model on Table 724 allows us to predict that an organized male resident with a mean poverty level w ho had contacted a government official and participated in a cabildo in the past had a 99.6% probabi lity of attending these types of meetings again in 2000 while a comparable male with no organizational or past political experiences only had a 21% probability of doing the same. The cabildos that were staged in Dolores during 2000 helped inform citizens about the municipal government’s activities and increased their impact on local decisionmaking processes. The mayor, for example, used these public forums to explain to residents the need to collect property taxes. The local government had gathered only 2200 lempiras (then equivalent to approximately $200) through this mean during 1998 and a comparable amount in the years precedi ng then because most citizens did not pay their duty.74 As a result, the municipal government had been limited in the number of projects it had been able to undertake. Through cabildos the mayor explained to citizens that if they collected more taxes they w ould be able to sponsor more development projects for the benefit of the entire municipa lity. Citizens used th ese forums to express their opposition to taxes and belief that it wa s unjust when imposed on such an extremely poor population as theirs. Although the mayor believed in the benefits of taxation, he refused to enforce its collection after h earing citizens’ views on the matter through cabildos He knew that if he collected this revenue against people’s wishes, the local 74 Interview with Angel Guzmn, Mayor of Dolores Merendn, April 3, 2000.

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340 population would not vote for him or his party again and might even become his personal enemies. Thus, these public forums enab led citizens to communicate better and reach a consensus with their local government. Despite the impact residents were ab le to have on local politics through cabildos abiertos few of those sampled who had participat ed in these events thought they had been given any decision-making power thr ough them. In fact, although the number of people participating in cabildos increased during 2000, attendees claimed to have had less of a decision-making role in them than previously. Only 11% said they had been allowed to vote in these forums, and 8% said they had made decisions through nonvoting means (See Table 7-25). Most claimed they were only allowed to express their opinions or make proposals in the cabildos held after Mitch. Although these suggestions may have influenced local government pol icies, as evidenced by the previously mentioned case of taxation, those surveyed seemed to desire a more direct or overt role in political decisions. The residents from Dolores Merend n not only became more involved in cabildos during the year and a half after Mitch, but also initiated contac t with their political Table 7-25 How residents from Dolore s Merendn have participated in cabildos Activity Before Mitch After Mitch Expressed an Opinion 82% of attendees 86% of attendees Discussed an Issue 32% of attendees 31% of attendees Made a Proposal 27% of attendees 39% of attendees Voted 41% of attendees 11% of attendees Made a Decision 32% of attendees 8% of attendees Implemented a Project 14% of attendees 13% of attendees Just Listened 14% of attendees 8% of attendees

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341 Table 7-26 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch government contact in Dolores Merendn (Test Value = 0.03*) t df Si g nificance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Government Contact in Dolores Merendn in 2000 2.794 176 .006 0.06 .02 Lower .11 Upper Test value represents the mean of survey response to whether residents had contacted a government official before Mitch an d the advent of NGOs in Dolores Merendn. representatives more frequently than they had previously. Before the intervention of NGOs in the area only 3.4% of those surveyed had contacted a political official to discuss a problem, need or concern. But from late 1998 to April 2000 9.6% of people surveyed had initiated such contact. A one sample Ttest showed that ther e was a statistically significant difference in the mean level of c ontact surveyed residents experienced during the year and a half after Mitch and the period precedi ng it (See Table 7-26). Two main variables help account for who was most likely to contac t a government official in 1999 and 2000: a person’s past e xperience with government contact and their self-proclaimed interest in politics (See Ta ble 7-27). A person who had contacted a political official before Mitch was thirty on e times more likely to do so again after the intervention of NGOs in the area than someone who had no such experience. Likewise, someone who claimed to be very interested in politics was four times more likely to initiate this type of political activity than so meone who had no interest in the subject. Unlike the case of cabildos whether or not a person partic ipated in a local group did not have any statistically signif icant impact on their likeli hood of contacting a government official. In fact most of the people who had engaged in this type of activity after Mitch were not members of a local group. Ther efore, this case lends no support to H3.

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342 Table 7-27 A logit model analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with post Mitch government contact in Dolores Merendn Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Sex 1.235 0.816 0.130 Age 0.000 0.019 0.270 Poverty Index 0.148 0.030 0.996 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 2.515 -3.356 7.535 15.057 0.073 0.739 0.824 Member of a Group 0.353 0.872 0.686 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.566 -0.683 1.338 0.557 0.887 0.663 0.052 0.310 0.441 0.044 Ever Voted Before 1.541 1.521 0.311 Attended a Cabildo after Mitch 0.022 0.825 0.979 Ever Attended a Cabildo Before -0.198 0.845 0.814 Contacted a Government Official before Mitch 3.427 1.190 0.004 Constant -7.115 7.811 0.362 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 92.0 25.0 99.3 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 163 0.183 71.275 Note: The dependent variable is a respons e to the question, “Since Mitch, have you contacted someone in the government to talk to them about a problem, need or concern?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. The political activities evident in Dolores Merendn were completely focused on local issues and constrained to the municipa l level. Most of the individuals (88%) whoadmitted contacting a government official after Mitch had sought out their mayor for assistance. The remainder had spoken to othe r local government officials. There was no evidence that citizens maintained a significant level of contact with politicians outside of their municipality. In fact, communication with diputados and other national-level, politicians was difficult and rare even fo r the mayor of Dolores. There is no phone service in this municipality which can be us ed to contact national government offices and

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343 transportation to the capital remains lengthy and difficult. The lack of time, attention and importance that several of the mayors from Ocotepeque claim to receive from national government officials further deters them from maintaining a good channel of communication with them. Surveyed residents also seemed to be indifferent or oblivious to broader political concerns—something wh ich further localizes political activity. Eighty percent of the Dolores sample admitted having little or no interest in national politics, a quarter received no political news at all and another 60% received limited information on this issue. Not surprisingly, residents here had not participated in any marches or public protests, and many did not even understand what these types of activities were. Despite this detachment from national-leve l politics, residents here, like those in the other municipalities under st udy, did engage actively in voting. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed had voted in at least one election in the past. An overwhelming percentage of those who had not exercised th eir suffrage did so because they were too young to vote. Resident’s commitment to part icipate in future elections also remained firm. Nearly 98% of those surveyed sa id they would vote in 2001 and only three residents or 2% of the sample said they woul d not participate in future elections. Like the residents from Potrerillos, most of those in Dolores vote because they believe it is their duty to do so. However, unlike reside nts in the other thre e municipalities under study, how people vote here is almost comp letely determined by local issues and concerns. This is largely due to the area’ s extreme detachment from the rest of the country. Once people believe that an indivi dual will be a good mayor and help solve their local problems, they vote for him and t hose politicians within his party whom he

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344 supports. Interestingly, resident s do not seem to expect local politicians to dramatically change their mode of life. The extreme pe nury, material needs and ignorance of the area have made residents expect as well as demand little from their government. A politician can easily gain support from residents with th e promise of only a few, simple projects and a gregarious personality. Dolores Merendn was selected as a case study in order to test whether the intervention of external aid agencies alone could provoke greater citizen organization (H2). The research conducted here during Apri l 2000 revealed that despite the traditional individualistic life st yle of this municipality NGO activi ties had encouraged residents to become more organized and work jointly on several projects. New groups had been established, the percentage of people participating in them had doubled and residents generally believed that their community was mo re organized than pr eviously. Some of the people working in Dolores have explai ned that by the end of 2000 residents were more willing to work communally with others and a much stronger cooperative spirit had developed here than the one that was observed earlier in the year.75 All of this supports H2 and suggests that even communities with lit tle history of cooperative endeavors may develop a vibrant civic soci ety if encouraged to do so by external forces. Field research also revealed that citizen s became more active in politics during the year and a half after NGOs began working in Do lores. A greater percentage of residents participated in cabildos abiertos and contacted government o fficials during this period than previously. The CODEM also was strengt hened so as to allow local citizens greater participation in local decisions. Although part of this political change may be attributed 75 Personal communication with Carlos Espinoza, teacher in Dolores Mere ndn, December 1, 2000.

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345 to the improved level of organization in the area, there is insufficient evidence to support H2, the hypothesis that a more or ganized citizenry participates more actively in politics. It is possible that this link between orga nization and political participation was not evidenced more clearly in Dolores because of the region’s sti ll nascent level of organization in April 2000 when field resear ch was being conducted here. However, qualitative research does suggest that the pres ence of NGOs in the area helps to partly explain the improved political climate in Dolores. APS and ASONOG’s work with municipal authorities helped open new a nd improve old channels of communication between citizens and the munici pal government. Both of these NGOs encouraged local government officials to become more receptive to citizen inputs and increase their participation in political deci sion-making. As a result, more cabildos abiertos were offered and the CODEM was restructured and strengthened. All of these changes suggest that the intervention of NGOs in Dolores help ed promote a more vibrant civil society as well as improve local governance. The case of San Marcos will he lp us understand how the withdrawal of external aid agencies can affect the organization and political participation they have stimulated in an area. San Marcos Like Dolores Merendn, San Marcos was not affected by Hurricane Mitch. Fifteen percent of the 331 sampled houses experienced only minor damage as a result of this storm while the remaining percentage encounter ed no adverse effects. Unlike Potrerillos and Sab, the municipality’s infrastructure was not affected by M itch either. Although San Marcos’ coffee-dependent economy did experience a depression in 1999 and 2000, this was due more to a dras tic drop in world coffee prices than to a Mitch-related economic factor. Not surprisingly, San Ma rcos did not qualify for any FHIS-funded

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346 emergency projects76 nor received any new development assistance from external aid organizations. The only agencies that we re working in this municipality when dissertation research was conduc ted here were continuing or at best deepening projects that were already in place before Mitch. Consequently, no significant social or political change was expected to be observed here. This municipality was selected for study so that it could serve as a contro l case with which to compare a nd contrast changes that have occurred in the other three municipal cases. The case of San Marcos also allows us to observe how a radical and improved transforma tion in local governance will evolve after the external agencies that have prompted su ch a change have withdrawn from the region. PRODERE, the United Nations program th at had encouraged greater organization and political involvement among San Marcos’ inhabitants, was terminated in 1995. The project’s end caused some to worry whether the socio-politi cal activism that had been achieved here during the first half of the 1990’s would collapse in the absence of external support. After all, residents would no longe r have an economic incentive to organize and work together for common goals, and the municipal government would cease having outside agents regularly m onitoring its activities, offe ring its members training and encouraging them to maintain a strong networ k of communication with local citizens. Surprisingly, San Marcos remained fa irly well organized despite PRODERE’s termination. The surveys conducted in the area during May and June of 2000 revealed that this municipality had a le vel of organization comparable to Sab’s. Over 20% of the people questioned reported that they be longed to some community group. CEBs, agricultural associations and NGOs were the organizations with which most of these 76 FHIS, “Lista de Municipios que no han recibido apoyo del FHIS en proyectos de emergencia,” unpublished internal office report, (Tegucigalpa: FHIS, 1999).

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347 individuals were affiliated. Patronatos, juntas de agua and other such traditional groups ranked second in importance to th ese. In general, men and rural residents were more likely to participate in groups than females a nd urbanites. Education and wealth also had a positive effect on organizati on. The logit model on Table 7-28 helps us determine that a male rural resident with a mean age a nd poverty level and some secondary schooling had a 62% probability of belonging to a group in 2000 while a comparable female urban resident with no schooling had a 6% probability of being organized. Although one in five adult residents continue d to be involved in local groups during 2000, collaborative endeavors were not necessarily easy to achieve in San Marcos. Forty one percent of those surveyed believed it wa s difficult to work with others while 42% thought it was easy. A majority (56%), however said that cooperative work had neither deteriorated nor improved in the period after Mitch. Working with neighbors was just as easy to them as it had been previously. Table 7-28 A logit model analyzing how differe nt variables are asso ciated with group membership in San Marcos during 2000 Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Urban/Rural -1.536 0.437 0.000 Sex 0.578 0.316 0.067 Age 0.026 0.011 0.015 Poverty Index 0.229 0.070 0.001 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.009 1.131 0.229 0.306 0.000 0.967 0.000 Constant -4.298 0.766 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 82.8 20.3 98.4 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 319 0.139 272.210 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “Are you currently a member of a community group?” The an swers are coded 0=no, 1=yes.

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348 Table 7-29 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in San Marcos How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization Before Mitch How Surveyed Residents Described Community Organization in 2000 Active Organization 19% Moderate Organization 32% Weak Organization 24% No Organization 3% Didn’t Know 22% Active Organization 17% Moderate Organization 33% Weak Organization 26% No Organization 4% Didn’t Know 21% Survey participants also believed that their municipality was as well organized in 2000 as it had been during the pre-Mitch period.77 Half of them described the organization in their community as active or moderate at th e time of field research, 26% characterized it as weak while only 4% said it was non-exis tent. A similar percentage response was given to describe the level of organization in San Marcos befo re Mitch (See Table 7-29). A One Sample T-Test confirmed that there was no statistically si gnificant difference between the mean response residents gave to characterize their municipality during both time periods (See Table 7-30) Table 7-30 One-sample t test comparing pe rceptions of community organization in San Marcos in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period (Test Value = 3.31*) t df Si g nificance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Perceptions of Community Organization in 2000 (San Marcos) -0.831 305 .407 0.06 -0.19 Lower 0.08 Upper The test value represents the mean of su rvey participants’ per ceptions of how their community’s organization was before Mitch. The continued and active presence of loca lly-based NGOs, agricu ltural associations and the Catholic Church helped sustain mu ch of the organizational activity of San 77 Since Mitch had been used as a landmark event to distinguish between two different time periods in the other municipalities under study, this trend was continued in the case of San Marcos. When residents were asked about conditions in their municipality before Mitc h, they tended to think of the PRODERE era, i.e., the first half of the 1990’s.

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349 Marcos beyond the PRODERE period. All of th ese organizations enco urage residents to join community groups and undertake new projects. As a result, a self-sustaining process of organization developed here whereby loca l groups continually motivated residents to remain socially active. Hermandad de H onduras, for example, continued to support the formation of agricultural gr oups by teaching them how to use sustainable farming methods and offering them financial assist ance. CCD kept working with CODECOs (Communal Development Committees) in the municipality by training leaders, animating community participation and helping vill agers diagnose their needs and problems.78 In the midst of a dramatic drop in coffee prices and a local economic crisis in 1999, several members of a coffee association ( Asociacin de Productores de Caf APROCAFE) began encouraging female residents to establis h a coffee processing enterprise in order to sell their beans at a better market price than th ey would otherwise. This micro-enterprise was initiated in January 2000 with thirteen female members and the financial and technical support of both ADE VAS and APROCAFE. Within just a few months the women had opened their own store and were planning on marketing their product throughout Honduras.79 At times, local organizations encouraged residents to undertake new projects without necessarily joining new groups. The Ca tholic Church, for example, launched a project in 1995 to build a traini ng center for Delegates of the Word and CEB members. Lay activists sponsored severa l local marathons whic h collected over $20,000 between 1995 and 1998. They also succeed ed in acquiring a $30,000 donation from a 78 Interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos, November 17, 1999. 79 Interviews with several members of this coffee micro-enterpri se, April 25, 2000.

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350 German organization. As a result of their efforts, the new center was completed in 2000.80 The area’s past history with organization is another important factor helping to explain the level of social activism in San Marcos. Collaborative endeavors are not new to this region, as was explained in the prev ious chapter. Residents had been accustomed to resolving problems on their own and in collaboration with neighbors for decades before the arrival of PRODERE. This charac teristic of San Marcos did not change upon the UNDP’s withdrawal from the area. Patronatos continued to tackle what local problems they could. If a road fell into a state of disrepair, residents united to improve it.81 If the water pipes in a community broke, the junta de agua or patronato asked the municipal government for financial assistan ce so that they could replace the damaged parts. In one aldea a group of relatively wealthy resi dents contributed their own money and labor in order to bring el ectricity to part of their co mmunity. When other neighbors saw their success, they asked the municipa l government to subsidize the cost of electrifying the rest of the aldea and supplied the labor and fi nancial resources needed to complete the project. Some of the recent organizational activ ities in San Marcos have moved beyond merely the municipal level. During March 2000 some of the citizens from San Marcos and the neighboring municipality of San Fran cisco del Valle began meeting in order to discuss the possibility of taking over a school building th at had been abandoned by the national government. Some residents thought th at instead of allowing this structure to 80 Clare Cleo, Sarah Smith P earse and Judith Turbyne, Ideas para financiar pr oyectos comunitarios (Tegucigalpa: Cooperacin Internaci onal para el Desarrollo, 1998). 81 This type of activity was evident in several of the urban neighborhoods in San Marcos.

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351 remain unused, it should be reopened as a te chnical school and mana ged locally by those who best understood the region’s educational need s. All agreed that there were several university graduates in the ar ea who could offer courses he re. Soon after their first meeting, interested residents began raising f unds for this idea and requesting help from local NGOs on how they should go about solici ting the national government’s support for their plan. ASONOG responded by offering them training courses and l ogistical support. During the series of meetings that followe d, residents suggested that if the municipal governments and civil society groups of ne ighboring municipalities joined them in forming one united front to request support for this locally-manag ed, technical school, they would have a better chance of recei ving a favorable response from the central government. This idea soon evolved into a more ambitious one of creating a permanent association of municipalities from the Valley of Sensenti which could more forcefully present the region’s demands before the national government. By 2001 the Asociacin de Municipaios del Valle de Sensenti had successfully been estab lished in large part due to the initiatives of a few, socially active resi dents from San Marcos and San Francisco. The residents of San Marcos have also managed to sustain a moderate level of contact with their political representatives. On ly 8% percent of those surveyed said they had contacted a government official before Mitch, but 12% claimed to have done the same during the year and a half after Mitch. Most of these indivi duals (85%) had sought assistance from the mayor. However, 13% of them had spoken to a national-level politician such as a congressman or minister. Two main factors help expl ain who initiated government contact after Mitch: a person’s organization and their experience with similar political activities (See Table 7-

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352 31). People who had contacted a politician in the past were six times more likely to do so again after Mitch while group members were fi ve times more likely to engage in this political activity than non members. Th e logit model on Table 7-31 allows us to determine that a male urban resident w ho belonged to a community group and had previously contacted a government official ha d a 74% probability of doing so again after Table 7-31 A logit model analyzing how diffe rent variables are associated with post Mitch government contact in San Marcos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Urban/Rural 0.171 0.545 0.754 Gender 0.338 0.480 0.482 Age 0.007 0.015 0.631 Poverty Index 0.025 0.095 0.795 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + 0.412 0.190 7.535 15.057 0.310 0.181 0.659 Member of a Group 1.534 0.461 0.001 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest -0.202 0.025 0.288 0.375 0.438 0.451 0.901 0.591 0.954 0.523 Attended a Cabildo after Mitch 0.049 0.643 0.939 Ever Attended a Cabildo Before 0.061 0.505 0.903 Contacted a Government Official before Mitch 1.825 0.563 0.001 Constant -3.758 0.993 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Contact % Correctly Predicting No Contact 92.0 25.0 99.3 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 163 0.183 71.275 Note: The dependent variable is a response to the question, “From Mitch until now, have you contacted someone in the government to talk to them about a need, problem or concern?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. Mitch when keeping all other variables in the model constant. A comparable female resident with no such organizational and pol itical experience only had a 7% probability of initiating contact.

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353 Unfortunately, other forms of political activity declined in San Marcos after PRODERE’s end. 82 Only 9% of surveyed residents said they had attended a cabildo abierto during the year and a half after Mitch while 22% of them had participated in these public events before then. A one sample T te st confirmed that there was a statistically significant decline in mean cabildo attendance between both ti me periods (See Table 732). This decrease is ex plained partly by the municipal government’s faint support of cabildos abiertos after PRODERE’s end. Between 1995 and 1997 only three such events were held in San Marcos.83 Although the number of cabildos increased to one or two per year after Mitch, they did not become as prevalent as th ey were during the PRODERE period nor as frequent as the Law of Muni cipalities states th ey should be. The logistic regression model on Table 733 helps explain which residents were most likely to attend cabildos abiertos during the post Mitch peri od. As was discovered Table 7-32 One-sample t test to measure th e mean difference in pre and post Mitch Cabildo attendance in San Marcos (Test Value = 0.22*) t df Significance (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95 Confidence the Dif f % Interval of erence Cabildo Attendance in San Marcos in 2000 -7.878 330 .000 -0.13 -0.16 Lower -0.09 Upper Test value represents the mean survey response to whether people had attended a cabildo before Mitch. in the case of government contact, organizati on was a strong predictor of this form of political activity. Residents who were memb ers of a local group were five times more likely to attend a cabildo than non-members. Gender and a person’s past experiences 82 This opinion was shared by ever y person interviewed in San Marcos as part of this research. 83 Leticia Salomon y M. Oscar Avila, “Descentrali zacin y participacion ciudadana en Honduras,” unpublished document (Tegucigalpa: CEDOH, UNDP and MIT, 1998): 35.

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354 Table 7-33 A logit model analyzing post-Mitch cabildo attendance in San Marcos Independent Variables B S.E. Significance Urban/Rural 0.304 0.583 0.603 Gender 1.735 0.565 0.002 Age 0.011 0.016 0.488 Poverty Index 0.120 0.109 0.270 Education No Formal Schooling Some Primary Education Some Secondary Education + -0.171 -0.311 0.317 0.463 0.469 0.589 0.501 Member of a Group 1.534 0.461 0.001 Interest in Politics No Interest Little Interest Some Interest Significant Interest 0.055 0.392 -0.735 0.436 0.484 0.594 0.614 0.899 0.418 0.216 Attended a Cabildo before Mitch 1.513 0.525 0.004 Contacted a Government Official after Mitch 0.039 0.711 0.956 Contacted a Government Official before Mitch -1.611 0.883 0.068 Constant -6.106 1.189 0.000 % Correctly Predicted Overall % Correctly Predicting Cabildo Attendance % Correctly Predicting No Cabildo Attendance 91.7 20.7 98.9 N Cox & Snell R2 2 Log Likelihood 313 0.143 144.949 Note: The dependent variable is a res ponse to the question, “Have you attended a cabildo abierto since Mitch?” The answers are coded 0=no, 1=yes. Table 7-34 How residents from San Marcos have participated in cabildos abiertos Activity Before Mitch After Mitch Expressed an Opinion 56% of attendees 58% of attendees Discussed an Issue 46% of attendees 42% of attendees Made a Proposal 39% of attendees 42% of attendees Voted 61% of attendees 61% of attendees Made a Decision 49% of attendees 21% of attendees Implemented a Project 29% of attendees 13% of attendees Just Listened 29% of attendees 19% of attendees

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355 with cabildos also helped explain who attended these public forums. A male group member with past cabildo experience had a 61% probability of participating in these events after Mitch while a comparable fe male with no organizational or political experience only had a 1% probability of doing the same. Despite these drawbacks, those who attended cabildos abiertos after Mitch explained that they were able to continue participating in th ese events just as actively as they had previously. A majority of attendees were able to express an opinion or discuss anissue. Voting also remained a key form of arriving at group deci sions. As Table 7-34 illustrates, the cabildos that were sponsored in San Marc os both before and after Mitch were more participatory than the ones he ld in all the other municipal cases under study.This is a testament to the successful po litical training PRODERE offered residents during the early 1990’s. Qualitative data also revealed that th e CODEM was weakened after PRODERE”s withdrawal from the region and, consequentl y, became a less effective vehicle of citizengovernment communication. The CODEM in San Marcos was restructured soon after PRODERE’s end such that members ceased being elected by popular assembly as they once were. Instead, they are appointed by the mayor—a procedure advocated by the 1990 Law of Municipalities. During the CODEM’s first years of existence, PRODERE transported rural residents to the municipal hall and offered them lunch so that they could attend meetings. Since the municipal government lacked the funds to offer such benefits and transportation from rural communities remained difficult, the mayor only appointed urbanites to this consultativ e group. For this same reason, patronatos ceased being

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356 represented in this organization as well.84 The CODEM also met less frequently than it did during its first creation. Members gather periodically when a spec ial project or event presented itself.85 The various committees that form part of this citizen body meet sporadically and ini tiated few development projects. Consequently, community groups did not solicit help from thei r municipal government nor implement projects as frequently as they did during the early 1990’s. There are several hypotheses as to why these types of po litical participation have declined in San Marcos during the past few years. Some pe ople believe this change has been prompted by the withdrawal of PRODER E’s economic support. Since there is less money for development projects, residents ha ve less of an incentive to participate in either the CODEM or cabildos abiertos.86 PRODERE’s withdrawal has also resulted in less external motivation fo r political participation. A lthough many of the NGOs in the area continue to encourage the formation and persistence of worki ng groups, they have not encouraged members to become involved in local politics. In a ddition, the municipal government does not invite residents to wo rk with it as it did during the early 1990’s.87 The result, as one community member explained, is that “ si nadie … motiva la participacin, la participacin tiende a decaer .”88 84 Interview with Jesus Orlando Gue rra, Mayor of San Marcos (1990-1994 and 1998-2001), July 17, 2000. 85 Interview with Rafael Mejia, President of Herma ndad de Honduras and Member of the CODEM, May 9, 2000. 86 Interview with Rafael Mejia, President of Herma ndad de Honduras and Member of the CODEM, May 9, 2000; interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CC D in San Marcos, November 17, 1999; and interiew with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executive Director of ADEVAS, July 17, 2000. 87 Interview with Jesus Orlando Gue rra, Mayor of San Marcos (1990-1994 and 1998-2001), July 17, 2000. 88 “If no one … motivates participation, participation te nds to fall.” Interview with Rafael Mejia, President of Hermandad de Honduras, November 16, 1999.

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357 This changed socio-political context has faci litated a return to traditional, clientelist politics in San Marcos. Many of the projec ts that have been im plemented here during the late 1990’s and early 2000 have been offere d by local politicians in return for voter support. Communities have not been as ked to participate in the choice and implementation of these projects as they we re during the PRODERE period. This has not only deactivated many groups but also divided lo cal society along traditional party lines. Some believe that politicians have purposefully used these divisive tactics in order to curtail civil society’s past activis m. As one individual explained, “ el hecho que la sociedad quiere participar perjudica su abilidad de manipular”89 Locally-based NGO’s are not unaware of the changes in political participation that have occurred in San Marcos during the late 199 0’s. At the time field research was being conducted in the area, leaders of various development groups expressed concern about the changed political atmosphere and were c onscious of their need to do something about it. As one NGO president expressed, “ La sociedad tiene potencial pero tenemos que hacer algo … darles un acompanamiento .”90 AESMO chose to respond to this situation by launching a project aimed at reanimating residents’ participat ion in the municipal government. CCD began working with the Communal Development Committees (CODECOs) of six aldeas in order to encourage villager s to determine their own project needs and develop community development plans in a highly participatory manner. These CODECOs were then encouraged to take their plans to the mayor and try to 89 “The fact that society wants to participate threat ens their [politicians’] ability to manipulate.” Interview with Victor Saravia, President of AESMO, November 17, 1999. 90 “The society has potential but we have to do some thing … give it some accompan iment.” Interview with Victor Saravia, President of AESMO, November 17, 1999.

