In 2009, Honduras president Manuel Zelaya was removed from power and exiled. He had been democratically elected in 2005 for a four-year term. The coup was done by the Honduran military ostensibly under a Supreme Court directive. According to them, the president wanted to amend the constitution to permit him to serve another term, which constituted treason (Zunes, 2016). In reality, if the changes proposed had been passed, they would have taken effect after Zelaya’s term. Additionally, the president was conducting a non-binding referendum rather than a constitutional amendment as claimed by the army.
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The United States backed the coup before and after its occurrence. The real reason it happened is that President Zelaya supported left-leaning policies unfavorable to the United States. Under his rule, the country’s minimum wage increased, and he attempted to reduce its high poverty rate. He provided pensions for the elderly, built new schools, and improved the energy and transportation sectors (Zunes, 2016). His bid to minimize ties with the US and increase his country’s economic independence was viewed as the rising of a dictatorial communist. The US supported the coup against his government and pushed for the election of a new president shortly afterward. It had also funded military action in Honduras several years before the coup, which gave the armed forces enough resources to instigate the revolt.
The coup had both short and long-term consequences for Honduran citizens. Widespread protests started in parts of the country following the insurgence. Zelaya’s supporters protested because they believed his removal from power was unconstitutional. This was followed by violence as the military attempted to suppress civilian unrest. Under pressure from other countries, the United States condemned the coup and to show its stance against it, withdrew economic support for Honduras’ economy but continued to fund its army. It benefited from the country’s instability because the coup made it possible to elect a right-leaning president that would work with the States. Presently, the country remains one of the poorest in Latin America and has high poverty and crime rates. The effects of the uprising reverberate more than a decade after it occurred.
An organization can help the citizens who are the victims of a coup. Since the organization cannot oversee the government’s activities, it will channel its resources toward helping the citizens. The establishment will provide shelter and protection to people affected by the political instability because some people feel unsafe in their homes during this time. It will also provide food and other sustenance as the poverty rate is extremely high, and some citizens cannot sustain themselves (Fernandez, 2019). The community will also be educated on their rights and how to navigate and survive political unrest. Success will be measured by the number of people who become economically independent after leaving the shelter. It will also be measured by the community’s level of political awareness after some time. The actions described applying to countries under similar circumstances as Honduras.
The 2009 Honduran coup shows the complexities of white-collar crime. It reveals how a government can be guilty of committing such a crime. The United States supported the military coup because it would benefit financially from this. President Zelaya’s economic policies were inconvenient to the States and so the latter did not approve of him (Fernandez, 2019). Instead, the country supported a rightist president who would collaborate with it. Hillary Clinton, who was the secretary of state then, worked actively to prevent Zelaya’s reinstatement. This is an example of a white-collar crime where a government supported the coup of another because it would advance its economic interests. The US-backed coup in Honduras is a testament to the magnitude and complexity of white-collar crimes.
Fernandez, B. (2019). How the US created violent chaos in Honduras. Jacobin. Web.
Zunes, S. (2016).The U.S. role in the Honduras coup and subsequent violence. HuffPost. Web.
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