Honduras. According to Countryaah, the presidential election held on November 24 ended in an unclear situation, but one week after the election, the electoral authority announced that Juan Orlando Hernández, former congressional president and candidate for the ruling National Party, had won by a barely majority. Xiomara Castro, candidate for the new Left Party Libre and wife of former President Manuel Zelaya (2006–09), who was deposed in a military coup in June 2009, accused the authorities of irregularities in the electoral process, called for protests against the election results and demanded recounting of votes.
In the earliest opinion polls, she also led clearly and confidence in the incumbent government was very weak. Honduras faces many difficult challenges – it is the second continent in the American continent with high unemployment and high cost of living, with the world’s highest murder statistics where only every fifth murder is investigated at all and with notoriously weak public institutions. A painful reminder of the security situation in the country came on April 18 when Orlan Chávez, special prosecutor for organized crime, was murdered in the open street.
The fears of political chaos in the coming term of office grew in view of this becoming stronger during the year. As if to weaken further public institutions and public confidence in them, the Congress voted just before the election to allow court processes against incumbent public officials, including the president, vice president and state prosecutor.
Surface and boundaries. – From a new planimetric measurement that was carried out in 1953 it results to be 112,088 km 2 instead of 115,570 km 2. The International Court of Justice in The Hague on 18 Nov. 1960 ruled on the border dispute with Nicaragua for the attribution of a contested area located on the Atlantic side. The court confirmed the validity of the arbitration verdict issued in 1906 by the King of Spain Alfonso XIII, which had established that the disputed territory be incorporated into Honduras. The territory is called Mosquitia; in it in 1956 US companies found oil fields.
- According to AbbreviationFinder.org, Tegucigalpa is the capital city of Honduras. See acronyms and abbreviations related to this capital and other major cities within this country.
Population. – According to the census of June 18, 1950, the population was 1.368.605 residents, a figure which, to compensate for the gaps in the census, was corrected to 1.505.465 residents; an evaluation brings it up, in 1958, to 1,828,100 (16 per km 2). In 1958 the population of the main cities was as follows: Tegucigalpa 106,949 residents, S. Pedro Sula 58,931, La Ceiba 22,780, Tela 16,000, Puerto Cortés 16,102.
Economic conditions. – The production of bananas, fundamental for Honduras (it provides about 60% of the total value of exports), has decreased slightly in recent years due to diseases that have damaged the plantations (7,690,000 q in 1953, 6,370,000 in 1955), in some of which (in the plain of Ulúa especially) the banana tree has been replaced by another musacea, the abaca or hemp of Manila, which in 1956 was cultivated on 2000 ha and gave 29,000 q of product. In the Copán region, the cultivation of tobacco spread further, with excellent results (7000 ha and 33.000 q of product in 1956). And at the beginning the cultivation of cotton. Of the mining products, silver and gold are still very important, the production of which, however, has significantly decreased (silver: 92,800 kg in 1943, 61,000 in 1955).
Commerce. – In the five-year period 1953-1957, imports had an average annual value of 114.8 million lempiras, and exports of 120.9 million. The United States continues to be the main customer (65.1% of exports in 1956) and supplier (67.6% of imports) of Honduras.
Merchant marine. – The Honduras officially possesses a conspicuous merchant navy, which in 1957 consisted of 94 ships with 368,000 tons. overall tonnage. But it is one of the so-called “navies of convenience”, because the owners of these ships are foreign owners (mainly Greek and American).
Finances. – Since 1949, with the advent of the Gálvez government, the country’s economy has seen a significant recovery in a regime of relative price stability. The adverse trade balance trend could be overcome with a mobilization of the country’s foreign exchange reserves and with dollar funds from large American agricultural and mining companies.
The Banco Centrale de Honduras was established in July 1950 with its own central bank functions. It was transferred the powers of issuing tickets previously entrusted to commercial banks and those of control over the exchange rates up to then exercised by a special commission. Current buying and selling exchange rates are 2.00 and 2.02 lempiras for one US dollar and have remained unchanged throughout the period. The series of deficits registered by the state budget is mainly connected with the intensified investment activity that has taken place in the field of public works and road communications.