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358 integrate them into the broader municipal development plan.91 ADEVAS also was in the process of organizing sixteen different comm unity groups who would be offered credit as well as taught about their lo cal government and how to integrate themselves in it. ADEVAS’ goal was to train people on how to be tter impact their poli tical system and be less partisan. As the organi zation’s director explained, “ Todo lo que estamos hablando [con estos grupos] es ideolgico .”92 Together, each of these projects may succeed in reanimating citizen involvement in local government. Whether or not these NGO activities achieve th is goal, it is impor tant to highlight that several important organizational and political processes instituted by PRODERE have been preserved despite that progra m’s end. AESMO and C ODEPO not only have endured but have progressively grown into st ronger and more repr esentative regional organizations. The CODEM also continues to exist. Although this group is no longer as active or inclusive as it on ce was, it still serves as a valuable means through which community leaders and the municipal governme nt can regularly communicate, exchange ideas and collaborate on projec ts. Perhaps more importantly, the CODEM continues to exert considerable influence on local political representatives. Almost every community in San Marcos now has a patronato whose members are el ected through a popular assembly. Some of the organizations that PRODERE helped strengthen such as AESMO and Hermandad have grown in membership and regional scope. They now undertake a greater and more diverse set of projects than they did durin g the initial years of their existence, and they promise to serve as catalysts for the continued organization and 91 Interview with Sebastian Melgar, Member of CCD in San Marcos, November 17, 1999. 92 “Everything we are talking about [with these groups] is ideological.” Interview with Jos Calvin Fuentes, Executive Director of AD EVAS, November 19, 2000.

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359 political development of the region. All of th is suggests that the va rious training courses offered to residents during the early 1990’s has prevented the good governance that was established here from being completely undermined. San Marcos offers several lessons that can be used to understa nd the socio-political processes that were witnessed in the other three municipali ties under study. First, San Marcos reveals that once a strong level of organization has been achieved in a community, it may be sustained even if the agents that prompted such activism have withdrawn from the area. This is particular ly true if the region had some history of cooperation and if local groups have been left in place to continuall y encourage citizens to work collaboratively. Although the case of San Marcos also reveals that there is a strong nexus between organization and political activism, it shows th at the presence of the former does not always assure the existen ce of the later. A government’s actions can either encourage or limit the extent to which a community participates in politics. Good governance is most likely to be maintained when an organized citizenry desires to participate in political decision-making and the government responds to them by creating vehicles through which citizens can comm unicate their views and develop policies together with their political representatives. Although external agen cies or civil society groups may pressure for such a political ope ning, the government could easily relapse into a closed and authoritaria n style of governance if they are not continually pressured to do otherwise. The case of San Marcos al so suggests that the gove rnance changes that have occurred in Honduras at both a local and national level after Mitch could be overturned if international and domestic pressure for reform is eased.

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360 Conclusion We embarked on our exploration of four Honduran municipalities in order to determine whether either a major natural disa ster or the interven tion of external aid organizations could prompt a socio-politic al change on a population group. It was hypothesized at the onset that these two independent variable s would increase the level of social organization in an affected commun ity. Since the litera ture on civil society suggests that a well organized society tends to participate more in politics, we further hypothesized that greater social activism in a municipa lity would lead to greater political participation and a more particip atory form of local governance. The research conducted in Potrerillos and Sab suggests that a disaster alone does not alter a population’s leve l of organization. Theref ore, our first hypothesis (H1) has been disproved. Although there was a height ened degree of cooperation, solidarity and volunteerism in these two areas during the im mediate post-Mitch, emergency period, this social behavior began to disint egrate once daily life returned to some state of normalcy. Nevertheless, this short-lived period of hei ghtened activism seemed to be a window of opportunity for longer-term social change. Ho wever, other factors had to intervene to induce the desired transformation while this window was still open. This is precisely what occurred in Sab. Just as the Food fo r Work program was terminated there and all emergency working groups began to disappear, a series of external aid agencies began initiating reconstruction projec ts there and requiring benefi ciaries to organize and work together for their joint prof it. By the end of 2000 when field research was being conducted in Sab, one out of every five adults there was participating in some community organization. This represented a doubling of group membership from the

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361 pre-Mitch period. Although men were slight ly more active than women, a significant number of both gender groups were socially active. Our research further suggests that the inte rvention of external aid agencies alone can alter the organizational behavior of a population group. So, our second hypothesis (H2) has been confirmed also. However, it remains unclear how much outside agency support is required to prompt su ch a transformation or how dr amatic or enduring the shift in behavior will be once achieved. The re sidents of Dolores Merendn became more organized after three NGOs had been working in the area for less than a year. Still, by April 2000 only 10% of the people surveyed were members of a community group. The little organization present in Dolores Merendn was frail and could easily have disappeared with the withdrawal of external agency support. Both the region’s lack of experience with cooperative endeavors and the recent presence of NGOs there can explain this weak level of orga nization. It is possible that the residents of Dolores have become more socially active in the months following my field research and that the continued presence of NGOs there may secure a long term-change in group activism. Further research would have to be done in order to determ ine whether such changes have indeed occurred. The case of Sab reveals that people can be encouraged to organize and work together by external aid agencies. The level of group membership in the area had doubled to 20% of surveyed residents by Se ptember 2000, nearly two years after Mitch. The fact that over seven aid agencies had been working in several communities for several months to two years s uggests that the intervention mu st be massive in order to induce such a change. It is unclear whether th e level of organization witnessed in Sab at

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362 the end of 2000 was sufficiently strong to endur e the withdrawal of external support. As in Dolores, it appeared as if external aid agencies had to remain active there for a much longer period of time to assure a sustainable level of organization. San Marcos, though originally selected only as a control case, helps shed light on how foreign-induced community organization may be made to endure in the long term. This municipality experienced a seemingly dram atic social change dur ing the first half of the 1990’s as a result of a multi-million do llar UNDP program know n as PRODERE. PRODERE encouraged residents to become more organized, dia gnose their needs and undertake self-identifie d projects so that they coul d become agents of their own development. Although no quantitative data is available to show how or to what degree the organization of San Marcos was transforme d as a result of this project, all of the interviews conducted in the area suggest th at the change was significant. Most interestingly, San Marcos still evidenced a high of level organization five years after PRODERE’s withdrawal. As in Sab, 20% of the adults interviewed here were members of a community group in 2000. Several factors seem to account for the sustainability of this process. First, cooper ative endeavors are not new to the people of San Marcos. The residents here have a long hist ory of organization that was on ly fortified by the presence of PRODERE. PRODERE, moreover, was a ma ssive development pr oject that lasted four years during which time UNDP agents were able to work with almost every community in San Marcos. However, even with these characteristics, the level of organization in this municipality may have declined significantly after this project’s withdrawal had local agencies not been establ ished and/or strengthened so as to ensure the continued vibrancy of the region’s social activism. The presence of locally-based

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363 agencies such as ADEVAS, AESMO, Hermandad and CCD have made the continuation of external agency support here unnecessar y. These NGOs are charged with continually monitoring their social reality a nd adopting projects that will ensure that the residents of San Marcos remain organized. This together with the region’s history and the impact of PRODERE have helped San Marc os achieve and maintain the level of organization it has today. The municipal field research conducted fo r this dissertation also offers some support for H3, the hypothesis that a more organized citizenry will improve its level of communication with government. Potrerillos did not experience any significant or long lasting organizational change. Consequently, its residents did not become more involved in politics. However, those areas that did develop a more vibrant ci vil society saw a rise in citizen political involvement. This was especially the case in Sab where the percentage of people partic ipating in community groups doubled after Mitch and the arrival of external agencies. The height ened level of organization here prompted residents to contact their political represen tatives more frequently than before and demand the creation of newer channels of communication with their municipal government. The case of Dolores Merendn also offers some support for H3. The recent rise in the area’s organization prompted group members to contact their government representatives more often than before. However, it did not help account for the increased level of attendance in cabildos abiertos It is possible that the relationship between organization and politic al participation was not evidence more clearly in Dolores Merendn because community groups were stil l in an incipient stage of development

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364 when field research was being conducted here. However, in the absence of further research, more definitive support for H3 can not be offered by this case.

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365 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION Disasters have a dramatic so cio-political impact. Victims may be cut off from the rest of the world during the immediate afterm ath of such an event and be forced to confront the crisis on their own. Non-affected groups may show their compassion and solidarity to less fortunate nei ghbors by rushing to their aid duri ng this period. All of this may help create stronger community bonds. But a disaster’s effects are not constrained to the social sphere. The stat e’s ability to respond to these crisis qui ckly, efficiently and with fairness can either garner support fo r the regime or bring it into question. The foreign aid that often flows into a disaster-stricken area may serve as an additional impetus for change. Depending on its scope an d level of intervention, foreign assistance may help strengthen civil society and pressu re the state to change inefficient or undemocratic practices. This chapter review s how a major natural disaster and foreign assistance have been found to impact nationa l and sub-national gove rnance in Honduras and discusses how these findings contribute to existing theories on these subjects. The Socio-Political Effects of Disasters The theoretical literature on disasters, much of which has been produced by sociologists and anthropologists, argues that victims tend to organize and develop common survival strategies in order to confr ont these crisis events. New social groups may emerge during the immediate aftermath of a disaster and work with preexisting ones in order to meet people’s basic needs. All of this may increase the level of citizen activism, dismantle class and ethnic differences and lead to a reconfiguration of society in

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366 the short term. However, none of these cha nges have been proven to be long-lasting. Emergent groups usually disband soon after th ey have been formed and people revert to their pre-disaster mode of life soon after th e emergency has passed. Political scientist recently have noted that in a few cases, emer gent groups have endured and contributed to the development of civil society. They also have argued that disasters may lead to significant political change, part icularly in countries with an inequitable distribution of wealth and/or a history of soci al or political strife. Howe ver, these scholars have not delineated just how a disaster might contri bute to such a transformation. One could deduce from different research on this topic that a disaster ca n strengthen or contribute to the emergence of civil society and thus l ead to broader, pol itical change. This dissertation has tried to disc over whether disasters do indeed catalyze such a process. The research presented here supports the co ntention that disaster s increase levels of organization and solidarity among an affected population. Both the municipalities of Sab and Potrerillos experienced a drama tic increase in community cooperation and organization during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Neighbors worked together to rescue, feed and house those most in need. They labored to shovel mud from the streets and repair public f acilities. In addition, the crisis animated previously existing community groups. Local Comits de Emergencia were reactivated, members of patronatos began to work more closely togeth er and extinct cooperative members reunited in order to help meet their own collective and broader community needs. Not all of the organizations that were formed during the immediate aftermath of Mitch were based on pre-existing ones. New groups also emerged. The mayor of Potrerillos organized a municipal-level Comit de Emergencia In addition, dozens of

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367 concerned citizens formed the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos in order to discuss ways of meeting their municipa lity’s need for potable water. Less formal organizations also began arise throughout Sab Recognizing their social pote ntial, the Catholic Church offered these nascent groups training and he lped them evolve into the more formal Comits de Emergencia Local (CODEL). The Catholic Church also spearheaded the creation of a national-level civ il society organization that even tually adopted the name of INTERFOROS. All of these emergent groups challenged the local and national-level government and questioned the decisions made by political elites. The organizational history of affected areas significantly influenced the way Hondurans responded to the disaster. Pre-existing groups such as local Comits de Emergencia and patronatos were reactivated and fortified after Mitch. The national-level FONAC also began meeting more frequently th an previously and helped promote a better dialogue between members of different ma ss-based organizations. Emergent groups, though new, also built upon pre-existing social capital. INTERFOROS, for example, brought together NGOs and other civil societ y groups that had previously cooperated with one other on development projects. Si milarly, many of those who joined emergent groups at the municipal level possessed some organizational experience. The survey data collected in Potrerillos and Sa b revealed that those peopl e who had been involved with some community group in the past were more likely to be organi zed after Mitch than those who had no such experience. In f act, past group membership was a stronger predictor of organizational activity one to two years after Mitch than the disaster experience itself.

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368 Ideally, organization experi ence should have been one of the key independent variables used to measure people’s responses to disaster. But in order to test and control for this third variable, four additional municipal cases w ould have had to have been chosen and analyzed. Unfortunately, financia l and time contraints prevented such a study from being carried out. This dissertation has tried to compensate for this failing by emphasizing that organizational hi stories do affect people’s res ponses to disasters. This point was emphasized throughout the historical chapters of this di ssertation and in the analysis of municipa l-level surveys. Although the onslaught of M itch prompted affected groups to work closely together, fortified pre-existing organizations a nd gave rise to new one s, it did not ensure that any of this collaborativ e spirit would endure. Once fo reign emergency organizations began to offer the residents of Potrerillos humanitarian assistance, these individuals ceased cooperating with one a nother. The municipal-level Comit de Emergencia and the Comit de Desarrollo de Potrerillos disbanded within only a few months after their creation. Sab experienced a similar pr oblem in early 1999 once the food for work program came to an end. All of this seems to support what sociologists and anthropologists have long not ed—that disasters do not prom pt long-term, organizational changes. It also suggests that emergenc y, humanitarian assistance does not foment the development of sustainable, organized groups either. This does not mean that disasters and fore ign aid do not affect civil society. Many of the emergent groups that arose in Honduras after Mitch like INTERFOROS and COPA have remained in existence and beco me politically active. Moreover, some region’s of the country have continued to ma intain a strong level of organization despite

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369 the general trend towards demobilization. None of these post-disaster observations are novel. Latin American scholars have noted th at emergent groups have endured and civil society has been strengthened in Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala after earthquakes struck each of these countries during th e 1970’s and 1980’s. What has been poorly explained is why these countries have exhibi ted this seemingly anomalous, post-disaster, social behavior. This diss ertation contributes to our understanding of this issue by suggestions that other factors may account for the persistence of strong civic organizations beyond the emergency period. In pa rticular, it suggests th at the presence of foreign aid organizations, be they multilatera l, bilateral or non-governmental, during the post-disaster reconstruction period can contri bute to long term soci o-political change. However, this research does not dismiss the transformative power of disasters. Indeed, it emphasizes that th e brief period of community act ivism that usually succeeds such crisis events serve as windows of opportunity for inducing more enduring sociopolitical change. Disasters can facilitate broader transformations by disrupting normal modes of behavior, temporarily weakening ex isting structures and social relations and fomenting greater levels of co llaboration among victims. All of this may lead people to question existing social and spatial patterns of development and resolve to change them. This special time period may also facilitate th e work of external or domestic agents that are striving to induce behavi oral or ideational changes in an affected society. The Political Effects of Foreign Aid Most studies on foreign aid have looked at how this type of as sistance has affected the state and its decisions. Significantly less attention has been given to how foreign donors can influence either civil society or governance. This study contributes to this

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370 literature by revealing that foreign aid can affect the state, civic groups and the relationship between them. Bilateral and multilateral donors helped strengthen civil society in Honduras both directly and indirectly. They channele d millions of dollars to NGOs and local governments in an effort to decentralize public decision-making and ensure that reconstruction assistance would be used more efficiently. This enabled some NGOs to strengthen their organizational capacity and take a more active political role. Donors also strengthened civil society indi rectly by demanding that the Honduran state adopt steps to increase citizen participa tion, improve transparency and promote good governance. The prospect of such a political opening encour aged national-level civil society groups to increase their level of c ooperation and activism and lobby the state for both political inclusion and reform. Together this international and societ al pressure changed enabled the development of a more participatory st yle of governance in H onduras which resulted in notable policy and institutional changes. NGOs reinforced and in some cases replicat ed at the local leve l those effects that international donors were having on civil soci ety at the national level. Developmentoriented NGOs encouraged the organization of target groups and helped raise their political awareness. CARITA S and a handful of other NGOs went a step further by encouraging citizens to become more po litically involved. Consequently, the NGOinspired groups that were formed after Hurricane Mitch began to challenge both their municipal and local governments and play a more active role in politic s. Some of these grass-roots organizations linke d up to more politically activ e, national-level groups such

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371 as INTERFOROS in an effort to increase fu rther their numerical strength and influence on government. The socio-political changes that arose at th e national level as a result of both Mitch and foreign aid did not represent a dramatic or revolutionary break with the past. Rather, both of these exogenous variable s tended to hasten processes that were already underway. Chapter three of this disser tation revealed that civil society had been developing, engaging the state and pressuring it to cha nge its policies and in stitutions since the 1950’s. But it tended to adopt a confrontati onal approach to the state and had been unable to sustain its levels of political activism for long. Mo ments of intense protest and activity such as those that arose in the late 1960’s with the National Unity government and the late 1970’s with the transition to c onstitutional rule were often followed by periods of relative passiv ity. Although state repressi on, corruption and ideational differences among group member s contributed to the fragmentation of civil society during the 1980’s, organized gr oups periodically strove to regain their organizational strength and influence public decision-maki ng. In response to th is continual although inconsistent civic activism, several governments took steps to consult citizen groups and reach a consensus with them on importan t policy matters during the 1990’s. This revealed that the viability of the state-cente red and exclusionary st yle of governance that had characterized Honduran politi cs was beginning to come into question. However, few governance changes were achieved duri ng this period. The spaces for citizen participation in government that were created were few and temporal in nature. In most cases, the citizen forums that were establis hed during the early 1990’s were used by elites to pacify and coopt civil society rather th an to increase their voice in government.

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372 Initially, Flores began reversing these hum ble political achievements in response to Mitch. He centralized power through the creat ion of a small Recons truction Cabinet, was hesitant to respond to civil society demands and eliminated many of the bureaucratic controls on executive power in order to ma ke quick, policy decisions with little public consultation. But foreign donors and newly en ergized civil society groups pressured the government to halt this regressive trend. As a result, the Honduran state and civil society continued on a path of political change that both had initiated earlier in the decade—one in which the traditional style of governance was being replaced by a more open and participatory one. Some of the institutional ch anges that donors helped achieve also had their origins in the past. Donors, for example, had been pressuring the Honduran government to privatize state-owned industries, reform the country’s judicial syst em, curtail political corruption and decentralize power since the late 1980’s. Howe ver, limited advances had been made on all of these fronts. The devastation wrought by Hu rricane Mitch increased the Honduran government’s need for foreign a ssistance and, therefore, donor’s ability to induce change. This also increased the like lihood that the state would respond to civil society demands. This domestic and fore ign pressure jointly propelled several institutional changes. The state initiated steps to privatize the public telecommunication and electric companies and offered private firms concessions to manage its port and airport facilities. The proce ss for electing Supreme Court j udges was changed, the Law of Municipalities was reformed to give local governments more power and the Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones was replaced by an entirely ne w and less politicized electoral agency. The government also made a more concerted effort to fight corruption.

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373 Many of the institutional and governance ch anges that were initiated under the Flores administration did not end with Pres ident Ricardo Maduro’s as sumption to office in 2002. Civil society groups pressured pres idential candidates to sign an Accord on National Transformation for Human Developm ent in 2001 just a few months before national elections were set to take place. Signatories to this agreement committed themselves to supporting the process of j udicial reform, advancing decentralization, working to combat poverty and initiating a series of additional political changes.1 The continued civic and internati onal pressure to transform th e country forced the Maduro administration to continue working with civil society. The Commission on the Modernization of the State, INTERFORO S, FONAC and the National Anti-Corruption Council remained active and continued to ne gotiate additional institutional and policy reforms. Clearly, the mere presence of thes e participatory spaces has not resulted in a dramatic improvement in the country’s demo cracy. The existing ju dicial, electoral and political party systems are still in need of reform and corruption remains a major political problem. But the fact that state-centered, pol itical elites are willing to work with civil society and consider how best to improve th e political system suggests that Honduras is continuing on a path towards a more partic ipatory form of governance. This should contribute to the creation of a be tter and more legitimate democratic regime in the future. Foreign donors’ successful dissemination of a development discourse also offers reason to be optimistic about the future of Honduras. Donor emphasis on the need to increase citizen participati on, decentralize, improve governance and increase government transparency has penetrated a significant portion of Hondur an society and not simply 1 “Firman Acuerdo de Transformacin Nacional,” Infopress Centroamericana 28 septiembre de 2001, 5.

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374 been constrained to those bureaucrats who negotiate di rectly with foreign aid representatives. Although some th eorists such as Risse and Sikkink2 have suggested that the use of a particular discourse can lead to normative change s among those who employ it, it is unclear whether such ideational sh ifts have occurred in Honduras. The field research for this dissertation was conduc ted so soon after Hurricane Mitch and the subsequent flood of foreign aid in the country that it was too early to determine whether such a normative change had begun to occur. However, what was clear was that key civil society groups had adopted this hegemonic la nguage, used it to pressure the government for greater reform and begun judging political elites on the basis of it. All of this suggests that the dissemination of a developm ent discourse by bila teral and multilateral donors may contribute to additiona l political changes in Honduras. Future research will have to determine whether this has in fact occurred. Much of the recent literature on foreign ai d has been very critical and pessimistic about aid’s ability to contribute positively to development. Easterly, for instance, has shown that there is no clear correlation between forei gn aid and economic growth.3 In addition, several others have doubted that it may contribute to democracy. Alesina and Weder have shown that most foreign aid tends to be cha nneled to corrupt governments4 while Palmer, Wohlander and Morgan have ar gued that donors offer foreign assistance 2 Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink, “The Socialization of International Human Rights Norms into Domestic Practices: Introduction,” The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999): 1-38 3 William Russell Easterly, The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001). 4 Alberto Alesina and Beatric Weder, Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid? (Cambridge, MA. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 1999).

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375 for self-interested reasons.5 The research presented here suggests that we adopt a more sanguine view of foreign aid. Although se lf-interest may have motivated donors to channel reconstruction assistan ce to Honduras (as the case of Japan makes most clear), this aid was able to induce positive political transformations. But the changes that were observed are not easily quantifiable and do not represent dramatic breaks with the past. Rather, they denote a continuation of positive advances in democratic governance that had been initiated prev iously. So, although this research has found that foreign aid can contribute positively to political developm ent, it highlights that these changes may proceed in slow, incremental a nd often indiscernible steps. An academic pessimism has emerged among the NGO literature as well. Early research on this topic argued that NGOs c ould strengthen civil society and democracy.6 But more recent scholarship ha s questioned this assertion. Scholars have observed that some NGOs reproduce the paternalistic and clie ntelistic practices th at permeate a society, privilege local elites, marginalize the poor in decision-making processes and promote regionalism.7 All of this limits how much NGOs can contribute to socio-political change or development. This dissertation does not deny that NGOs may have such negative effects. However, it cautions us not to re ject earlier arguments a bout the positive effects 5 Glenn Palmer, Scott B. Wohlander and T. Clifton Morgan, “Give or Take: Foreign Aid and Foreign Policy Substitutability,” Journal of Peace Research ; 39: 1 (Jan 2002): 5-25. 6 See Leilah Landim, “NGOs in Latin America,” World Development 15 supplement (1987):29-38; Michael Bratton, “Non Governmental Organizations in Africa: Can They Influence Government Policy?” Development and Change 21 (1990): 87-118;.John Clark, Democratizing Development: The Role of Voluntary Organizations (London: Earthscan Publications, 1991); and John Clark, “The State, Popular Participation and the Voluntary Sector,” World Development 23:4 (1995): 593-601. 7 Sarah C. White “NGOs, Civil Society, and the St ate in Bangladesh: The Politics of Representing the Poor,” Development and Change 30:2 (1999): 307-327; David M. Abramson, “A Critical Look at NGOs and Civil Society as a Means to an End in Uzbekistan,” Human Organization 58:3 (Fall 1999): 240-251; and Giles Mohan, “The Disappointments of Civil So ciety: The Politics of NGO Intervention in Northern Ghana,” Political Geography 21:1 (January 2002): 125-154.

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376 of NGOs. The municipal case studies presen ted here revealed that non-governmental donors can strengthen civil society, enhance pe ople’s political aw areness and thus contribute to an improvement in both governan ce and democracy. Moreover, the case of San Marcos shows that NGOs do not always make a target community dependent on foreign, namely Northern donors, as several scholars have suggested.8 Clearly, the danger for this exists. But project beneficiar ies can break out of this dependent cycle and establish sustainable, community-based groups and development organizations. The Insights of Governance The dissertation also makes a contribution to the budding literature on governance. Our focus on both the national and municipa l level revealed th at governance is not unfolding in a uniform or consistent manne r throughout Honduras. Significant advances have been made at the national level to show that governance there is becoming more participatory and supportive of democracy. But municipal leve l governance lags far behind. Historically, few gra ss-roots organizations have engaged their municipal governments outside of traditional clientelist ne tworks of association. This is because local governments have had little political pow er. What few decisions they have made have been limited and authoritarian in manner. But foreign donors’ demands for decentralization throughout the 1990’s has begun to change the strength and importance of municipal governments. These entities now have more resources and political power than ever before. Although they remain poor and weak when compared to the national government, the recent transfer of resources and decision-maki ng power to the local level 8 David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds., NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997) and Ann Huduck, NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999).

