With a Honduran population of 7.8 million (CIA Factbook), a petition of 1.3 million (17%) is a remarkable achievement, especially in an atmosphere of brutal repression - RATB.
Over 1.3 Million Petition to Refound Honduras
by Karen Spring, 19 September 2010.
Recognizing that Congress, the Supreme Court, the oligarchy, and the two dominant political parties would never permit or support a path that would give the majority of Hondurans a voice in the political, social and economic processes of the country, the FNRP announced their commitment to the campaign and began to gather signatures to demand the Constituyente. The pro-democracy resistance movement known as the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) has collected 1,346,876 signatures thus far demanding a National Constituent Assembly that would mark an important step in its struggle to rewrite Honduras' Constitution and refound the country. During the past five months, volunteers from the various groups and organizations that come together under the FNRP have gone out to parks, neighborhoods, villages, cities, and departments all over the country to educate the Honduran people about the proposed Constituyente and collect signatures.
Despite severe repression and the murders of resistance members, the collection of names continued daily. Given the repression, the FNRP reports that many people were reluctant to give their signature for fear that they would later be identified and threatened or killed for participating in the campaign. Along with many other organizations, the indigenous and campesino organization COPINH (Civic Counsel for Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) was part of this process, collecting thousands of signatures in the four western departments where they work, during community workshops, gatherings, assemblies and other "places of struggle. COPINH reports that their efforts in the collection are "a tribute to the martyrs of Honduran society in the struggle for the refoundation of Honduras." COPINH emphasized that it was not an easy mission, as many of their volunteer members were detained, threatened and jailed. Police also attempted to confiscate papers containing signatures that the organization had collected.
Taking Matters into Their Own Hands
On the day (June 28, 2009) that President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown, many Hondurans were going to participate in a non-binding, national opinion poll on whether to include a question on the ballot during the national elections scheduled for November 29, 2009 concerning the formal establishment of a Constituyente. Along with electing their president, congressman and mayor, people would have indicated through a fourth ballot box (cuarta urna) whether or not they were in favor of a Constituyente to review and rewrite the Constitution. The opinion poll and the hopes of those who favor a Constituyente were crushed that day by the coup d'état -- an attempt by the ruling class to stop a process that would challenge their power and position in Honduran society. Recognizing that Congress, the Supreme Court, the oligarchy, and the two dominant political parties would never support or permit a path that would give the majority of Hondurans a voice in the political, social and economic processes of the country, the FNRP announced their commitment to the campaign and began to gather signatures to demand the Constituyente in July 2010.