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377 has not gone unnoticed by Honduran citizens. The increasing level of community organization that was spurred by Mitch and foreign NGOs together with the continued progress in decentralization has motivated citizens to dialogue w ith their municipal governments and demand greater particip ation in local, public decision-making. Although the level of communica tion and negotiation between ci vil society and the state is not as advanced at the muni cipal level as it is at the na tional one, recent events suggest that municipal level governance is begi nning to experience a transformation. The analysis presented here of different municipal sites also highlights that governance is unfolding unevenly between differe nt regions of the country. Places such as Dolores Merendn show significantly lower le vels of citizen orga nization and political activism than San Marcos or Sab. It is likely that these regional variations were aggravated after Mitch by foreign donors and NGOs who offered signif icant assistance to some areas of the countries but neglected others. USAID, for example, funded a multimillion dollar municipal development program since 1999 whose goal was to improve the capacity, efficiency and participation of c itizens in local government. But USAID only selected a few dozen of the largest and wealthiest municipalities in Honduras to participate in this program and ch arged a Central American NGO, the Fundacin the Desarrollo Municipal (FUNDEMUN), with implementing it. Most likely, this foreign aid will help alter the styl e of governance in these targ et areas and make it more participatory. But it will also exacerbate the organizational and political differences between different municipalities in the country. Our focus of governance also helps cl arifies current understandings of democratization. At its most basic level, th is theoretical approach emphasizes that the

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378 more a state and society dialogue the better the former can respond to the demands of the latter and the more likely both will be able to develop institutions that reflect their interests and desires. Yet shifts in governan ce do not occur over night. Change tends to proceed in slow and irregular steps. Sometimes, regimes or formal institutions change (as occurred in Honduras during it s transition to constitutional rule) but old patterns of governance persist. Moreover, different pa tterns of governance may coexist within a nation-state. The dissonance or incompatibil ity that often emerges between democratic regimes and the styles of governance that sustai ns them can lead to a lack of legitimacy, political instability and to what Schmitter describes as the partial consolidation of democracy.9 The focus on governance thus highlight s that political systems that have formal, democratic institutions but are ch aracterized by undemocratic practices and political interactions may require democratic deepening in its attitu dinal and behavioral dimensions10 in order to achieve consolidation. Su ch regimes, in other words, need to develop more open and participatory styles of governance in order for democracy to survive. Conclusion This research has sought to analyze the e ffects that both forei gn aid and a disaster can have on governance. Although the conclu sions presented here were based on a comparative analysis of these factors, it would have benefited from a cross national 9 Philippe C. Schmitter, “The Consolidation of Democracy and Representation of Social Groups,” American Behavioral Scientist 35:4/5 (1992) and Fox, “The Diffic ult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship.” 10 Linz and Stepan have argued that there is a constitutional, behavioral and attitudinal dimension to democratic consolidation. See Ju an Linz and Alfred Stepan, eds. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, Southern America, and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

PAGE 400

379 study. However, no other country in Centra l America was as devastated by Hurricane Mitch nor received as much foreign aid after it as did Honduras. Moreover, the magnitude of both the disaster and aid that en tered this small country made it an almost perfect social laboratory wher ein one could compare and contrast the effects of our two independent variables. So, although the re search focused on just one country, it was designed to be comparative in nature—to e xplore differences betw een the national and the local level as well as among different localities. Much of the work in comparative polit ics tends to compare and contrast the political regimes of different countries as well as the factors that shape them. Those works that do consider subnational level polit ics tend to be based on large countries such as Russia, India, Brazil and Mexico. The unde rlying assumption in these works is that an intra-national, comparative an alysis of these countries is acceptable because their constitutive states are large enough to constitute states in their own right. This work shows that significant intra-nati onal variation exists even with in a small country such as Honduras. This should caution future resear chers not to make gross generalizations about a country, be it small or large, without taking into consideration the internal dynamics and historical divers ity of such a place.

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380 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH METHODS The conclusions presented in this dissertation are based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative data obtained in Honduras from August 1999 through October 2000. This appendix will describe in some detail how thes e data were collected at both the national and subnational level. The National Level Much of the information presented in ch apter 4 of this dissertation is based on surveys and interviews conducte d with leaders of national level civil society groups. Their respective organizations were chosen in a purposive manner based on previous knowledge of their group’s activism and sociopolitical importance. All of the peak labor, peasant, indigenous and business orga nizations in the country were selected together with some of their constitutive me mber groups. The most active organizations within other sectors of Honduran civil society were chosen on the basis of their activism and notoriety. A total of thirty-eight civil society organizations were selected for study using this purposive sampling method. These represented: 6 Labor Unions 4 Special Inte rest/Intellectual Organizations 6 Peasant Organizations 3 Human Rights Organizations 3 Agricultural Organizations 3 Environmental Organizations 3 Indigenous Organizations 1 Women’s Organizations 3 Business Organizations 6 Honduran NGOs

PAGE 402

381 The president, executive director or other such leader of these organizations was asked to participate in a face to face survey that lasted approximately 20 minutes. These individuals were then interviewed one to two m onths later. Five main questions served to guide the flow of these interviews. But interviewees were encouraged to express their ideas freely and discuss a ny topic of their choosing. Surveys also were conducted with a st ratified random sample of Honduras urban population. A Honduran-based survey comp any named FORUM was contracted to administer surveys to a sample of the populat ion living in thirteen of the largest urban centers in Honduras during the month of February 2000. A total of 1220 people from these areas were selected to participate in the study. Since Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula were significantly larger than the othe r cities in the country, most of our urban sample was chosen from these two locatio ns. Nearly 30% of those surveyed (360 individuals) lived in the cap ital while another 16% (or 200 people) resided in San Pedro Sula. The remaining eleven urban centers in the study—Puerto Corts, El Progreso, La Ceiba, Tocoa, Choluteca, La Paz, Comayagua Danl, Juticalpa, Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa de Copn— each accounted for 5% (or 60 surveys) of our total urban response. Survey participants were not selected randomly because there was no reliable data source accessible to us from which they could have b een selected. In addition, there was a fear that a random sample would under represent a significant subpopulati on of these cities, namely, the inhabitants of squatter settlement s. A stratified, random sample was deemed the best means of obtaining the opinion of the majority of Honduras’ urban population: the poor. Seven percent of the selected sample lived in upper class neighborhoods, 16% came from middle class neighborhoods, 32% from lower class neighborhoods and 45%

PAGE 403

382 from marginal neighborhoods. Women account ed for a little over half (or 56%) of respondents. The Municipal Level The information reported on the our f our municipal case studies was derived from in depth interviews with key governme nt officials and local, civil society leaders from each of these locations. In addition, a random sample of existing households was selected to participate in a survey. One a dult from each of these households was asked to respond to our questionnaire. Ideally, a random sample of adult residents in each municipality should have been selected to participate in our study. Unfortunately, there were no reliable data on who or haw many pe ople resided in these areas. However different government sources maintained so me information on existing households in these areas. Whenever possible, these were us ed as the source from which to select a sample. The following will explain in gr eater detail how residents from each municipality were selected and interviewed. Survey Collection in Potrerillos The municipality of Potrerillos had no reli able data on the population residing in its territory. The last census had been taken in 1994, but the constant migration into and out of the area, especially afte r Mitch, made that data invalid. The local government estimated that 15,000 people inhabited its muni cipality. This popul ation was too large for me to lift a census in a timely and cost-effi cient manner. Fortunately, the local Health Center had current (1999-2000) household-level information on some of the neighborhoods in the Potrerillos. Their information listed the names of the head of each household, the number of adults and children living with them and whether they had letrines and potable water. The local Red Cross had a less detailed list of the families

PAGE 404

383 living in the three shelter co mmunities that had been established after Mitch. Although they did not record the total number of people living in the shelters, they did have the names of one adult representative from each fa mily living in nylon tents. This revealed how many households were livi ng in temporary shelters. Th e municipal government also had current household-level data on some of the urban neighbor hoods in Potrerillos. Unlike the Health Center and the Red Cross, the municipality did not have a list of households which included the names of adult re sidents. Rather, they had cadastral maps which recorded the number of property lots in some urba n neighborhoods, whether or not houses were located on them and the owner (not necessarily resident) of each property. Unfortunately, the household-level data from the Health Center, municipal government and Red Cross did not account for ten neighbor hoods in Potrerillos. Consequently, I contracted the president of the patronato (a local community leader ) from each of these localities to compile basic population inform ation on these neighborhoods. Essentially, I asked these individuals to lis t the total number of househol ds in their neighborhoods and include the names of one adu lt representative from them. That way, I could have a household level list from these ten neighborhoods similar to the ones I had obtained from the Red Cross and the Health Center. Toge ther, the information from these disparate sources let me know that here were a total of approximately 2860 households in Potrerillos. A random sample of this population was se lected based on the recommendations of Russell Bernard’s book, Research Methods in Anthropology which contained the following sample size formula adjusted for small populations: sample size = X2 NP(1-P) C2(N-1) + X2P(1-P)

PAGE 405

384 where X2 is the chi-square value for 1 degree of freedom at some desired probability level N is the population size P is the population parameter of a variable (best set to 0.5) and C is the confidence interval one desires In order to obtain a 95% probability sample, the X2 was set to 3.841 and the confidence interval to 0.05. Applying th e household population of Potrer illos (2860) to the formula above, a sample size of 339 was obtained. (3.841)(2860)(0.25) = 339 sample size (0.025)(2859) + (3.841)(.25) These 339 households were selected at random by assigning a number to each household in the cadastral maps and househol d lists that had been obtained. Using a random number table, 379 of the numbered hous eholds were selected as part of the sample. An alternative sample list was comp iled in this same manner also so that if someone selected from the first list was not accessible, a replacement could be chosen from the second list. Surveys were administered to the sample d population in person with the assistance of two research assistants from Potrerillos. Since the houses in Potrerillos (and the other three municipal cases) did not have precise a ddresses assigned to them, the names of the heads of households were used to locate survey participants. If th e sample list indicated that someone in the house of Juan Prez in Barrio Morazn had to be interviewed, we wandered around that neighborhood, asking peop le where Juan Prez lived until we located his house. Once the house was found, however, we did not ask to speak to Juan

PAGE 406

385 Perez, but rather, to an adult resident ther e. We tried alternating between male and female interviewees in order to maintain gender equity in our sample. If our sample list for the day included eight households, then we alternated between male and female adult residents so that by the end of the day we had spoken to half of each sex group. Our final sample gave us an almost equal numb er of male and female adults whose ages ranged between 18 and 80 with a mean age of 43.7. The houses in the alternate sample list we re used only when one of the ones from the primary sample list declined to participat e in the study or simply could not be found. The alternate list was not used simply because someone in the primary list lived too far or was too old. If the primary list said we had to speak to an adult living in the house at the top of a hill (something which happened quite frequently), then we spoke to someone from that house. Alternatel y, if the primary list indicated we had to speak to an adult from X household and the only adult living ther e was a drunkard, then we spoke to that individual. (Interestingly, one of the indi viduals in the Potrerillos sample was a well known town drunk who lived by himself. His sister advised that he not be included in the study because he always was intoxicated. Fortun ately, we were able to find him in one of his few sober moments and complete a survey with him.) Survey Collection in San Marcos Since household-level data was used as the basis from which to select the Portrerillos sample, a similar sample selecti on method had to be used in the other three municipalities under study. This was just as we ll since none of the other selected sites had census information on their inhabitants.1 Unlike Potrerillos, the Health Center in 1 The last population census in Honduras had been gathered in 1988. Although some municipalities had conducted their own local-level census since that time, mo st of this information was outdated by the time of

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386 San Marcos did not have any current data on the area’s population. In addition, none of the NGOs working there had precise informa tion on the number of households located in the different communities in the area. Fortunately, the local government had just compiled a cadastral survey of the entire municipality with the technical and financial support of an Italian NGO, the Associazone per la Partecipazione all Sviluppo (APS, the Association for Participation in Development). This cadastral data revealed that there were 2016 households in San Marcos in 2000. was used as the basis from which to select a household sample. The previously cited samp le formula revealed that a sample of at least 322 houses had to be selected in or der to obtain a 95% probability sample of households in the area with a 0.05 confiden ce interval. Each house in municipal cadastral records was assigned a number and then selected using a random number table. This same method was used to select an alternate sample list as well. The San Marcos surveys were collected with the help of three research assistants. As in Potrerillos, we were not interested in speaking to the peopl e whose names were on our sample list, especially since these were the names of people who owned the property, not of those who lived inside of it. So, if he sample list included the house of Juan Carlos Arita in Barrio El Centro, we searched fo r that property even t hough Juan Carlos Arita may have lived elsewhere. Once the home was found, we asked to speak to one adult living there. If a female adult was interevi ewed from the first house on the list, then a male adult was surveyed from the second house, and a female adult from the third house and so forth until the survey goal for the day was met. This gave us almost complete this research. The dearth of good data was a signifi cant limitation not just for this research but also for all the other relief agencies working in Honduras after Mitch. Consequently the United Nations chose to fund a national-level census of the country in 2000. Unfortunately, much of this census information was still being gathered when this research was conducted and, therefore, was of no use.

PAGE 408

387 gender parity in our sample of 331 residents. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 93 with a mean age of 42.77 and a standard error of 0.84 Survey Collection in Dolores Merendn There was no current census informa tion on the population of Dolores Merendn. However, APS had helped local government employees complete a cadastral survey of the entire municipality just a few months be fore beginning field res earch there. This cadastral data revealed that there were a pproximately 400 houses in Dolores. Using the sample size formula, it was determined that at least 196 houses here should be selected at random in order to obtain a 95% probability sample with a 0.05 confidence interval. Since the required sample size represented nearly half of the houses in Dolores Merendn, there was little need to select a sa mple list as had been done elsewhere. I simply chose to interview one adult from every other hous e in the area, alternating between male and female respondents. A ll the families we contacted agreed to participate in the study, so there was no need to devise an alternate sample. The surveys in Dolores were collected with the help of tw o of the research assist ants that had worked with me in San Marcos. This helped keep any data collection errors between these two municipalities constant. Unfortunately, the goal of surveying half th e households in Dolores was never met. Only 179 surveys were collected in this muni cipality. We purposefully chose not to include one subset of houses in our research because we were informed that some of the families there were engaged in a family feud during the course of our data collection and periodically would fire gunshot s at each other from their respective houses. We were advised not to approach this area in order to avoid being caught in a ny possible crossfire. Although we could not deduce exactly how many houses were located in this particular

PAGE 409

388 settlement, I estimate there were about twenty of them. It is also po ssible that we failed to include some isolated houses in our research. Most of the houses in Dolores were dispersed among a mountainous terrain and ofte n were difficult to access. Nevertheless, we invested a significant amount of time tr aveling by car when possible and on foot when not in order to collect a repr esentative sample of the popul ation. Although we visited the most remote settlements in the municipality, it is possible that we overlooked or failed to spot some houses that were located in areas hidden from sight. Despite these limitations, the sample that was collected on Dolores gives us a 90% probability of being representative of the population of households there. Survey Collection in Sab Sab had similar problems as Potrerillos in terms of its population data. There was no recent census of the area’s inhabitants. The public Health Center, unlike the one in Potrerillos, had been unable to collect even the most basi c household level data on the local population after Mitch—som ething which severely limited their efforts to vaccinate residents and control the spread of diseases such as malaria. However, the municipal government did have an updated cadastral survey of most of the urba n center of town. I chose to use this housing information to select the urban sample from the municipality. Although none of Sab’s population was livi ng in shelter communities when field research was conducted there, several new
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Title: The Political Effects of Disaster and Foreign Aid: National and Subnational Governance in Honduras After Hurricane Mitch
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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THE POLITICAL EFFECTS OF DISASTER AND FOREIGN AID:
NATIONAL AND SUBNATIONAL GOVERNANCE IN HONDURAS
AFTER HURRICANE MITCH













By

VILMA ELISA FUENTES


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003

































Copyright 2003

by

Vilma Elisa Fuentes
































This dissertation is dedicated to all those Hondurans who struggle to promote the
development of their country.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The work presented here would not have been possible without the support of

several institutions and individuals. I thank the Institute for the Study of World Politics,

the University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and this same

institution's Graduate Minority Office for funding this project. Their generous financial

support enabled me to conduct approximately a year of field research in Honduras and

begin writing several chapters of this dissertation.

I am grateful to my committee members for the guidance and support they offered

me throughout the different phases of this work. Dr. Leslie Anderson and Dr. Philip

Williams shared with me their vast knowledge of Central America, democratization and

peasant politics during my first few years in the Political Science doctoral program. They

unwittingly convinced me that I should undertake doctoral research related to these

issues. Dr. Goran Hyden helped me develop the theoretical framework for this

dissertation. His books, graduate classes and experiences in the development field

encouraged me to grapple with the concept of governance and appreciate how foreign

donors and non-government organizations can influence this process. Dr. Oliver-Smith's

early enthusiasm for and interest in my topic convinced me that a political analysis of

Hurricane Mitch's impact could make a valuable contribution to the existing literature on

disasters. All of these advisors took a fairly open-minded approach to my study. Rather

than demand that I present a rigid research design, they suggested that I approach my

subject matter with some flexibility. Post-disaster situations were so dynamic and









Honduran politics so poorly understood, they argued, that I had to just "get my feet on the

ground" and be willing to change my theories and study design to better understand

political reality. This I did and my research is significantly stronger for it. Dr. Renee

Johnson kindly agreed to join my dissertation committee after I returned from Honduras.

She helped me interpret my quantitative data and make sense of what thousands of

Hondurans had told me. The work presented here is methodologically sounder as a result

of her guidance. She together with the rest of my committee patiently read numerous

drafts of my dissertation and guided my thinking throughout. This work is as much an

ideological product of them as it is of me.

Several individuals facilitated my work in Honduras and enhanced my knowledge

of this country. Roberto Reina and Patricia Licona graciously welcomed me into their

home during the many months I spent in Tegucigalpa. They allowed me to use their

personal vehicle to travel around the city and spent countless hours sharing their political

insights with me. Their three children-Camila, Lucia and Roberto-regularly forced

me to set aside my work in order to laugh, play and appreciate the beauty of life. The

happy moments they shared with me will be treasured always.

Dennis Cubero also facilitated much of my work in Tegucigalpa. He introduced

me to many of his colleagues in the National Congress, helped me obtain interviews with

key government officials and granted me valuable lists describing the organization and

composition of different political bodies. Dennis Cubero also gave me invaluable

support with my research in Northern Honduras. He and his wife, Reyna Arias,

introduced me to various people and places in the department of Cortes that had been

devastated by Hurricane Mitch. This gave me a good general view of how this part of the









country had been affected by the disaster and eventually enabled me to select Potrerillos

as one of my municipal research sites. Dennis and Reyna also welcomed me into their

home, allowed me to convert parts of it into my private office and, when possible, offered

me the use their vehicle. Their two teenage children often accompanied me in my mini-

excursions around San Pedro Sula and helped me carry out tedious office tasks. We

fought, laughed and enjoyed life as siblings often do. They will always have a special

place in my heart.

The Municipal government of Potrerillos gave me unlimited support in my study of

its region. It helped me determine the household population of Potrerillos, find and train

research assistants, discover the socio-political history of its municipality and better

understand how citizens there responded to the impact of disaster. The staff at

Potrerillos' Centro de Salud also generously offered their time and labor.

The Asociaci6n de Organizaciones No-Gubernamentales de Honduras

(ASONOG) provided logistical support for the research I conducted in San Marcos and

Dolores Merend6n, Ocotepeque. They not only transported me to these locations on

numerous occasions but also helped me find reliable research assistants there. They

together with the Consejo Departamental de Ocotepeque (CODEPO) also allowed me to

use their office equipment to facilitate my research. Efrain Deras, the regional director of

ASONOG in Ocotepeque, deserves particular thanks. He offered me the use of his

personal vehicle whenever those belonging to ASONOG were unavailable, gave me

countless hours of advice and support and introduced me to his family who lovingly

received me into their home. Juan Manuel Espinoza and his family also were extremely









gracious. They not only assisted me in my research but also offered me many hours of

laughter and good food during my stay in Western Honduras.

Both the Catholic Parish and local government of Saba facilitated my work in their

municipality. They invited me to numerous meetings and special events, offered me

logistical support and helped me obtain fairly accurate data on the region's population.

The warmth and generosity shown to me by countless residents of the region will always

be remembered and appreciated.

I especially thank my family for their unending support and encouragement. My

mother motivated me to pursue my doctoral degree and continually urged me to complete

my dissertation. She was my main source of counsel during difficult and trying times. I

doubt whether anybody has believed in me more than her or whether anybody deserves

more credit for my academic achievements than she. My maternal grandmother prepared

me for my research in Potrerillos and Honduras, more generally, by sharing with me her

vast knowledge of these areas. Her many, entertaining stories helped me develop a better

appreciation for the changing Honduran landscape and the lives of some of this country's

key historical figures. My husband made countless sacrifices to facilitate this work and

make my graduation possible. His endless love, kind words and support sustained me

throughout all my years in this doctoral program. I could not have asked for a more

caring and understanding partner in life. I look forward to sharing the fruits of these

many years of sacrifice with him. Above all, I thank God for listening to my family's

and my prayers, keeping me safe during my adventures in Honduras and ensuring this

project would come to fruition.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ........... ............................... ............... ............. xi

LIST OF FIGURES ......... ....................... .......... ....... ............ xiv

L IST O F A C R O N Y M S .......................................................................... .....................xv

A B S T R A C T .......................................... ..................................................x x

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ............................................................................. .............. ...

2 DISASTERS, FOREIGN AID AND GOVERNANCE ...........................................13

In tro du ctio n ......................................................... ............. ................ 13
The Political Effects of Disasters ................................................... .................. 13
The Political Effects of Foreign A id.................................... .................................... 25
International D onor Im pact ........................................ ........................... 26
N G O Im pact .......................................................................34
T heorizing G overnance ........................................... .................. ............... 40
C conclusion ...................................................................................................... ....... 52

3 A HISTORY OF HONDURAN GOVERNANCE ................................................54

In tro d u ctio n ........................................................................................................... 5 4
Early Civil Society............................. ... .............. ........... ...........54
The Development of Civil Society (1950's-1960's) ...............................................61
The Growing Strength of Civil Society (1965-1974)...............................................79
The Fragmentation of Civil Society (1975-1980's).................... ..............88
The Reunification and Political Incorporation of Civil Society ............................... 104
Conclusion ................ ......... ..................... ........ .... ..... ........ 120

4 NATIONAL-LEVEL GOVERNANCE AFTER MITCH ....................................... 125

Intro du action ......................... ......... ................... ............ ................ 12 5
State and Societal Responses to D isaster............................................................... 125
Preparing for Stockholm ............................................................ ............... .135









Civil Society Responds to Stockholm ............................................. ............... 144
D onor Pressure for Change.............................................................................. 148
The Government's Response to Donor and Civil Society Demands....................153
Foreign Donors and Civil Society Deepen their Cooperation............... ...............161
The Political Consequences of Greater Civil Society Activism and Donor
Pressure ............. ..... ........ .................................... .. .... ....... 163
The Limits to Transformation...................... ....... ............................. 166
C conclusion ............ ......... ............................................. ............ 171

5 INTRODUCING MUNICIPAL CASE STUDIES............................................... 174

Intro du action ......................... .......... ......... ............................... 174
P otrerillos ......................................................................... .... .... .. ... 177
S ab a ............. ............................. ................................................ 1 8 6
S an M arco s .......................................................................... 194
Dolores M erendon .................................... ... .. ......... ....... ..... 200
Conclusion ................................... ................................. ......... 204

6 COMPARING MUNICIPAL HISTORIES ............................................................206

In tro du ctio n ...................................... ............................................... 2 0 6
P otrerillos ......................................................................... .... .... .. ... 209
S ab a ............. ............................. ................................................2 2 0
S an M arco s ..........................................................................24 1
Dolores M erend6n .................................... ... .. ......... ....... ..... 259
Conclusion ................................... ................................. ......... 264

7 MUNICIPAL-LEVEL GOVERNANCE AFTER MITCH AND AID ....................266

In tro du ctio n ...................................... ............................................... 2 6 6
P otrerillos ......................................................................... .... .... ... ... 269
S ab a ........................................................................... .. 2 9 2
D olores M erend n ................. .... .......................... .. .... ........ .............. 328
S an M arco s ..........................................................................34 5
Conclusion ................................... ................................. ......... 360

8 C O N C L U SIO N .......... ...... .............................................................. ... ........ ........365

The Socio-Political Effects of Disasters ........................................ .............365
The Political Effects of Foreign Aid................................................ ..................369
The Insights of Governance........................ ..................... ............... 376
C onclu sion ................................................ .............. .... ............ 378

APPENDIX

A DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH METHODS .........................3.80










The N national L evel .......................................... .. .. .... .......... ....... 380
The M municipal Level ............................................................. ... ....382
Survey Collection in Potrerillos ........................................ ..... ............... 382
Survey Collection in San Marcos .......................... ...............385
Survey Collection in Dolores M erend6n................... .............................. .. 387
Survey Collection in Saba ............................................................................388

B SAMPLE CITIZEN SURVEY ............................................................. ............... 391

LIST OF REFERENCES ......... ..................................... ........ .. ............... 402

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ........................................ ............................................417











































x
















LIST OF TABLES


Table p

4-1 Reported cooperation among civil society groups................................... 145

4-2 One-sample t test comparing reported levels of civil society participation
in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period .......................... ........................ 145

4-3 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in urban
centers ..................................... .................. ............... ......... 147

4-4 How civil society groups participated in national government forums,
commissions or consultative groups ........................................................157

4-5 One-sample t test comparing urban residents' participation in cabildos abiertos
before and after M itch .......................................................... ............... 158

4-6 One-sample t test comparing urban residents' contact with government
officials before and after M itch................................................. ....... ........ 159

5-1 Selection of municipal case studies ..... ......... ......................... ...............176

5-2 Household structures compared across the four municipal case studies ............198

5-3 Education levels compared among the four municipalities...............................202

6-1 Land distributed in Potrerillos through agrarian reform ............................ 213

6-2 Land distributed in Saba through agrarian reform program .............................226

6-3 Land distributed in San Marcos through agrarian reform.................................. 245

6-4 A comparison of agrarian reform benefits in Potrerillos, Saba and San
M a rc o s ...................................... .............................................. 2 4 6

6-5 Organizational histories compared among the municipalities under study .........265

7-1 Perceptions of community organization before and after mitch in Potrerillos ....275

7-2 One-sample t test comparing perceptions of community organization in
Potrerillos in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period...................................276









7-3 A logit analysis of how different variables are associated with post-Mitch
group membership in Potrerillos...................... .... .......................... 277

7-4 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with
governm ent contact in Potrerillos ............................................. ............... 279

7-5 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with cabildo
attendance in Potrerillos...................... ...... .............................. 281

7-6 How residents from Potrerillos have participated in cabildos........................285

7-7 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with past
voting in P otrerillos....... .............................................................. .... .... .... 289

7.8 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with a desire
to vote in the future in Potrerillos ............................................. ............... 290

7-9 Comparing M itch-induced damage.................................. ........................ 293

7-10 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in Sab.............311

7-11 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch
perceptions of community organization in Sab...................... .....................311

7-12 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch
group m em bership in Sab ........................................................ ............... 312

7-13 A logit model showing how different variables are associated with post-Mitch
group m em bership in Sab ........................................................ ............... 316

7-14 One-sample t test comparing post-Mitch levels of government contact in Saba
with the pre-M itch period .................................. ........ .................... 17

7-15 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with
participation in public marches in Saba after Mitch ................. ................318

7-16 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with ever
having participated in public marches in Saba ......................................... 320

7-17 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with pre
M itch governm ent contact in Sab ........................................... ............... 321

7-18 A logit equation analyzing how different variables are associated with post
M itch governm ent contact in Sab ........................................... ............... 322

7-19 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in Dolores........332

7-20 One-sample t test comparing perceptions of community organization in
Dolores Merend6n in 2000 with the pre-Mitch period ............ ................333









7-21 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch
group membership in Dolores M erend6n .................................... .................334

7-22 A logit analysis of how different variables are related to group membership in
Dolores Merend6n during 2000 ...... ......... ....................... 335

7-23 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch cabildo
attendance in D olores M erend6n ........................................ ...... ............... 337

7-24 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch
cabildo attendance ...................... .... ........ ................ ............338

7-25 How residents from Dolores Merend6n have participated in cabildos..............340

7-26 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch
government contact in Dolores M erend6n............................... ......... ............341

7-27 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch
government contact in Dolores M erend6n ................ ............................... .. 342

7-28 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with group
membership in San M arcos during 2000 .................................. ............... 347

7-29 Perceptions of community organization before and after Mitch in San Marcos .348

7-30 One-sample t test comparing perceptions of community organization in San
M arcos in 2000 with the pre-M itch period .................................. ............... 348

7-31 A logit model analyzing how different variables are associated with post Mitch
government contact in San Marcos............. ............ ...... ...............352

7-32 One-sample t test to measure the mean difference in pre and post Mitch cabildo
attendance in San M arcos .............................................................................. 353

7-33 A logit model analyzing post-Mitch cabildo attendance in San Marcos ............354

7-34 How residents from San Marcos have participated in cabildos abiertos...........354
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

1-1 M municipal case studies in H onduras ................................... ..................................... 9

5-1 Theorized causes of governance change ..............................................................175


















ADEVAS


AESMO


AMHON


ANACH


ANDI


APOPA


APROBANOR


ASONOG


CCD


CCIC


CCIT


CCUC


CEDEN


LIST OF ACRONYMS

Asociaci6n para el Desarrollo del Valle de Sensenti
Development Association for the Valley of Sensenti

Asociaci6n Ecol6gica de San Marcos, Ocotepeque
Ecological Association of San Marcos, Ocotepeque

Asociaci6n de Municipios de Honduras
Association of Honduran Municipalities

Asociaci6n Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras
National Association of Honduran Peasants

Asociaci6n Nacional de Industriales
National Association of Industrialists

Asamblea Permanente de las Organizaciones Populares del Agudn
Popular Assembly of Popular Organizations from the Aguan

Asociaci6n de Productores Bananeros del Norte
Northern Banana Producers Association

Asociaci6n de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales
Association of Honduran Non-Governmental Organizations

Comisi6n Cristiana de Desarrollo
Christian Development Commission

Camara de Comercio e Industria de Cortes
Cortes Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Camara de Comercio e Industria de Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa's Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Comite Central de Unificaci6n Campesina
Central Committee for Peasant Union

Comite Evangelica de Emergencias Nacionales
Evangelical National Emergency Committee









CGT Confederaci6n General de Trabajadores
General Workers Confederation

COAPALMA Cooperativa Agroindustrial de Palma
Agroindustrial Palm Tree Cooperative
CODECO Comisiones de Desarrollo Comunal
Community Development Commissions

CODEH ComitP para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights

CODEM Comite de Desarrollo Municipal
Municipal Development Committee

CODEPO Comisi6n de Desarrollo Departamental de Ocotepeque
Development Commission of the Department of Ocotepeque

COFADEH Comite de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras
Committee of Honduran Families of the Detained and Disappeared

COHEP Corporaci6n Hondureha de la Empresa Privada
Honduran Private Enterprise Corporation

CONE Comisi6n Nacional de Emergencia
National Emergency Commission

COPECO Comisi6n Permanente de Contingencias
Permanent Contingency Commission

CPSC Comisi6n para la Participacion de la Sociedad Civil en el Proceso
de Reconstruccion y Transformaci6n Nacional
Commission for the Participation of Civil Society in National
Reconstruction and Transformation

CTH Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de Honduras
Confederation of Honduran Workers

EAC Empresas Campesinas Asociativas
Associative Peasant Enterprises

FACACH Federaci6n de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Cr&dito de Honduras
Federation of Honduran Credit and Savings Cooperatives

FAFH Federaci6n de Asociaciones Femeninas de Honduras
Federation of Female Associations of Honduras









FASH


FECESITLIH



FECORAH


FEHMUC


FENACH


FENAGH


FESITRANH


FEUH


FHIS


FOH


FONAC


FONADERS


FOSDEH


FOPRIDEH


FREPOCSA


Federaci6n Autentica Sindical de Honduras
Authentic Federation of Honduran Syndicates

Federaci6n Central de Sindicatos de Trabajadores Libres de
Honduras
Central Federation of Honduran Free Workers' Syndicates

Federaci6n de Cooperativas de la Reforma Agraria de Honduras
Federation of the Agrarian Reform Cooperatives of Honduras

Federaci6n Hondureha de Mujeres Campesinas
Honduran Federation of Peasant Women

Federaci6n Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras
National Federation of Honduran Peasants

Federaci6n Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Honduras
National Federation of Agricultural Workers and Cattlemen

Federaci6n Sindical de Trabajadores XV1i ih'i,\ de Honduras,
Honduran Syndicated Federation of North Coast Workers

Federaci6n de Estudiantes Universitarios de Honduras
Federation of Honduran University Students

Fondo Hondureho de Inversi6n Social
Honduran Social Investment Fund

Federaci6n Obrera Hondureha
Honduran Workers' Federation

Foro Nacional de Convergencias
National Convergence Forum

Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible
National Fund for Sustainable Rural Development

Foro Social para la Deuda Externa
Social Forum on Foreign Debt

Federaci6n Privada de Organizaciones en Desarrollo
Private Federation of Development Organizations

Frente Popular de Organizaciones Populares de Sabd
Popular Front of Popular Organizations from Saba









FRU


FSH


FUNACAMH


FUNDEMUN


HIPC

IADB

IMF

INA


ORIT


PRODERE


PROHECO


SETCO


SITIAMASH


SITRAEACI


SITRADIM


SITRAFRUSCO


Frente de Reforma Universitaria
University Reform Front

Federaci6n Sindical Hondurena
Sindicated Workers' Federation

Frente Nacional Campesina Hondurena
Honduran National Peasant Front

Fundaci6n de Desarrollo Municipal
Foundation for Municipal Development

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative

Inter American Development Bank

International Monetary Fund

Institute Nacional Agrario
National Agrarian Institute

Organizaci6n Regional Interamericana del Trabajadores
Regional Organization of Interamerican Workers

Program de Desarrollo para Repatriados
Development Project for Refugees and Repatriated Exiles

Proyecto Hondureho de Educaci6n Comunitaria
Honduran Project for Community Education

Secretaria Thcnica de Cooperaci6n
Secretariat for Technical Cooperation

Sindicato de Trabajadores de Mieles, Alcolesy Similares
Workers Syndicate of Honey, Alcohol and the Like

Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa Asociative de Isletas
Workers Syndicate of the Isletas Associative Emterprise

Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Madedera
Workers Syndicate of the Timber Industry

Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company
Workers Syndicate of the Standard Fruit Company


xviii









SITRATERCO


SUTRASFCO



UFCO

UNAT


UNC


UNCAH


UNDP

UNHCR

SAID


Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Tela Railroad Company
Workers Syndicate of the Tela Railroad Company

Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit
Company
Unified Workers Syndicate of the Standard Fruit Company

United Fruit Company

Unidad Nacional de Asistencia THcnica
National Technical Assistance Unit

Uni6n Nacional Campesina
National Peasant Union

Uni6n Nacional de Campesinos Autinticos de Honduras
National Union of Authentic Peasants

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations High Commission for Refugees

United States Agency for International Development















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

THE POLITICAL EFFECTS OF DISASTER AND FOREIGN AID:
NATIONAL AND SUBNATIONAL GOVERNANCE IN HONDURAS
AFTER HURRICANE MITCH

By

Vilma Elisa Fuentes

May 2003

Chair: Leslie E. Anderson
Major Department: Political Science

This dissertation presents qualitative and quantitative data to analyze how

Hurricane Mitch and the foreign aid that followed it affected national and subnational

governance in Honduras. Governance is understood as the way a state and its society

interact in order to manage their institutions and public affairs. The national level

analysis revealed that the state initially became more centralized and authoritarian in

response to the disaster while civil society increased its intra-group cooperation and

political activity. Foreign donors pressured the Honduran state to alter its relationship

with civil society by conditioning its aid and disseminating a development discourse

based on concepts such as citizen participation, decentralization and transparency. This

foreign pressure, though not aimed directly at civil society, nevertheless motivated it to

demand political inclusion and change. This domestic and foreign pressure together

forced the Honduran government to incorporate civil society in its decision-making

processes. This shift towards a more participatory style governance did not represent a









dramatic break with the past. The experience of disaster and foreign aid intervention

merely accelerated a political transformation that had been underway for at least a

decade.

The subnational level analysis sought to determine whether the changes witnessed

at the national level had been replicated in different Honduran municipalities. It also

tried to ascertain whether the disaster, foreign aid or both were responsible for producing

socio-political changes. Four municipalities were selected for this part of the study. One

was impacted by both the disaster and foreign aid, another by neither, and the remaining

two by only one of the independent variables. The subnational level research suggests

that the experience of disaster created a window of opportunity for change but that

foreign aid organizations were responsible for much of the socio-political transformations

that were observed.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Hurricane Mitch, a storm with sustained one-minute surface winds of 155 knots,

began battering the small country of Honduras on October 27, 1998. Mitch made

landfall near the city of La Ceiba on October 29 after hovering off the northern coast of

Honduras for nearly two days. The storm moved southward then westward, slowly

dissecting the country until finally entering Guatemalan territory on November 1.1

Although Mitch was downgraded to a tropical storm the day after reaching land, it poured

as much as 50 cubic inches of water in some parts of the country.2 The floods it

produced were larger and more damaging than any that had been recorded previously.3

The predominantly mountainous topography of Honduras aggravated the rainfall's effects

by producing several flash floods and mudslides. Within just a few days, most of the

country's major rivers had broken their banks, deposited large quantities of sediment in

new areas and thus reshaped the Honduran landscape.









1John L. Guiney and Miles B. Lawrence, Preliminary Report: Hurricane Mitch, (Miami: National
Hurricane Center, 28 January 1999) Accessed on line at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1998mitch.html on
March 20, 2003.

2 Mark C. Mastin, Flood-hazard mapping in Honduras in response to Hurricane Mitch, (Tacoma, Wash. :
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 2002): 10. Available on-line at
http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/wri/wri01-4277. Accessed on March 20, 2003.

' Ibid.









The disaster took a severe human toll.4 Approximately 5,600 Hondurans died,5

over 12,000 were injured and more than 8,000 were never found. The storm destroyed or

severely damaged over 85,000 homes, leaving 396,000 people homeless. An additional

260,000 individuals were forced to seek temporary shelter. Most of these victims came

from the northern departments of Cortes and Col6n and the southern department of

Choluteca. In total, it is estimated that approximately two million people or a third of

Honduras' 1998 population were directly impacted by the storm.

Mitch had a devastating effect on Honduras' infrastructure. Approximately 100

bridges and 70% of the country's road system was damaged or destroyed.6 This

inhibited the national government's ability to respond quickly to the disaster and left the

capital city of Tegucigalpa temporarily cut off from major North Coast towns. Most of

the urban and nearly half of the rural aqueduct system in the country was impaired also.

Tegucigalpa was left with no potable water for several days while other urban centers had

only limited access to this resource. Several rural areas were unable to repair their

aqueduct system for over a year after Mitch. The heavy rains and mudslides also wiped






4 Unless otherwise noted, the information reported in this paragraph is derived from Gobierno de Honduras
(GOH), Estimaciones preliminaries sobre dahos causados por el Huracan Mitch a la infraestructura
piblica y costs de recuperaci6n, (Tegucigalpa: GOH, 1998); Naciones Unidas, Comisi6n Econ6mica para
America Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), Honduras: evaluaci6n de dahos ocasionados por el Huracan Mitch,
1998, internal report written 26 de enero de 1999.

5 More conservative though also less reliable sources estimate that the death toll was less than half the
official figure. See Richard Olson et al., The Storms of'98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch-Impacts,
Institutional Response, and Disaster Politics in Three Countries. Special Publication #38 (Boulder: Natural
Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, 2001): 41.

6 Secretaria Tecnica y de Cooperaci6n Internacional (SETCO), Republica de Honduras, "Actualizaci6n
dafios ocasionados por el Huracin-Tormenta Tropical Mitch," noviembre diciembre 1998. Accessed on-
line at www.cetco gbm.hn on August 15, 1999.









away 63% of the land under agricultural production.' Banana and sugar, two main export

crops, suffered the bulk of the damage. In addition, over half of the surface area

cultivated with corn, beans and rice-the staples of the Honduran diet-were destroyed.

The international community responded quickly to this devastation. Bilateral and

multilateral aid agencies channeled over $93 million in emergency assistance to

Honduras. This was followed by an additional $2.38 billion in foreign assistance to

support the reconstruction process.8 Most of this money was channeled directly to the

national government. Meanwhile, countless non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

offered more direct assistance to the communities that had been most affected by the

storm. This national and local-level aid helped disaster victims not only reconstruct the

material goods that had been destroyed by the storm, but also reshape socio-political

relations.

Although the Honduran government and donor agencies have analyzed the material

effects of Hurricane Mitch, little is known about the political impact of the storm or the

foreign aid that followed it. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap by exploring how this

natural disaster and the concomitant aid that followed it have affected the nature of

democratic governance in Honduras. Rather than privy either elites, civil society or

institutions, this dissertation will look at the interaction among all of these by using the

theoretical lens of governance. Governance is understood here as the way states and

societies interact in order to create, manage and change both political institutions and the


7 Direcci6n General de Estadistica y Censos (DGEC), Secretaria de Industria y Comercio, Gobiemo de
Honduras, Encuesta para estimar perdidas ocasionadas por el Huracdn Mitch en el sector agropecuario
(Tegucigalpa: DGEC, 1999).

8 Gobiemo de Honduras, La nueva Honduras tarea para todos: informed de avances en la reconstrucci6n y
transformaci6n national (Tegucigalpa: Gobiemo de Honduras, 1999).









public policies that are designed within them. This study explores whether disasters and

foreign aid agencies encouraged political elites and civil society groups to relate to each

other in new ways and change existing institutions.

This dissertation acknowledges that governance is a multi-layered process. The

way a state and civil society interact in the capital may be very different from the way

local political elites and citizens interact at the grassroots level. Moreover, a disaster and

foreign aid organizations may have a different impact on distinct regions of a country.

Therefore, this work analyzes both national and subnational governance change in

Honduras. The subnational level analysis not only tries to determine whether the changes

witnessed in the capital were replicated at a municipal level. It also tries to control two

independent variables-the experience of disaster and foreign assistance-in order to test

whether one or both of these was responsible for the political changes observed at the

national level.

Chapter two of this dissertation presents the theoretical framework that is to guide

the analysis of Honduran politics. It reviews the literature on disasters, foreign aid,

NGOs and governance in order to show how these diverse theoretical approaches can be

used to understand state-society relations in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch. The

embryonic literature on the politics of disaster reveals that hurricanes, earthquakes and

other such unforeseen events can produce significant political transformations, but it has

not specified how this change might arise. Although disasters have been shown to

increase the social cohesion and organization of an affected community, this cooperative

spirit tends to be fleeting. In a few cases, civil society has been strengthened in the

aftermath of disaster, but only because other factors have contributed to this process. The









NGO literature reveals that these aid organizations often contribute to the development of

a strong civil society. They do this by encouraging target groups to organize and become

politically involved and by becoming active participants in the political process

themselves. In either case, NGOs can contribute to democratization by working at the

grass-roots level and increasing domestic social pressure for political change. Bilateral

and multilateral aid agencies can deepen democracy also by pressuring national

governments to alter existing institutions or policies. They accomplish this by

conditioning their aid, disseminating a specific development discourse and influencing

the norms held by a country's political elite. All of these measures can coerce a national

government to change its closed, authoritarian structures and improve its relationship

with civil society. When considered together, these three theoretical approaches suggest

that if NGOs and foreign donors are sufficiently present and influential in a country after

a disaster, they may animate and help sustain autonomous forms of social organization

and pressure the state to work more closely with these groups. The literature on

governance offers us a way of studying the nature and effects of this state-society

relationship. It forces us to look at the strength and political activism of civil society

organizations, the state's responsiveness to them, and the extent to which both participate

in the maintenance and creation of public policies and institutions. In other words,

theories of governance help us focus on how external forces such as disasters, donors and

NGOs affect the relational patterns that maintain democratic regimes.

Chapter three of this dissertation offers a historical review of national-level

governance in Honduras. Since few organized groups existed in the country before the

1950's, most of this chapter is dedicated to discussing the evolution of civil society and









the way it interacted with the state after this period. The chapter notes that the initial

mass-based groups in the country-labor unions, peasant organizations and women's

groups-were forced to take a confrontational approach to the state in order to be heard

by the political elite. These organizations grew to command such a large and militant

following that by the late 1960's and 1970's they were demanding that the traditionally

closed, partisan and unrepresentative state structures be reformed. Through various

public protest activities, these groups successfully pressured for the creation of a National

Unity Government and, when this failed, for a reformist military government that was

more responsive to them. Despite these achievements, civil society groups continued to

be excluded from public decision-making processes. Moreover, these groups were

demobilized during the late 1970's and 1980's by conservative, military elements who

assumed control of the state. The state repression that was unleashed during this period

not only failed to destroy traditional, mass-based groups but also gave birth to a new

generation of civil society organizations which struggled to secure human rights,

indigenous rights and democratization. This domestic pressure eventually combined with

a changing international environment to bring about a slow transition to democracy in

Honduras. Although civil society groups were unable to sustain a strong level of

cooperation and mobilization after the re-establishment of constitutional rule, they

succeeded in enticing political elites to work more closely with them and begin

integrating them into the decision-making process. State-centered elites created new,

corporatist arrangements during the 1990's in order to unite different civil society groups

and dialogue more easily with them. Although these corporatist structures enabled the

government to coopt and appease mass organizations, they also established a new, non-









confrontational channel of communication between the state and civil society.

Consequently, the traditional, exclusionary and state-centered pattern of governance that

had typified Honduras for most of its history began to change. It was within this context

of slow, political transition that Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras in late 1998.

Chapter four discusses how this devastating natural event and the flood of foreign

aid that followed it affected the Honduran state, civil society and their relationship with

each other. Both of these groups initially responded to the disaster in distinct ways. The

state, though clearly unable to manage emergency operations on its own, tried to

implement the authoritarian and exclusionary pattern of governance that traditionally had

characterized Honduras. Meanwhile, much of civil society was mobilized by the disaster.

Regular citizens, NGOs and other interest groups began to cooperate with one another

and undertake relief work that the state was unable to tackle on its own. This activism

and cooperative spirit continued in 1999 as the Honduran government began to shift its

attention to the longer-term goal of reconstruction. Initially, the state accepted the

recommendations of traditional, mass-based groups represented in the corporatist

structures it had created in the mid-1990's. But it refused to collaborate with other

members of civil society, particularly NGOs and intellectual-based groups. These later

organizations began to question the legitimacy of existing corporatist arrangements and

challenge the state to transform pre-existing social, economic and political structures.

Though hesitant to cooperate with these groups, the state was persuaded to change its

stance toward them by foreign donors who conditioned their reconstruction assistance on

the government's willingness to increase citizen participation in government. Thus,

foreign aid organizations ensured that Honduras continued the process it had begun years









earlier of establishing an open and inclusive style of governance. Although the new

spaces of citizen participation that were created during the three years after Mitch had

several limitations, citizen groups successfully used them to pressure the government for

institutional change.

The subsequent three chapters explore whether the gradual shift in governance that

was observed at the national level was replicated at the local level. Chapter five

introduces the reader to four municipal case studies. Each of these was chosen in order to

determine whether the experience of disaster, advent of foreign aid or both improved civil

society's activism and relationship with municipal officials. Saba and Potrerillos were

two of the most disaster-stricken areas of the country. Most of the infrastructure in these

regions was damaged or destroyed and a majority of the population there suffered partial

or total home loss. As a result, multiple NGOs began working in Saba during the two

years after the storm and encouraged target groups to organize and become active

participants in their reconstruction. Despite also having experienced major storm damage,

Potrerillos at first did not receive the same degree of external assistance as Saba. Disaster

victims were supplied with vinyl tents and basic food supplies, but they received

relatively little NGO assistance. An analysis of this case allows us to control for the

effect of aid and explore how the experience of disaster alone affected civil society and

its relationship with local government authorities. Unlike these two municipalities, San

Marcos and Dolores Merend6n experienced almost no storm damage. Nevertheless,

NGOs began working in Dolores Merend6n during 1999 and 2000 in order to counter the

high level of poverty in the region. This municipally shows how NGO assistance alone

can contribute to the development of civil society and affect local-level governance.









Saba, which experienced a disaster and massive NGO assistance, measures the socio-

political effects of both of these independent variables while San Marcos, which was not

affected by either of these external events, is used to test the null hypothesis.


Dolores
Merendon


Potrerillos


Saba


Figure 1.1
Municipal Case Studies
in Honduras


Figure 1-1. Municipal case studies in Honduras.

Chapter six tries to add historical context to our municipal level analysis by

comparing the pre-disaster, organizational experiences of these four case studies. Both

Potrerillos and Saba were integrated into the world capitalist system and labor market

during the early part of the twentieth century foreign-owned banana plantations who

operated in these regions. Consequently, labor unions became active in both

municipalities beginning in the 1950's. Agrarian reform and other popular based groups

also proliferated there during the following two decades. In addition, the Catholic

Church became very socially active in Saba during 1970's and afterward-a pattern that


San Marcos









was not replicated in Potrerillos. Although the population of Saba was somewhat more

militant than the one in Potrerillos, the citizens of both regions were fairly well organized

up until the 1990's when civil society in both of these municipalities began to weaken.

Unlike these two Northern Coast towns, San Marco and Dolores Merend6n were not as

well integrated into the world capitalist system. Although farmers from both regions

were involved in coffee production, they worked for themselves and also produced basic

food crops. As a result, few labor unions emerged in these municipalities. A very active

civil society did emerge in San Marcos as a result of national agrarian reform policies, the

Catholic Church's activism and the implementation of a multi-million dollar United

Nations development program during the early 1990's. But no such social organization

developed in Dolores Merendon. These different organizational histories are highlighted

in order to see if citizens here responded to exogenous forces in ways that were familiar

to them.

Chapter seven presents a qualitative and quantitative analysis of how a disaster and

NGO assistance influenced grass-roots civil society and its relationship with municipal

authorities. The chapter reveals that the residents of Saba and Potrerillos reverted to pre-

existing, often defunct forms of organization in order to confront the disaster. Although

this solidarity was maintained for several weeks after Mitch, it began to decline once

emergency and relief operations came to an end. Over a year after Mitch, the residents of

Potrerillos were unorganized and maintained little contact with their political officials.

Consequently, this municipality maintained its traditional pattern of governance. The

advent of NGOs in Saba, however, seems to have prevented citizens there from falling

into a state of disunity. NGOs encouraged residents to maintain and deepen their new









level of cooperation. They also worked to raise citizen awareness of broader socio-

political issues and encouraged them to become active political participants. As a result,

citizens began to question the closed and authoritarian nature of governance in this

municipality. They demanded to have town hall meetings and be included in local,

public decision-making processes. All of this succeeded in initiating a change in local-

level governance here. Although Dolores Merend6n began receiving some external

assistance from NGOs during 1999 and 2000, it did note reveal as high a percentage

increase in community organization or political activity as did Saba. Nevertheless,

citizens did cooperate more with each other and try to contact their government officials

more frequently than previously. Most likely, the absence of a major crisis event

coupled with the regions' lack of organizational and political experience lessened the

socio-political effects of NGO intervention. San Marcos, which was not affected by

either a disaster or new NGOs, did not experience an increase in social or political

activity, as expected. However, this municipality had been hailed as a model of "good

governance" during the early to mid 1990's as a result of the socio-political changes that

several NGOs and a United Nations program had encouraged there at the time. An

analysis of this case in 2000 shows whether and under what conditions governance

change can endure once the forces that catalyzed this process have disappeared. The

chapter concludes by suggesting that the presence of foreign assistance has a greater

impact on social organization and governance than the experience of disaster alone.

However, the presence of both of these exogenous forces seems to heighten their socio-

political impact. Moreover, pre-existing organizational experiences can facilitate the re-

organization and political activism of civil society.









The final chapter of this dissertation summarizes the results of our post-Mitch

governance study and discusses their theoretical relevance. Building on the events that

transpired in Honduras after Mitch and the experience of San Marcos, the chapter

speculates as to whether the socio-political changes that were observed in the two years

after Mitch can be sustained in the long term to contribute to a broader process of

democratization. Together, all of these chapters help deepen our knowledge of

governance, the political effects of disaster and the way NGOs and foreign donors can

reinforce each other's socio-political effects.














CHAPTER 2
DISASTERS, FOREIGN AID AND GOVERNANCE

Introduction

Disasters represent dramatic shocks to human systems. They temporarily disrupt

livelihood strategies, deconstruct social arrangements and give victims the opportunity to

reconstruct their lives in new ways. Although a handful of scholars have considered how

such extraordinary events can affect the political sphere, much of this literature is still in

an embryonic stage and in need of further research. Since foreign aid often is channeled

to a locality after a disaster, the political effects of this type of intervention must also be

considered. Some scholars view the assistance that follows a disaster as part of the

experience of disaster itself. Although these two events are interrelated, this dissertation

tries to disentangle them in order to study their individual effects on governance. The

following sections will review what is currently known about the political effects of both

disasters and external assistance. Then it will explain why theories of governance are

best suited to understanding these phenomena.

The Political Effects of Disasters

Disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods are more than just

environmental events. They disrupt the daily lives and social interactions of those who

experience them and call into question prevailing social arrangements. They must,

therefore, be viewed as socio-political as well as natural events. Disasters may impact

individual behavior, community organizations and broader macro structures. They tend

to unite and mobilize victims as well as alter political structures that are unresponsive to










them. The changes prompted by natural disasters are not always enduring, however. As

life reverts to some state of pre-disaster normalcy, so too does people's behavior.

Individuals who suffer through natural disasters respond to these events in varying

ways. Hoffman, Form and Nosow claim that during the minutes immediately following

this crisis, victims act in an individualistic manner in order to safeguard their basic needs

and that of their family.1 Oliver-Smith has suggested that people's responses to disaster

may be more varied: some flee, others struggle to rescue both themselves and close

family members, while still others offer assistance to anyone who may be in need of

help.2 However, most agree that once the initial impact of a disaster subsides,

community solidarity and cooperation increases.3 Victims may unite to share scarce

food, clothing or other belongings and work teams may be formed to jointly cook food,

rescue others or build temporary shelters.4 The extended though non-affected community

also usually responds to this crisis by volunteering their time and belongings to those less

fortunate than they. Socio-cultural differences tend to be ignored during emergency

periods as people from different ethnic, racial, class or religious backgrounds assist one



1 William H. Form and Sigmund Nosow, Community in Disaster (New York: Harper, 1958): 17-18 and
Susanna Hoffman, "The Worst of Times the Best of Times: Towards a Model of Cultural Responses to
Disaster," The Angry Earth, Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hoffman, eds. (New York: Routledge,
1999): 134-155.

2 Anthony Oliver-Smith, "Post Disaster Concensus and Conflict in a Traditional Society: The 1970
Avalanche of Yungay, Peru," Mass Emergencies 4 (1979): 43-45.

3 Ibid and Form and Sigmund Nosow, Community in Disaster; Hoffman, "The Worst of Times the Best of
Times"; James Thompson and Robert Hawkes "Disaster, Community Organization and Administrative
Process," Man and Society in Disasters, George Baker and Dwight Chapman, eds. (New York: Basic
Books, 1962): 268-300; Dennis Miletti, Thomas Drabek, and J. Eugene Haas, Human Systems in Extreme
Environments: A Sociological Perspective, Program on Technology, Environment and Man, Monograph
#21 (Boulder: Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, 1975).

4 Anthony Oliver-Smith, Martyred City: Death and Rebirth in the Andes (Albuquerque, N.M.: University
of New Mexico Press, 1986): chapter 4.










another.5 Often times, those previously isolated from their neighbors may unite and

cooperate with them after a disaster. Women, for instance, may be encouraged to leave

the confines of their homes and participate in community issues or join support groups

after a major crisis.6 All of these activities help to temporarily strengthen civil society.

The organizational history of a locality shapes the way people will respond to a

crisis.7 The relief crews formed during an emergency may be patterned along the lines of

pre-existing and often defunct modes of organization.8 The way people handle or bury

the dead may be consistent with long-standing community norms.9 And long-standing,

social class distinctions may shape who undertakes what type of emergency work.10 In

some cases, disasters may prompt the reemergence of deeply rooted cultural patterns that

had been replaced by more modern ones." All of this suggests, as Drabek has argued,

that "the theme of continuity is the logical starting point for trying to understand

5 Ibid and Miletti, Drabek, and Susanna Hoffman, "The Worst of Times the Best of Times," 138 and Allen
Barton, Communities in Disaster: A Sociological Analysis of Collective Stress Situations (New York:
Doubleday, 1969): 206-207.

6 Hoffman, "The Worst of Times the Best of Times," and Alejandro Massolo y Martha Schteingart,
Participaci6n social, reconstrucci6n y mujer: el sismo de 1985 (Mexico: Colegio de Mexico, 1987).

7 E.L. Quarantelli and Russell R. Dynes, "Response to Social Crisis and Disaster," Annual Review of
Sociology 3 (1977): 34.

8 John F. Alexander and Marta Lee Atkinson, Proyecto interdisciplinario de reconstruction despuds del
sismo: el caso de El Progreso, Guatemala (Gainesville, Florida: Departamento de Planificaci6n Urbana y
Regional, Universidad de la Florida, 1977): 158-160 and Juan Brisefio Guerrero and Ludka de Gortari
Krauss, De la cama a la calle: sismos y organizaci6n popular (Mexico: Centro de Investigaciones y
Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social, 1987): 58-61.

9 E.L. Quarantelli, "The Vaiont Dam Overflow: A Case Study of Extra Community Responses in Massive
Disaster," Disasters 3:2 (1979): 199-212 and Thomas E. Drabek, Human Systems Responses to Disaster An
Inventory of Sociological Fi. i,,I i, (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986): 189-190.

10 Dennis E. Wenger and Thomas F. James, "The Convergence of Volunteers in a Concensus Crisis: The
Case of the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake," Disasters, Collective Behavior and Social O, nl,,i .I '1
Russell R. Dynes and Kathleen J. Tierney, eds. (Delaware:University of Delaware Press, 1994): 242.

1 Susanna Hoffman, "The Regenesis of Traditional Gender Patterns in the Wake of Disaster," The Angry
Earth, Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hoffman, eds. (New York: Routledge, 1999): 173-191.









organizational responses immediately after disaster impact. People do not abandon their

social histories when confronted with adversity-and organizational systems reflect it."12

Disaster victims do not unite and organize only in ways that are familiar to them.

New groups frequently emerge during the post-disaster, emergency phase. These may

include search and rescue teams, communal soup kitchens or shelter coordinating

committees.13 Although the existence of some previous organizational experience

facilitates the emergence of this type of activity, the people participating in these new

groups need not be those who were organized in the past. Various conditions may

facilitate the creation of new associations.14 Stallings has noted that "emergent groups

tend to appear where people are isolated from emergency organizations and where there

is a lack of information, control and coordination."15 Paar, Palmer and Sells also have

suggested that when the official authority lapses and fails to respond adequately to the

needs of a community or when a community is either unprepared or has no previous

experience dealing with a disaster, then new groups are more likely to arise.16 These

emergent groups differ from those that exist during normal times in that they tend to be

informal in structure and temporal in nature. Once the crisis has subsided, they generally

disappear.



12 Drabek, Human Systems Responses to Disaster, 158.

13 Ibid, 154-157 and 160-162.

14 Miletti, Drabek, and Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments, 72-75.

15 Robert A. Stallings, "The Structural Patterns of Four Types of Organizations in Disaster," Disasters:
Theory and Research, E.L. Quarantelli, ed. (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1978): 91.

16 George Palmer and S.B. Sells, "Behavioral Factors in Disaster Situations," Journal of Social Psychology
66 (1965): 65-71 as summarized in Miletti, Drabek, and Haas, Human Systems in Extreme Environments,
72-73.









More formal and permanent organizations also may arise in response to disasters.

Fox and Hernandez have noted that the number of NGOs in Mexico increased after the

1985 earthquake there.17 The same occurred in Nicaragua after the 1972 quake.18 In

both cases, the NGOs that arose and proliferated after the disaster eventually formed

linkages with one another as well as with broader, national social movements. These

organizations did not disappear as do most emergent groups. Instead, they helped build

stronger civil societies and enabled citizens to tackle national, socio-political issues in

their countries.

Disasters may affect broader political structures because they represent exogenous

shocks to the political system, increasing the number of citizen demands while

simultaneously reducing a government's response capabilities.19 Cuny explains that

"disasters often highlight the social struggles in society and underscore the inherent

inequities within a political system. Earthquakes and hurricanes, for example, affect a

disproportionately high percentage of the poor in developing countries ... A disaster

makes it very evident that the poor are vulnerable because they are poor."20 Shefner,

Drury and Olson have supported this assertion by presenting a longitudinal study, which

shows that countries with an inequitable distribution of wealth and/or a history of social





17 Jonathan Fox and Luis Hernandez, "Mexico's Difficult Democracy: Grassroots Movements, NGOs and
Local Government," Alternatives 17 (1992): 165-208.

18 Laura Mac Donald, 'i17 .' ', ',,o' Civil Society: The Political Role ofNon Governmental Organizations in
CentralAmerica (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997): 99.

19 Richard Stuart Olson, "Towards a Politics of Disaster: Losses, Values, Agendas and Blame,"
International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 18:2 (August 2000).

20 Frederick C. Cuny, Disasters and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983): 54.










or political strife tend to experience a rise in political conflict after disasters.21 The

incidence of such politically unsettling events has led Olson to assert that disasters "may

throw into question the very legitimacy of the authoritative allocation process itself-the

regime."22

Case studies reveal that the political systems of several Latin American countries

have been destabilized by natural disasters during the last half century. The 1972

Managua earthquake set in motion forces that eventually led to the demise of the Somoza

regime and gave rise to socialism there.23 Black argues that "the importance of the

earthquake as a pivotal moment in the disintegration of Somocismo can hardly be

overstated."24 In the aftermath of the disaster Somoza, the National Guard and members

of the ruling triumvirate were involved in several incidents of corruption.25 Although

such behavior may have been accepted or may have typified the Nicaraguan political

system during normal times, citizens were unwilling to tolerate corruption during the






21 A. Cooper Drury and Richard Stuart Olson, "Disasters and Political Unrest: An Empirical Investigation,"
Journal of C. ,,ri,. ,..... a and Crisis Management 6:3 (September 1998): 153-161 and Jon Shefner, "Pre
and Post Disaster Instability and Contentious Supporters: A Case Study of Political Ferment," International
Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 17:2 (August 1999): 137-190.

22 Richard Stuart Olson, "Towards a Politics of Disaster."

23 George Black, Triumph of the People: The Sandinista Revolution in .,... .1 g1i, (London: Zed Press,
1981): 58-62; Vincent Gawronski, "The 1985 Mexico City Disaster: A Critical Juncture?" paper presented
at the XXII Latin American Studies Association Conference, 16-18 March 2000; and Drury and Olson,
"Disasters and Political Unrest: An Empirical Investigation."

24 George Black, Triumph of the People, 58.

25 Ibid, Thomas P. Anderson, Politics in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and
.~...... i, (New York: Praeger, 1982): 155-156 and John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The
..... g111,1 Revolution (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981): 89 and 93. Even Somoza acknowledged that
some of his army officers engaged in looting but presented excuses for his own personal gain after the
earthquake. See Anastasio Somoza, ..i... g1,1 Betrayed (Boston: Western Islands, 1980): 3-22.










emergency and reconstruction periods.26 The press exposed and denounced such

behavior27 and the bourgeoisie, which until then had offered tenuous support to Somoza,

turned against him.28 Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the regime also grew among the

lower and middle classes who increasingly demanded fundamental political changes in

their country.29 All of these factors revived and strengthened support for the Frente

Sandinista de Liberaci6n Nacional (FSLN), a guerrilla group that had been "presumed

dead since 1970."30 The mounting opposition to the regime and rise in political violence

during the years after the earthquake eventually led to a regime transition in Nicaragua in

1979.

The Guatemalan political system also was strained after the 1976 earthquake there.

Dunkerley notes that "the political impact of the earthquake was sharp if not-in the

short term-quite the same in form as that in Nicaragua four years earlier."31 Part of the

problem arose from the government's mishandling of emergency and reconstruction

assistance. Although approximately 25,000 Guatemalans were killed and 1.25 million

were left homeless, the government offered only scant relief to the highland Mayan



26 Olson and Gawronski have shown in the case of Mexico that although incidents of corruption may be
tolerated by citizens during normal times, they are not accepted during post disaster periods. Citizen
reactions to corruption charges in Nicaragua after the 1972 earthquake suggest that the populace there
experienced a similar decline in tolerance for such behavior. See Richard Stuart Olson and Vincent T.
Gawronski, "'Normal Versus Special Time Corruption: An Exploration of Mexican Attitudes,"
forthcoming Cambridge Journal oflnternational Affairs 15:1 (Spring-Summer 2001).

27 Denis Lynn Daly Heyck, Life Stories of the ..i, ... g1,.1,, Revolution (New York: Routledge, 1990): 49.

28 James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of Modern Central America (New York:
Verso, 1988): 235-236 and John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The ...... ogini,,i Revolution, 81.

29 John A Booth, The End and the Beginning: The ......... goi,, Revolution, 84, 113, 124-125 and 277.

30 Anderson, Politics in CentralAmerica, 156-159.

31 Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus, 469.









communities which had been most affected by the disaster. In addition, the government

persecuted missionary and other humanitarian groups who tried to supply needed help to

these areas independently of official, state channels.32 Peasants, particularly those in

affected areas of the country, responded by organizing, criticizing the government and

articulating their demands better than ever before.33 Meanwhile, several companies took

advantage of the post-disaster crisis to lay off hundreds of workers and thus weaken labor

unions. Workers responded by consolidating themselves into a united front and

demanding that both their labor rights be secured and that the government respond to the

needs of disaster victims.34 Jonas has noted that "some of the most important, urban-

based movements" in Guatemala emerged "from the rubble of the massive earthquake of

1976 ... Not long after the earthquake, when the potential of these organizations became

clear, the repression began."35 Eventually, this post-disaster organization and the state's

responsiveness to it helped strengthen the Guerrilla Army of the Poor, which gained

much of its support from those highland communities most affected by the disaster.

Unlike the FSLN, this guerrilla group was unsuccessful in overthrowing the government

or prompting a true regime transition in Guatemala. Instead, the increasing discontent

and organization among civil society groups here led to a prolonged civil war.

The political violence that engrossed Nicaragua and Guatemala after the 1972 and

1976 earthquakes does not arise after all disasters. Nevertheless, such events may prompt

32 Ibid and Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit (New York: Anchor Books, 1983): 249.

33 Ibid, capitulo VII.

34 Jos6 Manuel Fernmndez, "Comunidades indigenas y conflict social en Guatemala," Ph.D. Dissertation
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1988: 207-215.

35 Susanne Jonas, The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads and U.S. Power (Boulder,CO.:
Westview Press, 1991): 124-125.









equally destabilizing but less violent effects on a country's political system. During the

1840's three, devastating hurricanes passed over Cuba leaving a trail of destruction in

their path. The experience of disaster and recovery united residents of the island and

encouraged them to begin viewing themselves as Cubans. The disasters, in other words,

contributed to the creation of a national identity. The Spanish government's reluctance to

offer emergency assistance to its subjects on the island or to ease temporarily import

taxes on them caused a schism between Creoles and the crown.36 Although the

dissatisfaction with monarchical rule and growing sense of national identity did not have

any immediate political or violent repercussions, they contributed to the Cuban struggle

for independence during the late 1800's.

The 1985 Mexico City Earthquake also had a non violent though more immediate

effect on that country's political system. The earthquake led to a dramatic and

spontaneous upsurge in civil society organizations whose prompt and coordinated

response to this crisis juxtaposed it to the government's slow, inappropriate and corrupt

mismanagement of emergency assistance.37 Many civil society groups eventually united

into an Earthquake Victim's Movement which effectively "undermined the repressive

discourse with which the government justified its exclusion of citizens from local

government, challenged the legitimacy of the political status quo in the Federal District




36 Louis A. Prez, Winds ofC I/,,,;. Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth Century Cuba
(Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2001): 135-138 and 143-147.

7 Ligia Tavera-Fenellosa, "The Movimiento de Damnificados: Democratic Transformation of Citizenry
and Government in Mexico City," Subnational Politics and Democratization in Mexico, Wayne A.
Cornelius, Todd A. Eisenstadt and Jane Hindley, eds. (La Jolla: Center fr U.S.-Mexican Studies, University
of California at San Diego, 1999) and Vincent Gawronski, "The 1985 Mexico City Disaster: A Critical
Juncture?" paper presented at the XXII Latin American Studies Association Conference, 16-18 March
2000.









and opened the door for the democratization of ... Mexico City."38 Although neither the

earthquake nor these emergent groups radically altered the national political system, they

accelerated socio-political changes that had already been underway and thus contributed

to the democratization process in Mexico.

Disasters may also prompt more subtle policy changes. Using the United States as

a focus of study, Birkland has argued that natural and technological disasters serve as

focusing events in public policies. They help bring new issues to the agenda and allow

new players to form part of the policy-making process.39 This may lead to the passage of

new legislation, even ones that politicians had been hesitant to consider previously.40

Although disasters can serve as catalysts for political change, they do not always

serve this function. If well managed, these events may legitimize rather than destabilize a

government or system of rule. The Argentine military's adept response to the 1944 San

Juan Earthquake helped the recently installed military junta legitimize its undemocratic

hold of government. Per6n's seemingly compassionate role and involvement in relief

efforts helped him rise in popularity and gain political control of Argentina soon after this

event.41 Similarly, Hurricane Fifi (1974) helped the Honduran military solidify and

extend its political control in Honduras. Although massive corruption diminished the



38 Tavera-Fenellosa, "The Movimiento de Damnificados," 108.

39 Thomas A. Birkland. After Disaster: Agenda ',,ima. Public Policy and Focusing Events, (Washington:
Georgetown University Press, 1997) and Thomas A. Birkland, "Natural Disasters as Focusing Events:
Policy Communities and Political Responses," International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
14:2 (August 1996).

40 Ibid and Stephanie Joan Willson, "Disaster, Law and Power: The Oil Spill Pollution Act of 1990," Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Delaware, 1998.

41 Mark Allen Healy, "The Ruins of the New Argentina: Peronism, Architecture and the Remaking of San
Juan After the 1944 Earthquake," Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2000.










effectiveness of the foreign aid that was received, the military government responded to

this disaster by implementing an agrarian reform law and distributing land to thousands

of Hondurans, many of whom had been adversely affected by the hurricane. This

enabled the military to gain support of the peasants and remain in power until the early

1980's.

Although disasters can contribute to socio-political changes, their ability to

contribute to long-lasting, social transformations has been questioned by several

sociological and anthropological studies. Siegel et al have presented a longitudinal study

revealing that neither social cohesion nor disunity persists for long after a disaster.42

Once people's emergency needs have been met and they have returned to their normal

and routinized mode of life, communities tend to revert back to the way they were before

the disaster. This has been further corroborated by qualitative, post-disaster studies.43

The groups that arise during the emergency phase tend to disappear, and traditional

leaders and organizations re-emerge.44 Sweet has shown that social behavior may return

to its pre-disaster pattern as early as a month after the initial shock.45 All of this suggests

that long-term, disaster-induced, social change is rare. Those changes that do persist tend

to be ones that were under way or under consideration before the crisis.46


42 Judith M. Siegel, Linda B. Bourque and Kimberley I. Shoaf, "Victimization after a Disaster: Social
Disorganization or Community Cohesion?" International Journal ofMass Emergencies and Disasters 17:3
(November 1999): 265-294.

43 Susanna Hoffman, "After Atlas Shrugs: Cultural Change or Persistence after Disaster," The Angry Earth,
Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susanna Hottini.. eds. (New York: Routledge, 1999): 302-325.

44 Oliver-Smith, Martyred City, 120-121.

45 Stephen Sweet, "The Effect of a Natural Disaster on Social Cohesion: A Longitudinal Study,"
International Journal ofMass Emergencies and Disasters 16:3 (November 1998): 321-331.

46 Quarantelli and Dynes, "Response to Social Crisis and Disaster," 34-35; and Miletti, Drabek, and Haas,
Human Systems in Extreme Environments: 138 and Oliver-Smith, Martyred City.









The preceding literature review suggests that countries that are devastated by

disasters often experience significant political transformations soon afterward. Such

changes are more likely to occur in places with an inequitable distribution of wealth and a

history of socio-political conflict. What has not been adequately explained is why

political change arises in these contexts. One could argue that disasters encourage the

organization of victims, highlight the commonalities between them, and encourage them

to act in the interest of the public good. Such mobilization eventually spills into the

political sphere, increases people's voice in politics and often leads to a change in the

political system. In other words, one could argue that disasters strengthen civil society,

change existing governance patterns and thus contribute to a process of democratization.

Unfortunately, the existing disaster literature does not support this contention.

Although various studies have shown that disasters prompt the organization and

mobilization of affected communities, they also reveal that this activity is evanescent.

The only social transformations that do persist are those that were already underway

before the disaster. So how or why might a political change arise? Do disasters cause

enduring transformations in the way citizens participate in politics but not in the way they

interact with neighbors? Do they only catalyze political changes among people with a

history of strong organization and political mobilization? Do they hasten political

transformations that had been initiated before the disaster or can they spur new ones?

Could other factors mediate how or when disasters affect the political sphere? These are

just some of the questions to be explored in this dissertation. Before these queries are

answered, we must consider the socio-political effects of foreign aid, be it derived from

foreign governments, multilateral agencies or NGOs.









The Political Effects of Foreign Aid

Foreign aid is frequently transferred to disaster-afflicted areas soon after the initial

shock of such an event. But the way such assistance is channeled varies considerably

depending on the source of such funds. Bilateral and multilateral agencies usually extend

assistance to the central government rather than to those communities or regions most

affected by disasters. Their aid frequently is used to undertake broad socio-economic

policies or infrastructural projects as well as to improve the state's ability to implement

these. Due to their macro focus, such aid tends to have little impact on average citizens

or local structures. NGOs, on the other hand, generally offer their assistance directly to

target communities, often bypassing political authorities or at least excluding them from

participating in the dissemination of such aid. Unlike bilateral and multilateral donors,

NGOs try to address localized issues and concerns, many of which are self-identified by

recipient groups. Due to their level of intervention, international donors tend to influence

national level politics. They do so by encouraging state agencies to be more open and

responsive to the general populace and thus creating spaces for improved state-society

relations. NGOs are most likely to influence local, socio-political issues. They

encourage the organization and mobilization of aid recipients and thus enable them to

engage their government representatives more efficiently. Although both types of donors

play an active role in developing countries during normal times, their level and degree of

intervention usually increases in the aftermath of disaster, making their socio-political

impact more evident. The following sections will review what is known about the

political effects of both international donors and NGOs.









International Donor Impact

Bilateral and multilateral donors have been shown to have a significant impact on

the process of democratic consolidation. They have accomplished this by conditioning

their financial assistance, popularizing a particular development discourse and

disseminating their norms and ideas through these means. This external pressure partly

resulted in a "Third Wave" of democracy during the late 1970's and 1980's47 and to a

deepening of democracy since then.

The use of conditionalities has been one of the principal ways through which

bilateral and multilateral agencies have promoted their vision of democratic governance.

A conditionality, as Nelson explains, "entails offering a benefit if ... the receiver takes

specific actions (or refrains from taking actions which the donor disapproves)."48 These

benefits may be economic such as when an international agency offers a loan to a

developing country on the condition that certain public policies be adopted. Or the

incentive may be political such as when the European Union makes membership in its

organization contingent upon having a stable democracy.49 The incentive may also be

positive or negative in form. A donor may use its assistance to reward a country for

adopting certain policy or institutional changes or it may threaten to withdraw or not

distribute aid if specific conditions are not met. Not all countries are affected equally by

47 Huntington, The Third Wave.

48 Joan M. Nelson, Encouraging Democracy: What Role for ConditionedAid? (Washington, D.C.:
Overseas Development Council, 1992): 10.

49 Geoffrey Pridham, "The European Union, Democratic Conditionality and Transnational Party Linkages,"
Democracy Without Borders: Transnationalization and Conditionality in New Democracies, Jean Grugel,
ed. (London: Routledge: 1999); Geoffrey Pridham, "The Politics of the European Community:
Transnational Networks and Democratic Transition in Southern Europe," Encouraging Democracy: The
International Context ofRegime Transition in Southern Europe, Geoffrey Pridham, eds. (New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1991); and Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth
Century (Norman: Universit of Oklahoma Press, 1993): 87-91.









such conditionalities.50 Those possessing strong exports such as oil tend to be more

insulated from these external pressures than countries such as Honduras that are

dependent on banana and coffee production.

The use of conditionalities has evolved significantly during the last half century.

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and several bilateral donors have

been attaching conditions to the loans they disburse since their foundation. Initially, most

of these conditions were project specific.51 The focus was on designing good

development projects and policies. After the oil crisis of the 1970's, international

financial institutions began broadening and increasing the qualifying factors for their aid

by requiring loan recipients to implement neo-liberal economic reforms. This led several

governments to transfer many of its functions to the market and adopt structural

adjustment packages.52 Initially, neither these financial institutions nor other

international donors conditioned their aid on political reforms, but this began to change

during the 1970's when a network of NGOs began publicizing and raising public

awareness of human rights abuses being committed throughout the world.53 President

Jimmy Carter's administration responded to this situation by making U.S. foreign

development assistance contingent on human rights protection. Other European

governments adopted the same policy. Since most human rights violations were



50 Nelson, Encouraging Democracy, 47.

51 Joan M. Nelson and Stephanie J. Englinton, Global Goals, Contentious Means: Issues of Multiple Aid
Conditionality (Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1993): 12-15.

52 Ibid and Nelson, Encouraging Democracy, 33-39.

53 Kathryn Sikkink, "The Emergence, Evolution and Effectiveness of the Latin American Human Rights
Network," C. ,, i,,. ia,, Democracy: Human Rights, Citizenship and Society in Latin America, Elizabeth
Jelin and Eric Hershberg, eds. (Boulder: Westview, 1996): 59-84.









committed by military or authoritarian governments at the time, bilateral donors began

using their aid packages to promote transitions to democracy, as well.54 By the 1980's

most bilateral donors were encouraging both democratization and human rights

protection through the use of conditionalities.

Some multilateral aid agencies were more hesitant to advocate these political

reforms. The World Bank and International Monetary Funds, for example, claimed that

their founding charters prohibited them from becoming involved in the political

institutions and procedures of aid recipient countries.5 They together with other donors

also did not want to bias Western political norms and institutions such as those inherent

in liberal democracy. Interestingly, these financial institutions did not refrain from

encouraging the political changes associated with neo-liberal economic policies-that

also had a Western bias. Nevertheless, by the 1980's this unfettered faith in market

capitalism had begun to waiver as the private sector proved itself unable to address the

myriad problems faced by developing nations. The impressive economic

accomplishments of a few industrializing countries in Eastern Asia and Latin America

during the1970's and 1980's proved that a strong, interventionist state could help achieve

economic growth.56 Although the need for political reforms continued to be evidenced in

many countries, theorists and policy makers alike increasingly acknowledged the need to



54 Adam Przeworski et al., Sustainable Democracy, (Cambridge: Cambridge Universiy Press, 1995): 6 and
Oda Van Canenburgh, "International Policies to Promote African Democratization," Democracy Without
Borders: Transnationalization and Conditionality in New Democracies, Jean Grugel, ed. (London:
Routledge: 1999): 92-105.

55 Joan M. Nelson and Stephanie J. Englinton, Global Goals, Contentious Means: Issues of Multiple Aid
Conditionality (Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1993): 53.

56 World Bank, The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1993).









include the government in development policies. Still wary of promoting liberal

democracy, international policy makers began discussing the need for better, more

accountable governance.57 Donors generally defined governance as the way states,

markets and civil society manage public affairs. The focus on governance allowed aid

agencies to question the legitimacy of a political regime while seemingly avoiding the

normative bias inherent in democratic systems.58 As Hewitt de Alcantara explains,

By talking about 'governance'-rather than 'state reform' or 'social and political
change'-multilateral banks and agencies within the development establishment
were able to address sensitive questions that could be lumped together under a
relatively inoffensive heading and usually couched in technical terms, thus
avoiding any implication that these institutions were exceeding their statutory
authority by intervening in the internal political affairs of sovereign states.59

The adoption of good governance as a policy concern did not entail the abandonment of

neo-liberalism. On the contrary, attention to governance enabled many organizations to

advocate transferring what had traditionally been government responsibilities to either

civil society or the market while also not ignoring the important role of the state in public

affairs. Some development agencies, choosing not to forgo their emphasis on democracy,

began espousing the need for democratic governance rather than the more generic good

governance. By the 1990's most development agencies were conditioning their aid on

the presence of either one of these.





57 Cynthia Hewlitt de Alcintara, "Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Governance," International Social
Science Journal 50:1 (March 1998): 105-113.

58 See Goran Hyden, "Governance and the Study of Politics," Governance and Politics in Africa, eds.
Goran Hyden and Michael Bratton (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992): 5; David Rothchild, "Conclusion:
Management of Conflict in West Africa," Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in
WestAfrica, ed. I. William Zartman (Washington: Brookings Institute Press, 1998): 198-199.

59 Hewlitt de Alcintara, "Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Governance," 107.









Donors have promoted democratization and good governance not only through the

use of conditionalities and material incentives, but also by disseminating a particular

political discourse. Politicians and civil society groups in developing nations

increasingly speak of the need to make governments more accountable, increase society's

role in public decision-making and create mechanisms and institutions that will improve

state-society relations. The ideas disseminated through this discourse can help change a

state's conceptions of development.60 Although the degree of actual commitment to

these ideational goals among those who profess them may be questionable, the mere fact

that this language is being employed is politically significant. As Yee explains,

"Language is crucial to the constitution of... reality."61 In order for democracy to be

consolidated, it must be preceded by a discussion of this process. The terms democracy

and human rights, for example, were popularized by various international forces during

the 1970's and 1980's until they became fundamental aspects of the political lexicon in

much of the developed and developing world. This change in discourse eventually

contributed to the increased protection of human rights and transition to elected civilian

governments in dozens of countries.62 Of course, the mere use of such language did not

ensure that those employing it acted in concert with what they professed. Schirmer has

shown how the Guatemalan military altered its discourse during the 1980's in order to

correspond better with the one being used by international donors at the time yet did little

60 Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press,
1996).

61 Albert S. Yee, "The Causal Effects of Ideation on Policy," International Organization 50:1 (Winter
1996):86.

62 Huntington, The Third Wave and Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. The Power
of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic ( /I I,,;.. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1999).










to change its policies.63 This period of dissonance between speech and action was short-

lived, however, and the country eventually began to abide by human rights norms.64 This

time lapse between when the government adopted a particular discourse and when it

actually abided by what it said is not unique to Guatemala. Risse and Sikkink have

argued that although governments sometimes alter their discursive practices for

instrumental reasons, they eventually come to accept the validity of what they profess.65

By popularizing a particular discourse, foreign aid agencies can induce a shift in

political norms. Since "a norm ... creates impetus for behavior consistent with the

belief,"66 a shift in norms usually leads to a concomitant behavioral adjustment.

Therefore, normative changes can lead to significant political transformations. As

Schmitz and Sell have explained, "the diffusion of democratic values and norms

institutionalizes new ideas in a given national context, thus making available images of

alternative regime types and influencing the changes in actors' preferences and

choices."67 By transforming normative structures, donor agencies can also prompt




63 Jennifer Schirmer, "The Looting of Democratic Discourse by the Guatemalan Military: Implications for
Human Rights," C.,, i, i,.o, i. Democracy: Human Rights, Citizenship and Society in Latin America,
Elizabeth Jelin and Eric Hershberg, eds. (Boulder: Westview, 1996): 85-97.

64 Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, "International Norms into Domestic Politics in Chile and
Guatemala," The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic ( /,,I,'.' Thomas Risse,
Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999): 172-204.

65 Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink, The Socialization of International Human Rights Norms into
Domestic Practices: Introduction," The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic
( l,,i. ,., Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1999): 1-38.

66 Ibid, 7.

67 Hans Peter Schmitz and Katrin Sell, "International Factors in Processes of Political Democratization,"
Democracy Without Borders: Transnationalization and Conditionality in New Democracies, Jean Grugel,
ed. (London: Routledge: 1999): 37-38.









domestic policy changes.68 As ideas gain prominence among a large group of people

they form an ideological structure that informs[] the structure of institutions, the nature

of social cooperation and conflict, and the attitudes and predispositions of the

population."69

The use of a particular discourse can also be used to gauge the performance of both

the politicians who employ it and the regime they represent. Politicians who speak of

human rights protection, government accountability, social auditing and eliminating

corruption will likely be judged by international actors and their constituents on the basis

of these concepts. In addition, political language helps frame the nature of political

interactions. It "lends representative legitimacy to some social interests more than others,

delineates the accepted boundaries of state action .. and privileges] some lines of

policy over others."70 All of this suggests that the new discourse on democratic

governance that has been popularized since the 1990's can help bring new actors to the

political scene and make the policies they advocate more tenable.

Although bilateral and multilateral donors can exert significant influence over an

aid recipient country, they do not determine the nature of politics there. The interests of

local elites as well as a series of socio-economic factors mediate the extent to which

international donors can affect national-level politics. Democracy, for example, seems

more likely to arise in countries that have industrialized and developed a bourgeoisie


68 Albert S. Yee, "The Causal Effects of Ideation on Policy," International O, ii,,ir.,, 50:1 (Winter
1996).
69 William H. Sewell, Jr., "Ideologies and Social Revolutions: Reflections on the French Case," The
Journal of Modern History 57:1 (1985): 173.

70 Peter A. Hall, "Policy Paradigms, Social Learning and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in
Britain," Comparative Politics 25: 3 (April 993): 289.









class than in those characterized by agrarian and feudal-type structures.71 It is also best

sustained by a strong civil society.72 Yet, the absence of these conditions does not

preclude the rise and consolidation of democracy. Politicians may decide to strengthen

democratic institutions despite the absence of these structural factors or instead choose to

weaken them in order to pursue their personal interests. Foreign actors can hasten the

process of democratization within either one of these contexts, particularly if a country is

ripe for such a change.73 They do so by changing the incentive structure of national level

politicians and forcing them to play what Putnam calls "two level games."74 In an effort

to appease international donors, national politicians may abide by their preconditions,

adopt their discourse, accept new norms and thus improve their democracy.

Periods of domestic crisis can increase the influence of foreign agents by

weakening the power of local elites and/or altering socio-economic conditions. Ikenberry

and Kupchan argue that during such times hegemonic states are better able to socialize

the elites of developing or "secondary" states into accepting their political ideas and

norms. In their words, "crisis creates an environment in which elites seek alternatives to

existing norms that have been discredited by events and in which new norms offer

opportunities for political gains and coalition realignment."75 Therefore, crisis can make


71 Barrington Moore, The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966).

72 Putnam, Making Democracy Work.

73 Huntington, The Third Wave, 86.

74 Robert Putnam, "Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two Level Games," International
O l"ii:oli. "' 42:3 (Summer 1988): 427-460. For a similar argument see Geoffrey Pridham, eds.
Encouraging Democracy: The International Context ofRegime Transition in Southern Europe (New York:
St. Martin's Press, 1991).

75 John G. Ikenberry and Charles A. Kupchan, "Socialization and Hegemonic Power," International
O,,,,,,,. ., 44:3 (Summer 1990).









ideas of democracy and good governance more attractive to domestic power brokers.

Although Ikenberry and Kupchan analyze periods of political turmoil such as those

created by war, foreign agents may be able to exert similar power over domestic actors

during times of disaster-induced crisis. This research will explore whether this has

occurred in Honduras.

NGO Impact

NGOs may contribute to the process of democratization as well. Unlike bilateral

and multilateral donors, they do not do this by pressuring national governments to adopt

certain ideas or policies. Instead, NGOs often contribute to this process by affecting the

nature and constitution of civil society. Their intervention, in other words, is directed at

the grass roots level rather than at the state-centered realm of high politics.

Several theorists have argued that NGOs can help strengthen civil society and thus

advance democratization in a country.76 They accomplish this in part by bringing people

together to implement NGO-sponsored development projects. This community building

process has a direct bearing on civil society. As Wapner explains, NGOs "organize

people into new forms of social interaction, and this makes for a more tightly woven web

of associational life."77 Yet NGOs do more than just unite people. They help beneficiary

groups translate their needs into a set of well formulated objectives and then develop

methods of action for achieving these.78 According to Carroll, this is accomplished by


76 G. Sidney Silliman and Lela Garner Noble, ed. ORGANIZING FOR DEMOCRACY: NGOs, Civil
Society, and the Philippine State ( Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 1988) and Leilah Landim, "NGOs
in Latin America," World Development 15 supplement (1987):29-38.

77 Paul Wapner, "Politics Beyond the State: Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics," World
Politics 47 (April 1995): 333.

8 Telmo Frantz, "The Role of NGOs in the Strengthening of Civil Society," World Development 15
supplement (1987): 126.









encouraging beneficiaries to participate in project decision making and implementation.79

Clark adds that NGOs foster strong local leadership, build communication skills, and

encourage locals to tackle injustice.80 This often leads people to become more involved

in local political issues.81 As a result of this political activism, NGOs as well as the

community groups they support can affect the implementation of government policies

and even challenge established power structures at the local level.82 An NGOs' impact is

not always constrained to this level of politics, however. These organizations may

support social movements or encourage project beneficiaries to mobilize in order to

influence national policies. The potentially positive impact that NGOs can have on civil

society has led many bilateral and multilateral donors to finance the activities of such

organizations since the 1980s.83

Not all NGOs have this democratizing effect. Those non-governmental

organizations that only distribute credit or similar assistance or who primarily serve a

social or recreational purpose are unlikely to have any political impact. Carroll argues

that NGOs that focus on grassroots development and on organizing target communities



79 Thomas F. Carroll, Intermediary NGOs: The ij... i,, Link in Grassroots Development (West
Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1992).

80 John Clark, ,, .. :',, Development: The Role of Voluntary Organizations (London: Earthscan
Publications, 1991): 91 and John Clark, "The State, Popular Participation and the Voluntary Sector," World
Development 23:4 (1995): 593-601.

81 Julie Fisher, The Road from Rio: Sustainable Development and the Nongovernmental Movement in the
Third World (London: Praeger, 1993): 16.

82 Michael Bratton, "Non Governmental Organizations in Africa: Can They Influence Government Policy?"
Development and ( li,,o.,.. 21 (1990): 87-118.

83 Harry Blair, "Donors, Democratisation and Civil Society: Relating Theory to Practice,"
NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael Edwards,
eds. (New York: St. Martin's, 1997).









are the ones most likely to encourage people to act together to tackle political issues.84

Similarly, Frantz contends that NGOs that support social movements or initiatives that

express the free will of the people are the ones most likely to strengthen civil society.85

Some scholars doubt that even these specific NGOs can make such contributions to

democracy. Hulme and Edwards accept the contention that NGOs can help form

community organizations. However, they argue that these groups are often created only

to achieve project goals and do not articulate, represent or achieve member needs.86 They

together with Huduck and Bazaara contend that the relationship between NGOs and

donors can limit further the extent to which these organizations can contribute to social

change. 87 This is because NGO projects tend to respond to the goals of and be

accountable to donor agencies rather than target groups.88 As a result, the latter are rarely

allowed to affect the design and implementation of the projects that are meant to benefit

them. This situation may engender a paternalistic and dependent relationship between






84 Carroll, Intermediary NGOs.

85 Frantz, "The Role of NGOs in the Strengthening of Civil Society,"123.

86 Michael Edwards and David Hulme, eds. Beyond the Magic Bullet: NGO Performance and
Accountability in the Post Cold War (West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian, 1996); David Hulme and
Michael Edwards, "Too Close to the Powerful, Too Far from the Powerless," NGOs States and Donors:
Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds. (New York: St. Martin's, 1997).

87 Ann Huduck, NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy? (Cambridge: Polity
Press, 1999) and Nyangabyak Bazaara, Contemporary Civil Society and the
Democratisation Process in Uganda: A Preliminary Exploration (Kampala, Uganda:
CBR Publications 2000) and David Hulme and Michael Edwards, eds., NGOs States and
Donors: Too Close for Comfort? (New York: St. Martin's, 1997)..

88 Ibid and Cristina Ewig, "The Strengths and Limits of the NGOs Women's Movement Model: Shaping
Nicaragua's Democratic Institutions," Latin American Research Review 34:3 (1999): 75-102.









NGOs and the communities they seek to benefit.89 Abramson argues that in some

developing countries NGOs are used by a small, professional elite as vehicles to secure

jobs and higher incomes for themselves and their cohorts and do little to contribute to

socio-political change or development.90 Although such scenarios due not typify all

NGOs, they do caution that these organizations should not be seen as "a panacea for

making uncivil societies civil."91

NGOs' potential contribution to democracy is not limited to their ability to

organize target groups and encourage them to participate in politics. NGOs are often

active participants in their country's political system, as well. Therefore, they do not

merely help strengthen civil society through their effects on others, but are themselves an

active part of it. NGOs use their experience to position themselves into and influence

political debates of the day. As Pyle has explained, "NGOs are uniquely equipped to

work simultaneously at the grassroots and the public policy levels. Their close connection

with the target beneficiary population and strong grounding in community issues by

virtue of their ongoing work with those communities makes them ideal policy

advocates."92 This unique position often leads NGOs to undertake public awareness

campaigns, propose government policies, and lobby politicians. Such activities tend to

be particularly successful when these organizations form horizontal ties with other NGOs


89 Sarah C. White "NGOs, Civil Society, and the State in Bangladesh: The Politics of Representing the
Poor," Development and ( li,,i,..- 30:2 (1999): 307 and David Lehmann, Democracy and Development in
Latin America: Economics, Politics and Religion in the Postwar (Cambridge: Polity, 1990).

90 David M. Abramson, "A Critical Look at NGOs and Civil Society as a Means to an End in Uzbekistan,"
Human O, ; a,,, :,t,. 58:3 (Fall 1999): 240-251.

91 Ibid 242.

92 Kathryn Smith Pyle, "From Policy Advocate To Policy Maker: NGOs in Recife," Grassroots
Development 21:1 (1997).










and jointly tackle political issues.93 NGOs may also influence governments through

indirect means. Their positive experiences with development and popular participation

may inspire public officials to modify the operation of government and improve their

relationship with citizens.94 In addition, NGOs can democratize the informal political

processes in countries by building stronger institutions, educating citizens and promoting

micro-reform.95

Socio-political factors mediate the extent to which politically-engaged NGOs can

affect the public sphere. Ewig argues that NGOs can help shape public policies and

collaborate with government agencies so as to change the way the state delivers services

only when government officials are open to these organizations and their intervention.96

Therefore, political opportunity is a critical factor in explaining the extent to which

NGOs can contribute to democracy. Marsouk, Luong and Weinthal have shown that if a

state limits or tries to control the activities of NGOs, these organizations will make little

contribution to deepening democracy, even if they are actively engaged in the political

sphere.97 Although Ho argues that "citizens are not stopped by state regulations" that

seek to limit non-governmental and community-based organizations, he acknowledges

93 John W. Garrison II and Leilah Landim, "Harvesting the Bounty of Citizenship: The
Fight Against Hunger and Poverty in Brazil," Grassroots Development 19:2 (1995).

94 Clark, D,. i..... i:,, Development, 65.

95 John Friedmann, Empowerment: the politics of alternative development (Cambridge, MA : Blackwell,
1992).

96 Ewig, "The Strengths and Limits of the NGOs Women's Movement Model: Shaping Nicaragua's
Democratic Institutions."

97 Mohsen Marsouk, "The Associative Phenomenon in the Arab World: Engine of Democratisation or
Wiress to the Crisis?" NGOs States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? David Hulme and Michael
Edwards, eds. (New York: St. Martin's, 1997) and Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal, The NGO
Paradox: Democratic Goals and Non Democratic Outcomes in Kazakhstan," Europe-Asia Studies 51: 7
(November 1999).









that they can be prevented from tackling the state through broad, nationally-based

movements as a result of such restrictions.98 A state can also limit the extent to which an

NGO can strengthen civil society. Mac Donald has shown that when governments

encourage or complement the politically-focused work of NGOs, these organizations are

better able to transfer democratic skills to and encourage political participation among

target groups. When such support is unavailable, NGOs run the risk of creating a

dependence on external assistance and reinforcing traditional, clientelist behavior among

project beneficiaries.99 This does not mean that NGOs must operate under a friendly or

liberal democratic government to contribute to civil society and democracy more

generally. Such organizations can emerge and function successfully even in authoritarian

systems and both promote democratic values and resist the state's attempts to control

their activities within such environments.100 However, the political system within which

they operate, be it officially democratic or not, can help to either constrain or enable their

work.

The literature on NGOs suggests that organizations that support grass-roots

development can make a positive contribution to democracy. They help organize target

groups, raise the socio-political awareness of participants, develop their leadership skills

and encourage them to become politically active. Some NGOs further strengthen civil

society by becoming active participants in politics. But an NGOs' capacity to affect

98 Peter Ho, "Greening Without Conflict? Environmentalism, NGOs and Civil Society in China,"
Development and ( 1,1,,..- 32, no. 5 (2001): 893-921.

99 Laura Mac Donald, c',f' ." *',, ~ Civil Society: The Political Role ofNon Governmental Organizations in
CentralAmerica (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997).

100 Ho, "Greening Without Conflict?" and Brian Loveman, "Chilean NGOs: Forging a Role in Transition to
Democracy," New Paths to Democratic Development in Latin America, Charles A. Reilley, ed. (Boulder:
Lynne Rienner: 1995): 119-144.










broad structures and policies is determined by political opportunity. They are most

politically influential if the state either supports or at least does not interfere with their

work.

Theorizing Governance

This dissertation will use the theoretical lens of governance to explore how a major

natural disaster, international aid organizations and NGOs affected state-civil society

relations in Honduras. Governance generally refers to the way states and societies interact

in order to manage their public affairs. Historically, political governance has been

viewed as a primacy of states or governments101 and has been associated with those

actions that result in public policies. Recently, however, these assumptions have come

into question.102 Scholars have recognized that states cannot and often do not determine

socio-political outcomes and that important aspects of governance often exist outside of

government. 103 Scholars have also stopped associating governance with just policy and

have begun analyzing also how states and their societies govern the regimes or

institutions that constrain them.

Unfortunately, the literature on governance is far from consolidated. Different

subfields of political science have adopted slightly different interpretations of this

process. Public administration scholars tend to view governance as a process of steering

101 Gerry Stoker, "Governance as Theory: Five Propositions," International Social Science Journal 50:1
(March 1998): 17
102 Several theorists emphasize that government is not the same thing as government. For example see
Meghnad Desai, "Global Governance," Global Governance: Ethics and Economics of the World Order,
Meghnad Desai and Paul Redfern, eds. (London: Pinter, 1995): 7; James Rosenau, "Governance, Order and
Change in World Politics," Governance Without Government: Order and ( ,, i;..- in World Politics, eds.
James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992): 4; and
R.A.W. Rhodes, Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, Reflexivity andAccountability
(Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1997): 53.

103 James Rosenau, "Governance, Order and Change in World Politics," 4.









or controlling public policy while students of international relations and comparative

politics tend see it as the way state-society relations maintain and are affected by existing

institutions. These different understandings of governance are not mutually exclusive,

however. They merely reflect and are a response to the distinct theoretical concerns that

have driven scholarship in these subfields.

The concept of governance arose in policy circles during the 1980's as a result of

previous disappointments with state reform. 104 During the 1950's and 1960's,

governments and international aid organizations had expressed an almost unwavering

faith in the state's ability to promote socio-economic development. As the limitations of

this approach became evident, scholars and practitioners began proclaiming the failure of

the welfare state in Europe and of state-led development in the Africa, Asia and Latin

America. They suggested that downsizing governments and shifting some of the state's

previous responsibilities to the private sector could secure socio-economic and political

goals more effectively. A new development discourse was needed to justify these neo-

liberal policies and have them accepted by both governments and citizens. New

theoretical constructs also had to be developed in order to better understand the socio-

political repercussions of these policies. Governance was able to fill both of these needs.

International aid organizations began using the concept of governance in order to

explain how public policies would have to be conducted in the context of neo-liberal

economics and a smaller state. The World Bank described governance as "the manner in



104 For a historical review of why governance arose in applied policy circles see Cynthia Hewlitt de
Alcintara, "Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Governance," International Social Science Journal 50:1
(March 1998) and Renate Mayntz, "Governing Failures and the Problem of Governability: Some
Comments on a Theoretical Paradigm," Modern Governance: New Government-Society Interactions, ed.
Jan Kooiman (London: Sage, 1993).









which power is exercised in the management of a country's economic and social

resources for development."105 It emphasized that the state was not the only actor

responsible for this activity; governments, the private sector and civil society all had to

participate in this process. In practice, however, the World Bank has treated the concept

of governance as little more than government management. It has claimed that effective

governance is based on technical expertise, effectiveness, accountability, rule of law and

transparency.106 Political corruption has been described as its antithesis. The

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has adopted a similar view of governance and

focused its energy on improving government management of economic issues.107 NGOs

have been encouraged to adopt a relatively minor or less powerful role in the

management process-that of monitoring the activities of governments and holding them

accountable for their actions. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

also has emphasized that accountability and public participation are integral parts of good

governance. However, this organization has de-emphasized the role of government and

highlighted the position society plays in this process. It sees governance not merely as

management, but as the way that societies distribute power to manage public resources

and problems. It further defines the term as the way in "which citizens and groups

articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their




105 See World Bank, Governance and Development (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992): 1 and World
Bank, Governance: The World Bank's Experience (Washington, D.C.: United Nations, 1994).
106 Ibid and World Bank, Managing Development: The Governance Dimension (Washington, D.C.: World
Bank, 1991).

107 International Monetary Fund (IMF), Good Governance: The IMF's Role (Washington, D.C.: IMF,
1997).









differences."108 Although the UNDP's view of governance is more encompassing than

that of the IMF and the World Bank, all of these institutions have used the term as a code

word for government down-sizing, reform and privatization.109

Unlike these development organizations, public policy and administration analysts

turned to governance in order to study the way neo-liberalism had changed the nature of

politics. European scholars observed that their political systems were less centralized and

hierarchical during the 1990's than they had been in the past. Not only were decisions

being made in multiple, decentralized spheres of governing, but societal groups were

having an increasingly important role in this process. Kooiman et al suggested that the

concept of governance be used to describe the regularized patterns of interactions that

emerge when public and private actors try to shape the political development of their

societies.110 They argued that a governance approach to politics ceased associating needs

with society and capacities with the state. Instead, it recognized that each of these groups

had needs and capacities relevant to the other.111 Since the distinction between the state

and society was increasingly indeterminate, Rhodes also suggested that the concept of

networks be used to describe the interactions that arose between these two groups.112




108 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Reconceptualizing Governance, Discussion Paper #2
(New York: UNDP, 1997): 9.

109 See Robert Picciotto, FPo, i Institutional Economics to Work: From Participation to Governance,
World bank Discussion pipci I -'14 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1995): 13-16. For a similar view see
Gerry Stoker, "Local Governance," Public Administration 75:1 (1997): 18.
110 Jan Kooiman, ed. Modern Governance: New Government-Society Interactions (London: Sage, 1993).

111 Jan Kooiman, "Governance and Governability: Using Complexity, Dynamics and Diversity," Modern
Governance: New Government-Society Interactions, ed. Jan Kooiman (London: Sage, 1993): 43-44.

112 R.A.W. Rhodes, Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, andAccountability, 57.









Some public policy scholars argued that it was not enough to view governance as

merely the negotiations or interactions among actors, as most of the policy literature was

doing. March and Olsen asserted that governance also "involves affecting the framework

within which citizens and [state] officials act and politics occurs."113 They claimed that

an analysis of democratic governance, their particular focus of study, requires "a

discussion of how institutional frameworks can be organized to achieve democratic ideals

and how institutions are constituted and changed within the processes they define."114

Rhodes had also acknowledged, at least implicitly, that governance involves some degree

of institutional maintenance for he had noted that state-society interactions are "regulated

by rules of the game negotiated and agreed by network participants."115

International relations scholars also emphasized the institutional aspects of

governance. However, their interest in this derived not from the political changes

associated with neo-liberalism but rather with those resulting from the collapse of

communism. These scholars tried to explain why our world had not been thrown into

disarray after the collapse of both a world hegemon and a bipolar world order. Their

explanation was the emergence of world governance. Proponents of this view accept that

interdependence is an increasing characteristic of our world and argue that this has helped

create commonly accepted norms, rules and patterns of behavior that facilitate

international cooperation.116 Consequently, they try to examine those factors that enable


113 James G. March and Johan P. Olsen, Democratic Governance (New York: Free Press, 1998): 6
114 Ibid

115 Rhodes, Understanding Governance, 53.
116 See K.J. Holsti, "Governance without Government: Polyarchy in Nineteenth Century European
International Politics," Governance Without Government: Order and ( /I,, i... in World Politics, eds. James
N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).










agreement and collaboration to arise beyond the nation-state.117 While there is still some

disagreement in this subfield regarding what constitutes governance, most theorists have

defined it as either a system of rules (i.e., an institution) and/or as the act of managing

them. The latter one of these definitions has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Holsti, for example, describes governance as the authoritative and legitimate management

of the international system.118 Similarly, Young defines it as "the establishment and

operation of social institutions (in the sense of rules of the game that serve to define

practices, assign roles, and guide interactions among the occupants of these roles) capable

of resolving conflicts, facilitating cooperation or, more generally, alleviating collective-

action problems in a world of interdependent actors."119

Historically, international relation scholars have assumed that governance is a

process undertaken by governments.120 However, the recent literature on the subject has

emphasized that governance is more than just government.121 In other words, the order it

creates is not solely a product of state or government actions.122 Non state-actors also


117 See Olav Schram Stokke, "Regimes as Governance Systems," Global Governance: Drawing Insights
from the Environmental Experience (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997): 58.

118 K.J. Holsti, "Governance Without Government: Polyarchy in Nineteenth Century European
International Politics," Governance Without Government: Order and (C ,, i,,.. in World Politics, eds. James
N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992): 32-33.

119 Oran R. Young, International Governance: F, r.... ini, the Environment in a Stateless Society, (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 1994): 15 and Oran R. Young, "Rights, Rules and Resources in World Affairs,"
Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience, ed. Oran R. Young
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997): 4.
120 Stoker, "Governance as Theory: Five Propositions," 17.

121 For example see Meghnad Desai, "Global Governance," 7; James Rosenau, "Governance, Order and
Change in World Politics," 4 and Smouts, "The Proper Use of Governance in International Relations," 82.
121 James Rosenau, "Governance, Order and Change in World Politics," 4.

122 See Global Governance: Ethics and Economics of the World Order (London: Pinter, 1995).









play a significant role in this process. Wapner has argued that it is important to consider

not only the actions of non-state actors when explaining the maintenance of institutions,

but also their interactions within and across national boundaries.123 He along and other

theorists have suggested that non-statal, transnational interactions create a "global civil

society."124 These can impact not only a state's public policies, but also the policies

pursued by international institutions.125 By emphasizing the domestic and international

linkages between and among state and non-state actors, international relations theorists

are implicitly or explicitly suggesting that governance is the creation and management of

institutions by states and societies.126

Comparative politics scholars have adopted a similar view of governance. But,

their interest in the subject originates from a different concern-the proliferation of

democracy in the last quarter of the twentieth century, particularly after the demise of

communism in Eastern Europe. While most of this subfield dedicated itself to exploring

the factors that contribute to the establishment, consolidation and deepening of

democracy, some African scholars cautioned that this scholarly focus was causing

various political systems to be judged on the basis of Western norms and standards and

that the democracy paradigm might be inappropriate for studying some regions of the

world. They suggested that attention to governance would allow analysts to determine


123 Paul Wapner, Governance in Global Civil Society," Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the
Environmental Experience, ed. Oran R. Young (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997).
124 Ibid, Scott Turner, "Global Civil Society, Anarchy and Governance: Assessing an Emerging Paradigm,"
Journal of Peace Research 35:1 (January 1998);
125 Robert O'Brien et al., C. ',,n,. n,, Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global
Social Movements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
126 See Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood (Oxford University Press, 1995).









whether a regime was legitimate while avoiding the normative bias inherent in studies of

democracy.127 Since these African specialists also were interested in explaining regime

maintenance and change, they adopted an institutional view of governance. Hyden, one

of the leading proponents of this approach, defined governance as "the conscious

management of regime structures" by state-society interactions in order to increase the

legitimacy of the public realm.128 "Its central concern," according to Bratton and

Rothchild, "is with the interactive processes of bargaining among actors in a state and

society over the permissible limits of politics."129 They further suggested that an analysis

of governance must involve "an assessment of the capacities of contending parties to

promote or block regime-altering reforms."130

As can be seen, each of these subfields of political science has adopted the concept

of governance in order to explain different facets of political reality and address varying

theoretical concerns. Nevertheless, they share some common views on the subject. All

agree that governance is maintained by the interactions or relationship patterns between

states and societies. Comparative politics and international relations scholars are

interested in the way these actors manage political regimes. They acknowledge that

although existing institutions constrain the nature of state-society relations, these actors

can change the rules of the game as sometimes occurs during a regime transition. Policy


127 See Goran Hyden, "Governance and the Study of Politics," Governance and Politics in Africa, eds.
Goran Hyden and Michael Bratton (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992): 5; David Rothchild, "Conclusion:
Management of Conflict in West Africa," Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in
West Africa, ed. I. William Zartman (Washington: Brookings Institute Press, 1998): 198-199.
128 Hyden, "Governance and the Study of Politics," 7.

129 Bratton and Rothchild, "The Institutional Bases of Governance in Africa," 270.

130 Ibid









analysts and practitioners are less interested in regime change and management. They

tend to view governance as the way state-society actors negotiate and arrive at policy

decisions within given institutions. However, some policy scholars argue that in order to

understand these decision-making processes, one must also evaluate the institutional

frameworks within which they are made and the ways in which these can be altered. This

dissertation accepts many of the insights offered by these varying approaches.

Consequently, governance is understood here to be the way states and societies interact in

order to manage their regimes and reach policy decisions within these mutually accepted

rules of the game.

Hyden suggests that in order to study governance, one must analyze 1) how citizens

participate in the political process, influence their political representatives and oversee

their actions; 2) how political leaders respond to the demands of their constituents; and 3)

whether citizens are equal participants in the political game.131 In addition, Rothchild

suggests that one analyze the nature and intensity of the demands made by different

actors on the political system.132 Unfortunately, few studies have tried to study these

issues systematically. As a result, the literature on governance has been constrained to

the level of theory and has been applied on rarely. This dissertation will contribute to

this body of literature by presenting a case study analysis of governance.

Although theories of governance have been presented as an alternative to those on

democracy, particularly by comparativists, the two approaches need not be antithetical.

Their difference lies mostly in their focus. The democratization literature explores the


131 Goran Hyden, "Governance and the Study of Politics," 14-16.
132 Ibid









various factors that affect the performance and longevity of democracies. Consequently,

scholars writing within this field tend to analyze how civil society, political elites and

institutions affect these regimes. Unfortunately, they rarely explore how these three

factors interact with one another.133 Studies of governance, on the other hand, emphasize

the relational aspect of a regime. They evaluate the nature of state-society interactions

and then deduce the possible effects this may have on political institutions.

Although the concept of governance is related to that of democracy, the two should

be viewed as distinct. A democracy is a type of political system characterized, among

other things, by the presence of regular elections for choosing government officials.

Although it is often assumed that those elected into office will make most or all of the

relevant public decisions there, this is often not the case. Non-state actors frequently

influence the policies that are developed in such systems as well as the institutions or

rules of the game within which these are made. The more participatory a democracy

becomes, the more societal groups affect this process. The concept of governance

captures the behavioral dimension of democracy and the increasingly complex set of

actors involved in decision-making there. This has led Hirst to suggest that his

associative model of democracy is the one most compatible with the governance

approach to politics because it emphasizes the ongoing communication between






133 One exception is Leonardo Morlino, Democracy Between Consolidation and Crisis: Parties, Groups
and Citizens in Southern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). Morlino looks at how the
relationship between elites and civil society affect the legitimacy and thus longevity of a democracy.
Unfortunately, he focuses almost exclusively on how political parties mediate and represent citizen
interests and ignores how other organized groups in society may do the same. Although this approach
advances our understanding of how non-elite, political interactions impact democratization, it may be
inappropriate for other newly democratic settings where parties fail to channel citizen demands.









governors and governed.134 Yet the applicability of governance is not limited to

democracies. It can be used to analyze the relational processes that occur within any

regime.

Democracies, when understood in their minimalist sense, may be sustained by

various models of governance. The state-centered model is the most common and

traditional form of governance. The state tends to dominate decision-making in these

settings to the exclusion of most societal groups. Consequently, most policies and

institutions are designed in an authoritarian, hierarchical and exclusionary manner.

Although this style of governance may be present in a country that has adopted formal

democratic structures (i.e., a constitution, elections, etc.), it is not compatible with a

deeper or consolidated democracy because social actors generally are excluded from

political participation and political elites remain unresponsive to them. This may limit

the legitimacy of the regime and cause it to be unstable. Countries like Honduras that

have recently made a transition to democracy tend to be characterized by this form of

governance. At the other end of the spectrum lies the society-centered model of

governance. In such settings, public decision-making occurs in diffuse nodes comprised

of multiple societal actors. The state, though present, is too weak vis a vis society to

perform key decision-making tasks. Although this style of governance is highly

participatory, it too may be incompatible with democracy if the social groups who make

most policy decisions are unknown or not accountable to voters. Moreover, these social

actors may themselves be organized in a highly hierarchical and undemocratic manner.


134 Paul Hirst, "Democracy and Governance," i,. i,,,n Governance: Authority, Steering and Democracy,
ed. Jon Pierre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and Paul Hirst, Associative Democracy,
(Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994).









When taken to the extreme, this style of governance can breed political anarchy and

destabilize a political regime. In between these two ideal-types lie various shades of

governance. No one style of governance is compatible with all settings. Citizens and

political elites must determine jointly the most appropriate form of governance for them.

But for a democracy to be stable, a state and societal actors must cooperate with one

another on an equal footing in order to manage their regime and public affairs. This

suggests, as Hyden has noted, that the more governance is characterized by trust,

reciprocity, authority and accountability, the more legitimate a political regime will be.135

Since the hierarchical or state-centered model of governance has been the

traditional way of organizing and interpreting political relationships and continues to

characterize many existing regimes, Pierre and Peters suggest that it be used as the

benchmark against which newer, emerging models of governance should be assessed.136

But the use of this model should not preclude an analysis of society. Indeed Peters

argues that studies of governance should begin with a focus on society.137 This is

particularly critical in cases such as Honduras where civil society has traditionally been

weak. One must approach a study of governance there by analyzing the strength of

different social groups and the ways they are interacting with political elites (e.g., through

confrontation, negotiation, clientelism, etc). Only then can one determine how society is

challenging a hierarchical state and forcing it to open new channels of participation.




135 Hyden, "Governance and the Study of Politics."

136 Pierre and Peters, Governance, Politics and the State, 14-18.

137 B. Guy Peters, "Governance and Comparative Politics," D, i';' Governance: Authority, Steering and
Democracy, ed. Jon Pierre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000): 49.









This dissertation acknowledges that governance occurs at multiple levels.138 In the

international arena, it involves establishing and maintaining institutions or rules of the

game that enable cooperation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. At a national level,

it helps maintain constitutional laws and arrive at public decisions that are made within

these legal parameters. Governance is also relevant at the subnational level. Citizens

may negotiate with local government authorities the proper conduct of politics and may

determine the types of policies that are to be implemented in their communities.139

Although the nature of governance in any one of these levels may impact what occurs in

another, this need not always be the case. States and social actors may maintain distinct

relationship patterns in different settings. For example, although civil society may play a

prominent role in the maintenance of national, democratic institutions, they may be

excluded from participating in key, decision-making processes at the local level. Such a

scenario could lead to the partial consolidation of democracy.

Conclusion

This chapter has reviewed four seemingly distinct bodies of theory to see how they

may inform our understanding of political change in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch.

The literature on disasters suggests that crisis events can serve as catalysts for political

transformation, but it fails to specify how this might occur. Although some studies have

shown that pre-existing groups are strengthened and new ones emerge after a disaster,

both tend to disappear once the emergency period has passed. Consequently, there is no


138 This point has been made by David Rothchild, "Conclusion: Management of Conflict in West Africa,"
197 Pierre and Peters, Governance, Politics and the State.
139 For a recent analysis of some of the problems associated with local governance see Mike Raco and John
Flint, "Communities, places and Institutional Relations: Assessing the Role of Area-Based Community
Representation in Local Governance," Political Geography 20:5 (June 2001): 585-612.









strong evidence to show that disasters affect civil society. Nevertheless, mass-based

groups have arisen and become politically active in some countries during the years after

such a crisis. This suggests that other factors, not merely the experience of disaster, must

contribute to this development. Since bilateral, multilateral and NGO assistance often are

channeled to victims after a disaster, this chapter has explored how the presence of either

one of these can affect a socio-political environment. The literature on foreign aid notes

that donor countries and institutions often pressure aid-recipient governments to alter

existing political practices or structures by conditioning their aid and disseminating a

particular development discourse. NGOs may also affect socio-political processes at the

grass-roots level by encouraging target groups to organize and become more politically

active. When viewed together, these three bodies of literature suggest that bilateral and

multilateral donors may lead to political change through their effect on government while

disasters and NGOs may achieve the same by affecting the nature and activity of civil

society. In order to determine whether these changes arose in Honduras, this dissertation

has adopted the theoretical lens of governance. Governance theories assert that both state

and societal actors affect public policies and institutions. Thus an analysis of political

change, when approached from this perspective, must consider the nature of both of these

groups of actors and the pattern of interactions that exists between them. This theoretical

focus should reveal whether and how the experience of disaster and the advent of aid

affected the Honduran political system.














CHAPTER 3
A HISTORY OF HONDURAN GOVERNANCE

Introduction

Governance has been an elitist and state-centric process throughout most of

Honduran history. Intra-elite bargaining, periodic civil wars and the economic influence

of foreign interests determined political decision-making during the first century after

independence. Honduran society remained atomized, unorganized and detached from

politics during this period. Vibrant, mass-based, social organizations began to emerge

during the mid-twentieth century and quickly challenged elite, political hegemony.

Initially, these groups succeeded in obtaining some concessions from the state through

intense public protest. However, they remained excluded from the decision-making

process. As Honduran civil society developed, diversified and strengthened, its repertoire

of demands grew to include calls for institutional change. The state and political elites

reacted to this continual mass pressure through a variety of tactics, including

acquiescence, cooptation, repression and the extension of political representation. Each

of these responses impacted the strength and unity of civil society and their its demand

for greater political inclusion. This chapter traces the development of Honduran civil

society, its participation in politics and the state's responsiveness to it. It will end by

discussing the nature of Honduran governance on the eve of Hurricane Mitch.

Early Civil Society

Honduran civil society remained atomized and undeveloped throughout most of the

nineteenth and early twentieth century. The prevalence of small farm, subsistence-









oriented agricultural activities during this period kept most citizens isolated from each

other and more interested in survival than in socio-political issues. Caudillo politics and

occasional armed conflicts further discouraged social organization.1 Unlike other Latin

American countries, Honduras' wealthy and elite classes also remained divided.2 This is

due to the fact that no bourgeoisie or significant landed oligarchy ever developed here.3

Elite families continued to engage in feudal economic activities much as they had during

colonial times and did not take advantage of the capitalist opportunities associated with

export-led growth.4 Although elites established some social clubs during the nineteenth

and early twentieth century,5 these were dedicated primarily to leisure activities and did

not encourage broader socio-political organization and mobilization.

The country's first civil society groups emerged during the early twentieth century.

Mutual aid societies proliferated during the early 1900's such that by 1927 approximately

twenty of them existed in the country. Most of these organizations were based in the

capital. None sought to vindicate workers' rights or challenge the existing socio-political

structure. Members merely helped each other confront periods of personal crisis brought

on by illness, unemployment or death. More belligerent workers' groups arose during

this time in the export-oriented, mining and banana enclaves that had been established in


1 This view is also supported by Dario A. Euraque, '.. "t ..p '..' r, the Banana Republic: Region and State
in Honduras, 1870-1972 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996): 45

2Ibid 49.

3 Dario A. Euraque, "La reforma liberal' en Honduras y la hip6tesis de la oligarquia ausente':1870-1930,"
Revista de Historia 23 (January-June 1991): 7-56.

4 Dario A. Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidady raza en la historic de Honduras: ensayos (Tegucigalpa:
Ediciones Subirana, 1996):46.

5 Alberto Amaya, Los Arabes y Palestinos en Honduras 1900-1950 (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras,
1997): 91-99.









Honduras at the end of the 1880's. Employees of the Rosario Mining Company staged

one of the country's first strikes in 1909 in demand of higher wages. Although the

movement was repressed and its participants jailed, miners continued to engage in similar

acts of protest in 1912, 1932, 1947 and during the early 1950's.6 Strikes first occurred in

the Northern Coast banana plantations in 1916 and recurred thereafter with increasing

frequency and worker participation. However, most of these labor activities remained

isolated from each other.

Existing workers' groups coalesced into two labor federations during the 1920's.8

The Federaci6n Obrera Hondureha (FOH, Honduran Workers' Federation) was

constituted in 1921 by twenty-five labor groups from both the Northern Coast and

interior of the country. Initially, this organization was not very belligerent, and its leader

was easily coopted by the Liberal Party during the 1926 municipal elections.9 This

caused the more militant, Northern Coast labor unions who formed part of this federation

to disassociate themselves from it and form the Federaci6n de Sociedades Obreras del

Norte in 1926. Three years later, they together with other dissident members of the FOH

established the Federaci6n Sindical Hondureha (FSH, Sindicated Workers' Federation).


6 Mario Argueta, Historia de los sin historic (Tegucigalpa: Guaymuras, 1992): 15-26.

7 Mario Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones sindicales de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Estudio de Artes
Graficas, 1987): 1-15; Argueta, Historia de los sin historic; and Pablo Yankelevich, Honduras (Mexico,
D.F.: Alianza Editorial, 1988): 200-201 and 210-12.

8 Unless otherwise stated, the following discussion of the FOH and FSH is derived from Argueta, Historia
de los sin historic; Yankelevich, Honduras, 203-217; Mario Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero
Hondureno (Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio : Editorial Universitaria Centroamericana, 1981): 83-89;
Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 15-
66; and Ernesto Paz Aguilar and Miguel Pineda, Origenes, desarrollo yposibilidades de la
socialdemocracia en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1986): 10.

9 Rina Villars, "La Sociedad Cultura Femenina," Entre Amigas: Antologia (1992-1997), ed. Blanca
Guifarro (Tegucigalpa: Guardabarranco, 1999): 394-395.









This new labor federation was influenced by Communist ideology and led by Communist

Party activists.10 The FOH, on the other hand, now mainly composed of groups from the

interior of the country, came to be influenced by social democratic thinking. In 1931 its

leaders founded the Socialist Revolutionary Party, an anti-Bolshevik group. Both the

FOH and FSH sponsored several strikes during the 1920's and early 1930's in demand of

national legislation to protect worker's rights and better working conditions. The FSH

also encouraged the formation of peasant leagues." All of this activity became possible,

as Euraque has noted, because "labor agitators ...at least until 1930, did not suffer the

systematic repression from the state visited on labor elsewhere in Central America."12

Unfortunately, neither the FSH nor the FOH were able to achieve any long lasting

benefits for their members. President Mejia Colindres (1928-1932) began repressing

strikes along the Northern Coast in 1930.13 This state repression was heightened after

1932 when Tiburcio Carias came to power. By the 1940's the FOH, FSH and peasant

leagues that had been established during this period had ceased to exist. Its members

either had been incarcerated, killed or exiled.

Female socio-political organization increased also during the early 1900's. In 1913

a group of women formed the League of Central American National Defense to protest

U.S. imperialist activities in the region. This group received so much support that it



10 Euraque, F.,. i,,.. p"'r the Banana Republic, 37 and Rina Villars, Para la casa m6s que para el mundo:
Gr, i.-;i,,. 'yfeminismo en la historic de Honduras, (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales Guaymuras, 2001): 208-209
and 241-242.

1 Mario Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Estudio de
Artes Grificas, 19??):6-7

12 Euraque, F,. ,t.j p 'r i the Banana Republic, 38.

13 Euraque, F.. ,t-.,. ri, the Banana Republic, 58 and Rina Villars, "La Sociedad Cultura Femenina."









established a national and several municipal-level committees.14 Another group of

women established a mutual aid society, the Sociedadde Cultura Femenina (Feminine

Culture Society), in 1926. This group transcended its self-help orientation shortly after

its founding and began organizing meetings that allowed women to discuss their

country's socio-political reality and the need to end both caudillismo and political

violence. Some members became influenced by communist ideology. In 1929 the

Sociedad de Cultura Femenina together with a few female labor unions that had been

established during the same decade helped found the communist-inspired FSH. The First

National Women's Assembly was held the following year. Those present resolved to

demand new laws that would protect female workers and join other laborers in the

struggle for better working conditions.15

Interestingly, these early women's groups worked more in defense of labor rights

than to secure female suffrage. Although their closeness to unions and leftist political

organizations partly explains the former activity, their relative indifference to advancing

women's formal political incorporation seems curious. A handful of liberal-minded

politicians had been arguing for the need to extend voting rights to women since 1894;

yet, females showed little support for such measures during the late 19th and early 20th

centuries.16 Villars theorizes that women were uninspired to seek their own suffrage

during this period because they associated voting with caudillismo and political violence.




14 Villars, Para la casa, 232-242.

15 Villars, Para la casa mds que para el mundo, chapter 3.

16 For a detailed discussion of the history of women's suffrage in Honduras see Villars, Para la casa mds
que para el mundo.









Rather than participate in these often chaotic events, women chose to secure political

progress through other, peaceful forms of political activity.1

Although women achieved a significant amount of organization during the 1920's

and 1930's, the groups they established were short-lived and met with little political

success. The Sociedadde Cultura Femenina remained in existence for only seven years.

Neither this nor any of the other female labor union in the country was able to pass any

significant workers' legislation during this period. Women's groups either were branded

as communist or were not taken seriously by most of the political establishment. When

the state's anti-labor repression increased during the 1930's, women's organizations fell

into inactivity and eventually ceased to exist.

The Camara de Comercio e Industria de Tegucigalpa (CCIT or Tegucigalpa's

Chamber of Commerce and Industry) was the only civil society group established during

the early twentieth century that persisted beyond this period. The CCIT was organized

due to state initiative, however, and not strong business organization. An incipient

bourgeoisie class had begun to emerge in Honduras during the early twentieth century

with the immigration of Christian Arabs (primarily Palestinians). Anti-immigrant

legislation passed during the 1920's and 1930's had encouraged these foreigners to invest

in new economic activities or face deportation.18 This legislation enabled Arabs to gain

almost complete control of the growing import and export commercial sector and become

an incipient bourgeoisie class.19 Despite their financial power, these immigrants were


17 Villars, Para la casa, 226-231 and 402-408.

18 Dario A. Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidady raza en la historic de Honduras: ensayos (Tegucigalpa:
Ediciones Subirana, 1996): 54.

19 Euraque, Estado, poder, nacionalidad; Euraque, ,... ,,r. p,.. r, the Banana Republic, 33; and Amaya,
Los Arabes y Palestinos, 111-128.









excluded from participating in Honduran high society20 and prohibited from engaging in

political activities well into the 1940's.21 During that decade, the relationship between

Arabs and the state began to improve partly due to the monetary support some Arabs

extended to President Carias and the personal relationship that they consequently

established with him.22 In 1947 Carias passed legislation that created the CCIT.

Initially, the CCIT was composed primarily of Arab businessmen; it was very

conservative in orientation and easily manipulated by the state.23 As a result, it did not

represent a significant counterweight to the state's monopoly of governance. Moreover,

the CCIT did not help extend the political rights of Arabs, its original constituents, nor

unite business groups of different racial backgrounds during its first few years of

existence. Business groups did not begin to organize and unite politically until the late

1950's, and Arabs were not granted suffrage nor allowed more formal participation in

the Honduran political system until the 1960's.24 Despite its weak and state-initiated

origin, the CCIT developed into an active, independent civil society group by the late

1950's. It represents one of the first organizations to formally link the country's

bourgeoisie to the state.

As the first half of the twentieth century came to a close, Honduras had developed

only a weak civil society. The few labor groups that had arisen during the 1910's and


20 Euraque, F,,. ,,r. p,,. ,in, the Banana Republic and Amaya, Los Arabesy Palestinos, 88-91.
21 Some Arabs were granted citizenship directly by the executive before this time (See Amaya, LosArabes
y Palestinos, 84-87). However, these opportunities were not extended to the Arab population in general.
22 Amaya, Los Arabes y Palestinos, 96-101.

23 James Morris, "Interest Groups and Politics in Honduras," Ph.D. Dissertation, University of New
Mexico, 1977, 76-77.

24 Amaya, Los Arabes y Palestinos, 98.









1920's had been repressed to the point of extinction. This violence also had weakened

women's groups who had maintained a close relationship with labor. The country's elite

classes had failed to form a unified group. The only business organizations that had been

created arose due to state initiative and excluded most native Hondurans. The weakness

of civil society during the first half of the twentieth century enabled the state, or rather,

key individuals within the state, to dominate public decision-making. Although this style

of governance would persist for several decades, the nature of state-society relations

would begin to change during the 1950's with the rise of new citizen groups willing to

defend their rights and demand greater state responsiveness to them.

The Development of Civil Society (1950's-1960's)

The Honduran political landscape changed significantly with the end of Carias

dictatorship and election of President Juan Manuel Galvez in 1948. Citizens enjoyed

greater associational freedom and both old and new political parties were (re)organized.

By the 1950's mass-based, citizen groups had gathered enough social capital to burst onto

the political scene demanding more responsive state policies. Revived or newly-created

political parties tried to tap into this political resource by further organizing popular

groups, channeling their discontent and representing new citizen demands. Eventually,

this invigorated civil society and more responsive political society gave birth to a new

period of governance in Honduras-one in which social groups pressured the state more

effectively than ever before, found greater political representation and sometimes

succeeded in getting their demands met.

Women were among the first to organize and become politically active during the

mid-20th century. Female residents from the capital established two political pressure

groups in the early 1940's: the Frente Femenil Pro-Legalidad (Female Pro-Legality









Front) and the Comite Pro-Liberaci6n de Presos Politicos (Committee Pro-Liberation of

Political Prisoners). Members of both of these organizations were mainly wives of

prominent Liberal Party leaders who had been jailed, exiled or otherwise persecuted

during the Carias dictatorship.25 These Liberal Party sympathizers wrote petitions and

staged street marches requesting the return of political exiles, the release of political

prisoners, a free press, free elections and Carias' resignation from office. The president

responded to these protests by placing demonstrators under house arrest, cutting their

homes' water and electricity supply or imprisoning them.26 Although the women who

participated in these events were not explicitly trying to secure their formal incorporation

into national politics, their willingness to publicly criticize the government inadvertently

advanced such a process.

While Honduran women were calling for democracy and greater political freedom

on the streets of Tegucigalpa, international organizations were pressuring the government

to extend female political participation. Inter-American organizations dedicated to

promoting women's suffrage established national chapters in Honduras during the early

1940's. Female intellectuals as well as the wives of prominent politicians joined these

groups and began publishing magazine articles on women's right to vote. International

pressure for women's political rights was heightened at the end of this decade when the

United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man (1948) and Latin

American states ratified the Convention on Women's Political Rights (1948)-two

documents that affirmed women's right to vote. New Honduran political parties

25 Villars, Para la casa mds que para el mundo, 309-312.

26 Ibid and Mario Argueta, Tiburcio Carias: anatomia de una epoca, 1923-1948 (Tegucigalpa: Editoriales
Guaymuras, 1990): 304-305.










responded to this changing political climate by advocating female suffrage. The Partido

Democrdtico Revolucionario Hondureno (PDRH or Honduran Revolutionary Democratic

Party) was founded in 1946 from an anti-Carias movement that female organizations had

initiated during the early part of that decade. The PDRH recognized women's political

contributions, partly owed its creation to it and hoped to benefit from their electoral

strength. Existing women's groups united in 1951 to form the Federaci6n de

Asociaciones Femeninas de Honduras (FAFH or Federation of Female Associations of

Honduras). The FAFH eventually became the largest and most politically active

women's organization in the country. The FAFH held workshops and published

educational material to raise consciousness among Honduran women on their political

rights. They also lobbied the government and several political leaders for new legislation

granting female suffrage. The Honduran National Congress finally acceded to their

demands in 1954.27 Although this legislation was never signed into law by a

democratically-elected president, Julio Lozano Diaz respected the spirit of this legislation

by granting women suffrage in 1955 through Decree Law #29.28

Student groups also become more politically active during the 1950's. A student

government association, the Federaci6n de Estudiantes Universitarios de Honduras



27 Before the executive could sign this legislation into law, the country entered a political crisis.
Presidential elections were held late in 1954 and no candidate obtained a majority of the votes cast. Liberal
Villeda Morales who garnered a plurality of the votes, had declared his commitment to female suffrage.
This political stance was undoubtedly influenced by his wife who had been an activists in the FAFH. Since
the newly elected congress would not agree to nominate Villeda or any other candidate as the new
president, Vice President Lozano Diaz declared himself the de facto head of state. Lozano's wife was also
a member of FAFH and pressured him to extend the vote to women. Since the constitutional order had
been disrupted, Lozano Diaz could not approve Congress's recent law extending female suffrage.
Therefore, he legalized women's electoral participation through decree law #29 in 1955.

28 The information reported in this paragraph is derived from Villars, Para la casa m6s que para el mundo,
chapters 4 and 5 and an interview with Maria Elbina Elvir, FAFH president, November 2, 2000.









(FEUH), had existed since the first half of the twentieth century in order to represent the

interests of those enrolled in the Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Honduras (UNAH).

Initially, the FEUH limited its activities to the university setting and to matters involving

the student body. However, this began to change during the 1950's. The FEUH began

publishing a humorist newspaper in 1956 that sharply criticized the Lozano Diaz

government. Lozano responded by shutting down the paper and exiling several student

leaders. University students organized a massive street march to protest this event and

demand an end to the Lozano dictatorship. Although the march was repressed,29 students

were unabated. A few months after the march FEUH members together with a faction of

the military sympathetic to their cause took over an army barrack in the heart of

Tegucigalpa. Troops loyal to the president quickly put down the insurrection and

arrested its participants.30 But this only postponed the inevitable: Lozano Diaz was

deposed by a military coup just a few months later. The 1956 coup against Lozano Diaz

as well as the rise in military tensions with Nicaragua during the following year helped

rally student support for the military junta. In April 1957 FEUH even organized a

meeting headed by members of the military in order to raise nationalist sentiments and

increase student enlistment in the armed forces.31 But university student support for the

military was short-lived. In 1959 university students together with members of the

Liberal Party took up arms in order to defend reformist President Villeda Morales against



29 Longino Becerra, Evoluci6n hist6rica de Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Baktun Editorial, 1998): 163.

30 Matias Funes, Los deliberantes: elpoder military en Honduras, (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras,
1995): 182-189; Stefania Natalini de Castro et al, Significado hist6rico del gobierno del Dr. Ram6n Villeda
Morales (Tegucigalpa: Universidad Nacional Autonoma, 1985): 47.

31 Funes, Los deliberantes, 191.









an attempted military coup.32 By then, the FEUH had come to be controlled by a new,

Marxist student front known as the Frente de Reforma Universitaria (FRU). Non-

Marxists groups inspired by either the right-wing of the Nationalist Party or by Social

Christian doctrine had also been formed in 1958 and 1959 in order to vie for control of

the FEUH.33 This further politicized the university student body and increased the

FEUH's involvement in broader national politics. These student groups would give rise

to a broader Social Christian movement in Honduras and to the establishment of the

Christian Democratic Party during the 1960's. They would also become active in

supporting the organization and political activity of new labor and peasant groups.

While females organized through the FAFH and university students increased

their political activity, workers had begun reorganizing throughout Honduras. The

Galvez administration (1948-1954) had allowed labor groups to emerge in the interior of

the country and form a broad coalition, the Comite Coordinador Obrero (Workers'

Coordinating Committee), in 1950. This organization began publishing a newspaper that

spoke of the need for new labor laws, free unions and a social security system. Not all

labor groups were permitted such freedom of speech and association, however. Workers

organizations from the Northern Coast banana plantations, the mining sector and other

capitalist enterprises continued to be repressed during the Galvez administration. Foreign

owned companies either used private armed guards to squash incipient labor unions or

easily influenced local police units and military bodies within the still fragmented state to



32 Andrd-Marcel d'Ans, Emergencia dificil de una naci6n, de un estado, trans. Albert LePienne
(Tegucigalpa: Renal Video Production, 1998): 211.

33 Robert Anthony White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development: The Church and the Peasant in
Honduras," Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1977: 111.










assist them in this process. President Galvez, a former United Fruit Company lawyer,

either condoned or did nothing to end these abuses. Despite this labor repression,

workers outside the capital continued to organize. A handful of leaders tried educating

workers on their rights and succeeded in establishing a few, clandestine, labor groups

during this period. 34

Worker discontent erupted in a massive strike in 1954.35 The protest originated

with workers of the Tela Railroad Company, a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company

(UFCO), who were being forced to work on holidays but not being paid extra for their

labor. The strike opened a flood gate of worker discontent. Protesters demanded better

working conditions, a wage increase, double pay for work on Sundays and holidays, the

right to unionize and national labor legislation. Within three days the strike had spread to

all of UFCO's 25,000 employees. A few days later the 10,000 workers from the Standard

Fruit Company (SFCO) joined the struggle, effectively bringing most of the North Coast

to a standstill. Workers' from other parts of the country joined the strike soon thereafter.

Small business owners, teachers, women's organizations and student groups expressed

their solidarity with the movement through their moral and financial support. The PDRH

and recently reorganized Communist Party played a key role in encouraging this national

strike. Mainstream political parties, on the other hand, initially reacted both negatively


34 Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero Hondureho, 48-54, 123-129 and 134-142.

35 For more information on the 1954 strike see Posas, Luchas del movimiento obrero Hondureho, 130-185;
Mario Posas, Lucha ideol6gica y organization sindical en Honduras 1954-65 (Tegucigalpa: Editorial
Guaymuras, 1980): 5-9; Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera: los 69 dias que estremecieron a
Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1995); Agapito Robledo Castro, 40 ahos despues: la
verdad de la huelga de 1954 y de laformaci6n del SITRATERCO, (Tegucigalpa: Ediciones del SEDAL,
1995); Victor Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureho, (Tegucigalpa, Honduras : Editorial
Guaymuras, 1980); and Robert MacCameron, Bananas,Labor and Politics in Honduras: 1954-1963,
Foreign and Comparative Studies / Latin American Series No.5 (Syracuse: Syracuse University, Maxwell
School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 1983).









and defensively to this protest. Since 1954 was an election year, Nationalist President

Galvez did not respond to this popular movement with the same level of repression that

he had used against labor in the past. However, he did use state force to replace the

members of the combative Comite Central de Huelga (Central Strike Committee) with a

more conciliatory group of leaders. President Galvez then mediated negotiations between

the Comite Central de Huelga and company executives, effectively bringing an end to the

strike after sixty-nine days of protest. Employers agreed to increase workers salaries by

10-15% (not the 50% that had been requested), improve working conditions and cede

other concessions. Meanwhile, President Galvez agreed to create a Ministry of Labor

and grant workers the right to organize.

Northern Coast laborers were among the first to unionize. SFCO and Tela Railroad

Company workers established two separate unions just months after the 1954 strike's

end: the Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Tela Railroad Company (SITRATERCO)

and the Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Standard Fruit Company (SITRAFRUSCO).

The SITRATERCO was organized and its leadership trained with the assistance of the

American Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) and the Inter-American Regional Labor

Organization (Organizaci6n Regional Interamericana del Trabajadores, ORIT). The

U.S. government influenced these foreign labor organizations. They, therefore, tried

steering Honduran labor groups away from communist ideas and teaching them how to

work within existing political and socio-economic structures. As a result of such

training, the SITRATERCO limited its struggle to obtaining moderate economic and

social benefits for its members.36 The SITRAFRUSCO, on the other hand, was


36 Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, AIFLD in CentralAmerica: Agents as Organizers, (Albuquerque: Inter-
Hemispheric Resource Center, 1990): 39-43; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio, 100-109;









influenced by communist ideology and was more belligerent in demanding workers'

rights. The state responded very differently to these two organizations. The leaders of

the SITRATERCO were offered training, U.S. backed housing loans and posts as

congressional deputies while those of the SITRAFRUSCO were beaten, imprisoned

periodically and some even killed.37 Despite their differing ideologies and relationship

with the state, these two unions joined together towards the end of 1954 in order to form

the Federaci6n Sindical de Trabajadores Xi rei.'i, de Honduras, (FESITRANH or

Honduran Syndicated Federation of North Coast Workers). Twenty-five additional labor

unions joined this federation by 1963 effectively bringing all workers from the Northern

Coast banana plantations under one organization.38 The FESITRANH soon became the

strongest labor federation in the country. Like the SITRATERCO, the FESITRANH

received significant support from the AFL-CIO and the ORIT. However, it did not force

a particular ideological orientation on its member unions and tolerated significant

diversity.

Although the 1954 strike had originated and most impacted North Coast workers,

laborers elsewhere in the country benefited from its occurrence. New unions emerged in

the central and southern part of Honduras during the later half of the 1950's. These

represented a variety of smaller business sectors: construction workers, mechanics,


Posas, Lucha ideol6gica y organization sindical, 11; Eun iqiuc i., tr' p-.. i the Banana Republic, 99-
102; and Mario Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas de Honduras, (Tegucigalpa:
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1987): 12.

37 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureno, 109-110; Mario Posas and Rafael del Cid, La
construcci6n del sector piblico y del estad national de Honduras, 1876-1979 (Ciudad Universitaria
Rodrigo Facio, Costa Rica: Editorial Universitaria Centroamericana, 1981): 122-126 and Euraque,
P. i, i.. '.' i,, the Banana Republic, 101 and 104-105.

38 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureno, 109-111 and Natalini de Castro et al., Significado
hist6rico, 109.









tailors, shoemakers, theater workers, etc. Those unions based primarily in the capital

formed the Federaci6n de Sindicatos del Centro de Honduras (Federation of Syndicates

from the Center of Honduras) in 1958. The federation demanded a Labor Code, the

observance of a minimum wage law, the right to strike and social benefits for workers.

Although state-centered, political elites had liberalized significantly from the preceding

decades, they were unprepared to accept such demands. Some politicians and business

leaders began accusing members of the Federaci6n de Sindicatos del Centro of being

communists. Although President Villeda Morales showed a willingness to work with

organized labor groups and respond to some of their demands, he simultaneously wanted

to purge them of any communist ideological influences.39 Rather than use violence to

achieve this goal, as some of his predecessor had done, Villeda passed anticommunist

legislation and encouraged the ORIT to work with Honduran labor unions in order to

prevent their radicalization.40 By the end of 1958 the state's and ORIT's efforts led to the

creation of a parallel labor federation in the interior of the country: the Federaci6n

Central de Sindicatos de Trabajadores Libres de Honduras (FECESITLIH or Central

Federation of Free Workers' Syndicates).41 The FECESITLIH united all labor unions

from the interior of Honduras except those suspected of having a communist orientation.

The FECESITLIH was relatively docile and non-confrontational with the state during its

first years of existence. Moreover, its creation weakened the internally divided





39 Villeda Morales passed several anticommunist laws in order to prevent the radicalization of the
Honduran labor force.
40 Posas, Lucha ideol6gicay organization sindical, 33-36.

41 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio, 111.









Federaci6n de Sindicatos del Centro and helped assure its quick demise. However, the

FECESITLIH did not go unchallenged for long.

The Federaci6n Autentica Sindical de Honduras (FASH of Authentic Federation of

Honduran Syndicates) was established in 1963 by a group of unions dissatisfied with the

government friendly and ORIT-oriented FECESITLIH. The FASH was influenced by

Social Christian doctrine. It was also less docile and less susceptible to government

cooptation than the FECESITLIH and directly challenged the later group's hegemony of

working class groups in the interior of the Honduras. However, it shared the

FECESITLIH's concern for containing the spread of communism among working class

groups.42 The FASH quickly spread to the Southern part of Honduras where it built on

the Catholic Church's radio schools and community building activities which had been

ongoing since the 1950's in order to organize both labor and peasant groups.43

Less than a decade after the 1954 national strike, Honduran workers from all parts

of the country had united to form local and regional level syndicates. By the 1960's

Honduras had the largest number of unionized workers in all of Central America.44

Organized labor became such a significant political force in the country by 1959 that the

government of Villeda Morales was forced to placate their demands by creating a Social

Security System and passing both a Collective Bargaining Law and the country's first

Labor Code.45


42 Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio, 117 and White, "Structural Factors in Rural
Development," 113.

43 White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development."

44 Euraque, F,. ,r., j,. r,,i the Banana Republic, 97-99.

45 Natalini de Castro et al., Significado hist6rico, 103-109.









Initially, business leaders remained atomized and politically inactive relative to

labor's growing strength. Political elites within the state were forced to seek out business

leaders and obtain their opinion on certain issues. In 1957, for example, the recently

installed military junta instructed the National Election Council to incorporate people

appointed by the commercial, industrial, agricultural and cattlemen associations into its

membership. That same year, the Constituent Assembly consulted members of these

same groups on the government's economic policy.46 Encouraged by this political

opening, business leaders and large landowners began establishing formal organizations

that could both coalesce and represent their interests before the state as well as counter

workers' demands. Landed elites formed the Asociaci6n Nacional de Agricultores y

Ganaderos de Honduras (ANAGH or National Association of Agricultural Workers and

Cattlemen) in 1957. That same year Northern Coast businessmen formed a regional

chamber of commerce, the Camara de Comercio e Industria de Cortes (CCIC), in 1957.

The CCIC was more progressive and less prone to comply with government directives

than the CCIT, the chamber of commerce established by Carias. The country's

industrialists also coalesced in 1958 to form the Asociaci6n Nacional de Industriales

(ANDI or National Association of Industrialists). Although ANAGH dissolved within

three years of its creation, ANDI, CCIC and CCIT quickly grew in political strength and

activity. All of these business groups expressed their opposition to the 1959 Labor Code.

Although they did not prevent the law's passage, they were able to eliminate those


46 Euraque, F,. n,,,. i,,ig the Banana Republic, 62-63.









clauses that they deemed most harmful to their interests and thus counter labor

demands.47

The labor organizations that arose within Honduran capitalist enclaves during the

1950's spread to the agrarian sector of the country the following decade and directly

contributed to the rise of peasant associations. The origins of the country's first peasant

groups can be traced to the massive layoffs of UFCO and SFCO workers during the late

1950's. Just two months after the 1954 national strike had been concluded, a hurricane

ravished the Northern Coast of Honduras, destroying most banana plantations there.

Foreign fruit companies claimed that they could not bear the costs of both the disaster

and recent labor concessions. They responded to both events by laying-off thousands of

employees. By 1959 UFCO and SFCO employed less than half of the workers they had

had in 1953.48 The companies used this post-hurricane labor restructuring as an excuse to

dismiss its most militant and leftist labor leaders. Although these layoffs had the

immediate effect of reducing the numerical strength and militancy of the Honduran labor

movement, it inadvertently spread popular unrest to the countryside. Landless and

unemployed, former banana company workers tapped into their public protest and union

forming experience in order to organize peasant groups that could pressure the

government for farmland. Communist-leaning, former strike leaders established the

ComitW Central de Unificaci6n Campesina (CCUC or Central Committee for Peasant

Union) in 1959. The group began occupying lands that had been abandoned by Northern



47 Morris, "Interest Groups and Politics," 76-79; Posas and del Cid, La construcci6n del sector piblico, 119
and Natalini de Castro et al., Significado hist6rico, 103-109.
48 Euraque, r., ,. r,,i the Banana Republic, 102; Posas, Lucha ideol6gica y organization sindical, 9;
and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio, 97.









Coast businesses during preceding years. The CCUC was transformed into the

Federaci6n Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras (FENACH or National Federation of

Honduran Peasants) in 1962. Like its predecessor, FENACH had a Communist

orientation and was very critical of existing land tenure relations in Honduras. It took

much of its inspiration from the still recent Cuban Revolution and quickly grew to

represent approximately 15,000 members.49

The Villeda Morales government responded to FENACH's creation by encouraging

the establishment of a new, anti-communist peasant group: the Asociaci6n Nacional de

Campesinos de Honduras (ANACH or National Association of Honduran Peasants).

ANACH was created towards the end of 1962 as a result of the top-down organizing

work of the FESITRANH, the AFL-CIO and ORIT.50 It also received support from the

Unites States Agency of International Development (USAID).51 The group tried to

contain both the proliferation of communism and radicalization of unemployed and

landless agricultural workers in Honduras. Initially, ANACH was little more than an

appendage of the FESITRANH. The later group curtailed any independent or innovative

steps that the former undertook. During the late 1960's, for example, ANACH leaders

began establishing a close relationship with university professors and students in the

hopes that these could council them on agrarian issues. These measures were quickly






49 Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas, 11-13; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero
Hondureho, 119-120; and Euraque, .,. ,t.,. ',, ini the Banana Republic,103.
50 Barry and Preusch, AIFLD in CentralAmerica, 40-42 and Morris, "Interest Groups and Politics," 167.

51 White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development," 177.










labeled as leftist by the FESITRANH's leadership. ANACH's executive committee was

forcefully replaced, and all relations with the university were discontinued.52

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church encouraged the organization of peasant groups in

the Southern part of the country. The Catholic Church had initiated a radio school

program and begun training lay spiritual leaders (i.e., Delegates of the Word) here during

the 1950s. Initially, these activities were undertaken in order to increase the Catholic

Church's presence in rural communities, deepen people's Catholic faith and contain the

spread of both Protestantism and Communism. In order to achieve the later, the Catholic

Church encouraged the faithful to organize peasant leagues, women's clubs and other

self-help groups that could address the existing social problems in the country.53 But

these grass-roots organizations were unable to confront the dramatic increase in

landlessness caused by the state-sponsored expansion of non-traditional exports in the

South during the 1950's and 1960's.54 Some peasants responded to these events by

occupying privately-held properties and negotiating better land access with the national

government. Although some peasants from Southern Honduras were granted provisional

land titles as a result of this activity, they were unable to secure broader gains for the





52 Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas, 20-21 and Meza, Historia del movimiento
obrero Hondureho, 120-121.

53 White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development," and Rodolfo Cardenal, "The Catholic Church and the
Politics of Accomadation in Honduras," Church and Politics in Latin America, ed. Dermot Keogh
(London: Macmillan, 1990): 187-204.

54 Susan Stonich, "I am Destroying the Land!" Political Ecology ofPoverty and Environmental
Destruction in Honduras, (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993): 66-76; Morris, "Interest Groups and Politics,"
157-160; Robert G. Williams, ExportAgriculture and the Crisis in CentralAmerica, (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1986) and J. Mark Ruhl, "Agrarian Structure and Political Stability in
Honduras," Journal oflnteramerican Studies and World, 1I11 .. 26:1 (February 1984): 39-41; and White,
"Structural Factors in Rural Development," 172-175.









peasant population in their area.5 The FASH, the country's first Social Christian labor

organization, together with several Catholic-inspired community groups began

organizing landless peasants here more formally during the early 1960's in order to better

represent peasant needs before the state.56 Their actions helped give rise to a third

Honduran peasant group, the Asociaci6n Campesina Social Cristiana de Honduras

(ACASCH or Social Christian Peasant Association of Honduras) in 1962. ANACH was

renamed twice until it adopted the present title of Uni6n Nacional Campesina (UNC or

National Peasant Union) in 1970.57 Unlike the regionally-based.

Villeda Morales tried to contain peasant militancy as well as respond to their

demands by promulgating the country's first agrarian reform law in 1962. The law

created the Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA or National Agrarian Institute) and gave the

state the authority to expropriate unused national, ejidal5 or private property and

redistribute it to individual, landless peasants. Despite its stated objective, this agrarian

reform law did relatively little to alleviate peasant land pressure. In 1965 about a quarter

of Honduras' rural population (over 63,000 families) was landless.59 Yet the state

redistributed land to less than 9000 families during the ten years that the 1962 agrarian



5Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas, 16-17; Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero
Hondureio, 121; and Morris, "Interest Group Politics," 149.

56 White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development," and Morris, "Interest Groups and Politics," 160-168.

57 There is some disagreement about precisely when the UNC was founded. All agree that the group
emerged sometime between 1969 and 1972. See Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas,
16-17.

58 Ejidal lands are held in common by towns or villages.

59 CEPAL, FAO, OIT, SIECA, IICA, Tenencia de la tierra y desarrollo rural en Centroamerica, (San Jose,
1973): 70 cited in Rachel Sieder, "Honduras: The Politics of Exception and Military Rule (1972-1978),"
Journal of Latin American Studies 27:1 (February 1995): 108.









reform law was in effect.60 However, this legislation did encourage reform beneficiaries

to organize further. Seventy-six cooperatives with a total of 3504 members were

established from 1962 to 1972.61 These coalesced into a national level Federaci6n de

Cooperativas de la Reforma Agraria de Honduras (FECORAH or Federation of the

Agrarian Reform Cooperatives of Honduras) in 1972.62 By the following year over

100,000 peasants were organized in the country.63

Conservative groups viewed the increasing organization and militancy of both

peasant and labor groups with much trepidation. Although Villeda Morales had tried to

weaken leftist organizations and control popular discontent by implementing a few social

reforms, conservative groups considered his tactics to be insufficient. Popular-based

groups were becoming more politically influential, and they seemed sure to tilt the

outcome of the 1964 election in their favor. It seemed unlikely that a conservative

presidential candidate would be able to gain control of government through electoral

means. This state of affairs encouraged the Honduran Armed Forces to depose Villeda

Morales at the end of his term in office and prevent upcoming general elections.

The 1963 military coup should be understood as a conservative reaction to

increasing student, labor and peasant activism during the preceding decade. It was

followed by a major crackdown on recently formed, popular organizations. The leftist

peasant group, FENACH, was brutally repressed and effectively destroyed. Agrarian

60 Institute Nacional Agrario (INA), Resumen bdsico de los grupos campesinos beneficiaries de la reform
agraria, (Tegucugalpa: INA, 1985): 5
61 Ibid.

62 Posas, Breve historic de las organizaciones campesinas, 25.

63See White, "Structural Factors in Rural Development," 119 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero
Hondureio, 154.









reform practically ground to a halt and peasant activism entered a period of inertia.

Leaders of the communist inspired SITRAFRUSCO were forcefully replaced with

conservative leaders while some of its rank and file members were imprisoned in order to

discourage their militant activities.

In spite of this persecution, mass-based organizations formed an even stronger

union and began challenging military rule. The SITRAFRUSCO, though temporarily

demobilized, did not fall into inactivity. The group continued to fight for labor rights and

even expanded its membership in 1964 by incorporating employees of SFCO's port and

railroad facilities. The new organization, the Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la

Standard Fruit Company (SUTRASFCO), represented over 3600 workers and became

more militant and leftist than in the past.64 The FECESITLIH, the relatively passive

labor union that had been formed in the interior of the country with the state's

encouragement, began demanding a series of socio-economic reforms, the release of

political prisoners and the return of political exiles. This echoed the Liberal Party's

condemnation of the armed forces' unconstitutional rise to power.65 The FECESITLIH

also sponsored a general strike in 1965 demanding that the military government respect

and apply existing labor laws. The march was dissolved and the federation's leaders

were forcefully replaced by the Manch Brava, a paramilitary group associated with the

Nationalist Party.66 But other mass-based groups continued to demand political change.

Two Northern Coast labor groups, the FESITRANH and SITRATERCO, called for a


64 Mario Posas, Lucha ideological y organizacione sindical en Honduras (1954-1965), (Tegucigalpa:
Editorial Guaymuras, 1980): 31.
65 Euraque, F.. mr.,. r,, i the Banana Republic, 125.

66 Posas and del Cid, La construcci6n del sector pfblico, 132-133 and Posas, Lucha ideol6gica y
organization sindical, 47.









return to constitutional rule and the establishment of a unity government.67 These groups

further asked that they be granted direct representation in the new, civilian government.

The military initially ignored these petitions but finally agreed to schedule elections for

the end of 1965.

The increasing organization and mobilization of both labor and peasant groups

encouraged Honduras' business and landed elite to unite further. As was mentioned

earlier, large-scale farmers and cattlemen had tried uniting their interest in 1957 through

the creation of ANAGH, but the group dissolved after only three years of existence. The

increasing incidence of land invasions and organization of peasant groups encouraged

this conservative class to reorganize again into the Federaci6n Nacional de Agricultores

y Ganaderos de Honduras (FENAGH or National Federation of Agricultural Workers

and Cattlemen) in 1966. The following year, the CCIC suggested that FENAGH unite

with the business and industrial groups in the country to form a single organization that

could represent their joint political needs before the state. This peak business

organization was established in 1967 under the name of Corporaci6n Hondureha de la

Empresa Privada (COHEP or Honduran Private Enterprise Corporation).

As the preceding section reveals, Honduran civil society organized, became

politically active and gained considerable concessions from the state during the 1950's

and early 1960's. However, the right of association continued to be curtailed as the state

periodically destroyed communist-inspired organizations and encouraged the formation

of more conciliatory ones. Despite a general political opening, civil society groups were

unable to establish permanent dialog channels with the state or significantly alter the


67 Funes, Los deliberantes, 241-242 and Meza, Historia del movimiento obrero Hondureio, 126-127.









nature of governance. When state-centered political elites granted political concessions

during this period, they did so in order to appease mobilized groups and secure their

support. This pattern of governance would not be altered significantly until civil society

reached a more mature level of development in succeeding decades.

The Growing Strength of Civil Society (1965-1974)

Honduran civil society became more unified and politically active during the mid

to late 1960's. The pending return to constitutional rule in 1965 and continued abuses by

the military encouraged civil society groups to join with groups outside their sector in

order to maintain a constant and heightened level of political pressure on the government.

Unlike the previous decade, mass-based groups were no longer asking for the mere

vindication of their specific group rights, but for a more profound, socio-political

restructuring of society. Civil society's new belligerence eventually enabled it to push

for the creation of a National Unity Government. When this government failed to

respond to needs or demands of organized groups, these called upon the military to

intervene in the political process. The military responded not by repressing mass based

groups, as it had done in the past, but by heralding a new phase of state-civil society

relations in Honduras: a period of populist military rule.

Peasant and labor groups began uniting across their respective sectors during the

1960's in order to form stronger, mass based groups. The peasant group ANACH united

with two labor federations-the FESITRANH and FECESITLIH-in 1964 to establish

the Confederaci6n de Trabajadores de Honduras (CTH or Confederation of Honduran

Workers). Like its members, the CTH was anti-communist in orientation and influenced

by both the ORIT and the AFL-CIO. This together with the organization's numerical

strength encouraged state centered elites to be responsive to the CTH and dialog with its